New York City foolishly restricts cell-phone use in transit tunnels

What seems, to me, to be a thoughtless, knee-jerk response to the July 7 London bombings, according to the Associated Press wire via WCBS 880 (AOL News, CNN) …

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs area transit hubs, bridges and tunnels, decided last Thursday to indefinitely sever power to transmitters that provide wireless service in the Holland and Lincoln tunnels, spokesman Tony Ciavolella said Monday.

This overly reactionary safety strategy makes me think about Bruce Schneier‘s recent blog entry about talking to strangers and why the conventional wisdom of “don’t talk to strangers” is a poor strategy. In a world where the good guys far outnumber the bad guys, cellular phone use in the tunnels stand a greater chance of being used to provide advanced warnings of possible attacks rather than to cause them.

In order to better prepare and defend ourselves from terrorism, we need rational and thoughtful security strategies put into action, not last-minute, ill-prepared and panic-driven reaction. It makes you wonder what all that money for Homeland Security is really buying us …

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