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Attributed to Bruce Schneier.

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security theater (uncountable)

  1. Security measures which are intended to, or do, provide a feeling or illusion of improved security, while doing little or nothing to actually improve security.
    Coordinate term: hygiene theater
    • 2003 July 28, Bruce Schneier, Beyond Fear: Thinking Sensibly About Security in an Uncertain World, Springer, page 38:
      But some countermeasures provide the feeling of security instead of the reality. These are nothing more than security theater.
    • 2013 August 22, Jeff Jarvis, “As a Democrat, I am disgusted with President Obama”, in The Guardian[1]:
      I do care about security. I survived the attack on the World Trade Center and I believe 9/11 was allowed to occur through a failure of intelligence. I thank TSA agents for searching me: applause for security theater.
    • 2021 July 12, Sirin Kale, “Hygiene theatre: how excessive cleaning gives us a false sense of security”, in The Guardian[2]:
      [Bruce] Schneier agrees that Covid-19 has ushered in an era of hygiene theatre. “Like security theatre,” he says, “hygiene theatre comes from bad risk analysis – really, from ignorance.”

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