Proposed Blog Meme : How Big a Terror Suspect Are You?

Dec 19 2007 Published by under Fight Terror with Terror, Politics, Rant

Check out this post on Nobody's Business (which I found via BoingBoing).

Here's what we should all do. Go down the list on the flyer from the Chicago Police Department, and see how many of them we've done. Here's mine:

  • Physical Surveillance : oh yeah. I've done everything on the sublist. Binoculars, cameras, video (I think), and, hey, using maps (even though I am a man) in public.
  • Attempts to gain sensitive information regarding key facilities : not so much. I don't think. Not that I don't anticipate I might do something like that that in the future; heck, when you're a gamer and you run roleplaying games, finding things like the floor plan for the pentagon or a nuclear plant can be very useful!
  • Attempts to penetrate or test physical security / response procedures : Yep. I've tried the locks on locked doors before. I've also used a coat hangar to open the lock on a car door. It was my car, but still. And I was doing this in public. They should have locked me up.
  • Attempts to improperly acquire explosives, weapons, ammunition, dangerous chemicals, etc. : not so much. I have made a lot of attempts to improperly split infinitives, because I'm a Star Trek fan.
  • Suspicious or improper attempts to acquire official vehicles, uniforms, badges, or access devices : a bit. I was a marine captain in a play once, and wore a uniform (sort of). When I was at Caltech, I (along with every other student, graduate or undergraduate) had and made copies of various master keys... which was a (successful) improper attempt to acquire an access device.
  • Presence of individuals who do not appear to belong in workplaces, business establishments, or near key facilities : sure. Ever been asked if you were lost? Means you didn't appear to belong. Honestly, I do agree that this is something people should be aware of... not for terrorism reasons, but for common petty theft reasons. Calling 911 may be a bit of overkill.
  • Mapping out routes, playing out scenarios, monitoring key facilities, timing traffic lights : All of the above. Hell, every time I drive somewhere new, I map out a route. As for playing out scenarios, yeah, done that, generally using GURPS as the rules set.... Monitoring key facilities? I mean, I wouldn't think anybody would want to, say, monitor the land (and water) near a power plant.... Timing traffic lights? Hell yeah. Every Monday night in grad school, coming back from orchestra rehearsal, I'd get on Green Street (a one way street) and hit pretty much every single light. It was awesome.
  • Stockpiling suspicious materials or abandoning potential containers for explosives (e.g. vehicles, suitcases, etc.). Insert obligatory joke about living in the South and abandoning a vehicle on your front lawn. I've got quite a giant stockpile of boxes left over from the last move in my attic. Does that count? I'm counting it.
  • Suspicious reporting of lost or stolen identification : I've actually done this, and it was even suspicious. See I had a credit card that was lost for a year. It was never misused, so it was really lost. Never found it. I mean, I still used it, because I knew the number, but the card itself was lost. Finally I got over the procrastinatory activation barrier and called the company to have a new number issued. Isn't that a bit suspicious? "Uh, yeah, a year ago I lost my credit card...." Given that you can use credit cards as a secondary form of ID, I think I'm a full-on terror suspect here.
  • How did I do? Six (counting two "halves") out of nine. Geez! If you aren't alarmed by me, then you are not a Good American who cares about the safety of his or her country! Heighten your awareness!

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