My latest Guardian column just went live: "Time to fight security superstition." It talks about the growing number of strictures on talking about, recording, and arguing with the security measures in our society, and how this makes us all less safe:
Unfortunately, today's security cheerleaders have regressed to a more superstitious era, a time from before Bletchley Park's wizards won the second world war. The public isn't supposed to take photographs of CCTV cameras in case this knowledge can be used against them (despite the fact that surely terrorists can memorise their locations).
We can't mention terrorist attacks at the airport while we're being subjected to systematic anti-dignity depredations; your bank won't let you open an account with a passport – you need to supply a laser-printed utility bill as well ("to prevent money laundering" … you can just hear Osama's chief forgers gnashing their teeth for lack of a piece of A4).
The superstitions that grip airport checkpoints and banks are themselves a threat to security, because the security that does not admit of examination and discussion is no security at all.
If terrorists are a danger to London, then the only way to be safe is to talk about real threats and real countermeasures, to question the security around us and shut down the systems that don't work.