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Measured responses to improve safety

Even in serious matters there can be something to laugh at. Privacy International has sifted through 5000 nominations from 35 countries to find awardees for stupid mechanisms for increasing security. The Delta Terminal at JFK Airport in New York won an award for flagrant intrusion by forcing a woman to drink three bottles of her own breast milk for fear the bottles contained explosives or chemicals. London’s Heathrow Airport won an award for quarantining a quantity of “Gunpowder” green tea—the tea was released but the labels were confiscated and destroyed. Australians will be proud that the national $15 million (US$ 9m) campaign to educate Australians about terrorism won the Most Egregiously Stupid Award. The kit, including a fridge magnet, urged them to report anything suspicious while asking them to be “alert but not alarmed” (from the Sydney Morning Herald, April 2003; submitted by Ian Scott).

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