NYTimes.com – Color-Coded Terror Alerts to Be Dropped by Homeland Security

The Department of Homeland Security is planning to get rid of the color-coded terrorism alert system. Known officially as the Homeland Security Advisory System, the five-color scheme was introduced by the Bush administration in March 2002.

Red, the highest level, meant “severe risk of terrorist attacks.” The lowest level, green, meant “low risk of terrorist attacks.” Between those were blue (guarded risk), yellow (significant) and orange (high).

The nation has generally lived in the yellow and orange range. The threat level has never been green, or even blue.

In an interview on “The Daily Show” last year, the homeland security chief, Janet Napolitano, said the department was “revisiting the whole issue of color codes and schemes as to whether, you know, these things really communicate anything to the American people any more.”

The answer, apparently, is no.

The color-coded threat levels were doomed to fail because “they don’t tell people what they can do — they just make people afraid,” said Bruce Schneier, an author on security issues. He said the system was “a relic of our panic after 9/11” that “never served any security purpose.”

via NYTimes.com – Color-Coded Terror Alerts to Be Dropped by Homeland Security. It only took the Department of Homeland Security 8 years to realize what a stupid and useless metric this was. Mainly because it never went down to where it should generally remain (blue and green).

Justin graduated from Texas Tech University with a bachelor's degree in Computer Science. Justin relishes programming and learning more about anything and everything. When not working as a Web Developer with Loadsys, Justin occasionally gives talks at the local PHP Meetup. In his free time, Justin enjoys backpacking and reading science fiction books.

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