NYTimes’ Brad Stone reflects on a talk by Mr. Security Bruce Schneier at the Black Hat Conference in “The Weird Pyschology of Security.”

Schneier’s talk is broader than Stone’s focus (see link to entire talk below) but Stone gets it right in this conclusion:

Mr. Schneier’s message: It’s foolish to ask us to be rational about risks. And sometimes “security theater” – like the stuff we see at the airport – can actually have a purpose when there’s a need to reassure people that they really are safe. But such displays can still be harmful when there are no solid security measures to back them up.

Read the entire talk at Schneier’s site.