For a while now, I’ve contemplated writing a musing entitled something like “Stewart Baker Thinks We’re on Star Trek” due to his lack of understanding of basic computer and networking technology and his willingness to make policy recommendations that are inane at best and down-right dangerous (as in life-threatening) at worst.
If you don’t know who Stewart Baker is, you can read his Wikipedia entry but the short answer is he was the Assistant Secretary for Policy at the US Department of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush and the former General Counsel of the NSA during the time it was pushing the broken Clipper Chip as well as a huge proponent of REAL ID. Oh, and he doesn’t like privacy, at all.
So what’s stopping me from writing about why he seems to confuse reality with Star Trek? His latest post on the excellent Volokh Conspiracy blog entitled, Sex Secrets of the Security Line. His basic premise is insane: People don’t like the TSA because they get performance anxiety. Well, that’s not really fair. Men (smelling of testosterone) get performance anxiety. As for women, he “can’t explain the women who hate TSA with a passion, though [he’s] not sure how many there are.”
The entire post is creepy, unsettling, and filled with sexual imagery I’d like to get out of my head as soon as possible. If you haven’t read it, you may think I’m exaggerating. Go read it.
Now I’ve written previously about my sense of why people object to the TSA (hint: it’s not performance anxiety) and I’ve written about my own sorry experience getting a “resolution pat down.” Rather than respond to Mr. Baker, I note (thanks to Jonathan Adler) that many other people have already done an excellent job responding.
Maybe later I’ll write about why Mr. Baker’s policy positions for computer security are both bad and dangerous. First, I need to get this post out of my mind. Ugh.