Never say 'no way out'
Sometimes, security can backfire.
Homeland Security Assistant Secretary Greg Garcia was at the RSA Security conference in San Francisco earlier this month, spreading the word that cyber security is one of the department's top priorities.
He held a series of one-on-one meetings with reporters, using the private booths set up in the press room for the interviews. In the interests of privacy and security, the booths have locks on the doors. All well and good, except that when our interview was finished, the latch on the door had jammed and the door wouldn't open. Rattling the handle did no good, rapping the door with hands didn't work and even a few swift kicks failed to open it. We weren't going anywhere, and the rattling, rapping and kicking failed to get the attention of anyone outside.
This provided the opportunity for a few more questions with the assistant secretary, but eventually we would have to leave the little room. Fortunately, one of the participants recognized the obvious: The booth was merely a set of flimsy, movable partitions. He pushed at one corner, folded back the wall, and we were able to walk out and tell the people out front that the door did not work.
Thinking outside the box really can work ' if only some of my other problems could be fixed that easily.
William Jackson is a senior writer of GCN and the author of the CyberEye blog.