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Subject: IP: What is it about airports?

  • From: David Farber <>
  • To:
  • Date: Fri, 29 Mar 2002 14:27:21 -0500

-----Original Message-----
From: "Bob Frankston" <>
Date: Fri, 29 Mar 2002 14:12:33 
To: "Dave Farber" <>
Subject: What is it about airports?

Warning: Do not read this is you are easily complacent.


Whether or not I agree with the current screening techniques at
airports, I can understand the assumption that you can keep people from
carrying bad things onto airplanes. But why do airports get evacuated
when an unattended package is found? The airport is just another public
space and, compared with others, not very dense.  In fact, as some have
pointed out, evacuating terminals creates greater concentrations and
opportunities for nefariousness.


If we're going to be afraid of unattended packages then shouldn't we
apply the policy to every public space? Or is the assumption that
airports have a special mystical significance to "terrorists" apart from
the aircraft themselves?


But why should I be surprised? In looking the map of Idlewild (oops,
JFK) I notice that there are no gates numbered 13. And we have the rules
for PED (Personal Electronic Devices) which have a similar degree of
"reasoning" behind them. At least we can be thankful that cell phones
alerted some passengers on 9/11 and prevented an additional attack
(albeit with great sacrifice). The problem is that superstitions are not
benign - they lead to very bad judgment as well as tainting more
reasoned policies.


Perhaps I shouldn't think about such things after reading the
announcement from the FCC that I've included below. I view this as a
direct attack on the Internet and the whole notion of resilience. Am I
wrong to be frightened? The word "optimal" is a warning - someone knows
what is best and will assure that other possibilities are disadvantaged.
At least he has experience in sales and advertising so that he can
reassure us that things are just fine.


These observations remind me of other "common wisdom" such as the notion
that you cannot go swimming for an hour after eating (a peanut?). Or the
assumption that you must sterilize everything a baby touches other than
the dirt that it keeps putting in its mouth as it crawls around.


Well, I better stop here; otherwise I might lose my faith in . 





March 28, 2002

David Fiske  (202) 418-0513


Michelle Russo (202) 418-2358





      Washington - The Federal Communications Commission today announced
the creation of a new federal advisory committee, the Media Security and
Reliability Council ("MSRC")


      MSRC's members will study, develop and report on best practices
designed to assure the optimal reliability, robustness and security of
the broadcast and multichannel video programming distribution


      The Council will be comprised of senior representatives of mass
media companies, cable television and satellite service providers, trade
associations, public safety representatives, manufacturers and other
related entities.


Dennis J. FitzSimons, President and COO of Tribune Company, will chair
MSRC's inaugural term.


FitzSimons has been President and COO of Tribune Company since July 2001
and served on the Tribune board of directors since May 2000.  He also
has served as president of Tribune Broadcasting Company since 1994.  He
previously served as president of Tribune Television from 1992-1994, and
has been with the organization in various capacities since 1982.  Prior
to Tribune, FitzSimons served as director of sales and marketing for
Viacom's WVIT-TV, Hartford, Connecticut.  Before that, he was director
of advertising sales at Viacom International and New York sales manager
for TeleRep, Inc.  He started in the media industry at Grey Advertising
in New York.


FitzSimons has served as the Vice Chair of the National Association of
Broadcasters? board of directors.  He is currently on the board of
directors of Northwestern University, the Newspaper Association of
America, the Association for Maximum Service Television (MSTV) and the
Television Operators Caucus (TOC), as well as the Robert R. McCormick
Tribune Foundation and the Big Shoulders Fund.


- more -

The Designated Federal Official ("DFO") of MSRC will be Barbara
Kreisman, Chief of the Video Division, Media Bureau.  Susan Mort,
Attorney-Advisor in the Policy Division, Media Bureau, will serve as
Deputy DFO.




Media Bureau Contacts: Barbara  Kreisman (202) 418-1605

                                        Susan Mort (202) 418-1043.




Bob Frankston


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