Sydney is far too unsafe for President Bush

Sydney is far too unsafe for President Bush

Summary: If Sydney is so unsafe that during his visit, the US president has to be followed around by a huge black helicopter that blocks mobile phone signals, I think he should stay at home and use videoconferencing instead.When George Bush comes to Australia for the APEC summit later this year, US military-owned helicopters will be buzzing around Sydney, roads will be diverted and train stations closed.

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TOPICS: Security, Mobility
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If Sydney is so unsafe that during his visit, the US president has to be followed around by a huge black helicopter that blocks mobile phone signals, I think he should stay at home and use videoconferencing instead.

When George Bush comes to Australia for the APEC summit later this year, US military-owned helicopters will be buzzing around Sydney, roads will be diverted and train stations closed.

The presidential security circus will, no doubt, leave Sydneysiders in shock and awe as they hail the "leader of the free world".

What a joke.

How can someone who can't walk down the road unless they are being followed around by thousands of people and hundreds of millions of dollars of hi-tech equipment, consider themselves to be free?

All that hardware and personnel are supposedly in place to guarantee Bush's safety.

One thing I have learned is that as you increase security, you reduce flexibility -- and freedom. If I wanted to absolutely, completely and utterly guarantee that a laptop would never catch a virus or be hacked, I would lock it in a safe and throw it into the sea. Of course the laptop would be rendered useless but at least it would be safe from hackers and malware.

Wouldn't it be safer for both the president -- and Sydney's residents -- if Bush remained on his Texas ranch and used videoconferencing instead?

Topics: Security, Mobility

Munir Kotadia

About Munir Kotadia

Munir first became involved with online publishing in 1998 when he joined ZDNet UK and later moved into print publishing as Chief Reporter for IT Week, part of ZDNet UK, a weekly trade newspaper targeted at Enterprise IT managers. He later moved back into online publishing as Senior News Reporter for ZDNet UK.

Munir was recognised as Australia's Best Technology Columnist at the 5th Annual Sun Microsystems IT Journalism Awards 2007. In the previous year he was named Best News Journalist at the Consensus IT Writers Awards.

He no longer uses his Commodore 64.

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Talkback

9 comments
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  • Agreed 100%

    A joke indeed. Our local community services suffer while money is thrown at this unit.
    BTW, The safest way for him to travel would be on his own in a pair of glasses and a fake mostache, not with all the neon lights saying "here I am!"
    anonymous
  • Why Sydney

    Sydney is a great place but if Bush and co are such a security threat then why put them in the middle of Australia's most populated city? Have it in Far North Queensland, North Coast NSW, Ayres Rock and so forth.
    anonymous
  • Why all the hubbub?

    It seems the world's super power leader is going to be protected by a system of intelligence counter measures which WILL put residents,commuters,and many others in jeopardy in regards to safety.
    I mean seriously... a helicopter which blocks cell phone transmissions?! I would put money on a public disaster occuring because of his protective services disregard to public safety.

    He would be much safer off rolling down the street in a M1 tank than taking these ridiculous measures.
    And for god's sake, why Sydney. You are asking for problems by controlling the already uncontrollable traffic problems.

    Why not goto Adelaide, he won't come back after going there j/k
    anonymous
  • Sydney is too unsafe, etc

    Munir, unfortunately your blog spot is a prime example of why blogging has turned from a useful engagement with net inhabitants, to just yet another vehicle for controversy with a view to increasing one's client base and ultimately, the advertising dollar.

    Your hypothesis ignores the fact that diplomacy is much more than just public speeches made at such events. The real work is done, more often than not, in informal discussions and out of event dialogue when leaders have the chance to freely and frankly discuss issues requiring far more nuance than simple public speeches (which become fodder for journalists looking to increase their readership by putting a spin on what is said and creating controversy when none is there in the first place).

    Whilst videoconferencing is a useful tool, it is just that - a tool, rather than a replacement.

    As for security, one can be sure that this is not the first time Sydney has been required to crank up such arrangements. Remember the Olympics?

    If this is such a good and simple idea Munir, then let me ask you - why are you the only one to have the right idea when so many people involved in organising these events (right through to security staff, intelligence experts, logistics personnel, diplomats etc etc) did not put such ideas in train? Do you know something they don't?
    anonymous
  • Great idea

    Why not lock Bush in a safe and throw him into the sea. That will protect Sydney from any attacks fo shizzle.
    anonymous
  • Nail on the head

    Ha -- i like that idea a lot!
    anonymous
  • You have to ask why

    Why the prez of the US is so worried about his safety in a friendly country (to the USA) like Aussieland, then he must have created a lot of hatred for himself.

    Who wants him here anyway, unless we need some entertainment. He really is a buffoon!
    anonymous
  • Good lord Glenn

    What universe are you watching from?
    anonymous
  • who cares..

    let him come.. its a spectacle.. he is on his way out of office anyway. The birds need to be flown.. otherwise they just sit and rust. We can take a few mins off from work to watch the birds fly by our windows.
    anonymous