With the 2010 Winter Olympics rapidly approaching, I thought I'd get people up to speed from a security perspective and some of the major players involved. I resisted placing this in the Sports forum because I think as time wears on this will become a more appropriate forum for any discussion on this topic.
Canadian taxpayers will spend up to 1 billion dollars and use 16,000 police & Armed Forces personnel to quell protesters, the head of the Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit Bud Mercer explained to Vancouver City Council.
"I can assure council as I stand before you here today, that locally, provincially, nationally and internationally, there are groups that are considering or planning to engage in criminal protests during the 2010 Games. North America and Canada are not strangers to criminal protests during major events -- the 1999 Seattle WTO, 2001 in Quebec City or the Stanley Cup riot. There are things that will happen during a major event that we have a responsibility to plan and prepare for..."
Staying with the Olympics, Verint Systems will figure prominently on the security side of things as they supply all the surveillance software & hardware systems at the Vancouver Airport.
Verint Systems also supplied the software & hardware surveillance systems for the London underground which were put to task during the 7/7/05 attacks and has fallen under much criticism since.
Verint Systems parent company, Comverse Technology, has also fallen under criticism in recent times centering around former CEO Jacob Alexander.
Comverse stock has since been delisted from the from Nasdaq and removed from the S&P 500. They now trade on the Pink Sheets.
2010 Integrated Security Unit Partners
Airport Security Measures Ineffective
A Simon Fraser University professor and expert on terrorism says current security measures are doing nothing to prevent future attacks.
"The new security measures are an annoyance. I don't think they're going to be effective," said Andre Gerolymatos. He said the measures, brought in after an attempted bombing on a jetliner headed for Detroit on Christmas Day, are just a "knee-jerk reaction."
"It's a way for the government of the United States to pretend that it's doing something positive and reassure people by making them very uncomfortable," he said.
"Security, as it stands right now, is not going to deter a determined attempt by a terrorist to get on board an airplane."