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To see more about the Northumbria Police Anti-Terror advertising campaign click here.

To see a film about how to pursue, prepare, protect and prevent terrorists click here.

For information about how to suspect terrorism click here.

To see the latest 'suspicious sighting' submitted to the Open Council by Barry Greengrass, aged 9, click here.

To see conflicting police messages click here.

To see a video of Brian Holmes on Oprah click here.

"Where does security end, and insecurity begin? Systems analysts recognise this as a classic boundary question. Its answer determines the precise deployment of any security system. But as we shall see, this particular boundary question cannot be answered under present conditions, except through the definition of a second system, a specifically interrogatory one. Drawing on the work of an American art critic of the 1960s, I’ll call this second kind of bounded entity an ‘aesthetic system’.

First we should consider how security systems are installed in reality. Attention is focused on every point where an environment, conceived as ‘secure’, comes into contact with its outer edges. Typically, these edges are doors, windows, property lines, borders, coasts, air-space – every place of ingress or egress. At each of the edges, a catalogue of known and present dangers is established. An analysis is conducted to determine the most effective responses to these dangers; and then locks, barriers, fences, warning devices, surveillance personnel, armed guards, etc. are positioned at the system’s boundaries to repel the threat. Further efforts are expended to look into the crystal ball of the future, predicting all those points where new threats could call for the definition of new boundaries. More material and personnel can now be deployed, or at least, readied for deployment. The security system expands dynamically, continually adjusting its relations to the outside world, continually redefining its own boundaries as a system.

One can easily imagine how a home, an airport or a harbour can be made ‘secure’. An initial, safe or ‘quiet’ inside space must simply be preserved from outer harm. But what happens in a complex social system, one composed of many different actors, some with irreconcilably diverging interests? What happens when the space to be protected is as much linguistic and ideological as it is physical and architectural, so that a breach of legitimacy or a leak of information can be perceived as illicit ingress or egress? In short, what happens in a contested environment where threats can arise from within? The response is clear: what happens is vertiginous paranoia.

The problem of the system’s edges suddenly multiplies: the boundary to be secured is now the entire volume of the system, its width, its breadth, its depth, its characteristics and qualities and most damnedly of of all, its human potential for change. The resulting proliferation of eyes, ears, cameras, snooping devices, data banks, cross-checks and spiraling analytical anxiety in the face of every conceivable contingency is what defines the present security panic. Under these conditions, no form of precaution could appear superfluous. Statistical models of equilibrium are checked constantly against real-time deviations. Nascent trends are examined for potentially hostile extrapolations. Endlessly ramifying if-then scenarios are extended preemptively into the future. An aesthetics of closure striving toward mathematical certainty becomes the tacitly nourished ethos of the security system."

This passage was taken from http://rhizome.org/editorial/2885

New Anti-Terror Poster

Civic Centre employee, Samantha Heels, sent in this film of Northumbria Police's new anti-terror poster. The poster urges members to suspect terrorism and provides fresh information about what terrorists need and use. Samantha also sent in this relevant passage from cultural critic Brian Holmes taken from his essay, SECURITY AESTHETIC = SYSTEMS PANIC, that sheds some light on the Northumbria Police Anti-Terror poster campaign.