Security Theater

What does Security Theater mean?

Actions taken for safety that don’t actually make things more secure

Security Theater is a term that’s often thrown around when discussing measures that appear to enhance security but don’t really do much. This term is commonly used when people talk about certain practices of the TSA, for example, where they argue that these practices offer a false sense of security without actually making airports safer.

This term was first introduced by a well-known computer security expert, who goes by the name Bruce Schneier, in his 2003 book Beyond Fear. He primarily used Security Theater to describe some of the ineffective security practices used by the TSA at airports.

There are many other instances where people use the term Security Theater. These are situations where security measures are more about show than actual effectiveness.

Example for using ‘Security Theater’ in a conversation

Hey, have you heard about the new airport security measures?

Yeah, I have. Some people say it’s just security theater.

What do you mean by “security theater”?

It’s when security measures are more for show than actually keeping us safe.