There’s been a lot of buzz this month about the retired New Jersey locksmith selling several master keys to the city of New York to a newspaper reporter via eBay. It’s been reported in many major news sources, most notably to me in theÂ Huffington Post, with a pictureÂ
According to the Huffington Post story, the FDNY is now investigating the sale of the keys and has acknowledged the distribution of such items poses a potential threat to public safety. I’m not sure how many criminals interested in taking down a metropolitan infrastructure are concerned with the legal ramifications of possessing such keys if it did become illegal, however.Â Today the story received aÂ post from Bruce Schneier. It goes to show you that after effectivelyÂ creating a city wide police-state and surveillance infrastructure, your weakest point is always the path of least resistance. In this case, the sale of five keys on eBayÂ that can shut down elevators, open subway gates and get into electric circuit breakers all over New York City.
It makes me wonder how difficult it would be to downloadÂ Google Sketch Up for free, and emulate the five keys in the picture at the beginning of the article and upload them toÂ ThingiverseÂ orÂ The Pirate Bay?
Instead of putting resources into a surveillance infrastructure, which is reactive and appears to do nothing more than increase anxiety and force behaviour changes, perhaps municipalities should behave proactively and spend their resources on improving city security infrastructure, starting with the paths of least resistance. Especially before someone starts printing the keys to your business, or city.