Schneier is a well-known security blogger, and Hawley is the former head of the TSA. The motion on the table: "This house believes changes to airline security since 9/11 have done more harm than good." Moderator Adam Barne sets the stage:
Bruce Schneier, a security expert, is tasked with defending the motion. He says that neither the TSA nor its foreign counterparts have foiled a single terrorist plot in ten years, and that the security procedures put in place since 9/11 are not sufficient to stop well-financed, well-organised terrorists. He condemns developments in airport security as backward looking and overly specific, and argues for a return to the style of security in place before the 9/11 attacks, with money spent instead on investigation and emergency response.
He is opposed by Kip Hawley, who was the head of the TSA between July 2005 and January 2009. Mr Hawley defends the outfit, and says the ten years of safe flying it has overseen show that its methods are indeed working. He admits that the cost to passengers of increases in airport security has been great, but says these procedures are much more adaptable than their forebears, and that a programme made up of multiple layers of security, such as is being developed now, stands a greater chance of success.
Over the next ten days our guests will present further arguments and, I hope, answer the points made by their opponents. But the result of this debate rests in your hands: do not be afraid to vote immediately, as you can change your mind at any time. And once you have cast your vote, please add your voice to the debate and explain your decision. This debate may be American in tone—that is where the 9/11 attacks took place; that is where our debaters are from—but I would ask those of you familiar with airport security in other countries to take part with gusto, and make your experiences and opinions known.
Opening statements and rebuttals are already up, as well as fantastic moderator and audience comments. Very cool debate framework- kudos to The Economist. I look forward to seeing Hawley ripped to shreds.