[ISN] COMDEX bans bags, laptops; requires ID at all times

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Tue Nov 06 2001 - 01:57:13 PST

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    Forwarded from: Jay D. Dyson <jdysonat_private>
    I imagine this will kill attendance to COMDEX.  If I'd been even remotely
    interested earlier, I'm definitely turned off now.
    Security is one thing.  Overreacting is another.  Score one for al Qaeda.
    (Thanks to Rick Forno for passing this along.)
    - ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    For the complete announcement, see
    In the wake of the 9-11 attacks, extreme paranoia appears to have gripped
    the organizers of the annual COMDEX Fall computer trade show. 
    According to an "official statement"  on the COMDEX Web site, bags of any
    kind will not be allowed onto the show floor, and purses and waist packs
    will be searched. (The organizers, alas, fail to mention what these may or
    may not contain. Would a Leatherman tool, screwdriver, pocket knife, or
    nail file be prohibited, lest someone attempt to perform a hijacking of
    the Convention Center?) 
    The real shocker, however, is that laptop computers -- a vital tool of the
    trade for computer users, dealers, and others who are likely to attend the
    show -- will be prohibited anywhere within the Convention Center. Since
    the show itself is ABOUT computers, and attendees will undoubtedly need to
    use them for everything from taking notes to fetching e-mail to placing
    orders, many potential attendees who hear about the ban are likely to
    cancel their trips and stay home. (Even before the security announcement,
    attendance was already projected to be down at least 25% from last year --
    so much so that the convention will not use the Sands Convention Center
    site as it has in previous years.) 
    Alas, most of those arriving in Vegas for the show probably will not know
    of the restrictions, which were only recently posted to the COMDEX Web
    site. Therefore, thousands who arrive at the Las Vegas Convention Center
    - -- with the reasonable expectation that they will be able to carry
    computers at a computer show -- will be turned away. What's more, the
    organizers have stated that they have made no provisions for attendees to
    check laptops at the Convention Center. Thus, frustrated convention-goers
    will have to wait on long cab or bus lines to return to their hotels,
    which may or may not be willing to store laptops behind the front desk. 
    (Given the high likelihood that a laptop computer will be stolen if it is
    left at a Las Vegas hotel, it is unwise to leave it in one's room.) 
    Attendees whose laptops contain valuable or proprietary information, or
    are important to their ability to conduct business, may simply depart
    without entering the show. It is likewise unclear how speakers who expect
    to deliver their presentations from laptops will be able to do so. 
    Even those who are not carrying contraband may experience long delays. All
    are expected to carry identification at all times. Attendees are further
    warned to expect airport-like delays when entering the convention and to
    allow extra time to pass security checkpoints. "If you have meetings,
    appointments, or conference sessions to attend," the site warns, "please
    arrive as early as possible. It may take longer than usual to enter the
    property this year due to increased security measures." 
    - ----- END FORWARDED MESSAGE -----
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