The sites tell too much. But of course, most were designed when terrorism was just a “nuisance.” From the Washington Times, with thanks to Ali Dashti.
Too many details on municipal Web sites can tip off terrorists to security weaknesses and vulnerable targets, a military researcher told a conference of U.S. mayors in the District yesterday.
“The sites tell too much,” said Gerald G. Brown, distinguished professor of operations research at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif.
Mr. Brown was a featured speaker yesterday at the Mayors’ Technology Summit on “Homeland Security, Safety and Economic Development.”
About 60 mayors and city officials from across the country attended the symposium, which was sponsored by Temple University’s Fox School of Business and Management and the D.C. government.
Before his presentation at Stephen Decatur House, Mr. Brown said municipal leaders must not confuse “sunshine” laws, which require public access to some government data, and the allure of “really cool Web sites.”
Many officials rushed to embrace the new Internet culture and hired people to design elaborate Web sites to show off their cities without considering potential consequences, such as aiding enemies in the terror war, he said.
About 95 percent of U.S. towns and cities with more than 10,000 residents have Web sites, said Curt J. Anderson, president of Municipal Web Services, a Birmingham, Mich.-based firm that designs Web sites for local governments.