swillden writes "Everyone who pays any attention at all to security, both computer security and 'meatspace' security, has heard the phrase Security Theater. For years I've paid close attention to security setups that I come in contact with, and tried to evaluate their real effectiveness vs their theatrical aspects. In the process I've found many examples of pure theater, but even more cases where the security was really a cover for another motive." swillden would like to know what you've encountered along these lines; read on for the rest of his question below.swillden continues: "Recently, a neighbor uncovered a good example. He and his wife attended a local semi-pro baseball game where security guards were checking all bags for weapons. Since his wife carries a small pistol in her purse, they were concerned that there would be a problem. They decided to try anyway, and see if her concealed weapon permit satisfied the policy. The guard looked at her gun, said nothing and passed them in, then stopped the man behind them because he had beer and snacks in his bag. Park rules prohibit outside food. It's clear what the 'security' check was really about: improving park food vending revenues.
So, what examples of pure security theater have you noticed? Even more interesting, what examples of security-as-excuse have you seen?"