[ISN] Alarming Garden security breaches

InfoSec News isn at c4i.org
Fri Sep 3 06:14:01 EDT 2004


September 2, 2004 

On the eve of President Bush's address to the nation, the Daily News 
has uncovered alarming breaches in security at the Republican National 

The News learned yesterday that delegates and guests were freely 
handing out unused passes.

A News reporter investigated - and within five hours he was inside 
Madison Square Garden to catch Vice President Cheney's speech.

Even more shocking, the pass was obtained without anyone asking for or 
checking on the reporter's identity.

The breach came after three security incidents in three days. So it 
should have been near impossible to slip past the thousands of cops 
and federal agents inside and outside the Garden.

But it was all too easy.

The generic credentials don't have the user's name, and as for a 
photo, forget about it. In short, there was nothing to prevent anyone, 
from protester to hardened criminal, from getting inside the Garden - 
though we were checked for weapons.

Yesterday, The News sent this clean-cut reporter - dressed in a white 
collared shirt adorned with a Bush-Cheney button - to several 
delegates' hotels to check out whether it was true that credentials 
were readily available.

One helpful delegate told us that plenty of passes had been available 
Monday and Tuesday, but it was tougher to get one last night, when 
Cheney was speaking.

Others suggested we try the delegation from Guam or Hawaii, because 
not everyone had showed up.

Later, a delegate was going to a party and would be leaving the Garden 
early. She said she would meet us outside and give us her credentials.

But she got cold feet. Someone had warned her not to give credentials 
away. The police mentioned the previous security breaches, how 
protesters have managed to get in - in some cases, getting shockingly 
close to Cheney.

But later, at an ice cream parlor three blocks from the Garden, we 
found someone wearing pro-Bush buttons. We told her we were from 
Illinois and how we always wanted to witness history - which was the 

"I really wanted to keep it," she said, pulling a guest pass from her 
purse. "All right. Go have fun."

The last test was Garden security. With the credentials around our 
neck, we walked into the frozen zone, showing a driver's license to an 
NYPD cop. Then we walked up to the heavily manned security gate just 
outside the arena.

After a thorough search for weapons, we were allowed in. 

The reporter noticed a ruckus during Cheney's speech.

It was authorities dragging away yet another protester who had gotten 
through security. 

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