Posted Wednesday, April 29, 2009 4:26 PM | Contributed by Jeff
The Florida Legislature just voted unanimously to ensure that theme-park blueprints on file with government agencies remain confidential. Boosters say the public-records exemption helps protect the parks and other high-profile or high-traffic businesses from acts of terrorism.
Read more from The Orlando Sentinel.
I wonder if there's a deeper story. I would think parks lobbying for this would be more worried about the publication of trade secrets. I wouldn't think that they'd have to file detailed mechanical specs on, for example, the Tower of Terror mechanism, but I suspect something useful could be found from even building blueprints.
So wait, let me get this straight, the FL legislature thinks that terrorists are going to bomb a roller coaster and/or theme park?
I think that is stretching it a little.
In some cases, they should be kept confidential, such as government owned buildings. But...a roller coaster? Now that's rich.
I think it's pretty reasonable. Disney World is a high impact, potentially high casualty target. Dare I say it's an American institution, maybe even on the same level as Washington landmarks, Niagara Falls or Times Square. Few places represent the opposite of violence and fear the way that theme parks do.
I dunno. If I were the type of person looking for attention by killing people, somewhere that hosts an average of 50,000 people from around the world every day seems like a good place to start.
Any high concentration of people is going to turn a site into a potential target. Amusement parks, sports venues, large office buildings- they're all high profile and, at times, full of people.
Ok, so I'll ask the question - what good can come out of making the blueprints public? Why were they public to begin with?
Blueprints would be a matter of public record in cases where compliance with government regulation is required: for example, ADA requirements, fire safety and egress, energy requirements, building codes, etc. In order to be occupied or be insurable, the facility has to prove it complies with the regs in force in that location.
It's not like the blueprints are published in the daily news. Rather, they'd be on file with a government agency that has jurisdiction, for example code enforcement. It's also likely that some sort of approval or action was taken on the plans in a public meeting or by a public official. Because these agencies are all public entities, normally under right-to- know and sunshine laws, they couldn't deny anyone from viewing them as they'd be part of the public record.Last edited by RatherGoodBear, Wednesday, April 29, 2009 7:50 PM
Orlando theme parks, esp. Disney, would be an invaluable target if you were interesting in spreading any number of agents across a wide number of people. It confers the idea of a high-profile target (great for creating hysteria), but if you surreptitiously introduce an agent that can cause a delayed onset of symptoms, with person-to-person transmission, you could theoretically have a disease spreading around the globe within a couple of days. That's a pretty sobering thought...
Thanks RGB, that makes sense.
Gator, I agree. You do even more damage if you hit Disney during a peak season (April vacation, Christmas).
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