What "Thread Level" systems do other countries use?
February 1, 2005 6:31 PM   Subscribe

Some "Threat Level" questions: do countries have a similar system? Are other countries planning to implement such a system? Also, is the American system based on an existing model? I'm not so interested in the threat aspect of it as much as I'm interested in learning where the color-coded system originated and if it's being borrowed. This version, I'm certain, was a later iteration.
posted by josephtate to Society & Culture (5 answers total)
The idea of colour coded terrorist threat levels was mooted in Australia, but general opinion was it did not deliver any meaningful info.
We haven't got a formalised system, relying on individual circumstances to guide the response.
For example, there was a recent warning to Aussies staying in an Indonesian hotel that they were at risk and strongly urged to leave.
posted by bystander at 6:37 PM on February 1, 2005

Star Trek: Red Alert!
posted by duck at 6:53 PM on February 1, 2005

Seems to me like it is a civilian analog of DEFCON, standing for DEFense CONdition -- see WarGames if you want a vivid representation, colors and all, in fiction.
posted by Quinbus Flestrin at 7:58 PM on February 1, 2005

It's similar to DEFCON but more accurately a derivation of FPCON (fka THREATCON), or "Force Protection Condition" directed at US military locations. The impetus was the feeling that if the Pentagon was sharing this information, why wasn't it available to the public?

A similar rubric was adapted by Security Focus (now part of Symantec), apparently sometime in 2002. I believe McAfee had a color-coded system earlier than 2001.
posted by dhartung at 12:24 AM on February 2, 2005

In the UK we have threat levels - for example, I remember walking into a government building in the City of London (financial district) and reading that the threat level was Bikini Black Special. I think the other levels are Bikini Black Alpha, Amber and Red but I'm not sure.
posted by skylar at 2:26 AM on February 2, 2005

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