New app foils effort to hide public access to Malibu Beaches


WASHINGTON, June 28, 2013 — Malibu, California is famous for its pristine beaches and luxurious multimillion-dollar homes. The problem with publicity and a good reputation is that the public likes to visit and enjoy the scenery as well; an occurrence that some Malibu-residents clearly considered less-than-desirable when they attempted to pull the wool over the beach going public eye.

Apparently, some owners of Malibu’s prime beachfront real estate engendered to, by hook-or-by-crook, obfuscate legal access to the gorgeous beaches and surf that has made Malibu famous and attracts “pesky” tourists. With misleading signs, fake signs, obscured entrances and other physical obstacles, the public was misguided into believing that beach access points in Malibu were either not functional or illegal.

Enter a few beach enjoying and pioneering technology geeks, the power of the Internet, and some good-old American know-how.

Garry Tan, a former cofounder of Posterous and a current partner at Y Combinator, a well-known technology startup seed accelerator program, has helped propel significant interest in a crowd sourced initiative to create an application that identifies public access points to Malibu Beaches. In a blog post titled “Malibu homeowners who hide access to beautiful beaches foiled by $30K Kickstarter campaign,” Tan exposes the conspiracy.

In his blog post, Tan says, “Can you believe it? Malibu homeowners intentionally obscure public beach access areas with fake signs and hidden access.” Adding, “This is not only ridiculously selfish, it is illegal.” Tan’s post includes a link to a Kickstarter initiative, which successfully raised more than $30,000 in the month of May.

The point of the fundraising effort was to finance the development of a smart-phone application to help the public know where Malibu beach access points are located. As the developers explain on their Kickstarter page: “We’ve made an app that’ll show you exactly where each public access point is up and down the Malibu Coast. It helps you park – ID those fake cones and fake garages. It tells you which signs you can smile at and ignore. It even walks you down each beach – house-by-house – to show you where on each beach you hang all day on the dry sand.”

There is little doubt that Malibu homeowners and the underhanded participants whose slight of hand effort has been foiled are more than a little anxious by the news of the application’s development and launch. For them, and with the surrounding publicity of the access-denial efforts of a few, renewed public interest in visiting Malibu beaches is likely to surge this summer.

Malibu beaches are open for business: this time – for everyone.

The crowd-financed effort was a success, resulting in the triumphant development and launch of the application, available on iPhones (and the developers intend to create an Android version) called Our Malibu Beaches. It is currently free to download.


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Timothy W. Coleman
Timothy W. Coleman is a writer, analyst, and a technophile. He co-founded two security technology startup firms, one of which was selected as Entrepreneur Magazine’s “100 Most Brilliant Companies.” Tim started off on Capitol Hill, worked on a successful U.S. Senate campaign, and subsequently joined a full-service, technology marketing communications firm. Previously, he was an intelligence analyst for a DC-based service providing global intelligence and forecasting from former CIA, U.S. intelligence and national security officers. Currently, he is the Editor-at-Large for Homeland Security Today. Tim completed his B.A. from Georgetown University, an M.B.A. in Finance from Barry University, a Graduate Studies Program at Singularity University at NASA Ames Research Center, and a Master’s of Public and International Affairs with a major in Security and Intelligence Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. Tim volunteers and serves as a member of the board of directors at the Lint Center for National Security Studies. Read more about Tim here and follow him on Twitter @timothywcoleman.