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Security Handhelds Hardware

TSA Changes Screening Based on Blog Suggestion 279

Posted by Soulskill
from the hey-they-actually-listened dept.
hhavensteincw writes "Less than a week after it launched a new blog aimed at gathering suggestions from air travelers to improve airport security processes, the Transportation Security Administration changed a practice where some screeners were requiring passengers to remove all electronics, including Blackberries, iPods, and cords from carry-on luggage. Seems the TSA didn't know this was going on, and after the question was raised on its blog, it clamped down on the practice. The TSA also provided a detailed description of their reasoning behind the liquids policy. We discussed the opening of the blog last week."
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TSA Changes Screening Based on Blog Suggestion

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  • Didn't know? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 08, 2008 @05:30AM (#22346610)
    Like it hasn't been all over the news. If they don't know something as simple as this, how are we supposed to trust that they'll know when a terrorist is lugging explosives on board.
    • Re:Didn't know? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ta bu shi da yu (687699) * on Friday February 08, 2008 @07:29AM (#22347174) Homepage
      Precisely. I find it quite amazing that there are "field offices" who can just make up policy on the fly. I'm even more amazed that little or no information is being shared between offices and the main operations!

      If this is the level of coordination to protect U.S. citizens from being blown up, then I think that there's a big problem with this agency.

      Imagine it. They found out about this from a blog. They don't appear to do regular reviews of field offices (else they'd have known about this practice). What else is slipping through the net? Terrorists?

      What a monumental and sterling example of bureaucratic incompetence.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by writermike (57327)

        Precisely. I find it quite amazing that there are "field offices" who can just make up policy on the fly. I'm even more amazed that little or no information is being shared between offices and the main operations!
        It's possible they knew and the blog simply publicized the problem. As we know too well, organizations, companies, and people will try to get away with all sorts of things until it becomes embarrassing.
      • Re:Didn't know? (Score:4, Informative)

        by singularity (2031) * <nowalmart@@@gmail...com> on Friday February 08, 2008 @07:04PM (#22356000) Homepage Journal
        I wrote to the TSA several years ago about discrepancies involving shoe removal (this was before it was made mandatory at all airports).

        I flew quite a bit back then, and on one trip went through security at at least three airports. Each of them had different "shoe rules", and at one I was pulled aside for additional screening because I did not remove my shoes. I argued with the supervisor, but of course nothing came of it. Two weeks later I flew again and actually had the TSA printout with me when I went through the same airport. Did not matter. Argued again with the supervisor.

        So I emailed the TSA about my encounters and they sent me back a generic email saying that each airport had the ability to pretty much do whatever in the world they felt like doing.

        Part of the response:

        Security requirements issued by the TSA establish a security minimum for adoption by air carriers and airports. Air carriers and airports may exceed those minimum standards by implementing more stringent security requirements. This prevents potential terrorists from "beating the system" by learning how it operates. Leaving out any one group, such as senior citizens or the clergy, undermine security. We simply cannot assume that all future terrorists will fit any particular profile.
  • Prediction (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ezzzD55J (697465) <slashdot5@scum.org> on Friday February 08, 2008 @05:38AM (#22346640) Homepage
    The blog will close (or be neglected) in a month or so after the flood of complaints become too much for them. They might blame the abundance of unreasonable or irrational people on the internet for having a blog up not being practical. (Actually I think it is true a blog is a terrible medium for handling complaints - use a ticketing system instead.) I hope not though, this looks really great on the surface. What's the catch?
  • by stupidflanders (1230894) on Friday February 08, 2008 @05:42AM (#22346664)
    In other news, TSA is looking in to claims that some inspectors were unfamiliar soap, shampoo and other personal hygiene products...
  • Liquids (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Mushdot (943219)

    What always gets me is the fact I cannot take 100ml of a liquid from outside the airport but I can buy a few Molotov cocktails worth of alcohol in duty free before I get on the plane. Fair enough I might not be able to take the plane down but I could certainly do a lot of damage to the plane and passengers.

    Maybe the screeners were right to make people remove electronic goods? Surely I could string together several iPod/laptop batteries to make an effective Taser? Look at all the reports of exploding/ignit

    • by aristolochene (997556) on Friday February 08, 2008 @06:19AM (#22346866)
      regular drinking alcohol (i.e. 40-45% by volume) will not ignite if you put a match to it. It requires pre-heating an strong flame source to get it to burn. (Try making a molotov cocktail with room temp vodka, a rag and a match and you won't get very far).

      Of course, stronger alcohols (80-90%) will ignite. And for that reason you'll have a tough job taking them on board a plane (and this goes back way before 9/11). You could possibly try and use aftershave / perfume, but the overpowering smell would probably alert people before you get a chance to make a molotov cocktail.

      There simply is no way of covering every single eventuality and still ensuring an economically viable transport system. The whole point in airline security is to prevent some of the obvious risks.

      The /. analogy of cars is required here - you *cannot* prevent a car being stolen (or aeroplane being blown up), the more you secure you make it , the more tempting a target it becomes to high-end thieves(committed, organised terrorists). But that doesn't mean that locking the doors and setting the alarm (x-rays and searches) is a bad idea......

      • by SharpFang (651121) on Friday February 08, 2008 @07:18AM (#22347114) Homepage Journal
        But that doesn't mean that locking the doors and setting the alarm (x-rays and searches) is a bad idea......

        Unless you spend over 15 minutes in front of the door fumbling with the multiple locks and alarms, you call in locksmith twice a month to let you in, and you got arrested twice for attempt to get inside your own car.
        • Shouldn't you get new locks (or, better yet, a new car?). Or was that still part of the analogy?
          • by SharpFang (651121)
            oh, you keep getting new locks and adding them besides the old ones. :P

            Getting a new car would in this context would mean moving to a different country.
      • So rather then a firebomb you have a nice broken bottle type knife to bring on the plane? Or are they shipping everything in Plastic these days?
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          So rather then a firebomb you have a nice broken bottle type knife to bring on the plane? Or are they shipping everything in Plastic these days?


          Those represent two very differnt types of dangers - someone armed with a knife would be a lot easier for passengers and flight crews to subdue, even with makeshift weapons such as pens, laptops, and fire extinguishers etc. Given today's climate I doubt passengers would be passive anymore in the face of such a threat - witness what happened to the guy who tried to
      • by Peeteriz (821290)
        The same taxfree shops (at least in airports i've been) sell also stronger alcohols - for example, I tend to by cheaper Stroh (Austrian brand of rum) there, and it comes in 40%, 60% and 80% alcohol varieties, and the 80% one definitely will ignite.
            So, what's the point of banning me from bringing a bottle of mineral water? Currently it seems that the point is to improve profits for the in-zone shops by ensuring a form of monopoly there, and that's it.
      • Who cares about lighting the alcohol. On our last flight to Britain my wife forgot to leave behind a pen knife she carries in her purse. Of course, they found that and she had to leave it behind at the screening station. I, carrying two bottles of alcohol in my bag had no problem getting through since you were allowed to bring such things in your carry-on at the time (post-9/11 but pre-"waterbomb" bs). I found it funny that I could easily do much more damage to people by breaking off the bottles and wie
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by lucifuge31337 (529072)
        Bacardi 151. Or anything else that actually has a flame arrestor on the bottle. You need little more than to take off the flame arrestor and/or pour it into something with more surface area than the next of the bottle and the vapors will ignite with matches or a standard lighter.
      • by russotto (537200)

        regular drinking alcohol (i.e. 40-45% by volume) will not ignite if you put a match to it. It requires pre-heating an strong flame source to get it to burn. (Try making a molotov cocktail with room temp vodka, a rag and a match and you won't get very far).
        Anything 100 proof or higher will ignite. Bacardi dark rum is available in duty free and is well over 100 proof.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Dracos (107777)

      The given reasons (August 2006 Heathrow plot) for the liquids restrictions are bullshit. The real reasons are highly classified.

  • Somehow I don't see this catching on. If they implement the suggestions, they just open themselves to criticism. My first thought was, how come they didn't know about this practice earlier. Everybody who flies know about it (except for the cords, I never had to do that). How many other silly practices have been inconveniencing passengers for years for no good reason? On the other hand, if they don't implement the suggestions, then what's the point of having the blog.
    • Re:No win situation (Score:5, Informative)

      by freedom_india (780002) on Friday February 08, 2008 @05:57AM (#22346754) Homepage Journal
      No.
      What reasonable suggestions come by, TSA will implement it.
      Unless TSA wants to be scrapped completely(being a creation of Bush), they will continue to work with passengers.
      TSA does not know everything that goes on in each airport. Its management by exception. they set broad guidelines for safety and leave it at that.
      Airport TSA contractors then try to fulfill those outlines, and use whatever means necessary to achieve it.
      If it involves strip-searching lindsay each time, so be it is the attitude of contractors. And TSA itself pays them based on the non-incidents they have. So if a contractor was pretty lax and allowed Reid to blow up something, then TSA would not only cut them out of the gracy train, but also blacklist them, thus making sure the contractor stays in line.

      Pretty much every government office works that way.

      The good point is TSA is taking suggestions seriously enough to warrant direct interruption in contractor jobs to make sure passengers are not complaining.
      To what extent this direct intervention would go on, is the question. It will stop when someone gets through security and then TSA comes down hard on even clothes (So the nudist flight company has a field day), or berefit of any incidents, we may even go back to the 1999 era slowly.

       
      • by Garridan (597129) on Friday February 08, 2008 @06:29AM (#22346914)
        I regularly wear two almost identical fleeces -- one has a zipper, one does not; also, I fly rather frequently. I've noticed that security *always* asks me to remove my zippered fleece, and never requires me to remove the one without the zipper. Every time, I think that I should wear a trench coat, and nothing more. They ask me to remove my coat, and I calmly comply, and proceed to the metal detector... but something tells me I'd get in *much* worse trouble than indecent exposure...
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by d3ac0n (715594)
          You could try just wearing a "nude suit". You know, one of those skin-colored spandex leotards. You get the same basic effect, but you can't technically be arrested, since you *are* dressed.

          (extra points for wearing an Afro wig, and mincing about like Richard Simmons once you drop the trench coat.)
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by geekoid (135745)
          During a brief period when I was flying often, I always got searched, so I statred wearing less and less each time.
          FInally I am standing in line, barefoot, really short shorts and a tank top. My small backpack and sandles where going through the machine.

          The guy looked at my ticket and start to motion for me to step said and I said.
          I going to keep wearing less and less until I am naked or the stop searching me."
          He covered his motion and just asked by to continue and have a nice day."

          After which I went into t
    • but as a oversight board run by the very people subject to it.

      In other words, the passengers can alert the TSA to practices that don't seem right and its up to the TSA to find out why. Like the part about removing electronics and such from bags. It simply wasn't policy. Yet the TSA as a whole cannot know what every airport out of the ordinary unless there is some easy to access place to get that information. Its even better that it comes from someone other than their own people. I bet the local screene
      • by $RANDOMLUSER (804576) on Friday February 08, 2008 @06:39AM (#22346958)

        The TSA is yet another bloated and overbearing government organization that will never go away. The employees are unionized which furthers the impossibility of removing this mess.
        Indeed. I loved this howler from the liquids blog:

        Whatever you think about our policies -- please recognize our Security Officers who train and test every day and will do whatever it takes to make you and your families safe when you fly. They are the best in the world and are on your side; please give them a little recognition when you see them.
        Puhleeeese. Anybody who's ever flown in the US knows that the TSA is an inner-city jobs program. The notion that you're going to achieve security by having drones check things by rote is laughable. Had all this mechanism been in place on 9/11, the terrorists would only have had to be slightly more careful than they were, and they still would have succeeded.
  • RTFS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by moosesocks (264553) on Friday February 08, 2008 @06:03AM (#22346794) Homepage
    It's right there in the summary.

    No policies were changed as a result of blog comments.

    What *did* happen was that a few bloggers indicated that TSA employees were searching bags in a manner that is prohibited by the TSA's own rules.

    Given just how much organizations like the TSA love rules and procedures, the fact that they clamped down isn't a surprise at all. Although it's a big step for the TSA to actually be accountable to its own rules, we still have a long way to come.

    If I walk into Safeway/Kroger/Food Lion, and tell the manager that one of their cashiers is stealing money out of the register, there's no doubt that he'll respond immediately. If I walk in and tell the manager that his store is dirty, and that prices are too high, I doubt I'll receive any sympathy.
    • by c6gunner (950153)

      If I walk into Safeway/Kroger/Food Lion, and tell the manager that one of their cashiers is stealing money out of the register, there's no doubt that he'll respond immediately. If I walk in and tell the manager that his store is dirty, and that prices are too high, I doubt I'll receive any sympathy.

      Of course. My response would be "You want us to do MORE work, and then LOWER our prices? Sure. And we'll change the name of our store to NoprofitFairytaleLand."

      Your complaints have to be reasonable in ord

  • by Xolotl (675282) on Friday February 08, 2008 @06:24AM (#22346886) Journal
    Unfortunately this practice of having all the electronics out has now spread to the rest of the world, as I posted a month or so ago (http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=400884&cid=21845314 [slashdot.org]). Even if the TSA changes its practices, it won't make much difference for anyone travelling outside the US, unless those authorities choose to copy the TSA in this.
    • by CaptainZapp (182233) * on Friday February 08, 2008 @07:19AM (#22347122) Homepage

      Unfortunately this practice of having all the electronics out has now spread to the rest of the world

      No it didn't. Except for the laptop, which you had to take out of its bag and put into the xray tunnel in a separate tray for years now I never had to take out any electronics out of my bag, or coat (iPod, 2 cell phones, power adapter, cables, whathaveyou...). I also never had to take off my shoes or other such shit.

      This involved a minimum of 80 inter-European flight segments in the last couple of years, involving the airports of Düsseldorf, Prague, Zurich, Amsterdam and Vienna. All pretty sophisticated, modern airports.

      I can imagine though that different rules are applied on flights from Europe to the US.

      • by Xolotl (675282)

        Well, I can attest to the fact that I have had to remove belt, shoes and all electronics on various occasions, and in all cases it was happening to everyone in the queue. With the exception of flights through Paris CDG and flights to the UK (where they seem to like shoes off, probably because the shoe-bomber was on a flight from the UK) these were all flights outside of or going to or from Europe, not internal.

        Internal flights in Europe do seem to be different. I only had to take my laptop out at Gatwick,

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Archon-X (264195)
          I'm assuming you're talking about Terminal 2.
          CDG is a huge airport [look at it on GE] - in various stages of upgrades, etc.

          Your mileage definitely varies depending on your sector of the airport, with D probably being the worst, and the one you came through.
          The other areas are surprisingly intuiative.

          In regards to shoes and belts: you can opt to leave your belt on, but more often than not, the clasp sets off the detectors.
          Shoes are a mixed policy depending on the type of shoe. If it's got a heel, normally yo
          • by Xolotl (675282)

            Yes, I noticed there was a lot of building work and whatnot going on. I went through 2E and 2B. 2E was quite nice once inside, getting in was the problem :)

            I do remember going through one of the (now older) areas of CDG before the expansion and it was as you say intuitive, so it probably is just the ongoing work in the new buildings.

            With shoes and belts, I think it's like with the TSA, security controllers with semi-independent policies. My shoes don't have any metal and don't set off the detectors, but

            • by Archon-X (264195)
              You're right - the more you travel, the more you realise that you're at the whim of the person and the place of that particular day.
  • by Shadow-isoHunt (1014539) on Friday February 08, 2008 @07:26AM (#22347156) Homepage
    The "binary explosive" plot involved TATP, triacetone triperoxide. Synthesis of AP requires time, ventilation, and an ice bath. The precipitate is NOT a liquid, it is a crystaline organic peroxide.

    See: http://roguesci.org/chemlab/energetics/acetone_peroxide.html [roguesci.org]
    • Clearly, you're quite knowledgeable regarding the complexity of making a bomb. But that complexity, from what I can gather, is precisely the point (according to the TSA blog post) of restricting the liquids in secure areas of airport terminals.

      From the post in question:

      The preparation of these bombs is very much more complex than tossing together several bottles-worth of formula and lighting it up. In fact, in recent tests, a National Lab was asked to formulate a test mixture and it took several tries us

      • by itsdapead (734413) on Friday February 08, 2008 @08:35AM (#22347582)

        But that complexity, from what I can gather, is precisely the point (according to the TSA blog post) of restricting the liquids in secure areas of airport terminals.

        Except the argument went something along the lines of:

        Q: Why can't we take more than 100ml of liquid on board?
        A: Because its possible you might mix up a binary liquid explosive on the plane!

        Q: So why can't several people work together and each bring 100ml of binary explosive makin's?
        A: Because you need the other people to carry the ice bath, liquid nitrogen, bunsen burner, pipette, magnetic stirrer, thermostatically controlled heater, fume cupboard and all the other lab gear you need to successfully mix up a binary liquid explosive; so making them carry the ingredients in several 100ml bottles is going to be the last straw that makes them abandon their dastardly plan!

        Q: But they could all bring on small quantities pre-mixed explosives?
        A: No, because liquid explosives are too unstable to carry pre-mixed.

        Q: So you're confirming that its nigh-on impossible to blow up a plane with liquid explosive?
        A: (mumbles) - we've found several bad 'uns manufacturing TATP.

        Q: Correction - you found pieces of several people who attempted to make TATP in the comfort of their own homes - oh, PS, TATP isn't a liquid.
        A: Oh look - butterfly!

        • by niiler (716140) on Friday February 08, 2008 @09:12AM (#22347860) Journal
          I especially liked this part:

          The preparation of these bombs is very much more complex than tossing together several bottles-worth of formula and lighting it up. In fact, in recent tests, a National Lab was asked to formulate a test mixture and it took several tries using the best equipment and best scientists for it to even ignite. That was with a bomb prepared in advance in a lab setting. A less skilled person attempting to put it together inside a secure area or a plane is not a good bet. You have to have significant uninterrupted time with space and other requirements that are not easily available in a secured area of an airport. It adds complexity to their preferred model and reduces our risk, having the expert make the bomb and give it to someone else to carry aboard. They are well aware of the Richard Reid factor where he could not even ignite a completed bomb. Simple is truly better for them. Also, bomb-makers are easier for us to identify than so-called clean 'mules.'

          So what they are saying is that with top of the line equipment, even their experts had a tough job of it. I'm not sure how this helps their argument at all.
  • by v(*_*)vvvv (233078) on Friday February 08, 2008 @07:27AM (#22347168)
    The true threat with aircraft security is hijacking. A hijacker can take over an aircraft and use the plane as a missile. As someone pointed out earlier, if the goal was to just kill people, terrorists could just blow up prior to reaching the security check point or suicide bomb a crowd somewhere else. There are plenty of places to just blow up that would kill more people that can fit on a plane.

    If hijacking is the real threat, then the cockpit is what needs to be secured. Have it lock automatically prior to boarding, and have it unlock automatically after the plane is emptied. If terrorists can't get to the cockpit, then they cannot take over a craft.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by aembleton (324527)

      If hijacking is the real threat, then the cockpit is what needs to be secured. Have it lock automatically prior to boarding, and have it unlock automatically after the plane is emptied
      Agreed. Or, for new aircraft remove the door and give the cockpit its own entrance from the outside, so that there is no way of going in without having to get outside first.
    • The true threat with aircraft security is hijacking. A hijacker can take over an aircraft and use the plane as a missile. As someone pointed out earlier, if the goal was to just kill people, terrorists could just blow up prior to reaching the security check point or suicide bomb a crowd somewhere else. There are plenty of places to just blow up that would kill more people that can fit on a plane.

      Don't forget SAM's. For some reason, & you may call me crazy, but I can't imagine that it would be terribly difficult for an organized crime network to get hold of some SAM's. Despite the country's efforts for trying to make me feel safe (through some idiotic thinking that fearmongering will make us 'feel safer'), if the russian mafia wanted a SAM in the United States, they could get it; if they happen to be in a populated area (e.g. New York, Chicago), they could launch it from one of a number of pa

  • by pandrijeczko (588093) on Friday February 08, 2008 @07:35AM (#22347200)
    ...I have it on good authority that there are an extreme minority of well-dressed Cthulhu-type cultists who are planning to cause air travel chaos and disrupt as many flights as possible over the next few coming months.

    These cultists are ardent students of the Book of Genesis in the bible who consider that all evil stems from Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden who were tempted to pluck a fruit from God's tree by the Devil in the form of a serpent.

    The emblem of this fruit is carried openly upon the mind control boxes possessed by these cultists, who frequently gather in Starbucks and Internet cafes, openly displaying this emblem in order to attract other cultist colleagues into terrorist quangos to plan their revenge upon the rest of us.

    Therefore, please keep an eye open for smartly dressed people carrying little white boxes bearing an apple emblem on them - they are not to be trusted. Remove their boxes from them and stamp on them, find out where they live, break into their houses and smach up their huge designer coffee tables and African dance memorabilia.

    They MUST be stopped!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 08, 2008 @07:39AM (#22347220)
    I'm a frequent flyer, and fly around the world. By far, and I really mean by a far far way, the U.S. has the WORST experience you can ever have in an airport, and it's not just the security. I've been stuck in Dhaka Bangladesh without being told what was going on, and didn't feel as screwed as I sometimes feel in the U.S. (Full disclosure, I'm an American living in Japan, I might think twice about pulling off the same thing in the U.S. I did this in Japan.)

    Long story short, I got really fed up with the way they handled my carry on, and insist on going through my personal belongings. I fly out of a local airport, and I KNOW that they know me (they see me once a week) and I know them. One day when I had time to spare, I went to the airport early on, and had sweet revenge. I had a laptop in my carry on... along with 3 rather vigorous vibrators, rigged to turn on at full speed when they opened the bag. Inside the bag I also had a homosexual porno magazine, along with a few tubes of personal lubricant, condoms, and latex gloves. Apparently dildo vibrators do not show up in that exact shape on the X-Ray machine, but the motors, wires and controllers, along with the batteries, sure do.

    Security: "Can we open your bag?"
    Me: "As if I have an option?"
    Security: "Sir, this is security. We must open your bag for security purposes."
    Me: "Like I said, I don't have a choice now do I. Just make sure you put it all back in place."

    The following expression of the officer, along with his mixed reactions as to what to do next, were pure Kodak moments. I really, really would have paid good money to get a copy of the surveillance camera video!! He first tried to close it and just return it to me, then he realized that he better check it out since he was the one that said it had to be done. I think he took about 0.8 seconds of a "thorough" inspection, then closed the bag. However, that wouldn't turn the dildos off, and they were still buzzing away, quite audibly. I gave him the "turn them off. All of them." look, and he fumbled again attempting to get all 3 turned off. Next Monday I fly out again. I can't wait to see what they'll do this time.
    • by Registered Coward v2 (447531) on Friday February 08, 2008 @08:04AM (#22347362)
      The following expression of the officer, along with his mixed reactions as to what to do next, were pure Kodak moments. I really, really would have paid good money to get a copy of the surveillance camera video!! He first tried to close it and just return it to me, then he realized that he better check it out since he was the one that said it had to be done. I think he took about 0.8 seconds of a "thorough" inspection, then closed the bag. However, that wouldn't turn the dildos off, and they were still buzzing away, quite audibly. I gave him the "turn them off. All of them." look, and he fumbled again attempting to get all 3 turned off. Next Monday I fly out again. I can't wait to see what they'll do this time.


      Ask you for a date?
    • by Archon-X (264195)
      you realise that if you'd been female, it would have been considered obscene, and you'd have probably been carted away....
    • by DrWho520 (655973)
      If you did this in the US, you would have been sued for sexual harassment.
  • Liquids: BS (Score:4, Informative)

    by Ralph Spoilsport (673134) on Friday February 08, 2008 @08:20AM (#22347486) Journal
    The blog did blogeth:

    Was this a real threat? Yes, there was a very serious plot to blow up planes using liquid explosives in bombs that would have worked to bring down aircraft.

    And this is utter horseshit. If someone walked onto a plane with a water bottle filled with nitroglycerin, it would blow up when they tossed it through the XRay machine. So, they would have to make the explosives on the plane, and one of my best friends is a professional chemist and she said "Bullshit". You'd have to hole yourself up in the bathroom for a very long time with a magnetic stirring plate, a very precise dropper, dry ice, and a number of other bottles cups and things, and then in a very programmatic manner make the stuff, all while heaving and bucking on a jet liner and being exposed to some very nasty orders and chemicals. In short: it won't happen and isn't gong to happen and the threats about it are pure bullshit.

    The TSA is just there to make people think the gov't is doing something about terrorism, and to keep people afraid. In fact, it's all bullshit, and a way to funnel huge sums of money into the military/industrial complex and keep the nightmare train rolling down the rails to an oblivion as it is headed directly off a cliff.

    RS

    • by ErikZ (55491) *
      Interesting on how limited you are in your thinking.

      If your goal is to take down an airplane, why are you limiting yourself to explosives? Just because that's what everyone else has used before?

      The oz limit reduces your options and your effectiveness.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by EmagGeek (574360)
      Nitro Glycerine is not the only liquid explosive. Further, it has not been conclusively shown that an explosive is required to bring down an airplane. One thing that could be causal is combustion, and that said, a bottle of any inflammable liquid and a match would probably be sufficient to cause a mid-air catastrophe. Nobody said the plane had to be destroyed mid-air. It just has to be put in a condition that it will suffer uncontrolled descent terminated by sudden inelastic collision with another object (u
  • Wow! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dpaluszek (974028) on Friday February 08, 2008 @08:45AM (#22347656)
    You know, I'm not the biggest fan of the TSA, but I'm pretty impressed with them getting government approval and hosting a blog where they discuss this type of material. As someone who's been working for government agencies for years, this is definitely something that I haven't seen before nor would of gotten approved through multiple government agencies/directorates.

    Kudos to the TSA to spend the time and resources to do something like this. It blows my mind that, in my opinion, a government agency did something practical for once.
  • It has $12/hr fatassed shitheads telling you what's what.
  • On liquids (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Zolodoco (1170019) on Friday February 08, 2008 @09:30AM (#22348062)
    Funny. The comment I posted on the TSA's blog that mentioned various scenarios not addressed by passenger screening never made it past moderation. For example, garroting a passenger or crew member with your shoelaces, or carrying on ammonia and high concentration chlorine in your allowed 3oz containers to create mustard gas. My point was of course that, considering the fraudulent nature of the the Justice Dept's claims regarding the so-called liquid bomber plot, there's absolutely no reason to ban liquids. If we want to cover every potential for violence, we'd have to take away everyone's belts, shoelaces, all liquids, all sharp or pointy objects, trim their fingernails, and bind all passengers' hands and feet.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      I had some fun with the chain maile shirt I was working on, I had the shirt in my back pack and supprise supprise the TSA guys ask to look. There was quite a bit of confusion as apparently the TSA monkey did not know what chain maile was, fortunately his supervisor did but I still had to explain that I am unlikely to try to take over the plane with it... come on, what am I going to do grab a spork and demand they fly this plain to the middle ages? was fun though.
  • by jo42 (227475)
    After the most recent MythBusters episode, the TSA needs to ban pens and any other small objects that can hold powder. After all, we saw what a plain pen holding 3 cc of explosives can do to a styrofoam dummy.
  • by s31523 (926314) on Friday February 08, 2008 @09:53AM (#22348390)
    When the threat of liquid explosives was first perceived, slashdot covered it [slashdot.org], with specifics on what the real threat was (triacetone triperoxide) and some real chemistry behind it. It is interesting that now the TSA basically confirms what the original coverage stated, basically "But the Hollywood myth of binary liquid explosives now moves governments and drives public policy".
  • The blog post (or was it a response to a blog posting) by the official suggests that the TSA bases its policies on the important assumption that terrorists are more intelligent than passengers.

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