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British Airways Chief Slams US Security Requests 335

Posted by samzenpus
from the security-theater-amateur-night dept.
Ponca City writes "Reflecting a growing frustration among airport and airline owners with the steady build-up of rules covering everything from footwear to liquids, Martin Broughton, chairman of British Airways, has launched a scathing attack on the 'completely redundant' airport checks requested by the TSA and urged the UK to stop 'kowtowing' to American demands for ever more security. Speaking at the annual conference of the UK Airport Operators Association, Broughton lambasted the TSA for demanding that foreign airports increase checks on US-bound planes, while not applying those regulations to their own domestic services. 'America does not do internally a lot of the things they demand that we do,' says Broughton. 'We shouldn't stand for that. We should say, "We'll only do things which we consider to be essential and that you Americans also consider essential.''' For example, Broughton noted that cutting-edge technology recently installed at airports can scan laptops inside hand luggage for explosives but despite this breakthrough the British government still demands computers be examined separately. 'It's just completely ridiculous,' says Broughton."
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British Airways Chief Slams US Security Requests

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  • by MachDelta (704883) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @11:26PM (#34045804)

    The sad thing is you don't even need to go to such lengths to find a weapon on (or near) a plane.

    1) Waltz through security with nothing but your wallet and the clothes on your back
    2) Head to duty free, buy a heavy glass bottle
    3) Board. Optionally, enjoy some of your beverage (liquid courage!)
    4) Mid way through the flight, stand up and smash the bottle on something hard (like a stewardess' cart).
    5) Hijack plane
    6) ???
    7) Profit.

    As an aside, no security is 100%. A two years ago I was visiting the Hoover Dam and managed to walk right through security (just a metal detector) with a pocket knife without even realizing it until much later.

  • by Eskarel (565631) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @11:55PM (#34045940)

    Kowtow is a Chinese word actually. Formally it's kneeling and bowing your head to touch the floor three times.

    It has a slightly different meaning in the UK context however as the concept of British subjects abasing themselves in such a way towards a foreign monarch was somewhat of a sensitive issue.

    Essentially within the UK context it describes Tony Blair's relationship with George W Bush, nose planted firmly up arse.

  • by Mr. Underbridge (666784) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @12:34AM (#34046108)

    You say as if there are no direct planes from China to US.

    It occurred to me, but I decided it's easily explainable. For a direct flight from China, the US will meddle in the security in China as they did with Korea in this instance. They won't meddle with a flight from China to Korea. In other words, the US will concern themselves with the last leg into the US in all cases, and won't trust whatever security you went through to get to the last leg.

    It's not completely insane. If we posed this in terms of computer security - let's say somebody passed you a cert signed by some guy you don't know. Are you going to trust it? Not likely.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 28, 2010 @01:40AM (#34046400)

    This is the situation in most major Canadian airports (not just another Mountie!). It's been this way since before 9/11. We go through U.S Immigration and Customs before we get to the gate. On some level the waiting area before we board the plane must be some kind of sovereign U.S. soil. When the TSA says jump, Canadian counterparts ask how high.

  • by Splab (574204) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @02:40AM (#34046614)


    My sister was withheld for 4 hours at an Israeli check point for questioning; her skin tone is slightly dark and could easily be mistaken for northern Muslim - even though she has a Danish passport, born by Danish parents and lived most of her life here. Her travelling companion however, was let right through the gates, milky white complexion and carrying drugs.

  • Re:YES YES YES! (Score:3, Informative)

    by mr100percent (57156) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @02:49AM (#34046654) Homepage Journal

    Oh I don't think everyone quite got what I meant.
    Under Bush, his appointee for UN ambassador John Bolton would always toe the most hardline view possible and try to find ways to avoid the US from falling under its own rules and treaties.

    When the UN complained that their 50-year old NY building had an asbestos problem and needed renovation, Bolton replied that the UN official was insulting the US by making such a claim. He's tried to use the claim that the US was above the rules it tried to set, including Biological weapons treaties etc. and called for bombing of Iran or at least heavy sanctions leading up to an invasion.

  • by paedobear (808689) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @03:22AM (#34046756)
    What on earth would make you think that? The pronounciation and spelling are far far away from the Japanese term, and the European powers - especially the British - certainly have a history in China. Honcho is very much a post WW2 term, probably picked up by the occupying army (much like "Skosh" for a small amount, from sukoshi), whereas Kowtow has been in the language for a few hundred years - before the opening of Japan 150 years ago. Finally, Tenko was a British drama, not an Australian soap.
  • by Eunuchswear (210685) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @06:45AM (#34047474) Journal

    Profiling DOES work when the threat is a very specific group of people, like those the Israelis concern themselves with.

    What, Japanese people []? Or pregnant Irishwomen []?

    The Israelis are not stupid enough to think that the threat comes from a "very specific group of people".

  • Re:Solution (Score:3, Informative)

    by shilly (142940) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @06:51AM (#34047490)

    Erm. Bags are already checked for depressurisation triggers, and I think other triggers too.

An age is called Dark not because the light fails to shine, but because people refuse to see it. -- James Michener, "Space"