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Security Transportation

TSA Screeners Can't Detect Weapons (and They Never Could) (arstechnica.com) 349

JustAnotherOldGuy writes: TSA screeners' ability to detect weapons in luggage is "pitiful," according to classified reports on the security administration's ongoing story of failure and fear. "In looking at the number of times people got through with guns or bombs in these covert testing exercises it really was pathetic. When I say that I mean pitiful," said Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.), speaking Tuesday during a House Oversight hearing concerning classified reports (PDF) from federal watchdogs (PDF). "Just thinking about the breaches there, it's horrific," he added. A leaked classified report this summer found that as much as 95 percent of contraband, like weapons and explosives, got through during clandestine testings. Lynch's comments were in response to the classified report's findings.
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TSA Screeners Can't Detect Weapons (and They Never Could)

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  • by loony ( 37622 ) on Wednesday November 04, 2015 @01:38PM (#50864433)

    ... giving you the feeling that your government cares and reacted to 9/11 and other threats is.

    Peter.

    • by whitroth ( 9367 ) <{whitroth} {at} {5-cent.us}> on Wednesday November 04, 2015 @01:44PM (#50864481) Homepage

      Yup. As Bruce Schneir refers to it, "security theater".

      Note that the weapons the hijackers allegedly used were ILLEGAL TO CARRY ON PLANES before then, and they got them on in other ways.

                      mark

      • by Archangel Michael ( 180766 ) on Wednesday November 04, 2015 @01:55PM (#50864603) Journal

        Security Theater is nothing more than the Wizard of Oz. The problem is, nobody learned that lesson, in spite of nearly universal knowledge of that movie's pivotal scene.

        The problem is, the security theater only makes it more difficult, and now we're finding out it actually doesn't make it all much more difficult.

        IMHO the chances of hijacking a plane became much less likely to be successful after 9/11, because they broke the cardinal rule of hijacking, and turned the plane into a weapon. People on planes already know they are dead if a hijacker takes over, and will respond accordingly.

        • by Fire_Wraith ( 1460385 ) on Wednesday November 04, 2015 @02:04PM (#50864687)
          This, and also the fact that they reinforced and lock the cockpit doors from now on.

          The TSA has not stopped ANY attempts at bombing or hijacking airliners since 9/11. Various other methods have, but the TSA has been singularly useless.
          • by Bob the Super Hamste ( 1152367 ) on Wednesday November 04, 2015 @02:30PM (#50864947) Homepage
            The problems are that there are vast swaths of the population that believe that the TSA is actually doing something to keep them safe. I have a cousin who is 13 years younger than I am who is a weekend warrior (MN national guard reserves) and he fully believes the line that all of this is necessary and prevents terrorist attacks. He is too young to really remember before 9/11/01 and so doesn't really know what has changed. Pointing out that the 3 things that have actually prevented another 9/11 doesn't register with him and he insists that our foreign adventurism has helped the most. He may very well be correct as he may be privy to information that I am not but I have yet to see any evidence showing this to be the case.Then you have people like my mother who will openly state that "At least they are trying to do something". Then add in the "if you have nothing to hide", and "so long as it keeps us safe" groups and this won't change for a very long time.

            As I have pointed out here before I have accidentally brought banned items through security without any real effort in concealing them, they were left in coat pockets, and the TSA never once found them. Yet every time I bring my camera through I get to play 20 questions with the otherwise unemployable.
            • by chihowa ( 366380 ) on Wednesday November 04, 2015 @10:41PM (#50868337)

              As I have pointed out here before I have accidentally brought banned items through security without any real effort in concealing them, they were left in coat pockets, and the TSA never once found them. Yet every time I bring my camera through I get to play 20 questions with the otherwise unemployable.

              It's funny that you use that example because the last time I flew they pulled me aside to explain the extra camera battery that was literally right next to a pocket knife that they didn't notice. After being grilled (bumblingly questioned, really) for five minutes, they finally accepted my explanation for the battery, put it back next to the knife and let me go.

              On the way back, they didn't seem to notice either the knife or the battery.

          • by Ash Vince ( 602485 ) * on Wednesday November 04, 2015 @02:52PM (#50865151) Journal

            This, and also the fact that they reinforced and lock the cockpit doors from now on.
            The TSA has not stopped ANY attempts at bombing or hijacking airliners since 9/11. Various other methods have, but the TSA has been singularly useless.

            Reinforced cockpit doors do sod all. Even without a reinforced cockpit door the crew could have kept them out of the cockpit if they wanted to using a co-pilots foot .

            What has made us tons safer after 9-11 is that now there would be reasonable quantity of the passengers who would challenge the hijackers, as recently shown on a French train. Previously most air hijackings were about taking hostages and using them to plead for some worthless chum of yours to be released, as soon as it became clear that the hijackers were never interested in your survival or their own it made trying to subdue them the safest option, no matter how dangerous that seemed.

            If you wanted to fly a plane into a building now you would have to steal an empty one first.

          • by random coward ( 527722 ) on Wednesday November 04, 2015 @03:09PM (#50865287)

            This, and also the fact that they reinforced and lock the cockpit doors from now on.

            Which also is a major contributing factor to a certain airline suicide crash in Europe. [nytimes.com]

        • by TWX ( 665546 )

          Security Theater is nothing more than the Wizard of Oz. The problem is, nobody learned that lesson, in spite of nearly universal knowledge of that movie's pivotal scene.

          The problem is, the security theater only makes it more difficult, and now we're finding out it actually doesn't make it all much more difficult.

          IMHO the chances of hijacking a plane became much less likely to be successful after 9/11, because they broke the cardinal rule of hijacking, and turned the plane into a weapon. People on planes already know they are dead if a hijacker takes over, and will respond accordingly.

          Zardoz as a film is often panned, but the point that Zed realized the nature of Zardoz and started taking action to learn the real truth behind the floating head seems to be where we're at now with the TSA.

        • People on planes already know they are dead if a hijacker takes over, and will respond accordingly.

          How will people respond accordingly if it's illegal to carry a gun into a flight? Is there an officer in each flight?

          • by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Wednesday November 04, 2015 @03:44PM (#50865557)

            How will people respond accordingly if it's illegal to carry a gun into a flight?

            Newsflash. There are ways of dealing with Bad Guys other than shooting them. It doesn't even matter if the Bad Guys are armed themselves if the number of passengers is greater than the number of bullets. Anyone trying to hijack a plane today will get beaten down almost immediately by the passengers. No point in sitting quietly if you think you are going to die anyway.

            Is there an officer in each flight?

            Not relevant. Nobody is going to wait for the police. Anyone starts some shit on a plan now and half the passengers will curb stomp them and tie them up until the plane can land.

        • by StikyPad ( 445176 ) on Wednesday November 04, 2015 @03:41PM (#50865529) Homepage

          The government knows damn well that the TSA is security theater -- someone just forgot to tell this particular elected official.

          Security theater can be great as a deterrent, but once everybody starts shouting about how it's not real, then its deterrent effect is decreased. So we can either tell people to shut up about it, or eliminate the facade, but increased security isn't an option, for two reasons:

          1) Nobody can be vigilant against mostly non-existent threats for hours and days and years on end, except the most paranoid, OCD people, who aren't hireable anyway. That's why bouncers are effective -- people are constantly trying to sneak in, and bouncers know they're going to catch people. Most other security guards know they'll never, ever catch anyone, because nobody ever tries, and their attention suffers as a result. It's not that they don't want to do their job; it's that the reality of their job is incredibly tedious. It becomes about going through the motions most of the time, and maybe making an effort every so often.

          2) Real security takes time, and that pisses people off. Maybe not in the immediate wake of a catastrophic security failure, but days or weeks later, it will. Patience will run thin. Moreover, the biggest advantage of flying is convenience -- it's fast. Once that convenience goes away, its popularity will decline.

          Honestly, it doesn't matter though. Security has diminishing returns, like anything else, and no target can be fully protected. We can't, even collectively, control all of the variables. And when the risks are infinitesimal to begin with, then taking steps to lower them even more is usually a wasted effort. Better to focus on having procedures in place to handle things when the worst case happens.

          • by KGIII ( 973947 )

            People were really, really pissed when 9/11 happened and I responded with, "Yeah, that sucks. So?" Seriously? What are we going to do about it?

            You know what? It's a shitty world. I accept that I, you, my family, or my friends may die - in very violent ways. I've seen a few deaths from violent trauma, in person. It sucks. You know what? So what? I'm not cold. I'm not lacking in empathy. I just don't think it's such a big deal that means we need to restructure our lives, reduce our rights, and live in perpetu

      • by Major Blud ( 789630 ) on Wednesday November 04, 2015 @02:01PM (#50864659) Homepage

        "Note that the weapons the hijackers allegedly used were ILLEGAL TO CARRY ON PLANES before then, and they got them on in other ways."

        Are you sure about that? I was able to bring my pocket knife through security before 9/11 as long as the blade was just a few inches.

        Wikipedia confirms this as well:

        "Box cutters and similar small knives were allowed onboard aircraft at the time."
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

        • Once I was returning from a prolonged trip overseas and boarded the plane with a box cutter in my carry on. I only discovered it after getting home and unpacking. But I did get stopped by the Japanese for having a spoon and chopsticks.

        • Yes, you are correct, GP is mistaken.
        • by PPH ( 736903 )

          Are you sure about that?

          This.

          I've carried a Leatherman tool on myself aboard flights before 9/11 (on 9/9/01 actually).

          • I've had one in my backpack go through x-ray post TSA without a raised eyebrow.
        • by Technician ( 215283 ) on Wednesday November 04, 2015 @04:24PM (#50865873)

          Before 9/11 I had a service call. Took an 18 inch mechanics toolbox as carry one. Appologiezed for forgetting to remove a box cutter in screening and mentioned for them to take it as it would be easly replaced. They let me keep it but was more concerned with the screwdrivers at the time. I assuered them it would be kept under the seat and remain closed for the trip. They let me keep the box cutter.

          Post 911 is more difficult to travel with tools.

      • What I don't get is that you can buy highly flammable alcohol at the duty free and carry it onto the plane without hassle.
      • Note that the weapons the hijackers allegedly used were ILLEGAL TO CARRY ON PLANES before then, and they got them on in other ways.

        Actually, it was legal to carry small knives at that time, no one would have thought that a box cutter would have been used to hijack a plane, it was more that the common wisdom was to not fight the hijackers and everyone would live.

    • by Shoten ( 260439 )

      ... giving you the feeling that your government cares and reacted to 9/11 and other threats is.

      Peter.

      You're forgetting the other purpose of TSA...to give old ex-Nortel salespeople and other unemployables an alternative to having to ask, "Would you like fries with that?"

    • [Detecting weapons is NOT the purpose of TSA] ...giving you the feeling that your government cares and reacted to 9/11 and other threats is.

      Yes, but never forget the lucrative windfall that assholes like Micheal Chertoff gained through all this kabuki horseshit.

      Not to mention all this security conditions the easily-led public to not bother questioning the need for Endless War (TM), which is also a very, very lucrative business for those that created it.

    • Yes, that's why I wish people would stop publicizing their failures. After the initial reports came out a while back the security lines got noticeably slower. If they are ineffective, then fine, but if you tell everyone they are ineffective then "something must be done" and it just makes things worse. I'm comfortable with risk, but I'm not comfortable wasting hours of my life at the airport.

  • And yet..... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by clifwlkr ( 614327 ) on Wednesday November 04, 2015 @01:39PM (#50864447)
    Nothing happened. No hijackings, no downed planes, absolutely nothing. Maybe we don't need all of this security theater after all and could just leave our shoes on and take some water with us through the gate then? Save a few tax dollars?

    Of course it will go the other way and will be a huge call for more strict rules and procedures. Sigh.....
    • Re:And yet..... (Score:5, Informative)

      by rlp ( 11898 ) on Wednesday November 04, 2015 @01:43PM (#50864473)

      Nothing happened ...

      because the "shoe bomber" and the "underwear bomber" were stopped by alert passengers.

      • Re:And yet..... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by trout007 ( 975317 ) on Wednesday November 04, 2015 @02:19PM (#50864843)

        The passengers on the 4th plane on 9/11 are the first. Planes are done. Crews and Passengers were taught to cooperate with hijackers. That's all over. To stop 9/11 all that would have been required is a declaration not to cooperate with terrorists.

        • by PPH ( 736903 )

          So, let's allow passengers with concealed weapons permits to carry on board.

      • Exactly. Nothing the TSA, NSA, CIA, FBI, US armed services did prevented those individuals for begin unsuccessful in their attempts. What did make them unsuccessful were the passengers as well as the bombers being only slightly smart enough to not choke on their own tongues.
    • >> Save a few tax dollars?

      No, we need federal rent-a-cops grabbing people's junk to demonstrate "what your tax dollars are paying for." When tax dollars silently disappear into the banks of the well-connected, the ranks of the Tea Party (on the right) and Bernie supporters (on the left) tend to swell.

    • by Octorian ( 14086 )

      The way they seem to treat those water bottles at the checkpoint, is proof positive that they didn't even consider them dangerous for a millisecond. Seriously, they just toss them in a bin next to the X-Ray machine.
      Oh, and with the shoes, its also obvious they don't consider those potentially dangerous either. If they did, then why do they exempt anyone under or over certain ages from the rule?

      Basically, they make the process as annoying as possible, with specific exceptions for anything that's resulted i

      • The way they seem to treat those water bottles at the checkpoint, is proof positive that they didn't even consider them dangerous for a millisecond. Seriously, they just toss them in a bin next to the X-Ray machine.

        I see I am not the only one who has wondered about that. Get a bunch of attackers on a busy day to pitch some 20 oz. bottles filled with explosives in the trash at a few checkpoints and then a while later have someone pitch one in to set them all off. On another side note is the huge line the TSA manages to create, get some asshole who has one of those tool large to actually carry on, carry on bags that too many people have and fill that thing with explosives and detonate it in the security line.

    • Modern reports Americans are less free than Canadians, and have more fear of terrorist attacks than Egyptians, Sudanese, and Bangladeshians.
    • by hey! ( 33014 )

      I'm actually old enough to remember when metal detectors and baggage screen were made mandatory in 1972. It made a HUGE difference; by 1970 or so major hijackings had become a multiple times/year event (check out Wikipedia's list [wikipedia.org]). It took almost a decade but by the 80s hijackers successfully boarding at US airports became a rare event.

      We need to think in terms of two things:

      (a) marginal utility; and
      (b) patching specific vulnerabilities as they are exposed.

      The thing is baggage screening, metal detectors a

  • Anecdotal evidence (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Locke2005 ( 849178 ) on Wednesday November 04, 2015 @01:40PM (#50864451)
    My sister watched the supervisor run her backpack through the xray 3 times before the screener notice the pen knife in it, and my mother actually succeeded in getting a small pen knife onto a plane by "forgetting" it was in her makeup kit. These incidents were years ago. And, they don't really matter; post 9/11, a knife would not be an effective weapon for highjacking a plane. When every passenger makes the assumption they are going to die anyway if they don't take out the highjacker, pretty much every passenger is going to attempt to jump the highjacker and take him out. Even with a knife, you'd be hard pressed to be 100 to 1 odds - people don't die fast enough.
    • by Scutter ( 18425 ) on Wednesday November 04, 2015 @01:46PM (#50864511) Journal

      Prior to 9/11, past hijackings were primarily of the "Take this plane to Havana!" type. People believed that if they complied, they' go home safely. 9/11 changed that forever. When you have no expectation that the plane is going anywhere but into the side of a building, you're not going to sit still and wait for it to happen, pen knife or no penknife. And the handful of incidents since have proven that completely. The passengers will tear a hijacker limb from limb with their bare hands if they have to.

    • by BitZtream ( 692029 ) on Wednesday November 04, 2015 @01:47PM (#50864523)

      I don't fly very often, and as such I don't think about things like the fact that I carry a pocket knife ... all the time ... including every time I go through the airport security circus ... including those retarded back scatter machines that apparently suck so much they can't detect a pocket knife with a 2 inch blade. 2 inches is pretty short (ask your wife) but certainly something they should have detected.

      The TSA and airport security is a joke.

      Planes haven't been used effectively as a weapon again because as you say, we'll fucking kill anyone that tries even at the cost of our own lives because the alternative may be not only does the plane crash, but so do 5000 other people not on the plane ...

      And also ... their really aren't that many nut jobs out there that are truly willing to kill themselves. I'd bet you a good chunk of change that only the pilots during 9/11 even knew it was a suicide mission if we really knew what was going on.

      • And also ... their really aren't that many nut jobs out there that are truly willing to kill themselves. I'd bet you a good chunk of change that only the pilots during 9/11 even knew it was a suicide mission if we really knew what was going on.

        But sadly, there are; the religious fanaticism is so strong among many islamic based terrorists that they have done this already many, many, times, in the mideast and abroad. And IIRC, the documentaries on 9-11, some of the hijackers didn't know it was a suicide mission until late in the game, but I think they all knew before boarding the planes.

    • by rwa2 ( 4391 ) *

      Eh, they let me travel from Washington DC to Rhode Island with a screwdriver. On the way back to Washington DC they found and confiscated it though. So I guess we know who they really care about.

      Reminds me of the comedian sketch.... "Anyone here from Rhode Island?" *crickets* "Fuck 'em!"

      • Agreed. My wife has stopped emptying her purse and carry-on of tweezers, nail clippers, little bottles of make-up, etc. They always let her through because she's the little white woman flying first class, so she must not be dangerous.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by arth1 ( 260657 )

      When every passenger makes the assumption they are going to die anyway if they don't take out the highjacker, pretty much every passenger is going to attempt to jump the highjacker and take him out.

      No, a good many will think it better that someone else risk their life. Or are unsure of whether enough others will join to make it more than a futile suicide against a more fit and better armed opponent.

      • We've already had one example in Flight 93.

        And if Flight 93 had the reinforced locked cockpit doors that are now standard, it likely wouldn't have crashed either.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by arth1 ( 260657 )

          We've already had one example in Flight 93.

          And even more examples of people not storming the bad guys.

          You can't rely on the public. Or screeners. Or air marshals. You can't protect everyone from everyone, all the time, or trust that threats you don't even know what are can be neutralized.

          The only reliable defences against terrorism are to (a) not go out of your way to piss off people so much that they want to kill your civilians to get your attention, (b) don't present such big fat targets, and (c) don't act terrified and make knee-jerk reactions

    • post 9/11, a knife would not be an effective weapon for highjacking a plane.

      Even a gun wouldn't help a hijacker now, unless you can get into the cockpit.

    • by Quirkz ( 1206400 )

      I've always figured the belt I wear could be used pretty effectively to disable an attacker with a knife or anything similar, if it came to it.

    • My sister watched the supervisor run her backpack through the xray 3 times before the screener notice the pen knife in it

      I was on a flight last month and forgot that I had my toilet bag in my carry on (deodorant aerosols are banned).
      We get to the xray and the security monkey notices the can in the xray, grabs the bag next to mine by mistake and holds that guy up searching his bag for a non-existent item while I walk off laughing. I walked far enough away to merge into the crowd and observed the confused looks as they came up empty handed, but re-xrayed his bag a few times just in case.
      Airport security is a joke and needs to

  • by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Wednesday November 04, 2015 @01:43PM (#50864471) Journal
    It's good to know that when they gently stroke my private parts, it is literally for nothing........
    • by Locke2005 ( 849178 ) on Wednesday November 04, 2015 @02:06PM (#50864709)
      Just do what I do: look the TSA guy straight in the eyes, and in a high-pitched voice, say "Don't you wanna check my PACKAGE?!?" while thrusting your hips forward... nine out of ten times, they wave you through. One out of ten times, they caress you slowly and gently...
    • This is why you wear a kilt (utilikilit or otherwise...or hell, wear a skirt. It's 2015 and apparently that's ok now) in the "traditional manner".
  • 95% of Contraband... (Score:5, Informative)

    by mythosaz ( 572040 ) on Wednesday November 04, 2015 @01:47PM (#50864519)

    Look, I hate the TSA as much as (if not more than) the next guy, but can we be clear about the numbers?

    95% of contraband, which **includes, but is not limited to** weapons got through.

    What percentage of weapons, then?

    They might just be terrible at detecting forbidden fruits and vegetables.

    • The scope of their search is supposed to be limited. Fruits and vegetables are fine. I think contraband just means stuff like water that they're supposed to catch because it might be weaponized. They seem to be pretty effective at taking people's beverages, but I've never seen them pull out a gun. My guess is that 95% of all weapons, 98% of really deadly poisons, and 99.5% of guns get through.
    • And Kinder Eggs.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "In looking at the number of times people got through with guns or bombs in these covert testing exercises it really was pathetic. When I say that I mean pitiful," said Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.)... "Just thinking about the breaches there, it's horrific,"

    News at 11: Rep. Stephen Lynch owns a Thesaurus.

  • Oh god this ... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Wednesday November 04, 2015 @01:52PM (#50864575) Homepage

    Now, I've never tried to bring a weapon on a plane ... but I've had one screener flag my suitcase in the security line, only to have another screener ask me "what did he see in your suitcase to flag you?", followed by me saying "if I knew that I wouldn't have put it in that suitcase".

    Then I asked if he'd show me the xray and I'd try to tell him what it was, he said I wasn't allowed. OK sir, shall I just stare at you as you demonstrate you have no idea of your own job? Or can I go now?

    And, on several occasions I've realized my laptop bag still had toothpaste, a Tide stick, and mouthwash in it -- and nobody noticed.

    TSA are inept, expensive, and annoying. And I very much doubt they can provably demonstrate they've ever actually stopped anything from happening.

    • I remember once bringing a can of soda that was in my backpack, onto a plane to Atlanta around 2009ish, forgetting it was there, and only having the TSA notice when I went to fly home a few days later.

      I also remember them missing a multitool several times, before noticing it, when I - a soldier in uniform - was flying back to Iraq, after having forgotten it was in my bag from when I flew home for leave.

      Certainly we do want there to be some security screening, but the level the TSA goes to is ridiculou
      • Certainly we do want there to be some security screening,

        Do we? I never get screened going on the bus or train, what is different?

    • Try flying with a bulb cable for a camera. When I bring my camera that one piece of equipment causes them the most confusion even beyond the film, filters, interchangeable lenses, detachable flash, and light meter. A set of macro rings also confuses the hell out of them just about as much.
    • Admittedly this was before 9/11, so they'd have probably had me jacked up and thrown in a locked room for two days if it happened now, but...
      I went through the screening, and they were taking a LONG time. They kept running my bag through the xray machine for some reason. So I went over to the two operators and asked what was wrong, so they showed me the xray pic on the screen and asked what 'that' was. I looked up and laughed, "That's the ceramic dragon!". One of the screeners eyes lit up and she pointed an
  • by NostalgiaForInfinity ( 4001831 ) on Wednesday November 04, 2015 @02:01PM (#50864665)

    Just thinking about the breaches there, it's horrific," he added. A leaked classified report this summer found that as much as 95 percent of contraband, like weapons and explosives, got through during clandestine testings

    Given that US planes aren't exploding every day, this seems anything but horrific. In fact, it seems like excellent news, because it suggests that the screening is probably not needed (unless you believe that only terrorists are deterred by it).

  • by Jason Levine ( 196982 ) on Wednesday November 04, 2015 @02:05PM (#50864697)

    Number of people surprised that the TSA is completely ineffective: 0.

    Not coincidentally, that's also the number of terrorists that the TSA has caught.

    They have saved us from the scourge of water bottles and decent sized toothpaste tubes, though.

  • by JustNiz ( 692889 ) on Wednesday November 04, 2015 @02:36PM (#50864999)

    Since their inception the TSA has been repeatedly proven to be almost completely ineffective at prevention, yet there has been no US planes hijacked or blown up since their inception anyway.
    This alone proves that any benefit to the TSA's existence is entirely imaginary because the threat is not real.
    The TSA were originally created as a perhaps understandable but nevertheless paranoid and ill-informed kneejerk overreaction to 9/11. We need to simply fix that mistake now.
    There is clearly no rational reason for the TSA to continue to exist, especially since they cost the taxpayer 7.9 Billion USD every year that could be spent elsewhere solving problems that actually exist.

    • Too late. The terrorists already won.
      America stopped being the land of the free and became the nanny state of the paranoid, and not enough people care to change it

    • What's the incentive for the individual politician to fix the problem? If he votes to tear it down, and tomorrow someone figures out a new way to blow up a plane, he will be blamed for removing the "protection" for "bean counting". He just needs to grumble with a "but what can you do, the /other/ guys won't do anything to remove it" and he's got the same bump. System's borked.
  • I had a tiny Gerber Dime [gerbergear.com] multi-tool in the bottom of my backpack -- it had been there for 6 months and at least a dozen flights (including 2 international flights) until finally a screener in Las Vegas found it. It's truly a tiny tool, the blade must be no longer than 3 or 4 cm, so I was surprised that they wanted to confiscate it. I asked him if I could use the larger Leatherman I saw in his discard bin and use it to break off the blade on my tool (the scissors, which were just as long and almost as sharp

  • Do they hide the weapons in a special way in those tests?
    Because if I forget the smallest metal thing on me, the detector starts screaming. Weapons are usually relatively big metal objects, how can they miss them?

    • Weapons are usually relatively big metal objects, how can they miss them?

      I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you. Seriously, it's not that hard to imagine how weapons of all kinds could get though security. Think social engineering, think of things that bypass the process... Use the rules to get around the screening process. It's not that hard if you think about what's happening and what tools TSA uses and stop looking at the think like a sheep.

    • by cbhacking ( 979169 ) <been_out_cruising-slashdot.yahoo@com> on Wednesday November 04, 2015 @07:13PM (#50867199) Homepage Journal

      For the body scanner, put it on your sides. The plane of the scanner field only rotates across your front and back; it will miss anything directly on your sides. Wear slightly loose clothes and you can strap a weapon (or other object) a number of places outside the areas that the scanner "sees". Upper arms near your elbows (well out to the sides in "scanner pose"), sides of your torso unless you're super skinny, outsides of your legs if it doesn't show through your pants, insides of your legs (especially near the ankle) if you keep your feet a little wider than you should, etc.

      For the baggage X-ray, just put "safe" stuff around the prohibited item. Tablet computers are great here; for some reason they're considered safe despite usually having plenty of metals, including potentially-dangerous lithium, in their chassis. Laptop power bricks and external hard drives are pretty hard to scan through; I've seen what they look like on the screens. Small items like pens, mint tins, coins, keys, flashdrives, jewelry, and so on can clutter the X-ray image and conceal stuff behind them, directly or by simply breaking up the outline sufficiently. A bag of toiletries containing a bunch of sub-3-oz tubes of this and that is *supposed* to be run through separately, but I've never once had a problem leaving it in my bag and I fly over a dozen times a year.

      It's embarrassingly easy to get shit past those morons. Sometimes I do it by accident, like forgetting a pocketknife or bottle of soda. If it's not on the outer part of the bag, they usually miss it.

  • They might miss guns... but damn if they don't spot a slightly oversized deodorant spray, too much toothpaste or a bottle of water.

  • This won't lead to what it should, namely the destruction and disassembly of the TSA, but instead will lead to even more intrusive "security"...

  • Only keeps honest people honest. They are designed to provide the APPEARANCE of security, not actual security.

    If the TSA was about real security, I can assure you they would operate differently and your TSA screening would start the instant you purchased your ticket. They'd be doing background checks on EVERYBODY, full searches of you, your baggage, both using X-Rays, magnetometers, and blue gloves going everywhere you can imagine on everybody entering the secure areas. Plus, they'd do this to mechanics,

  • by Trailer Trash ( 60756 ) on Wednesday November 04, 2015 @03:26PM (#50865411) Homepage

    The purpose of federalizing airport security was to create more union members to funnel federal tax dollars to the Democrats.

    https://www.opensecrets.org/pa... [opensecrets.org]

    Looks like I was right.

This restaurant was advertising breakfast any time. So I ordered french toast in the renaissance. - Steven Wright, comedian

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