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TSA Saw My Junk, Missed Razor Blades, Says Adam Savage 609

Posted by timothy
from the happy-24th dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The TSA isn't the most respected of governmental agencies right now, but at least it comes by the poor reputation honestly. The lack of standards, inconsistent application of searches and policies, and occasional rude agent all combine to make flying an unpleasant experience. It's often derided as 'security theater,' which describes the experience of Mythbuster Adam Savage before a recent flight. Savage was put through the full-body scanner, and while he joked that it made his penis feel small, no one seemed to notice the items he was carrying on his person. The video tells the rest of the story."
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TSA Saw My Junk, Missed Razor Blades, Says Adam Savage

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  • by KublaiKhan (522918) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @08:11PM (#34325450) Homepage Journal
    The only measure which has successfully prevented a terrorist attack since the '01 hijackings is the increased vigilance and response of the flying public.

    The TSA's measures are worse than useless: they actually create a hazard, with long, slow-moving, densely-packed lines full of by-definition unscreened persons--lines that are about the ripest target for a bomb that you can find.

    Go back to pre-'01 screening procedures, and empower passengers with good-samaritan style legislation that exempts persons from prosecution for acts they genuinely believe to be in prevention of a terrorist incident.
  • by Fluffeh (1273756) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @08:13PM (#34325466)
    Here at the TSA, we dislike the way that you are focusing on our mistakes. Yes, we make mistakes, but so does everyone else.

    We just happen to be in a position that allows us to have X-Ray vision and check out all the bits that people cover up. I mean seriously, how many times as a kid did you wish to have a pair of X-Ray glasses to check out your neighbor? Well, it's just like that! But we can!

    So, please, stop focusing on the bad, just because WE have a toy that you DON'T doesn't mean that you should try to take it away from us!

    Now, excuse me, there is a hot chick coming. I need to check her very carefully for explosives and hidden things.

    *sips coffee*
  • by Oriumpor (446718) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @08:16PM (#34325504) Homepage Journal

    Missed an open bottle of mouthwash, missed my wallet pickset and totally did nothing about the oversized shoe inserts in my shoes... something that looks an awful lot like the device that caused the whole "Take of your shoes please sir" bullshit.

    The security policies of the TSA are a bunch of horseshit. I had a pair of nondescript headphones wrapped around a "strange" looking (pico projector) device that wasn't even questioned. (Point of fact I had so much electronic shit in my carryon I was already down the hall of the terminal out of view of the screener as he was still looking at my shit.

    Oh right, and the scanners themselves weren't isolated from the general public (they were in a raised Kiosk in a 3 point monitor setup, so if you walked up to "ask a question" 2 of the 3 displays were visible at all times. Fuck you TSA.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @08:22PM (#34325560)

    The only measure which has successfully prevented a terrorist attack since the '01 hijackings is the increased vigilance and response of the flying public.

    The TSA's measures are worse than useless: they actually create a hazard, with long, slow-moving, densely-packed lines full of by-definition unscreened persons--lines that are about the ripest target for a bomb that you can find.

    You there, stop making sense. TSA policy isn't governed by common sense. TSA policy is governed by rules, and if you don't like the rules, you're free not to fly. Take it directly from the bastard who designed it. (No, not Chertoff. He's just in it for a quick buck.) I mean the other bastard, the one who said...

    "I tell you, freedom and human rights in America are doomed. The US Government will lead the American people - and the West in general - into an unbearable hell and a choking life." - The TSA Security Policy Architect [cnn.com], as interviewed on CNN in November 2001.

    He's not giving interviews on CNN anymore, just little photos and audio tapes. Here's a snippet from his 2010 interview [min.us].

  • by damburger (981828) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @08:23PM (#34325562)

    Oh, they are far from useless.

    They make an unreasonable request, you comply without thinking. They bark orders at you, you avoid eye contact and meekly take it. They are training you.

  • by maxume (22995) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @08:25PM (#34325590)

    The upgraded cockpit doors have also probably had some deterrent effect (it's now a whole lot harder to make the plane do something the pilots don't agree with, so less interesting to try).

    And you better write your law really carefully (even without a law, people that feel strongly that something needs to be done can simply take responsibility for their actions).

  • by Black Parrot (19622) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @08:27PM (#34325614)

    The TSA's measures are worse than useless: they actually create a hazard, with long, slow-moving, densely-packed lines full of by-definition unscreened persons--lines that are about the ripest target for a bomb that you can find.

    I've been thinking about that for years, but never said anything because I didn't want to give anyone any ideas.

    Go back to pre-'01 screening procedures, and empower passengers with good-samaritan style legislation that exempts persons from prosecution for acts they genuinely believe to be in prevention of a terrorist incident.

    Post-911, an attempting hijacker wouldn't live a minute if the rest of us were carrying pointy things.

    Might not anyway, unless the TSA starts confiscating pencils and umbrellas. Almost anything will serve as a weapon in a pinch.

  • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @08:28PM (#34325622)

    The TSA has not yet caught a single terrorist attempting to get on a plane.

    The TSA is NOT the "last line of defense". The last line of defense will be the other passengers on the flight.

    If the TSA really thought that your bottle of water was a bomb then why don't they treat you like a person who just attempted to smuggle a bomb onto the plane?

    The TSA is useless at their stated mission.

  • by jcr (53032) <[jcr] [at] [mac.com]> on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @08:30PM (#34325640) Journal

    The only measure which has successfully prevented a terrorist attack since the '01 hijackings is the increased vigilance and response of the flying public.

    Exactly. The perps have given up on attempting to hijack aircraft, the last two attacks (shoe bomber and underpants bomber) only tried to destroy the plane. The cockpit doors have been reinforced.

    I'm convinced that the whole purpose of the TSA is one big Milgram experiment to find out just how far we can be pushed before we resist. I'm rather disappointed that it got this far.

    -jcr

  • by KublaiKhan (522918) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @08:33PM (#34325672) Homepage Journal
    <quote>
    <p>I've been thinking about that for years, but never said anything because I didn't want to give anyone any ideas.</p>
    </quote>

    I've been -saying- that for years and it still hasn't happened. I figured that if I saw the possibility within five minutes of seeing the line, anyone else would be able to see it without too much trouble. I've been suspecting that either the so-called 'threat' is far, far overblown or these terrorists are complete and total idiots.

    Another of the obvious plots: shoot up (or toss bombs, or suicide-bomb, or carbomb, or...well, you get the point) a Black Friday opening line or three on the east coast at a big box store.

    Suddenly, everyone stays home rather than shopping; the economy is ruined for at least the last quarter. Much easier than trying to hijack a plane.
  • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @08:34PM (#34325678) Homepage Journal

    So your complaint is there are now too well trained? The can tell the difference between the normal shit you have and a bomb.

  • by MoonBuggy (611105) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @08:41PM (#34325736) Journal

    And yet they haven't done so, which is further evidence that either the pool of competent potential terrorists is vanishingly small or the intelligence agencies are doing their jobs well and preventing plots from getting off the ground (so to speak). In either case, it would appear that the TSA are unnecessary.

  • by Al Dimond (792444) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @08:59PM (#34325890) Journal

    I have a feeling bombing a store on Black Friday wouldn't stop people from shopping. At the Wal-Mart in suburban New York where the doors were literally "busted" and people trampled to death (this was Black Friday 2008 IIRC) the shoppers just kept shopping. The police tried to clear the store for an investigation and were unable to do it. Not one of humanity's brighter moments.

    Point being, if one of those crowds was bombed it probably wouldn't even stop people from shopping at that store. Enterprising family members of the dead would be out in the parking lot auctioning off their newly-unneeded vehicles. Black Friday is a scourge more evil, and more powerful, than terrorism.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @09:03PM (#34325920)

    THEY are also training the TSA workers to accept their role. --Tsiangkun
    secret word captcha "CROTCH", how appropriate.

  • by j00r0m4nc3r (959816) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @09:05PM (#34325942)
    Imagine if they had searched him. "I got stopped and searched over my shoe inserts. Those fucking morons couldn't tell the difference between a pico projector device and a bomb. Fuck you TSA!"
  • by girlintraining (1395911) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @09:10PM (#34325972)

    I'd like to think that the women in a strip club are slightly more distracting than the average flying American.

    Average looking strippers make more money than highly attractive ones for one simple reason: The observer is more inclined to believe s/he has a chance.

  • by PitaBred (632671) <slashdot@pitabred.dyndns. o r g> on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @09:12PM (#34325984) Homepage

    The TSA's measures are worse than useless: they actually create a hazard, with long, slow-moving, densely-packed lines full of by-definition unscreened persons--lines that are about the ripest target for a bomb that you can find.

    I've been thinking about that for years, but never said anything because I didn't want to give anyone any ideas.

    You think you're that much smarter than someone who is intentionally thinking about how to cause mass destruction?

  • by tempest69 (572798) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @09:12PM (#34325988) Journal
    I wish you weren't right.
    But were just being conditioned to behave and accept that the government is in control. Somehow the government gets some undeserved awe. I remember having it, where the government and the laws were something greater, and noble.
    Now I see it as a home owners association that has gotten too large and is full of itself. This is a problem, it is putting people through screening that is unnecessary and ineffectual. The right to balk at being screened has been removed. While I understand the rational, I find it to be reprehensible. We are not subjects, we are citizens, and we need to act accordingly. That our liberties are more important than the convenience of the government.

    We are trained to behave as if the law is something crafted by masters of philosophy and reason. That the enforcers are going to be in the right and behave with proper restraint. uncorrupted by their authority. That the jurors will weigh that the defendant broke both the letter of law, and will ensure that the the law itself is appropriate. This is clearly not the case, laws are often made for the personal gain of those with access to power. Police misconduct videos are released at a rate that is truly alarming, a couple police ruining the name of the bunch is still the cry I see over and over. However the number of times this has been caught on video leads me to believe that this is something that is seriously undermining their credibility. After cases like Genarlow Wilson, it appears that the jury has been trained to disregard their primary purpose- determining if the defendant committed a crime that warrants the punishment being let out.

    I'm getting tired of all the training, it needs to stop

    Storm
  • by lightbox32 (1903946) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @09:14PM (#34326002)
    If the TSA really thought that your bottle of water is a threat, would they have you chug it into a container not 5 feet from them?
  • by suomynonAyletamitlU (1618513) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @09:26PM (#34326078)

    If the TSA was keeping us safe, they would have some leniency in their methods.

    They (by which I mean the mangers and policy-setters rather than the incompetent, cheap-ass laborers) should not be permitted to use these methods in order to be lazy. If they were serious--if they were even pretending to be serious--there are people they could learn from. "Terrorists" are not a myth, you do not ward them off with superstition and half-assed attempts to look good, which is what security theater is. There are people with experience. There are ways to test the solution. Science can be done upon it. Engineering can be done upon it. It can be made better.

    And yet it's clear to me that America does not understand that, nor similar things like public opinion (here or abroad). They are in fact approaching it as though it were superstition--as though these patdowns and screenings were an offering to The God of Public Opinion to say "Look, we're competent! Don't stop flying!" And they're viewing the feedback as though it's Their God Public Opinion saying "that offering isn't good enough"--they're upping the ante, not changing their methods.

    And it is "method;" they're trying to prevent something. Their efforts won't work. It won't work in the same way voodoo wasn't medicine and hallucinogens didn't give you contact with gods. It seems like they don't understand that, on a fundamental level, the figurative blood sacrifice that is TSA security isn't going to appease anyone, and people continue to be in danger (however much or little danger actually exists). Or maybe they just don't understand that there are in fact effective methods out there, or maybe they don't care.

    And it's that incompetence, whichever form it takes, which is going to kill American citizens some day, when someone actually goes out of their way to prove the complete idiocy by means of a bomb.

  • by farnsworth (558449) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @09:28PM (#34326090)

    <quote> <p>I've been thinking about that for years, but never said anything because I didn't want to give anyone any ideas.</p> </quote> I've been -saying- that for years and it still hasn't happened. I figured that if I saw the possibility within five minutes of seeing the line, anyone else would be able to see it without too much trouble. I've been suspecting that either the so-called 'threat' is far, far overblown or these terrorists are complete and total idiots.

    Isn't this what happened at LAX in 2003 or so? It certainly happens in other places around the world. I was at a baseball game in NYC shortly after 9/11 with a friend who has spent time in Isreal, and the lines and crowds outside the security checkpoints at the stadium made him visibly upset.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @09:32PM (#34326108)

    He's not giving interviews on CNN anymore, just little photos and audio tapes. Here's a snippet from his 2010 interview [min.us].

    Funny how you mention this. You know who else has been releasing just little photos and audio tapes the past 10 years? Must I even mention his name? It wouldn't be a certain bin Laden, would it?

  • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @09:32PM (#34326114)

    You're saying they won't be able to straightjacket you because of that? They'd say it's not arrest or detainment: you're free to not fly if you object that strongly to a straightjacket, if you're flying you agree to it.

    Despite being idiotic, that justification flies with enough people. Same thing with corporations. We'd start throwing molotovs if the president announced privacy was a thing of the past and that their location would be tracked electronically. Facebook does it and people think -I'm- crazy for caring.

  • by element-o.p. (939033) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @09:35PM (#34326146) Homepage
    Do you seriously believe that laws regarding unlawful arrest and detainment without a warrant will slow them down one bit when the 4th Amendment hasn't?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @09:37PM (#34326160)

    Unlawful arrest and detainment without warrant.

    They're already doing an unlawful search -- what's stopping them from doing more constitutional violation?

  • what's junk anyway (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Cederic (9623) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @09:40PM (#34326178) Journal

    As someone that isn't in America, I found the over-exhuberant, unnecessary and pain-inducing whooping on the video was so fucking annoying I stopped watching it.

    Was there any actual content or did it just continue in masturbatory appreciation of the cult of celebrity?

  • by Daniel_Staal (609844) <DStaal@usa.net> on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @09:47PM (#34326242)

    I try to give examples of things that are more likely than being in a terrorist attack. (The 'security' doesn't tend to change these materially...) Things like being hit by lightning. Twice. Or suffocating in your bedding while you sleep. Or if you want good luck: You'll likely win the lottery a couple of times before you are in a terrorist attack.

    There's almost no threat, realistically. Worry about crossing the road. That's more likely to kill you.

  • by RightwingNutjob (1302813) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @09:53PM (#34326292)
    The fact is that it's very easy to cause lots and lots of trouble and hurt/kill a lot of people with relatively little sophistication or effort. I'd go into details of some observations I make as a private citizen living and going about my business in a nameless American city, but I really *don't* want to give anyone ideas (or get a visit from men in dark glasses). This leads me to the following contradictions:

    Given how easy it is to cause trouble, the biggest thing that saves lives is that most people from the part of the world under discussion who adhere to the religious interpretation of interest are too stupid to learn to fly airplanes. However, the few who aren't too stupid can cause an awful mess, as evidenced by 9/11.

    Until we get better at figuring out who those people are in a way that doesn't erode our liberties more than getting body scanned, everyone's gotta be under threat of being searched, though I will emphatically agree that we can probably safely skip the 80-year-old grandmothers with nail clippers.
  • by fishexe (168879) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @09:59PM (#34326338) Homepage

    Ask any bouncer at a strip club: The first few weeks they couldn't stop looking, but after awhile, a naked woman can walk right past them and it barely registers because it's not new anymore. Happens all the time. And they are focused on the job now.

    If only TSA screeners displayed as much professionalism as bouncers in strip clubs.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @10:03PM (#34326358)
    You know, this is getting really really old... It is not an illegal search if you submit to it. If you don't submit to it, you don't fly. There is nothing illegal about the TSA tactics. If you really thought there was and you have any amount of balls you'd go and do what was needed to get this theory of yours before a judge. But you know you're making shit up and you know you're wrong.

    Now, either man up to the challenge or quit spreading your lies.
  • by gurps_npc (621217) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @10:03PM (#34326360) Homepage
    1. Swiss army knife in carry on.

    2. My keys, including a key chain bob that included a 3 inch blade.

    ------------

    Things the TSA make ZERO attempt to find:

    1. Poison Gas containers (like Sarin gas used in the 1995 Tokyo Metro terrorist attack - 13 dead)

    2. Plutonium powder = dirty bomb.

    --------------

    Things the TSA take away:

    1. Nail clippers (even from US soldiers carrying assault rifles - that the TSA agents were told were unloaded - they did not check)

    2. Our dignity

    3. Any reasonable definition of the words "reasonable search"

    4. Our ability to stand up to government and say THAT'S UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

  • by Korin43 (881732) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @10:08PM (#34326384) Homepage

    We can never go back because just like (most)everything that's wrong with this country it's not about what's right. It's about what makes profit for the rich.

    That's what confuses me about this. Why haven't airline lobbyists stopped this yet? Do they not realize that everyone hates flying now?

  • The new terrorist (Score:2, Insightful)

    by nanospook (521118) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @10:34PM (#34326600)
    It seems like the TSA has become the new Terrorist. If you do anything except what you are told, dispute anything, video capture anything, make any noise, try to back out, it doesn't matter, they will charge you and arrest you. The airports have become a police state. All this effort, when it's obvious it's not working and that if "real" terrorist wanted too, they could hit some other target much easier.. This is just a shame..
  • by jabberw0k (62554) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @10:38PM (#34326642) Homepage Journal

    Security lines at airports are ripe targets, but bombing one doesn't make for much terror.

    Would you stand in a security line, after that happened?

  • by zippthorne (748122) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @10:40PM (#34326650) Journal

    TSA is not a private entity. They could've made that argument when there were private security firms, but TSA is a division of Homeland Security, a cabinet-level department in the executive branch of the federal government.

    Their evidence is illegally collected, and would be inadmissible as well, if all the judges weren't corrupt.

  • by mabhatter654 (561290) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @10:43PM (#34326666)

    exactly, the recent case of the guy who had to live with peeing in a bag. He tried to request they be careful, or even ASK what they wanted.. until they squeezed his bag of piss all over him. The entire point what that THEY didn't want to be told what to do, THEY didn't want to pay attention, they wanted to prove a point... and they did... he inconvenienced them and they made him miss his flight and embarrassed him in public. The whole thing is a clear example that THEY DON'T CARE WHAT YOU THINK, they are going to do this ANYWAY especially BECAUSE you don't like it.

    If the TSA and FAA was really serious, they would do like the medical centers and consult with Disney and the amusement park industry for how to handle large volumes of people quickly, safely, and respectfully. Getting a few hundred people an hour on a plane should be a piece of cake. Amusement parks put thousands of people per day into tiny carts standing in the hot July Sun, quickly and safely. Why can't multi-Billion dollar airlines? Because they don't have to CARE that's why. There is no excuse for the deplorable mess mass transportation is right now, especially because airports have near complete control of passengers... it's their own petty bureaucracies they can't control.

  • by Kral_Blbec (1201285) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @10:50PM (#34326718)
    That sounds very logical, and well stated, but the over all gist of it is unfortunately incorrect. Your entire basis is on the claim that the common man is too stupid to understand the complexities of modern society and politics. The truth is rather than they have been told that there is no need to learn it, although they could if they tried. They have also been purposefully lied to and abused by the political leaders so that rather than the average citizen delegating more duty to the government, the government simply assumes control.
    I don't believe that society is such much more complex than in the past that peoples brain's are exploding. I still have faith in the potential of the average person to learn a vast amount more than they currently do. Its just a matter of them actively choosing not to and being told that they don't need to. Sports, movies, fashion etc all take up too much of their time that could and should be spent in more constructive pursuits.
    Pork barrels and earmarks also aren't the result of amateur politicians messing around with something they don't understand. They are the result of professional politicians knowing that they can get away with it because people have become accustomed to it.
  • by MoonBuggy (611105) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @10:53PM (#34326736) Journal

    You don't even need to be up at the front - as I've said many times, until they stop allowing glass on planes (and even the lowly economy customers are trusted with that) I won't believe for a second that they're particularly concerned about blades.

    Not that I'm saying they should be concerned about blades; the threat from terrorism of any kind (in the US, at least) is minimal, and any hijacker nowadays would be taken out by 150 pissed off passengers before they could get anywhere near commandeering the aircraft anyway.

    What I object to is the classic security theatre, pretending there's a threat and then pretending to fix it. At least if they were honest and actually did prevent any possible attack vector, it would be so onerous that it might finally provoke some kind of sizeable backlash against the whole pointless process.

  • by Nefarious Wheel (628136) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @10:56PM (#34326748) Journal

    I suspect that Al-Queda sends an idiot through the airlines once in a while to get caught, just to keep the TSA's attention focused there. Personally I'd be looking at vulnerable civil infrastructure by now, totally ignoring risks to flight - they're covered. That's not going to happen again, they've used that one up.

    But while we're looking at the airports, how safe is our water supply? How disruptive would destroying the civil sewerage system be? Infecting a single beef feedlot? I think it's time to wake up and think about other ways the bastards could get at us.

  • by JohnBailey (1092697) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @10:58PM (#34326754)

    No need to risk being Godwined.

    Look up the Milgram experiment. People will do a hell of a lot more than they usually would that is distasteful to them if an authority figure tells them to. You want to see scary.. look in the mirror.

  • by s0litaire (1205168) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @11:03PM (#34326788)

    it's not "Myth Busted" till we have video evidence of Karri walking through the scanner a few times to test a couple of theories... ^_~

  • by gman003 (1693318) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @11:08PM (#34326828)

    Almost anything will serve as a weapon in a pinch.

    Including, of course, nothing. It's not terribly difficult to kill someone with your bare hands - some muscular strength is needed to do so quickly, but a few months of training in any real martial art will be enough. With proper training and a bit of luck, an unarmed person can even defeat an armed soldier - there's a whole series of techniques in Krav Maga for disarming someone of various weapons.

    And, naturally, the TSA will soon only allow wheelchair-bound passengers aboard. At least until someone develops telekinesis.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @11:17PM (#34326900)

    Fuck ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, and PBS

    When the scanners end up in courts, and your called to jury duty what are you going to do?

  • by NotQuiteReal (608241) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @11:19PM (#34326930) Journal
    I'll bet the moderation field is at least 8-bits, so there should be 256 moderation items. Plenty of room for "spelling error", "grammar error", "I see your point but I disagree", "yes", "no", "too drunk to moderate", and many other.

    Then all the bitching and moaning about moderation could really get wild - what counts up/down, which are neutral, etc.

    Thank me later.
  • by fafaforza (248976) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @11:26PM (#34326970)

    And given that rules are pretty much modeled after what terrorists already tried, they can simply alter their attempts slightly, or come up with some other clever trick, and all the billions that we're spending on the TSA will be completely wasted. So we're completely unprotected, and all the embarrassing stuff people have to go through is for naught.

  • by sjames (1099) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @11:43PM (#34327084) Homepage

    I think it's a strong indicator that there just aren't that many terrorists and they're really not all that interested in blowing up Americans.

    Or perhaps they're worried they might distract the government from destroying the country.

  • by mellon (7048) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @11:50PM (#34327150) Homepage

    This assumes that the cabin crew counts the knives when collecting the refuse. Otherwise, the terrorist can just palm it and wait for everyone else to be disarmed.

  • by Johnny Mnemonic (176043) <mdinsmore.gmail@com> on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @12:15AM (#34327276) Homepage Journal
    Those tests, when performed, regularly fail pretty spectacularly [wikipedia.org]. It doesn't help the argument for TSA effectiveness.
  • by IICV (652597) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @12:28AM (#34327350)

    Maybe we're getting to that point now, but I remember flying out of Seattle circa 2007; I randomly mentioned to someone else who was also going through TSA security that the only reason why we have to take our shoes off is because of some idiot whose plot didn't even work, and wouldn't have worked even if he'd managed to pull it off. The other guy shrugged and said "Well, it makes me feel safer."

    So yeah. People hate flying, but they like how safe taking their shoes off makes them feel.

    People are pretty stupid.

  • by mcrbids (148650) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @01:21AM (#34327622) Journal

    I'm probably going to get modded into oblivion for this, because it sounds "right wing" and that's not a popular opinion. (I'm very much a moderate)

    The problem is that we're looking at airline security in much the same way that Windows users look at computer security - rather than make the system robust and able to handle the threats (EG: strongly enforced permissions model), we try to eliminate the threats (EG: antivirus). This results in a system that's fragile, and the harder we try to "secure" it, the more fragile it becomes!

    That's just dumb.

    Rather than try to eliminate all threats, we should be encouraging people who fly to take measures to defend themselves! Rather than disarm everybody (the overwhelming majority of whom are decent, law-abiding citizens with no desire to hurt anybody) we should be encouraging people to carry small arms! I'd be ok with a few restrictions, such as passing a periodic background check and a firearms safety course - this is, in effect, hardening the system so that in the occasion of a filthy hijacker trying to take over the flight, he/she would be facing a fearful, determined audience of ARMED CITIZENS who wouldn't hesitate to take action to preserve their life and liberty.

    No amount of government intrusion can eliminate all threats, but by giving everybody the ability to address problems when they occur, they'll find that the overwhelming majority of decent people will quickly subdue the insane minority!

    Strangely, this opinion is often very unpopular, even amongst those who are the harshest critics of the TSA. Yet nobody has offered any idea as to why this wouldn't work - this just gets downmodded without comment. As a matter of fact, there are many examples of countries and societies who find that civilization and an armed population in accordance with the rule of law go hand-in-hand.

  • OMG (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sp3d2orbit (81173) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @02:13AM (#34327852)

    "The TSA is ineffective!"

    "The line is now a terrorist target!"

    "This is so invasive!"

    So what you are you going to do about it? That's right. Nothing except whine on the Internet. And vote for Obama in 2012.

    You're all pussies unless you take action.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @03:34AM (#34328232)

    Mod parent up. Why is this funny? With most commercial aviation going to software based control and fly by wire, this is an actual threat. With a few lithium ion batteries and a small make shift EMP you could knock planes out of the sky before people even knew what happened. This is one of many attack vectors that our current security scheme doesn't even attempt to prevent.

  • by quenda (644621) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @03:49AM (#34328300)

    You'll find that you can make a large amount of low yield explosives quite easily using only what's found in duty free.

    Sorry, I cannot. Where are the oxidising chemicals? I cannot find any hydrogen peroxide there. Something else?

    But a detonator is still needed.

    That implies you are talking about high explosives, not simple incendiaries. Easy to say, but my duty -free shop does not carry nitric acid.

  • by llamapater (1542875) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @03:51AM (#34328302)
    nononononono tsa is contained to the airport for now do you really want them everywhere else
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @04:34AM (#34328498)

    There is one single example that proves, beyond ANY shadow of doubt, that the x-ray scans and patdowns are 100% bullshit: The fact that they make the fucking PILOT go through it.

    Really? The PILOT? As in, the guy who is going to actually FLY the airplane!!!

    It makes me want to vomit, seriously. And I used to wonder why people from other countries talked so much shit about America- I always thought it was a combination of misinformation or jealousy, but apparently it's because we're a pack of fucking idiots.

  • by AGMW (594303) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @04:51AM (#34328558) Homepage
    Of course Israel had quite a lot of trouble back in the days when hijacking meant "fly this plane to Beirut!" where ransom demands were made and their response was to publicly claim that all Israeli people were considered "troops" in such situations and at the earliest opportunity the Israeli special forces would storm the plane. This happened once or twice and the hijackers realised they would never succeed. I'm sure some Israeli people were harmed in those stormed planes but the number saved subsequently made it "worth it" for the society, if not the individuals.

    The same is true for current kidnappings and piracy (Somali pirates, etc). If the World could decide that paying off such people was now illegal and special forces would be deployed in all instances there would be some casualties but ultimately it would stop them doing it!
    I would also suggest helping the poor nations could also assist in making piracy a less attractive career prospect.

  • by mcvos (645701) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @05:20AM (#34328686)

    That's nothing. They let me take a glass bottle of duty-free whisky onto the plane. One swing and that jagged glass is a lot scarier than your silly box-cutter or leatherman.

    I asked one of the goons about this seeming paradox, and she said "If I had my way, you wouldn't be able to take that either.". I was tempted to ask her about all the terrorist glassing attacks, but I kinda wanted to get on the flight.

    Of course you have to be able to take bottles of alcohol on the plane. People make a lot of money selling those!

    I'm not just joking either. I'm convinced that security takes a backseat to profit. Harsh, inconvenient, invasive, even ineffective security is perfectly acceptable, as long as it doesn't cut into the profits of commercial interests.

  • by squizzar (1031726) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @08:55AM (#34329982)
    I thought part of the problem was the TSA doing stuff that normally only your wife would do?
  • by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmh@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @09:04AM (#34330034) Journal

    And yet nobody is killed! How interesting!

    Seriously though, I would support giving every adult on a plane a box cutter as a security measure when boarding the aircraft. They don't even need to hand them back in, there can be a bin for you to drop them in as you leave the aircraft, but if you don't, so what? If anyone tries hijacking an aircraft, or blowing one up in an action that requires more than a second of suspicious activity, they'll look like a casualty of an anime action scene in under 3 seconds.

    Aircraft terrorism: solved.

  • by bjk002 (757977) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:06AM (#34331410)

    I would argue that neither yourself, nor the GP quite hit the proverbial nail on the head, though each is squarely swinging the hammer in the proper direction, with the proper velocity.

    I think if you were to accept the notion that we as a species are limited in our ability to comprehend complex subject matter, and adjoin that with the truism that we are becoming increasingly specialized along with increasingly busy, we can arrive at a more perfect truth.

    People are not necessarily, in your words, "actively choosing not to". Nor are they in the GP's words "Cave men beating on a nuclear reactor with rocks to find out what it is.".

    Rather I think that while the capacity to understand exists, the lifestyle most often employed today offers little opportunity to digest the volume of information sufficiently to make informed choices, while simultaneously caring for oneself and one's family/friends.

    To generalize, the western civilizations are largely too busy to keep up with all the needs Maslow has defined. Self-actualization is taking a back seat to the lower order needs. This is understandable to a degree, but no less troublesome.

    Society is going to have to evolve in such a way so as to allow the individual(s) to provide for all lower order needs and ALSO attain self-actualization for there to be any real solution to the problem we all see as at the root of our current troubles.

    Do I have a practical answer? No, not really. But I would offer that less work time, more incentive to continuous learning, and ensuring that the work level contributed, and subsequent compensation for, is adequately addressing the low order needs for the individual(s) is where the solution for this deficit is going to need to spring from.

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