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(Popular Mechanics)   The U.S. has spent billions on security, and millions of people suffer delays and humiliation at TSA checkpoints, yet our skies remain less than fully safe. We can do better. Here's how   (popularmechanics.com) divider line 57
    More: Interesting, TSA, United States, Homeland Security, plastic explosives, TSA checkpoints, Newark Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport  
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10830 clicks; posted to Main » on 09 Nov 2012 at 11:40 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-09 11:42:32 AM  
upload.wikimedia.org
 
2012-11-09 11:43:07 AM  
Accept that nothing can be made 100% safe, go back to reasonable screening that doesn't violate the Fourth Amendment, accept that giving up fundamental liberties to gain an illusion of safety is un-American, and work to educate Americans on basic math and risk assessment? Is that what the article says?
 
2012-11-09 11:44:23 AM  
Be Israel.
 
2012-11-09 11:44:50 AM  
How to fix get rid of the TSA
 
2012-11-09 11:46:34 AM  
Better solution.
www.asia.ru
 
2012-11-09 11:47:10 AM  
Peace?
 
2012-11-09 11:48:07 AM  
Obligatory (might be NSFW)
 
2012-11-09 11:48:13 AM  

Deep Contact: Better solution.
[www.asia.ru image 400x400]


BEST Solution...

drosiba.pudele.com
 
2012-11-09 11:49:10 AM  
The fact thousands of lbs of drugs are flown in each day from South America should be a clue.
 
2012-11-09 11:50:27 AM  
Any minute now Jaws_Victim will be along to instruct us all once again how the TSA is the first, last, and only line of defense keeping the travelling public safe from a fiery, explody death in the skies.

Aaaaaaannnnny minute now...
 
2012-11-09 11:50:59 AM  
Well, do you want to be safe or just fairly safe?

Go read the TSA blog and see what isn't getting through.

If you want total safety in commercial air travel there would be a locker room portion where everyone has to strip, shower, x-ray, and wear disposable garmits and no carry ons. I know this is a step away from Bacon & a Kiss Air, but it's one variety of extreme security.

Actually, the strip-shower-scan routine would also make for good security if you were dealing with secret info.
 
2012-11-09 11:51:59 AM  

ChipNASA: Be Israel.


I'm not sure that reducing our number of international airports by 99.8% and vastly increasing the number of TSA "behavior detection officers" is really feasible.

If anything, the best approach would be to make every day "bat day" on each flight. Just like ballparks that occasionally give away free bats. Each person gets a big wooden bat before they board the airplane. Now, I know what you're going to say, maybe a terrorist gets a bat, and now he can use that to take over the airplane and beat his way into the cockpit. Ah, but here's the clever bit. You see, everyone else has got a bat. Abdul binUlulating is going to smack one, maybe two folks tops before he gets beat into the consistency of a thin gruel by the rest of the passengers. At the other end of the flight, everyone gives up their bats, they're cleaned and used for the next flight, just like blankets. First class passengers can get shiny aluminum ones with the airline's livery stamped on them.
 
2012-11-09 11:52:14 AM  
Thank you Republicans for this giant, ineffective agency.
 
2012-11-09 11:54:06 AM  
The data-based solution has a problem. If you were trying to get someone on a plane without going through the extra checks, you just have them fly a couple of times (without anything untoward in their luggage), or apply for the "good citizen" ID. If they aren't checked, then they're safe to bring the bomb/knife/drugs/whatever with them.

You need either complete searches (logistically impossible) or some randomness in your system to make sure that the 'bad guys' can never be certain that they'll be able to bring their material on-board. And if you have randomness, you'll have some 90-year-old grandmothers' wheelchairs searched.

This article isn't a suggestion for better security. It's a suggestion for a way for certain demographic groups to fly with less hassle.
 
2012-11-09 11:54:57 AM  
Fire the TSA? Let's be realistic, if someone is truly diehard enough to commit an atrocious act while in the air, they will find a way. I am sick of the invasions of privacy slowly eating into this country and justified with "to keep you safe".

/steps off soapbox

The last time that I flew I had to go through the bodyscanner. I had my cat with me as a carry-on (I rescued him from my ex - long story and I am sure that no one here really cares), my laptop, and made the unfortunate decision to wear a belt and most of my "normal" jewelry. The amount of time that it took me to remove my shoes, open the laptop bag, remove my belt, watch, rings, and cell phone, sort them into three (maybe four) separate bins, fuddle with my cane, and then gather everything was ridiculous.

I'll just start flying nude with only my laptop for a carry-on. Would certainly make airplane trips more entertaining.
 
2012-11-09 11:55:30 AM  

Prank Call of Cthulhu: ChipNASA: Be Israel.

I'm not sure that reducing our number of international airports by 99.8% and vastly increasing the number of TSA "behavior detection officers" is really feasible.

If anything, the best approach would be to make every day "bat day" on each flight. Just like ballparks that occasionally give away free bats. Each person gets a big wooden bat before they board the airplane. Now, I know what you're going to say, maybe a terrorist gets a bat, and now he can use that to take over the airplane and beat his way into the cockpit. Ah, but here's the clever bit. You see, everyone else has got a bat. Abdul binUlulating is going to smack one, maybe two folks tops before he gets beat into the consistency of a thin gruel by the rest of the passengers. At the other end of the flight, everyone gives up their bats, they're cleaned and used for the next flight, just like blankets. First class passengers can get shiny aluminum ones with the airline's livery stamped on them.


Mr. Swift, I salute you
 
2012-11-09 11:55:52 AM  
FTFA: A better idea: The TSA should come up with a true vetting system modeled on the Customs and Border Protection's Global Entry program, which allows citizens and permanent residents who clear background checks and pay a $100 fee, good for five years, to bypass immigration and customs lines. Members must also have an in-person interview and get fingerprinted. The TSA program would be voluntary, which would placate some privacy watchdogs. And, unlike PreCheck, which has been criticized for inconsistency, this system would be a more predictable way to move proved, low-risk travelers through security.

One of my clients travels to Europe twice a month and is a participant of the Global Entry program, I travel to Europe twice a year with him and I have to say if I were a regular international traveler I would be a participant, he is through customs and on his way home before I even see an agent. Why can't the TSA use the system for frequent travelers?
 
2012-11-09 11:56:04 AM  

Prank Call of Cthulhu: If anything, the best approach would be to make every day "bat day" on each flight. Just like ballparks that occasionally give away free bats. Each person gets a big wooden bat before they board the airplane. Now, I know what you're going to say, maybe a terrorist gets a bat, and now he can use that to take over the airplane and beat his way into the cockpit. Ah, but here's the clever bit. You see, everyone else has got a bat. Abdul binUlulating is going to smack one, maybe two folks tops before he gets beat into the consistency of a thin gruel by the rest of the passengers. At the other end of the flight, everyone gives up their bats, they're cleaned and used for the next flight, just like blankets. First class passengers can get shiny aluminum ones with the airline's livery stamped on them.


But you'll no longer be able to fly south in March.
 
2012-11-09 11:58:05 AM  
 
2012-11-09 11:58:12 AM  
"Prior to 9/11, airlines were responsible for security in civil aviation and relied on private contractors who often used minimum wage, minimally trained employees to screen passengers and carry-on luggage. The TSA took control of all airport checkpoints in late 2002, who use minimum wage, minimally trained employees to screen passengers and carry-on luggage."
 
2012-11-09 11:59:09 AM  

Anastacya: Fire the TSA? Let's be realistic, if someone is truly diehard enough to commit an atrocious act while in the air, they will find a way. I am sick of the invasions of privacy slowly eating into this country and justified with "to keep you safe".

/steps off soapbox

The last time that I flew I had to go through the bodyscanner. I had my cat with me as a carry-on (I rescued him from my ex - long story and I am sure that no one here really cares), my laptop, and made the unfortunate decision to wear a belt and most of my "normal" jewelry. The amount of time that it took me to remove my shoes, open the laptop bag, remove my belt, watch, rings, and cell phone, sort them into three (maybe four) separate bins, fuddle with my cane, and then gather everything was ridiculous.

I'll just start flying nude with only my laptop for a carry-on. Would certainly make airplane trips more entertaining.


I care.
 
2012-11-09 11:59:32 AM  
Prank Call of Cthulhu: Accept that nothing can be made 100% safe, go back to reasonable screening that doesn't violate the Fourth Amendment, accept that giving up fundamental liberties to gain an illusion of safety is un-American, and work to educate Americans on basic math and risk assessment?

This. OR just ban civilian aircraft. But this pathetic middle ground is merely anti-American.

The entire methodology of terrorism is to make the enemy overreact. Everything we've done as official policy since 9/11 has been pure chumpery. Our leaders are essentially in alliance with the terrorists, for their own gain. And every citizen that goes along with it is effectively working with the terrorists.

The only way to win against terrorism is to refuse to be terrified. Everything else is, at best, a draw.
 
2012-11-09 12:03:40 PM  
Norm Macdonald did a funny stand up bit about how the odds of a terrorist attacking you and killing you are tiny in comparison to the odds of your own heart attacking you and killing you, yet the amount of money the US government spends on medical research for heart attacks is tiny compared to the amount of money spent on the war on terror.
 
2012-11-09 12:04:38 PM  
Low Passage. No one has ever hijacked a plane while in suspended animation.

i208.photobucket.com
 
2012-11-09 12:05:08 PM  
*sigh*

The TSA represents all that is wrong in the world. Seriously.

I dunno if you this is common knowledge on Fark but the boarding passes you can print online from your home computer? Yeah - they have a barcode that stores unencrypted data. Anyone with a barcode reader and a printer can change it. And guess what? That whole 'No-fly' list? It's just a bit on the end. Want to change it? It'll take 10 minutes and cheap, readily available equipment.

This is the level of security you can get with EIGHT BILLION DOLLARS.

So, if it costs 8 billion to get no real security benefit - how much more would you have to spend to get a benefit? A whole hell of a lot more, that's for sure. But I'm sure the TSA execs earning an average of 103k per year (plus benefits out the yin-yang) see that as an opportunity for increased funding, not an absolute failure.

Crap like that what you'd expect from a student doing a project for his first IT security class. And he'd end up losing points for it.
 
2012-11-09 12:06:54 PM  

ChipNASA: Deep Contact: Better solution.
[www.asia.ru image 400x400]

BEST Solution...

[drosiba.pudele.com image 531x394]


No it's not. The fat, hairy, smelly guy across the aisle from me always gets up first. Think head levels and groin levels... Or think about falling asleep on the plane and the same guy next to you needs to go to the bathroom and doesn't want to disturb you ... then turbulence....
 
2012-11-09 12:07:21 PM  
Here's how.

Let Saudia Arabia know they will be nuked into oblivion the next plane that gets farked with. Let them know a crazy man with his itchy finger is aching to do it. Maybe Pat Robertson jacked up on Draino and bath salts.

Game over.
 
2012-11-09 12:08:58 PM  
To make flying more safe we should lock the cockpit door so only pilots can get in and out. The Clinton administration recommended that 15 years ago.

Oh, wait, we already did that.
 
2012-11-09 12:09:32 PM  

Prank Call of Cthulhu: ChipNASA: Be Israel.

I'm not sure that reducing our number of international airports by 99.8% and vastly increasing the number of TSA "behavior detection officers" is really feasible.

If anything, the best approach would be to make every day "bat day" on each flight. Just like ballparks that occasionally give away free bats. Each person gets a big wooden bat before they board the airplane. Now, I know what you're going to say, maybe a terrorist gets a bat, and now he can use that to take over the airplane and beat his way into the cockpit. Ah, but here's the clever bit. You see, everyone else has got a bat. Abdul binUlulating is going to smack one, maybe two folks tops before he gets beat into the consistency of a thin gruel by the rest of the passengers. At the other end of the flight, everyone gives up their bats, they're cleaned and used for the next flight, just like blankets. First class passengers can get shiny aluminum ones with the airline's livery stamped on them.


Run for President on this platform and you'll enjoy eight rent free years in DC, and a lifetime of adoration and acclaim.
 
2012-11-09 12:10:18 PM  
What if instead of all those hundreds of millions of dollars TSA spent on minimum-wage staff and body scanners, and instead invested it in cockpit door locks and properly trained sky marshals?

Oh wait, then we wouldn't have enough security theater.
 
2012-11-09 12:10:48 PM  

They've already done one suggestion in the article


And there's another one that's privately run that I can't remember the name. Never saw or heard of them before we went through the security line in the Denver Airport where they had entrances for both...
 
2012-11-09 12:11:00 PM  

JackieRabbit: "Prior to 9/11, airlines were responsible for security in civil aviation and relied on private contractors who often used minimum wage, minimally trained employees to screen passengers and carry-on luggage. The TSA took control of all airport checkpoints in late 2002, who use minimum wage, minimally trained employees to screen passengers and carry-on luggage."


At least they are minimum wage, minimally trained employees who speak English.

/still worthless
 
2012-11-09 12:13:18 PM  
Wait, the experts disassembled a printer with a cellphone attached to the cartridge but didn't find a bomb? Just how does that work?
 
2012-11-09 12:14:06 PM  

wildcardjack: Well, do you want to be safe or just fairly safe?

Go read the TSA blog and see what isn't getting through.

If you want total safety in commercial air travel there would be a locker room portion where everyone has to strip, shower, x-ray, and wear disposable garmits and no carry ons. I know this is a step away from Bacon & a Kiss Air, but it's one variety of extreme security.

Actually, the strip-shower-scan routine would also make for good security if you were dealing with secret info.


The "shower" part sounds good if you've ever spent six hours in an economy-class seat next to someone who desperately needs one.
 
2012-11-09 12:14:24 PM  

please: Thank you Republicans for this giant, ineffective agency.


You're like the kid that thanks Santa Claus for his Christmas present. So cute and naive.

Wanna go look back at the legislative record to see who wrote up the bills that made the TSA? Here's a hint, many of them are still in elected office.
 
2012-11-09 12:15:05 PM  

dcigary: They've already done one suggestion in the article. 

And there's another one that's privately run that I can't remember the name. Never saw or heard of them before we went through the security line in the Denver Airport where they had entrances for both...


They have one in Orlando called Clear. AFAIK, it's a privately-run pre-screening service.
 
2012-11-09 12:20:08 PM  
Sure, first admit terrorism is a hoax.
 
2012-11-09 12:20:54 PM  
An unidentified woman set off a machine designed to detect minute traces of dangerous substances such as pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN), a component of plastic explosives. Was it a false positive? Or was the incident something more sinister-a test run, perhaps, for a future suicide bomber?

Fun fact: PETN is also used as a prescription medicine. It's a vasodilator, similar to nitroglycerine (which is also an explosive). So it's entirely possible that she had traces of PETN on her hands, for reasons that are totally legitimate.
 
2012-11-09 12:22:16 PM  
 
2012-11-09 12:23:15 PM  

please: Thank you Republicans for this giant, ineffective agency.


Haven't seen it change much over the last four years. Who owns it now?
 
2012-11-09 12:25:37 PM  

RandomAxe: Prank Call of Cthulhu: Accept that nothing can be made 100% safe, go back to reasonable screening that doesn't violate the Fourth Amendment, accept that giving up fundamental liberties to gain an illusion of safety is un-American, and work to educate Americans on basic math and risk assessment?

This. OR just ban civilian aircraft. But this pathetic middle ground is merely anti-American.

The entire methodology of terrorism is to make the enemy overreact. Everything we've done as official policy since 9/11 has been pure chumpery. Our leaders are essentially in alliance with the terrorists, for their own gain. And every citizen that goes along with it is effectively working with the terrorists.

The only way to win against terrorism is to refuse to be terrified. Everything else is, at best, a draw.


The problem is that "our leaders" tend to be cut from identical cloth as the CEOs and investors of the organizations that provide the "security", that is, extremely wealthy and distanced from most "non-wealthy" people. The upshot is that the morals of our so-called "leaders" extend only to their peers, not you and me (although they pay lip-service especially at election time). We see it as bribery; they see it as a "moral obligation" to keep people like themselves in business. It's almost like their brains are wired differently.
 
2012-11-09 12:28:23 PM  

Anastacya: I had my cat with me as a carry-on (I rescued him from my ex - long story and I am sure that no one here really cares)


Post the story in a Caturday thread along with a pic of the cat. You might be surprised how many people care.
 
2012-11-09 12:30:42 PM  
We can do better. Here's how: Recognize that nothing can ever be fully safe. Use science and technology rather than "security theatre".
 
2012-11-09 12:33:25 PM  
But, but, but... the TSA is a shining example of governmental efficiency that could never be matched by private industry! Just like the Post Office! We should have TSA checkpoints in every airport, bus station, and private garage! Protect me, Uncle Sam!!

Seriously, as much as I despise our current president, I just might vote to give him a third term if he managed to disband this utter waste of taxpayer dollars (and not replace it with something worse).
 
2012-11-09 12:34:17 PM  
The Fix: Cawk punch anyone supporting or in the TSA and abolish it.

What kind of pussie nation is this?
 
2012-11-09 12:47:46 PM  
Well, unfortunately, in this part of the world politics trumps pragmatism every time.
 
2012-11-09 12:52:08 PM  

MaliFinn: Low Passage. No one has ever hijacked a plane while in suspended animation.

[i208.photobucket.com image 320x163]


One guy was certainly planning to...
25.media.tumblr.com 
/picture of the arrest
 
2012-11-09 12:55:36 PM  

Anastacya: Fire the TSA? Let's be realistic, if someone is truly diehard enough to commit an atrocious act while in the air, they will find a way. I am sick of the invasions of privacy slowly eating into this country and justified with "to keep you safe".

/steps off soapbox

The last time that I flew I had to go through the bodyscanner. I had my cat with me as a carry-on (I rescued him from my ex - long story and I am sure that no one here really cares), my laptop, and made the unfortunate decision to wear a belt and most of my "normal" jewelry. The amount of time that it took me to remove my shoes, open the laptop bag, remove my belt, watch, rings, and cell phone, sort them into three (maybe four) separate bins, fuddle with my cane, and then gather everything was ridiculous.

I'll just start flying nude with only my laptop for a carry-on. Would certainly make airplane trips more entertaining.


Why did you wear a belt and all that jewelry if you knew you had to go through security with a cat?
 
2012-11-09 01:23:53 PM  
...$100 fee. I see, now you have to BUY your dignity.
 
2012-11-09 01:33:03 PM  
"A recent Gallup Poll showed that although slightly more than half of Americans approve of the agency's handling of security screening"

I'd be curious to see the breakdown of the percentage of those people who approve of the TSA that actually fly more than once a year.
 
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