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(Forbes)   Private security contractors process 65% more passengers, three times better at finding contraband than TSA, cost less - "federalize/professionalize," indeed   (forbes.com) divider line
    More: Ironic, security contractors, TSA  
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6715 clicks; posted to Main » on 05 Sep 2012 at 11:35 PM (8 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2012-09-06 1:49:48 AM  
oh you mean defederalize/privatize the TSA? You mean, make it like it was before 9/11?

so lemme get this straight: the same republican assholes who expanded the Federal Govt enormously "to keep us safe" and MADE THESE DUMBASSES FEDERAL EMPLOYEES IN THE FIRST PLACE are now back pedalling and saying "its more efficient! free market! Hurrrr!"

how short the attention span of some people.

as a frequent traveller i hate the TSA as much if not more than most and would welcome this. its very ironic to me however that the people in this article who are advocating it the most are the same assholes who got us into this in the first place.
 
2012-09-06 1:51:16 AM  
U.S. Government being less efficient at something??? Well I'm shocked.
 
2012-09-06 1:54:53 AM  

Jaws_Victim: Caradoc: Jaws_Victim: But now we don't need security because passengers are more aware, is that what you're saying?

Hardly. I'm saying that if people want security, the TSA isn't the agency to provide it.

I'd add that I'd fly today going through the same security protocols that were in place on 9/10/2001.

What do you think about the estimated 70% of the guns, knives, and other "prohibited items" the TSA currently misses? If you believe the TSA's spokesholes, planes should be falling out of the sky several times a day for all of the items they regularly miss.

And even if one believes in the "deterrent effect" the TSA claims, with higher payoff in moral outrage?

Depends on the people involved. The 70% miss rate is a failure of policy or training and can be brought down lower with more training. I can't defend it, it's an embarassment. But what I am glad at what is caught.

So you'd be fine flying with lower quality workers, training, and policies, the same kind that allowed bombs onto planes and guns that allowed hijackings? Because that happened with those exact policies you would fly under.


Yes
 
2012-09-06 1:58:15 AM  

Father_Jack: oh you mean defederalize/privatize the TSA? You mean, make it like it was before 9/11?

so lemme get this straight: the same republican assholes who expanded the Federal Govt enormously "to keep us safe" and MADE THESE DUMBASSES FEDERAL EMPLOYEES IN THE FIRST PLACE are now back pedalling and saying "its more efficient! free market! Hurrrr!"

how short the attention span of some people.

as a frequent traveller i hate the TSA as much if not more than most and would welcome this. its very ironic to me however that the people in this article who are advocating it the most are the same assholes who got us into this in the first place.


TSA and DHS were pretty much bi-partisan efforts, but I'll let you get back to your regularly scheduled rant.
 
2012-09-06 1:59:14 AM  

eurotrader: Union bosses


DRINK!
 
2012-09-06 2:00:26 AM  

Jaws_Victim:

So you'd be fine flying with lower quality workers, training, and policies, the same kind that allowed bombs onto planes and guns that allowed hijackings? Because that happened with those exact policies you would fly under.


Before 9/11 there were exactly two instances when domestic flights were bombed: the first was a Denver man who put a bomb in his mother's luggage to kill her. The other was a flight that was bombed so the bomber could cash in on flight insurance policies.

There were a handful of hijackings in the 1970's, mostly to Cuba and at least one for ransom (DB Cooper), but they were hardly daily occurences.

To put those numbers in perspective, there are about 100 flights that arrive and depart everyday from my little home airport without incident aside from the normal fark ups at ORD. Turrists blowing me out of the sky as I take off from Dane County (Madison WI) Regional Airport is just not something I worry about
 
2012-09-06 2:01:13 AM  

Sean M: //those friends would be absolutely pissed if they knew their deaths were cited for The War Against Terror.
/// T.W.A.T. is about as effective as the War on Drugs has been too.


You assume that the War on Terra is about terror, and the War on Civil Liberties is about drugs
 
2012-09-06 2:08:31 AM  
I seem to recall private companies were in charge of security at Logan Int'l.

911-remember.comView Full Size


That worked out well, didn't it.

Yay Free Market.
 
2012-09-06 2:10:37 AM  
government creates a job.
government does ok to start, then gets bloated and lazy.
private sector takes over for and does the same things, but better for cheaper.

/tis the cycle
 
2012-09-06 2:19:13 AM  

Insatiable Jesus: I seem to recall private companies were in charge of security at Logan Int'l.


What exactly do you think the private security at Logan failed to do that would have prevented 9/11?
 
2012-09-06 2:22:22 AM  

HiFiGuy: Don't forget "C) forbidding box cutters."


Irrelevant. People are still getting them through the TSA and onto aircraft by accident.
 
2012-09-06 2:28:02 AM  

Caradoc: Insatiable Jesus: I seem to recall private companies were in charge of security at Logan Int'l.

What exactly do you think the private security at Logan failed to do that would have prevented 9/11?


ICTS International N.V. was founded in 1982 by a select group of security experts, former military commanding officers and veterans of government intelligence and security agencies."

So, what do we know about Atzmon? In 1988 Ehud Olmert, as co-treasurer of the Likud Party, was implicated in a financial scandal involving forged receipts for donations to the 1988 Likud campaign. This scandal culminated in a March 1996 conviction of three Likud Party officials
including Menachem Atzmon, the Likud Party treasurer.

Also...

Atzmon's company purchased Huntleigh Corporation in 1999
( [link to www.icts-int.com] which is the ICTS subsidiary that provided security at Logan Int'l Airport, Newark Airport, and Dulles -- all three were originating locations of the 911 hijackers. His ICTS also provides security at De Galle airport in Paris, which is where Richard Reed, the shoe bomber, originated from.
And now we know his company also provided security at the Amsterdam airport where our underwear bomber originated from. Additionally, in 1999, Detroit airport abruptly canceled its security contract with Argenbright Security Inc. and replaced it with Huntleigh, Atzmon's
company.

Following 911, victims of the attack sought to sue his subsidiary Huntleigh Corporation, but the Patriot Act granted immunity to interntional security firms that may have been found liable in court.


Nothing, they did their jobs perfectly.
 
2012-09-06 2:42:16 AM  

Insatiable Jesus: I seem to recall private companies were in charge of security at Logan Int'l.

[www.911-remember.com image 190x235]

That worked out well, didn't it.

Yay Free Market.


what was carried on the planes were perfectly legal at the time. it would not matter who was handling security---if the rules said you could carry on a utility knife, it was ok. i used to carry a swiss army knife all the time--had a longer blade than a utility knife.
 
2012-09-06 2:42:42 AM  

Dr. Goldshnoz: Cherry picked data or not its funny to watch you guys vehemently rush to the defense of the security theater called TSA.
TSA apologists assemble!

/dnrtfa
//tsa IS a theater.


Tsa sucks and I'd just as soon scrap the whole damn thing.

But the numbers cited here are misleading at best.
 
2012-09-06 2:45:36 AM  

Outlaw2097: government creates a job.
government does ok to start, then gets bloated and lazy.
private sector takes over for and does the same things, but better for cheaper.

/tis the cycle


No, it won't. The airlines were granted the right to kick the TSA out and hire their own inspectors to do the same job- YEARS ago.

But you know what? NO ONE took them up on it. Because it's corporate suicide. The types of searches mandated just have an incredibly high risk of causing an apocalyptic PR nightmare, every single day. Maybe there will be 65% FEWER stupid incidents where Southwest Airline's private security mistakenly demands grandma remove her diaper or whatever- but it will STILL happen.

A single incident like that could force an airline under, but you can pretty much expect such an atrocity to make it into the papers about once a month (even if untrue- the "forced diaper removal" thing, IIRC the TSA said they never made such a demand and it was a misunderstanding, I couldn't say). Hell, once you have Southwest hiring their own security, even the routine stuff like making people throw out liquids- and they have no discretion on this- they'll still suddenly become the target for all the hate over it.

And also AFAIK TSA enjoys a degree of Sovereign Immunity- as a government entity, it is very difficult to sue them. A private company won't, nor will the airline which hired them. So you can pretty much prepare for a fire hose of lawsuits, both for shiat that really happened and people just making shiat up to make a buck off the airline.
 
2012-09-06 3:24:36 AM  

thomps: feckingmorons: thomps: feckingmorons: Farkers are actually sticking up for the TSA? Geez you people are devoted to your big government cause.

both GAT and i have said that the TSA has issues, but that efficiency savings number (aka the subject of tfa) is 100% horsesh*t.

So show your work.

yeah i'll get right on gathering the data and building a statistical model for you. should only take 15 minutes or so, but until then you can consider yourself the winner of the thread.


i46.tinypic.com

i49.tinypic.comView Full Size
 
2012-09-06 3:25:34 AM  
._.

i liked the old 2-step commenting better.

/pretend the second pic was a rimshot
 
2012-09-06 3:34:57 AM  
TSA, private company, walmart, y'all can touch my fine sexy ass any time it don't matter.

encrypted-tbn1.google.com

I don't know why the govment gotta be fightin' over all of us!
 
2012-09-06 4:20:41 AM  

GAT_00: That didn't take long to find a contradiction.


Well, I'm sure the part-timers receive the same pay and benefits they would if they worked part time for the TSA. It's just that there's a lot fewer part timers in the TSA. There are plenty of people for whom part time works out - a parent when his/her kids are in school, for example.

Fark It: If we want to keep the TSA federalized we should replace them with the military. It would be a decent bridge for returning veterans to unwind and adjust. They could interface with the public and work on education or seeking other work while being closely monitored (in the case of combat veterans). And the rank and file are actually held accountable.


It's an interesting idea. From what I've heard about ex-military and the TSA, you'd have to fire 90% of the management first. An E-3 with 2 years in is trusted with more responsibilities and initiative than many 10 year TSA agents, much less a 4 year E-4/5. They wouldn't stand for it. On the positive side you would have a higher ability to arm them and actually trust them with their weapons to provide actual security. 

Military is indeed a higher level of personnel. However, they're not, by default, personnel effective or cheap.
 
2012-09-06 4:22:24 AM  

Firethorn: Military is indeed a higher level of personnel. However, they're not, by default, personnel effective or cheap.


Oops, what I meant by that isn't that they won't be effective, it's just that they aren't miserly on the manhours, and they expect decent wages and excellent benefits.
 
2012-09-06 6:10:53 AM  
Privatize? Are you farking kidding me? Private companies can basically do whatever the fark they like to whomever they like? Company policies on racial profiling, no fly lists, etc.? Trade secrets, sorry can't disclose that information.

Flying in America is already the pits. My feeling is the TSA was built to fail. The mass amount of awful stories constantly reinforcing the fact that they suck. People would then prefer a private company. Of course, with privatization there are consequences. Accountability, transparency, etc.

This whole thing smells rotten. Either way, though, we're farked. Or, at the very least, groped. With naked x-ray photos as parting gifts. Yay!
 
2012-09-06 7:00:34 AM  

NFA: The TSA WAS run by contractors. It was a total cluster fark. The companies brought in minimum wage clowns who were sleeping on the job, doing drugs, stealing from passengers and generally not doing anything at resembled security. A person would show up for an interview and literally the next day be screening passengers with no training and being paid less than $10 per hour.

The goal of government contractor is to make as much profit as possible while raping the tax payer and providing as little service as possible. At least with the federal TSA, the workers are paid a living wage and spend that money in their communities.

Attempting to rewrite history won't solve the problem.


Unfortunately nothing else has changed. More money for nothing.
 
2012-09-06 7:58:57 AM  

Britney Spear's Speculum: Cool. So why did Bush federalize them again?


Because the wife of the Senate Majority Leader was a lead lobbyist for the airline industry.
 
2012-09-06 8:26:59 AM  
Fark needs a PROPAGANDA tag.
 
2012-09-06 8:48:43 AM  

Insatiable Jesus: I seem to recall private companies were in charge of security at Logan Int'l.

[www.911-remember.com image 190x235]

That worked out well, didn't it.

Yay Free Market.


*shakes tiny fist*

Yup, Private Screeners are da bomb...
 
2012-09-06 9:12:11 AM  

Insatiable Jesus: all three were originating locations of the 911 hijackers


I see. You believe that private security deliberately allowed the 9/11 hijackers through so as to insure the destruction of the company they work for? Is that it?

What *exactly* do you think the screeners at Logan failed to do on 9/11? Be specific. Do you think they failed to stop some item or another from getting through the checkpoint?
 
2012-09-06 9:13:14 AM  

Jaws_Victim: Odds are also good that a great many Americans do drugs and other illegal things despite strict laws banning them from doing so. Are you saying we should do away with laws regarding drugs, murder, and car jackings because we can't stop them from happening 100%?


I'm saying we should do away with victimless crimes. It's not that I *want* a person to carry a gun on a plane, it's that I don't care whether or not they do.
 
2012-09-06 9:18:57 AM  

Oznog: Outlaw2097: government creates a job.
government does ok to start, then gets bloated and lazy.
private sector takes over for and does the same things, but better for cheaper.

/tis the cycle

No, it won't. The airlines were granted the right to kick the TSA out and hire their own inspectors to do the same job- YEARS ago.

But you know what? NO ONE took them up on it. Because it's corporate suicide. The types of searches mandated just have an incredibly high risk of causing an apocalyptic PR nightmare, every single day. Maybe there will be 65% FEWER stupid incidents where Southwest Airline's private security mistakenly demands grandma remove her diaper or whatever- but it will STILL happen.

A single incident like that could force an airline under, but you can pretty much expect such an atrocity to make it into the papers about once a month (even if untrue- the "forced diaper removal" thing, IIRC the TSA said they never made such a demand and it was a misunderstanding, I couldn't say). Hell, once you have Southwest hiring their own security, even the routine stuff like making people throw out liquids- and they have no discretion on this- they'll still suddenly become the target for all the hate over it.

And also AFAIK TSA enjoys a degree of Sovereign Immunity- as a government entity, it is very difficult to sue them. A private company won't, nor will the airline which hired them. So you can pretty much prepare for a fire hose of lawsuits, both for shiat that really happened and people just making shiat up to make a buck off the airline.


The airlines were not granted shiat. A program that allowed private security was in place for a few years until the TSA stopped allowing applications, and it took 2 major committee reviews and a lot of sabre rattling for them to begin to allow it again.
 
2012-09-06 9:31:33 AM  
Contractors: The $600 hammer of the rest of the government.
 
2012-09-06 9:52:23 AM  

NFA: The TSA WAS run by contractors. It was a total cluster fark. The companies brought in minimum wage clowns who were sleeping on the job, doing drugs, stealing from passengers and generally not doing anything at resembled security. A person would show up for an interview and literally the next day be screening passengers with no training and being paid less than $10 per hour.


I remember it well. I didn't actually go and do it (largely because I didn't have a car at the time, so preferred campus jobs), but pre-9/11 several of my college dormmates did it. They'd go screen passengers for the 5-8 AM flights (a busy time at a non-hub airport). The dormmates who flung boxes overnight at UPS got a lot more training and were paid about the same. By all accounts, it was run like a poorly-managed Wendy's.

That said, the private contract airports in the TSA era are supposed to be following the same hiring, training, QA, etc procedures as the real-TSA-TSA staff.
 
2012-09-06 10:34:17 AM  

Arthen: Fark needs a PROPAGANDA tag.


Really.
Here's a thought. How about resotring the First and Fourth amendment rights to the American citizens?
/Treasonous bastards.
 
2012-09-06 10:35:11 AM  

Sliding Carp:
I was wondering if anyone else was old enough to remember this. When the government took over screening, it was a HUGE step up in professionalism. The entire commercial flight experience is pretty horrible now, from start to finish, but bringing those people back into the mix really won't help.


Now there is a load of industrial grade horseshiat.

I know TSA employees and even they think the entire TSA system is just a big, expensive joke at our expense.
 
2012-09-06 10:40:03 AM  
Really the best thing to do with the TSA and airports in general would be to remove all police powers. Make the TSA professionals who have set guidelines, but remove their ability to have a tin god complex and the airport authority's ability to have a tame police force (as many airports have their own PD). The airport can contract with the local city/county (or even state if they want) to get X number of LEOs on the grounds at all times.

So any arrest action or the like is performed by the federal air marshals or the local cops. I like the idea of the local fuzz handling all of it since they're more answerable and the local fuzz can't transfer some officer who screwed up halfway across the country to a new screening job. Basically let the TSA have their union and government jobs, but make it so they're watched by the local police. Kind of like how the Amtrak cops were able to go tell the VIPR teams to stop annoying the passengers and GTFO. I'd like to a setup where the local LEOs can walk over and go "For farks sake, stop patting down the toddler and let the family through before we haul you in for feeling up a minor".
 
2012-09-06 10:50:40 AM  

bmwericus: Sliding Carp:
I was wondering if anyone else was old enough to remember this. When the government took over screening, it was a HUGE step up in professionalism. The entire commercial flight experience is pretty horrible now, from start to finish, but bringing those people back into the mix really won't help.

Now there is a load of industrial grade horseshiat.

I know TSA employees and even they think the entire TSA system is just a big, expensive joke at our expense.


Fun story, I was bit by a TSA dog. During the North American International Autoshow the TSA deployed a bunch of security teams to cover the People Mover (light rail) and the convention center. I walked onto the platform of the Greektown stop and the TSA dog lunged at me, trying to get the pizza box I had in my hand (he wanted the food). I jerked my hand and it ended up with him nipping my thigh. Drew blood and everything. The handler was going to get onto the People Mover and just move on until a pair of Detroit cops stopped her. Ended up as a big scene.

The cops stopped her and called a paramedic to have me checked out. The handler radios her guys and three fat, bald, guys dressed like SEAL TEAM 6 and covered in "TSA" and "VIPR" logos arrive. They start yelling at the cops how the dog needs to proceed to the next stop sniff there and the cops are responding that they don't want the dog in their mass transit because its biting people and yelling at the handler how you don't just wander off after your police dog bites someone. A senior Detroit police officer shows up and the how thing devolves into a territorial pissing match. At some point the TSA agents do realize the crowd is firmly on the side of Detroit PD and Detroit has the numbers advantage as two more cruisers have arrived, so they slink off.

The dog had barely broken the skin, so it was no big deal on my end, but the fact the sniffer dogs are lunging for pizza and not under control by their handlers shows what kind of clowns VIPR is deploying. The only people who ever apologized where the Detroit cops, who also made it clear that VIPR had been forced upon them.

/also the year before when we had no VIPR, the People Mover didn't have half hour long lines. VIPR took it upon themselves to direct traffic at the Cobo and it took 30 minutes to get through a station at one point on opening weekend of NAIAS
//I've had a much better experience with airport security guys to be honest, VIPR is the real clownshow
 
2012-09-06 12:30:50 PM  
Security Theater is gayer than Broadway.
 
2012-09-06 12:41:52 PM  

ha-ha-guy: I walked onto the platform of the Greektown stop and the TSA dog lunged at me, trying to get the pizza box I had in my hand (he wanted the food).


Are you sure it was the food? The dog wasn't going after a job posting on the pizza box?

media.bonnint.netView Full Size
 
2012-09-06 2:22:50 PM  

bmwericus: Sliding Carp:
I was wondering if anyone else was old enough to remember this. When the government took over screening, it was a HUGE step up in professionalism. The entire commercial flight experience is pretty horrible now, from start to finish, but bringing those people back into the mix really won't help.

Now there is a load of industrial grade horseshiat.

I know TSA employees and even they think the entire TSA system is just a big, expensive joke at our expense.


I won't argue about what the TSA has become. But from my own personal experience as a regular airline passenger starting in 1970, I stand by my assertion that the initial transition to TSA from private security was a vast improvement. My belief, generated from that experience, is that reverting to mall-security-wannabe-cop model for security will not be an improvement.

Personally, I'd just as soon do away with all the screening, and take my chances with the turrists, just like I did for so long with no problems at all, but that ain't happenin'.
 
2012-09-06 2:26:52 PM  

Dr. Goldshnoz: maybe it has something to do with security contractors having standards, also knowing they are not above the law, also knowing they can be fired.


Or maybe it has something to do with them knowing if they don't keep their mouth shut about the fact they can't properly ensure each passenger isn't a blade wielding terrorist because they're expected to do too much, they'll get fired.
 
2012-09-06 7:40:31 PM  
Keep in mind that the guys who get paid less are always easier to bribe.
 
2012-09-06 11:14:32 PM  

ha-ha-guy: Really the best thing to do with the TSA and airports in general would be to remove all police powers.


I think you haven't studied the issue much. The TSA officially has no police powers beyond that of any citizen. They technically have no power but to deny entrance to the secure area of the airport. However, they do attempt to court an appearance of more power, and they do generally have a direct line to the police - even better than speed dial, who CAN enforce whatever.

Sliding Carp: I won't argue about what the TSA has become. But from my own personal experience as a regular airline passenger starting in 1970, I stand by my assertion that the initial transition to TSA from private security was a vast improvement. My belief, generated from that experience, is that reverting to mall-security-wannabe-cop model for security will not be an improvement.


I've been flying from the '80s. I never had a problem with the private security before. In general, my experience has been fine with the TSA. It's the procedures they're told to follow that is the problem. Security theater - the amount of resources going into guarding airports is a huge waste such that we could suffer a 9/11 like once every three years and still be ahead. We're talking crazy amounts of resources, it's dragging us down. Reinforced doors and actively resisting crew/passangers is more than sufficient assuming you keep the guns off. Which penetration tests have the testers getting their 'fake but real on an X-Ray' devices through like 3/4 of the time.
 
2012-09-08 6:29:25 PM  

GAT_00: Lsherm: thomps: The astonishing finding: SFO screeners processed 65% more passengers per screener than did their counterparts at LAX.

LAX has 50% more passenger traffic than SFO, why the f*ck would you choose to compare the two?

Because it's a "per screener" metric?

There's no way to know what the screeners are doing. Is there any variation in their job duties between the two airports? How about layout of the security area? Knowing how badly the security areas usually are, at least here, is there a more efficient layout at SFO versus LAX? Since rate through the scanners is at least in part based on how quickly people move through the scanners and collect bags, do people through LAX have more bags and thus slow down the conveyors more, or is there less area to collect bags which could slow down transit through the security area? How often do passengers have to go through screening multiple times for setting off a detector? Are the detectors exactly the same so you can actually make a direct comparison, since I'm guessing there is a non-zero time difference depending on which scanner you put someone through?

These are just off the top of my head, and they are basic questions that could easily change the time to go through the line, thus effecting the efficiency of workers. They didn't bother doing any of that kind of basic analysis because that might change the answer from what they wanted. This was the most basic level of analysis that could possibly be done and is the kind of work you expect from a high schooler, not a supposed think tank.


tl;dr; - union can't do anything wrong.
 
2012-09-08 8:27:38 PM  

Lsherm: GAT_00: Lsherm: thomps: The astonishing finding: SFO screeners processed 65% more passengers per screener than did their counterparts at LAX.

LAX has 50% more passenger traffic than SFO, why the f*ck would you choose to compare the two?

Because it's a "per screener" metric?

There's no way to know what the screeners are doing. Is there any variation in their job duties between the two airports? How about layout of the security area? Knowing how badly the security areas usually are, at least here, is there a more efficient layout at SFO versus LAX? Since rate through the scanners is at least in part based on how quickly people move through the scanners and collect bags, do people through LAX have more bags and thus slow down the conveyors more, or is there less area to collect bags which could slow down transit through the security area? How often do passengers have to go through screening multiple times for setting off a detector? Are the detectors exactly the same so you can actually make a direct comparison, since I'm guessing there is a non-zero time difference depending on which scanner you put someone through?

These are just off the top of my head, and they are basic questions that could easily change the time to go through the line, thus effecting the efficiency of workers. They didn't bother doing any of that kind of basic analysis because that might change the answer from what they wanted. This was the most basic level of analysis that could possibly be done and is the kind of work you expect from a high schooler, not a supposed think tank.

tl;dr; - union can't do anything wrong.


It's a post by GAT so you don't really need to know much more
 
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