Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 16th Nov 2010 22:34 UTC
In the News As none other I know how problematic it is to discuss matters related to politics on the web. However, every now and then, there's no way around it, and this is one of those moments. There's this thing going on at airports in the US, and while many will see it as a separate issue, the body scanner issue, and the sad stories it has spawned, are symptoms of a far larger problem that is a direct threat to everything we've fought for during and since the Enlightenment.
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we've lost without a whimper
by project_2501 on Tue 16th Nov 2010 23:12 UTC
project_2501
Member since:
2006-03-20

We've lost our liberties without a fight, without even so much as a whimper.

And all for a bunch of out-of-touch old fogeys in the last whitehouse.

How effective are these intrusions - do you really think those intent on bad things will fail at these hurdles? No. They're only for show.

So you're being intruded and inconveniences for no practical increase in security.

How sad to see such a great civilisation degrade and fall.

Reply Score: 9

RE: we've lost without a whimper
by WorknMan on Tue 16th Nov 2010 23:14 UTC in reply to "we've lost without a whimper"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13


So you're being intruded and inconveniences for no practical increase in security.


So are you guys saying that the scanners don't do anything to improve security? And if not, other than the pat downs, are there any decent alternatives?

If the answer is no, and there are no alternatives to improve security at airports, then I guess people are free to carry guns and bombs on planes if these security measures aren't doing a thing to prevent it, right?

Edited 2010-11-16 23:15 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

If the answer is no, and there are no alternatives to improve security at airports, then I guess people are free to carry guns and bombs on planes if these security measures aren't doing a thing to prevent it, right?


The naked scanners and sexual assault pat-downs indeed add little to improve security, with the former also posing a health risk. In addition, they both violate the Fourth Amendment and accepted, well-established privacy and decency norms.

And for what? Because 3500 people died 9 years ago? It sucks for those 3500 people and their relatives, but dear lord, 150000 people are murdered every year in the US alone. And let's not even get started about how many people have died in Afghanistan and Iraq due to West's involvement (including that of my own country, sadly).

It's time for perspective in this idiotic terrorist debate.

Reply Score: 24

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

And for what? Because 3500 people died 9 years ago? It sucks for those 3500 people and their relatives, but dear lord, 150000 people are murdered every year in the US alone. And let's not even get started about how many people have died in Afghanistan and Iraq due to West's involvement (including that of my own country, sadly).


Yeah, and if you or someone you loved are killed the next time a plane gets flown into a building (or worse), I guess that's just too damn bad. I mean, people are murdered every day, so why should anybody give a shit about protecting lives?

I'm not saying that these scanners/pat downs are the solution... if there are better alternatives that won't jack the price of plane tickets sky high (they're way too expensive already and the reason why I only fly once every couple of years), then let's do that. But, common sense would tell you that if you don't want planes getting hijacked/blown up, you're going to have to search people in one way or another before they board planes.

Edited 2010-11-17 01:02 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Yeah, and if you or someone you loved are killed the next time a plane gets flown into a building (or worse), I guess that's just too damn bad.


You're missing the bigger picture. The chances of getting killed in a terrorist attack are miniscule. Heck, I live in Manila and the chances of me dying in a terrorist attack are still miniscule. I don't even worry about it even though I've been close to one or two attacks.
The problem with these scanners are that they have not been proven to work but still huge amunts of the taxpayers money are spent on them, money that could have been better used, and people are being violated.
I'm not so sure what the big ruckus is about the pat-down though. Some guy touches my groin because he's doing his job? Meh, big deal.

Reply Score: 5

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I'm not so sure what the big ruckus is about the pat-down though. Some guy touches my groin because he's doing his job? Meh, big deal.


Take it from someone who worked for many years as an officer in the county jail: Pat downs are no fun for either person involved, but sadly are necessary for the security of the facility and everyone in it.

Now, before anyone goes off on me claiming I'm a fascist pig jackass who enjoys taking people's freedoms, let me say that I hated being a jailer mostly because I felt that was exactly what I was doing. You're reading the words of a staunch Libertarian, make no mistake. I happily left that arena of law enforcement and now work at a terminal, assisting patrol units.

Now, back to my point. Despite the fact that inmates and potential airline passengers are subjected to exactly the same treatment these days, there is a huge difference in why that is the case. Inmates, even those charged with a crime but not convicted, MUST be searched before entering population. There is no getting around the fact that some offenders will attempt to bring weapons or contraband into a facility, secreted somewhere on their body. I have both witnessed and performed full pat-downs as well as strip searches. Every time, I felt I was violating their rights, though it is written in the OCGA that they lose such right to privacy the moment they are arrested.

Now think about that for a minute. Those were people charged with anything from public drunk to murder. Regardless of the accusation, the fact remains they were charged with a crime. Why is that such a big deal? Because your average law abiding citizen who perhaps has never committed a criminal offense their entire lives is being subjected to the same degradation, the same erosion of their rights. The problem is they did NOTHING WRONG, nothing to warrant this. They did not act suspiciously, they did not threaten anyone, they just EXISTED.

When a police officer pulls you over, he does so because he has something called Probable Cause ("PC" in cop lingo). His PC might be a busted taillight, or maybe you swerved just an inch or so over the line. At that point he has the right to detain you, however he STILL doesn't have the right to search you or your car. Only if he has a reasonable suspicion (again, after already establishing probable cause), OR a valid fear for his own safety, can he search you. Otherwise, he MUST ask permission and if you refuse he must "put up or shut up", i.e. he must arrest you, ticket you or let you go.

None of that happens in the airport. They see all potential passengers as potential terrorists. They have no probable cause yet they operate as if they do. They have no grounds for reasonable suspicion yet you are forced to comply or you end up like the folks in Thom's links above.

This is why I will never fly until this shit is fixed. And make no mistake, it is indeed broken. Even with all this "protection" and all this technology, one day some terrorist hell bent on his mission will find a way to get past it all. Then what will we have to show for this theatre?

One more thing: Exactly how does one give up their inherent rights, codified in the Constitution, by buying a ticket? That makes no sense whatsoever. It almost sounds as if a corporation -- the airline in this case -- suddenly has the ability to take away your rights as a citizen of this country. Forgive me but we're not quite living in a Cyberpunk novel just yet.

Reply Score: 10

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Good point. I guess I felt a bit lenient about it since I got patted down today when entering the Swiss Embassy and well, it was no big deal. It was a pretty half-hearted patting down though so I guess it depends on how thorough the person doing the patting is.

Reply Score: 2

TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

"And for what? Because 3500 people died 9 years ago? It sucks for those 3500 people and their relatives, but dear lord, 150000 people are murdered every year in the US alone. And let's not even get started about how many people have died in Afghanistan and Iraq due to West's involvement (including that of my own country, sadly).

Yeah, and if you or someone you loved are killed the next time a plane gets flown into a building (or worse), I guess that's just too damn bad. I mean, people are murdered every day, so why should anybody give a shit about protecting lives?

I'm not saying that these scanners/pat downs are the solution... if there are better alternatives that won't jack the price of plane tickets sky high (they're way too expensive already and the reason why I only fly once every couple of years), then let's do that. But, common sense would tell you that if you don't want planes getting hijacked/blown up, you're going to have to search people in one way or another before they board planes.
"


First off, no one said life was safe. But its stupid to trade freedom for safety. Second off, who in their right mind, even if they are facing certain death, is going to let terrorists hijack a plane in the next 100 years? Don't you think terrorists know this? The only reason the first attack succeeded was because the "hostages" thought they would be ransomed. Third, these machines do nothing to prevent a terrorist from having a bomb sewn up inside them. If they are willing to die, what's the harm in a bit of extra surgery? They only really have to make it on the plane alive.

Edited 2010-11-17 01:44 UTC

Reply Score: 7

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

First off, no one said life was safe. But its stupid to trade freedom for safety. Second off, who in their right mind, even if they are facing certain death, is going to let terrorists hijack a plane in the next 100 years? Don't you think terrorists know this? The only reason the first attack succeeded was because the "hostages" thought they would be ransomed. Third, these machines do nothing to prevent a terrorist from having a bomb sewn up inside them. If they are willing to die, what's the harm in a bit of extra surgery? They only really have to make it on the plane alive.


So you're saying we should just shut down security altogether and let nut jobs carry whatever the hell they want on an airplane? Sure, folks probably wouldn't let terrorists hijack a plane again, but if there were several of them carrying AK-47's aboard, I'm not sure they'd have a lot of choice in the matter. More to the point though, I wouldn't want to be one of those people on the plane who had to try and stop a gang of terrorists packing fully-loaded automatic weapons.

Although what we have in place now may not be fool-proof, I'm sure it's at least better than nothing.

Edited 2010-11-17 02:03 UTC

Reply Score: 0

Darkmage Member since:
2006-10-20

No, he's saying strengthen the doors, hire some air martials, and let everyone get on with life without being molested. There hasn't been an alqaeda strike in Australia due to good police work/intel sharing. Security scanners won't do squat if a terrorist decides to get on a plane, land in your country and drive a bulldozer down a crowded shopping mall. You think you're safer but you're not. They can strike at any time from any place.

Reply Score: 9

foregam Member since:
2010-11-17

I believe air marshals on board will actually make the situation worse. Then you won't need to smug a gun on board, you'll just take it from the guy who has it and you'll pass all checks clean in the first place.

Reply Score: 2

Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Although what we have in place now may not be fool-proof, I'm sure it's at least better than nothing.


If it is not proven to be effective catching people yet used as a solution then all you're gaining is a false sense of security. Add to that the cost of the whole project and the indignity already discussed and I think you could argue that this solution is worse than nothing.

Doing "nothing" would have lead to further/better discussions about security, no health nor privacy concerns and would have been a great deal cheaper.

But as always with governments, it's more important to be seen to do something than to actually do the right thing.

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

If not the person you are responding to then what most of us are saying is that the current innefective security needs to be shutdown and replaced with effective security practices which actually result in increased safety and risk detection.

Adding more checkpoints, blinky points and fancy machines has not and will not inherently increase safety; it only makes people who see the blinky lights feel safer.

The argument is not that all security measures should be removed but that effective security measures should be employed instead of the current methods.

Reply Score: 3

flyingrobots Member since:
2010-09-30

The idea that there is only one way to protect against such an attack is not correct. Israel, for example, hasn't used naked body scanners nor sexual assault in all the years they have protected all their airliners.

I suspect that Israel has been at risk for this type of thing far longer than we have. I wonder what they are doing that we aren't....

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Don't they simply use dogs within the airport? The US spends millions trying to create a chemical sniffer instead of just getting dogs with a far more advanced chemical sensor for the price of kibble.

I've heard both Mr Shneier and Mr Steel point out that good investigative work and information sharing still trumps technology in detecting attacks.

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Guns where successfully detected previous to the full body scanners and a properly executed investigative work would put those scanners to shame in finding real threats. The scanners are not increasing safety any more than previous to the scanners being implemented. They are the very definition of security theater; a thing put in place to appear safer without any real increase in safety. The worst part is that they are not going to stop the next attack; they only add an extra planning step *if* the attackers choose board through the normal method.

Flying is still safer than crossing the street; just as it was previous to all this TSA madness.

I wish I had the URL handy. Mr. Shneier does a great writeup on why the next terrorist attack will not be through airports or with planes. I did find these entries to get you started though:

http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2010/01/the_comparative.html

http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2006/08/what_the_terror.html

http://www.schneier.com/essay-124.html

That second one discusses some pretty clear evidence that the US has done as much as it can to insure that past terrorist attacks continue to be successful.

Reply Score: 3

Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

And those numbers then pale in comparison to the number of preventable deaths through obesity and smoking.

The day the twin towers came down, 1100 people died in America of smoking. And another 1100 the next day. And the next. And the next … and so on still to today. Where is their memorial, where is their skyscraper?

Why isn’t the news full of the real things we need to be working to prevent, like diabetes and cancer? We live in terror of the terrorists, and yet the real killers are easily prevented.

Reply Score: 7

vodoomoth Member since:
2010-03-30


And for what? Because 3500 people died 9 years ago? It sucks for those 3500 people and their relatives, but dear lord, 150000 people are murdered every year in the US alone. And let's not even get started about how many people have died in Afghanistan and Iraq due to West's involvement (including that of my own country, sadly).

It's time for perspective in this idiotic terrorist debate.

I read the story and started reading the comments and I hadn't taken any stance yet apart from a vague resistance to both the scanner and patting method... until I read you and thought "he's right". Because what you wrote reminded me of something that I thought about last year when that swine flu was raging: people in Africa and the third world (or "developing countries" as is politically correct these days) die from malaria by millions each year! And the money necessary to cut that figure in half is ridiculously low compared to what is spent on "marginally effective" (but oh, so costly) security measures.

May I re-add to the debate that, as project_2501 wrote
How effective are these intrusions - do you really think those intent on bad things will fail at these hurdles? No. They're only for show.

these people intent on doing evil will find other ways. An example is the fact that air mail transport (by Air France) from Yemen to France has been stopped, just days ago, after several explosive envelopes (or boxes, don't remember) have been detected. IIRC, the French president and the Greek prime minister were among the targets.

If I were one of those terrorists, I would take a somewhat more likely to succeed path, like going the James Bond way: high sea boat, divers, propelled lightweight vehicles, beach, strike and back. I'm sure Tom Clancy has tons of such scenarios at disposal, but what happens then? Nets against undersea vehicles on thousands of kilometers of shoreline?

Reply Score: 3

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

I've heard that nothing in the navy can currently catch a cigarette boat. Load it with explosives and drive into a ship. (I'm guessing a missile would stop the sucker but it's still a remarkably low cost attack compared with the cost of defence.) I think Mr Steel mentioned most recently.

Reply Score: 2

truckweb Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't think you're getting it... It's not that the scanners are not working (but we don't know how effective they really are), it's the vanishing right for all people in order for 3 companies to flourish and swim in money (in the case of body scanner) all because of big lobbyist who are more powerful than the president himself.

And if you don't mind the full body scanner, will you mind when those lobbyist win the digital war and make you scan your PC, Phone, Tablet, whatever to detect "illegal" content? I'm not talking about kiddie porn here, I'm talking about a song that you did not pay or that cracked photoshop you may use, so on and so forth.

Lobbyist are everywhere and THEY are in control. The president or government are barely more than puppets to them.

Nobody cares about you, the people. It's all about money.

Reply Score: 14

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

You say it sarcastically, but you're more right than you know. Those skilled at crime and terror will always get around the security measures. It's a universal principal: Where there is security, there is always someone smart enough to foil it. All the security measures do is give the sheeple an illusion of safety. You can be licensed to carry a firearm on a plane: typically these licenses are given out only to select military officials, but anything can be forged given someone with enough know how and the right equipment. In practice though, there's no real purpose to bring a gun into the plane. Sure they can kill people with it, but typically they want to inspire terror in the living. A plane crash, even with reports of a crazed lunatic with a gun, isn't as heart-jerking as something like 911. They don't just want death, they want to terrorize. Big content using this illusion as a way to push through mandatory device scanning is scary. I am puzzled, however, as to how they're going to scan my drive effectively when I've got it heavily encrypted? I don't at the moment, but if they start doing this you can bet that I will. It's the principal of the thing, they have no right to what doesn't belong to them and the contents of my device belong to me. I'm also puzzled as to how they'd force me to install mandatory monitoring software? Software must be installed or else inserted into hardware, and there's no way I'm installing any software *or* hardware that would do such a thing. I like Windows 7 but it's no big hassle for me to switch to Linux on those machines should it come to that and the monitoring software be inserted into the os itself (very possible). So how exactly are they going to mandate something which, by its very nature, must be installed by the user? Even if they mandate it be put in new machines or Windows itself, they'll not monitor a large majority of the population who either won't be buying new equipment nor upgrading their os. It's not lagistically practical.

Reply Score: 6

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Big content using this illusion as a way to push through mandatory device scanning is scary. I am puzzled, however, as to how they're going to scan my drive effectively when I've got it heavily encrypted?


I'm more puzzled as to how device scanning could possibly help security in the first place. What am I gonna do, crash the plane with some appliation on the disk? Assault the pilot with my pirate MP3's?

So how exactly are they going to mandate something which, by its very nature, must be installed by the user?


By making it an offense not to?

Reply Score: 2

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

"So how exactly are they going to mandate something which, by its very nature, must be installed by the user?


By making it an offense not to?
"

Right, because that works so well every other time we've made something an offense. Ask the White House how their so-called war on drugs is coming along. They can make it an offense for me not to install it, but what're they going to do? Support every os under the sun? Will it be illegal for me to use an open source os next? Completely impractical, since aside from illegally searching my machines they won't even know what I'm running to begin with.

Reply Score: 2

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

I am puzzled, however, as to how they're going to scan my drive effectively when I've got it heavily encrypted?

I can answer to this one : they'll put you in jail until you give the key to them.

Heavy encryption that the police can't bypass easily was illegal in the US, last time I checked.

Back on the topic of plane security, this is exactly the reason why I never travel by plane unless forced to do so (as long as I travel in the EU, the train network is not bad if you don't mind some extra delays for long travels).

In a democratic society, people are innocents unless proven guilty. Without that kind of confidence, no government giving some kind of freedom to its citizens can work. But plane security is often the opposite of that.

Edited 2010-11-17 07:10 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Heavy encryption that the police can't bypass easily was illegal in the US, last time I checked.


I'm going to assume you are ignorant of the facts and not trying to troll or deliberately misinform others.

The encryption itself, and utilizing it, are not at all illegal in the U.S. If that were the case, no wireless router, no operating system, indeed no automobile would be legal to sell, own or use.

Two things surrounding encryption are illegal in the U.S.: Exporting tools (hardware or software) which enable high-level encryption to certain foreign countries, and using encryption to commit a crime or obstruct a criminal investigation.

In other words, it's perfectly legal to secure your WiFi using AES (in fact one day it may become illegal not to), and it's perfectly legal to encrypt the contents of your hard drive using Truecrypt or similar. It is absolutely illegal to not divulge the key when presented with a valid warrant for the key.

Reply Score: 2

Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

"Heavy encryption that the police can't bypass easily was illegal in the US, last time I checked.
I'm going to assume you are ignorant of the facts and not trying to troll or deliberately misinform others. The encryption itself, and utilizing it, are not at all illegal in the U.S. If that were the case, no wireless router, no operating system, indeed no automobile would be legal to sell, own or use. Two things surrounding encryption are illegal in the U.S.: Exporting tools (hardware or software) which enable high-level encryption to certain foreign countries, and using encryption to commit a crime or obstruct a criminal investigation. In other words, it's perfectly legal to secure your WiFi using AES (in fact one day it may become illegal not to), and it's perfectly legal to encrypt the contents of your hard drive using Truecrypt or similar. It is absolutely illegal to not divulge the key when presented with a valid warrant for the key. "

But you're effectively agreeing with the former post.
Regardless of whether the encryption itself or the withholding the key is the criminal offence, either way the police can arrest you if they cannot decrypt your data and you refuse to assist.

Reply Score: 6

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I guess I just took issue with his choice of words, but it sounded to me like he was saying the encryption algorithms themselves, or at the very least the act of encryption, is illegal. Call me a pedant, but things like that bother me.

Edit:

Regardless of whether the encryption itself or the withholding the key is the criminal offence


I forgot to mention that there is a massive difference between making the encryption itself illegal, as opposed to merely withholding the key. The latter is reasonable in a free society as it is necessary to be able to conduct a thorough investigation. After all, if by divulging my key I am able to clear my name, so much the better. But the former, i.e. making either the act or the means of encryption illegal, is a big step down the dark road of oppression and eradication of privacy rights.

Edited 2010-11-17 09:31 UTC

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

If you are presented with a warrant and refuse to unlock your front door; your going to jail. If you refuse to open or provide the combination for a safe when presented with a warrant; your going to jail. If you refuse a justifiable search; your going to jail. If you refuse to provide keys to decrypt data when presented with a warrant; your going to jail.

Do you disagree with the door lock, safe or personal search examples? Why should encryption different from any of these other methods of containment?

Reply Score: 2

Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

If you are presented with a warrant and refuse to unlock your front door; your going to jail. If you refuse to open or provide the combination for a safe when presented with a warrant; your going to jail. If you refuse a justifiable search; your going to jail. If you refuse to provide keys to decrypt data when presented with a warrant; your going to jail.

Do you disagree with the door lock, safe or personal search examples? Why should encryption different from any of these other methods of containment?

You've missed my point as I didn't say I disagreed with the decryption example.

Reply Score: 2

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Are you sure that there's no limitation on encryption key length (sorry for my choice of terms, that was what I was talking about) in the US ? I thought that was the reason why PGP went into so much trouble...

Edited 2010-11-17 10:05 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Again, I believe that had to do with export controls and not the encryption itself being illegal. See:

http://docstore.mik.ua/orelly/networking/puis/ch06_07.htm

That's not to say the government hasn't tried to outlaw strong encryption, but they are not very successful at doing so. See:

http://osaka.law.miami.edu/~froomkin/articles/clipper.htm

Reply Score: 2

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Interesting material, thanks. At the moment, I only have a cellphone at hand, so I can't read the second article, but it sounds like a good read.

I think I found out what my mistake was : there are indeed some legal restrictions on keys larger than 128 bit... but that's in my country ! (You must give a copy to a "trusted third-party" approved by the government, and I'm not sure whether this applies to individuals or only to commercial use)

Edited 2010-11-17 10:52 UTC

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

I thought PGP had been banned for a while but that the related laws where later lifted. At the time encryption was considered a military weapon and PGP encrypted data could only be transferred over a very few friendly borders.

If I do remember correct, the outcome was actually an encryption brain drain from the US. encryption researchers couldn't share information with researchers in other parts of the world. As a result, to do any real research, you had to be outside the US where you could legally co-oporate with other researchers. The US started to fall behind as researcher continued elsewhere.

I'm not sure if either of those memories are correct but I'll through it out there for interest.

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

If the police have the document and ask you to open your locked car or home, you are obliged to do so. If they ask you to open a safe or provide the combination and they have the document, you are obliged to. If the border guard asks for the combination to your encrypted hard drive, the document is assumed, you are obliged to provide decryption keys.

Now, what happens if you don't open your car/home or provide the safe combination? What do you think happens when you won't provide the decryption keys?

Reply Score: 2

project_2501 Member since:
2006-03-20

in which case to solve the HUGE volume of gun related crime in the USA all you have to do is remove guns from the population .... ??

Reply Score: 2

Calipso Member since:
2007-03-13

heh, was about to saying the exact same thing.

Reply Score: 1

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Not bloody likely. This country was founded by gun-toting rebels, and the day guns are outlawed in the USA will be the day it no longer is the USA.

Or to put it another way: The last thing you'll take from a gun owning American is his gun, and that's only because the second-to-last thing you take will be his life.

Reply Score: 2

helf Member since:
2005-07-06

Call me a patriotic redneck, but amen :p

*pats 12gauge and assorted other guns*

Reply Score: 2

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

So are you guys saying that the scanners don't do anything to improve security?


Hmmm...let me see. No. There are already scanners that works without being so invasive. This is what Bruce Schneier would call security theater and as opposed to the companies hawking their overprice products he knows what he's talking about. These technologies are not implemented because they help, they're implemented so somone can say "look, we're really doing something".
You know what helps security? Paying your security staff well, training them and making sure they're skilled and alert but that's not as cool and visible as some overly expensive space age technology that doesn't really help.

On a related note, I think it's f--king hilarious that the U.S are now implementing more invasive measures than what the good-ole USSR ever did.

Edited 2010-11-17 00:33 UTC

Reply Score: 7

umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

So are you guys saying that the scanners don't do anything to improve security? And if not, other than the pat downs, are there any decent alternatives?


Actually, the most recent bomb scare (and subsequent boost in security practices) was in cargo shipments - which often times fly on passenger jets.

Cargo shipments do not get the same scanner treatment, and scanners do nothing more to prevent cargo bombs. They only create a perception of higher security.

You also rarely hear about the cargo planes that get blown up.

Reply Score: 2

rdoyle720 Member since:
2010-02-22

Perfect example of what is called "false dichotomy". Many of us feel that these scanners cross an unacceptable line. Arguing against them is not the same as saying we're for no security.

Reply Score: 3

Dyrcona Member since:
2010-06-21

Yep, pretty much. Flying is a risk. Like all risks, you have to balance it against the rewards to determine if it worth taking the risk to earn the reward.

Unfortunately, most humans are bad at math, but very good at emotions.

Reply Score: 2

StychoKiller Member since:
2005-09-20

So, how many would-be terrorists would board a plane if a majority of the passengers were armed and trained to shoot properly? When the Govt created the TSA and DHS, the terrorists won by default!

Reply Score: 1

RE: we've lost without a whimper
by jptros on Wed 17th Nov 2010 00:03 UTC in reply to "we've lost without a whimper"
jptros Member since:
2005-08-26

And all for a bunch of out-of-touch old fogeys in the last whitehouse.


While the problem didn't start with the current administration, they're the ones responsible for the new scanners and pat down procedures.

Reply Score: 5

neticspace Member since:
2009-06-09

My few years of stay in America gave me a valuable lesson: Never trust American politicians.

Reply Score: 9

StychoKiller Member since:
2005-09-20

My few years of stay in America gave me a valuable lesson: Never trust American politicians.


Never trust ANY politician! -- fixed it for ya!

Reply Score: 1

Comment by neticspace
by neticspace on Tue 16th Nov 2010 23:59 UTC
neticspace
Member since:
2009-06-09

[sarcasm]What's next? All the passengers must be naked to board on the Boeing?[/sarcasm]

Reply Score: 4

rape scanners aren't enough
by arbour42 on Wed 17th Nov 2010 00:32 UTC in reply to "Comment by neticspace"
arbour42 Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm going to have to be vulgar here, so excuse me, but I'm forced to because of the absurdity of the US "security".

If you've studied any modern "art", you'll have seen the amazing ability of "artists" to stash things up their, uhm, private parts - females especially have a large "capacity" for such storage.

This is so easy to do, and cannot be picked up by the rape-pedophile scanners, that the only way to ensure the "safety" of the american flying public is to perform bodily groping up these said parts. A couple of terrorists could stash enough powder (or whatever) in these parts to do whatever they intend to do.

The absurdity of america is reaching insane levels.

Reply Score: 8

RE: rape scanners aren't enough
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 17th Nov 2010 00:34 UTC in reply to "rape scanners aren't enough"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

If you've studied any modern "art", you'll have seen the amazing ability of "artists" to stash things up their, uhm, private parts - females especially have a large "capacity" for such storage.


That made my day.

Reply Score: 3

RE: rape scanners aren't enough
by Soulbender on Wed 17th Nov 2010 00:46 UTC in reply to "rape scanners aren't enough"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

the only way to ensure the "safety" of the american flying public is to perform bodily groping up these said parts.


Hey, fucking for freedom!

Reply Score: 2

RE: rape scanners aren't enough
by Lennie on Wed 17th Nov 2010 01:49 UTC in reply to "rape scanners aren't enough"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

They keep thinking this will improve security, but it isn't so.

They should focus their work on intelligence, almost every time they caught someone it usually was someone they already knew and where following, because of said intelligence.

Reply Score: 2

Tuishimi
Member since:
2005-07-06

...The people who USE guns in BAD way don't bother to get licensed, don't purchase them from licensed dealers and don't bother going for the carry concealed training, etc.

Gun laws tend to punish the responsible gun owners while the illegal users go on getting weapons and ammunition illegally and using them in crimes.

Terrorists will find ways to bypass security if they really want it and know what they are doing.

And lobbyists... ugh. Don't get me started. If, God-forbid, another plane is blown out of the sky by a terrorist or some nut job, I hope the gov't rethinks the current policies.

Reply Score: 6

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

I hope the gov't rethinks the current policies.


Might as well start beleiving in Santa Clause and the cake.

Reply Score: 3

Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

Wait, what are you saying about Santa Clause??!!1!

Reply Score: 6

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Oh don't worry. He's as real as American freedom.

Reply Score: 10

Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

You had me worried for a minute there! Ho ho hooooo!

Reply Score: 3

Terrorist won !!!
by dvhh on Wed 17th Nov 2010 01:19 UTC
dvhh
Member since:
2006-03-20

Basically all these security measure helps for spreading out the fear of dying of a terrorist attack (even my wife have such kind of fear), when I think I would have more chance of dying of an electrical incident or of cancer or food poisoning (or boredom).

Even japan have such security measure, when in the last 20 years they only had 1 terrorist attack (a bad one, I admit), but right now they are restricting the weight of package that are to be send to the US to less than 500g because of the fear of terrorist attack.

What if the "moderns" countries tried to suppress the problem at the root, by helping developing country more than they are helping the financial institution (not all of them were bank as I remembered).

Back to our issue, the TSA "security" measures (along with laptop inspection that could stretch over weeks), makes me think that some country where human rights aren't that much respected treat their travelers way better than this. I should probably start to invest into a video-conferencing commpany !!!

Reply Score: 4

RE: Terrorist won !!!
by Lennie on Wed 17th Nov 2010 01:54 UTC in reply to "Terrorist won !!!"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

They sure did.

Reply Score: 2

There's a reason it's called "terrorism" ...
by Hypnos on Wed 17th Nov 2010 01:47 UTC
Hypnos
Member since:
2008-11-19

... it plays on people's irrational fear. It takes advantage of two cognitive biases prevalent in humans:

1) We tend to overestimate the importance of rare events.

2) Intentional events have a greater impact than unintentional events, even if the results are the same.

Basically, terrorism works because people are stupid.

Reply Score: 2

Tel Aviv
by ngaio on Wed 17th Nov 2010 02:09 UTC
ngaio
Member since:
2005-10-06

Have any of you flown out of Tel Aviv airport? When I last did that a few years ago, they strip searched me the old fashioned way. Only the last possible piece of underwear remained. They may also go through every part of your luggage - and I mean every part, very thoroughly, subjecting them to various tests. The whole process takes well over an hour.

Perhaps they do this to me because I have spent time in the West Bank and Gaza (which is no secret) and because of my age, gender and marital status. Of course they profile passengers. Of course I have no idea what is on the files the Israel government keeps on me.

For flights in and out of Israel, the Israeli security services do seize laptops for inspection from people they consider politically suspect, such as activists for self-determination of Tibetans, etc. You may receive the laptop some days after you've arrived at your destination. If it is lost in transit, you may not receive any compensation. They blame the airline and the airline blames the government. You lose. What can you do about it if you're a foreigner? You probably have no rights.

The Israeli government points out they have no had a single plane blown up leaving Tel Aviv. Here they are correct. They have probably also had the chance to get good intelligence on a substantial number of activists, students and other people whom they fear as possible agitators for political change with respect to the respective situations of Israelis and Palestinians.

Personally I am much less concerned with the indignity of being strip searched. What is far more serious, I think, is their practice of seizing laptops. That's an absolute outrage and is an affront to justice and civilized norms.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Tel Aviv
by Soulbender on Wed 17th Nov 2010 05:02 UTC in reply to "Tel Aviv"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

What's with the laptop thing anyway? I mean, what damage could you do with a laptop on an airplane?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Tel Aviv
by merkoth on Wed 17th Nov 2010 05:39 UTC in reply to "RE: Tel Aviv"
merkoth Member since:
2006-09-22

You could hide enough explosives to severely injure a bunch of passengers and / or damage the airplane in a laptop shell. The software / data from the laptop could contain information connecting you to some kind of terrorist cult.

Unfortunately, these options are only valid if our "terrorist" is utterly stupid. But you can never know right? You'll always be afraid of every suspicious box, bag, laptop, etc. Maybe it's just a regular box, maybe it's a few pounds of explosives or a deadly virus. But you can never know.

So you're always afraid. And you're so centered in this possible threat that you don't pay attention to other, smaller attack vectors. Until they use one of those vectors, so you shift your focus and leave something else unattended again. And you're always afraid.

They call it terrorism for a reason. And it seems to be working. It's horrible, but killing people with this method is just one part of the plan: Kill a few, scare millions for life is the real goal.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Tel Aviv
by Soulbender on Wed 17th Nov 2010 08:09 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Tel Aviv"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

You could hide enough explosives to severely injure a bunch of passengers and / or damage the airplane in a laptop shell.


Right but that would not take long to check for, not days at least. For one, just check if it actually works.

The software / data from the laptop could contain information connecting you to some kind of terrorist cult.


Sure but what about...my brain! it has loads and loads of potentially dangerous information!
This is retarded.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Tel Aviv
by merkoth on Wed 17th Nov 2010 15:25 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Tel Aviv"
merkoth Member since:
2006-09-22

I agree, it is retarded. But frightened people do retarded things, and that's part of the idea behind terrorism.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Tel Aviv
by rob_mx on Wed 17th Nov 2010 05:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Tel Aviv"
rob_mx Member since:
2005-08-04

What's with the laptop thing anyway? I mean, what damage could you do with a laptop on an airplane?


Sony exploding batteries. ;)

Reply Score: 4

and my comment...
by bnolsen on Wed 17th Nov 2010 05:49 UTC
bnolsen
Member since:
2006-01-06

last time i was in the toronto airport coming back to the states this spring I saw one of those scanners. I didn't go through it. My partner and I went to eat at a restaurant inside the terminal...they brought us silverware with some big steak knives! I was very tempted to walk back to the security area with one of these knives in hand, give it to them and tell them "hey, you forgot this", except I kind of did want to go home that day.

The point is...there's lots of ways to blow a plane. Basically the stupid scanners and pat downs is like trying to put chewing gum on a crack in a damn. They need to start scanning cargo. They need to probably push the security check to the gate itself.

They need to *NOT* give muslims special treatment and let them bypass the scanners and the patdowns like stupid sec of homeland security was saying today.

But really I'm pretty offended that the whole airport security guarantees a criminal terrorist free roaming zone. I'm stripped of my natural righs of self defense and any criminal or terrorist who gets through is about guaranteed to know everyone on the plane has been nothing to fight back with.

Edited 2010-11-17 05:53 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: and my comment...
by Soulbender on Wed 17th Nov 2010 08:16 UTC in reply to "and my comment..."
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

They need to *NOT* give muslims special treatment and let them bypass the scanners and the patdowns like stupid sec of homeland security was saying today.


Wait, what? Did I read that right? They want to let muslims BYPASS the security checks? For real?! Not to be judgemental or anything but many muslims do have a grudge against the US and the very people who did attack you happen to have been, uh muslims. Not saying all muslims are terrorist and want to blow up america but it does seem a bit counter-productive to let the religious group that perhaps hate you the most (on average) bypass the security.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: and my comment...
by Kroc on Wed 17th Nov 2010 08:48 UTC in reply to "RE: and my comment..."
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Look out the window, everybody hates you America, not just Muslims.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: and my comment...
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 17th Nov 2010 08:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: and my comment..."
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Look out the window, everybody hates you America, not just Muslims.


Be careful with that statement. You're basically saying you hate Americans, while what you in fact most likely mean is that you hate the American government and politicians.

I hate the American government and its politicians. I absolutely *love* Americans. Very friendly, kind, and fun to be around - and I mean that.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: and my comment...
by Kroc on Wed 17th Nov 2010 09:06 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: and my comment..."
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

For that to be misconstrued is part of the very problem.

Two of my best (bestestest) friends are Americans.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: and my comment...
by LighthouseJ on Wed 17th Nov 2010 20:01 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: and my comment..."
LighthouseJ Member since:
2009-06-18

There's something uniquely American about being the target of all of that hatred, but not really needing to return the favor. The point is not that it's undeserved, but that it's unnecessary.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: and my comment...
by helf on Thu 18th Nov 2010 22:05 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: and my comment..."
helf Member since:
2005-07-06

+1 ;) I run into irrational blind american hate all the time online. I find it more amusing than anything most of the time.

"aaw, he is secretly jealous of me!" ;D

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: and my comment...
by Soulbender on Thu 18th Nov 2010 23:36 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: and my comment..."
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

There's something uniquely American about being the target of all of that hatred, but not really needing to return the favor


Except when you invade foreign countries for profit.

Reply Score: 2

Bullshit
by Aragorn992 on Wed 17th Nov 2010 06:50 UTC
Aragorn992
Member since:
2007-05-27

If you don't like being "sexually violated" then take a f$&*ing boat or train. I'll gladly trade the increased security (even if it isn't necessarily 100% foolproof) for reducing the risk of someone getting a bomb through.

You make points that it is "unclear" if the new scanners would have worked against the Christmas Bomber. Well, you don't make a conclusive argument the other way either.

Frankly, security at airports has been too relaxed for far too long and I'm suprised that more bombs haven't been smuggled aboard.

I do not want to fly on an unsafer plain because people are shy about "nudity", or uppity about getting a pat down. Just deal with it.

P.S. One of the more promising methods I heard was an "instant" lie detector machine developed by Israel. They ask everyone one simple question like "do you have any plans to blow up this plane". If the result is a little bit dodgy, you get completely searched.

Edited 2010-11-17 06:52 UTC

Reply Score: 0

RE: Bullshit
by blitze on Wed 17th Nov 2010 07:52 UTC in reply to "Bullshit"
blitze Member since:
2006-09-15

The bullshit is that the terrorism is being perpetrated by our governments and they are treating us like chattle.

The last time a plane was blown up was over Scotland 1988 and most of these recent "caught bombers" have been plants who have bypassed normal security systems escorted by Gov Agents in the first place.

This is nothing more than rape of privacy and $$ furtherment of US defense industry. If you want to know how real screening is done then fly in and out of Tel Aviv. But then the Israelis seem to know how to train their security instead of just hire the local Brute Squad and wasting money on tech that is useless.

If you're really paranoid - do the rest of us a favour and don't fn fly. Leave the rest of us to enjoy our freedoms and dignity.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Bullshit
by Aragorn992 on Wed 17th Nov 2010 11:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Bullshit"
Aragorn992 Member since:
2007-05-27

The bullshit is that the terrorism is being perpetrated by our governments and they are treating us like chattle.

The last time a plane was blown up was over Scotland 1988 and most of these recent "caught bombers" have been plants who have bypassed normal security systems escorted by Gov Agents in the first place.

This is nothing more than rape of privacy and $$ furtherment of US defense industry. If you want to know how real screening is done then fly in and out of Tel Aviv. But then the Israelis seem to know how to train their security instead of just hire the local Brute Squad and wasting money on tech that is useless.

If you're really paranoid - do the rest of us a favour and don't fn fly. Leave the rest of us to enjoy our freedoms and dignity.


I'm not paranoid. Paranoia is irrational and unless I am imagining things there was almost a few planes blown up over europe recently. These of course were due to imperfect security on cargo but the same principel applies. Ref:

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,728180,00.html

If this isn't evidence enough for greater airport security (whether it be cargo or passengers) I don't know what is ;) It is simply a fact of life now that airport taxes and security checks will have to be increased.

You may well be right in that "terrorism is being perpetrated by our governments". That still doesn't change the fact that it is still very easy to smuggle a bomb on board a plane.

I was for greater airport security before these bombings these last few years, not because of them (or because of the government lies). Whether or not "terrorism is being perpetrated by our governments" is irrelevant. And stop preaching about freedoms and dignity blah blah blah. This is subjective nonsense. You've got the freedom not to fly and you can keep your dignity by staying at home. Don't I get the freedom to minimise my chance of having someone aboard my place who might want to blow it up?

Well perhaps segregated flights are the future. In one group, less secure checks and cheaper, in the other group more secure, time consuming and expensive ;)

Edited 2010-11-17 11:13 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Bullshit
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 17th Nov 2010 11:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Bullshit"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

If this isn't evidence enough for greater airport security (whether it be cargo or passengers) I don't know what is It is simply a fact of life now that airport taxes and security checks will have to be increased.


Greater airport security isn't achieved by these scanners (can't look through skin) and sexual assault groping. I can shove a bomb up my ass and short of the TSA sticking their hand in there, they won't be able to know.

Are you saying you have no trouble with TSA employees shoving their hands up your daughter's anus and vagina? I mean, all for security, right?

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Bullshit
by Aragorn992 on Wed 17th Nov 2010 14:57 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Bullshit"
Aragorn992 Member since:
2007-05-27

"If this isn't evidence enough for greater airport security (whether it be cargo or passengers) I don't know what is It is simply a fact of life now that airport taxes and security checks will have to be increased.


Greater airport security isn't achieved by these scanners (can't look through skin) and sexual assault groping. I can shove a bomb up my ass and short of the TSA sticking their hand in there, they won't be able to know.

Are you saying you have no trouble with TSA employees shoving their hands up your daughter's anus and vagina? I mean, all for security, right?
"

But sticking a bomb up your ass is indeed more difficult than if you hid it in your underwear. Thus, it will statistically reduce the number of successful attempts - or so the theory goes.

The point is that none of these methods are 100% foolproof, nor will they ever be. However, there are in the world today - plenty of skilled and highly motivated individuals who want to blow planes up. And we have lots of evidence to show that they're beating the current security methods (e.g. my link). Now I'm not saying increased security (and obviously these scanners have problems as well) will stop all of these attempts, it won't, but it will minimise the possibility by making the act more difficult to perform.

Of course your last point is extreme (and probably slightly unrealistic to what is _actually_ happening), and of course I would have a problem with that. But then it would still be my decision to book her on the flight and take her to the airport. If people really would have a problem with this then they will simply avoid flight but those who would continue to fly would at least be happy that such stringent security has been applied and the chance of (for example) bomb getting on has been minimised.

Obviously it comes down to a balance between security and as people have said "dignity"/rights/etc. I just think the balance is too light on the security side - that doesn't mean I'm advocating the other extreme though. It simply means id put up with more pervasive scanning and more thorough physical security checks.

Edited 2010-11-17 15:02 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Bullshit
by MamiyaOtaru on Wed 17th Nov 2010 15:37 UTC in reply to "RE: Bullshit"
MamiyaOtaru Member since:
2005-11-11
RE[3]: Bullshit
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 17th Nov 2010 20:08 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Bullshit"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29



I'm no fan of Israel's behaviour, but they do know their security. Fascinating article.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Bullshit
by StychoKiller on Sun 21st Nov 2010 04:56 UTC in reply to "Bullshit"
StychoKiller Member since:
2005-09-20

"Those that would trade freedom for security will soon have neither." -- Benjamin Franklin

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Wed 17th Nov 2010 08:04 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

Terrorists Won.

There are a hundred thousand things more likely to kill you (including meteorites) in the journey from your home to the airport and before boarding the plane.

I’m surprised there aren’t state powers to enter people’s houses and search closets for monsters.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Kroc
by Morgan on Wed 17th Nov 2010 09:05 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I’m surprised there aren’t state powers to enter people’s houses and search closets for monsters.


Give it time, my friend.

I don't see this country sustaining itself much longer; possibly not within my lifetime. Between the eroding economy and our eroding Constitution, it won't be the United States of America much longer. I can see another civil war on the horizon, and it has nothing to do with race or state lines.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by Kroc
by Neolander on Wed 17th Nov 2010 10:23 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Terrorists Won.

Yes.

Smart malevolent people will always manage to get through airport security systems, because considering the number of people in a plane, guaranteeing that a flight is perfectly safe would require days (weeks ?) of investigation.

Innocent people get humiliated to a higher degree, needlessy irradiated, raped according to the legal definition of the term, and have more and more restrictions on their basic freedoms. Not to mention the obvious other privacy issues : perverts will be fond of the leaked images from those scanners.

If terrorism's goal is to terrify people so much that they give up on democracy and hurt themselves, then terrorism has won.

As one of the founders of the US said, a country which is ready to trade a bit of freedom for a bit or security...

Edited 2010-11-17 10:25 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by vodoomoth on Wed 17th Nov 2010 13:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
vodoomoth Member since:
2010-03-30


As one of the founders of the US said, a country which is ready to trade a bit of freedom for a bit or security...

...has no merit and will receive nothing in return? btw one of my given names is the same as Lincoln's. Not that it bears any relevance to the topic.

Reply Score: 2

opting out
by mkools on Wed 17th Nov 2010 09:54 UTC
mkools
Member since:
2005-10-11

I just returned from the States yesterday. On the way to it I had to go through the body scanner as well but I didn't know it was a body scanner until I was in it, they didn't notify me nor didn't ask my permission which pissed me of kind a because I heard the other day it could be bad for your health.

So on the way back home I had to go through it again but I refused, only now they frisked me extensively for a couple of minutes so I don't know what's a better option.

Solution? Just all opt-out for it, it will create such massive waiting lines that they have to remove it.

What I don't understand as well is that they let some people just go through the metal detector while others need to use the body scanner.

Reply Score: 4

RE: opting out
by l3v1 on Thu 18th Nov 2010 14:46 UTC in reply to "opting out"
l3v1 Member since:
2005-07-06

I just returned from the States yesterday. On the way to it I had to go through the body scanner


Which airport was it? Does anyone know of some site that has an up to date list on which airport&terminals use them? I'm going to the US next week, and I'm curious. Last time I went (~3 months ago) I didn't encounter it at LAX or MCO.

Reply Score: 2

Inconvenience?
by fran on Wed 17th Nov 2010 13:50 UTC
fran
Member since:
2010-08-06

I'm going to be the odd one out here. Thom’s article and all the quotes make pretty good points and I agree with many but the truth is always never that easy and the answer lies between two extremes.

Yes it is an inconvenience. But can you really measure even millions of peoples inconvenience against making it harder for terrorists to exceed and people die?

Research has shown that criminals and extremist have generally low IQ's. Although there is a lot of Dr. Evil genius exceptions. That means you would have a lot of half baked plans that seem perfect to the plotter.

If you prevent even a few attacks that might have happened if security where laxer, wouldn’t it be worth the trouble?

Also after 9/11 benzodiazepine tranquilisers like valium shot up to a level never seen before. People stopped flying and confidence needed to be restored. Security "improved" and people felt it was safer to fly again and the industry recovered. You can say that the perception of safety is liberating in itself.

So yes, it might not be perfect, it might inconvenience a lot of people but others feel safer from the increased security while some feel violated.

If plain clothes air marshals was aboard the 9/11 plane's wouldn’t you say there might have been a chance the terrorists plan might have not succeed?
Might there have been a chance that those plastic knives might have detected through the scanners?

Reply Score: 1

where is the line?
by rdoyle720 on Wed 17th Nov 2010 14:33 UTC
rdoyle720
Member since:
2010-02-22

These "isn't it worth saving a life?" arguments surprise me. They sound a lot like the "think of the children!" arguments.

If you believe looking under your clothes and/or touching your genitals in the name of security is OK, where is the line for you?

What WOULDN'T be OK in the name of security?

Reply Score: 5

Empire In collapse
by hackus on Wed 17th Nov 2010 16:26 UTC
hackus
Member since:
2006-06-28

The republic first of all, is dead.

If any of you think you live in a republic, you have a very myopic view of history.

Right now, they are robbing you blind, and right out in the open.

They do not even attempt to hide their crimes.

"Sorry, we stole all of your money, so there is none left. We are sorry to inform you we have to enforce austerity measures, so we can rob you further."

Europe knows what these people are doing, they are not stupid.

What is so sad is all of these TSA and Homeland Security people are, are just common thieves. Nothing special.

From Chertoff planning for years to make billions in the bomb making business so he can sell you a machine that "detects" bombs to all the pay offs Napolitano gets from her position of influence.

They are not even clever theives. But they have the backing now of the US Military, and if you attempt to remove these people you are going to have to declare civil war.

These people are not just going to go away quietly with all of this power and wealth they have obtained.

Expect very dark days ahead indeed, because as the dollar collapses, they may become desperate to preserve their wealth and take us all to fight new wars,

-Hack

Reply Score: 3

RE: Empire In collapse
by arbour42 on Wed 17th Nov 2010 18:53 UTC in reply to "Empire In collapse"
arbour42 Member since:
2005-07-06

Yup, when the dollar dies, it is going to get very interesting. Food and gas prices will explode (in the midst of a depression), and something will need to be done to distract the US public. Who will be the Emmanuel Goldstein? Iran, China, North Korea?

The thievery now is at unprecedented levels. At least the Europeans (like the Germans and Icelanders) realize they're being taken for a ride and are ticked off.

Reply Score: 1

From the horses mouth
by Bruno the Arrogant on Wed 17th Nov 2010 17:16 UTC
Bruno the Arrogant
Member since:
2009-03-19

Commentary from Janet the Mad.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/2010-11-15-column15_ST1_...

Edited 2010-11-17 17:18 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Solutions that create more problems
by DoctorD on Wed 17th Nov 2010 17:44 UTC
DoctorD
Member since:
2009-03-08

Good solutions should not lead to bigger problems that need solving.

I thought of this years ago. Why do they bother designing airplanes so that the pilot's quarters and the passenger cabin are even connected at all? Think about it. If they were completely separate, with separate entrances, and no door and perhaps even a depressurized zone in between, then there is no way any passenger, terrorist or otherwise, can ever take control of the plane. Doesn't matter what kind of strings they try to pull, it just isn't going to happen.

This opens the door to further possibilities, like relatively harmless sleeping agents that can put the passengers out if violence ensues, as a last resort.

No, it doesn't stop people from "just blowing things up". But by taking the "strings" away, and the fact that the physics of the scenario changes so effectively, motivation to look towards airplanes for terrorism in the first place would diminish to such a degree that I imagine it would become a non-issue relatively quickly.

Just an example of thinking outside the box to solve something more effectively.

Edited 2010-11-17 17:58 UTC

Reply Score: 2

The terrorists have won!
by aaronb on Wed 17th Nov 2010 18:11 UTC
aaronb
Member since:
2005-07-06

When governments implement and enforce a system where people have the option of be groped or fined because they do not want to have naked pictures of them saved its clear that the terrorists have won.

Its a mystery (to me) why people cannot view things like this in a dispassionate and logical manor and actually implement better security.

The current measure of security in airports seems to be the more the system violates and / or irritates people the more secure it is.

Reply Score: 4

v Is a Big Deal
by jimsing59 on Wed 17th Nov 2010 18:32 UTC
Politics
by braddock on Wed 17th Nov 2010 20:03 UTC
braddock
Member since:
2005-07-08

I started reading OSNews instead of Slashdot many years ago because OSNews was refreshingly apolitical. Sometimes you just want to read *tech*.
*sigh*

Reply Score: 2

Just another thought
by blitze on Wed 17th Nov 2010 20:54 UTC
blitze
Member since:
2006-09-15

All this paranoid Security as a result of an event in 01 which to many looked to be a controlled demolition. Just saying although when the truth ever is properly investigated - it'll be ancient history.

Still the Joint Chiefs of Staff were not above nuking a US City in the 60's to get their way if required. I'm sure not much has changed.

Lady Liberty must be weeping uncontrollably and asking the French to take her back with the crap that stems from the US system nowdays. Don't think that Europe or the rest of the world is safe though from these mugs - just have a look at the recent financial activities happening in the EU.

Now AMD and MeeGo - pretty good stuff hey??? ;)

Edited 2010-11-17 20:54 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Comment by jjmckay
by jjmckay on Fri 19th Nov 2010 19:26 UTC
jjmckay
Member since:
2005-11-11

Quoting parent article

and the fact that Obama shifted from a pro-copyright reform position to an anti-reform position.


Well, he shifted on most issues too. Like all successful politicians, he lied at nearly every turn. He bathed in a Messianic glory from a deluded populace ready to believe every promise, but backed up by nothing substantial. A politician like Ron Paul who has decades of proven track record of 'change', were ignored by the established media. Our elections in the US are manipulated and don't represent the peoples' will.

It's not too dissimilar a process from the artificial music stars we are now force fed. It can be done. They can get away with it. They do get away with it. Tyranny is here.

Reply Score: 2

Security Anywhere Else?
by Dano on Sat 20th Nov 2010 06:01 UTC
Dano
Member since:
2006-01-22

This infringement on our Fourth Amendment rights is blatant and must be stopped. You take risks every time you do something, what makes flying on a plane any different? They had the metal detectors, then the air sniffing machines, but this RF-shooting-over-grown- waveguide strip search is over the top. I mean if you shove plastic explosive up your ass or anywhere else the machine can't see it anyway. It might be better to do the metal detector AND the sniffer which is less obtrusive, probably better at detecting explosives and definitely better for your health then getting blasted by high frequency RF. I had a professor that used to heat his hands up in the winter time by placing them in front of a high frequency waveguide hooked up to a transmitter in class...he later died of cancer! Who knows what this machine does.

The other stupid thing here is that you can get on a train without even buying a ticket in America, pay the conductor with cash while holding two large suitcases and no one even blinks. You can get on a bus without any screening. No one screens the cargo that is added to the luggage on the planes! I mean does grouping little kids or taking porno pictures really make sense here?

Either changing our politics or changing our military strategies sound like a better solution to security than all of this baloney. I am just going to stop flying and drive/take the train everywhere as inconvenient as it can be.

Unfortunately I have one more flight to take, any my family is coming along (wife, 3 year old and 10 month old) we will see how that goes...I am dreading going though security and we all will wear our 4th Amendment T-shirts.

Dano

Reply Score: 1