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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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 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 Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Tel Aviv
by merkoth on Wed 17th Nov 2010 05:39 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 Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Tel Aviv
by rob_mx on Wed 17th Nov 2010 05:44 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 Parent Score: 4