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 Post subject: TSA/Airport Security
PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 7:17 am 
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Evil Democrat
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[In the interim period during the mods' locking of our favorite CC threads (</3), I'm going to be doing my best to kickstart some discussions on less-analyzed subjects. Most of these issues (including this one) are arguments/positions I haven't fully decided my opinion on and I'd love to see some good discussion on both sides.]

A lot of us here are strongly against some of the measures employed by TSA employees and the government under the guise of "protecting the security of America" when it doesn't actually prove effective. Recently, an internal effort had 70 undercover workersattempt to sneak past TSA security with prohibited items through various airports. TSA only caught 3. I write this thread to ask two questions:

1. For those who support TSA measures, why do you do so, in light of the recent evidence and general public hatred of the TSA's efforts and failures?
2. For those who oppose TSA measures, what alternatives exist, should be used, and why?

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 Post subject: Re: TSA/Airport Security
PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 3:55 pm 
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Forerunner
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I got Precheck so now going through TSA is a breeze...

but in all seriousness yeah the ineffectiveness is alarming and what alternatives exist? Are there more possible reforms to make before going to an alternative?

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 Post subject: Re: TSA/Airport Security
PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 4:06 pm 
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Forerunner wrote:
I got Precheck so now going through TSA is a breeze...

I hate you.

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 Post subject: Re: TSA/Airport Security
PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 6:10 pm 
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(A) I really want to work as a penetration tester to try to sneak stuff by the TSA. Heck, I've already gotten nail clippers through several times.
(B) A friend of mine got her nail clippers taken away, but the agent missed the three inch long pocketknife that was literally sitting right next to them. And that was on the return trip - they had been in the exact same place on the flight out.
(C) I really hate security theater, but people tend to do bad things when they are scared, so I'm not really sure that we should just do away with airport security entirely. It at least helps people feel safe when they get on an airplane.

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 Post subject: Re: TSA/Airport Security
PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 6:44 pm 
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Reading how easily the TSA is bypassed, I'm pretty upset at myself for a couple years ago. I've always kept (until a few years ago) my dad's old Boy Scout knife on me as a matter of habit. I nearly always remembered to set it aside for flights but this was a rush flight for a college debate tournament and we were late as is. Totally forgot. My brain decides to let me remember and pull it out, while verbally warning TSA of my forgetfulness in order to be a "good citizen."

Cue TSA minion freak out.

That sparks an hour long "discussion" with generous amounts of groping, questions about my travel, where I was going, why I was using my DL instead of a passport, why I would "ever need a knife, like, ever." Needless to say, our overlords decide to let me through eventually, making the flight just in time (gates closing type of thing), which unfortunately left me no time to check my computer bag as luggage and put the knife in it. So thanks to my delay, I just had to leave the knife with TSA, no doubt passing it on to some agent's kid. Hope you get some enjoyment out of it kid. I did.

/bitter rant

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 Post subject: Re: TSA/Airport Security
PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 7:40 pm 
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I realized in line for security that I had four box cutters and an x-acto knife in my backpack… that was fun.

On a serious note, I get the reasoning for security measures and stuff, but I've heard horror stories of disabled children and adults with special medical equipment being treated badly by the TSA. The combination of inefficiency and unreasonable thoroughness/harshness makes me think something needs changing, but I haven't done enough research or reading to know how changes should be made.

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 Post subject: Re: TSA/Airport Security
PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 7:47 pm 
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So the White House is under lockdown after a threat during the TSA hearing:
http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/09/politics/ ... hreat-tsa/

IrishMex Rebel wrote:
So thanks to my delay, I just had to leave the knife with TSA, no doubt passing it on to some agent's kid.

Actually, (or at least here in Texas) it all goes to the state surplus stores, where you can get knives by the pound. :/ A sad end.

In O'Hare they'll let you put it in a tiny box and check the box. It took my friend ~15 minutes to do it after they found hers.

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 Post subject: Re: TSA/Airport Security
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 1:33 am 
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It's called security theater, and it's a hilarious waste of resources and liberty. We should move beyond movie plots and deal with more pressing threats instead.

I highly recommend:

"Why are We Spending $7 Billion on TSA?"

"Beyond Security Theater"

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 Post subject: Re: TSA/Airport Security
PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2015 9:31 pm 
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I think most everyone on this board agrees that the TSA is very bad not only in what it tries to do but how it goes about doing it. Would anyone knowledged on the subject care to speak regarding potential replacements/reforms/alternatives?

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 Post subject: Re: TSA/Airport Security
PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 2:56 am 
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Hyper Static Union wrote:
I think most everyone on this board agrees that the TSA is very bad not only in what it tries to do but how it goes about doing it. Would anyone knowledged on the subject care to speak regarding potential replacements/reforms/alternatives?



One type of TSA reform on the horizon might take place in it's tech. These things called laser molecular scanners aka picosecond programmable scanners, have been popping up in tech magazines since 2012 as the "next big TSA tech." Basically these are machines that use lasers to scan a person's (and everything else in the area) at a molecular level to determine the chemical composition of whatever. That information is than basically translated to data that informs the TSA if a person is a threat, has a forbidden item, or so on. These machines can pretty much tell you what you ate for breakfast, and supposedly they're super effective.

"The new scanners are said to be ten million times faster and one million times more sensitive than the scanners used in airports and border patrols currently."

On one hand, people are like yay less invasive because it basically sits there and can scan an entire terminal. But some privacy advocates have problems with it because it's indiscriminate. Also, some poor dude is/was locked up in Dubai because a similar device picked up hints of a cigar he accidentally stepped on, and the small amount found by the scanner was enough to get him tossed in jail.

Honestly, I have no idea if TSA is ever going to switch over to this tech since they've been talking about it for a couple of years. It could theoretically spell an end to pat downs and security lines. However, it also has the potential for a ton of misuse and could also cause some other problems that aren't currently on the horizon (like the guy in Dubai).

I don't really know, but it's definitely an option the TSA has or is considering for airports that would change the way we fly.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... -body.html

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 Post subject: Re: TSA/Airport Security
PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 3:09 am 
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I don't particularly like how the TSA Does things: but one question, since the TSA was formed has there been any major terrorist attacks?

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 Post subject: Re: TSA/Airport Security
PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 5:09 am 
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Hyper Static Union wrote:
Would anyone knowledged on the subject care to speak regarding potential replacements/reforms/alternatives?

Bruce Schneier, the author I linked to earlier, recommends that we disband the TSA and return airport security to pre-9/11 levels. Pre-TSA security, he argues, did a good enough job at deterring criminals and crazies that could be deterred. TSA doesnt really need a "replacement" because it was never worth the cost in the first place.

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 Post subject: Re: TSA/Airport Security
PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 8:12 pm 
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Mr Glasses wrote:
Hyper Static Union wrote:
Would anyone knowledged on the subject care to speak regarding potential replacements/reforms/alternatives?

Bruce Schneier, the author I linked to earlier, recommends that we disband the TSA and return airport security to pre-9/11 levels. Pre-TSA security, he argues, did a good enough job at deterring criminals and crazies that could be deterred. TSA doesnt really need a "replacement" because it was never worth the cost in the first place.

This sounds decent, but how would pre-9/11 measures deal with the radical change in technological scope the world is in now?

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 Post subject: Re: TSA/Airport Security
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 12:52 am 
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I know not this "leverage" of which you speak.
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Hyper Static Union wrote:
Mr Glasses wrote:
Hyper Static Union wrote:
Would anyone knowledged on the subject care to speak regarding potential replacements/reforms/alternatives?

Bruce Schneier, the author I linked to earlier, recommends that we disband the TSA and return airport security to pre-9/11 levels. Pre-TSA security, he argues, did a good enough job at deterring criminals and crazies that could be deterred. TSA doesnt really need a "replacement" because it was never worth the cost in the first place.

This sounds decent, but how would pre-9/11 measures deal with the radical change in technological scope the world is in now?


I don't know how to answer that question. Can you be more specific? I don't exactly see how the existence of Facebook and Twitter have any impact on airport security.

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 Post subject: Re: TSA/Airport Security
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 1:00 am 
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Mr Glasses wrote:
I don't know how to answer that question. Can you be more specific? I don't exactly see how the existence of Facebook and Twitter have any impact on airport security.

It's much easier to sneak chemical bombs that don't require metal through a metal detector : P

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 Post subject: Re: TSA/Airport Security
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 2:50 am 
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I know not this "leverage" of which you speak.
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Hyper Static Union wrote:
Mr Glasses wrote:
I don't know how to answer that question. Can you be more specific? I don't exactly see how the existence of Facebook and Twitter have any impact on airport security.

It's much easier to sneak chemical bombs that don't require metal through a metal detector : P


I think Schneier's analysis still applies. Pre-9/11 security was enough to deter idiots and disgruntled people from trying anything, but anything above that has diminishing returns. A determined terrorist will sneak through even with a multi-billion dollar security force. Thankfully terrorists are extremely rare, and smart ones are even rarer.

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 Post subject: Re: TSA/Airport Security
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2015 6:44 pm 
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This probably lands me on some list, but wouldn't a bomb attack on just the outside of an airport be just as frightening and cause just as much terror?

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 Post subject: Re: TSA/Airport Security
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2015 7:10 pm 
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IrishMex Rebel wrote:
This probably lands me on some list, but wouldn't a bomb attack on just the outside of an airport be just as frightening and cause just as much terror?

Yes.

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 Post subject: Re: TSA/Airport Security
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2015 4:29 am 
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Side note: TSA precheck is fantastic. Was going to be close to missing my return flight from Dallas - got through with 15 minutes to spare after walking past a huge line of plebians non-precheck folks.

Somehow got randomly assigned that status - no idea how.

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 Post subject: Re: TSA/Airport Security
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2015 9:08 pm 
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Hammy and I got through for our flight to Nationals with no trouble. We were even wearing our Brotherhood of Nod shirts to see what happened and I had shaved my head to look extra intimidating.

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