Tuesday, June 10, 2008

TSA Security Logic (follow-up)

I've had several responses, both public and private to my previous post - all of which indicate that lighters are "ok" now to carry onto planes. Some folks (presumably from the TSA) have posted links (I'll help by posting them below). Interestingly enough, there is a blog posting on the TSA Blog on the logic behind the 3-1-1 rule for airports.

For the record, I still fail to see some of the logic here... maybe I'm not intelligent enough to comprehend but the power-trips the TSA folks go on is absolutely incomprehensible at best, malicious at worst... follow me on my logic here-
  • Flammables such as lighters are an immediate threat (if you disagree, tell me why)
  • Some of the other banned substances are significantly less threatening (water?)
  • The "detectors" should be able to detect explosives (even in liquid form, right?)
  • The UK liquid bombs were to be set off by camera flash!
  • Hand-mixed liquid bombs have been deadly in small quantities before

After all that... I can only surmise that any "real" threat will not be thwarted by these existing counter-measures (with the exception of advanced intelligence). So - much like many other things that are currently being done (reference this news story about ID requirements... http://news.cnet.com/8301-13739_3-9962760-46.html?tag=nefd.top) to secure us... it's a "feel-good" measure. It's meant to give us a sense of security - and like the rest of these measures, has very little actual anti-terrorism value.

Oh, and I couldn't resist... Breast Milk is now allowed to be brought onto planes again - because... you know, we all know that Johnny Jihad likes to use breast milk as an explosive. I'm sure there's some scientific reasoning for this that I don't understand, it's just funny...

Links to TSA blog/site etc...

A final analysis - I am starting to understand why the torch lighters are not permitted (higher temp, truer burn, etc) but regular lighters can STILL be used to start a fire on board a plane! Seriously. This particular piece is concerning...

Q. Are lighters not a threat anymore?A. Lighters are not a serious threat.
Lifting the ban is a common sense, risk-based security decision. This change
allows officers to focus on finding explosives and IED components. TSA collects
22,000 lighters a day.

So - who made this determination that lighters are not a serious threat? Was it because so many were comfiscated? Does this mean if we bring in some other thing thats on the banned list in massive quantities the TSA will simply allow it? I'm not being argumentative for no reason - I'm just trying to comprehend the logic. It's one thing to say "that's just the way it is" but when logic appears to be taking a back seat... it would be good to understand why we're being hassled and annoyed while we fly.

Sorry TSA, I'm not going to simply be pacified by the "just trust us" answer...I simply don't feel ANY safer.

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