Club PA 2.0 has arrived! If you'd like to access some extra PA content and help support the forums, check it out at patreon.com/ClubPA
The image size limit has been raised to 1mb! Anything larger than that should be linked to. This is a HARD limit, please do not abuse it.
Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!

Refusing to Fly Because of the TSA

145679

Posts

  • zagdrobzagdrob Registered User regular

    The fact that it hasn't happened post-9/11 has nothing to do with airport security procedures.

    They are useless.

    Law enforcement (real law enforcement, not the TSA) and intelligence have prevented such attacks from happening while they are still nascent whiffs of terroristic intent.

    It would behoove us to spend money on that, and not on porno scanners and 50,000 signs telling people they must not transport dangerous illegal toothpaste.

    I think calling airport security measures 'useless' needs a bit more evidence.

    As far as I can tell, since 9/11 there have been two serious bombing attempts - the shoe bomber and underwear bomber. In both cases, the bombs were ineffective / less effective because of the bomber's concerns about TSA security. In both cases, the bombs were small ineffective and carried on the person. Reid used matches instead of a more effective ignition source because of the TSA, and Abdulmutallab flew internationally to bypass the TSA.

    Also, there were the people who took knives, box cutters, and pepper spray on airplanes back in 2001, which would likely have been prevented by current TSA policies.

    I definitely agree that there are arguments to be had over revisiting our priorities...but a multi-layered security approach is almost always going to be more effective than the same approach without one of those layers.
    Well I guess we could institute my mandatory anal probe security plan then.

    In a couple of months the number of people flying would decline to a manageable number!

    If it sounds silly, well, that's just because we haven't had a terrorist put a bomb in his colon yet. Once we do, the TSA will be all over it since instituting sweeping policy to respond to a bizarre attack that already happened is basically all they are capable of.

    I'm serious here - if we have a terrorist attack using a bomb that has been surgically implanted or inserted into a bomber's colon, what should the TSA do? The TSA has a mandate to take reasonable measures to stop / prevent attacks on our transportation infrastructure, so saying 'sorry, too hard to prevent, can't do anything' simply isn't an option.

    Do we need to wait until there is actually a successful attack before the TSA should respond? Or do you have some magic number where X planes need to go down / Y people need to die?

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    The TSA could do full blown xrays.

    Or, you know, they could just not do anything.

    Ladies.
  • AtomikaAtomika not a robot Registered User regular
    There's actually some interesting research being done in the field of low-radiation/no-radiation x-ray imaging. I imagine once this gets perfected, we'll all be getting CT scans at the airport.

  • ChanusChanus Sugoi! ^_____^Registered User regular
    We could just give everyone an electric shock so you can see their skeletons.

    It works in cartoons.

    **Winner Softest and Most Comfy Hugs Award Summer 2018**

    Blueberrywerewlf on the Sony Anime Games Box | BluberryWerewlf on the BroBone
    mcdermottbowen
  • HamurabiHamurabi AmsterdamRegistered User regular
    So It Goes wrote: »
    Hamurabi wrote: »
    zagdrob wrote: »
    Shivahn wrote: »
    zagdrob wrote: »
    Are you kidding? You think it wouldn't take much to conduct a coordinated multi-state (if not nationwide) attack that would require a minimum of ten to fifteen participants with their own transportation and multiple explosive devices? You're talking about recruiting a dozen Americans, or sneaking in a dozen terrorists into America without any getting picked up, without any of them being informants? These people either need to be dedicated enough to commit suicide, or the explosives need to be sophisticated enough to be reliable.

    I dunno, it's happened before.

    Yeah, pre-9/11.

    Even then, it was a pretty expansive operation - not something that 'didn't take much'.

    The fact that it hasn't happened post-9/11 has nothing to do with airport security procedures.

    They are useless.

    Law enforcement (real law enforcement, not the TSA) and intelligence have prevented such attacks from happening while they are still nascent whiffs of terroristic intent.

    It would behoove us to spend money on that, and not on porno scanners and 50,000 signs telling people they must not transport dangerous illegal toothpaste.

    So we should spend money on spying on people.

    I don't pretend to have the perfect answer to the tension between security and personal liberties, but let's be clear about what we're talking about -- unless I've misunderstood you. :)

    Like I said, it's much more acceptable to put up with things when they are actually effective.

    wiretapping anyone we want without a warrant

    very effective

    easier to support?

    I don't get your argument. The most effective thing would be to trample personal liberty completely.

    I thought we already were doing warrantless wiretaps of terror suspects?

    Or are they just sealed warrants? That would be less distressing, although still not ideal.

    However, I still have far fewer issues with measures that are effective than with less egregious measures that are noteworthy for nothing beyond being useless.

    I work under the impression that my house is being tapped for no other reason that as a heuristic measure based on our level of brownness (hint: it's too high). This is not at all an unfounded conclusion based on my (admittedly limited) knowledge of the powers of the Patriot Act.

  • DiannaoChongDiannaoChong Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    r4dr3z wrote: »
    If you destroy a plane, its millions of dollars for the plane, fuel, plus insurance costs, plus lawsuits of passengers. a PR nightmare for the brand. This doesnt count if they use the plane to hit something.

    If a bunch of people die in line from a bomb, its lost lives and lawsuits. Maybe structural damage to the building. The costs are not comparable, hense why they dont mind you forming a very long line at a chokepoint in the airport.
    I disagree. On average, each dead US citizen will cost society millions in insurance claims, lost revenue, and forfeited development of that citizen (suddenly that dead doctor's medical training is worthless). I would expect a coordinated attack across 10-15 major airports on a busy travel day like the day before Thanksgiving. Even if only 100 people were killed, this would cripple the airline industry and our economy. People would be too scared to fly while the TSA searches for answers to how they can screen people without queuing them up in contained quarters.

    I'll give you that they may not mind having the long line. After all, it's their investment in an aircraft that they don't want to outright lose to a bomb detonation. However, I personally worry about this. It wouldn't take much to initiate such an attack.

    I think thats the big disconnect though, airlines dont care what the govt has to do when people die. and people dying in line wont make airplanes less safe, they make lines less safe. The TSA is only sorta kinda maybe the govt, but not really and we have all agreed that they are basically windowblinds of security. If they cared about explosions in line they wouldnt chuck "suspicious" liquids into a garbage can like they were shooting hoops. I agree that a death is a big loss for the US Govt, xkcd doing the research puts a human casualty value at well over a million dollars each(in a natural disaster at least). I cant remember if it was calculated by FEMA or another govt study.

    DiannaoChong on
    steam_sig.png
  • ShivahnShivahn Unaware of her barrel shifter privilege Eastern coastal temptressRegistered User regular
    There's actually some interesting research being done in the field of low-radiation/no-radiation x-ray imaging. I imagine once this gets perfected, we'll all be getting CT scans at the airport.

    This is super pedantic but should probably be cleared up because medicine; CT scans specifically give a fuckload of radiation.

  • mightyjongyomightyjongyo Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    They don't need explosives. Drive to Wal-Mart, buy a rifle and some ammo. Done.

    That was another Tom Clancy book.

    Clearly there is a correlation here

  • AtomikaAtomika not a robot Registered User regular
    Shivahn wrote: »
    There's actually some interesting research being done in the field of low-radiation/no-radiation x-ray imaging. I imagine once this gets perfected, we'll all be getting CT scans at the airport.

    This is super pedantic but should probably be cleared up because medicine; CT scans specifically give a fuckload of radiation.

    I know, friend. I was exaggerating.

    I work in medicine.

  • ShivahnShivahn Unaware of her barrel shifter privilege Eastern coastal temptressRegistered User regular
    Shivahn wrote: »
    There's actually some interesting research being done in the field of low-radiation/no-radiation x-ray imaging. I imagine once this gets perfected, we'll all be getting CT scans at the airport.

    This is super pedantic but should probably be cleared up because medicine; CT scans specifically give a fuckload of radiation.

    I know, friend. I was exaggerating.

    I work in medicine.

    I know! I just didn't want some random passerbye to think CTs use no radiation.

    Because I also work in medicine and I've seen people try to get CTs instead of MRI's because they have less radiation.

    And then I have heard the doctor explain for five minutes that a lot of radiation is actually more radiation than zero radiation and whoever told you that CTs are safer is a liar.

  • AtomikaAtomika not a robot Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    Yeah, CTs are terribly high in radiation. Higher than MRI by a bit, I think. MRIs just take much long and are a huge pain in the ass to sit trough.

    I've had 4 MRIs in the last 4 months. Ugh. But at least now I know what part of me is broken.

    Atomika on
  • ThomamelasThomamelas Only one man can kill this many Russians. Bring his guitar to me! Registered User regular
    zagdrob wrote: »

    I'm serious here - if we have a terrorist attack using a bomb that has been surgically implanted or inserted into a bomber's colon, what should the TSA do? The TSA has a mandate to take reasonable measures to stop / prevent attacks on our transportation infrastructure, so saying 'sorry, too hard to prevent, can't do anything' simply isn't an option.

    Do we need to wait until there is actually a successful attack before the TSA should respond? Or do you have some magic number where X planes need to go down / Y people need to die?

    You do a threat assessment. Part of a threat assessment is determining what makes up a credible threat, what kind of threats your protecting against and what you can afford to protect. Sorry, too hard to prevent, can't do anything is actually a valid option. The TSA is ultimately in a defensive position. They could plan for every possible contingency. But Congress would never write them a check that big. So they trim back possible scenarios to plausible ones, knowing that they can't be in a position to ever be 100% successful. This means that sometimes they will be wrong. Explosives in a shoe were considered unlikely by the threat assessment. That was an error.

    The world's worst bowl of Colon Blow is fairly unlikely scenario that is absurdly hard to defend against short of checking everyone who flies for surgical scars. Which would be manpower intensive, and thus budget intensive. Is it possible it happens one day? Sure. Is it a good use of TSA budget to defend against? Hell no.

  • ShivahnShivahn Unaware of her barrel shifter privilege Eastern coastal temptressRegistered User regular
    Yeah, CTs are terribly high in radiation. Higher than MRI by a bit, I think. MRIs just take much long and are a huge pain in the ass to sit trough.

    I've had 4 MRIs in the last 4 months. Ugh. But at least now I know what part of me is broken.

    MRI's take forever and are expensive, but they use literally no ionizing radiation. The imaging is done by perturbations in a magnetic field.

    Basically the reasons for CTs are that they're cheaper and faster, so good in emergencies or with people who can't or won't sit still. Or have magnets in them. But MRIs are superior in pretty much every way other than cost and time.

    AtomikaJuliusbowen
  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    Hamurabi wrote: »
    So It Goes wrote: »
    Hamurabi wrote: »
    zagdrob wrote: »
    Shivahn wrote: »
    zagdrob wrote: »
    Are you kidding? You think it wouldn't take much to conduct a coordinated multi-state (if not nationwide) attack that would require a minimum of ten to fifteen participants with their own transportation and multiple explosive devices? You're talking about recruiting a dozen Americans, or sneaking in a dozen terrorists into America without any getting picked up, without any of them being informants? These people either need to be dedicated enough to commit suicide, or the explosives need to be sophisticated enough to be reliable.

    I dunno, it's happened before.

    Yeah, pre-9/11.

    Even then, it was a pretty expansive operation - not something that 'didn't take much'.

    The fact that it hasn't happened post-9/11 has nothing to do with airport security procedures.

    They are useless.

    Law enforcement (real law enforcement, not the TSA) and intelligence have prevented such attacks from happening while they are still nascent whiffs of terroristic intent.

    It would behoove us to spend money on that, and not on porno scanners and 50,000 signs telling people they must not transport dangerous illegal toothpaste.

    So we should spend money on spying on people.

    I don't pretend to have the perfect answer to the tension between security and personal liberties, but let's be clear about what we're talking about -- unless I've misunderstood you. :)

    Like I said, it's much more acceptable to put up with things when they are actually effective.

    wiretapping anyone we want without a warrant

    very effective

    easier to support?

    I don't get your argument. The most effective thing would be to trample personal liberty completely.

    I thought we already were doing warrantless wiretaps of terror suspects?

    Or are they just sealed warrants? That would be less distressing, although still not ideal.

    However, I still have far fewer issues with measures that are effective than with less egregious measures that are noteworthy for nothing beyond being useless.

    I work under the impression that my house is being tapped for no other reason that as a heuristic measure based on our level of brownness (hint: it's too high). This is not at all an unfounded conclusion based on my (admittedly limited) knowledge of the powers of the Patriot Act.

    If you're actually wondering, all of your electronic communications that bounce through an international data hub are collected. But so are mine. The trick is that the NSA is allowed to collect and store, but it isn't considered an intercept until a human being starts going through it. Because of the volume that is collected, no one is going to go through it based solely on you skin color. There are other criteria that determine whether it is going to hit an analysts desk.

  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    If you start checking potential colon bombers for surgical scars, the terrorists are just going to recruit colon bombers from the crystal meth fisting community.

    Then I guess the TSA will have to start checking people for ass stretch marks.

    As long as we're free though.


    That's the important thing.

  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    If you're going to have ridiculous hypotheticals about surgically implanted bombs, wouldn't it be helpful to remember that the electrically-conductive components in a timed or remote detonator are going to set off a metal detector made in the 1970s?

  • zagdrobzagdrob Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    Thomamelas wrote: »
    zagdrob wrote: »

    I'm serious here - if we have a terrorist attack using a bomb that has been surgically implanted or inserted into a bomber's colon, what should the TSA do? The TSA has a mandate to take reasonable measures to stop / prevent attacks on our transportation infrastructure, so saying 'sorry, too hard to prevent, can't do anything' simply isn't an option.

    Do we need to wait until there is actually a successful attack before the TSA should respond? Or do you have some magic number where X planes need to go down / Y people need to die?

    You do a threat assessment. Part of a threat assessment is determining what makes up a credible threat, what kind of threats your protecting against and what you can afford to protect. Sorry, too hard to prevent, can't do anything is actually a valid option. The TSA is ultimately in a defensive position. They could plan for every possible contingency. But Congress would never write them a check that big. So they trim back possible scenarios to plausible ones, knowing that they can't be in a position to ever be 100% successful. This means that sometimes they will be wrong. Explosives in a shoe were considered unlikely by the threat assessment. That was an error.

    The world's worst bowl of Colon Blow is fairly unlikely scenario that is absurdly hard to defend against short of checking everyone who flies for surgical scars. Which would be manpower intensive, and thus budget intensive. Is it possible it happens one day? Sure. Is it a good use of TSA budget to defend against? Hell no.

    Now, I definitely agree with doing a threat assessment, and not responding to every possible threat out there. It's simply impractical since the number of potential threats is basically unlimited. In this case, I was specifically responding to this:
    Regina Fong wrote: »

    If it sounds silly, well, that's just because we haven't had a terrorist put a bomb in his colon yet. Once we do, the TSA will be all over it since instituting sweeping policy to respond to a bizarre attack that already happened is basically all they are capable of.

    I don't find a colon / surgically implanted bomb to be that unlikely. There are already documented cases of drugs being implanted surgically for smuggling, and keistering or swallowing drugs and other items to hide them has been used since the dawn of history. Those techniques are widely suggested, and the bomb scenario is common enough that 'Why Am I Ticking' is a common trope (although it doesn't just cover implanted bombs).

    If a colon / surgically implanted bomb is demonstrated to be an effective vector for terrorist attacks, the TSA has a mandate to respond to it and prevent that vector from being used again. If sweeping policy is the only response they deem effective, then yes...they have to do it.

    Seriously - if it's deemed a serious threat, how would you suggest they address it? Putting everyone through a MRI or other low radiation scan might not be entirely too ridiculous.

    It seems like the TSA is damned if they do, damned if they don't...
    SammyF wrote: »
    If you're going to have ridiculous hypotheticals about surgically implanted bombs, wouldn't it be helpful to remember that the electrically-conductive components in a timed or remote detonator are going to set off a metal detector made in the 1970s?

    Eh, acid timers are a thing. As are people with metal in their bodies.

    If explosives are keistered, they could be removed in the bathroom and assembled / detonated on the aircraft.

    zagdrob on
  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    SammyF wrote: »
    If you're going to have ridiculous hypotheticals about surgically implanted bombs, wouldn't it be helpful to remember that the electrically-conductive components in a timed or remote detonator are going to set off a metal detector made in the 1970s?

    Two words:

    Butt fuse

    Chanus
  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    No, no, that's not a fuse, it's just the world's worst tampon accident.

  • ThomamelasThomamelas Only one man can kill this many Russians. Bring his guitar to me! Registered User regular
    Generally things that go boom, and the things that make them go boom don't get along with the human body. I mean RDX doesn't appear to be lethal in large doses but it will cause seizures. Having your bomber rushed to the hospital because he had a seizure in the security line is a bit impractical. I think we can rule out the Colon/Lung/Anus/implanted bomb.

  • tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    There's actually some interesting research being done in the field of low-radiation/no-radiation x-ray imaging. I imagine once this gets perfected, we'll all be getting CT scans at the airport.

    That's what the mm wave imaging machines at the airport do, so this technology has already been 'perfected' for airport scanner use. These waves aren't penetrative enough to scan the whole body.

    It's impossible to build a scanning machine which could perform a CT style scan with no radiation dose other than an ultrasound scanner (which relies on vibration). Anything you do with radiation passing through the body and interacting with it to give contrast will give a radiation dose.

    "That is cool" - Abraham Lincoln
  • r4dr3zr4dr3z Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    They don't need explosives. Drive to Wal-Mart, buy a rifle and some ammo. Done.

    That was another Tom Clancy book.
    It was also something that happened in real life. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beltway_sniper_attacks

  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Nurse, Veteran, Army Mom, Ficus, Space Dad, Survivor Contestant God Bless This Mess Registered User regular
    We should all be bothered by the surrendering of our personal agency to the TSA during screenings and otherwise. It is security theater and useless security theater at that. Combine that with the sheer volume of racist/sexist/queerphobic bullshit that TSA officials pull in their supposedly random screening processes and it is a violation of our basic humans rights, white male or otherwise.

    ShivahnRegina Fong
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    r4dr3z wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    They don't need explosives. Drive to Wal-Mart, buy a rifle and some ammo. Done.

    That was another Tom Clancy book.

    It was also something that happened in real life. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beltway_sniper_attacks

    I always forget that seemed to have maybe vaguely terrorist motive. Rather than just crazy serial killer.

    But definitely a good demonstration of how effective it could be.

  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote: »
    r4dr3z wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    They don't need explosives. Drive to Wal-Mart, buy a rifle and some ammo. Done.

    That was another Tom Clancy book.

    It was also something that happened in real life. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beltway_sniper_attacks

    I always forget that seemed to have maybe vaguely terrorist motive. Rather than just crazy serial killer.

    But definitely a good demonstration of how effective it could be.

    I'm honestly flabbergasted at how easy it would be to just randomly murder a bunch of people if you did it right.

    Sometimes I think a big part of what keeps us safe is anyone coherent enough to pull off an attack or campaign of attacks or the like and get away with it is not crazy enough to actually do it.

  • SyrdonSyrdon Registered User regular
    zagdrob wrote: »
    Also, there were the people who took knives, box cutters, and pepper spray on airplanes back in 2001, which would likely have been prevented by current TSA policies.
    As opposed to all the times where people are able to take firearms onto planes now, without TSA noticing. Hell, last I checked Newark Airport had a whopping 90% failure rate at detecting prohibited items. If we're going to make the claim that TSA should be stopping people from taking specific items on to planes, lets at least make sure they can manage living up to those claims.

  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    Which prohibited items?

  • mightyjongyomightyjongyo Registered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    Which prohibited items?

    Last time I flew, this included liquids > 3 fl. oz., anything with a blade, and generally any metal aerosol cans.

    Sadly I think a big part of this is because the TSA operatives ultimately decide what goes through, even if the machine software detects it. This is ultimately discriminatory profiling.

  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    That's kind if my point though.

    Missing 90% of prohibited items doesn't mean much if it's almost all shampoos and mouth washes.

  • SyrdonSyrdon Registered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    That's kind if my point though.

    Missing 90% of prohibited items doesn't mean much if it's almost all shampoos and mouth washes.
    That was out of TSA's testing set. If 90% of that set is shit that doesn't matter, than maybe the list of prohibited items is not less than 90% crap. That said, what I've been seeing is simulated bombs, see below.

    More than that, this what I get for googling "TSA handgun past security"
    http://abcnews.go.com/US/tsa-lets-loaded-guns-past-security-planes/story?id=17358872
    http://denver.cbslocal.com/2012/10/19/handgun-found-past-security-at-denver-airport-tsa-locates-owner/

    3 loaded handguns in two months, all accidental. Or, at least, not carried with malicious intent. I'm almost curious what someone who wants to confuse them could pull off.

    The only results I can find are several years old, but when I've flown through it, Newark hasn't been any better than this:
    2006, Newark: http://consumerist.com/2006/10/30/newark-airport-screeners-fail-to-find-hidden-weapons-in-federal-test/
    2007, Denver: http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_5552494

    If you can find more recent results, I'd love to see them. The best I've got is this from 2011:
    The ABC News report Gulliver linked to last month didn't rely on 2004, 2005, or 2006 numbers—it referenced "a person briefed" on "the latest tests" who said they have a failure rate of 70%. And earlier in December, TSA administrator John Pistole told the press that some airports let every test gun, knife, and bomb part through. Here's a key excerpt from another ABC News article:

    "We've had a series of reports actually going back several years from the inspector general, from the General Accounting Office, and our own TSA Office of Inspection, where they do, as you describe, covert testing," Pistole acknowledged to George Stephanopoulos last month during an interview on Good Morning America. "And unfortunately, [undercover testers] have been very successful over the years."

    Pistole seems to think TSA is a sieve, so I'm betting that TSA fails miserably as a detection system for things that are dangerous.

  • SliderSlider Registered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    Which prohibited items?

    Last time I flew, this included liquids > 3 fl. oz., anything with a blade, and generally any metal aerosol cans.

    Sadly I think a big part of this is because the TSA operatives ultimately decide what goes through, even if the machine software detects it. This is ultimately discriminatory profiling.

    Butter knives are okay. Nothing with serration.

    However, I have seen airline issued cutlery and bottle openers taken from flight attendants by stupid TSA employees.

  • SliderSlider Registered User regular
    Syrdon wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    That's kind if my point though.

    Missing 90% of prohibited items doesn't mean much if it's almost all shampoos and mouth washes.
    That was out of TSA's testing set. If 90% of that set is shit that doesn't matter, than maybe the list of prohibited items is not less than 90% crap. That said, what I've been seeing is simulated bombs, see below.

    More than that, this what I get for googling "TSA handgun past security"
    http://abcnews.go.com/US/tsa-lets-loaded-guns-past-security-planes/story?id=17358872
    http://denver.cbslocal.com/2012/10/19/handgun-found-past-security-at-denver-airport-tsa-locates-owner/

    3 loaded handguns in two months, all accidental. Or, at least, not carried with malicious intent. I'm almost curious what someone who wants to confuse them could pull off.

    The only results I can find are several years old, but when I've flown through it, Newark hasn't been any better than this:
    2006, Newark: http://consumerist.com/2006/10/30/newark-airport-screeners-fail-to-find-hidden-weapons-in-federal-test/
    2007, Denver: http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_5552494

    If you can find more recent results, I'd love to see them. The best I've got is this from 2011:
    The ABC News report Gulliver linked to last month didn't rely on 2004, 2005, or 2006 numbers—it referenced "a person briefed" on "the latest tests" who said they have a failure rate of 70%. And earlier in December, TSA administrator John Pistole told the press that some airports let every test gun, knife, and bomb part through. Here's a key excerpt from another ABC News article:

    "We've had a series of reports actually going back several years from the inspector general, from the General Accounting Office, and our own TSA Office of Inspection, where they do, as you describe, covert testing," Pistole acknowledged to George Stephanopoulos last month during an interview on Good Morning America. "And unfortunately, [undercover testers] have been very successful over the years."

    Pistole seems to think TSA is a sieve, so I'm betting that TSA fails miserably as a detection system for things that are dangerous.

    It's difficult to see anything in that jumbled mess of shapes and colors. After a while, you get better at it by identifying dangerous colors. Guns, knives, bullets and large liquids are easy to spot, but I always had a difficult time identifying materials used for making explosives.

    Imagine management and your supervisors being tense and upset, because there is a long line of impatient passengers complaining about the time it takes to proceed through screening; and part of the reason it takes so long is because you are very slow on the x-ray.

    As an officer, you are told to be efficient and focused on security, but also quietly encouraged to speed it up.

  • MelksterMelkster Registered User regular
    In other news:

    Man With 4th Amendment Written on Chest Wins Trial Over Airport Arrest

    The circuit court said:
    Here, Mr. Tobey engaged in a silent, peaceful protest using the text of our Constitution—he was well within the ambit of First Amendment protections. And while it is tempting to hold that First Amendment rights should acquiesce to national security in this instance, our Forefather Benjamin Franklin warned against such a temptation by opining that those ‘who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.’ We take heed of his warning and are therefore unwilling to relinquish our First Amendment protections—even in an airport.

    Also, god damn that man has a body on him. He should do more protests.

  • mightyjongyomightyjongyo Registered User regular
    Slider wrote: »
    Syrdon wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    That's kind if my point though.

    Missing 90% of prohibited items doesn't mean much if it's almost all shampoos and mouth washes.
    That was out of TSA's testing set. If 90% of that set is shit that doesn't matter, than maybe the list of prohibited items is not less than 90% crap. That said, what I've been seeing is simulated bombs, see below.

    More than that, this what I get for googling "TSA handgun past security"
    http://abcnews.go.com/US/tsa-lets-loaded-guns-past-security-planes/story?id=17358872
    http://denver.cbslocal.com/2012/10/19/handgun-found-past-security-at-denver-airport-tsa-locates-owner/

    3 loaded handguns in two months, all accidental. Or, at least, not carried with malicious intent. I'm almost curious what someone who wants to confuse them could pull off.

    The only results I can find are several years old, but when I've flown through it, Newark hasn't been any better than this:
    2006, Newark: http://consumerist.com/2006/10/30/newark-airport-screeners-fail-to-find-hidden-weapons-in-federal-test/
    2007, Denver: http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_5552494

    If you can find more recent results, I'd love to see them. The best I've got is this from 2011:
    The ABC News report Gulliver linked to last month didn't rely on 2004, 2005, or 2006 numbers—it referenced "a person briefed" on "the latest tests" who said they have a failure rate of 70%. And earlier in December, TSA administrator John Pistole told the press that some airports let every test gun, knife, and bomb part through. Here's a key excerpt from another ABC News article:

    "We've had a series of reports actually going back several years from the inspector general, from the General Accounting Office, and our own TSA Office of Inspection, where they do, as you describe, covert testing," Pistole acknowledged to George Stephanopoulos last month during an interview on Good Morning America. "And unfortunately, [undercover testers] have been very successful over the years."

    Pistole seems to think TSA is a sieve, so I'm betting that TSA fails miserably as a detection system for things that are dangerous.

    It's difficult to see anything in that jumbled mess of shapes and colors. After a while, you get better at it by identifying dangerous colors. Guns, knives, bullets and large liquids are easy to spot, but I always had a difficult time identifying materials used for making explosives.

    Imagine management and your supervisors being tense and upset, because there is a long line of impatient passengers complaining about the time it takes to proceed through screening; and part of the reason it takes so long is because you are very slow on the x-ray.

    As an officer, you are told to be efficient and focused on security, but also quietly encouraged to speed it up.


    How do you think this could have been improved? by more training? Better image quality? Better threat detection software?

  • durandal4532durandal4532 Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    Actually, there's plenty of research on the topic of improving screening:
    The cost of searching for two visual targets simultaneously was compared against two separate single-target searches using exposure time and accuracy measures within a staircase procedure. Dual-target search for all stimuli (colour, shape and orientation) exhibited a loss of accuracy for one target. For orientation and shape, this dual-target cost in accuracy was extreme, with chance-level performance on one target. For colour, dual-target search exhibited an additional cost in search time, with search requiring a longer exposure than the summed time required for two single-target searches. An additional search-time cost was also found for orientation targets when irrelevant colour variation was added to the display. In conclusion, dual-target search for dissimilar targets is accompanied by an accuracy cost. Furthermore, colour variation, whether task-relevant or not, leads to an additional cost in processing speed. The results suggest that a divided-effort strategy would improve performance in search tasks such as X-ray baggage screening. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

    From: here
    Basically, search for a single type of target at a time, don't put multiple colors on screen and ask people to divide attention.

    Of course, that hasn't actually been implemented.

    durandal4532 on
    Take a moment to donate what you can to the International Rescue Committee, the National Immigration Law Center, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the American Civil Liberties Union. There has never been a more urgent moment to do so.
  • ThomamelasThomamelas Only one man can kill this many Russians. Bring his guitar to me! Registered User regular
    Actually, there's plenty of research on the topic of improving screening:
    The cost of searching for two visual targets simultaneously was compared against two separate single-target searches using exposure time and accuracy measures within a staircase procedure. Dual-target search for all stimuli (colour, shape and orientation) exhibited a loss of accuracy for one target. For orientation and shape, this dual-target cost in accuracy was extreme, with chance-level performance on one target. For colour, dual-target search exhibited an additional cost in search time, with search requiring a longer exposure than the summed time required for two single-target searches. An additional search-time cost was also found for orientation targets when irrelevant colour variation was added to the display. In conclusion, dual-target search for dissimilar targets is accompanied by an accuracy cost. Furthermore, colour variation, whether task-relevant or not, leads to an additional cost in processing speed. The results suggest that a divided-effort strategy would improve performance in search tasks such as X-ray baggage screening. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

    From: here
    Basically, search for a single type of target at a time, don't put multiple colors on screen and ask people to divide attention.

    Of course, that hasn't actually been implemented.

    Likely for cost reasons. You can accomplish it one of three ways. First is individual screenings taking longer but with more screeners, the second is multiple screenings per person with more screeners, or improving analytics on the screening devices. All three suffer from the issue of costing more money.

  • ShivahnShivahn Unaware of her barrel shifter privilege Eastern coastal temptressRegistered User regular
    I'm not sure how good a defense "cost reasons" are. I mean, since the TSA apparently has a lot of money to blow on fancy new scanners of questionable utility, it seems like they should have been able to afford stuff that is actually shown to work? Maybe the costs are drastically different, but I feel kind of weird excusing a lack of useful implementation based on that when there is what I perceive as gratuitous waste going on.

    GethQuidmcdermott
  • ThomamelasThomamelas Only one man can kill this many Russians. Bring his guitar to me! Registered User regular
    Shivahn wrote: »
    I'm not sure how good a defense "cost reasons" are. I mean, since the TSA apparently has a lot of money to blow on fancy new scanners of questionable utility, it seems like they should have been able to afford stuff that is actually shown to work? Maybe the costs are drastically different, but I feel kind of weird excusing a lack of useful implementation based on that when there is what I perceive as gratuitous waste going on.

    Cost reasons are always a concern. They tend to be one of the deciding factors in any security project. In this case you're talking about operator costs and training costs. The TSA has a massive problem of a 25% turnover rate among screeners. They had a 25% turnover rate during a shitty economy where people were struggling to get jobs. As the economy gets better that number is going to get worse. But the reason that the turnover rate matters is that most of the methods being proposed for improving screening is either more guards, or better trained guards. To get either, you're talking about a very expensive improvement. The TSA operates the bulk of their screeners as part-time. This is mostly to save money on benefits. Getting more screeners and retaining them means personnel costs go up from both a per hour basis as well as a benefit basis. Training costs will go up slightly but if they can get that turnover rate to a sane level, then you won't see it spike nearly as bad, but it's going up too.

    A scanner is mostly a fixed cost. You're gonna have some annual maintenance contracts with them but the bulk of the cost is a capital cost. Which staffing isn't. Staffing is seen as a long term budgetary cost. That doesn't mean it may not be the best way to spend the money, but the perception of the money spent is different. If you take the total amount of money spent on the scanners so far, and just hired screeners you're looking at about four screeners for each airport for 1 year. The life span of the scanners should be five years. And those are trained to current TSA levels. Which are a joke.

  • ShivahnShivahn Unaware of her barrel shifter privilege Eastern coastal temptressRegistered User regular
    Ah, that does make sense.

    I'm obviously in a position that makes me pretty predisposed to not see the TSA well and it's hard to get past that.

  • ThomamelasThomamelas Only one man can kill this many Russians. Bring his guitar to me! Registered User regular
    Shivahn wrote: »
    Ah, that does make sense.

    I'm obviously in a position that makes me pretty predisposed to not see the TSA well and it's hard to get past that.

    I don't care for it much either. It was badly designed from the start, has picked up a shitty culture and any solution I propose would involve razing it to the ground and rebuilding it from scratch. I just also have a good idea of the cost and realize I will never ever get anyone to pay for it. So I just view it as a really shitty jobs program.

Sign In or Register to comment.