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« The s-word | Main | Counting heads on beds »

Nov 20, 2010


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Schneier is always a good read and his observation about big government is foretelling. From “Top Secret America,” in the Washington Post. "Some 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies work on programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence in about 10,000 locations across the United States."

Michele Forrest

Interesting perspective from Anil Dash: "In Defense Of The TSA, Pat-Downs, And Crappy Jobs"


"Some 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies work on programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence...."


In a few yeard, they'll give the Global Warming "Climate Change" industry a real run for the money.


I'm not certain what I think about all this, but I tend to side with the TSA.

I suspect most of the current ruckus about patdowns and scans comes from the frequent flier crowd, especially business fliers who deal with it daily.

It certainly seems, too, that much of the visible TSA security approach is reaction to previous events. Some guy puts exposives in his shoes, so now we all have to take our shoes off. That's annoying, but it does serve to thwart anyone else trying to put a bomb in his Nikes. That, I think, is a welcome thing.

When faced with a successful attempt to circumvent their system, should the TSA ignore it? Is there any reason to believe that a technique once tried unsuccessfully will not be tried again if no efforts are made to police against it?

The first time I was patted down at an airport was almost 20 years ago. I didn't like it. But, frankly, it did not feel like an assault or even an invasion of privacy. More importatly, my distaste was assuaged by knowing that everyone else on that plane was similiarly checked. If being patted down is the cost of keeping peoplel with bombs and weapons off airplanes, pat away.

Some folks are suggesting allowing airports to opt out of TSA screenings and rely on private efforts. Sorry, but I just don't accept that airport managers have the smarts to decide whether or not they need TSA screeners, or the smarts to hire adequate security in the private sector.

Some folks want to switch to the Israeli model, which, if we are to believe the internet, focuses on identifying people who want to do harm, rather than people who are actually carrying a bomb or a weapon. I have no objection to that. The Israelis certainy seem to be doing OK with it. But, I wonder if tht approach can be migrated from a few israeli airports to thousands of American airports. The Israeli approach requires a level of skill and nuance that may not be attainable at every airport in the U.S.

Steve Harrison

Did anybody else see that TSA skit on SNL last night? Not a frequent watcher anymore, but I may have to tune in more often. Hilarious.

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