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TSA To Allow Laptops In Approved Bags

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the security-theater dept.

Transportation 571

mnovotny writes "TIME is reporting that TSA will be allowing laptops in approved bags through security checkpoints. 'The new rules, announced Tuesday and set to take effect Aug. 16, are intended to help streamline the X-ray inspection lines. To qualify as "checkpoint friendly," a bag must have a designated laptop-only section that unfolds to lie flat on the X-ray machine belt and contains no metal snaps, zippers or buckles and no pockets.'" Don't you feel safer? I wish an independent 3rd-party group could get together and see what they could get through security without being arrested for the experiment. So little of what the TSA is doing is any more than illusion.

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So my new bag is out? (4, Funny)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497217)

It's all black leather covered in studs, spikes and chains.

gotta love a Vampire goth laptop bag to get you wierd looks when wearing a 3 piece suit.

Targus lobbyist (4, Insightful)

xzvf (924443) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497545)

Look for the Targus lobbyist that pretty much eliminated every existing laptop bag requiring new bags to be purchased for everyone that wants to take advantage of this rule. Right after Xmas he may be looking for a new revenue stream and TSA approved goth might be hot.

So little? (0, Offtopic)

cyclobotomy (681303) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497219)

So little of what the TSA is doing is any more than illusion.

...so then most of what they are doing is actually worth-while security?

Re:So little? (3, Insightful)

Nos. (179609) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497299)

You may want to read that again. It basically says, "little of what they are doing is more than illusion", which is roughly translated to "little of what they do is useful".

Re:So little? (0, Troll)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497311)

Apparently punctuation is difficult for our editors. I believe that was meant to be "So, little of what the TSA is doing is any more than illusion".

Usually they just write "I hate MS troll diaf stfu" with a goatse link.

Re:So little? (1)

despe666 (802244) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497569)

Apparently it is difficult for you too. The original phrase makes more sense than yours, and means exactly what it should mean (i.e. most of what they do is an illusion)

Re:So little? (1, Insightful)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 5 years ago | (#24498365)

Who modded this 'offtopic'? Critiquing the editors is always relevant.

Re:So little? (0, Troll)

FireStormZ (1315639) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497577)

How dare you question a tsa bashing post... no karma for you!

I don't think that sneaking stuff through is smart (3, Insightful)

Ferzerp (83619) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497263)

It would make a point, but I fear that the reaction would be the opposite of what many of us would like. If we showed holes in the security theater that has been built, stricter measures would be put in place and all travellers would be inconvenienced even more.

I'm actually really surprised that the summary suggests that.

Re:I don't think that sneaking stuff through is sm (3, Insightful)

Kamots (321174) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497307)

I'm failing to see the downside?

But then I see the general populace being greatly inconvenienced as a good thing... as it might wake them from their current stupor.

Hey, the TSA does screw all with private planes. (5, Insightful)

crovira (10242) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497581)

The TSA's mainly bull shit and bluster by little tin-pot tyrants.

If I was so inclined (and not crippled,) I'd high jack a FedEx or a UPS plane.

Why mess with security if you don't have to.

A fully fueled and loaded plane will go into a large federally owned building regardless of whether there are a hundred passengers plotting a coup on your ass, or a crew lying quietly dead in the back of the plane.

Private aviation is a lot more vulnerable than the cash strapped public carriers.

Re:Hey, the TSA does screw all with private planes (2, Interesting)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497705)

Ahh but you see, if they did anything to private aviation, it'd affect their own flights. So no more bush just walking up to the private jet with no security checks.

Re:Hey, the TSA does screw all with private planes (5, Funny)

CheeseTroll (696413) | more than 5 years ago | (#24498139)

If the president hijacks Air Force One and plows it into the White House, then I'm not gonna vote for him in the next election. Just sayin'.

Re:Hey, the TSA does screw all with private planes (2, Funny)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#24498281)

If the president hijacks Air Force One and plows it into the White House, then I'm not gonna vote for him in the next election. Just sayin'.

Well the President maybe, but Cheney would probably get away with it.

Re:Hey, the TSA does screw all with private planes (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 5 years ago | (#24498431)

>>If the president hijacks Air Force One and plows it into the White House, then I'm not gonna vote for him
>>in the next election. Just sayin'.
>
>Well the President maybe, but Cheney would probably get away with it.

*whoosh*

Re:Hey, the TSA does screw all with private planes (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 5 years ago | (#24498437)

I would!

Re:Hey, the TSA does screw all with private planes (5, Insightful)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497735)

A fully fueled and loaded plane will go into a large federally owned building regardless of whether there are a hundred passengers plotting a coup on your ass, or a crew lying quietly dead in the back of the plane.

Which could easily be shot down.

When you hijack a plane with enough people on board, shooting the plane down can still give a huge image hit on the ones that did the shooting, even if it was the right thing to do.

On a plane with only terrorists onboard, it would be very easy to give order to have it shot down.

Re:Hey, the TSA does screw all with private planes (2, Informative)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#24498175)

Are you sure you know what is in those packages on that FedEx or UPS plane? They could be highly valuable and/or highly dangerous, or they could have brought on board a valuable political hostage snatched earlier.

To beat the Jack Bauers in the world you need contingencies on top of contingencies nigh ad infinitum.

Re:Hey, the TSA does screw all with private planes (4, Insightful)

electrictroy (912290) | more than 5 years ago | (#24498445)

If I were president.....

given the choice between saving several thousand people in a skyscraper,
and saving a hundred-or-so in an airplane,
I'd save the skyscraper filled with people... ...the airplane would be shot-down. It's one of those situations where people WILL die no matter what happens, and it's better that a hundred die than several thousand. If the american people are too pussy to deal with death, well then, they can fire me as president and elect a different guy who would do nothing & let the skyscraper be destroyed.

Re:Hey, the TSA does screw all with private planes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24497897)

Fishing boat or submarine and detonate next to a port. Panic follows. Publish a statement saying it was radiological and biochemical.

No amount of damage control the government can do will stop people thinking the worst. Stock markets will plummet. Buy up cheap shares and profit.

Re:Hey, the TSA does screw all with private planes (5, Insightful)

digitizit (836711) | more than 5 years ago | (#24498305)

I think the whole notion that terrorists will even try to hijack a plane again is absurd. Even if they get on board and were strapped with explosives, I think people on board would still act. They might blow up, or they might get to kick the shit out of a terrorist. Either way, I don't think we will have a repeat of 9/11. No, the next act of terror would be a car bomb or something similar. If the terrorists really want to strike fear into the heart of Americans, they would send a dozen of their people with machine guns into a shopping mall and cut loose. It's low tech and a lot easier to do than hijacking a plane.

Re:I don't think that sneaking stuff through is sm (1)

heelrod (124784) | more than 5 years ago | (#24498355)

Or........

Just let them think they are making things safer, and continue to bring your lighter, and anything else people know they can get through the checkpoints, and let them feel good about themselves.

Not only that. (4, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497413)

But anyone who showed that it could be done would be arrested and spend serious jail time.

This is all theatre. It's so the TSA can justify their budget. It's all a joke. If a terrorist wanted to make a point now, he'd drive a car bomb into an airport terminal during a major holiday rush.

We could go back to the "pre-9/11" screenings IF we made sure that every plane had a flight deck door that was secured against anyone in the passenger section getting through it for long enough for the pilot to make an emergency landing.

Instead we live in fear of 4 oz of toothpaste.

Re:Not only that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24497595)

But what if both the pilot and copilot had a heart attack!!!!!!

Re:Not only that. (3, Funny)

ubrgeek (679399) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497791)

Maybe by getting bitten by snakes? ;)

Re:Not only that. (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497857)

Cat 3 Autoland

Re:Not only that. (5, Funny)

Thiez (1281866) | more than 5 years ago | (#24498153)

> Instead we live in fear of 4 oz of toothpaste.

Don't worry, you're not the only one who freaks out when confronted with Imperial units.

Re:Not only that. (4, Funny)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#24498353)

Well the one thing we can do without going to jail is parody. I found this which may be old, "TSA gangstaz" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7AWw7t5zj0 [youtube.com]

Not safe for work environments, especially TSA, preschools, and people who have sucky bosses.

Re:I don't think that sneaking stuff through is sm (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24497443)

As someone who rarely flies, and then only for business, I fail to see the downside to "improving" security by greatly annoying customers and therefore cutting down on the number of passengers per plane. Maybe then they can start adding room between all seats.

In fact, there should be a new restriction saying that anyone weighing over, say, 250 lbs is automatically selected for "secondary screening". 'Cause they might be a drug mule in a fat suit, or something.

At least once you're through security, you're through and it's over. When you're sat next to Mr. World Champ Couch-Potato on a flight, you're stuck having no armrest for the entire flight.

Re:I don't think that sneaking stuff through is sm (4, Insightful)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497771)

I can tell that it's worse to fly when you're obese than sitting next to someone who is obese.

Re:I don't think that sneaking stuff through is sm (-1, Troll)

everyday17 (1032612) | more than 5 years ago | (#24498275)

Lose some weight then fatty.

Re:I don't think that sneaking stuff through is sm (4, Insightful)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497485)

It would make a point, but I fear that the reaction would be the opposite of what many of us would like. If we showed holes in the security theater that has been built, stricter measures would be put in place and all travellers would be inconvenienced even more.

I'm actually really surprised that the summary suggests that.

The result would be that most travellers would realize how ineffective and useless the current TSA security is, then things might change for the better.
Right now, you can't test them without commiting a crime, and if you do see that they have a weak spot, and speak about it, you have also probably commited a crime. If you photograph them, you have commited a crime.
Basically, criticizing the TSA - except for in the vauges of terms - or investigating it has become a crime.

Re:I don't think that sneaking stuff through is sm (2, Insightful)

BitterOldGUy (1330491) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497651)

...all travellers would be inconvenienced even more.

It's not just you, so please don't take this personally, but being searched, patted down like a common criminal for just trying to use mass transportation is an "inconvenience" and not an assault on our civil liberties?

When we lose time, productivity, increase the stress in our busy lives, and just hassled, it's now an inconvenience. Well, I'm tired of it and I fly only once a year now, if that, and if more of us do that, then the airlines are going to be inconvenienced by loss of business and the horrible customer service folks at the airlines who are quick to apologize for the "inconvenience" when they do not tell us when a flight is delayed or canceled resulting in a loss of revenue will be inconvenienced with the loss of their jobs. Of course that won't happen because the incompetent airline execs will go to Congress and beg for bailout (taxpayer) money arguing that it's "needed" for the economy and in the meantime, they will give themselves millions of dollars in bonuses for a great job. And we wonder why the out of work bastard who's job was sent overseas is walking around saying, "Bullshit! Bullshit!" to himself.

God! I'm grumpy today!

Re:I don't think that sneaking stuff through is sm (2, Insightful)

Ferzerp (83619) | more than 5 years ago | (#24498235)

I purposefully didn't mention civil liberties since we seem to have already given those up without a fight. :(

Re:I don't think that sneaking stuff through is sm (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497799)

...all travellers would be inconvenienced even more.

That's a good idea. Make 'em mad as hell. Then maybe they'll demand an end to this hysteria. We must take our freedom back "by whatever means necessary".

Re:I don't think that sneaking stuff through is sm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24498295)

> We must take our freedom back "by whatever means necessary".

You're not so different from the terrorists :)

Re:I don't think that sneaking stuff through is sm (1)

moteyalpha (1228680) | more than 5 years ago | (#24498415)

I agree with your sentiments and I recently discovered a security flaw and I fear that if it is ever known that the type of counter measures that would be required would make the current silliness pale in comparison. It might help them to tighten up the security, but when did the lives of people who travel by plane become so important that it is necessary to spend millions to protect a few while many die for lack of proper disaster management. It is simply poor resource management and a vast over reaction. These security people must have a great lobbyist.

Security theatre (3, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497265)

Yes, much of this is security theatre, but allowing me to carry my laptop on and attempting to stream-line the current cluster fuck is an improvement none the less.

Re:Security theatre (5, Insightful)

epiphani (254981) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497465)

Its more than that. Its about making money. For private corporations.

Why else would the TSA allow you to get special ID for a few hundred dollars to bypass security.. designed and maintained by a private company? Specially designed TSA approved bags.. designed by private companies. Not to mention the billions of dollars filtered through to private corporations for those expensive x-ray and other fancy security devices.

And they do shit all. I've flown twice in the last two years with a swiss army knife in my pocket without realizing it.

Re:Security theatre (1)

NeoSkandranon (515696) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497777)

And you got through the metal detectors how exactly?

Re:Security theatre (1)

mea37 (1201159) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497831)

Meh.

Back when I used to carry a knife regularly, I had it happen because the knife was in a jacket pocket, which didn't go through the metal detector. Instead it went through the x-ray machine, and apparently the operator missed it.

On the other hand, I've also lost pocket knives because the x-ray operator did see them.

All of which just goes to show, I should've paid more attention to when I have a knife in my jacket pocket.

Re:Security theatre (4, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497481)

yes... and NO.

Once you are trained to buy new 'stuff' to put your other 'stuff' inside for traveling, you will have been trained for the next measures. None of what the TSA does is about real security. It's all about getting citizens to do as they are told and with no more reason than that it is required for security according to some obtuse DHS ruling.

At the rate that this is going, the next plane based terrorism will probably be a bomb planted by TSA in a traveler's luggage while being screened routinely. This will allow for further restrictions and meticulous searches.

Yesterday we hear of a company whose business model is based on TSA bs security and they lost a laptop... then found it again in the same room? I bet the NSA borrowed it but forgot where to put it back? Now this little trick to sell you more American Tourister luggage. You know the model? The one with a DHS approved RFID tag built right into the handle of it. It starts with laptops, but will move on to any carry on luggage only being permitted in the 'new' DHS approved TSA sponsored RFID luggage/bag.

Soon, you won't even have to go to the airport to be blamed for causing bomb scares. Oh, sorry, just an RFID mixup. Still, we need you to come down to the station with us.

Land of the Free.... to be searched.

Re:Security theatre (0, Troll)

mapsjanhere (1130359) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497521)

The biggest issue is not the theater but the actors. You pay minimum wage, you get people that can't hack it at McDonald's.
All the current system can do is prevent you from easily getting a firearm or a large knife on an airplane by yourself.

Re:Security theatre (1)

Jesrad (716567) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497963)

I'm pretty sure a large knife made out of a sharpened plexi or other glass material, wrapped i nsome newspaper and taped to your back or thigh, could make it through.

Re:Security theatre (3, Informative)

mapsjanhere (1130359) | more than 5 years ago | (#24498199)

You can buy ceramic knives which don't set off the metal detector. Just remember, the sky marshals bring guns to your knife fight.

Is that the kind (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497293)

I should use to take a Clear laptop out of the airport?

Re:Is that the kind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24497397)

Clear laptop

How can you take what you can't see? ... oh wait...

Re:Is that the kind (1)

hkgroove (791170) | more than 5 years ago | (#24498447)

I thought L. Ron only sought out to Clear a tomato?

Protection (2, Funny)

JamesTheBoilermaker (822315) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497305)

Are these TSA-approved laptop bags going to protect my laptop as well as TSA-approved locks keep people out of my luggage?

Worthless security lightened (5, Insightful)

Inglix the Mad (576601) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497317)

Yes I said worthless.

I have 22 screws, couple of plates, and pins. I should light up a metal detector like a christmas tree. Yet when I fly, I often get waved right through without any apparent reaction. This has happened at multiple busy airports in larger cities. Yet when I go through my local airport (where, oddly enough, they know me) I get the beep and separate pat down.

People meekly accept this BS (along with the liquids ban, et al) as "security" when it's really BS.

Poor, false security is worse than none at all. The only explanation is that when it is busy, they turn down the sensitivity to a ridiculously low level.

Re:Worthless security lightened (1)

bcmm (768152) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497549)

Before 911 and massive official paranoia, Heathrow worked like this: while your baggage is in the scanner, you go through the detector, get a pat-down if it beeps, and keep going without one if it doesn't.

That was before everyone went crazy. On one flight I was on, everyone went through the detector, and everyone got a pat down. Whether the machine beeped or not made no difference to anything. I still wonder why the machines were powered on.

Re:Worthless security lightened (1)

Kingston (1256054) | more than 5 years ago | (#24498013)

At Heathrow visitor centre there is ( or was until recently ) a functioning security arch. If you are so inclined you and a friend ( to watch the number of bars on the readout ) can play a game of see what I can get through an airport security arch, before boarding your flight.

Re:Worthless security lightened (2, Insightful)

pzs (857406) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497877)

When you say "accept this BS" what exactly do you expect us to do?

Complain to the security people? Oh yeh, that will help. I saw some guy threatened with getting booted from his flight because he showed a tiny bit of attitude and used the word "terrorist". These security people love the power that's fallen in their laps.

Complain to the airlines? They'll just say it's the fault of government. Complain to government? "It's for your safety". I wrote to my MP about complaining about the proposal to put safety barriers at railway stations and got a long "that's nice, go away now" letter as a response. I won't vote for her, of course, but it won't make a bit of difference.

I think the best protest is really just not to fly, but unfortunately this isn't always an option.

I think it's impressive that in just a few decades, flying has grown from an enjoyable and exciting activity to a dignity sucking scramble to get through it without hitting anybody.

Oh well, at least it's good for the environment that way :)

Re:Worthless security lightened (5, Interesting)

jackchance (947926) | more than 5 years ago | (#24498411)

I was at the Utah airport when the TSA guy made me throw out a tube of toothpaste that had maybe 2 or 3 brushes worth of toothpaste left because when the tube was full it was over 3 Oz. I became visibly irritated and he said "talk to my supervisor"

i tried to but he just shook his head.

i looked at him and asked "when is this insanity going to end", he just shrugged.

I think a bit part of our problem is that life has become so convenient that very very few of us are willing to risk arrest by protesting.

One the things that upsets me most about this 'war on terror' is that car accidents kill many many many more people every year. Are totally random and tragic. If we spend a tiny fraction of the resources that is spend on 'security' on education and technology to prevent people falling asleep at the wheel and drunk driving we would save many many more lives.

Re:Worthless security lightened (2, Interesting)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 5 years ago | (#24498083)

The only explanation is that when it is busy, they turn down the sensitivity to a ridiculously low level.

Or possibly the larger airports have newer and better machines, smarter than to "light up like a Christmas tree" when they detect small quantities of distributed metal. Metal detectors, like almost everything else, have benefited from better technology.
 
But it's easier to simply jump up and down and make accusations than to think isn't it?

Re:Worthless security lightened (0)

sunderland56 (621843) | more than 5 years ago | (#24498265)

No - they actually *do* turn down the sensitivity when it is busy. Luckily you Americans have this fifth amendment thingie, so I don't have to tell you how I know this.

Re:Worthless security lightened (1)

darkmeridian (119044) | more than 5 years ago | (#24498397)

Dude. Would you try to stop the Terminator from going where he wants to go?

Re:Worthless security lightened (2, Interesting)

Deagol (323173) | more than 5 years ago | (#24498457)

People meekly accept this BS (along with the liquids ban, et al) as "security" when it's really BS.

If you're so annoyed with the whole thing, why not stop flying?

I haven't been on a plane since 9/11. I decided right then that I'd never fly again, and have in fact taken several cross-country drives and Greyhound trips to support that stance. The only reason my kids have been on a plane since 9/11 is because my dad has paid the bill because he wanted to see his grandkids so bad. The only reason my wife has been on a plane since is because she needed to travel to see a dying relative, and taking a boat takes too damned long when cancer is in the equation.

I will *never* travel by plane again. Ever. If I had a job that required the occasional trip/conference/whatever, I'd tell them to book me a car rental or not book me at all. If it meant my job? So be it! I've taken a moral stand at jobs and lost them before. I will not be treated like some kind of animal to be herded and paraded around under the guise of security.

Just like with high gas prices, people just won't make the commitment to change *their* lifestyle unless it's convenient for them. They'll bitch and moan about their $80 SUV fill-ups, but refuse to trade it in for smaller car because they need to tow that boat or camper twice a year on Memorial and Labor Day. Everyone hates acting like we're terrified of shoes, fingernail clippers, and shampoo at the airport, but nobody will suck it up and (as a collective) tell the TSA and the airlines to fuck off.

Yeah, I know.... boycotts never accomplish much. But at least my actions go hand in hand with my convictions.

Coming Soon: Approved Body Bags (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24497321)

Next year, TSA plans to allow people wearing clear body bags through security faster. While you do give up some privacy, think of the minutes you'll save.

Qualifications (3, Insightful)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497329)

To qualify as "checkpoint friendly," a bag must have a designated laptop-only section that unfolds to lie flat on the X-ray machine belt and contains no metal snaps, zippers or buckles and no pockets.

So... the only thing keeping my laptop from falling out of my bag as I carry it (or someone bump-and-grabbing it) is going to be a strip of lint-encrusted velcro?

Adjective? (3, Informative)

Tangent128 (1112197) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497431)

Does "metal" apply to just snaps, or are plastic zippers allowed?

Re:Adjective? (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497959)

Yeah, I'm still not going to trust the security of my heavy laptop to a plastic zipper. I've had them come apart with even the slightest tension such that there was no reason left to even zip up.

The jacket! No reason to zip up the jacket!

Oh yay (2, Interesting)

Quattro Vezina (714892) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497335)

I haven't flown since 1999.

This isn't enough to make me even consider flying ever again.

How can I get myself put on the no-fly list? I want to make it official.

Re:Oh yay (4, Insightful)

Kohath (38547) | more than 5 years ago | (#24498247)

You haven't flown since 1999? What value could you possibly bring to the discussion then?

Re:Oh yay (1)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 5 years ago | (#24498423)

Complain about the no-fly list on national television.

I loved flying as a kid (1, Insightful)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497451)

I'm looking at a trip in December, the first time I've flown in several years, and already my teeth are starting to grind. Our transportation system is a fucking joke. Between the TSA bullshit and our airlines acting as if their brains were replaced by tapioca pudding, I just know I'm in for a miserable flight.

Point of inflection (3, Insightful)

pokeyburro (472024) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497463)

It's getting closer and closer to the point where I'll say a two-day drive is preferable to eight hours of dealing with the airport.

So I guess.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24497473)

and contains no metal snaps, zippers or buckles and no pockets.

explosives and detonators are right out of the question then ?

  - Ashraf

still got work to do (1)

qw0ntum (831414) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497477)

I noticed yesterday that I left one of my knives in my backpack; I flew with that bag last week and definitely didn't get pulled aside when I went through security. :\

So, the moral I guess is that TSA probably needs more than just laptops to be laid flat on the scanner, or that they should just take the Walter Sobchak approach and say "Fuck it, Dude, let's go bowling."

Re:still got work to do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24497677)

WTF is with all the Big Lebowski references today?

Re:still got work to do (1)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497943)

On my first trans-continental flight (AMS-SEA), i had a swiss pocket knife in my laptop bag. I had to talk to some guy (presumably from the US) about what i was going to do in Seattle, but the screening process was quick and fast.

And i still got that knife - even on the flight back, it was still in my laptop bag.

Re:still got work to do (1)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 5 years ago | (#24498113)

Yeah, I've discovered that as long as I have a quart-sized bag full of liquids out where the checkers can see it, they don't even notice/care if I have a few other liquids elsewhere in my baggage. Though that's not as big as a knife, they definitely aren't paying attention. I've stopped worrying about whether or not I can get all my liquids in that one tiny bag (yeah, I'm a girl, I travel with lots of liquids).

Re:still got work to do (1)

everyday17 (1032612) | more than 5 years ago | (#24498369)

When I traveled last December I just had my 20-whatever oz of shampoo, face wash, body wash, toothpaste, and contact solution sitting right in my bag. On the way there and back they didn't even so much as blink an eye.

zippers and snaps (3, Funny)

duranaki (776224) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497517)

What exactly can you hide behind a zipper or snap? And why can't it have a pocket? I know it's all silly, but it seems like a ton of bags would be compliant if it weren't for those three things. Is this some secret plan to advance the economy by making travelers all buy new laptop bags?

Re:zippers and snaps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24497745)

A detonator or blasting cap?

Security Theatre (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497575)

> So little of what the TSA is doing is any more than illusion.

"Any more"?

The Inevitable Relaxation (4, Interesting)

Palshife (60519) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497613)

And so one of the many restrictions of post-9/11 flight security goes the way of the dodo in the name of convenience. I predict that we'll see more and more of this in the coming years. Soon, we'll not be required to X-ray our shoes when people forget why we started in the first place.

This is an illustration of how a knee-jerk reaction to tightening security instead of innovating causes us to be less secure than we were before. If we had rethought airplane security from the ground up as opposed to ramping current practices up, we might have actually learned something from 9/11 in terms of air security. As it stands, I don't think we learned very much at all.

I feel SOOOO much safer now. (1)

No2Gates (239823) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497619)

Maybe next they'll have approved shoes that you don't have to take off?

They are looking at the wrong stuff.

Can the sniffers detect sodium?
Lithium?

In July, 2008 (2, Informative)

nani popoki (594111) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497675)

I went through airport security (twice -- once in BOS and once in OGG) with a 90mm Schmitt-Cassegrain telescope in my carry-on. Now this thing is essentially an aluminum cylinder 4 inches in diameter and 10 inches long. It was never even questioned. This was in addition to my usual assortment of DSLR gear and electronics. And an XO-1 laptop.

I was expecting a strip-search. :)

Re:In July, 2008 (1)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 5 years ago | (#24498347)

with a 90mm Schmitt-Cassegrain telescope in my carry-on. Now this thing is essentially an aluminum cylinder 4 inches in diameter and 10 inches long

Before the "no liquids" nonsense, I went through several checkpoints with a Sigg-type aluminum water bottle. Could've been filled with gasoline, could've been a bomb. Not checked at all at any American airport. (The guy at Kansai International outside Osaka asked me to open it and gave it a look and a sniff.)

TSA Anecdote (4, Informative)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497763)

A friend of mine flew a commuter airline out of SeaTac a couple of years ago (after 9/11, well into the TSA era). He started out on a cross-state drive to a family reunion, but blew his transmission a few miles out of Seattle. After a rush to get towed back home, he booked a last minute flight, called a cab and made a dash to the airport. He caught the flight at the last minute and flew to Spokane. Upon arrival (with no other hassles) he discovered that he had overlooked the fact that he was carrying two handguns (one in his jacket and one in what ended p as carry-on luggage) plus ammo. He has a permit to carry concealed weapons and is so used to doing so that he simply didn't notice.

Neither did the TSA. There's one data point for your experiment.

Re:TSA Anecdote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24498219)

I was flying with my wife out of DIA during TSA's reign. I borrowed her laptop bag for my laptop, and it is also her tool bag which I pulled out of course. On the flight, I found a 1 foot long flat head screw driver. It would have made an effective stabby weapon. I put that puppy back in the bag quick.

Datapoint 2.

Nobody is forcing you to buy a new laptop bag (4, Insightful)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497785)

Anybody who (like me) is feeling cynical about the whole idea of buying a new $100 laptop bag with the special TSA-approved laptop zone, the solution is pretty straightforward - just continue to put your laptop in the plastic bin.

The laptop, keys, and pocket change thing take up maybe 10 seconds of my time - 5 seconds to take out and 5 seconds to put back where they belong (but that's because I have my shit together unlike the guy in front of me who inevitably manages to spend the better part of 5 minutes putting his stuff on the conveyor belt). Laptop is no big deal, really ... it's the shoes thing that pisses me off and makes me feel like every last vestige of my dignity has been removed ...

Re:Nobody is forcing you to buy a new laptop bag (1)

dedazo (737510) | more than 5 years ago | (#24498195)

It's been about four months since I last flew into the States, but a while ago I overheard a conversation about how the shoe check was being phased out at some airports? Is that true? Or is it only for international flights?

Useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24497787)

Well these approved laptop bags are going to be worthless. No pockets! WTF!

This isn't even "Theatre" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24497793)

It's Security Pantomime

The TSA is a multi billilion dollar JOKE! (2, Insightful)

Newer Guy (520108) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497815)

The TSA is George W. Bush's patrionage mill. It does NOTHING to improve air safety. It does PLENTY to slow down air travellers. Yesterday I was at the airport in Burbank, CA. It took me TEN MINUTES to get through the ID line-and there were EIGHT of us in line! The stupid TSA person seemed to be going in slow motion. First she read the name on the ticket (taking 30 seconds to do so)-then she spent another 30 seconds looking at my driver's license...THEN she spent another 30 seconds looking over everything and stamping my boarding pass. Move another TEN FEET to the metal detector and ANOTHER TSA guy who asks for the IDs all over again Why? because you're afraid I might have changed identies in the TEN FOOT OPEN WALK from her to you?

There was a woman who had an obviously sealed bottle of commerical drinking water. They made her throw it away! WHY? All it did was make her small child cry-and her have to spend another 3 bucks when she got to the other side of the checkpoint.

Has it occurred to anyone that under today's new hijacking policies, 9/11 would not have happened? Today's rules do not allow either pilot to leave the cockpit if the plane if hijacked-instead they are to IMMEDIATELY land the aircraft! Not to mention that the cockpit doors are now heavily reinforced and today's passengers would make MINCEMEAT of anyone dumb enough to TRY hijackng an aircraft!

The TSA is an expensive joke! It needs to be abolished immediately!

Frankly... (4, Insightful)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497829)

IMO, the existence of the TSA is one of those "the terrorists have already won" things. Most of the changes that have taken place in the U.S. are not that bad singularly, but when taken as a whole and the magnitude of the number of people affected, it's had a serious negative impact on our society and I'd argue our productiveness as well.

I'm not saying we shouldn't be careful, but it's quite obvious to anyone here that none of these measures, the ones that merely inconvenience us at best, are disguised forms of monitoring for things besides potential acts of terrorism. How easy it is to violate the fourth amendment by just indefinitely taking away someone's laptop without cause.

The last time I traveled out of country with my wife and kids, we got the "random star" on our boarding passes... which singled us out for special scrutiny. Right. Because a family of four, including a two year old and a five year old are prime suspects. I don't think they do this anymore, but the absurdity of all the restrictions is just incredible.

And how about the recent "clear pass" article? What kind of extortion is that? We'll make you wait on line for hours unless you pay us $100/year! That's effectively how I see it, since the security measures are a joke.

Ok, rant off.

Re:Frankly... (2, Insightful)

Shados (741919) | more than 5 years ago | (#24498227)

I agree with you except for the "random star" thing. The best deterrant, and most efficient one, isn't to check everyone, or to check no one, its to check random people, just enough to get a "I may get caught" out of the bad guys. Its far, far from perfect, but its about as good as its going to get.

If you single out a certain demographic as "prime targets" for the random checks (which they do, but it make things worse, not better), you're nullifying one of the main benefits of that method. If having a family with kids and stuff would make it so you won't ever be the "random star", then bad guys will simply travel with fake family and some kids. If being from the middle-east makes you a bigger target, the bad guys will just enroll gullible westerners.

It has to be really random, and that means really, randomly, picking "anyone". Enough to put a doubt in the mind of bad guys, not enough that you'd get selected 4 times in a row.

Unfortunately, I did get selected over 6 times in a row myself (and I'm no more a "risk" than you described yourself), so something is wrong in the process =P

Knifes in lounge restaurants (5, Insightful)

Timo_UK (762705) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497915)

Why exactly are we not allowed to carry screwdrivers etc on board and then (I did this last week at DTW, Detroit) you receive a sharp metal knife and fork in the restaurant after security?

Getting things through security... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24497921)

In fact, someone has actually tried taking various things through security, just to see what happens... see:
http://www.zug.com/gab/index.cgi?func=view_thread&thread_id=68619 (NSFW)

http://www.zug.com/gab/index.cgi?func=view_thread&thread_id=68809

and this one shows what a joke it is:

http://www.zug.com/gab/index.cgi?func=view_thread&head=1&thread_id=74827

Bork (1)

Lobster Quadrille (965591) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497929)

Are there still people out there who think that airport security is any more than an annoyance?

Seriously, I know I run with an abnormally well-informed crowd, but they are far beyond ridiculous.

Bet they're patented (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24498005)

A quick google search leads to a couple manufacturers that have patent applications pending for their TSA-approved laptop bags. One company seems to claim a trademark on "Checkpoint Friendly".

Anal TSA screeners (3, Funny)

Ukab the Great (87152) | more than 5 years ago | (#24498051)

Airport security will get a lot more uncomfortable when they catch somebody trying to light a bomb hidden up their ass.

TSA Security (1)

Phayten (1339815) | more than 5 years ago | (#24498273)

I was recently issued one of the new temporary ID's from my state. I was amazed when TSA not only accepted the temporary paper ID but then informed me that I would be better off using my expired state ID instead of the new paper one. Apparently TSA will accept any expired ID up to a year after expiration as a legitimate form of ID to allow you on the plane. TSA is not nearly as concerned for air safety as the passengers they inconvenience are. I am glad to hear that they are tightening their laptop security procedures though. I can already foresee the delays at the gate while a pissed off executive argues that his laptop bag is of the approved variety. In reality though I can't see this saving much time, TSA is notorious for enforcing rules and regulations that are not posted in plain sight or ever communicated to passengers and I am certain that trying to allow this exception is only going to serve up more chaos at the airport.

International travel worth the hassle? (1)

blankoboy (719577) | more than 5 years ago | (#24498311)

Seriously, who in their right mind would submit themselves to this type of thing. I can no longer see any merit to traveling out of the country (or by air at all). People travel internationally by air for the following:

- Business (Teleconferencing solves this problem for 95% of cases. 5% of the time you need that face 2 face time).

- Pleasure (Stop and take a look around your own country. Enjoy the local pleasures and save $ at the same time).

- Other (Visiting family abroad. This one's a little hard to say no to I suppose).

I think that once the mass population has had enough of this utter crap and airlines, tourism, etc start to tank into the crapper we will start to see some sanity returning. All this, "for your protection" crap is pure BS IMO.

Who cares about the bag? (1)

sunderland56 (621843) | more than 5 years ago | (#24498337)

Since the authorities can seize the laptop indefinitely [slashdot.org] , who cares what sort of bag it's in?

Travelled this weekend (3, Funny)

TJ_Phazerhacki (520002) | more than 5 years ago | (#24498357)

Flew into Chicago this weekend, and the return trip was FANTASTIC. I held up 1 of the 2 operating X-Ray lines because the security dolt had me remove EVERYTHING suspicious from my carry on to run it through the scanner separately.

6 buckets later (2 laptops, the laptop bag, my carryon, my shoes, and the Xbox 360) they scanned EVERY ONE of my common household items to determine that I was not a terr-o-ist, only to discover that 1. Their xray could not actually scan the laptops or 360 accurately and that 2. Due to the design of the chutes, the line was help up even more as I repacked the carryon.

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