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TSA Subpoenas Bloggers Over New Security Directive

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the travel-by-camel dept.

Security 379

Hugh Pickens writes "The NY Times reports that TSA special agents have served subpoenas to travel bloggers Steve Frischling and Chris Elliott demanding that they reveal who leaked a TSA directive outlining new screening measures that went into effect the same day as the Detroit airliner incident. Frischling said he met with two TSA special agents for about three hours and was forced to hand over his laptop computer after the agents threatened to interfere with his contract to write a blog for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines if he didn't cooperate and provide the name of the person who leaked the memo outlining new security measures that would be apparent to the traveling public. 'It literally showed up in my box,' Frischling told The Associated Press. 'I do not know who it came from.' Frischling says he provided the agents a signed statement to that effect. The leaked directive included measures such as screening at boarding gates, patting down the upper legs and torso, physically inspecting all travelers' belongings, looking carefully at syringes with powders and liquids, requiring that passengers remain in their seats one hour before landing, and disabling all onboard communications systems, including what is provided by the airline. In a December 29 posting on his blog, Elliott said he had told the TSA agents at his house that he would call his lawyer and get back to them."

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GAY MIDGET ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA (-1, Troll)

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Because obscurity... (4, Insightful)

DotNM (737979) | more than 4 years ago | (#30607348)

... is the best security.

Re:Because obscurity... (4, Interesting)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 4 years ago | (#30607426)

Anonymity is quite possibly the only security.

Re:Because obscurity... (5, Interesting)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#30607852)

Hypothesis: either anonymity, or total information, can provide equivalent security. If everyone had access to all the information anyone else had, anonymity would no longer be necessary. As it is, anonymity is a kludge to protect those with less access to information from those who have more. It protects the guilty as well as the innocent. If everyone were totally informed (yes, this is purely hypothetical) then no one could act against another's interests unless the majority of humanity agreed with that act. While this would still leave open the possibility of a tyranny of the majority, I doubt a majority of totally informed people would act against a minority in a punitive way, as this would leave each individual open to punitive acts from a different majority.

Re:Because obscurity... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30608304)

"Total information" as you call it, belongs in the realm of spherical cows in a vacuum.

Tyranny of the majority IS reality. Which means anonymity is NOT a kludge, and everything you just said is just waffle, to be filed along with "If communism worked..."

Re:Because obscurity... (5, Insightful)

tapanitarvainen (1155821) | more than 4 years ago | (#30608356)

[...] I doubt a majority of totally informed people would act against a minority in a punitive way, as this would leave each individual open to punitive acts from a different majority.

You underestimate the shortsightedness of people. Those in a majority hardly ever stop to think they might be in a minority at a later date - and when they do, it just encourages them to (ab)use their majority power while it lasts.

Simple -- don;t let arabs on western flights DONE (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30608416)

No need to pat down granny's private parts, and holy smoke no more cavity searches PLEASE !!

The SOLUTION is simple: Don't let arabs/muslims on western flights. If they need to get somewhere away from the sand and slums, let them book passage by camel, or Toyata pickup.

Yes, it would SOLVE the problem.

Re:Because obscurity... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30608314)

Anonymity is quite possibly the only security.

Agreed.

Re:Because obscurity... (4, Funny)

jo42 (227475) | more than 4 years ago | (#30607470)

The next phase in the TSA idiocracy will require passengers to perform a #1 (pee) and a #2 (poop), with proof, before boarding a flight to prevent potential liquids and solids of terror being brought on board.

Re:Because obscurity... (4, Interesting)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 4 years ago | (#30607590)

You forgot puke.

Re:Because obscurity... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30607954)

and some ...other fluids...

Re:Because obscurity... (4, Funny)

kpainter (901021) | more than 4 years ago | (#30607608)

The next phase in the TSA idiocracy will require passengers to perform a #1 (pee) and a #2 (poop), with proof, before boarding a flight to prevent potential liquids and solids of terror being brought on board.

This will dovetail nicely with the current policy. This way, you won't need to go to the bathroom in the last hour of the flight. Its a win-win!

Re:Because obscurity... (2, Insightful)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 4 years ago | (#30607638)

I thought the next phase was going to involve banning whatever colour pants it was that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was wearing on that flight. I mean, clearly people wearing the same colour pants as Abdulmutallab represent a similar danger right?

Bring the used toilet paper? (1)

crovira (10242) | more than 4 years ago | (#30608008)

Now if their detectors were really good, they'd provide biometric tagging, be able to gauge your health and update your medical records too.

That way we'd know the identity of everybody OR you CANT FLY!

Re:Because obscurity... (5, Insightful)

onionman (975962) | more than 4 years ago | (#30607528)

Except that it wouldn't be obscure for long... it only takes a single blogger getting run through the security process while trying to board for the whole "secret new screening procedure" to become completely known.

To paraphrase Bruce Schneier, it seems like the DHS/TSA is now engaging in security meta-theater so that they can demonstrate how oh-so-very-important the security theater is.

Re:Because obscurity... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30608180)

I can't wait to watch the ruckus when fathers have to stand and watch their underage teenage daughters groped and molested by TSA agents with their shiny blue gloves. This is moving into surreal nightmare mode....

Re:Because obscurity... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30608338)

If you tell anyone about the security procedures, you will never be allowed on another plane as long as you live...

Re:Because obscurity... (3, Insightful)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#30608182)

I fail to see how they could have kept "requiring passengers to stay in their seats one hour before landing" secret for any length of time.

government goons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30607362)

government agents acting like thugs and threatening anyone who does something the a government agency doesn't like....that is unheard of!

Re:government goons (2, Insightful)

tibman (623933) | more than 4 years ago | (#30607460)

You're seeing it from the wrong side. They have a leak and they want to find/fix it. Which involves their own agents. In order to find that leak they needed information from the recipient of the leaked info. They would rather not involve other civilians if they could.

Re:government goons (5, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30607620)

Except for the fact that this "leak" is something that all Americans should know to begin with. If the average American doesn't know what the policies of the TSA are, they can't check for abuses. The right and responsibility to check for abuses in government is critical in any sort of a free government.

Re:government goons (1)

Zemran (3101) | more than 4 years ago | (#30607722)

Sorry??? where is this 'free government' of which you speak? I remember reading about such things in philosophy but I do not know of any in the real world.

Re:government goons (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30607822)

Which is why I said sort of free. It seems with every year that goes by, the western world keeps slipping into the very sort of tyranny that the world thought they got rid of in the 1800s.

Re:government goons (2, Insightful)

Zemran (3101) | more than 4 years ago | (#30607962)

I grew up in a world where the people on the other side of the Iron Curtain had no freedom and where subjected to arrest and detention for any criticism of the government. People there could be arrested and put in strange prisons outside of the legal system. Stopped and searched using obscure references to 'enemy of the state' (sort of translates to terrorist). We were all shocked at the things that happened on the other side of the iron curtain and thought that such things could never happen in our society...

Re:government goons (2, Insightful)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 4 years ago | (#30608134)

Shocked you say? Amazing how everyone forgets McCarthyism.

Re:government goons (1)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | more than 4 years ago | (#30608236)

Shocked you say? Amazing how everyone forgets McCarthyism.

Yeah, but nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

Boy were we stupid, ignorant, or what? (1)

crovira (10242) | more than 4 years ago | (#30608350)

The "right to privacy", even the concept of privacy itself, is something that is very recent (that explains those TVs and radios left on all day. Imagine them just working in both directions,)

As long as its not INTRUSIVE, OBSTRUCTIVE or PUNITIVE, most surveillance is tolerated.

The fact that some people actually want and need an omnipresent, omniscient deity looming over them means that the possibility exists for a TIA initiative to actually succeed, just so long as its not obtrusive or judgmental. (How you likin' Google now, suckahs?)

The problem most governments have is that they want to have omnipotent powers too. That they can't ever have.

Look at Burma/Myanmar if you want to know what's wrong with governments who think they have omnipotence.

Omnipotence tends to think it can do without omnipresence and omniscience.

Realists DON'T WANT omnipresence and omniscience because they wants to exercise omnipotence without any backlash. (Or they get caught with a "wide-footed stance" in airport bathroom stalls. [Their hypocrisy is costing you billions every year, in so many ways.])

Re:government goons (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30607794)

Maybe that's the point - that we're no longer participating in a free government. Without input, there is total control - no way to safeguard against tyranny or corruption. If the guidelines are secret - they can be interpreted any way that the people enforcing them see fit - without control or oversight. I am starting to believe that if they thought they could get away with it - they would just -disappear- this guy like corrupt regimes usually do.

Re:government goons (1)

tibman (623933) | more than 4 years ago | (#30608150)

You didn't even read the memo. It is instructional material for TSA and airline employees to follow. The target audience was secuity personnel, nobody else. The security personnel are to impliment the instructions.. those actions are public and not hidden. The memo doesn't outline secret rules that air-travelers have to somehow figure out.

The point is the information reached the "media" (if blogs qualify.. they probably do) before it could even be implimented by TSA and airlines. That's a pretty bad leak, right?

Re:government goons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30607670)

Why not put their own under oath and interrogate them, then? Because _they_ have a problem, now someone with a wife and kids who only reported what he was told( and broke no laws in doing so ) faces potential fines or jailtime if he doesn't rat out his source which may well hurt his livelihood, anyway.

Fuck George Bush! (5, Insightful)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 4 years ago | (#30607372)

When will Obama be inaugurated?

Re:Fuck George Bush! (4, Funny)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 4 years ago | (#30607600)

Bush's years were a slow slide into an insecure, financially teetering country. Why do you expect the climb out of that mess to be quick and be dependent on one man? Electing Obama was a precondition of improving on things, not a magical wand to roll back the clock before Bush.

Obama is also held back by the democrats, the "lesser evil" party. It is an extreme outcome of the first past the post electoral system that the system tends to converge on two parties and the two parties remain similar in a lot of respects, eliminating voter choice. Sure you're free to vote for a third party, but the third party faces a very steep uphill fight to gain any traction at all.

Re:Fuck George Bush! (2, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30607766)

What are you talking about? Rights are something that it is harder to take away than to add. How many more freedoms do we have now that Obama is president? Zero. How many freedoms have been taken away? Lets see here... Obama wants to eliminate economic freedom of choice in the health care plan (I should have the right to choose my health care plan, be it an expensive plan, or I also have the right to have no health care), eliminate various freedoms when traveling, and now this and other stories which seek to eliminate freedom of expression.

Obama is also held back by the democrats, the "lesser evil" party.

Yeah, because we all know that democrats aren't hostile at all to a free economy, the second amendment, and freedom of expression.... I think I'm with the creators of South Park when they said "I hate conservatives, but I really fucking hate liberals".

Re:Fuck George Bush! (0, Troll)

davester666 (731373) | more than 4 years ago | (#30607992)

Except people who choose the 'right' to not pay for health care insurance still show up to doctors offices and hospital emergency wards demanding to be fixed without the ability to actually pay.

Why is it so hard to understand:

1) everybody gets a basic 'level' of insurance
2) people who wish to, and can afford to, can still continue to purchase additional insurance
3) at age 65, everybody has to see a gov't employee, who decides how well that person has lived, and determines how much more health care (in $) that person can receive for the rest of their lives. If that number is zero, the person is summarily executed.

One of these statements is ridiculous. Somehow, Republican's have managed to convince their "followers" that the ridiculos statement is 1.

Re:Fuck George Bush! (0, Troll)

OctaviusIII (969957) | more than 4 years ago | (#30608090)

Here here! Although 1 is not quite right anymore: now everybody must buy a basic level of insurance. With the Strong Public Option, then you'd be right about 1, but as it stands it's not quite what was said.

It's sad that 3 was actually believed; I think it shows how a fear of government can be easily manipulated, especially if Government can be conflated with Liberal, and people end up trusting individuals more than their representatives (which actually sounds rather monarchical, paradoxically, but I digress). I'm really not sure what it's going to take to get the country to realize that governing doesn't have to be an enemy of liberty.

Re:Fuck George Bush! (2, Insightful)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#30608418)

I'm really not sure what it's going to take to get the country to realize that governing doesn't have to be an enemy of liberty.

It will take nothing more than a single example in all of history where governing and liberty weren't at odds.

Re:Fuck George Bush! (1)

Akoman (559057) | more than 4 years ago | (#30608392)

I can't believe you're putting the economic 'freedom' of health care providers on par with: The PATRIOT Act, Extended DMCA, Secret Trials, Rendition, the DHS. That you are being modded as 'insightful' is indicative of how brutal the echo chamber in your country has become. Up here in the Great White North all we can do is shudder at the madness and wonder when it will spread.

Re:Fuck George Bush! (2, Informative)

j-turkey (187775) | more than 4 years ago | (#30608436)

What are you talking about? Rights are something that are easier to take away than to add...

I fixed that for you.

Re:Fuck George Bush! (1)

Zemran (3101) | more than 4 years ago | (#30607788)

Bush was a very strong leader but completely insane...
Obama is weak but very sane...

I am not sure that America can survive either any more.

Re:Fuck George Bush! (3, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#30607796)

Well the problem is that we aren't "climbing out of this mess" if anything, things are getting worse. The problem is that people naively thought that electin Obama would improve things. The truth is that the government does what the people allow it to do. Bush was a warning sign that the checks and balances that were supposed to restrain the federal governments' power are essentially destroyed. The conditions that allowed Bush to frak up this country as bad as he did still exist. Now is it any wonder why the "change we can believe in" didn't happen as people believed it would?

Re:Fuck George Bush! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30608440)

The truth is that the government does what the people allow it to do.

Gee, that's almost eerily similar to how corporations will strip you of every last dollar and consumer right you have, leaving just enough to allow the continuation of a perpetual harvest.

Could it be that underneath the constant, almost demanding reassurances we've heard for years that government works for "the people" and not themselves, that government is nothing but a glorified business whose goals are profit and control over the market, just like any private corporation? Could it be that the executives in this business don't give a damn about you and me, but care only about their own wealth and power, the exact opposite of what they claim to stand for?

Say it ain't so!

Re:Fuck George Bush! (1)

orgelspieler (865795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30608042)

Electing Obama was a precondition of improving on things, not a magical wand to roll back the clock before Bush.

Obama is also held back by the democrats, the "lesser evil" party.

To paraphrase another president: "If Obama had a magic wand -- but the president doesn't have a magic wand. You just can't say, 'low evil.'"

The sad part is, I only changed two words.

He is going to have to do better then that (0)

Meshach (578918) | more than 4 years ago | (#30607378)

''It literally showed up in my box,'' Frischling told The Associated Press. ''I do not know who it came from.''

That will be a difficult statement to justify seeing the trouble that this has caused the industry. He may have just gotten some random emailing detailing a plot to blow up an airplane and then posted it as fact on his blog but he is going to need to justify his actions better then that to avoid scrutiny.

Re:He is going to have to do better then that (1)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 4 years ago | (#30607438)

Wow, couldn't be bothered to RTFS, eh?

I still say... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30607406)

The terrorists won. And won big!

They spent what... couple million? some of their dumber guys who they could talk into blowing up.

And got back what... The usa crapped itself and spent BILLIONS of dollars on totally useless 'security'.

Man... they won huge!

Re:I still say... (2, Funny)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 4 years ago | (#30607560)

The terrorists won. And won big!

You mean the TSA?

Re:I still say... (3, Insightful)

csartanis (863147) | more than 4 years ago | (#30607690)

Same thing?

Re:I still say... (5, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#30607636)

It's no longer in the billions. If you count Iraq and Afghanistan, the tab is over a trillion dollars. THe human cost is well over 5,000 dead soldiers, tens of thousands wounded, countless thousands of dead Iraqis and on top of that, they've managed to have the US ruin its own international reputation permanently. The US has become self-terrorizing ever since 9/11 making future terror attacks completely unnecessary.

Re:I still say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30608480)

Future attacks completely unnecessary? Tell that to the guy with PETN-packed underoos...

And insightful post by an annonymous poster.. (5, Insightful)

RingDev (879105) | more than 4 years ago | (#30607640)

Terrorism is the use or threat of use of violent to bring about a social, political, or economic change. Any single violent action taken by any terrorist group can not alter any of this. Yes, people will die, destruction will occur, and lives will be change. But it is only in our response to their attacks that our way of life can be changed.

You want to send a chilling message to those who would attack our very society? Find them with our existing intelligence systems. Try them in our existing court systems. Imprison them in our civilian detention system. And build back the Twin Towers just as they were with an anti-aircraft cannon sitting on the top of both of them. Show them the might of a free nation.

Or our politicians (on both sides of the isle) could use these attacks to justify sweeping changes to civil liberties, the judicial system, the creation of a new "security" department, and gross consolidation of federal and presidential power.

-Rick

Re:And insightful post by an annonymous poster.. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30607718)

Always remember - "They hate us for our freedom."

So in order to protect ourselves, we give all our freedoms to the government so that we don't have them anymore. If we don't have them, the terrists won't hate us, and thus all terrorism will stop!

Re:And insightful post by an annonymous poster.. (1)

pedrop357 (681672) | more than 4 years ago | (#30607810)

Yep. We're beating them to their own finish line.

Re:And insightful post by an annonymous poster.. (2, Funny)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 4 years ago | (#30607846)

Wow. I can't believe how blind I've been. Bush wasn't a fascist ruler or a clueless moron, he was a GENIUS dedicated to keeping America safe.

Thank God Obama hasn't been restoring those dangerous freedoms, or this attack might have succeeded!

Re:I still say... (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 4 years ago | (#30607692)

It won't be long before we're all wearing TSA-issued paper hospital gowns and subject to full rectal probe and drugged interrogation before we can board a plane ... but we'll finally be "safe."

Re:I still say... (2, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 4 years ago | (#30607986)

It won't be long before we're all wearing TSA-issued paper hospital gowns and subject to full rectal probe and drugged interrogation before we can board a plane ... but we'll finally be "safe."

Good. They can do my colonoscopy while they're at it. Save me the bother and expense.

Merge preventitive healthcare and transportation security into one department. Progress as promised!

Re:I still say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30608390)

You know, if it wasn't for the occasional (RARE) incident like the one where Capt. Sullenberger was heroically able to land in the Potomac I am pretty sure we would all be sedated and placed in little tubes (or square tubes) for our flights. If we were unconscious, we wouldn't be able to crash the plane, attack the crew, blow the thing up, etc. However, those rare times when you need an awake human in order to "not die" while escaping from the plane makes it very unlikely that the powers that be would try. I bet they would do it though if there were no survivable air mishaps...

Re:I still say... (4, Insightful)

joe_frisch (1366229) | more than 4 years ago | (#30607818)

They won because we (Americans, Europeans) are stupid cowards. Your chances of being killed by terrorists in the US and Europe are vanishingly small. One estimate puts it at one in 10 million per year, about the same as being eaten by a shark and a thousand times less likely than being killed in a house fire.

(source was http://www.sixwise.com/newsletters/05/07/13/the_six_most_feared_but_least_likely_causes_of_death.htm [sixwise.com] , now independent verification)

Another statistic gives 22000 worldwide deaths / year from terrorism compared with 57 million from other causes.

What is the big deal? Why should I give up freedoms, privacy and time for this?

I fly very frequently and I am not afraid of terrorists. I'd be happy to walk through a metal detector set to pick up conventional guns, and run my luggage (laptop still in case) through an X-ray to look for obvious weapons. When terrorists down a US airline every month for a year we can talk again.

Re:I still say... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30608022)

I think there is a bit of irrational egotism involved in that cowardice.

If I'm a afraid of sharks, I can at least read up on what to do in the ocean, or even lay on the beach while other people are surfing. As an old man, your chances are probably much less, most old men aren't in the ocean all the time.

You say there is a 1 in 1,000,000 chance to die in a house fire. I can bet you that as a educated upper class white male, my chances are less. I actually change batteries/maintain my fire alarm. I don't live in shittily constructed housing, don't smoke, have no kids running around playing with matches. Sure there could be a freak accident, but I'd like to see the stats recalculated to my demographic. Surely they are 10 times less than the uneducated black smoker down the street with kids running around...

Then get to flying. Imagine and old, rich, white, male. Way over represented on aircraft. What are his odds of dying in a terrorist plane attack?

Now look at the senate, or the house, or the upper management at CNN. Maybe you'll see why we get so much attention paid to plane attacks.

Re:I still say... (4, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | more than 4 years ago | (#30608044)

The terrorist did win by diverting resources from activities that would increase our national prosperity to activities that at best do nothing.

Very little tangible has been done to limit the threat. For example, here is a US news report on the Saudi Link to terrorism from 2003 [usnews.com] . Recent articles state that the link is still there, for instance there may have been a 15 million transfer from Saudi fundamentalists to Yemen terrorist forces. For those who do not know, Saudi Arabia earns much of their money through oil, and almost nothing has been done to limit the amount of money they earn. In fact many people they have a right and responsibility to use as much oil as they want, thereby funding the terrorists.

A better example is the lack of training of the TSA. We have had eight years to create a professional police force. If the TSA screeners were seen as a professional force, instead of simply a work program for people who would otherwise be unemployed, I bet there would be much less protest against the body scanning machines. As it is, the airport screeners are treated as easily replaceable figureheads, not really there to do much of anything. Yet the screeners should be the most important part of airport defense, not only to prevent terrorists from entering the plane, but to prevent suicide bombers in the airport.

My concern is the TSA does not have leader, and instead of concentrating on making it a professional organization, Conservatives are bickering about unionization. Most police forces in the US are unionized. It is a non issue. This would not really have effected this case. What might have helped, and what will help, is if every country would take the screening process seriously, instead of just assuming that machines will do everything. This is something that is a human problem, and CCTV and x-rays will not solve it. Humans know how to subvert machines. The only flexible agent is another human

Obama Security (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30607440)

As long as Obama (and his wookie are secure, he doesn't care about the rest of us.

WORST PRESIDENT EVER!

Primitive technology of blogs and email (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30607452)

Zeriously, they are just setting themselves up for this. Why on earth is anybody still using such primitive privacy-unprotective technology as email and blogs? Email and blogs create automatic records of communication that can be forced out of you. Far better in this day and age to use zero-logging software that never keeps any logs or other details that can be disclosed

Bizarre contradiction in terms (2, Insightful)

M-RES (653754) | more than 4 years ago | (#30607494)

The TSA security directive was never meant to be known by the public, yet would call for new security measures which would require searching or controlling the public in new ways!? That's a bizarre contradiction. How do you secretly MAKE people submit to new body searches or restrain them in their seats an hour before landing?

I don't think they really thought this plan through...

Re:Bizarre contradiction in terms (4, Informative)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#30607526)

That was the excuse they used for going after the bloggers; the intent was to discourage anyone else from leaking anything like this again.

Re:Bizarre contradiction in terms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30607914)

...since we're not quite to the level of just -disappearing- them, but we're close. They just haven't figured out what to do with all those people who'd go looking for them yet.

Re:Bizarre contradiction in terms (2, Insightful)

vitaflo (20507) | more than 4 years ago | (#30608088)

"That was the excuse they used for going after the bloggers; the intent was to discourage anyone else from leaking anything like this again."

Then they're doing it wrong. One thing all bloggers crave is publicity. I'm not sure you can get much more publicity for your blog than this.

Re:Bizarre contradiction in terms (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#30608154)

They qent after the bloggers in order to find out where the leak was coming from in order to plug the leak.

Re:Bizarre contradiction in terms (3, Funny)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 4 years ago | (#30607546)

How do you secretly MAKE people submit to new body searches

By telling them afterwards, "This is our little secret..."

Re:Bizarre contradiction in terms (1)

EkriirkE (1075937) | more than 4 years ago | (#30607580)

Now here's a lolly, run along.

Re:Bizarre contradiction in terms (1)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 4 years ago | (#30607862)

Your post works on two levels.

Re:Bizarre contradiction in terms (2, Informative)

pedrop357 (681672) | more than 4 years ago | (#30607850)

Secret laws and policies are one of the most offensive concepts to a free society.

In all actuality, they're just trying to get us to tolerate a much purer police state. In this new kinder, gentler police state, there are no documented rules, thus you have nothing to complain about and no reason to argue-just do as your told.

Re:Bizarre contradiction in terms (2, Informative)

Tekfactory (937086) | more than 4 years ago | (#30608402)

Secret laws and policies are one of the most offensive concepts to a free society.

Transportation related security information is protected under the 1974 Air Transortation Security Act.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sensitive_Security_Information [wikipedia.org]

Its not Top Secret or National Security, and a lot of it is shared with the airlines, regional, state and local authorities.

Take a breath, not everything is a conspiracy.

We can teach them a lesson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30608178)

We can teach them a lesson!

Post as much internal information as you can going through TOR with a freshly installed browser.

And if you are stuck in your seat the last hour of a flight, pee in your seat, on the floor, the back of the seat in front of you, etc.

I don't want to live in a nanny-state anymore. Life is dangerous to your health. It should be especially so for terrorists in their own homes.

Best security policy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30607504)

Whatever you do, don't ever write anything on a blog.

The terrorists aren't even trying hard. (5, Insightful)

Alcoholist (160427) | more than 4 years ago | (#30607558)

The terrorists aren't even trying that hard.

They're setting their sights too high. Stopping all air flight in the Western world is easy. You don't even need to get on the plane. Walk into an airport with a few pounds of explosives strapped on under your coat. Think of how many people tend to get queued up at those checkpoints.

When they stop you at the security checkpoint, go boom. It'll only have to happen a few times before air flight is completely stopped indefinitely.

Re:The terrorists aren't even trying hard. (2, Insightful)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 4 years ago | (#30607664)

When they stop you at the security checkpoint, go boom. It'll only have to happen a few times before air flight is completely stopped indefinitely.

Or we finally get the media to drop the "zomg terrorism" stuff and let terrorism become another statistic like automobile accidents. I do not wish any attacks to happen that results in deaths, but if they would happen like every 1-2 months, that would probably result in an overall improvement of affairs because people would just carry on.

The statistics would show that FORD (3, Insightful)

crovira (10242) | more than 4 years ago | (#30607884)

is the biggest killer in history.

More people died getting TO the front that AT that front.

I think that an online, constantly updated "Cause/mortality bar chart" would be an extremely helpful/useful thing.

Maybe Google should do a little research project, with that "result page" on the data mining processes required to get those figures.

Re:The terrorists aren't even trying hard. (3, Insightful)

shadoelord (163710) | more than 4 years ago | (#30607732)

I've argued this same point time and time again; the TSA and airlines are only worried about expensive planes and the buildings they could hit. Blowing up a security line at Atlanta's Hartsfield airport (busiest in the world) would cause unheard of levels of panic.

It would be an interesting 'art piece' to draw concentric rings around a random point in line to demonstrate "90% kill", "50% kill" zones.

Re:The terrorists aren't even trying hard. (5, Insightful)

Alcoholist (160427) | more than 4 years ago | (#30608040)

The permutations of terror of this kind are endless because there are so many points of failure in airport security. These are just off the top of my head:

- A big fat bomb in your checked luggage. Set to go off say 15 minutes after they check it (bad guy flicks a little switch or something). Would totally bring an airport to a halt.

- Since you are committed to die for Allah anyway, why not stride into the lobby of an airport with an AK and as much ammo as you can carry and just start shooting until they get you?

- Car bomb in front of terminal. It's not hard to make a stupid pile of ANFO and cram it into the back of a stolen taxi.

- Rent a small plane at a regional airport, fly it to a big airport and crash the bugger into a terminal.

- Drive a truck chock full of explosives on to one of the runways and blow it up. Now you can't land planes on that. Hell, you might even be able to escape from that one with your life.

I'm not even a terrorist and I can dream up shit like this in a few minutes. Imagine what the actual terrorists are hatching.

Re:The terrorists aren't even trying hard. (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 4 years ago | (#30607860)

Only one tiny problem: I'm not sure how one would go about doing it a second time...

Re:The terrorists aren't even trying hard. (2, Funny)

anexkahn (935249) | more than 4 years ago | (#30608200)

Based on my experience with the TSA, they would require you to go through another security check point before going through the metal detectors and xrays. The plan is fool proof!

Re:The terrorists aren't even trying hard. (5, Insightful)

kevinNCSU (1531307) | more than 4 years ago | (#30607872)

Oh totally, just like everyone in Israel completely stopped eating when Hamas and company were blowing up cafes. There's a psychological effect to blowing up an airplane because deep down on a primal level people are already scared of flying because it just aint natural. Plus the view of an airplane falling out of the sky is much more enthralling and attention grabbing then a simple explosion.

They don't want to attack you where you know you can be attacked, they want to attack you somewhere you're already afraid of, and where the government is trying to tell you is safe and protected to prove they can get to you anywhere, and instill fear.

Re:The terrorists aren't even trying hard. (3, Insightful)

mikael (484) | more than 4 years ago | (#30607994)

Then the security checkpoint would be moved to the front of the airport, and queues would form there, which would then be another target for the terrorists.

Re:The terrorists aren't even trying hard. (1)

_LORAX_ (4790) | more than 4 years ago | (#30608010)

This is especially true with US "Security Theater" since the line for security is usually the longest in the airport. I have personally been in lines that are 1.5 hours long with hundreds of travelers and those lines are becoming ever more common with each new security measure they tack on.

Re:The terrorists aren't even trying hard. (1)

mariushm (1022195) | more than 4 years ago | (#30608254)

Well... they can make it so hard to travel by planes people will just takes trains or cars. And then terrorists can just place a bomb on a bridge before a train full with 500 people crosses it, or inside a tunnel... Heck... just get a truck full with fertilizer or something and shove it in a tunnel and wait for the train to hit it.

Actually, you don't even need bombs or stuff like that, it's enough to just pulls out some screws from the railway or to just shove some big nails between two track segments to derail a train.

The point is the whole security is silly... you have planes with 100-300 people and maybe goes down... tough luck, there are literally several plane crashes worth of people dying daily: http://www.applet-magic.com/mortality0.htm [applet-magic.com] 120 people die each day in car accidents and thousands die due to health issues... if only those billions spent on wars and security theaters would be redirected for health care and for improving security on roads and improving infrastructure...

Re:The terrorists aren't even trying hard. (3, Insightful)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 4 years ago | (#30608352)

When they stop you at the security checkpoint, go boom. It'll only have to happen a few times before air flight is completely stopped indefinitely.

You mean the way there is no bus service in Israel or police stations in Iraq?

Typical of the fools. (3, Insightful)

BCW2 (168187) | more than 4 years ago | (#30607616)

Another proof, to join the seemingly endless list, that Napolitano is totally unqualified to head DHS. A talking head on TV this week made the following reference to her "leadership ability"; She couldn't lead Tiger Woods to a free weekend at a whorehouse!

I am beginning to wonder if there are any qualified people in this administration at all.

Re:Typical of the fools. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30607828)

"qualified people", isn't that just adorable?

In politics, you need to think ahead.
If the officials in your administration are all qualified, then who will you blame when you f*** things up?

Re:Typical of the fools. (3, Funny)

wastedlife (1319259) | more than 4 years ago | (#30608496)

She couldn't lead Tiger Woods to a free weekend at a whorehouse!

She tried, but he ended up driving his car into a tree.

Forced? (3, Insightful)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 4 years ago | (#30607816)

Frischling said he met with two TSA special agents for about three hours and was forced to hand over his laptop computer after the agents threatened to interfere with his contract to write a blog for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines if he didn't cooperate ...

Hmm.... I think Steve and I have different definitions of the word "forced", but it sounds like standard Gestapo - I mean TSA - practices to me.

Re:Forced? (2, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30607964)

You know, in this job market, threatening to get you out of a job isn't a tiny threat. Most people need every dollar they can.

Re:Forced? (3, Interesting)

Tekfactory (937086) | more than 4 years ago | (#30608478)

I wonder where the "interfere with his contract" language came from.

I only wonder because "tortious interference with contracts" pretty much establishes the legal basis for a lawsuit.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tortious_interference [wikipedia.org]

When one of my old employers wanted to hold me to an overly broad NDA, every lawyer I spoke with said tortious interference was the first place we'd go.

Security (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30607878)

An incompetent security agency is bad enough. An incompetent and aggressive security agency is even worse.

I guess they don't want terrorists figuring out ways around their ineffective security policies.

Correction (4, Informative)

selan (234261) | more than 4 years ago | (#30607916)

This is an Associated Press story published on the New York Times site. The NY Times did not report this.

No surprise there (3, Insightful)

Jodka (520060) | more than 4 years ago | (#30608002)

So the government announces a massive initiative to protect our rights from the terrorists and here we find it harassing online journalists for informing the public about what the government is secretly up to. Not so different from the way it is charged by the Constitution "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries," and subsequently creates a legal morass which rewards patents trolls, suppresses innovation with legal harrassment, and extorts campaign donations from perpetual copyright extension. Then there is the initiative to lower health care costs and in improve the quality of care which will raise the costs of medical care and ration medical care. Next up: "Net Neutrality". What could possibly go wrong?

When will Americans wake up and recognize that no matter how noble are the stated goals of politicians that the actual outcomes usually oppose the stated goals?

This is how journalists protect their sources now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30608014)

"Frischling... was forced to hand over his laptop computer after the agents threatened to interfere with his contract to write a blog for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines if he didn't cooperate."

Gee, I feel safe now. I mean, I'm sure any journalist will protect me as a source if I blow a whistle or leak a government document. Unless of course someone threatens them with something totally crazy, like cutting off their fingers or, I don't know, leaning on their blogging income. If these people want to be treated like professional journalists - and they generally do - they had better act like it when it comes to their sources.

Stanford Prison Experiment (3, Interesting)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#30608098)

Does anyone else think that the TSA is exhibiting symptoms of: The Stanford Prison Experiment [prisonexp.org] , wiki: here [wikipedia.org] . Basically, when given power and the mandate to do something without proper checks and balances then stupidity or sadism emerges. The Stanford Experiment had to be called off early because normal people when put into that framework extremely mistreated other normal people. So, does the TSA need a good spanking and a bit of restructure?

It's not classified information (5, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 4 years ago | (#30608190)

It's not classified information. It's just called "sensitive" information under 49 CFR 1520 [gpoaccess.gov] . That's a federal regulation, not a criminal law, and it only applies to persons authorized to receive the information [gpoaccess.gov] , not to the general public. If the TSA finds the authorized person who is the source of the leak, they can charge them a civil penalty, but a non-authorized recipient has no obligation to keep the material confidential.

There are criminal penalties associated with actual classified information, but they don't apply here. Homeland Security has the authority to create classified documents, but then they have to comply with all the requirements of accountability, marking, numbered copies, copying restrictions, approved containers, encrypted transmissions, burn bags, and security clearances. They can't send something to every airline gate agent and baggage handler and call it "classified", because those people aren't cleared for classified information.

The bloggers are the Press (0, Redundant)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30608226)

The two bloggers are the press, and our Constitution, in fact the very fabric of our American society tells us that they should tell the TSA to take a long walk off a short pier.

If we wanted to live in Soviet Russia, we wouldn't be Americans!

Pick your poison (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30608362)

As long as there is evil in the hearts of men, there will never be a totally free government. And there will always be evil. The point is that the evil needs to be stamped out. And if the TSA has one leak in it, it may have others. And those leaks can compromise the security of an airport, which will allow that evil to succeed.

While terrorism exists, you will either have more death and more rights, or less death and fewer rights. Make your pick.

 

There is one slight error in this: (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30608470)

They can never take all bloggers off the net.

So the result will only be even more Streisand effect.

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