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US Changes How Air Travelers Are Screened

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the curtain-falling-on-security-theater dept.

Government 260

Hugh Pickens writes "The Washington Post reports that the Obama administration is abandoning its policy of using nationality alone to determine which US-bound international air travelers should be subject to additional screening and will instead select passengers based on possible matches to intelligence information, including physical descriptions or a particular travel pattern. Under the new system, screeners will stop passengers for additional security if they match certain pieces of known intelligence. The system will be 'much more intel-based,' a senior administration official says, as opposed to brute force. For example if US intelligence authorities learned about a terrorism suspect from Asia who had recently traveled to the Middle East, and they knew the suspect's approximate age but not name or passport number, those fragments would be entered into a database, shared with commercial airline screeners abroad, and screeners would be instructed to look for people with those traits and to pull them aside for extra searches. Administration officials have said that, in hindsight, the central failure in the attempted bombing of an Amsterdam-to-Detroit flight on Christmas Day involved inadequate sharing of information." In other TSA-related news, CNN takes a look at the full-body scanners that are beginning to be deployed in the US and elsewhere, concluding that they are good at finding concealed drugs but haven't found much that could bring down an airplane. John Perry Barlow is quoted: "Every time technology makes another leap forward, we have to reclaim the Fourth Amendment, and often we have to reclaim the entire Bill of Rights, because technology gives [the authorities] powers that were not envisioned by the Founding Fathers."

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Random? (5, Insightful)

thepike (1781582) | more than 4 years ago | (#31706598)

And here I was always told that I was "randomly chosen" for increased security screening.

Re:Random? (4, Insightful)

0racle (667029) | more than 4 years ago | (#31706762)

Well, you being born not white is sort of random.

Re:Random? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31707124)

Funny, I'm white and and was born in the US and I've been randomly chosen several times. Also, where did the person above say they weren't white? It's funny how some people seem to see racism everywhere. As they say "a dog smells his own ass first".

Re:Random? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31707258)

I'm white and and was born in the US and I've been randomly chosen several times.

Stop dressing like the unabomber when you go through security check points.

Re:Random? (1)

DeadboltX (751907) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707262)

Not so random if both of your parents are not white.

Re:Random? (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 4 years ago | (#31706912)

No, that's always been bullshit. I get screened all the time because I'm born in one country, live in a second, and my passport comes from a third, none of them the US.

Re:Random? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31707344)

See... that's probably a good thing. That seems like an "intel-based" search. That would be what we WANT to be using as search criteria... not just pulling out random 70-year old grandmothers.

So, basically, Stop Brown People For Being Brown? (5, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31706602)

See, it's not racial profiling if it's based on the shocking Intelligence Information that The Terrorists are often Brown People.

You may think I'm being sardonic, but you'd be wrong. If I were being sardonic, I'd have leaned to one side, sardonically.

Re:So, basically, Stop Brown People For Being Brow (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31706784)

The Terrorists are often Brown People.

Except when they're black like the Christmas bomber, or white like Jihad Jane.

But don't let facts get in the way of your dreams.

Re:So, basically, Stop Brown People For Being Brow (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31706858)

Let's not be coy......the one thing they all seem to have common is they they're Muslim.

Re:So, basically, Stop Brown People For Being Brow (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31706952)

except unabomber, oklahoma bomber, eco nuts, black panthers and other pure christian terrorists. but dont let facts get in the way of security theatre!

Re:So, basically, Stop Brown People For Being Brow (0, Troll)

The Snowman (116231) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707238)

except unabomber, oklahoma bomber, eco nuts, black panthers and other pure christian terrorists. but dont let facts get in the way of security theatre!

Except those guys didn't try to commit crimes on airplanes. Also, by "Oklahoma bomber" I assume you mean Timothy McVeigh, who was not a terrorist. He was a badly misguided revolutionary.

Re:So, basically, Stop Brown People For Being Brow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31707298)

"Timothy McVeigh was not a terrorist. He was a...revolutionary."
-- John Gaughan of johngaughan.net 4/2/2010

Re:So, basically, Stop Brown People For Being Brow (4, Insightful)

Omestes (471991) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707426)

Also, by "Oklahoma bomber" I assume you mean Timothy McVeigh, who was not a terrorist. He was a badly misguided revolutionary.

Is there a difference?

McVeigh and the Terrorists used the same actions to the same ends. Even if the reasons differed, the ends were the same. Therefore: If it quacks like a duck, it is probably a duck.

Re:So, basically, Stop Brown People For Being Brow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31707010)

Just have a plate with "Free Bacon". Extra searching on anyone who doesn't eat free bacon.

I'd be suspicious of anyone not liking free bacon.

Re:So, basically, Stop Brown People For Being Brow (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707104)

You will note that he said often. That leaves exceptions, such as those you mention (if indeed Jihad Jane is convicted; I haven't followed her story at all), but it still leaves them harassing 'evil' brown skinned people.

Re:So, basically, Stop Brown People For Being Brow (4, Insightful)

copponex (13876) | more than 4 years ago | (#31706898)

The Terrorists are often Brown People.

And when the terrorists find a disaffected white nutcase who wants to go down in history as the world's biggest terrorist, he'll walk right by the line of PhD students who are being strip searched for having the wrong skin color.

Re:So, basically, Stop Brown People For Being Brow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31707022)

Got to love outsourcing:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lod_Airport_massacre

Re:So, basically, Stop Brown People For Being Brow (4, Insightful)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707140)

And it'll happen despite a warning from the guy's father or other intelligence sources all because two intelligence agencies can't figure out the meaning of the word "sharing," Because of their blunder, we will have to submit to even more onerous restrictions that will probably have nothing to do with how the guy tried to kill people, and the people who failed in the intel community will get promotions and more responsibility.

Re:So, basically, Stop Brown People For Being Brow (1)

moeinvt (851793) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707376)

Exactly.

Just like a certain law enforcement agency where middle management can't spare the time to look into a report from one of their field agents about guys with Arabic-sounding names that want to learn how to fly airplanes but aren't interested in "How to Land 101". BUT, we need the patriot act to keep us safe.

Re:So, basically, Stop Brown People For Being Brow (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707018)

What? The TSA hires mainly brown people? That’s news to me...

Re:So, basically, Stop Brown People For Being Brow (4, Insightful)

BaronHethorSamedi (970820) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707178)

Uh, no. If you read even the summary, that's the procedure they're moving away from.

[T]he Obama administration is abandoning its policy of using nationality alone to determine which US-bound international air travelers should be subject to additional screening...

They're actually now trying to correlate security screening with specific, known information about actual suspects, rather than saying, "So you're from Pakistan? Would you mind coming with me, sir?" The new policies will be far from perfect, I'm sure, but they seem more sensible than a "random" screening based solely on nationality.

As to the body scanners, I have a hard time being bothered by this.

Every time technology makes another leap forward, we have to reclaim the Fourth Amendment, and often we have to reclaim the entire Bill of Rights, because technology gives [the authorities] powers that were not envisioned by the Founding Fathers.

Fair enough, but I think the founding fathers would also have had a difficult time envisioning several dozen unrelated people climbing into a flying metal tube to cross the ocean in a matter of hours. They also probably didn't foresee the rise of ideologies that make those flying tubes attractive targets for persons armed with concealable explosive devices. Saying that the Founding Fathers were poorly-versed in 21st century technology and geopolitics doesn't mean much by itself. I'm willing to bet the passengers on any of the airplanes that have been subject to terrorist attacks in the past few years would have been willing to undergo a full body scan if it meant the bad guy couldn't get on the plane with them. Full body scanners also don't care what country you're from, if that means anything.

Oh man (4, Insightful)

Seriousity (1441391) | more than 4 years ago | (#31706608)

I'm pretty far away in New Zealand, but I look at your constitution and then I look at what your government is dong and I have true respect for those among you whose eyes are open and are fighting to reclaim the freedom you should be entitled to as an American. We don't have anything nearly as powerful to protect our freedoms in the rest of the world; fight to keep yours.

Re:Oh man (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31706810)

your government is dong

At first I thought this was a typo, but on further reflection...

Re:Oh man (4, Interesting)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 4 years ago | (#31706852)

The freedoms cost as much as you are going to sacrifice for it. Sacrifice means that you sacrifice something personal for communal good. That act of selflessness is largely incompatible with individualistic basis of American culture.

There are less and less freedoms because there are less and less people who are ready to get serious about getting less and less freedoms. Western culture "ends with a wimper" indeed.

Re:Oh man (1)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707014)

I agree with you, other than your assertion that an act of selflessness is "largely incompatible with" our individualistic culture.

I say that because making sacrifices for concepts like freedom and liberty should be motivated by an individual's concern for his/her own children, friends and relatives, as much as anything.

The *real* problem is the apathy you see from people who feel like the problems "don't affect anyone in their circle of friends/family". That tends to continue right up to the point where someone eventually steps on THEIR toes, and by then, it's usually too late for them.

Re:Oh man (1)

u-235-sentinel (594077) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707174)

The freedoms cost as much as you are going to sacrifice for it. Sacrifice means that you sacrifice something personal for communal good. That act of selflessness is largely incompatible with individualistic basis of American culture.

There are less and less freedoms because there are less and less people who are ready to get serious about getting less and less freedoms. Western culture "ends with a wimper" indeed.

I guess since our culture is one of less and less sacrifice then during this time of economic hardship we should stop sending food and money to other countries.

Yup, we're done as a culture. You guys can take it from here. Let us know how you do will ya.

Re:Oh man (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31706868)

We don't have anything nearly as powerful to protect our freedoms in the rest of the world; fight to keep yours.

Yet ironically we don't seem to be as badly as the United States at the moment. I don't recall being treated like a criminal upon entering New Zealand, nor does any country in Europe. In fact the entry requirements for the United States are now so onerous I won't be going back until they relax: I don't just mean "relax the requirements", I mean the entire United States needs to collectively chill the fuck out.

Re:Oh man (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#31706882)

Then this change should make you happy. Instead of just guessing and doing random crap, that are basing searches on intel.

This is a good thing.

Re:Oh man (3, Insightful)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707056)

I don’t get it... how is a piece of paper powerful to keep freedom, that is already imaginary anyway?

Remember that there always were constitution-like basic laws in countries. Even in germany before the Nazis.

If there are no people with power to back it up, it’s worth nothing. But if there are those people, they can just as much back their wishes up without a piece of paper.

Re:Oh man (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707450)

Your view is too black and white. In reality people need points to rally around, they need sound bites, slogans to print on T-shirts, a campaign to get them motivated to take action. In an ideal world maybe that wouldn't be the case, and I do feel a little foolish in saying that the concept of a constitution is equivalent to a T-shirt slogan, but that's what it comes down to.

One law protecting (say) the freedom of the press in the middle of some dusty legal tome is not especially likely to garner any public reaction when they try to modify or repeal it. If and when they try to do that with the constitution, people notice.

It's like comparing Asimov's three laws, on one hand, to the command "don't harm humans" on line 3,148,762 of MS Windows 7 for Robots, on the other. The effect may be the same, but it's much easier to overlook the latter.

Re:Oh man (4, Insightful)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707232)

The weakness of any constitution, be it American, French, Greek, or Japanese, is that it is merely a piece of paper. It does not contain within it the means of enforcing itself, and its interpretation is often left to the entity it is supposed to limit. The enforcement, then, is left to the people, but who is willing to engage in a violent strike on a government over minor injustices? Very few. As time goes on, these injustices become accepted as the way the world is, and more are added, with the result of a transformation over time that causes the end product to look very little like what it started as. Washington needed Congress to raise the militia and go to war; he had no standing army. The presidents of the nuclear age need no approval to launch a civilization ending nuclear attack, to engage in war in far away places that most Americans cannot find on a map.

Wait, what? (1, Redundant)

Manip (656104) | more than 4 years ago | (#31706636)

So let's say they have 3000 people on the terrorist watchlist... They expect security staff to know how each of these people look, their age, and travel histories? Is this just a smokescreen to say - "instead of using countries, we're going to profile terrorists." So if you're a 17-28 year old from the middle east who travelled to Pakistan ever, watch out, TSA has your number...

Re:Wait, what? (2, Insightful)

ircmaxell (1117387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31706736)

Well, theoretically they could have a computer do the identification for them. When you give them your passport, it can scan the photo and correlate that to the database. Computers are half way decent at that sort of thing (so long as the photos are clean and from a fixed angle, such as a passport photo)... Not to mention that they already know your international travel history anyway (it's reported to them by the airline). So it's relatively easy for a computer to flag a passport in a matter of seconds...

The issue that this doesn't address, is first time offenders. What happens when someone who doesn't raise any red flags goes through the system? He gets let right in with very little chance of screening (at least with random screening, his chances would be higher of being screened)...

The point of 4th amendment rights does play big time, but as computers become more and more advanced, the numbers of "innocents" should go down. If you're flagged because of intel, well that's an educated risk. In all my time spent at airports lately (175k miles in the past 2 years), I've only been selected for screening once. In Vancouver. And all that meant, was that the security person looked in my bags, and swabbed down parts looking for residue... An inconvenience? Sure, but the illusion of security won't be going away any time soon... So what's the better (more accurate) alternative?

Re:Wait, what? (1)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707136)

As long as they aren't permanently logging vast amounts of unique information under the new system, I don't see a problem with it. It's not really any different from stationing a few police or FBI officers at an airport to watch for known criminals. And it's a hell of an improvement over government-mandated racial discrimination.

If they want to do random checks, and the airline/airport approves, well, they can do random checks. I don't see why people expect fourth-amendment protection when they're on someone else's private property. If I owned a plane and an airstrip, and I made the rule that no one could use my equipment without a strip search (your dirty mind!), you couldn't claim constitutional protection. After all, I'm not forcing you to reveal anything—you can turn right around and leave.

Re:Wait, what? (1)

Notquitecajun (1073646) | more than 4 years ago | (#31706808)

Honestly, as well they should. Guess who belongs to terrorist organizations? Young middle eastern men with travel records back and forth from Pakistan.

Re:Wait, what? (1)

Chonnawonga (1025364) | more than 4 years ago | (#31706866)

Guess who belongs to terrorist organizations? Young middle eastern men with travel records back and forth from Pakistan.

Tell that to Christian militia groups in Michigan.

Re:Wait, what? (0, Troll)

Notquitecajun (1073646) | more than 4 years ago | (#31706934)

True enough. I probably should have put "whoever pulled anything off or came close to it." There's a lot of back-and-forth going on, though - many of the Al-Qaeda members do a lot of back-and-forth from Pakistan to the West.

Re:Wait, what? (1)

ircmaxell (1117387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31706954)

True, but that's the way percentages work. If 80% is caused by a small group, then targeting the small group will have a larger impact than targeting everyone equally. Sure, it's not the "Politically Correct" thing to do, but if it gets results, then why not do it? Now, I'm not saying to stop every middle eastern person that walks through, that would be plain racism. But if you look for flags (travel history, height/weight specs, etc), then what does it matter if 80% of the people they screen are of one race? The issue with profiling comes into play only if the primary motive of their selection comes from race. That's bad. But you can't tell that just by looking at a percentage. It's just like saying that cops pull over young people more often then older people. Does that mean there's a prejudice? Or does that mean that younger people just tend to break the law more (speeding, running red lights, driving drunk, etc)? It's a complex question, and somebodies bound to not like the answer... Does that mean that it shouldn't be answered though?

Re:Wait, what? (1)

Chonnawonga (1025364) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707012)

I have two concerns with that, without getting into legitimate questions of the pros and cons of running your government by utilitarian principles.

1. Who's compiling the statistics? And have we seen them, or are we just fearing the people Fox News tells us to fear?

2. If the statistics show us that 9/11 was an anomaly, we have a real problem with your system.

Re:Wait, what? (1)

Notquitecajun (1073646) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707142)

On 2 - it's not just the travelers into the US and a one-time event. These guys are also in Afghanistan shooting at our troops and training and coming back over here or other parts of Europe (London bombers, etc).

Re:Wait, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31707030)

How many people have died in Muslim terrorist attacks? How many in attacks by Christian militia groups in Michigan?

Re:Wait, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31706830)

You mean a 17-28 year old from the middle east who's been to Pakistan, like 18 of the 19 9/11 hijackers (one was 29)?

Racial profiling (3, Insightful)

edwebdev (1304531) | more than 4 years ago | (#31706662)

"screeners will stop passengers for additional security if they match certain pieces of known intelligence" = carte blanche for profiling by race, religion, ethnicity, etc., especially when the pieces of intelligence are known only to the screeners.

Re:Racial profiling (1)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 4 years ago | (#31706846)

Yesiree, gimme them good ol' days when the TSA just screened all the brown folks, and the police just arrested all the blacks. We don't need no gub'mint peerin' into our lives, us upstandin' citizens!

Re:Racial profiling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31707382)

I guess it's not much worse than nationality-based screening patterns, which are just static intel, but it does mean that terrorist organizations will have more access to intel fragments, and are in a good position to know what they mean. (I'm sure no terrorist organization would be able to infiltrate the lofty ranks of TSA screeners. That certainly wouldn't be their very first thought.)

So it's either a huge information hole or an intensional misinformation channel. Either way, it won't do us much good. Except, as usual, against Elmer Fudd type ter'rists.

(I wish I hadn't just seen Watchmen. I'm starting to hear the news narrated editorially by Eddie Blake in my head. As if I wasn't snarky enough already.)

Are fingerprints still required? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31706668)

Is fingerprinting still mandatory when visiting USA?

I just passed on a company business trip because I don't want to be treated as a damn criminal at touch-down.

Re:Are fingerprints still required? (2, Insightful)

ircmaxell (1117387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31706788)

Yes. All non-Citizens and non-permanent residents get fingerprinted on entry and exit. Frankly, I don't see the point, but I don't mind either... If you have nothing to hide, then what's the problem with it? The system isn't going to change any time soon, so why make a fuss over it? While people still believe in the illusion of security and safety, it's just the way it will be... If you don't want to be subject to the checks, then don't come. It's not like they make you sit in a room for hours or days waiting to see if they will even let you in (Ellis Island)... But I don't think it's treating you like a criminal. Sure, many other countries don't do it, but how long do you think it'll be until they implement those kinds of checks for foreigners?

Re:Are fingerprints still required? (1)

JDmetro (1745882) | more than 4 years ago | (#31706844)

If you have nothing to hide, then what's the problem with it?
Because the government has something to hide so by your logic they must be criminals. Oh wait they are.

Re:Are fingerprints still required? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31706878)

All non-Citizens and non-permanent residents get fingerprinted on entry and exit.

I've traveled to the U.S. a lot, and I've never been fingerprinted when exiting the U.S., only upon entry.

Unlike many other countries, you don't have to go through customs to exit the U.S.

Re:Are fingerprints still required? (1)

ircmaxell (1117387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31706972)

I've traveled to the U.S. a lot, and I've never been fingerprinted when exiting the U.S., only upon entry.

Hrm, I thought I read that they were introducing fingerprinting on exit about a year ago or so... Where you'd have to turn in your entry form to a kiosk in the terminal (rather than to the airline), and take fingerprints to verify your identity... I could be wrong though, or perhaps it just hasn't rolled out yet.

Re:Are fingerprints still required? (1)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707324)

He came by truck from Mexico, the procedures are much more relaxed.

But joking aside, isn't that a bit late to prevent somebody blowing up his underpants flying _to_ the fingerprint kiosk?

Re:Are fingerprints still required? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31707048)

you must not have travelled recently then.
As of September 30, 2004, US-VISIT entry and exit procedures expand to include visitors traveling to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) arriving at airports and seaports.

Checking out of the country using the US-VISIT exit procedure is mandatory where an exit solution is in place at the port of departure. If visitors fail to check out through these facilities, it could affect their ability to re-enter the country. Eventually, all airports and seaports may contain exit stations or other alternatives. People will not be penalized if an exit solution is not yet installed at their point of departure. We are working aggressively to communicate these procedures to make sure all visitors understand what they need to do. U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers and various transportation companies are distributing cards that provide instructions for the exit requirements and procedures at those ports of departure.

http://epic.org/privacy/surveillance/spotlight/0705/editorial.html [epic.org]

Re:Are fingerprints still required? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31707384)

Weird, I traveled to the US in February 2009 and wasn't subjected to any special entry or exit procedures. No fingerprinting or anything... just standard security screen... walking through the metal detector, etc... and normal customs of course.

Re:Are fingerprints still required? (1)

cpghost (719344) | more than 4 years ago | (#31706996)

Sure, many other countries don't do it, but how long do you think it'll be until they implement those kinds of checks for foreigners?

IIRC, some countries like Brazil apply the principle of reciprocity. I.e. they fingerprint US travelers, but not travelers from the EU, simply because Brazilians don't get fingerprinted in the EU but get fingerprinted in the US. But I may be wrong, as I don't recall exactly where I've read or heard that.

Re:Are fingerprints still required? (1)

ircmaxell (1117387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707160)

I know Brazil applies reciprocity to the Visas. My Brazilian Visa cost me a full $100 more than one for a EU citizen, simply because we charge more for our Visas. I'm not going to complain about it, because what's fair is fair, but it still sucks... But I was not fingerprinted at all in my visit to Brazil (June 09). I filled out the visitor card, and was questioned (minimally), but never fingerprinted.

Re:Are fingerprints still required? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31707300)

If you have nothing to hide, then what's the problem with it?

Oh boy, warning bells all over the place. If I've got nothing to hide, they've no business watching me. Or at least, shouldn't mind not watching me.

But I don't think it's treating you like a criminal.

Name one other context where the authorities take fingerprints. Hm? Kinda hard, isn't it? Or maybe your standards are just way too low for your own good.

If you don't want to be subject to the checks, then don't come.

If you don't want the tourism, then be that way. It's sad, because I really would like to see Colorado some day while I'm still young enough to hike. It's also sad because Americans in general cannot possibly be as insanely idiotic as the FAA regulators [and/or whoever dreams up those regulations, and approves them], but with the news being as they are, it's getting harder and harder to not generalise the wrong way.

So... (2, Insightful)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 4 years ago | (#31706674)

Basically, they're going to do what they've been depicted as doing in every movie and TV show for the last fifty years: ACTUAL DETECTIVE WORK. Crazy!

Easy workaround (4, Funny)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 4 years ago | (#31706722)

Simply don't show any form of intelligence and they'll let you pass.

Re:Easy workaround (1)

patrikas (1704126) | more than 4 years ago | (#31706770)

Thanks for the tip !

Re:Easy workaround (4, Funny)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 4 years ago | (#31706800)

don't show any form of intelligence

And they'll offer you a job.

Re:Easy workaround (1)

jd2112 (1535857) | more than 4 years ago | (#31706838)

Simply don't show any form of intelligence and they'll hire you as a TSA examiner.

Fixed it for you...

TSA Beat You To The Punch (1)

tunapez (1161697) | more than 4 years ago | (#31706876)

Simply don't show any form of intelligence and they'll let you pass.

Nice try, the TSA HR department saw straight through that ruse and followed the lead.

Re:Easy workaround (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31706886)

So George won't have a problem...

Easier Workaround (1)

icannotthinkofaname (1480543) | more than 4 years ago | (#31706960)

Make sure all your processors are made by AMD. From the summary:

The system will be 'much more intel-based,' a senior administration official says, as opposed to brute force.

Clearly, they're only screening people who use Intel processors.

Re:Easy workaround (1)

u-235-sentinel (594077) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707198)

Simply don't show any form of intelligence and they'll let you pass.

But what if I don't want to join the TSA?

Drug cases (2, Interesting)

Icepick_ (25751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31706766)

I wonder how the cases where drugs were found and reported to law enforcement will pan out.

Does consenting to a TSA screening also mean you're consenting to a search? I'm certain someone will attempt to try the unreasonable search and seizure/warrentless search defense.

This troubles me.

Re:Drug cases (0)

Notquitecajun (1073646) | more than 4 years ago | (#31706836)

If you're not a US citizen, you're not protected by the Constitution. This partly covers that point. Also, airlines are a private industry - there's nothing that states they have to let you fly.

Re:Drug cases (1)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 4 years ago | (#31706926)

If you're not a US citizen, you're not protected by the Constitution.

Not according to US Attorney General Eric Holder.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sG7lm8Sfbo4 [youtube.com]

Re:Drug cases (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#31706956)

"If you're not a US citizen, you're not protected by the Constitution. "
not according to the constitution.

The founding fathers intended the constitution to be applied to all people. Tye practicality of that is another matter.

"...- there's nothing that states they have to let you fly."
How about the fact that tax dollar are used to support them?

Re:Drug cases (2, Informative)

corran__horn (178058) | more than 4 years ago | (#31706964)

That actually flies in the face of two centuries of constitutional law. Just because Bush decided to scribble with crayon on a fine historical document doesn't mean that what was written in ink and blood was changed.

Re:Drug cases (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31707002)

Wrong, the constituion, like all laws, cover everyone on american soil regardless of citizenship. Trying to claim otherwise would be like claiming it's fine for non citizens to do whatever they want on american soil "because the laws don't apply to them"

Re:Drug cases (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31707004)

IANAL, but here's my take on it:
---
When you enter an airport screening zone, this is considered an implied consent. Any "implied consent," cannot be revoked once the passenger elects to enter the secure area. Such searches, however, are not limitless; they are limited by their justification: screening for terrorists.

That being said, there's nothing stopping TSA and law enforcement from claiming your posession of drugs is related to terrorism, because you're potentially transporting those drugs with the intent to sell. Selling/transporting these drugs brings in a LOT of money for terrorist organizations.

Though - I'm sure this goes without saying: If you're bringing illegal substances on a plane, you're probably not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

Re:Drug cases (1)

burris (122191) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707332)

TSA screening is a search. Even though they are searching for things that are a threat to air safety, if they find anything else illegal they can hand you over to the cops. It's called finding something "incidental to a search." No judge will let you raise a 4th amendment defense to this since its already been decided. The state has an overriding interest in air security so they get a limited exception to the 4th amendment. Have a look at the decision in John Gilmore's "free to travel" appeal. He lost his 4th amendment challenge to simply showing your id (also considered a search.)

It's only a search warrant for some private place which must particularly describe the place to be searched and the things to be seized. The cops can't just grab anything they find. It must be described in the warrant. The cops get around this by adding drugs and weapons to any search warrant that isn't already looking for drugs and weapons.

Fuckwit (0, Flamebait)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#31706832)

"Every time technology makes another leap forward, we have to reclaim the Fourth Amendment, and often we have to reclaim the entire Bill of Rights, because technology gives [the authorities] powers that were not envisioned by the Founding Fathers."

No it doesn't, fuckwit.
Technology gives them new fancy-sounding words to confuse the masses and the ability to strip everyone's rights away at once, so you can claim it's for a plausible reason and people feel less personally violated.

The founding fathers were pretty damned good at working out the Constitution and the Bill of Rights to be general, and to make them reserve powers not specifically defined to the states/people.

The fact that the government shits on both daily isn't a result of technology - it's a result of the tree of Liberty needing a little water.

Re:Fuckwit (1)

al0ha (1262684) | more than 4 years ago | (#31706994)

>> it's a result of the tree of Liberty needing a little water.

More like the Tree of Liberty needs a little blood, whether it be metaphorical or not.

"I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical. Unsuccessful rebellions, indeed, generally establish the encroachments on the rights of the people which have produced them. An observation of this truth should render honest republican governors so mild in their punishment of rebellions as not to discourage them too much. It is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government." - Thomas Jefferson

This could be flamebait or insightful, but... (2, Interesting)

NoPantsJim (1149003) | more than 4 years ago | (#31706864)

Dennis Miller once said:

"Noticing that 16 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia isn't being racist, it's being minimally observant."

Re:This could be flamebait or insightful, but... (2, Insightful)

Labcoat Samurai (1517479) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707044)

Yes, well.... it may not be racist to "notice", but it could very well still be racist to draw various conclusions from that. Dennis Miller is smart enough to be vague and let his audience draw their own conclusions so he can plausibly deny charges of racism.

Re:This could be flamebait or insightful, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31707148)

Yeah.....because racism is MUCH worse than terrorism. Hell, I'd much rather be blown up by a terrorist from Saudi Arabia than be accused of being a racist.

Re:This could be flamebait or insightful, but... (5, Insightful)

pavon (30274) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707064)

Noticing that half of all the terrorist attacks on US soil in the last two generations were performed by white people white isn't being racist, it's being minimally observant.

All your statement tells us is that most of the individuals in a single terrorist attack were from the same country which is not insightful, it is fucking obvious.

Re:This could be flamebait or insightful, but... (1)

NoPantsJim (1149003) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707096)

It wasn't my statement.

Re:This could be flamebait or insightful, but... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31707106)

Did you notice that we invaded two other Arab countries and not Saudi Arabia?

Re:This could be flamebait or insightful, but... (1)

NoPantsJim (1149003) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707132)

Yes, I noticed. Just because we did it doesn't mean it was the correct response.

Re:This could be flamebait or insightful, but... (1)

Ageing Metalhead (586837) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707188)

And then letting the Saudi Royal Family be rounded up and fly home during the no-fly period after 9/11 including some relatives of Bin-Laden.

FDA approval (3, Interesting)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 4 years ago | (#31706870)

So are these new terahertz scanners FDA approved? FDA has guidelines and limits for any radiation exposure events.

Re:FDA approval (4, Informative)

sampas (256178) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707126)

Clearly, it's not safe for pregnant women. It's not even ethical to test on pregnant women, so they'll never be safe for pregnant women. And there are studies that indicate they're not safe. To quote from the UK's Topix: "...according to a US study from Los Alamos National Laboratory, THz waves create resonant effects that may interfere with DNA replication. A 2008 study from Israel came to similar conclusions. In the journal Radiation Research, the researchers note that low power density of THz radiation prompts instability in DNA. They write: "These findings, if verified, may suggest that such exposure may result in an increased risk of cancer." So once again, a new technology is being embraced without adequate safety testing. Does the full-body scan harm children? Is it safe for pregnant women? What about frequent flyers? What about cancer patients?

I can't argue with that... (1)

drunkennewfiemidget (712572) | more than 4 years ago | (#31706902)

This is one of the few changes in intelligence screening that actually seems to make some sense.

Amazing..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31706928)

"concluding that they are good at finding concealed drugs but haven't found much that could bring down an airplane"

This is the conclusion? These people are idiots. Maybe they aren't finding things because there aren't things to be found? It's not like we get a plane or two knocked down every day and using this will reduce it to maybe a plane every week or month. It's a deterrent as is security theater and it happens to be a better deterrent than what is there now. Hopefully it will make it more difficult for emboldened nut jobs that don't show fear in the security lines.

Is this even fixable? (2, Interesting)

Chonnawonga (1025364) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707040)

The system is broken: even the experts realize that. Should we be playing with the algorithm, or throwing the whole system out?

If racial profiling doesn't work, what do we do next? Do we keep going with the security theatre, building a divide between "us" and "them", or do we start attacking the causes of terrorism rather than pretending we can do anything about the effects?

You copy the Israelis (1)

copponex (13876) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707422)

The Israelis have trained interrogators, who interview every single human being before they are granted entry into their country. The team is highly professional, and they constantly try to send through their own people with falsified documentation, and if there are any people who are not caught, everyone they passed is terminated from their position.

Forcing everyone to throw away their water and take off their shoes and get body scanned is a surefire way to give everyone a completely false sense of security. If I were a terrorist cell, I'd be applying all over America for airport jobs. Once you are hired and they know your name, and you are waved passed security, you begin stashing explosives for later retrieval by third parties who will walk right through security, pickup the package, and wink at the flight attendants as they take their seat.

And the real trick is that the next terrorist attack won't be on a plane. It will probably be a real nuke stashed in a port somewhere, since we don't even bother to check the trillions of pounds of cargo we import each year.

Re:You copy the Israelis (1)

Chonnawonga (1025364) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707466)

And the real trick is that the next terrorist attack won't be on a plane. It will probably be a real nuke stashed in a port somewhere, since we don't even bother to check the trillions of pounds of cargo we import each year.

Could we, even? At what point would it be cheaper to just relieve the world of poverty than establishing an impassible fence three miles from every American border?

**SSSSSSSSS** (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31707090)

Am i the only "european, single male in their 30es" who frequently travels on one-way (business class) tickets?

Despite my Airline PLATINUM standard (>100,000 miles/yr), in the past i have had frequently a series of SSSSSSS printed on my boarding pass, which was a sure fire 100% way to get pulled over EVERY SINGLE TIME for a "random" search in the security line.

After a while i just "volunteered" and asked "so, where's the sssspecial line" ?
i got a weird look, showed my boarding pass, and then the usual "oh, sir, you've gotta come with me, you've been randomly selected for additional security screening".

I tried to explain to the folks that they need to smarten up, because if they basically tell me at check-in that i'm the "chosen one" when going through security, i would of course have dumped anything which would be "suspicious" to my friends (with non-SSSS boarding passes).

Unfortunately my honest concerns (and ramblings about randomness and predictability) were usually met by the TSA drones with the famous lack of understanding and common sense.

I'm glad that MAYBE they are actually doing something reasonable, instead of the "security theater" of the last 10 yrs. but then again.... what am i thinking!

Umm....yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31707102)

This reminds me the (not-so-funny) script for the screeners: some terrorist use to board first; some terrorsts use to board last; some terroris use to board in the middle...
Seriously, given a relatively small number of terrorists, it is likely that 50% of the passengers are going to be suspect...

Constitutional issues? (2, Interesting)

diamondmagic (877411) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707158)

Every time technology makes another leap forward, we have to reclaim the Fourth Amendment, and often we have to reclaim the entire Bill of Rights, because technology gives [the authorities] powers that were not envisioned by the Founding Fathers.

...Or we could just make the airlines responsible for their own security, then they could decide whether they want the scanners and what types of searches to preform, without running into constitutional issues that the government has.

Re:Constitutional issues? (2, Interesting)

amplt1337 (707922) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707222)

9/10/01 called, it wants its society back.

(...of course, for that matter, so do I. Sigh.)

Re:Constitutional issues? (-1, Troll)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707408)

...Or we could just stop sticking our noses where they don't belong and quit interfering with internal issues in the Middle East, then we wouldn't have pissed off Muslims wanting to blow us up.

As for these highly immoral scanners, I can't wait for someone in the US to sue over child-porn after their kid goes through one. I sure as hell would if I was a parent (not that I'd ever go to an airport using one of these).

Correction (1)

dzfoo (772245) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707192)

>> Administration officials have said that, in hindsight, the central failure in the attempted bombing of an Amsterdam-to-Detroit flight on Christmas Day, involved inadequate sharing of information."

I thought that the central failure in the attempted bombing was that the bomb did not go off and burned the guy's pants instead.

      -dZ.

Sharing of Information (1)

amplt1337 (707922) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707268)

in hindsight, the central failure in the attempted bombing of an Amsterdam-to-Detroit flight on Christmas Day, involved inadequate sharing of information."

...wow. Good thing we didn't know that EIGHT YEARS AGO.

The new way to increase privacy violations? (2, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707328)

Do it to everyone and it's "fair." Do it to a select few and it's harassment. It's not harassment when it's based on observation. Observation is ...? Well, how can it be done without invasion of privacy?

You are leaving the American sector. (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707428)

"Every time technology makes another leap forward, we have to reclaim the Fourth Amendment, and often we have to reclaim the entire Bill of Rights, because technology gives [the authorities] powers that were not envisioned by the Founding Fathers."

The border crossing - the military check point - has never been a good place to assert your rights to anything.

Least of all to an immunity from search and seizure.

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