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British Airways Chief Slams US Security Requests

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the security-theater-amateur-night dept.

Security 335

Ponca City writes "Reflecting a growing frustration among airport and airline owners with the steady build-up of rules covering everything from footwear to liquids, Martin Broughton, chairman of British Airways, has launched a scathing attack on the 'completely redundant' airport checks requested by the TSA and urged the UK to stop 'kowtowing' to American demands for ever more security. Speaking at the annual conference of the UK Airport Operators Association, Broughton lambasted the TSA for demanding that foreign airports increase checks on US-bound planes, while not applying those regulations to their own domestic services. 'America does not do internally a lot of the things they demand that we do,' says Broughton. 'We shouldn't stand for that. We should say, "We'll only do things which we consider to be essential and that you Americans also consider essential.''' For example, Broughton noted that cutting-edge technology recently installed at airports can scan laptops inside hand luggage for explosives but despite this breakthrough the British government still demands computers be examined separately. 'It's just completely ridiculous,' says Broughton."

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I'll admit, it's a bit off topic... (1, Offtopic)

Lanteran (1883836) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045352)

but shouldn't this be under YRO?

i'll show you offtopic (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34045432)

Saturn is actually an autonomous research facility for an alien civilization. The rings are supercolliders, like LHC or the one at Fermilabs, only a million times more powerful. The center also began biological experimentation billions of years ago on Earth, but the project was terminated when there was a sample breach and the directors decided to abandon the planet.

"But how does the civilization who built the thing retrieve information?" you ask. "We could detect any radio waves leaving the planet."

Well, the facility uses quantum teleportation to manipulate the Sun, producing sunspots. These spots are visible millions of light years away (they have a lot of time to wait for the results, they have engineered immortality and spend most of their time in stasis.) Other stars have other research facilities that communicate with other stars, creating a redundant mesh-like network of slow communication that they use.

Re:I'll admit, it's a bit off topic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34045438)

What does this have to do with online?

Re:I'll admit, it's a bit off topic... (1)

nxtw (866177) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045590)

What does this have to do with online?

The "online" part is Slashdot; it's a website on the Internet, so any story discussion on it can be considered "online".

Re:I'll admit, it's a bit off topic... (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045442)

but shouldn't this be under YRO?

No, YRO is about online rights. This is an article about airport security, hence it is listed under Security, Transport and United Kingdom.

Re:I'll admit, it's a bit off topic... (1)

Lanteran (1883836) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045482)

in my experience, it's used for most articles concerning rights, online or no.

Re:I'll admit, it's a bit off topic... (1)

Pseudonym Authority (1591027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045498)

No, it's listed under IT. The shit you said are the tags.

Re:I'll admit, it's a bit off topic... (1, Offtopic)

nacturation (646836) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045862)

No, it's listed under IT. The shit you said are the tags.

Wrong. It's in the following topics:

IT :: Security
Technology :: Transportation
News :: United Kingdom

You can verify this by clicking the icons showing the padlock, the tire, and the bus. The tags are a completely separate concept.

What is "Kowtowing" ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34045496)

I mean, what language is that?

I'm sure that the Queen doesn't use such word.

Re:What is "Kowtowing" ? (1, Offtopic)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045696)

I mean, what language is that?

I'm sure that the Queen doesn't use such word.

It means caving in to pressure or bending over backwards to accommodate something that isn't really reasonable.

Incidentally, TSA stands for Thugs Standing Around.

Re:What is "Kowtowing" ? (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045972)

At some airports, yes. LAX is a prime example of this. However, I've found the TSA staff at DFW, Denver, Orlando, OKC, and Norfolk to be helpful and in some cases even happy and funny.

Re:What is "Kowtowing" ? (1)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | more than 3 years ago | (#34046068)

Probably a similar experience to Heathrow. Went through their last week, and I can only assume that the security people had been informed that we were all paedophiles. Was a relief to arrive at some smaller airports in the U.S. where the staff were strict but decent.

Bastards in Heathrow were also kind enough to lie about finding a place to smoke, and directed me through security knowing full well that I'd not be able to get back out.

Re:What is "Kowtowing" ? (4, Informative)

Eskarel (565631) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045940)

Kowtow is a Chinese word actually. Formally it's kneeling and bowing your head to touch the floor three times.

It has a slightly different meaning in the UK context however as the concept of British subjects abasing themselves in such a way towards a foreign monarch was somewhat of a sensitive issue.

Essentially within the UK context it describes Tony Blair's relationship with George W Bush, nose planted firmly up arse.

Do as we tell you to do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34045360)

Not as we actually do, because that would cost us money and effort, and it's much better to demand from you.

Re:Do as we tell you to do (2, Interesting)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#34046056)

To be fair, it's probably not so much hypocrisy as it is extreme stupidity. I'm a little worried that this guy pointing out the two different standards will make someone at TSA realize it, at which point the standards will just be tighter EVERYWHERE.

Lithium batteries? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34045366)

Airport securities may be able to scan computers with X-ray, but they have never been able to stop the defective exploding lithium ion batteries. It's only a matter of time before electronics are banned altogether after some terrorists turn batteries into weapons...

Re:Lithium batteries? (1)

TD-Linux (1295697) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045742)

Lithium batteries don't "explode". The worst are lithium polymer, which vent highly toxic gas and burn uncontrollably... while this would be pretty bad, the forced ventilation system would take care of the gas within a few minutes, and a fire in the passenger area won't take down the plane with relatively modern designs.

Re:Lithium batteries? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34046086)

I think you are mistaken. There was a recent cargo plane crash in the middle east, and while reading about that incident, I found that even the smallest fire can bring down a plane.
In fact, pilots say that if you don't land within 15 minutes of the fire starting, you're as good as dead.

Full body grope and cavity search from now on (5, Interesting)

DesertNomad (885798) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045372)

Looks like Mr B has just bought himself a lifetime ticket to that line...

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/travel-safety-security/1123034-tantric-tsa-art-foreplay.html [flyertalk.com]

Re:Full body grope and cavity search from now on (1, Funny)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045472)

Having read that post, I think I must ask for that more often.

In high school and college track my co-athletes and I would pinch a bicep in jest, squeeze a shoulder blade, snap a wet towel against bare skin, but I had never been touched by a man like this before. This felt like my girlfriend, on our third or fourth date running her hands over my chest, my arm around her in a darkened movie theatre.

"Sunburn, yes, I have sunburn!. Now, fondle me you hunk!"

YES YES YES! (5, Insightful)

metrix007 (200091) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045414)

Finally, a voice with power pointing out the obvious.

Will anyone get on the bandwagon, will it go any further?

Re:YES YES YES! (3, Insightful)

mywhitewolf (1923488) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045528)

i hope this is the beginning of rationalizing security threats. people are starting to realize that the knee jerk reaction from 9/11 may have been a bad idea.

Re:YES YES YES! (4, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045722)

i hope this is the beginning of rationalizing security threats. people are starting to realize that the knee jerk reaction from 9/11 may have been a bad idea.

Unfortunately all of the hindsight in the world is no substitute for having the wisdom and the courage to cherish freedom more than security.

Re:YES YES YES! (2, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045708)

Finally, a voice with power pointing out the obvious.

Will anyone get on the bandwagon, will it go any further?

That's no progress. We won't have made progress and risen out of (what future historians will call) the Dark Age of Unenlightenment under which we currently live until we listen to what is obvious, reasonable, and demonstrably true no matter who points it out. Until then, it's money and power against money and power, or specifically in this case nation arguing against nation, same as it's always been.

Re:YES YES YES! (4, Insightful)

Miseph (979059) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045878)

Earlier today Obama said the sky is blue. Clearly he is a lying Socialist, and the sky is not blue.

Then I heard Glen Beck say that grass is green, which just proves he is a racist and a fascist, and now I can be sure that grass is not green.

In this brave new world, we determine reality by excluding the views of those whom we predetermine to be wrong. Welcome, and enjoy the stay... just don't plan on leaving any time soon.

Re:YES YES YES! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34045920)

Of course not. Where is the money coming from to fund these bureaucracies? Us, in very small amounts per person. Who is the money going to? Probably several levels of politicians and labor leaders, but altogether much fewer people for this specific little redistribution of wealth. That means the ones getting the money have much more incentive(their whole paycheck depends on it at the bottom level) vs a few dollars(or euros I guess) spread across the rest of the society.

Which group is going to fight harder to keep things this way?

Which group that gains money and the ability to grant friends jobs from this current set up is part of a group with the permission to initiate force against others to keep the money flowing this way?

Until the leviathan breaks the back of those it lives off of, all the pressure will be to continue these sorts of behaviors. The only pressure against it is not so much an anger for some lost change, but the inconvenience and absurdity of this nonsense. That won't be sufficient.

Re:YES YES YES! (2, Interesting)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 3 years ago | (#34046102)

No, you'll get John Bolton on Fox News saying how the US is being insulted by the UK and how they don't understand terrorism the way the US does and how the US deserves 'exceptional' rights and powers.

Take my hat off to the man (5, Insightful)

Kittenman (971447) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045434)

Brave thing to say from where he's sitting. This is going to cost him money, friends and influence. I mean, just saying that all that US Security isn't necessary. Imagine what someone will be saying next.

Re:Take my hat off to the man (5, Funny)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045522)

So Martin Broughton went to the Wizard of Oz and got courage, the TSA could go get brains and a heart and air-travelers could wish to go home without being extensively cavity searched?

Re:Take my hat off to the man (1)

agendi (684385) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045648)

+1 Literary

Re:Take my hat off to the man (1)

grcumb (781340) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045882)

So Martin Broughton went to the Wizard of Oz and got courage, the TSA could go get brains and a heart and air-travelers could wish to go home without being extensively cavity searched?

Oh! OH! OH! I so want to be the Tin Man, so the TSA can kiss my shiny metal ass.

Re:Take my hat off to the man (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34045752)

Instead of "It's just completely ridiculous!", I would have expected, "A bit of a bother with those Yanks, isn't it."

Re:Take my hat off to the man (2, Funny)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045984)

It's a completely pointless thing to say. Whether or not the UK wants to go along or not, any plane entering American airspace has to follow our rules, or risk being taken down. Same goes for other nations as well, if you want your plane to go through their airspace you have to follow their rules. The French wouldn't allow us to fly our military planes through their airspace en route to Iraq for the first gulf war so we kind of had to route elsewhere.

Dear Mr. B. (-1, Offtopic)

sk999 (846068) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045446)

Yes, it is frustrating having to put up with all those silly airpot checks demanded by the TSA.

It is also frustrating to have to wait forever when trying to land at Heathrow at 6 AM in the morning just because you don't have enough runways. Do you think you could you do something about that?

Re:Dear Mr. B. (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045884)

One of those things can be fixed in 20 minutes and involves spending less money. The other can be fixed after months or years of work and involves spending a fortune.

Guess who... (1)

feepness (543479) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045448)

Guess who's next on the don't fly list!

US doesn't know how to handle terrorism. (5, Insightful)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045452)

Countries like the UK and Israel have experience with terrorism, and they've developed reasonably sane ways of handling it. Just to be clear, I'm not praising the fact that they stole land from the Irish and the Palestinians -- but at least they don't act like total idiots when someone sets off a bomb. The US, on the other hand, responded to 9/11 by running around like a chicken with its head cut off. We shot ourselves in the foot in ways that were far worse than any of the damage done by the 9/11 hijackers, including two wars and an all-out assault on our own civil liberties. Compared to that kind of national self-mutilation, I can't really take it too seriously when I'm not allowed to bring a full-size shampoo bottle on an airplane -- but it certainly is an example of the same idiocy, just on a smaller scale.

Re:US doesn't know how to handle terrorism. (-1, Offtopic)

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Re:US doesn't know how to handle terrorism. (-1, Troll)

keltickal (1186993) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045838)

Please note that the British did far more than take land from the Irish. The have basically been committing genocide against the Irish for nearly a 1000 years. Even recently, they have been working with the criminal orange order to Kill Irish nationalists so whatever problems the Irish might be for the British, it is only a minuscule payback. BTW, my support for Irish nationalists has landed me on the no-fly list so I don't worry about the silly TSA rules. Tiocfaidh ár lá

Re:US doesn't know how to handle terrorism. (4, Insightful)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045850)

The funny thing is, having flown EL AL from Canada to Israel, and to Europe, and then back to Israel. I didn't really notice the security(which is the mark of a good system). Not to mention they actually profile people who are probably going to be a threat, instead of the 87 year old grandmother with oxygen tanks.

Re:US doesn't know how to handle terrorism. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34045906)

Profiling decreases security, by design. Profiling means to increase security for certain groups of people, and decrease it for others -- but the effects are public, and therefore visible to any terrorists, so any terrorists with any intelligence will simply focus on the weaker areas, and gain benefit from profiling.

It is only people who are unfamiliar with game theory and simple logic who do not realize this -- of course, this includes all politicians, contractors, and bureaucrats.

Re:US doesn't know how to handle terrorism. (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045994)

Profiling doesn't work. Anybody who says otherwise is either delusional or abusing it in some fashion.

Re:US doesn't know how to handle terrorism. (3, Insightful)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045868)

You made a fatal error. You assumed (at least I assumed you assumed) that these decisions are from a lack of experience and working knowledge. Incorrect. This is BY DESIGN. It's a total feel-good measure to protect against a political backlash of "not doing enough" spearheaded by the opposing political party.

If you want to be serious about this, just place an armed air marshal on-board every flight. The weapon of choice doesn't have to involve shooting bullets. IMHO, this would be far more effective and far cheaper. If something gets out of hand, deadly force may be used accordingly. Case closed.

KISS = Keep It Simple Stupid

not very efficient (2, Interesting)

submain (856941) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045462)

I accidentally left a silver knife and a silver fork that I use to lunch at work in my backpack when I made a trip to Brazil. Passed through 4 domestic flights and 2 international ones and none of the security check points noticed a thing. I was surprised when I got home and found those in my bag.

Re:not very efficient (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34045602)

Even better. Let's pretend that security is 100% effective and finds every piece of metal in your luggage.

Let's see [wikipedia.org] how we can defeat [wikipedia.org] the system ...

Re:not very efficient (2, Informative)

MachDelta (704883) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045804)

The sad thing is you don't even need to go to such lengths to find a weapon on (or near) a plane.

1) Waltz through security with nothing but your wallet and the clothes on your back
2) Head to duty free, buy a heavy glass bottle
3) Board. Optionally, enjoy some of your beverage (liquid courage!)
4) Mid way through the flight, stand up and smash the bottle on something hard (like a stewardess' cart).
5) Hijack plane
6) ???
7) Profit.

As an aside, no security is 100%. A two years ago I was visiting the Hoover Dam and managed to walk right through security (just a metal detector) with a pocket knife without even realizing it until much later.

Re:not very efficient (2, Funny)

Jbcarpen (883850) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045612)

They just thought you were hunting werewolves.

Makes me wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34045466)

Makes me wonder if this is part of the game of using outside interests as a means to justify more surveillance here in the US. After all, it's quite easy to say "well gee the brits say they're doing all this extra stuff we don't do so maybe we should start!" A perfectly 'rational' response for politics.

Argh... (5, Interesting)

Entropius (188861) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045468)

When I was in Tokyo/Narita, they had these nifty little tubes with a microwave emitter and antenna in them. Send a pulse of 2.4GHz microwaves into a drink bottle, same stuff as your microwave oven uses, and check if it resonates strongly. I bet the things cost under a hundred bucks to make.

All the "liquid explosives" people are worried about are not mostly water. All of the crap people take on planes to drink is mostly water. Yet the TSA won't let me take a bit of juice or water through security? What a crock.

I asked a TSA guy about this, and he said that "we're developing new x-ray scanning technology that can check drinks, but it won't be ready until 2012, and it is very expensive."

Huh? The Japanese have solved this problem with a fucking microwave oven, and we're wanking about with this ridiculous security theater?

Re:Argh... (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045492)

I guess they still aren't up to snuff with European security requirements then. Not too long ago I flew NRT->HEL->FRA and at Helsinki they made us go through another security check and they actually ended up finding lots of stuff that was banned, including a couple knives.

And offtopic but Finish women wearing security uniforms with white leather gloves on = HAWT!

Re:Argh... (5, Interesting)

GaryOlson (737642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045520)

Apparently the Japanese use engineers and scientists to solve technical problems. In the US, lawyers and nanny-state politicians define the problems, define what tools can be used to solve the problems, then require the engineers and scientists use the wrong tool because they won't pay for the right tool. Of course we can't solve the problem; the problem has been distorted beyond reasonable solution.

Re:Argh... (4, Insightful)

cptdondo (59460) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045762)

In the US, political donors define the problems, define what tools can be used to solve the problems

there, fixed that for ya

Re:Argh... (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045854)

Haven't been to Japan for a few years I take it? You've been missing all the cuddly fun and political scandals.

Re:Argh... (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045676)

Can the Japanese system properly tell the difference between liquid explosive and, say, shampoo or toothpaste or makeup? Or any of the things that are not dangerous but which dont contain mostly water?

Re:Argh... (2, Insightful)

Tacvek (948259) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045842)

Shampoo is mostly water (as in more than any other single ingredient) . The first ingredient on virtually every bottle of shampoo I have ever seen is "Aqua", which is water.

Granted that it often does contain a whole lot of other ingredients, but certainly enough that it should set off the water detector.

The idea should be that anything that has enough water that it is almost certainly not a bomb making chemical can be immidately ruled safe, letting them examine the others more closely.

Of course high water content does not not rule out the possibility of being a weapon. Saturated solutions of HCL for example are still like 60% water, and yet could easily eat through the aluminum skin of an airplane, or do severe harm to a person.

But nobody's ever tried to hijack an airplane with that yet (as far as I know), so security ignores the possibility.

Re:Argh... (4, Interesting)

IICV (652597) | more than 3 years ago | (#34046066)

My wife took a vial of mercury on a flight once (it was for science, and the destination lab was in a third world country with no way of getting any). Mercury does this [youtube.com] to aluminum, over the course of a long enough period of time (and this was a very long flight). TSA didn't find it.

The worst part? TSA actually went through the case she'd checked (it was a suspicious one, I have to admit) and opened some of the flasks in there. What was in those flasks? Nothing - literally. They contained high-quality vacuum, to be used for taking samples at the destination (again, lab in a third world country, not equipped to pump down those flasks). Despite opening the case, searching through the contents, and actually going in to some of the flasks the TSA actively missed something that would have been dangerous to the plane in the hands of the wrong person.

Why? Well, the vacuum flasks looked like bomb components you'd see on TV (to the point where my wife even in a nice little note saying "please don't open these, they're just vacuum flasks, we're poor scientists, here's a number to call at the university if you don't believe me"), while the vial of mercury was tightly packed in a Nalgene, the sort of hard shelled water bottle hikers use sometimes.

Re:Argh... (-1, Flamebait)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045706)

The binary liquid explosive that triggered the liquids/gels ban is Hydrogen Peroxide and Hydrazine. Mix them and you get something between a boom and a fire that can't be put out.

The one I am waiting for is to have two people each drink one of these liquids and then vomit them up inside the aircraft. There is no way with US procedures that this would be detected.

I don't know about hydrazine, but hydrogen peroxide is going to test very, very much like water. Fizzy water, maybe.

And you think Hydrazine is ingestible why exactly? (1)

apparently (756613) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045880)

Seriously, a two minute read [wikipedia.org] would have informed you that it's not a substance that anyone is going to be drinking without immediately purging. But nooooooo, you had to post this drivel for my eyes to process, thus robbing me of time I could have better spent at xhamster. Thanks a bunch.

Re:Argh... (1)

tftp (111690) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045938)

hydrogen peroxide is going to test very, very much like water. Fizzy water, maybe.

Hydrogen peroxide (3%) is a good oral antiseptic, and many dentists recommend to use it (mixed with Listerine) as a mouthwash.

But if you decide to drink even that weak 3% solution, enough foam will spew out of your mouth to put a medium-sized fire out. Hydrogen peroxide is given internally to animals to induce vomiting (and the same will happen to humans.) Finally, 30% H(2)O(2) causes burn-like damage to skin [wikipedia.org] , so you should drink it only if you don't expect to use your digestive system ever again.

All in all, if a terrorist manages to get some bad things onto an airplane it will most likely be done with help of an airport employee or a contractor. There are quite a few things that are delivered to an airport on a daily basis - like goods for stores within the secure area, food for outgoing flights, jet fuel in huge volume, and so on. All these items offer endless concealment possibilities, even ignoring that the jet fuel is itself flammable.

Re:Argh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34045866)

This is America, dammit. Profits must be made.

I thought this would have been obvious by now.

Re:Argh... (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045932)

Or, you could have women with explosive breast implants...

I really wanted to leave that as a joke, but it's a non-laughing matter when these people plan on packing explosives in their body. Who cares about infection or discomfort. They'll blow themselves up and causing as much mayhem as possible anyways.

We are not simply fighting terrorism. To call it that is pure political correctness bullshit. We are fighting an ideology where by the members are praised for doing Gods work in his name. Focus on the root cause, not the periphery.

YES! It's actually insane and insulting... (3, Insightful)

deviator (92787) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045490)

It's an insult to perfectly secure modern foreign airports that the US requires these ridiculous redundant security checks. Just last week I flew from Shanghai (China) to Seoul (Korea) and then to Seattle. When we got to Seoul we disembarked the plane in a secure area, went to the transfer area (still secure) and had to go through screening all over again. This seems silly; any transfer from any flight inside of the US doesn't require this step as long as you are still in a secured area. Does this mean the TSA doesn't think Korea can secure their airport? That seems like an insult.

But to make matters worse, there was a *separate* security check after we got our ticket checked but before we entered the Jetway to the plane to Seattle. But it wasn't so much a security check as it was a line of checkers making people open bags (where they dug around a bit, but not a lot) and each checker asked if we had any lighters. When asked about the two extra levels of security checks, the answer was always "US Flight."

a) Why is there a security check in a secured area?
b) What is the point of the *second* security check before you get on the plane that doesn't really accomplish anything anyways?

I don't get it; it's insulting to other countries and costs way too much money. And I'm convinced we are paying for it with US tax dollars.

  A single proper security check is be sufficient. Then, you're either in a secured area or you aren't. Maybe there are a handful of airports in the world that can't guarantee security of their "secured area," but the shiny modern airport in Seoul (Incheon) is not one of them (especially considering it also serves as a military airport!)

Re:YES! It's actually insane and insulting... (3, Interesting)

jrumney (197329) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045592)

When we got to Seoul we disembarked the plane in a secure area, went to the transfer area (still secure) and had to go through screening all over again. This seems silly;

Maybe there are a handful of airports in the world that can't guarantee security of their "secured area," but the shiny modern airport in Seoul (Incheon) is not one of them

But if the flight is arriving into Incheon's secure area from one of those airports that cannot guarantee the security of their secure area, then Incheon's security has been breached. So the extra check to transit between the arrival lounge and departure lounge is not silly. The second extra check on the other hand is just there to appease the TSA, and that is silly/

Re:YES! It's actually insane and insulting... (4, Funny)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045634)

Actually, that's exactly how it should be... Let the US bound passengers deal with the idiotic extra checks, and make us other go through the useful ones.

Only thing you're going to get from me taking of my shoes is a biological weapon going off.

Re:YES! It's actually insane and insulting... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34045712)

Mmmm ...

It's strange really. On one hand a cash strapped US is trying to promote tourism and overseas visitors for the cash that can bring in, and on the other the security industry (which failed so spectacularly in the first place) is promoting this gung ho, demeaning and impossibly aggravating set of procedures for the same said tourists.

I used to visit the US fairly regularly .... once every two years or so. Nowadays it's about last on my list, simply because of the aggravation involved in setting up the trip, getting the necessary documentation, undergoing the various intrusive security procedures and the like. It's simply not worth the trouble.

Re:YES! It's actually insane and insulting... (2, Insightful)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045748)

It's an insult to perfectly secure modern foreign airports that the US requires these ridiculous redundant security checks. Just last week I flew from Shanghai (China) to Seoul (Korea) and then to Seattle. When we got to Seoul we disembarked the plane in a secure area, went to the transfer area (still secure) and had to go through screening all over again. Does this mean the TSA doesn't think Korea can secure their airport? That seems like an insult.

If I understand you correctly, you weren't screened in Seoul, you were screened in China. Now I'm not commenting on the efficacy of the 'security theater' that's performed to get people on airplanes, but I think the US stance there is most certainly going to be that we don't trust the security check in China. And the point there is that the terrorists we're trying to prevent will look for the softest point in the security. If they can daisy chain flights together to start in a place with nearly non-existent security and end up in the US, they will.

As to the check at the jetway after getting checked in the secure area, that does seem excessive. Seems like a lack of trust in what you could do in the airport to acquire weapons from...vendors?

Re:YES! It's actually insane and insulting... (1)

iammani (1392285) | more than 3 years ago | (#34046024)

You say as if there are no direct planes from China to US.

Re:YES! It's actually insane and insulting... (3, Insightful)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045808)

The US doesn't just pay for it with tax dollars, it also pays for it in tourism and business.

Cavity searches are a notoriously unpopular way to begin a vacation.

Re:YES! It's actually insane and insulting... (2, Funny)

tftp (111690) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045968)

Cavity searches are a notoriously unpopular way to begin a vacation.

Don't worry, these are done only if you and your family refuse to be seen in the nude.

Re:YES! It's actually insane and insulting... (1)

S.O.B. (136083) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045896)

It's not just the TSA. I had the same experience during a Tokyo stopover on an Air Canada flight from Hong Kong to Toronto.

Re:YES! It's actually insane and insulting... (1)

SixAndFiftyThree (1020048) | more than 3 years ago | (#34046058)

Under some circumstances it makes sense. I flew from the UK to the US one day after the original liquid explosive plot was uncovered back in 2006. The airport was stiff with armed guards -- putting a bullet through a bottle of liquid explosive does not seem to me to make anyone safer, but that's just a detail -- and my wife, kids, and self got both the standard security treatment and a pat-down on the jetway. You see, some of the plotters had been found with airport employee clothing. Suppose there had been other plotters who got away, and were working the security detail that day, and passing their friends through. A second search meant they had to infiltrate another spot, which they had probably not planned for, and so it cut that avenue of attack, or at least narrowed it a lot.

I don't suppose there are many al-Qaeda sympathisers in Korea, but it's entirely possible there are some in China, and we know that corruption is endemic there. I'm perfectly sure that Hu Jintao doesn't want any incidents on flights out of China, but things can happen without his knowledge. Defence in depth: it really can help.

Re:YES! It's actually insane and insulting... (1)

deblau (68023) | more than 3 years ago | (#34046064)

TSA is security theater, complete with uniforms for the actors and Uncle Sam as the librettist. If the TSA disappeared tomorrow, the SAME DAY there would be airline-hired security guards in their place, because what airline wants to be sued by 300 angry widows/widowers when a plane gets blown up? And the airline guards would have to actually follow all the privacy laws, unlike the TSA (whom otherwise rational people seem to think should be exempt for some reason).

[sarcasm] And in this recession, how dare you criticize them? TSA is a jobs program -- these people have families to feed, you heartless bastard. [/sarcasm]

Anyone seen my underpants? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34045500)

LIttle help.

Charlie Sheen

Deregulation (-1, Troll)

exentropy (1822632) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045512)

We already saw what happened when we didn't regulate the safety of British oil tankers; And now this British executive wants us to abolish our airport safety regulations -- that's silly!

My suitcase always gets opened (2, Interesting)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045516)

When I travel to the USA, and I am packing,I tend to just grab any device I might fathom that I would need, and toss it into the suitcase. PCMCIA Token Ring cards, ISDN cards, cables, chargers, just keep going. Do I need all that crap? No. But when I arrive, there is a nice white paper in the suitcase explaining that it was opened for "Security Reasons."

The poor security checker was probably thinking, "What the hell is he going to do with this garbage .... Token Ring, indeed!"

Re:My suitcase always gets opened (4, Funny)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045608)

I haven't done it yet, but I've always thought it would be fun to cut aluminum foil out in the shape of a hand gun and put it in a friends book just before they were going on a trip.

Come on, it's not a good practical joke unless it breaks up a life long friendship or marriage or someone ends up in the hospital or jail.

Re:My suitcase always gets opened (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045946)

The poor security checker was probably thinking, "What the hell is he going to do with this garbage .... Token Ring, indeed!"

Eh? Teal'c is now a security checker in an airport? After all these years saving the Earth, I did not see this coming. I guess times are tough even for the Air Force, but this is ridiculous!

I Wont Travel to the USA because due to Privacy (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34045530)

I have cancled my travel plans to the USA post 911 due to thier increased security checks and invasive tests. There is no way I will allow myself to be entered into thier databases as there is no garentee this information will be correctly entered and maintained, and for it to remain private.

Re:I Wont Travel to the USA because due to Privacy (1)

muphin (842524) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045954)

I agree, i try to avoid US from all my travel plans.

in fact if you own your own jet you still have to go through the security procedures, yeah like i would blow up my own plane... its ridiculous.

Put your money where your mouth is? (3, Interesting)

balsy2001 (941953) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045552)

I hate what TSA has done to the airport/airplane experience. So much so that I am on personal boycott of all commercial flying (unless forced to for work). I know it won't do anything but I do it on principle.

If British airways is still flying here, there is still money to be made. If the profit margin gets to small on flights here they will stop.

Re:Put your money where your mouth is? (-1, Flamebait)

nycguy (892403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045740)

I hate what Muslims have done to the airport/airplane experience. So much so that I am on personal boycott of all Muslims (unless forced to for work). I know it won't do anything but I do it on principle.

I agree.

Re:Put your money where your mouth is? (0)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045770)

I hate what Men have done to the airport/airplane experience. So much so that I am on personal boycott of all Men (unless forced to for work). I know it won't do anything but I do it on principle.

I agree.

Me too.

Re:Put your money where your mouth is? (0)

Stan92057 (737634) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045796)

Are you kidding?? Your blaming TSA for a bad airline experience???? how about blaming the fucking terrorist who have made it necessary to do this.Oh you must have forgotten about all the 1000,s of people who have been murdered flying into skyscrapers and other things. You people amaze me

Re:Put your money where your mouth is? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34045910)

Are you kidding?? Your blaming TSA for a bad airline experience???? how about blaming the fucking terrorist who have made it necessary to do this.Oh you must have forgotten about all the 1000,s of people who have been murdered flying into skyscrapers and other things. You people amaze me

No, YOU amaze ME. You probably think hijacking was invented in 2001. By Arabs.

Go back and find an old comedy TV show from the 1970s and see if it doesn't turn up a few "Take me to Havana" hijacker jokes.

The difference between then and now was that the earlier hijackers were playing by rules that said "we won't hurt you (mostly) if you don't hurt us". The 2001 hijackers changed the rules. They succeeded 3 times, because we thought the old rules still applied. By the time the 4th flight was aimed, the passengers knew better and demonstrated that they weren't willing to go along anymore.

We already knew that suicide flights were a possibility. A similar plot in the Phillippines had been quashed under Clinton's watch. We should have quietly beefed up the air marshal count and been ready for them. That would have been a lot more effective than waiting until the worst had happened and then making everyone go through a lot of silly meaningless rituals.

I gave up my childhood illusions about the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave after that. It seemed that no sacrifice of liberty was too great if it gave the illusion that we'd be "safe". We were never safe. We'll never BE safe. We can be vigilant, but a plane full of alert passengers is a better bet for catching the next hare-brained attack than a bunch of countermeasures against attacks that didn't work anyway. And a lot less humiliating.

Personally, I get extra watchful when I'm on a plane seated next to someone who's dressed like a black man. You never know what those crazy people might do.

Land of the Cowards, Home of the Slaves. You vill please to present your Papers!

Re:Put your money where your mouth is? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34046028)

It's cumulative. It was bad enough flying when it was mostly just the airline industry with their cramped seats and poor service. But now that you have to put up with being assaulted and violated sexually before getting on board, I'm not flying either.

It used to be that a person was secure in their homes, papers and persons unless there was a warrant issued on probably cause, these days it's more like because they haven't had a chance to try out their new anal probe 5000.

Re:Put your money where your mouth is? (1)

baKanale (830108) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045822)

If British airways is still flying here, there is still money to be made. If the profit margin gets to small on flights here they will stop.

And when they stop these ridiculous regulations will change. Or we're going to have to get used to doing less business overseas.

Re:Put your money where your mouth is? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34045962)

I've just stopped going to the US. I've noticed that fewer conferences tend to be held there these days - it doesn't make things easy for the conference organisers if some of the attendees (or worse, one or two of the speakers) might be stopped by overzealous security.

Re:Put your money where your mouth is? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34045988)

lol nice personal boycott unless you really really wanna.

No Flights for Tantrum Boy (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34045562)

Actually, direct flights between the UK and the US are not necessary. One or two lay-overs as a penalty for whining is not at all unreasonable.

One flight to the US required 8 passport checks (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34045580)

Redundant is an understatement. A few days ago I took a direct flight from Ireland to the US. I was required to stop and hand over my passport eight times! As a US citizen I've felt more welcome entering the former USSR than my own country.

WHY DOES SLASHDOT DELETE ME COMMENTS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34045684)

so frustrating... wtf is going on, dont you guys care about the little guy anymore???

But, the terrorists will win! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34045714)

Oh wait, they already have...

Security Theater (1)

OnePumpChump (1560417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045716)

If they don't make it a farce, it could become a tragedy.

It's been worse... (5, Insightful)

Constantin (765902) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045846)

... under the previous administration, the TSA actually asked multiple high-volume airports to set aside certain gates for US-bound flights, reclassify those areas as sovereign US-soil (!!!), and allow the US to post armed US TSA officers there (!!!!!). That was rebuffed, ranging from the Germans refusing outright, Canadians politely offering an additional Mountie, to the Japanese asking for more time to 'study' the issue. The arrogance of the US authorities to make the request in the first place is only eclipsed by the current treatment of foreigners coming to the US (online $$$ VISA, photographs and fingerprints on arrival, etc.) - to what end? Thanks to this lovely attitude, multiple nations have started to retaliate against US citizens by charging them reciprocal rates and also treating foreigners like criminals. Well, great, it's the little people as usual getting the short end of the stick when the elephants start dancing.

I wish more folk in the transportation business - consumers as well as providers would start speaking up more about the very costs of security theater versus the benefits. AFAIK, the TSA has yet to nab a single potential terrorist prior to them doing something naughty on the plane. Similarly, FAA red teams continue to enjoy great success penetrating US airports at will while over 300 TSA employees have been fired for being caught stealing passenger items (makes you wonder how many weren't caught, but I digress). The TSA continues to throw technological solutions at a very complex problem in a completely reactionary manner instead of being honest and admitting that stopping all crime in the air is inherently impossible.

Bruce Schneier has written at length about this, noting that the best way to ensure that only the folk who are supposed to be on the plane is to check them for security, ID, and ticket validity at the gate, just before they get on the plane. Having big choke points at the entry to airports only ensures one thing: a big fat target for terrorists. Worse, the current push for backscatter and microwave machines significantly reduces throughput since the TSA has not allocated any additional floor space or parallel paths into the airport to accommodate the 5x slower scan rate of a backscatter machine vs. a magnetometer. And, should you be silly enough to opt out of a machine scan and ask for a manual pat-down, you can expect the TSA staff to retaliate. In my case, my carry-on luggage was subjected to a comprehensive search even though the pat-down did not uncover anything suspicious (TSA headquarters later stated that this should not have been done)

Bottom line is, some common-sense approaches like upgrading cockpit doors were good ideas. But until Congress and the president grow a backbone and stop the madness, the TSA will continue to grow and whatever privacy and convenience passengers used to enjoy simply will continue to evaporate. It's a pity considering how much fun travel can be. But who am I kidding? There is simply too much money in the business of providing 'security' these days, too many fiscal interests that would be hurt.

Re:It's been worse... (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34046038)

The only problem with that is that the gutless cowards still outnumber the people with more reasonable views and the paranoid combined. Remember Democracy is the greatest tool ever devised to ensure that the people are governed no better than they deserve, to paraphrase things a bit.

As a disgruntled air traveller (3, Interesting)

ickleberry (864871) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045912)

I now take the ferry to England to avoid this carry on. Yeah it takes a big longer but that is the only disadvantage

*Take as much crap as I can carry
*Nobody cares how many screw drivers, nail clippers, 8p8c crimpers, LED bulbs, gas soldering irons, unusual electronic items, bottles of water I take with me and use on the ferry. *Queues short or nonexistent
*Use up expensive satellite bandwidth for free
*Decent quality air for the entire journey
*Nobody blasting on the loudspeakers trying to sell me shite while I try to sleep
*Decent food
*If a bomb does go off there is a good chance of you surviving
*Fixed fair - no cancellation,change fee, come back when you like
*Good scenery along the way

Airport security seems like an exercise in compliance - "oh we dont see too many of these around, we're going to scan it seperately and ask you why exactly you're taking it with you, and if we dont like your answer you'll be waterboarded". Anyone taking stuff besides clothes and a Kindle full of DRM can expect a fair bit of hassle

Airlines seem to make and change rules just to catch people out. They charge administration fees when it doesnt cost them anything. Airports and airlines get away with it because people just accept their shit and don't stop flying. Even when you go to look for the people responsible for bringing in the rules you are given the run-around.

The worst has to be the recent rules against liquids specifying the exact type of plastic bag and container they must be in and sending people back to buy an overpriced plastic bag if its slightly too big. Things are so bad now, the odd plane getting blown to pieces almost seems worth it now.

Re:As a disgruntled air traveller (1)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045950)

The worst has to be the recent rules against liquids specifying the exact type of plastic bag and container they must be in and sending people back to buy an overpriced plastic bag if its slightly too big.

I never bother with plastic bags and the screeners have never stopped me taking things like toothpaste in my carry-on bag. What's the point of the bags?

Solution (5, Funny)

GrahamCox (741991) | more than 3 years ago | (#34045982)

This was discusssed on the Guardian comments the other day, and this solution was put forward which, if implemented, would sweep it all away at a stroke. I don't claim this came from me, but I can't find the attribution.

Solution: Invent a device that causes any concealed explosive to detonate instantly, and have this within a sealed containment room. Ordinary passengers pass right through, but real security risks are immediately removed from the situation. Extra bonus: muffled bangs would be shortly followed by an announcement that a seat upgrade is now available...

Oh Oh .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34045996)

The Transporation Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security are illegal.

Duh ... duh ... what?

Yes. Both illegal and all employees illegal.

Saa .. fuuu ... duh ....

It all stems from the Congressional Edicts following the "so called" 9/11 events.

Therein the Congress gave authorizaion to "assertain" and "apprehend" the perpatrators.

An "Act of WAR" ... hardly.

Had Congress declaired a State of War and Authorized the Present to assume War Powers, all insurane policies of those affected and the properties affected would have been quickly ... Null and Void.

They were not!

Ergo ... a "State of War" does not exist.

Therefore the Transporation Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Securiy are in fact ... Illegal ... as with all employees thereof.

Lovely how the Law works!

Sacrilege! (1)

overtly_demure (1024363) | more than 3 years ago | (#34046106)

From TFA:

"Every time there is a new security scare, an extra layer is added on to procedures," Carrivick said. "We need to step back and have a look at the whole situation. Standards change fairly regularly, and this puts pressure on airports and airlines. We need to decide what we are trying to do and how best to do it."

Good Lord! Is this guy insane? He obviously doesn't know how we do things. "Decide what we are trying to do and how best to do it." Jesus H. Christ, what is that guy's friggin' problem...
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