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TSA Investigates Pilot Who Exposed Security Flaws

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the thanks-for-the-tips dept.

Transportation 394

stewart_maximus writes "The TSA is investigating a TSA deputized pilot who posted videos to YouTube pointing out security flaws. Flaws exposed include ground crew clearing security with just a card swipe while pilots have to go through metal detectors, and a 'medieval-looking rescue ax' being available on the flight deck. Three days after posting the video, 6 government officials arrived at his door to question him and confiscated his federal firearm (and his concealed weapon permit)."

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394 comments

Land of the free. (-1)

santax (1541065) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659306)

As long as you should the fuck up.

Re:Land of the free. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34659316)

You didn't even try.

There is more to this than what it appears.

Pretty sure... (1)

Kazzerscout (1354365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659312)

that the correct spelling is 'axe'.

Re:Pretty sure... (3, Informative)

a Flatbed Darkly (1964478) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659376)

As far as I know, "ax" is acceptable in American English, British English only permits "axe". I noticed TFA's inability to spell "hassled" in the headline far more. On an unrelated note, I wonder whether they would have pressed charges were the employee in question to have disclosed the vulnerabilities only to the TSA. It's been done in the context of comp security, so I wouldn't be surprised at all to see it happen to someone reporting on physical security.

Re:Pretty sure... (4, Insightful)

JustOK (667959) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659626)

If the TSA wasn't aware of this flaw prior to this, we are even in more danger.

Re:Pretty sure... (2, Funny)

AGMW (594303) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659502)

Of course "ax" is the correct pronunciation for "ask" in certain quarters too, so perhaps the confusion runs deeper still and it's actually a "rescue ask" that's looking medieval?

Re:Pretty sure... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34659700)

Yes, "ax" is the correct pronunciation for "ask" in certain quarters... Illiterate quarters that is!

Did he voice his criticism internally? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34659314)

Before turning to the outside world?
If not, I'ld go after him too.
Otherwise, it's just another bad example of shooting the messenger.

What I don't understand... (5, Insightful)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659326)

Granted, I haven't seen all the videos this pilot made, but from what I have seen and read so far it sounds like what this pilot was pointing out was things that were already publicly known. Things like airport ground crews having access to restricted areas without themselves having to go through screening, no TSA agents searching them or anything they carry prior to having access to aircraft, etc. Anybody with an ounce of intelligence could have figured out what this pilot documented by just sitting at an airport and watching for a little while, or by getting chummy with airport employees at a nearby bar and asking a few basic questions.

And I certainly don't think this pilot was the first one to point out these flaws. It just sounds to me like the TSA is trying to make a scapegoat out of him.

Re:What I don't understand... (5, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659410)

I read an article on this about six months ago. It's public knowledge, yes.

The guy with the controls in his hands and a locked cabin door behind him needs to be searched to see if he's carrying a weapon. Makes sense, right?

Re:What I don't understand... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34659584)

You forgot your sarcasm tag. The guy flying the plane doesn't need any weapons to destroy it, he's controlling the biggest weapon, the plane itself.

Yes he does. (-1, Troll)

khasim (1285) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659656)

What is there to stop him from giving that weapon to someone else on a different flight? Particularly a bomb or bombs. So the pilot crashes one plane and another plane (or multiple planes) explode.

Re:Yes he does. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34659840)

That is only to worry about if they reach their intended destination before the malicious ground crew blows them out of the sky.

Re:What I don't understand... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34659554)

The persecution of this pilot isn't for giving away security secrets. It is for making a popular video on YouTube that exposes the security theater. The purpose of the TSA is to make the public feel like they are protected. Pointing out real security issues breaks the illusion.

Not to make them feel protected at all (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34659624)

The purpose of the theater is to make the public fearful, not protected. Our government needs a fearful public to enable the erosion of public rights. We gave up a bunch of rights with the Patriot Act that we would never have tolerated the loss of without the "it's for your protection" lie. TSA is part of the cover for this lie and others.

Re:Not to make them feel protected at all (5, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659650)

It does both. It gives those that didn't consider it a problem the idea that there is one (else, why would they search everyone like crazy) while at the same time calming those that are already properly hysteric (and make them feel protected by their wonderful government).

Re:Not to make them feel protected at all (5, Insightful)

joebagodonuts (561066) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659710)

It's a CYA move "Look! We are doing everything we can to protect American lives." As far as any negative consequences? Well, as an elected official I would rather cover my ass from criticism than actually do the hard things. Hard things take time and I'm forced to focus most of my time on getting re-elected these days.

Security Theater is a good compromise. /sarcasm

Re:What I don't understand... (5, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659586)

Yeah, like Patrick Smith [salon.com] (aka 'Ask the Pilot), a professional pilot and writer who has been complaining, and writing, about these exact things for years.

Maybe he will get a lump of coal in his stocking tomorrow.

Re:What I don't understand... (2, Insightful)

smchris (464899) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659612)

Same old story. You don't expose the idiocies of power and expect a jolly response for your helpfulness.

Makes no difference (3, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659634)

The point is not about the information being public. The point is about the public being aware of it. The TSA exists so that the general public will feel like they are being protected from dangerous terrorists when they travel.

If you are in a big city, take a look around, especially in busy areas. On one side, you see the things the public is supposed to see: storefronts, public transportation, police officers, SWAT teams that just sort of stand around, etc. On the other side, you see service entrances, maintenance corridors, and unlocked doors labeled "DO NOT ENTER." The general public is kept on their toes by constantly having reminders that they need to be protected pushed in their faces, and scary-looking people with guns and dogs do a good job of that (as do enhanced pat-downs, apparently). The fact that a determined terrorist could sneak past all the security is pretty much irrelevant.

Re:What I don't understand... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34659640)

The pilot is getting "Julianed" for exposing the theater of the TSA.

The US govt is becoming increasingly petty and vindictive, even by govt standards.

way to go TSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34659330)

...keeping us safe from all those pilots!

I shot the messenger (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34659332)

but I did not catch the terroriiists.

(c) 2010, the TSA.

more leaks (4, Insightful)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659336)

The Nazi government of US of A has turned completely bat-shit insane. All it does is taking away personal freedoms from people:

Freedoms to speak (wikileaks), freedoms to think (public schools funded and guided by the dep't of education), freedoms to fair trial (Irwin Schiff, Guantanamo, private Manning...), freedoms to do business without harassment (Patriot Act, IRS, CIA, all the regulations and rules and subsidies and taxes), freedoms to deal in real money (Fed printing, 0% interest setting, destruction of currency).

The entire thing is rotten to the core, whether you agree with me on every point or not, but I am not interested in any consensus. My consensus is simple: gov't is cancer and it's killing the society through killing the economy and taking away people's freedoms.

Some justify the US federal gov't in what it does by bringing up the commerce clause, the general welfare clause etc., but since the gov't can justify anything it wants with those clauses right now it's time to ask yourself a question:

Is there a PURPOSE to the Constitution and what IS the purpose? Isn't the purpose of the Constitution to LIMIT the gov't in what it can do? If the commerce/welfare clauses allow the gov't to do whatever it wants, what is then the real purpose of the Constitution and why not just say: gov't can do whatever the fuck it wants and be done with the pretenses?

Re:more leaks (-1, Troll)

Elbereth (58257) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659438)

You're only going to be satisfied with some Libertarian utopian society. You need to learn to deal with the real world, rather than what you want. Compromise.

Don't compromise ... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34659504)

You don't need to bend over, Jack. Why don't you just secede? It's perfectly legal, and there's plenty of poeple already moving along that road: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secession_in_the_United_States#Recent_efforts_in_the_United_States [wikipedia.org]

As a foreigner, I believe this is the only possible road for redemption of the former "land of the free and home of the brave" - the Russian Soviet Confederation was dismantled, the Chinese Confederation will be broken up too eventually, but the USA is the one most badly in need of an enema.

And just think, you don't even need to take up arms to do it...

Re:Don't compromise ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34659576)

secession is pointless, after all a government is a reflection of the people it governs. The fact of the matter is we asked for this government. The only way to change the government is to change the people first!

Re:Don't compromise ... (2, Insightful)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659652)

ROTFL did "we"?

Do you mean in the purely participatory act of choosing which collection of puppet figure heads we wanted?

This government was formed by the aristocracy for the aristocracy for one purpose... to make the peasants FEEL like they have a voice, and basically, to use the same logic that you just did to shut up and take whatever they give us.

At least state government is small enough for the people to have some effect on them, if still not much. Secession would go a long way towards making the governments actually listen to the people

Re:Don't compromise ... (2)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659672)

As long as you keep a system alive where the choice is the turd sandwich or the giant douche because any other choice you could field has no chance to be heard, there's little hope that even if you trade the people for some that are smart would change much.

Re:more leaks (5, Insightful)

thijsh (910751) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659530)

Being realistic never meant you should just accept everything that is wrong. Compromising with evil makes you an accessory to evil. And even the impossible is worth fighting for, especially since sometimes taking on this impossible fight makes previously impossible things possible. People who fight an impossible fight like Rosa Parks [wikimedia.org] , Nelson Mandela [wikimedia.org] or even Thich Quang Duc [wikimedia.org] are heroes because they refuse to compromise with injustice even in the face of prosecution, imprisonment and death.

Re:more leaks (5, Insightful)

t2t10 (1909766) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659824)

Being realistic never meant you should just accept everything that is wrong. Compromising with evil makes you an accessory to evil.

All true, but that doesn't apply here. Laws like the US Patriot Act, organizations like the TSA, and wars like Iraq are ill-conceived and ineffective; they are not part of an evil master plan to subjugate Americans or take over the world. And if you treat them like that, you can't effectively work against them.

Educate yourself and others about politics and history, participate in the political process, donate, volunteer, write, expose, leak, whatever: that's the way things get better in a democracy. Dividing the world into "good" and "evil" is empty demagoguery.

Re:more leaks (1, Flamebait)

dbIII (701233) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659768)

You're only going to be satisfied with some Libertarian utopian society.

They can already have their libertarian dream as a factory or mine boss in China so long as they don't say bad things about the government there. No annoying regulations, pay their workers whatever the poorest will accept, and if a few die that's their own problem for choosing to work for them isn't it?
Meanwhile in a state that is supposed to be run for the benefit of the majority and not just the powerful we can do a hell of a lot better than shooting the messenger just because it embarrasses the powerful.

Re:more leaks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34659552)

No. The purpose of the Constitution is not to limit government. The purpose of the Constitution is to enumerate the powers the government does have.

I don't disagree with what you're saying, and this is a subtle distinction, but it's an important one to consider the spirit of the nation -- I'd call it a broken spirit at this time.

Re:more leaks (1, Flamebait)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659686)

No, actually thats the lie. The purpose of the constitution was to create a central authority which could effectively put down peasant revolts, slave revolts, and deal with the Indians who were not happy about us moving into their lands.

At least, or at least, thats what some of the letters going around between the founding fathers were saying, right around the time of Shay's rebellion here in MA... you know, the one that happened after veterans of the revolution complained that they fought and many died and they got a raw deal, the new government eventually agreed to give them some land, and then taxed them for the land and tried to take it away from them.

If they wanted to limit government, they could have stayed with the, far superior, Articles of Confederation.

-Steve

Re:more leaks (1)

t2t10 (1909766) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659838)

At least, or at least, thats what some of the letters going around between the founding fathers were saying, right around the time of Shay's rebellion here in MA

First of all, which ones are you referring to? Secondly, I'm sure people had all sorts of motivations in participating in the writing of the Constitution. But individual motivations don't give the document its meaning or significance, that's determined by its eventual outcome and application. And the Constitution has been used to establish historically unprecedented liberties in the US.

Re:more leaks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34659564)

Sorry, I can't grasp the PURPOSE of "rant". Are you advocating change?. I do not see your solution to the problem.

Re:more leaks (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659668)

Once a wise man said: [...] but you can't fool all the people all the time.
Them somebody said: Why should we fool them? They won't do anything against it if we do.

Re:more leaks (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34659682)

They may be killing the economy, and what they're doing about WikiLeaks is less than ideal, but half of what YOU said is bat-shit insane.

Also, fuck dignity, it's in the name of security. If you can't stand a single ball grab then you don't deserve to ride in a plane. Keep in mind this is a news post about the TSA and not about the U.S. government being Neo-Nazis, which in itself was pretty dumb of you to say.

Re:more leaks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34659754)

Freedoms to speak (wikileaks), freedoms to think (public schools funded and guided by the dep't of education), freedoms to fair trial (Irwin Schiff, Guantanamo, private Manning...), freedoms to do business without harassment (Patriot Act,

Never heard of Irwin Schiff, but it seems like mostly reasonable complaints here...

IRS

OK, you're kind of crazy...

CIA

I guess they did overthrow a bunch of legit governments over the years. Chile in 1973 comes to mind. And I think they were implicated in some torture in Iraq or something, though I can't be sure. Yeah, they've done some bad stuff.

all the regulations and rules and

OK, you've jumped into the crazy again. There are lots of things that we need to regulate. As an example: Are you opposed to food safety laws? If you are against that, would you volunteer to eat something that FDA/USDA has given a failing grade? Or, if you really favor market-based competition, I would expect you to think antitrust laws are a good idea. Gotta preserve those free markets, and if a corporate entity vertically integrates and gets too large, that's not a free market.

and subsidies

You're right; we should stop subsidizing corn. Unfortunately this will not go over so well in Iowa where people decide who gets nominated for President.

and taxes),

See also: death. I'm not sure how a government can do anything, including the good stuff that you no doubt depend on for your daily life, without taxes.

Is there a PURPOSE to the Constitution and what IS the purpose? Isn't the purpose of the Constitution to LIMIT the gov't in what it can do?

Others have pointed out that it sort of defines what the government is. In some cases that means what it can't do ("Congress shall make no law ...."). In others it is quite the opposite ("The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes ...") If you are not content with this description I encourage you to read it here. [archives.gov] (Although that website comes from a .gov domain, which obviously makes it part of the CIA/IRS/USDA conspiracy to tax and regulate away your freedom to sell tainted beef.)

Re:more leaks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34659784)

What a load of over-baked melodramatic nonsense. Why don't you try exercising the "freedom to think" before you begin lamenting its loss.

Re:more leaks (1, Insightful)

t2t10 (1909766) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659800)

The Nazi government of US of A has turned completely bat-shit insane. All it does is taking away personal freedoms from people

You're "bat-shit insane" if you think that that is anything like the Nazis. And you're totally ignorant of history if you think that the US is less free today than it was 50 or 100 years ago.

Yes, there are problems in the US, there always have been and there always will be; it's the nature of democracy and freedom. If we want to deal with those, citizens need to get smarter, more informed, and more politically and historicaly aware.

What we don't need is foaming-at-the-mouth lunatics like you.

Re:more leaks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34659842)

How about this: the TSA's actions are inevitable, given democracy.

If there is a terrorist attack, people in the government will be blamed, rightly or wrongly. The purpose of the TSA is to ensure that the President can say "I did everything I could to prevent this". That way, he holds on to his job, because the TSA is never able to say, "Well, if only Obama had allowed us to cavity search each flyer like we asked, then this tragedy would have been averted." Result - the public blames the President for failing to adequately protect them, and he loses the next election.

Sans democracy, the President cares only about practical matters, like finding a sensible balance between the cost of security and its effectiveness. If we blame him for the next 9/11, he doesn't give a shit, because (a) he knows we are wrong, and (b) there's nothing we can do about it anyway. An improvement, I'd say, because the sort of practical liberty that matters to people increases (they are not unduly hassled in the airport), and a whole bunch of useless parts of the government can just disappear, since they exist only to cover someone's ass - an ass that no longer needs to be covered.

Doh (1, Insightful)

imthesponge (621107) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659352)

What would you expect if you purposefully published the flaws in your company's security? "Oh, you silly goose!"

Re:Doh (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34659368)

This is more than publishing the flaws.

It's about exposing the farce that is TSA's security theater.

Re:Doh (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34659490)

Except the pilot is not working for the TSA, he is working for an airline.

And let's put it in another perspective: TSA is not a company (correct me if I am wrong), it is public: which means he is informing the owners of the company (the public)
about a problem with the management (the TSA policy makers).

Re:Doh (1)

Monchanger (637670) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659808)

...TSA is not a company (correct me if I am wrong), it is public: which means he is informing the owners of the company (the public)...

Nonsense. You don't get to just waltz into a military base and take a tank out for a ride, because you "own" it.

Perhaps collectively, you could say that the public owns everything that government does. But as individual private citizens we don't own government. We only determine it. It's independent of us, while being subject to our approval. Your right to information about the TSA's operations is limited to the FOIA. No more, no less.

This pilot was acting as an individual, not in an official capacity which would require him to report his concerns to his supervisors. He was not "whistle-blowing" because, as you pointed out, he was not speaking out against his employer. More than that, his speech is probably contractually limited based on his access to security protocols, in which case he's may have breached that trust as well as actual security. It's nice to see people standing up to government, but it's not certain that this man was doing the right thing.

Re:Doh (1)

jenningsthecat (1525947) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659522)

That depends. If the security flaws were previously unknown outside my company, I'd expect to lose my job. But if I was pointing out what the whole world already knew, I wouldn't expect reprisals. Then again, I've always worked for at-least-somewhat-reasonable companies, not the 'batshit insane', (as one other poster put it), US government.

Re:Doh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34659698)

The public has known about these flaws since before Die Hard 2.

Re:Doh (1)

imthesponge (621107) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659744)

But if the policy is not to reveal details about security, and you do exactly that, then saying "But but everyone already knows!" isn't going to be much help.

Re:Doh (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659696)

Not quite. He was publishing the flaws in a company (=airport) his company (=air line) delivers services to (=services).

Subtle but important difference. When I'm dealing with a company, especially if it's a fed owned company, I expect them to be able to deliver the goods and services they promise. If their security is actually just security theater that makes my job harder without increasing security altogether, I will inform my superiors and if they don't care, inform the owners of the other company.

In case of a government "company" (afaik TSA is), this is the public.

Take Note (1, Insightful)

Digital Vomit (891734) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659364)

Other countries take note: this is what happens when your country just rolls over and lets the terrorists win.

Re:Take Note (5, Insightful)

nettdata (88196) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659402)

This has nothing to do with terrorists winning, and everything to do with people who are friends and associates of those that are in power, taking advantage of a fictitious threat scenario, and cashing in on it. It's greed, plain and simple.

Idiots are getting more and more power granted to them, and making more and more cash in the process, all for dealing with this "threat" that they've manufactured. They will do anything and everything they can to perpetuate it, as long as they retain and grow that power base and make more and more money.

Security Theatre relies on keeping the public ignorant of what the real threats are, and of the proper ways to deal with them.

And the morons in charge are making laws to protect themselves and keep it all going.

The real terrorists are running the show.

Re:Take Note (1)

Suzuran (163234) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659476)

There is no skinny man behind a curtain pulling levers and pushing buttons, there is ONLY the GREAT AND POWERFUL OZ!

Re:Take Note (1, Insightful)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659514)

This has nothing to do with terrorists winning, and everything to do with people who are friends and associates of those that are in power, taking advantage of a fictitious threat scenario, and cashing in on it. It's greed, plain and simple.

I think you'll find that's the textbook definition of terrorism.

Re:Take Note (4, Insightful)

Elbereth (58257) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659528)

I don't know. bin Laden knows what he's doing, and his greatest weapon is fear. Fear drives people to act irrationally. What he wants is for the United States to become so fascist that the people outright rebel against it, causing civil war and the destruction of the USA. Were I in his place, I wouldn't be so optimistic. I doubt that people will engage in outright rebellion until it gets so bad, they can't even watch their television in peace. Also, even *if* the USA (as we know it) is destroyed, something very similar will probably take its place. It's not like we're suddenly going to become a feminist, socialist technocracy or an Islamic republic. We'll probably just rewrite the Constitution slightly and abolish a few of the worst aspects of today's government, then go on doing whatever it is that we were doing previously. Meet the new boss... same as the old boss.

Anyways, even if bin Laden is a bogeyman and our own government was behind 9/11 (or they consciously hijacked the tragedy for their own ends), it doesn't really change anything. The end result is the same. Fear, pseudo-change, and a new boss. Note that I'm not anti-Obama. I like Obama as much as the next guy who's apathetic about politicians and their promises. I just don't think that anyone who runs for political office can/will have much ability/desire to change the status quo, despite promises made. I meant "pseudo-change" in more of a grand sense, like how the French keep rewriting their Constitution and instituting new Republics. It's just the same old crap, under a different name.

Re:Take Note (1)

Schadrach (1042952) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659704)

Ah, the believable, sane version of the "truthers": "or they consciously hijacked the tragedy for their own ends." Politicians are explicitly good at that sort of thing -- hijacking events which impress upon the public for their own advantage.

Re:Take Note (2)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659706)

What did Bin Laden want? According to any government information I'm aware of, he hates us because of our liberties and our freedom, he wants us to fear and cower and strip us of our western way of liberalism and that "American way of life".

Mission accomplished, I'd say.

Re:Take Note (5, Interesting)

corbettw (214229) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659734)

If we do get to the point where we rewrite the Constitution, we need to put some teeth in that sucker. For instance, establish a points-based system for unconstitutional laws. If a law is overturned as being unconstitutional, every member of congress (both the House and the Senate) gets one "point". Get to 10 points, and you are automatically barred from reelection or holding any kind of elective office, ever again. Get to 15 points and you're kicked out of office before the expiration of your current term. As it is now, Congress can pass all the fucked up laws they want with no danger of being called to account for it.

Re:Take Note (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34659766)

Great! It will allow me, Adolf Hitler IV to take over and exterminate the Muslims for causing all this. The Muslims are causing all of our problems: economic, political, social,etc....

No disclaimer. Interpret this post anyway you want to: satire, serious, joke, etc.....

Re:Take Note (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34659512)

Other countries take note: this is what happens when your country just rolls over and lets the TSArrorists win.

FTFY

Good thing (3, Insightful)

Spad (470073) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659378)

It's a good thing those terrorists are stupid enough to document all of their pre-attack planning on Youtube, otherwise we'd never catch them...

Security through absurdity, America's greatest weapon again terrorism!

Can the Streisand effect hurry up and get in here? (1)

a Flatbed Darkly (1964478) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659400)

I was unable to locate the video in question, so I assume it's been taken down, and, sadly, and somewhat surprisingly, appears not to have been reuploaded.

Question Authority... (4, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659416)

Yet another example of that old saying:

Question authority and Authority will question you!

Re:Question Authority... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659716)

There's another saying, I hope it doesn't get lost in translation: If you plan to say the truth, be sure you have a fast horse waiting outside the saloon.

Biometrics (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659454)

Ground crew have privileged access to secure areas of the airport that demands more security, not less. Make them do an iris scan and enter a passcode in addition to swiping their badge.

Re:Biometrics (3, Insightful)

AGMW (594303) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659558)

Ground crew have privileged access to secure areas of the airport that demands more security, not less. Make them do an iris scan and enter a passcode in addition to swiping their badge.

Unless the ground crew also go through the wonderful new nudey-scan machines (or are otherwise touched up and fondled) EVERY TIME they cross into air-side then there's a glaring hole in the process! Any one of the ground crew could be turned (I've got your daughter and you will carry this item through and hand it to my partner air-side) or simply go postal, or be a long-time plant or sleeper, which means they MUST be subject to searches to prevent them from carrying any of the otherwise disallowed items air-side. Hell, they don't even need to be suicide jockeys they can just plant the stuff for the suicide squad to pick up once they clear the security theatre as regular passengers!

Re:Biometrics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34659592)

Hell, they don't even need to be suicide jockeys they can just plant the stuff for the suicide squad to pick up once they clear the security theatre as regular passengers!

Hollywood has had that be part of the plot of enough terrorist/hijacking movies, especially from the 70s and 80s, that you'd think that would have been the first thing they did for security. But, no.

Re:Biometrics (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659740)

C'mon, think like a terrorist for a moment and realize that planes are safe from terrorist attacks, at least for now.

Why?

Because that's where you'd expect them to happen. And surprise is not only the most powerful weapon of the Spanish inquisition. One key element of terror is that you are not supposed to know when it strikes. That's one crucial part of it, maybe the most important one. Else it's just yet another mass murder. It's terror because it creates fear, not only because it creates a lot of bodies.

To instill terror and fear, people have to feel insecure. And what would instill more terror and fear than being struck where you do NOT expect it? Blowing stuff up in airports where "security conscious" (to be nice and not say hysteric) people are already uneasy doesn't increase the terror a lot.

Blowing up a shopping mall right before Christmas would have had a MUCH bigger impact! It's unexpected and it hits where people are relaxed and happy.

That's where you have to strike as a terrorist. Not where everyone's just waiting for it.

The Emperor has no clothes on (5, Insightful)

jenningsthecat (1525947) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659462)

Wow. Airport 'security' is a joke, and almost everyone knows it; a Google search for "security theater" turns up over a half-million results. Yet this guy tells us something that we're all aware of already, and gets put throught the mill because of it. It's bad enough when people get crucified for revealing some hidden truth, but when it happens to someone who is simply stating the obvious, that's just sad.

Just what ARE we paying these clowns for anyway? They should go back to allowing knitting needles on planes; pissed off Grandmas would probably deal with terrorists a whole lot more effectively than these clueless idiots.

Re:The Emperor has no clothes on (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34659776)

Knitting needles up to 10 inches long ARE allowed on planes, so are scissors with blades of less than 4 inches. But oh noze if you bring a boxcutter with 1/2 inch of razor blade that shows.

So i love the sarcastic comments (1)

wesleyjconnor (1955870) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659474)

and I agree the things the TSA are doing seem ridiculous, but whats the answer to these problems?

What are you going to DO about this

Re:So i love the sarcastic comments (4, Insightful)

panda (10044) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659580)

I'm going to do the same thing about it that we do about the 40,000 odd traffic fatalities every year: Nearly nothing.

We don't invade privacy and remove freedoms because so many people die in traffic accidents. Why should we because of some vague "terrorist" threat? Honestly, airport security never has and never will stop a determined terrorist. We need to simply have an adult conversation with the American people and perhaps increase the educational investment in mathematics education. Perhaps, if they understood statistics a bit better, then they wouldn't run around like idiots demanding that something be DONE about what amounts to a non-threat.

Yeah, I know....

Re:So i love the sarcastic comments (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659748)

We don't invade privacy and remove freedoms because so many people die in traffic accidents.

But we will.

Some politcos are reportedly trying to force auto manufacturers to include rear-view cameras on every new car sold in America. Once that's in place, how long do you think it will be before they're required to install cameras on all four sides of the car, and record video 24/7? 'If it saves only one life', etc.

Now, as someone who does his best to drive safely, I can see that having video of some tailgating idiot crashing into my car could be a good thing when I want to prove the accident wasn't my fault, but I still wouldn't want to be spied on in that way all the time.

Huh. Nobody *I* know is running around asking... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34659820)

that something be done. I wonder just who those people are.

Re:So i love the sarcastic comments (3, Informative)

1s44c (552956) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659608)

What are you going to DO about this

I'm not go to America. Yeah I'd love to go there for sightseeing or a shopping trip but there is no way I want to be involved in any part of this security theater.

Re:So i love the sarcastic comments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34659688)

Yup, I do the same thing, so far I've passed up two opportunities to go to the US in the last year, I also work in Airport Security and work with bureaucrats in my own country to ensure they don't implement crazy ineffective bullshit like other orgs overseas.

Solved with dogs (4, Insightful)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659498)

How much of this security theater can be solved with a bomb-sniffing dog? Instead of checking each new thing for a bomb and still not being able to find them, a dog can just smell the explosive wherever it happens to be hidden. But no, we don't want to do that, that's too obvious, cheap, and easy. We'd much rather have a 1000x more expensive, incomplete and cumbersome solution.

Re:Solved with dogs (5, Insightful)

thijsh (910751) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659574)

Real reason: Dog's are unpatentable.

So you hit the nail on the head, exactly *because* these measures are 1000x more expensive is why they are being pushed... The smell of fear smells like profit to some.

Mod parent up! (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659678)

Bomb sniffing dogs are effective, efficient and can be trained by many different companies/organizations.

Scanners are expensive, inefficient but can only be supplied by a few companies.

Follow the money.

Re:Solved with dogs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34659722)

Real reason: Dog's are unpatentable.

Yet...

WTF is with these people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34659516)

Seems like the internet is the perfect forum for attention whores. Because, that's all this is, another asshole looking for his 15 minutes. I' m sure there was a better way of going about this, but he just could resist the call of seeing his face on the interwebs. He is now probably now fucked for life in the US as he may be put on some sort of "list" making his traveling life more difficult, and his job no more. Oh well, the world needs ditch diggers also.

Re:WTF is with these people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34659760)

I work in Aviation Security (Thank god not in the US) and the TSA is the poster child of not having effective processes and procedures for stakeholders such as Pilots, Ground Crew, Retail Operators etc. to report security issues and problems in a manner where they are given due attention. What else are they suppose to do?

Every Effort (1)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659660)

No expense or effort must be spared in burying the truth. The truth must be obscured under all conditions. There is nothing worse than truth bursting out. Freedom of suppression, the right to suppress the truth, must reign supreme.

tERRORism (1)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659730)

Somewhere in all this talk about tERRORism there is a larger, hidden problem. It's plain before our faces, but most of the prominent stakeholders in the debate seem oblivious to it. But it is of capital importance that we find ways to bring this root problem out in the open and deal with it.

Good-bye, cell phone (1)

JustDisGuy (469587) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659796)

FTFA: "Late last month a 50-year-old pilot, who asked that his name and the airline he works for not be made public, took a series of videos with his cell phone to show major flaws he says still exist in airport security systems."

Who wants to take bets that cell phones will now be required to be stowed in checked baggage, due to the "security threat" the camera phones pose?

TSA = Drag on the economy (1)

clyde_cadiddlehopper (1052112) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659802)

I would love to see a true cost / benefit analysis of the TSA.

Costs $ billions.

Cuts productivity of business travelers.

Dissuades casual travelers from taking vacations.

Increases airfare.

Decreases the flight hours of cockpit crews.

Degrades morale of customer-facing airline workers.

Well at least they protected his name (1)

budgenator (254554) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659828)

let's see

The 50-year-old pilot, who lives outside Sacramento, asked that neither he nor his airline be identified.
He has worked for the airline for more than a decade and was deputized by the TSA to carry a gun in the cockpit.
He is also a helicopter test pilot in the Army Reserve and flew missions for the United Nations in Macedonia.Sacramento-area pilot punished for YouTube video [news10.net]

The sad part is it's probably more likely that two pilots have the same name then that same set of credentials.

Confiscation??? (1)

kenbo0422 (1567789) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659832)

The law states that a person is innocent until proven guilty. WHAT he is guilty of is beyond me. Since he's NOT proven to be guilty of anything, yet, the confiscation of his personal firearms and permits are a breach of his constitutional rights. The government has broken constitutional law by doing this, and the persons involved need to be prosecuted and jailed for doing so. Also, the items must be returned immediately.
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