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US House 'Creator' of TSA Wants To Kill It

OverTheGeicoE posted more than 2 years ago | from the seemed-like-a-good-idea-at-the-time dept.

Security 681

U.S. Representative John Mica (R-Florida), the sponsor of the original House bill that helped create the TSA, has become an outspoken opponent of the agency. In a recent interview, "Mica said screeners should be privatized and the agency dismantled." Mica seems to agree with other TSA critics that the agency 'failed to actually detect any threat in 10 years.' Mica is the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman and receives classified briefings on TSA. Perhaps we should trust him more than most people on this topic.In an older ABC news article (ignore the unrelated video) Mica describes how he deals with security checkpoints. "He won't go through a full body scanner at an airport because 'I don't want them circulating pictures of my beautiful body' all over. He said he opts for a pat-down, and just 'closes his eyes and imagines a beautiful female.'"

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681 comments

Got my vote (2)

Matt.Battey (1741550) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413148)

TSIA

Re:Got my vote (4, Insightful)

Squiddie (1942230) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413200)

Yes, because getting your groped by a private security agency employee is much better than being groped by a government agency employee. It's like being glad that your shit sandwich now has a different kind of bread.

I can solve the problem for half the population: (4, Interesting)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413348)

Hire only attractive female screeners, two drink minimum.
Turn this around into a profit center. As a bonus, flyers are less stressed. winning all around.

Re:Got my vote (3, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413402)

If a private company gropes you, public opinion forces them to change or they go out of business from driving away airport travelers. If the government gropes you, they tell you "tough shit," which is what the TSA has been saying for the last 12 months.

It intrigues me that so many people still don't understand the huge disadvantages that come with government control, especially when they bitch so much about corporate monopolies. Governments don't have to compete for you as a customer because you're forced to use them, and you're required by law to fund their paychecks.

Re:Got my vote (5, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413446)

If there is only one provider of the service, it does not matter if it is government or a private company. If you must use them or not fly it will always be "tough shit".

Re:Got my vote (2)

ThinkWeak (958195) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413544)

Privatization of the TSA does not mean one company covering the United Stated. It could bring about some competition.

Re:Got my vote (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37413614)

First company to give people MRIs wins!

Re:Got my vote (1)

said213 (72685) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413460)

"If a private company gropes you, public opinion forces them to change or they go out of business from driving away airport travelers"

Nonsense. Name one government contractor that has been forced out of business due to abuse.

Re:Got my vote (1)

glueball (232492) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413512)

The contractor who takes away my garbage. They skipped pickups. Enough complaints and they were forced out of holding the monopoly in my town. I have a new contractor who costs the same and has better service performance

Re:Got my vote (1)

said213 (72685) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413520)

Hah! Fair enough... I should have specified "Federal" contractor.

Re:Got my vote (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413640)

Hah! Fair enough... I should have specified "Federal" contractor.

Ma Bell

Re:Got my vote (5, Insightful)

Squiddie (1942230) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413468)

What makes you think that the airport cares whether you feel comfortable or not? The private firm, too, can tell you to go fuck yourself. They don't work for you, they work for whoever hired them. Private screening might still have "guidelines" that they will be required to follow, and I don't expect them to be too different from what we have with the TSA.

Re:Got my vote (4, Insightful)

spazdor (902907) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413540)

The private firm, too, can tell you to go fuck yourself.

B-b-but then you can go to the snazzy new competing airport across the street which was built with zero startup capital (and does not actually exist), and they'll give you a backrub and a blowjob and then pay YOU to fly with them and then the "go fuck yourself" airline will go out of business for lack of customers, because competition always leads to the best deal for the consumer!

Re:Got my vote (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413604)

If you live in a city with more than one airport nearby, then they do, because they are competing for passengers.

Re:Got my vote (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413612)

What makes you think that the airport cares whether you feel comfortable or not? The private firm, too, can tell you to go fuck yourself. They don't work for you, they work for whoever hired them. Private screening might still have "guidelines" that they will be required to follow, and I don't expect them to be too different from what we have with the TSA.

And "trouble-makers" might get shunted to the anal-fisting line either way...

Re:Got my vote (5, Insightful)

spazdor (902907) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413480)

This argument would be more convincing if market competition in America actually worked the way free-market fundamentalists swear it works.

BTW, there's also a theory about how when the government gropes you, this is supposed to hurt their poll numbers and therefore their job security. You might even call it the central idea of representative democracy. Unfortunately that mechanism is just as broken as the "competition" one.

Re:Got my vote (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413574)

So tell me: why doesn't it work the way it should? Hint: it used to. So what has changed?

Re:Got my vote (1)

Fned (43219) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413646)

Large corporations got so rich and powerful that they don't need to respond to customers anymore.

Re:Got my vote (1, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413584)

This argument would be more convincing if market competition in America actually worked the way free-market fundamentalists swear it works.

That would be difficult in a country where the government feels it has the right to interfere with the market at any time in any way for any reason. You can hardly blame the free market for screwups in a country where the government feels it has the right to control carbon dioxide.

Re:Got my vote (4, Informative)

hexghost (444585) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413632)

And why wouldn't the government feel it should regulate pollution?

"That would be difficult in a country where the government feels it has the right to interfere with the market at any time in any way for any reason. You can hardly blame the free market for screwups in a country where the government feels it has the right to control mercury and arsenic."

See how that sounds?

It shouldn't intrigue you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37413648)

Most people are both stupid and cowardly. This, however, does not stop them from voting.

Re:Got my vote (0)

stms (1132653) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413404)

It's like being glad that your shit sandwich now has a different kind of bread.

You should have saved that metaphor for comparing Obama and Bush.

Re:Got my vote (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37413556)

But rape is good if the rapist has a "D" after his name.

Disagree with that? Then you are racist.

Re:Got my vote (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413412)

Actually, litigation would be easier, especially if the Groper were photo graphed during the event. I can imagine him running his hands up and down me now; ka-ching. I think all freedom groping should be put on Youtube, and criminal acts are still criminal acts, no matter who sanctifies them.

Re:Got my vote (1)

md65536 (670240) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413454)

glad that your shit sandwich now has a different kind of bread.

That's hardly fair. GP's shit sandwich has a whole new flavour of shit!

Maybe I'm just slow today... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37413152)

But that headline is horribly written. It took me a few tries to properly parse it and understand what it was saying.

Re:Maybe I'm just slow today... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37413346)

What is hard to figure out there? Some congress dude who seems to have invented the TSA (so we know he is a dork) wants to get rid of IT people (namely us). Seems pretty clear to me. Why he wants to kill IT, I am not sure.

Killing it... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37413154)

...to replace it with privatized equivalents.

Not really better is it?

Re:Killing it... (5, Insightful)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413256)

Not really no. The point of the TSA - a government agency that assumes accountability for security of air travel is good. The implementation as a long parade of security theatre which reacts as though past specific plans are guides to future threats is disastrously wasteful and ineffective, not to mention a drain on the economy when no one wants to travel for fear of being repeatedly groped, poked, and prodded by people in blue gloves who hate their jobs,

Hey (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37413158)

Fist

Privatization? (5, Interesting)

halestock (1750226) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413164)

Just what we want, to pay more for less security.

Re:Privatization? (4, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413194)

Just what we want, to pay more for less security.

Would be hard to pay more or get less than we currently do.

That was good coffee, damn it! (1)

overshoot (39700) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413482)

Would be hard to pay more ... than we currently do.

Re:Privatization? (5, Interesting)

ryants (310088) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413242)

Privatized airport security works just fine in Canada.

Re:Privatization? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37413284)

Privatized airport security works just fine in Canada.

Yeah but who wants to attack Canadiens eh?

Re:Privatization? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37413328)

/me shakes his fist while looking jealously at the Northwest Territories, snarling through gritted teeth

Damn you, Canadian airport security. Damn you to hell.

Re:Privatization? (2)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413318)

What are you talking about? Privatization generally leads to more for less. Airport security has already been privatized in other countries; the U.S. would just be catching up in that regard.

Re:Privatization? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37413362)

Except... airport security WAS private before the TSA was created.

Re:Privatization? (1)

Lifyre (960576) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413464)

And did at least as good a job!

Re:Privatization? (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413572)

IMHO...private did a better job. It is also much easier to sue a private company for having their employees grope you than it is to sue a gov agency.

Re:Privatization? (5, Informative)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413600)

What are you talking about? Privatization generally leads to more for less. Airport security has already been privatized in other countries; the U.S. would just be catching up in that regard.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/13/us/13contractor.html?_r=4 [nytimes.com]

There was another story a few weeks ago, about a state that took back a previously privatized prison that wasn't being maintained properly (i.e., the company was just cream-skimming), and much to their surprise they saved about a million dollars in the first year they had it back.

Also, notice that if you privatized the TSA you still have all the same expenses, *plus* the expectation of a profit on top of all that. They only way you get more for less by privatizing is by cutting corners - and you've got to cut enough to satisfy the profit motive just to break even.

Privatization isn't about smaller government, or even getting more for less. It's about putting public money in private pockets. Why do you think Republican politicians always favor it?

Re:Privatization? (1)

schwit1 (797399) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413392)

Absolutely. The current situation is nothing more than a false sense of security, which is worse than no security.
Privatizing Air Security [mises.org]

Re:Privatization? (2)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413530)

Blackwater/Xe agrees.

Thank goodness (1)

mwaggs_jd (887826) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413178)

It was a bad idea from the word go.

USA (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37413180)

USA is on MY no-fly list.

Re:USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37413342)

Good for you.

Re:USA (2)

Coren22 (1625475) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413590)

USA, Fuck yeah. We need less cowards over here :)

Yeah... (4, Insightful)

Aryden (1872756) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413182)

replace them with private entities with LESS oversight.... yeah.... I'll be damned if i go through a colonoscopy to board a plane.

Re:Yeah... (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413252)

To be fair the idea is that the private screeners will have a vested interest in getting passengers through quickly (since they'll be paid for by airlines/airports) and will have no financial interest in tighter security (which is good, since nothing implemented post-9/11 has helped, so it's plenty tight enough.)

Re:Yeah... (5, Insightful)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413340)

To be fair the idea is that the private screeners will have a vested interest in getting passengers through quickly (since they'll be paid for by airlines/airports) and will have no financial interest in tighter security (which is good, since nothing implemented post-9/11 has helped, so it's plenty tight enough.)

To be even fairer, screening used to be entirely private and it was just as effective and less intrusive without costing anything remotely close to $8 billion a year.

Re:Yeah... (4, Interesting)

ryants (310088) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413344)

Canada has had privatized airport security since... the mid 1990s if memory serves. As you know, the result has been weekly bombings and anal cavity searches. Oh, wait, no, it's the complete opposite. Quick, efficient and effective scanning.

Re:Yeah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37413602)

who wants to attack Canada?

Sure... (1)

HalAtWork (926717) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413452)

Replace them with private entities, but if the TSA will be dismantled, scanners won't be used in airports since it has been proven ineffective. Nobody's been held liable for the cancer-causing scanners with current oversight anyway so what more could you be afraid of? At least if they're privatized, those companies will be held liable and could collapse if they make errors. Right now it's like there's no consequence...

Are you kidding? (1)

alienzed (732782) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413462)

It'd be the least expensive colonoscopy you could ever possibly find in the US!

Re:Yeah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37413542)

Oh. It gets worse than that!

The Corporate Defense contractor which gets to run the scans, whose machines 'can't hold images', end up 'secretly' sending these scans to Medical Insurance companies, albeit not yours directly cause that would be illegal, which in turn get 'hush hushed' around to their competitors for a fee, whom gladly weigh your insurance coverage/costs/premiums by what did or didn't show up on that scan.

And NO! We're not talking about the body periphery images here that solely look for bombs/weapons/underwire bras.

Nah! This couldn't possibly happen in America.

Too big (4, Insightful)

Scutter (18425) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413184)

The TSA is a bureaucratic monster that has grown to big to dismantle (or indeed, even control anymore). It's already starting to branch out into areas that are far beyond its mandate, all in the name of "security", of course. We'll always have that little bogeyman.

They should get their own prescribed treatment (2)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413190)

These government officials always must be the first to get anything that they prescribe as treatment to other people done to themselves first.

You want to pass a TSA type act? For a year you should be the only one, to who these treatments are applied. You should be forced to these treatments on daily basis, and if after a year you think it's still a good idea, then maybe... you should still forget about it and think how to increase individual liberties instead of destroying them, and how to uphold and protect the Constitution, as you swore.

Also if you break the oath of protecting the Constitution, all of the ways in which you broke it should be applied to you on mandatory daily basis for 50 years.

The TSA can't be the best we can do (1)

schwit1 (797399) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413208)

It would be a good start for the kinds of cuts necessary for the bloated federal budget. Next do the BATFE, DEA, IRS and DOD.

Re:The TSA can't be the best we can do (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413496)

Can I still open my BATFE themed convenience store?

Re:The TSA can't be the best we can do (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413630)

ATF shouldn't be a government agency, it should be a convenience store.

IRS is needed, and DOD is mandated by the constitution, though it could use to be decreased.

Chicken and egg situation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37413216)

TSA - It is because of us nothing got into the country in 10 years.
Skeptic - You dint do crap for 10 years.

Re:Chicken and egg situation (2)

sureshot007 (1406703) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413324)

If they did manage to stop something, you better believe they would be proclaiming victory every chance they had.

snuffleupagus repellent (1)

SlippyToad (240532) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413594)

I've got it. It works, I swear.

Do you see any snuffleupaguses around here?

Thought not!

Umm... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37413228)

Perhaps we should first ask, does Mica own stock or part of any private security firms?

Re:Umm... (1)

Aerynvala (1109505) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413352)

That was my first thought. Even if he doesn't own stock/part of a firm, he may well be getting paid to promote them in some other manner.

Re:Umm... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37413484)

No, that's his retirement plan; a cushy executive position at one of the companies that are lobbying him to champion this.

not saying he's wrong, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37413236)

"Failure to detect threats" does not necessarily mean the program is a total waste of money, because of the deterrent effect on terrorists who would be risking human assets to sneak by the airport checkpoints.

balanced. (3, Insightful)

mevets (322601) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413534)

They aren't at zero - they are negative. You have to count the false detections against them as well. Their mistakes have had lasting impacts on their poor victims.

Re:not saying he's wrong, but (1)

iggymanz (596061) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413626)

they didn't stop threats, there were passenger - thwarted whackjob incidents.

They completely stopped the pink elephants from flying, they hog peanuts and take up three seats. I'll grant them that.

Before everyone proclaims hallelujah (5, Insightful)

compucomp2 (1776668) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413238)

This guy is spouting Republican talking points, saying the program is "creating too much bureaucracy" and "being wasteful government spending". Notice he doesn't actually care about the loss of privacy and rights. If he could contract a private company to strip search everyone and save money on the budget, he'd probably do it. Heck he might even be able to spin it off as "helping the job creators." Just because someone agrees with you an issue doesn't mean he agrees with you for the same reasons nor that you'd like the solutions he'd propose.

Re:Before everyone proclaims hallelujah (4, Insightful)

Grizzley9 (1407005) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413518)

This guy is spouting Republican talking points, saying the program is "creating too much bureaucracy" and "being wasteful government spending". Notice he doesn't actually care about the loss of privacy and rights. If he could contract a private company to strip search everyone and save money on the budget, he'd probably do it. Heck he might even be able to spin it off as "helping the job creators." Just because someone agrees with you an issue doesn't mean he agrees with you for the same reasons nor that you'd like the solutions he'd propose.

Frankly, who cares what the instigator thinks as long as the action is accomplished? Security was private before the TSA took over. The rest of the world uses private security. It's in their best interest as a private company to cut the costs and speed people through security checkpoints just doing the basic security check. It's all theatre anyway, just pay less for it. We all would win if we got rid of the TSA.

Re:Before everyone proclaims hallelujah (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37413524)

You're an idiot.

Re:Before everyone proclaims hallelujah (1)

iteyoidar (972700) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413532)

I think this is partially over the unionization fight that was going on earlier this year. It's about fighting republican demons, not cutting costs or improving security.

Re:Before everyone proclaims hallelujah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37413638)

Imagine it! Theyll get to strip you in front of everyone and molest you in the open and never get fired for it!

Good luck (1)

Steve Baker (3504) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413246)

Monsters, once created, seldom die easy.

Re:Good luck (1)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413538)

He's not proposing to kill the monster, but turn it into a hungrier monster with sharper claws via privatization.

Because rent a cops will be better? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413264)

Really? Hey maybe he is right but over all I find the application of logic in the editorialization of Slashdot submissions to be lacking at best.
"Mica is the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman and receives classified briefings on TSA. Perhaps we should trust him more than most people on this topic."
And if he as all for keeping the TSA would you also say you should trust him more because of his insider info? I doubt it, I am sure that we would hear screams of "who is paying him off" or the Republicans want to take away your freedoms even more and so on.
It is a dangerous thing when the test for trust is being told what you want to hear. It is an even more dangerous thing when you are sure that isn't happening.

Actually I do think that this is a good thing. The restrictions are too great, as is the innocence. The attacks that have been stopped have been stopped by people on the plane and good intelligence work.

I don't understand... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37413290)

... why the Senate would get rid of a nice family oriented group such as the Transsexuals of America.

Or perhaps... (2, Insightful)

MAXOMENOS (9802) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413302)

...he's doing himself a favor with the Tea Party by going after an unpopular agency (not to mention Federal workers).

Re:Or perhaps... (1)

Freddybear (1805256) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413444)

You say that like it's a bad thing.

Re:Or perhaps... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37413596)

"Federal workers" Ha ha ha, how can those two words be placed side by side.

Re:Or perhaps... (-1, Flamebait)

Krishnoid (984597) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413634)

Really? I'd think the agency would be pretty popular among tea baggers.

Privatize? (1)

gaspar ilom (859751) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413336)

...Big clarification: Rep. Mica wants to *privatize* the TSA, more than he want to destroy it.

There's evidence that government services provided by private contractors can cost twice as much as the same services, provided by full-time federal employees --- all while doing everything even less efficiently than before. (...Just like it is with private prisons, private war contractors, private health insurance, and many other scams.)

This whole scheme seems like just another RepubliScam(TM), meant to divert taxpayer cash into the pockets of Republican political benefactors.

I am amazed (1)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413358)

I actually support a republican "privatization will fix it" argument for the first time in history. I suppose the TSA is just so bad that it eclipses all the other governmental bullshit.

I just really have a hard time imagining that private firms would be worse; they're already rent-a-cops, but as it is they're government rent-a-cops. Any oversight at all, even if it is just the fictitious "free market" oversight, is an improvement over an organization that actively works against any sort of oversight.

Re:I am amazed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37413554)

You want to know what *worse* will look like? A privatized TSA, costing the federal government twice as much money, with no oversight and no hope of actually stopping any attacks.

Put it this way: unless the FINANCIAL incentives are aligned with the GOALS, we will just be wasting tons of cash paying private contractors, instead of federal employees.

I'd support a privatized TSA, with heavy regulation. You aligned the incentives/goals by doing spot-checks at any airport at any time -- if an inspector can sneak something past the privatized TSA: we'd fine the airport, airlines, and private security company $500,000 per incidence.

Like Poland? (1)

pieterh (196118) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413364)

It's kind of ignorant to use Poland as an example of expensive security administrations. Security at Polish airports is handled by the same mix of military, police, and private security as in most European airports and stations. It's nothing like the TSA.

When a politician takes a position, any position, the main key to understanding why is "follow the money". In this case, I'd assume, even without research, that the TSA budget represents a huge and lucrative pot of money and certain people think they can grab that pot and run with it. Perhaps Mica didn't get the payoff he was expecting. There'll be some hand waving about "rights" but really the goal is just to take control of the budgets, blow them up even larger, and slice off 10-20% into personal accounts in various tax havens.

The only solution to security theatre is competition, whereby airports pay their own security costs, and charge passengers directly, and passengers then choose whether to travel via low-cost insecure airports, or more expensive airports with more people to frisk and search. This is how it works in European transport, and it pretty much keeps things sane.

But the TSA is an awesome jobs program (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37413394)

I hate the TSA in airports, trains, and buses. But you have to admit that it created jobs. What else can all those people do? Pull weeds?

Now, if our society was organized a little differently, then not everyone would need to establish financial value to be able to gain food and shelter. Why does everyone have to work all the time?

Travelers or just tea party politics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37413442)

Sounds like he's trying to score points with tea baggers more than frustrated travelers. It was a great idea 10 years ago because he was saving the country, now we're anti-big government so he wants it gone

Dont't forget... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37413450)

This is the same Mica that shut down the FAA outright a few weeks back.

Make it simple (0)

Chewbacon (797801) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413458)

My brother-in-law says just don't let brown people fly. On a serious note, don't forget the 9/11 hijackers used no guns or bombs.

Re:Make it simple (1)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413516)

don't forget the 9/11 hijackers used no guns or bombs.

Further: they used tiny knives which, if properly prepared, could be easily hidden inside the anus. If the blade is nonmetal (such things do exist), it would be totally undetectable by the current security procedures.

Not that any of this matters...

Privatization (1)

Spunkee (183938) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413476)

Well if it's privatized, then maybe they'll do things more like Israel. I don't know much beyond anecdotes (on here) about their screening process, but I gather it's a simple and short Q&A where they profile you and search if needed. I hear it's more efficient and without the groping. I'm assuming they have a higher incident of people wanting to blow up planes over there that the US does, but I could be wrong.

This could be a good thing. Now if they are given the same powers to abuse that the current TSA has, then nothing will change. Hopefully a private company will pay their workers more and have incentive to streamline things to maximize their profits.

This will probably hurt the economy more due to putting people out of work. The TSA is a jobs program as well as a theater performance. I doubt many of them would be hired by private firms, as they can weed out the good ones, pay them more, and streamline the process to do it with fewer people.

Re: Privatization (2)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413546)

Well if it's privatized, then maybe they'll do things more like Israel. I don't know much beyond anecdotes (on here) about their screening process, but I gather it's a simple and short Q&A where they profile you and search if needed.

About the only thing I can imagine worse than the TSA is Israeli-style interrogation to get on a plane.

All of these security theater acts fail for one simple reason: there are very, very, very few terrorists and almost everyone who will ever go through the security theater is not one. As a result, all it can do is annoy the 99.99999% of travellers who know they're not terrorists in the hope that perhaps it might one day manage to catch a real one... and because few terrorists are ever caught there's no real feedback to indicate whether any system actually works.

Trust him?? (4, Insightful)

brxndxn (461473) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413478)

Instead of trusting the guy that originally worked to create the monstrocity, how about we trust the guy that fought against it originally? We had one outspoken guy in government saying we do not need to give up freedoms for temporary safety the day after 9/11..
Rep John Mica says 'I helped create it. It sucks. We should privatize it.'
Rep Ron Paul says 'I voted against it. It sucks. We should get rid of it.'

I believe the new cockpit doors did more to combat terrorism than all of the air marshalls and TSA screeners combined.. and the doors did not do much.

And who's going to take over? (4, Funny)

CheerfulMacFanboy (1900788) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413526)

OCP?

As long as the rules go with it (1)

jader3rd (2222716) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413552)

If the TSA gets dismantled all of the rules that the TSA created need to go away too. If not, then there really isn't a point.

No way (2)

Mike Mentalist (544984) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413562)

I often fly just so I can show off my heavenly body to the woman behind the scanner machine screen. I can tell by the way she looks at me that she is impressed.

Hey Mica, since your such an expert... (1)

sdguero (1112795) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413576)

it seems like you should know that it's a lot easier to create a huge government bureaucracy than it is to dismantle one...

THis is just another (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#37413644)

part of the republican move to dismantle the government. NO more, no less.

How many terrorist or bombs got past TSA?

While the TSA has some problems, one should consider that:
A) You have recourse. Far more recourse then you do against a private security agency.

b) Going to the private sector for jobs like those result in higher costs.

You want to get rid of a section of government, start with Homeland security.

News flash; there are something the government does extremely well. Have a common practice the crosses several corporation and private citizens is on of those areas.

Devolution is more important than privatisation (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37413650)

Security screening should be devolved to the local level.

There is very little to gain from having a nation-wide "screening organisation". The procedures and techniques used are simple and don't need to spring from some central source, it can be very easily learnt and done locally. Any increase in efficiency from having the procedures written centrally is marginal at best. Not to mention that bureaucracy loves nothing more than 'special cases'. Rulemakers hear that some guy in Nebraska wanted to go on an aircraft with a colostomy bag that wasn't obviously empty? Suddenly the rulebook must be rewritten to handle those cases and everyone must memorize the new rules. That is inefficient and wasteful when most screeners don't need to know those rules and can handle it on the fly.

It could even arguably make screeners work better. Who is likely to care more about their job in the ways that matter as a screener - someone who has grown up in the town he works as a security screener at, and who has an open door to the head of security at the airport whom he knows personally? Or someone who is employed at a federal level, assigned to cover an airport and is discouraged from interacting with "outside staff"?

Everything known about screeners indicate that the most important characteristics are empathy and applied wits rather than following an extremely detailed manual of fixed processes. Screeners that are recruited locally and report locally are more likely to have these.

Privatisation could also help, if not then make the screeners part of the local town budget.

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