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TSA Violated Privacy Act

CowboyNeal posted about 9 years ago | from the trust-big-brother dept.

Privacy 315

pin_gween writes "Remember when the TSA said they wanted info on travelers last year? They said they were only using names to test new software. Apparently, they lied. The Guardian has an AP wire about a Congressional report on the TSA. From the article: 'The agency actually took 43,000 names of passengers and used about 200,000 variations of those names - who turned out to be real people who may not have flown that month, the GAO said. A TSA contractor collected 100 million records on those names.' They also 'published a second notice indicating that it would do the things it had earlier said it wouldn't do.' A TSA spokesman said the info will be destroyed when the test is over. My question -- will the test actually end?"

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315 comments

Fuck France (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13143791)

And all the whining Eurosocialists who cross her border everyday.

Lies, lies and more lies. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13143798)

Microsoft: "You can trust our trusted computing platform"
SCO: "There is UNIX code in Linux"
Bush: "We will get the WMD out of Iraq"

etc etc.

Nobody really cares in the end, it's all so easy to forget being blatantly lied to as long as things are mostly OK in the end.

Right?

Re:Lies, lies and more lies. (-1, Offtopic)

Evil Adrian (253301) | about 9 years ago | (#13143853)

Wow. The post has nothing to do with Microsoft, and you still manage to take a shot at them.

What an asshole.

Re:Lies, lies and more lies. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13143866)

Only an apologist for Microsoft would fail to see the link between one large lying group and another.

now totter along and give MS some more support, the poor company might be getting sad now they've been maligned on slashdot.

Re:Lies, lies and more lies. (1)

Evil Adrian (253301) | about 9 years ago | (#13143878)

Not everything Microsoft does is bad. Not everything they do is ill-intentioned.

Just like the TSA, I'd imagine.

Who knows, they might be as one-sided as you, but I sincerely doubt it.

Hey, how much money have you donated to charity this year? My guess is none.

Bill Gates has donated millions upon millions.

Oh, that Bill Gates, what an evil bastard.

Hey, I'm proud of you, at least you weren't immature enough to type "M$".

Re:Lies, lies and more lies. (2, Insightful)

Bin_jammin (684517) | about 9 years ago | (#13143950)

Bill Gates' donation to charity does not make him a nice business person, and I would be wary of his writing off the donations. After all, they get him publicity that he can declare at the end of the year. Even supposing his intentions are nothing but the purest, and his personal hobbies include hugging bunnies and recycling aluminum cans found on the side of the road in Redmond, that does not mean that MS is a company I would like to stand in the way of.

Re:Lies, lies and more lies. (2)

Martin Blank (154261) | about 9 years ago | (#13144025)

You can only get so much in deductions for charitable contributions. People that donate to charity solely for the tax write-off do so to avoid taxes and increase their wealth; Gates has on several occasions donated more than he made in salary, bonus, and gains based on stock price. He would be worth significantly more -- many billions -- if he had not dedicated his energies to these activities.

Re:Lies, lies and more lies. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13144044)

My guess is that Bill Gates doesn't pay personal income taxes because he gives so much to charity. In contrast, though, he would still have more money if he paid his taxes and kept his charitable donations. If you truly think that Bill Gates' donations make his financial position better, you are the stupidest, most ignorant, absolutely uninformed halfwit on the entire site. You retard.

Gates' charity donations are a tax dodge. (1)

FatSean (18753) | about 9 years ago | (#13144212)

With a secondary use as evidence of what a good citizen Microsoft is when it is taken to court.

Re:Lies, lies and more lies. (1)

loyukfai (837795) | about 9 years ago | (#13143896)

I think that depends on how you define the word "OK". I suppose that means "nothing changed" to you.

For the thress examples you offered, one of them is a tautology, the other one is lacking in clear designation, and the last one is right out incredible (I'll get air out of this vacuum blah blah blah...)

These are "marketing speech" and no one in his right mind will actually care about not because at the end it will be "OK" but that the statements themselves are in fact empty in meaning.

Sorry for my poor English.

Re:Lies, lies and more lies. (1)

derEikopf (624124) | about 9 years ago | (#13143957)

The end does not justify the means.

Re:Lies, lies and more lies. (1)

MerlinTheWizard (824941) | about 9 years ago | (#13144169)

The end does not justify the means.

Especially when the end is not met. Here people seem to care more about the means than about the end. Yup. For instance, has it been proven that this names collection is useful? Has it saved anyone yet? I doubt it. Highly.

Re:Lies, lies and more lies. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13144023)

There were WMD'a in Iraq, the exploda-muslims. It just turned out that their definition of Mass means 5-40 at a time.

We need better exploda-muslim detection technology.

Re:Lies, lies and more lies. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13144193)

Jobs: Apples are sophisticated and faster then Windows/Intel boxes, if you only look at our benchmarks.
Steve Gibson: I'm a security expert!

Yet (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13143802)

There is still a portion of the population that wants to force health care into the government.

The reason that we must not give up our freedoms (2, Insightful)

Raleel (30913) | about 9 years ago | (#13143803)

is because there are people behind all of this. People are ultimately flawed, and can't be completely trusted without auditing processes

Re:The reason that we must not give up our freedom (2, Interesting)

xs650 (741277) | about 9 years ago | (#13143816)

is because there are people behind all of this. People are ultimately flawed, and can't be completely trusted without auditing processes

Are you implying that they can be partially trusted?

Re:The reason that we must not give up our freedom (4, Insightful)

Alex P Keaton in da (882660) | about 9 years ago | (#13144037)

From the article A TSA contractor collected 100 million records on those names.
That is what worries me- How thoroughly are the contractors being vetted? If you visit the Federal Biz Opportunities site http://fbo.gov/ [fbo.gov] you will see that the gov't contacts out incredible amounts of work. I trust the US Military with my security (We could argue about the military and privacy all day so lets not bring that up), but why is our security being contacted out? That is what worries me. Where is the accountability???

Re:The reason that we must not give up our freedom (3, Funny)

michrech (468134) | about 9 years ago | (#13144105)

From the article A TSA contractor collected 100 million records on those names.
That is what worries me- How thoroughly are the contractors being vetted? If you visit the Federal Biz Opportunities site http://fbo.gov/ [fbo.gov] you will see that the gov't contacts out incredible amounts of work. I trust the US Military with my security (We could argue about the military and privacy all day so lets not bring that up), but why is our security being contacted out? That is what worries me. Where is the accountability???


They don't care. They don't have to. They're the US Government!

--
telnet://sinep.gotdns.com [gotdns.com] -- TW2002 and LORD registered!

Re:The reason that we must not give up our freedom (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13144247)

>but why is our security being contacted out? That is what worries me. Where is the accountability???

this is exactly how some soldiers feel in iraq
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/warr iors/faqs/ [pbs.org]

Who is suprised? (5, Insightful)

mfloy (899187) | about 9 years ago | (#13143812)

This is how companies handle privacy. They do something the majority of people will accept (taking names) and then they secretly change the scope of their project to get much more data. Then their defence is "If they gave us their name, we assumed they would be OK giving us this. We are a reputable company". I think they should be prosecuted for this, what if their system got hacked? That is a great deal of possible identity theft.

Scope creap... (1)

Karma_fucker_sucker (898393) | about 9 years ago | (#13144039)

I can't find a link, but there was a story a while ago about a TSA screener who found some "suspicious" stuff in someone's bag and then called the DEA. IIRC, it resulted in a drug bust.

What I'm getting at, the TSA will/has become a way to go out and find people who are guilty of crimes. Next, deadbeat dads, tax evaders, parking tickets, speeding tickets, etc ... - As others have said, "Good -bye 4th Amendment! We'll miss you!"

Did anybody believe them anyway? (5, Insightful)

Goosefood (884250) | about 9 years ago | (#13143813)

This once again is a classic example how a group of human beings, who individually may be fine upstanding citizens, collectivly turn into an untrustworthy and unethical entity.

We must always remember that a commitment from a company is not worth the electrons over which it is communicated.

Re:Did anybody believe them anyway? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13143974)

This once again is a classic example how a group of human beings, who individually may be fine upstanding citizens, collectivly turn into an untrustworthy and unethical entity.

Definition of "classic": "Serving as the established model or standard: a classic example of colonial architecture."

TSA is new, hardly an established model or standard. Incorrect word usage. You suck.

We must always remember that a commitment from a company is not worth the electrons over which it is communicated.

Gay corruption of an old cliche that was just plain not funny.

YOU HAVE POSTED THE GAYEST COMMENT EVER

Re:Did anybody believe them anyway? (1)

TheGSRGuy (901647) | about 9 years ago | (#13144370)

A person is smart. People are stupid. Classic example, as you pointed out.

When will it end (5, Informative)

overshoot (39700) | about 9 years ago | (#13143831)

My question -- will the test actually end?

You're not allowed to know that under the Patriot Act. In fact, even asking has identified you as a terrorist; the Department of Homeland Security has been notified.

Re:When will it end (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13144040)

The test will end when the War on Terror is over, of course, which is any day now. There are just a few straggling dead-enders, so maybe a month tops. And after that there are just 2 or 3 more countries that'll need invading to spread freedom and put an end to the imminent danger faced by Americans, so possibly 5-10 years at the most. Of course at that point more threats are bound to have emerged because for some reason bombing a country turns their people into terrorists (our scientists are looking into the connection). So we'll need to re-evaluate the situation at that point. Rinse. Repeat. Mission perpetually accomplished.

Re:When will it end (1)

Metasquares (555685) | about 9 years ago | (#13144251)

"We are at war with Iraq. We always have been at war with Iraq. Saudi Arabia is our ally."

We really are getting closer to the state described in 1984. I wonder: is this perpetual war also designed to keep the population under control?

On second thought, this is probably just the logical result of declaring war on "terror". You can't declare war on an ideal... at least not with military force.

Re:When will it end (1)

miscGeek (594829) | about 9 years ago | (#13144302)

Of course you can declare war on an idea. Look at the success of the war on drugs... oh, never mind...

Fly Safe .... (5, Funny)

ta ma de (851887) | about 9 years ago | (#13143839)

Fly Naked.

I'm starting a grass roots initiative right here, right now. Every passenger will be required to fly naked under the influence of ecstasy. As a result, we will have no hi-jackers, at least not the kind that commandeer aircraft.

Re:Fly Safe .... (2, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about 9 years ago | (#13143917)

I'm starting a grass roots initiative right here, right now. Every passenger will be required to fly naked under the influence of ecstasy. As a result, we will have no hi-jackers, at least not the kind that commandeer aircraft.

As a somewhat regular air-traveller, allow me to be the first to say noooooooooooo!

I do not wish to be locked in an aircraft at 30,000 feet with a bunch of sweaty, naked, ugly people rolling on E.

Re:Fly Safe .... (1)

ta ma de (851887) | about 9 years ago | (#13143943)

LOL. Though I was being facetious, E-goggles might help you see the ugly in a better light. Who knows, you could luck-out and be seated next to the hot-chick.

Re:Fly Safe .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13143947)

that's so crazy...it...just...might...work!

Re:Fly Safe .... (2, Funny)

mabhatter654 (561290) | about 9 years ago | (#13143955)

the conservatives would never go for it... Boobies are even more terrible than terrorist... think of the children!

they could give us all those skimpy hospital gowns though... that would cover us "enough" bonus points if its red, white, & blue.

Re:Fly Safe .... (1)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | about 9 years ago | (#13144008)

Off course, this would be absolutely safe!!!

Even more, get 400 people naked and make them smoke some grass, and you won't even need the fkn plane to make them fly!!! ;-)

The TSA (3, Interesting)

Nf1nk (443791) | about 9 years ago | (#13143845)

The TSA was a bad idea, it costs much more than the previous group of morons did, and don't do a better job than the last group of morons.
Instead because its goverment we get Grandmothers, and children stripsearched, because profiling is bad.
I can't help but believe that the level of incompedance is intentional, setting the agency up to be dissolved (privatized) with a juicy contract to Haliburton

Re:The TSA (1)

fishbowl (7759) | about 9 years ago | (#13143894)


"The TSA was a bad idea, it costs much more than the previous group of morons did, and don't do a better job than the last group of morons."

The "last group of morons" tended to be experienced people, with some background in security. It was not that easy to get an airport security job.

Today, airport security is an entry-level gig. For many of these people, it's their first job out of high school.

Re:The TSA (2, Interesting)

Martin Blank (154261) | about 9 years ago | (#13144043)

TSA security screeners are paid 50% to 100% more on hiring than the average salaries of the old screeners. Part of the problem was that the screeners were poorly checked, poorly paid, poorly trained, and not particularly effective.

Now they're semi-well-checked, well paid, poorly trained, and not particularly effective. The rates of getting banned items past them are about the same as they were before.

Re:The TSA (5, Insightful)

JDevers (83155) | about 9 years ago | (#13143903)

OK, a few notes... First off, I fly a lot and I have been "singled out" for my random search a few times. None of these times involved strip searches. They basically made me hand over my carry on and they went through it while another agent (or at a really small airport, the same agent) waved a metal detector over me very slowly and patted me down. Mildly invasive yes, strip search not quite...
Second, profiling IS bad. Not because we are a happy feely culture that thinks race should never be identified, but because if there are a handful of "triggers" that automatically get one searched instead of random searches then "the terrorists" will just figure out those triggers and send up people that don't meet those triggers. It would end up being easy for true terrorist organizations to avoid while ONLY catching regular people (and really stupid terrorists).

Don't assume for a second that all terrorists are men between 20-35 years old with long beards and "ethnic" clothing.

Re:The TSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13143922)

good idea. once Arab terrorists figure out how to stop being Arabs, then profiling will have outlived its usefulness

Re:The TSA (3, Insightful)

Martin Blank (154261) | about 9 years ago | (#13144230)

Some profiling is bad. Racial profiling, for example, is generally bad unless you have a description of a specific suspect.

However, if someone is walking around wearing a hat and heavy jacket in the middle of summer when it's 85 degrees and 80% humidity, and seeming to deliberately avoid the security apparatus, there may be some interest in talking to him. It's still profiling, because his behavioral profile is suspicious.

Re:The TSA (2, Informative)

AndyChrist (161262) | about 9 years ago | (#13144314)

I was singled out for "random" searches 8 flights in a row.

I in no way believe that any searches are random.

Re:The TSA (1)

damian cosmas (853143) | about 9 years ago | (#13143959)

The level of incompetence is to some extent related to the willingness of civil libertarians to compromise national security to promote their agenda, but more closely related to the amount which TSA screeners are paid and extent to which they are trained. They get paid little more than minimum wage, and are trained to do little more than randomly search bags, but they don't even get to do the random picking themselves.

Halliburton, however, isn't even remotely related to the airline security business. They're in the oil business, and most airline passengers don't have oil.

halliburton (1)

0xdeaddead (797696) | about 9 years ago | (#13144052)

I thought they did way more, like food service, [spacewar.com] and so much more... [answers.com]

Its some scarry stuff! eh?

Re:The TSA (2, Informative)

Martin Blank (154261) | about 9 years ago | (#13144244)

The base pay of a full-time TSA screener is about $23,600 per year, not including overtime and compensation for geographical area. That's significantly more than minimum wage.

Re:The TSA (2, Insightful)

deranged unix nut (20524) | about 9 years ago | (#13144340)

The idea that "National Security" can realistically prevent an individual intent on trading their life to kill a lot of citizens of the USA is very naieve.

Let's see, many migrant laborers routinely crossing the Mexican border illegally and making their way all the way north to Idaho farms every year.

People illegally cross down from the Canadian border too. I remember hearing one story of a stupid drug runner that was crossing the border in a canoe filled with drugs...when a forest service ranger was in sight, the drug runner called to the ranger and admitted to what he was doing. ...we only catch the stupid ones and the ones that want to get caught.

Finally, remember the damage that diesel fuel and fertilizer can do in the hands of a misguided citizen.

I wish that my tax dollars would not be wasted to give people a false impression of security because such power is inevitably going to be mis-used.

Re:The TSA (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | about 9 years ago | (#13144047)

When one throws stones at The Glass House of Incompetence, it is usually best to know how to spell it first, lest one winds up at the wrong address with the other morons !

Re:The TSA (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13144175)

Instead because its goverment we get Grandmothers, and children stripsearched, because profiling is bad.

Shut the fuck up about this already. Profiling IS bad. What about the guy who used his kid's teddy bear to try and get a gun on the flight? "Why are we investigating the kids?@!!@$!@ They'll never hurt anyone%@!#%!@%#" Maybe we should ignore everyone who isn't middle eastern? I'm sure Richard Reid and other british muslims would LOVE that. I know! We could ignore everyone who isn't a white protestant, just like good ol' Eric Rudolph.

Just shut the fuck up already, you're a pathetic moron, stupider than even the TSA.

Re:The TSA (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13144196)

Michael Moore called, and he wants his comment back.

P.S. You're a stupid nigger.

Re:The TSA (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13144279)

Instead because its goverment we get Grandmothers, and children stripsearched, because profiling is bad.

Yes, we should profile people who look like the "American Talibe" John Walker Lindh, and then let's not forget those who look like the domestic terrorists Terry Nichols and Timothy MacVeigh . Lots of computer folks were the object of anti-tech terrorist, Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski.

Let's profile people who look like them, after all, it's terrorism we object to, not their cause.

Re:The TSA (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13144281)

Profiling is of more limited use than people may realize since terrorists are always looking for weaknesses in the system and profiling is like building in a blind-spot. You're announcing that certain types of people won't be scrutinized which spells opportunity for terrorists.

Of course, it's easier to recruit 18-35 year old males into terrorism so by checking a higher percentage of them you make it harder on terrorist planners to find effective agents, but no group should ever be immune from being checked: not children and not grandmothers. Searching only whose who appear to fit the profile would be as stupid as letting people sidestep security if they'd agree to swear to God that Jesus Christ is the only true Savior.

Neural network? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13143861)

What if a huge neural network was fed all those names. If they destroy the data, the neural network still knows those names!

Am I right?

Re:Neural network? (0, Redundant)

Stocktonian (844758) | about 9 years ago | (#13144015)

no

Re:Neural network? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13144029)

To destroy all the data, you'd also have to destroy its representation in the neural net. So, no it would not know their names.

In short, you fail it.

TSA Violated Privacy Act (4, Funny)

tsa (15680) | about 9 years ago | (#13143864)

I honestly promise to never do it again.

Re:TSA Violated Privacy Act (1)

pangu (322010) | about 9 years ago | (#13144049)

Well, we know how much your promises are worth...

Privacy Act violated by TSA! (5, Interesting)

Ph33r th3 g(O)at (592622) | about 9 years ago | (#13143871)

So, what's the status of the prosecution? Has special counsel been appointed? Grand jury convened? Charges filed?

That's what I thought.

Contempt for Law (5, Insightful)

Aaron M. Renn (539) | about 9 years ago | (#13143874)

It doesn't surprise me that the TSA has demonstrated contempt for the law here. As a regular traveler, I can tell you that they already (with some notable exceptions whose names I wish I had so I could cite them as positive examples) have contempt for the actual public they are charged with protecting. They have gone the way of all elites who profess to act in the name of the people, but actually do things that are in interally focused institutional interest.

I can certainly understand that law enforcement wants to "get the bad guys". Unfortunately, so much of today's law enforcement activity has little or nothing to do with actual criminals and spends most of its time operating against ordinary citizens. If you think this is limited to terrorism, think again. The Illinois State Police where I am routinely set up "seat belt enforcement zones" where people are pulled over and forced to prove that they aren't law breakers. It's similar to more and more "checkpoints" that are set up for all sorts of things and a presumption on the part of the police that they have the right to search you just to find out if you are doing anything wrong. That puts the 4th amendment on its head, and unfortunately our courts have gone along with it. Unless you are actually in your home, you can probably assume you can be investigated, searched, questeioned, etc. by the cops for any reason or for no reason at all.

So I don't see the TSA as some unique manifestation of anti-terror laws or a rogue agency. I see them as very symptomatic of what has been going on in law enforcement for a long time. This is just the next chapter.

Re:Contempt for Law (1)

Ph33r th3 g(O)at (592622) | about 9 years ago | (#13143884)

Precisely. Next time I'm knocking back a forty, I'm going to pour a little on the sidewalk for the Fourth Amendment. It's been dead a long time--since at least the time when the courts upheld sobriety checkpoints. And don't even get me started on the nanny state's affront to human dignity that seatbelt laws are.

Re:Contempt for Law (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | about 9 years ago | (#13143985)

I'd have to tag you on the seat belt laws though... after all, if you expect the govt to mandate manufactures to make "safer" cars, but then refuse to use basic safety equipment, you're just asking for trouble. Eventually you have to require the users to take the basic safety measures if your going to increase saftey. Otherwise, your insurance company or medicade should be "free" not to have to pay a dime to fix you if you get yourself critically injured when it was 100% within your means to prevent it... "freedom" cuts both ways!

Re:Contempt for Law (2, Insightful)

DrSkwid (118965) | about 9 years ago | (#13144055)

How safe would we be if everyone drove glass cars with a big spike pointing out of the steering wheel toward the driver ?

Re:Contempt for Law (2, Insightful)

xmundt (415364) | about 9 years ago | (#13144056)

Greetings and Salutations

Well, I would have to say that HERE I would err on the side of freedom. The fact of the matter is that while I, personally, would not and do not drive without a seatbelt on, it really gets on a nerve that it is NOT my choice.

As for insurance not paying off...It would depend on the contract. If the contract says they will pay, no matter what...then, they should pay. If there is a provision that this is voided by refusing to use safety measures...that is fine too. Freedom is good, but it is not safe.

Perhaps there could be a double tier of insurance, with folks that use seatbelts and such given lower premiums, etc.

As for not paying out. the fact of the matter is that many insurance agents go out of their way to find reasons to NOT pay anything out at all, and, failing that, to minimuze the amount paid out. Part of the motivation for this is, I believe, the fact that for years now insurance has been a profit center. Any time a business ends up with investors or public shares, it ceases to focus its attention on its job, and, instead focuses its attention on making as much money for its investors as possible.

regards

Dave Mundt

Re:Contempt for Law (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13144088)

Eventually you have to require the users to take the basic safety measures if your going to increase saftey. Otherwise, your insurance company or medicade should be "free" not to have to pay a dime to fix you if you get yourself critically injured when it was 100% within your means to prevent it... "freedom" cuts both ways!

You make a wonderful argument against government health care. It will be used to outlaw "risky behavior" or at best "tax" the hell out of it by requiring premiums that will never pay out. Of course a blood test will be required because why would I volunteer that fact that I smoke or eat a cuisine that doesn't quite fit into this years food pyramid.

I sure the hell don't want to pay healthcare costs of a generation betting on pharmaceuticals to neutralize Doritos.

Re:Contempt for Law (2, Funny)

MikeURL (890801) | about 9 years ago | (#13143897)

"They have gone the way of all elites who profess to act in the name of the people, but actually do things that are in interally focused institutional interest."

I take it you are one of those people who have bought the line that "elites" are some evil class of professionals brought from on high to make you miserable. Why don't we just try litting private industry handle airport security...oh wait...

Government is the Ultimate Mulitnational Corp. (1, Insightful)

Aaron M. Renn (539) | about 9 years ago | (#13144012)

Private security as more poorly performing or as more personally invasive? Sure, pre-9/11 private security at airports was a joke; but so was our government intelligence, for example.

Look at the world today. There are at least as many examples of public sector failures as private (our public schools being a great example). Many of the most polluted sites on our country were made that way by government agencies such as the US military. And of course let's not forget such shameful items as the Tuskegee Experiment.

The fact is, government is almost exactly like a large corporation in every respect - only on a larger scale. As I've often argued, government is the ultimate multi-national corporation. Both corporations and goverment are nominally controlled by their owners (the shareholders or voters) but the reality is that entrenched management really runs the show most of the time. Both are characterized by a bureaucratic mindset.

One big difference is that if a corporation does something wrong, it is much easier to hold accountable. You can sue a corporation who hurts you - governments can only be sued if they decided they want to let you (sovereign immunity). Governments have regulatory oversight of corporations, but there is little oversight of the government itself. Corporate officials who screw up can be sued personally for damaged (e.g., the Enron board). Public officials are immune from lawsuits related to their jobs by law. Also, corporations can rarely force you to do business with them (with some notable exceptions), but the government is generally your supplier of its services whether you want it or not.

Overall, I think we'd be better served with most serviced provided by a competitive private sector market, with vigorous public oversight to hold the providers accountable.

Re:Government is the Ultimate Mulitnational Corp. (1)

iminplaya (723125) | about 9 years ago | (#13144186)

Overall, I think we'd be better served with most serviced provided by a competitive private sector market, with vigorous public oversight to hold the providers accountable.

Couldn't we do the same with the govt? I was under the impression that the ballot could be used for this purpose. That we fail to use it is not the fault of the govt. We can use this tool to hold the govt accountable...I think. Why don't we try it? Personally, I hold the voters responsible for this mess.

Re:Government is the Ultimate Mulitnational Corp. (1)

MikeURL (890801) | about 9 years ago | (#13144248)

Yes, for airport security lets try a private sector approach that has vigorous public oversight...oh wait...

Re:Contempt for Law (1)

Karma_fucker_sucker (898393) | about 9 years ago | (#13144010)

Ah yes, but they have stats [tsa.gov] that say otherwise!

Or what really irks me is that some of them are liars.

I was leaving Hartford CT one time and the TSA guy saw my shoes and told me to take them off. I said "They've gone through every other checkpoint. He says "It's new policy." After going through without any problem (as usual), I asked, "Was policy put in today? THis is the first I heard about it."

TSA guy: "I don't know. If you didn't go through you would have had to go to extra screening."

What a fucking moron! I told him that I never have a problem with the shoes I wear - they're advertised as being for the airport security. He just gave me a bullshit line because he was too fucking lazy and/or stupid to do his job! And these fuckers are protecting us!?!

Wake the fuck up (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13143876)

No one else will protect your "freedom". Your liberty is your responsibility. Shorn of its Soviet enemy, America becomes its enemy. Tragedy of the Grotesque.

Re:Wake the fuck up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13144204)

Right - America the nation is suffering from auto-immune disorder, attacking itself. Schizo.

now do you understand the distrust? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13143889)

Don't you love it when people predict that shit like this will happen, and they're instantly met with tinfoil hat jokes?

Re:now do you understand the distrust? (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | about 9 years ago | (#13143991)

only because aluminum foil from the supermarket maginfies the brain control rays! The feds took TIN foil off the market years ago.

Re:now do you understand the distrust? (4, Interesting)

j_kenpo (571930) | about 9 years ago | (#13144076)

"Don't you love it when people predict that shit like this will happen, and they're instantly met with tinfoil hat jokes?"

No, I don't. I find it sad. It just proves a point, that ridicule is the most effective weapon the enemy has in its campaign to keep people at bay. You come up with a better presidential candidate, they ridicule him on the Tonight Show, and ridicule their supporters on MTV. You don't want to be laughed at do you? Lets laugh at these people because its Un-American" to support Dean, Kerry, or Clinton.

Its just sickening how lazy Americans have become. Back in the 60's people staged protests (real ones at least, not the half assed ones of today), they boycotted, they got together and really discussed the issues and did something about it. Today, Americans wont get off their asses because they would rather vote on who the next American Idol is than vote on their next president. This is why the government and big business walk all over us, because we don't do anything about it. But look at it this way, at least fast food workers and high school dropouts have a promising career in the TSA.

Thats my rant, Ill step off my soap box now...

Re:now do you understand the distrust? (1)

iminplaya (723125) | about 9 years ago | (#13144233)

Back in the 60's people staged protests (real ones at least, not the half assed ones of today), they boycotted, they got together and really discussed the issues and did something about it.

Then they went about re-electing those liars Johnson and Nixon. What exactly was done? I was there. Nothing has changed. The same people are in charge. Americans aren't lazy. They're corrupt. Always trying to vote themselves a bigger tax cut or govt check while ignoring everything else.

The Camp FreedomLiberty Tour, Alaska 2006 (1)

gelfling (6534) | about 9 years ago | (#13143892)

If you have nothing to hide then we just have to dig a little deeper, don't we?

The Privacy Act (1)

Sarojin (446404) | about 9 years ago | (#13143915)

What's that all about? Is it good, or is it whack?

As long as... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13143986)

...they keep Ralph Nader and Cat Stevens from flying, I don't care what they do!

Terror Is as Terror Does (5, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about 9 years ago | (#13143994)

The TSA will, of course, lie whenever possible. Because they have no accountability. And lying gives them power. Not just "to take over the world", but to do a lousy job. To be lazy, incompetent, and still get paid.

Really, it's completely obvious that, except for the Qaeda and the Taliban, that slogan about "the post-9/11 world" everyone on TV chants, "everything changed", is total BS. Nothing changed, except the ability to scare people into submission went off the charts. People who wanted war in Iraq, no matter what, got their war. People who wanted giant defense budgets got them. People who wanted to discard habeas corpus protections got rid of them. People who wanted Republicans to control all the branches of government got them. People who wanted an excuse for a broken economy, to cover up offshoring, inadequate education, failed confidence from Enron, WorldCom, ArthurAndersen, and a generation of Wall Street snake oil salesmen, got their excuse. People who wanted tax shirking got it. People who wanted racial profiling and massive privacy invasion got it. People who wanted government handouts to their welfare states, at the cost of $trillions in debt, got all that. And all the oil profiteers got $60:barrel oil, which costs little more to extract and sell than when it was $25. And of course they got federal tax credits for buying SUVs that get <15MPG, rather than 50MPG alternative energy vehicles.

But only if you embraced terror: became a terrorist. People who didn't, like the Democrats, didn't get what they wanted. They didn't get their candidate in the White House, because they didn't get a big noise in the media about how the Qaeda specifically planned to avoid attacking the US [pnionline.com] . Freedom lovers haven't gotten the rest of the 1990s "peace dividend", like forcing China to stop its tyranny with the "market power of the US" - because the businesses which own the new Chinese industries, and their American markets, are profiting from the fear that distracts from the perpetual terrorism that keeps their Chinese slaves in line. And we didn't get Osama bin Laden. WHERE'S OSAMA? Where's that "democratic Iraq", the "quelled Iraqi threat to American security"? It's with those who failed to embrace terror: on the ash heap of history.

The lists of who got what, and who didn't, line up perfectly on who "embraces and extends" terrorism, and who doesn't. And it's not just "who's for and who's against". Because Democrats, the losers in the political duopoly, have been just as "against" terrorism in their laws and policies, as Republicans. Republicans, however, have cast Democrats as preferring "therapy" to "killing" for terrorists, though that's a vicious lie. But that way to scare Americans about Democrats is successful terrorism, using planebombs as fuel for political power. Really, there's little difference between the Qaeda and the Bush uses of terrorism. The planebombs and tube-bombs are attacks, they're sabotage of our essential infrastructure. But they're really just the necessary spark for the actual terrorism, the terror perpetuated in the media and among people. Just like the Taliban who conquered Afghanistan on the spark of repeling the Soviets with "Islam", the neocons are conquering America on the spark of repeling the "liberals" with Christian evangelism: the Christaliban who back Bush with faith. Regardless of what you believe about conspiracies among people in Washington to allow or encourage a "Pearl Harbor event" to justify their neocon agenda, it's undeniable that some have rode the wave of fear with skill and aplomb. So we're going to get nothing but more terrorism, with the minimum of actual bombs that destroy corporate property. We're going to get more fear, more lies, more abuse. Until we wake up and reject the terror, dispelled by knowledge, and eradicate the terrorists. Starting with those in Washington and the corporate media who are closest, and doing most of the damage. Cleansing the TSA of thse lying tyrants would be a good start.

PLEASE MOD PARENT UP (1)

SparklingClearWit (792141) | about 9 years ago | (#13144063)

Well said. If there was a "mandatory reading" on Slashdot, your quote would be part of it. Too bad moderation only goes to 5.

Re:Terror Is as Terror Does (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about 9 years ago | (#13144111)

I note that the "fortune" at the bottom of the page on which I posted and read the parent message says:

"Crime does not pay ... as well as politics. -- Alfred E. Newman"

Re:Terror Is as Terror Does (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | about 9 years ago | (#13144162)

Bombs exploding in the transport nodes of my capital city scare me, how is that *not* terror?

I know it sounds like another day in Detroit but we're not used to the police shooting, let alone shooting to kill :

"It was just mayhem. I've never seen people move so fast in all my life, people running in all directions, looks of horror on their faces and screaming. Lots of people were sort of crouched down trying to run, trying to protect their heads, worried about flying bullets."

Once again we have terror on our land. Ironically we wouldn't have it if there wasn't a "War On Terror".

So thank you, Bush & Blair, you've brought war to our streets, just like we said you would before you invaded Iraq.

Cunts

Re:Terror Is as Terror Does (1)

ta ma de (851887) | about 9 years ago | (#13144321)

Every-timemy wife hears gun fire she looks out the window. I always tell her not to do that, she never listens. She worries about the people. I tell her by the time you hear the shot they recipient is already gone and there is nothing to see, and that she is risking being caught by a stray. I happen to live in a neighborhood where, when my friends leave at night, I give them armed cover to their car. HBO's "Wire" is a fairly accurate portrayal of my city.

I have seen gun-fights, people-shot and have had to take cover. The worst thing that I have heard about, A friend of mine returned to his home and inquired about a barb-a-que smell. As it turned out, someone dowsed his neighbor with lighter fluid and set him ablaze on his front stoop. The torch ended up getting shot in his car as he fled, running over a woman and her child as he died behind the wheel.

You English should stop being such puffs and buck-up. Here in the hood, including my self, own fire arms. I keep a nice 9mm 1916 German Luger w/ matching serials, cause if you need to cap somebody at least you can keep your style. I also keep a 16 gauge.

Hope is not lost, After you hear regular gun-fights for a few years, it will just become background noise, which you will ignore.

My question is.. (3, Interesting)

rsax (603351) | about 9 years ago | (#13144000)

A TSA spokesman said the info will be destroyed when the test is over. My question -- will the test actually end?

My question is....can you actually believe them considering they have already lied uptil this point? How I would love to work in the government; lie right through your teeth to get what you want, if you get caught, admit that you lied, shrug and move on. No sweat.

Re:My question is.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13144016)

Maybe Clinton did it to boost Lewinski's confidence. Maybe the Iraq-WMD saga was a marketing operation for the Military-Industrial complex. If you search long enough, there's always a good reason to accept lies ;)

The GOP Government Lied ... You're Suprised? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13144020)

I'm not. Par for the course. If something is coming out of their mouths, it's a lie. I knew they were lying when they said it.

Funny, that (3, Interesting)

greg_barton (5551) | about 9 years ago | (#13144032)

About midway through last year I started being searched every time I went through airport security. Every time. Every airport. What did I do to deserve this? I have no clue, except I tend to express somewhat liberal views on the internet.

The same thing happened to an aquaintence at about the same time. I found out about it because we were both on a flight to Honduras with our local scuba club. That must have really sprung some alerts. :P

What did you expect? (4, Insightful)

EQ (28372) | about 9 years ago | (#13144045)

As Agent Z said in Men in Black:

You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training.


This kind of thing is not surprising... Not the part about the TSA violating the law, but the part about them screwing up data, and not knowing when the test will end.

Have any of you who are flinging around "evil conspiracy" crap ever worked on large government software projects?

Those things go on forever, rescoping, changes, rewrok, bugs, idiot specifications that have to be met even though they dont make sense... the list goes on and on. Its usually because of some law or another that mandate the software have a given function in it (even if it makes no sense), and the management is far from sterling - and the bureacracy that sits astride it moves at a glacial pace, making it nearly impossible to get design changes approved in any kind of timely fashion - I'm talking months not weeks, for even minor changes.

Thats been my experience nearly every time when working as a government employee. And this was at a federal defence agency that actually is known for getting things done fairly well and relatively quickly. (and this also explains why I am no longer a government employee - you can only take so much before your head asplodes).

Remember when they formed that TSA, it was carved from people who were tossed out of other agencies (remember, government agencies fight like mad to keep the best from leaving) - usually that means those are people the other agencies wanted to get rid of -- making the TSA a potential dumping ground for incompetents, malcontents, and desk-sitter-do-nothings-deadwood.

So don't attribute to malice what is far, far more likely to be incompetence. Especially at a new agency.

Re: What did you expect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13144304)

Sorry, the old razor is not mutually exclusive.....

We did it to ourselves (4, Insightful)

cagle_.25 (715952) | about 9 years ago | (#13144084)

We did it to ourselves ... incrementally and with few misgivings.

Huge personal info databases? We created the technology and wrote the code to make it possible. We gave the information when asked, because we didn't want the hassle that would occur when we said "no, that's none of your business."

We accepted the notion of Social Security and believed the government when they told us that SS#s would *never* be used for identification [epic.org] except by the SSA.

We elected officials based on the performance of the economy ... which encouraged them to stay out of the way of businesses as they tracked, junk-mailed, and spammed us.

We accepted the transition from cash to credit cards because we liked the convenience ... never blanching at the fact that we were leaving a paper trail for ourselves every month.

We accepted the notion that the First Amendment was all about the right to any kind of free speech whatsoever, even commercial junk mail by corporations, who are persons only as a legal convenience.

We were so scared of sexual predators in our schools that we willingly asked the government to take fingerprints of every school employee to match against their databases.

And above all, we clamored for greater security in our own country -- we accepted the 9/11 commission report -- because losing all of our rights seemed more palatable and *less likely* than our becoming the next Twin Towers victims.

Has government and business taken away our privacy? Yes -- but only because we wanted them to.

If by 'we' you mean... (1, Insightful)

FatSean (18753) | about 9 years ago | (#13144224)

The cowardly majority of citizens who were no where near the blasts yet clammored the loudest for liberty-stealing 'safety measures'?

No, the fear-mongering media and the pussified general public caused this to happen.

I was bitching since the first plane hit that this would happen...you probabler were too.

I see we have some warmongerers here... (1)

FatSean (18753) | about 9 years ago | (#13144374)

Good job son, way to mod me down to giving my opinion. An opinion, I might add, shared by a a majority.

You got played. Accept it child, and live to grow another day.

When will it end? (1)

mpn14tech (716482) | about 9 years ago | (#13144085)

Never of course. They are taking the google approach that everything is perpetually in beta testing.

Brilliant Strategy (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13144100)

I'm so sick and tired of all the stupid libertarians/liberals here always misunderestimating the President, whose only goal is to keep us all safe from harm.

Terrorists hate America because they hate our freedom, right? By taking away Americans' freedom, you effectively remove the terrorist threat. Take that Osama Hussein!

Eh... (1)

iminplaya (723125) | about 9 years ago | (#13144104)

Waddaya gonna do? It's not like anybody going to vote these people out of office or anything. It has been reported that the majority wants the patriot act to be extended and strengthened. For those who want their freedoms back, it looks like they're in for a very long fight. Welcome to the new dark age. Ahhh...nature...aint she sweet?

Reminds me of... (1)

CK2004PA (827615) | about 9 years ago | (#13144126)

...1984.

Who are we at war with now?

Poop (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13144159)

This makes me wanna take a dump in someone's mouth.

Yeah, that's right. I went there.

VIGILENCE!!! (1)

symbolic (11752) | about 9 years ago | (#13144163)


This is why it is ALWAYS better to never LET the data fall into the hands of people who shouldn't have it. Of course, this was engineered by the same governmental infalliblity that gave us the WMD fantasy, so there wasn't much people could do to stop it. I'd suggest rolling some heads this coming election, but that requires a spine- I'm not sure American voters are up to the task.

Find a new contractor (1)

symbolic (11752) | about 9 years ago | (#13144202)

He said the testing is designed to find out what kind of data airlines will need to get - such as passengers' birthdates - so they can turn it over to the government to check against watch lists.

I don't know whether to break out in hysterical laughter, or start sobbing uncontrollably. I can't think of a single reason that a few HUNDRED names (a thousand might be pushing it) wouldn't have provided this information. Or...maybe just thinking the process through for a minute. Now there's a novel idea.

I'd comment on this but (3, Insightful)

cyberworm (710231) | about 9 years ago | (#13144268)

Apparently it's illegal to stand up and incite my fellow countrymen to standup against the government and throw off the repressive shackles of tyrrany.

In Soviet Russia (4, Funny)

In_Sovjet_Russia (902104) | about 9 years ago | (#13144351)

The Privacy act Violates you!
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