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TSA Opens Blog — You Can Finally Complain

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the wretched-hive-of-scum-and-villainy dept.

The Internet 370

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "The TSA has opened their own blog. According to Ars Technica, it's beginning to attract complaints from people who are sick of removing their shoes and having to forfeit their drinks. 'The blog's first post has 131 comments so far, almost all of which fall into one of two categories: TSA employees who got the internal memo about the blog launch and dropped by to post positive things, and citizens who are really mad about the liquids screening policy.'"

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370 comments

Haven't flown since before 9/11 (2, Insightful)

Quattro Vezina (714892) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269248)

I haven't flown since before 9/11. Unless the TSA cleans up its act, I will never fly again.

Re:Haven't flown since before 9/11 (4, Insightful)

bsane (148894) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269278)

I haven't flown since before 9/11. Unless the TSA cleans up its act, I will never fly again.

Unfortunately that probably fine with them, the more people they can keep from traveling the easier their job gets.

Re:Haven't flown since before 9/11 (3, Interesting)

xaxa (988988) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269550)

It might put off potential tourists from visiting the USA. It's probably not a big deal to most though (at home the tourists will laugh and say "they even made us remove our shoes, and throw away bottles of water! Crazy Americans!" before talking about something more interesting from their holiday. IME, anyway).

Re:Haven't flown since before 9/11 (3, Informative)

davetd02 (212006) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269590)

If you've ever gone through LHR, what I believe is still the busiest connection hub in the world, you still have to throw away all of your liquids and go through a MORE intense screening procedure than in the United States. And that's just to connect from one flight to another; in most cases in the US you don't have to be re-screened between flights!

That doesn't make Heathrow's policies right, but anybody connecting through there is just as likely to say "those crazy Brits" as "those crazy Americans."

AAArrrggghhhh!!!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22269632)

I can't *STAND* the TSA. The whole SSSS [mouseplanet.com] thing. The whole thing about them telling you to tell the travelers lies in the training book that you have to turn in when you do airport training. Lies and scandals. They are a bunch of fudgep [CONNECTION TERMINATED]

Re:Haven't flown since before 9/11 (3, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269976)

It's not crazy, just retarded.. (yes I'm a brit). I read an article on the Register by an ex bomb disposal officer who explained that there is no such thing as the fabled hollywood binary liquid explosive. I think there are ternary ones but they would require a lot of preparation on the plane, and probably a gas mask, etc. How they can be so paranoid so as to go to such extreme measures banning all liquids.. meh.. sad. Though I admit that some liquids could be used as fairly effective weapons, chloroform, acid, etc..

Re:Haven't flown since before 9/11 (5, Insightful)

suckmysav (763172) | more than 6 years ago | (#22270008)

They are not doing it to improve safety, they are doing it to provide the perception of safety.

I call bullshit (1)

Lewrker (749844) | more than 6 years ago | (#22270016)

I've flown from Warsaw to Montreal through Heathrow in August 2007 and I had no additional screening except flashing my passport again. Unless, maybe, you're not a European Union citizen ?

Re:Haven't flown since before 9/11 (1)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269368)

So you are taking your ball and going home? You assume the TSA cares if you fly. Their just checking their blocks like most gov't agencies. Like most employees the world over, just doing what the boss wants until they can clock out and call it a day.

Please tell us all how you would make air travel safe and convenient.

Re:Haven't flown since before 9/11 (4, Insightful)

LearnToSpell (694184) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269486)

Please tell us all how you would make air travel safe and convenient.

It WAS safe and convenient. Now it's no safer, and something less than convenient. You think selling $3 bottles of water on the other side of security is preventing terrorism?

Re:Haven't flown since before 9/11 (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22269542)

It could be. It shows them who is easily angered so they can place a couple of extra goons to watch them. Eventually, they will find someone angry enough to blow a plane up.

Re:Haven't flown since before 9/11 (4, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269602)

In a way, 911 actually validated existing airport security. The hijackers were unarmed! No bombs, no machine guns. (And no, I don't count boxcutters).

Re:Haven't flown since before 9/11 (4, Insightful)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269644)

Box cutters (we call the exacto knives - after September 11th all the news reports had to explain what box cutters were) fell well within the limits for carry on knives. Rather than do the SANE thing and ban knives in carry on baggage, someone decided it would be much more fun to ban nail clippers and water.

Re:Haven't flown since before 9/11 (4, Interesting)

JebusIsLord (566856) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269742)

In July, 2001, I flew from Canada, through a connecting flight in Houston or Dallas, on the way to the Belize rainforest. I (and my fellow students) all had razor-sharp machetes either checked, or (in my case) in my carry-on. No joke. No one seemed to give a shit.

In 1997 I travelled back from Japan, and brought with me a boxed Samurai sword (not sharpened). People wondered how i'd get it home. It rode in the overhead bin.

Last time I travelled through the US, I had to throw out 50ml of cough syrup.

Re:Haven't flown since before 9/11 (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22269924)

I wish your flight would have been on 9/11. Imagine how airport security would be different today if the story had been "4 terrorists, armed with box-cutters, attempted to hijack an airliner, only to have their limbs removed by a gang of Canadian college students armed with machetes".

Re:Haven't flown since before 9/11 (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269980)

In 1997 I travelled back from Japan, and brought with me a boxed Samurai sword (not sharpened).

How exactly does one sharpen a folded metal (annealed) sword after the fact? I thought they were sharpened by microscopic fracture of the blade during creation?

Re:Haven't flown since before 9/11 (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22269750)

Uh, no. The SANE thing was to either:

1. Do nothing. Now that the rules of hijacking have changed just enjoying watching Americans tear the limbs off of any would-be hijackers.
2. Seal the cockpit.

Re:Haven't flown since before 9/11 (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269804)

Rather than do the SANE thing and ban knives in carry on baggage, someone decided it would be much more fun to ban nail clippers and water.

And metal cutlery.

And then they serve the drinks in small glass bottles. Go figure...

Re:Haven't flown since before 9/11 (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22269842)

The sane thing would have been to do nothing directly reactive to the 9/11 hijackers' plans, because it was obvious even on the day of the attacks that they would never work again.

Re:Haven't flown since before 9/11 (4, Informative)

davetd02 (212006) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269684)

Quote: It WAS safe and convenient.

It'd be nice to think that there was a golden age of air travel when nobody wanted to use aircraft as political weapons, but that only existed prior to the 1960s when air travel became affordable for the masses. There is NO period in time when airline travel was not subject to some kind of danger. Planes have always been targeted by hijackers and bombers because it's a strong political symbol that is guaranteed to generate news coverage.

For the record, metal detectors and security screening at airports started long before 9/11, and dangers to air travel started long before then as well.

In 1976, Cubana 455 [wikipedia.org] , with 73 people on board, was brought down by a bomb.

In 1985, Air India Flight 182 [wikipedia.org] , with 329 people on board, was brought down by a bomb.

In 1988, Pam-Am Flight 103 [wikipedia.org] , with 259 people on board, was brought down by a bomb.

In 2000, Ahmed Ressam [wikipedia.org] pleaded guilty to trying to bomb Los Angeles International airport.

May I also remind you that, just in the year 1970, there were at least 13 attempted hijackings JUST TO CUBA [wikipedia.org] :

* February 16 * March 11 * April 22 * May 25 * July 1 * August 2 * August 19 * August 20 * September 19 * October 30 * November 1 * November 13 * December 19

And, even after 9/11, idiots [wikipedia.org] have tried to bring down commercial aircraft with bombs. They just happen to have been royally incompetent.

Re:Haven't flown since before 9/11 (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269782)

Please tell us all how you would make air travel safe and convenient.

It WAS safe and convenient. Now it's no safer, and something less than convenient. You think selling $3 bottles of water on the other side of security is preventing terrorism?
I hear what you're saying but it's not like there's a great solution out there. If they don't try to take 'obvious' steps in preventing an attack like that from happening, and something happens, people will shout about how they didn't do anything. It's a risk with a potential outcome that is very ugly.

If you ask me, the biggest problem here is a mixture of harsh judgement and hindsight.

Re:Haven't flown since before 9/11 (5, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269552)

Please tell us all how you would make air travel safe and convenient.

I wouldn't do anything.

Air travel is one of the safest modes of transportation, and that was BEFORE all the new inconveniences. Nothing has changed. 9/11 didn't change that. And the new procedures and inconveniences won't stop it from happening again. The biggest and really only real improvement they've made is improving the security of the cockpit. (And -that- didn't inconvenience anybody.)

All this bullshit about terrorists sneaking a liquid onto a plane and blowing it up is bullshit. The 'terrorists' could just as easily detonate bombs and kill large amounts of people by setting of their bombs -at- the security checkpoints in the airport or getting into a ballgame, or anywhere else. Sir, liquids are banned...please remove your shoes. Sir? KA-BOOM!

And what are they going to do to stop that? Put security checkpoints before the security checkpoints??

What would I do to make america safer? I'd stop fixating on paranoid fear reactions, and spend my time improving relations with muslims, resolving our differences, helping their countries become prosperous, healing the rifts between us.

There will always be extremists. And people will always die. But I don't want to live in an isolated padded prison cell and forfeit all liberty for absolute safety.

Re:Haven't flown since before 9/11 (5, Insightful)

GaryPatterson (852699) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269662)

Well, clearly *you're* not a politician. You're trying to calm people down, start a dialogue with disaffected muslims and assert reason in the face of panic.

Madness! You'll never get anywhere with clear thinking!

Re:Haven't flown since before 9/11 (1)

BeeBeard (999187) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269716)

Hold on, my friends. Just hold on. He's only president for another 10 months.

Re:Haven't flown since before 9/11 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22269776)

Ummm, 10 months? Try a full year. We get to vote on who will succeed him in 9 months. He'll still be in office for nearly 3 months after that.

Re:Haven't flown since before 9/11 (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269908)

Indeed. I have been rather saddened by all the rhetoric about "taking the tough decisions" thrown around casually by the likes of Bush and Blair post-9/11. The really tough decision would have been not to commit vast resources to fighting something that is a genuine but ultimately small threat, but to reserve them for other, realistically greater needs, and to stand up before the people the day after the attacks and give a single, simple speech saying that while the losses should be mourned we will never give in to terrorism by changing our way of life out of fear.

it's not about *your* safety. (1)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269768)

Air travel is one of the safest modes of transportation, and that was BEFORE all the new inconveniences. Nothing has changed. 9/11 didn't change that.

Bravo- but don't be disillusioned into thinking that *anyone* in the federal government cares about *your* safety.

All they care about is a protecting their own asses. George W. Bush doesn't care about a plane getting hijacked unless someone's trying to ram it into the White House. *That* is why they're so fucking frightened: airliners are the trump card to any presidential security measure. The president would probably survive such an attack and the White House itself would be in a rubble- but the damage to the President's power, both at home and abroad, would be devastated.

Re:Haven't flown since before 9/11 (1)

SpottedKuh (855161) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269852)

But I don't want to live in an isolated padded prison cell and forfeit all liberty for absolute safety.

You've failed to account for how easy it would be to hide explosives in the cell padding.

...and I'm only partially joking.

Re:Haven't flown since before 9/11 (4, Insightful)

deniable (76198) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269938)

And how many planes have been hijacked since? Is this:

a. Because of all of the new security measures.

or

b. Because passengers know the rules have changed and are likely to dismember anyone attempting a hijack.

Mods on crack (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22269492)

Gotta love it -- first post is on topic, but is marked "Redundant". Redundant?? Do you see another post that has the same material above it? Is this is in summary? Morons.

Re:Haven't flown since before 9/11 (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269606)

Complete and total capitulation. B'God, *that'll* make 'em think twice before tangling with you again!

Re:Haven't flown since before 9/11 (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22269736)

thank god. you're fucking annoying. i hate shitbags like you and the more you just keep to yourself the better. go fuck a goat you dumb fuck.

Comments (4, Insightful)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269252)

I can imagine that the comments feature will soon be disabled.

Re:Comments (3, Insightful)

rob1980 (941751) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269312)

Or heavily moderated.

Why? You can say what you want (4, Funny)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269410)

...and they will listen.

Re:Why? You can say what you want (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269490)

more like, the web form outputs to.... /dev/null

Seriously, this is like a big wall you can pound your head against all you want, with no realistic chance of any of your feedback having any effect.

They are part of the current 'terrorists are everywhere, and if you let your guard down, you and everyone you know will immediately be killed in a slow and painful way' mindset of the US gov't. If you want to change this, you'll need to elect a gov't with a different mindset, as this is driven top down, not bottom up.

Re:Why? You can say what you want (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22269824)

...and they will put you on the no-fly list.
There, fixed it for you.

Re:Comments (4, Insightful)

Brickwall (985910) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269708)

This isn't insightful; it's ignorant. I just visited the blog, and they make it clear that they won't post profanity or abuse, but they'll let just about anything else go through. I went through the liquids thread, and 99% of the comments were critical from one degree to another of the current policy. No censorship there that I could see. Hundreds of people pointed out the idiocy of allowing up to 10 bottles in your "baggy", all 10 of which could ostensibly be carrying 3 oz of some explosive, which you could then combine on the plane. Or, you carry a bunch in your baggy, and your accomplice carries some in his baggy, and you meet up on the plane to combine them.

And, of course, water. I suggested that the simple solution is for the agent to request that you drink some of the water, and then the agent sniff the bottle. If anyone here knows of a colourless, odourless explosive you can safely drink, I'd like to be apprised of it. They posted my comment unedited.

Why don't you bother to check it out before making such an uninformed comment? Oh, right, this is /.

Re:Comments (4, Insightful)

arth1 (260657) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269892)

No censorship there that I could see.

That's the idea of censorship...

Re:Comments (2, Insightful)

xstonedogx (814876) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269898)

I suggested that the simple solution is for the agent to request that you drink some of the water, and then the agent sniff the bottle. If anyone here knows of a colourless, odourless explosive you can safely drink, I'd like to be apprised of it.

What is the purpose of drinking the water?

Anyone who is willing to blow themselves up on an airplane thinking they will receive 108 virgins is surely willing to suffer an hour worth of discomfort before the flight or a trip to vomit in the bathroom.

Re:Comments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22270002)

Try posting an experience about having the screener fondle your tits. I know I've posted two such comments that never made it to the actual comments thread. Only seen one person's comment regarding that so far.

Btw. Making someone drink "water" is stupid. Don't you remember the kid who got giardia when the dumb ass agent made him drink some water he collected from a stream and was taking home for his science class.

Re:Comments (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22269890)

uh, no. you're wrong and the fags who modded you up are wrong. being wrong seems to be what slashdot is all about anymore. i'm surprised that anyone even bothers with this place anymore. oh that's right, because you're all feeding off the two minute hate that gets posted here daily. cmdrdildo and kdawson have you licking their nutsack, looking for the next boogeyman, while the rest of the world leads normal lives.

Re:Comments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22269978)

Yeah. -1000 Embarrassing

Re:Comments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22269412)

I was going to point out that the food they serve on those trips generally isn't very good. In fact, it's terrible.

Of course, TSA will probably respond by pointing fingers.

Fingers crossed (3, Insightful)

Chairboy (88841) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269272)

There are some serious problems with how the TSA is doing things, and this is a great step towards communicating some of them. ...if we, as the public, can keep our act together long enough to avoid dropping shrill, screeching, hate bombs of ranting incoherence on this website that'll convince the TSA that there's nothing of value to be gained from this conduit. Each "YOU GUYS ARE FASCIST NAZI LICKING THUGS!" message cancels out the positive effects of any five or ten polite & firm, well reasoned messages describing weaknesses and suggesting positive change.

Unfortunately, I'm guessing this restraint won't be evident.

Re:Fingers crossed (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22269350)

I am absolutely amazed and impressed that the TSA has opened their own blog to finally try and explain and educate their 'angry customers'.

In fact it is such a good thing, I can't believe they thought of it themselves.

Has this got anything to do with Bruce Schneier's interview [schneier.com] with the TSA head, Kip Hawley?

Regardless of what people think about the TSA, this move is to be applauded. I hope it expands even further into other areas of government.

Re:Fingers crossed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22269598)

Regardless of what people think about the TSA, this move is to be applauded. I hope it expands even further into other areas of government.
I am also hoping the blog idea spreads to other parts of the government. - In particular the CIA. I have many complaints about they way I was treated during extraordinary rendition.

Re:Fingers crossed (4, Insightful)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269658)

It's only to be applauded if they DO something. Until then it's a publicity stunt, or a lame outlet for the rage directed against them.

Re:Fingers crossed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22269872)

I have the feeling there will be more "education" about how you're wrong for disagreeing with the policies of those in power than actual listening to complaints.

I do hope I'm wrong though.

Re:Fingers crossed (4, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269406)

cancels out the positive effects of any five or ten polite & firm, well reasoned messages describing weaknesses and suggesting positive change.
What effect might that be? The TSA is the Theatrical Security Agency - any blog they put up is just more theater. Nothing that might change their focus from theater to actual security will come about from something as trivial as a blog because looking effective is their job, not being effective.

Re:Fingers crossed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22269468)

To put it candidly--they would have deserved courtesy six years ago. At this point all they deserve is their ass kicked out the door, and personal belongings UPS-ed to their last known address after being inspected for company information within. Fire the whole team and start over from scratch--they've done exactly one thing of use the whole time they've been in office.

Old parties are welcome to reapply on an individual basis.

Re:Fingers crossed (4, Insightful)

sootman (158191) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269848)

Each "YOU GUYS ARE FASCIST NAZI LICKING THUGS!" message cancels out the positive effects of any five or ten polite & firm, well reasoned messages describing weaknesses and suggesting positive change.

There are already plenty of high-level, high-profile, already-accepted-as-smart people saying how completely fucked up TSA is, and TSA isn't listening to them, so why would they listen to us no matter how polite we are? Maybe it would be a good thing for them to hear how much every man-in-the-street hates them too. A lot of things come down to popularity, and an unpopular agency might have some serious problems staying around. And what will gain more press: a blog with a few well-reasoned comments or one packed with vitriol? Remember, there has never been a story on the news that said "3 million people in enjoyed a nice quiet night at home yesterday." I would love to see a story on the 11:00 news that say "Agency posts blog; 99% of comments all say what assholes they are." That would just make more people aware of how fucked up TSA is and maybe eventually lead to some change.

So yeah, go ahead and post some choice Bruce Schneier quotes if you want. But if you don't want to do that, FLAME ON!

Planes will NEVER be hijacked the same way as 9/11 (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22269296)

Blown up? Maybe. Hijacked? NO! Why? Because we know the rules have changed. In the pre-9/11 days, people were told to cooperate with hijackers, because if they did, there was a good chance they'd get out of it alive. Now, we know that the hijackers are willing to kill us all as they use the plane as a weapon, and thus, we have nothing to lose by fighting back. Once the passengers of United 93 learned what had happened to the other plans, they realized this, and they fought back. There will never be another attack in the style of 9/11, and it's not because of the TSA or Homeland Security. It's because we know better.

Re:Planes will NEVER be hijacked the same way as 9 (1)

milsoRgen (1016505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269880)

Once the passengers of United 93 learned what had happened to the other plans, they realized this, and they fought back.

I hate to play the tinfoil hat card here, but it's never been explicitly proven that these guys really did try and mount an offense. Seems a lot of the material pertaining to that situation was not released in it's entirety.
I could be wrong, if so, please link me some uncensored material that shows this wasn't merely patriotic hoopla.

Seems silly since they know the complaints (0)

John3 (85454) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269322)

It's obvious from the blog sections that the TSA already knows the areas that generate complaints (inconsistent procedures from airport to airport, confusion about rules, general annoyance at the liquids ban). Are they relying on the flying public to alert them that the screeners required shoe removal in Columbus but not Cincinnati?

Why waste time maintaining a blog will quickly become unmanageable? Use your resources to get more screeners out there, speed up the lines, train people, and standardize procedures across the system.

Re:Seems silly since they know the complaints (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22269398)

People like to complain, it makes them feel better. I'm not so touchy feely and I'm not naive enough to think commenting on a blog will effect change, so this does nothing for me.

Re:Seems silly since they know the complaints (1)

rakuen (1230808) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269522)

Why maintain the blog? Well, it occurs to me that this is an easy way to discount complaints from the populace. Eventually, someone or something is going to fly off the handle (possibly the Anonymous Legion), and they'll have an excuse to shut down public commenting. Then they'll make up some PR bull about how they tried to take suggestions from the people but the people weren't willing to discuss it civilly. And then go merrily on their way. Of course, this is all worst case scenario, but the TSA has proven time and again that they're really good at worst case scenarios. So good that they're completely blind to everything else.

Re:Seems silly since they know the complaints (1)

dl107227 (632747) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269724)

Actually when this first showed up in the news the blog was just one post with a place to put comments/complaints. It wasn't until after seeing all the complaints that the blogger created the sections that seemed make up the most complaints.

Little do you realize... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22269386)

that this is just a clever move to find people that disagree with them and put them on the no-fly list.

(Anonymous for obvious reasons, I like flying)

Re:Little do you realize... (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269672)

I'm already on the no fly list. Or more accurately, my NAME is on the no fly list. Come on, post as yourself and join the club!

Besides that, they already know who you are.

Re:Little do you realize... (2, Informative)

LandDolphin (1202876) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269712)

You think your Anonymous till Homeland Security asks Slashdot for your IP address.

Honeypot (5, Funny)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269396)

Why chase them? Let them come to you...

Sure way to get on the TSA watchlist. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22269400)

Wonder if they see who complains and put them on the list

Do you think they really care? (2, Interesting)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269434)

This is what they'll do, at the most. They'll read the comments, take a few minor suggestions that are about as a substantive of a reform as a changing the paint on the wall from beige to white, and call it even. Then everyone in power will trumpet how the system works, the people were heard, and how America is still the greatest country on the face of the Earth.

In the end, we'll end up with an agency that can best be described as being filled primarily by the sort of people that routinely get rejected by local police agencies, affirmative action hires, etc.

I'll never forget the one time I've flown since 9-11. I was going to Italy from Dulles Airport in Virginia in 2005. The TSA personnel I saw were mostly obese people you know that got hired to fill a quota. The people they hired were clearly by and large not their on their ability to screen and secure the choke points in the airport. What I'll never forget was going to De Gaulle Airport and feeling like the French actually knew how to run security.

For the love of all that is holy. When French security is more intimidating and professional looking than your own, you know that you've made a mistake along the way that doesn't bode well.

Re:Do you think they really care? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22269524)

For the love of all that is holy. When French security is more intimidating and professional looking than your own, you know that you've made a mistake along the way that doesn't bode well.

Spoken like a true American fucktard.

Re:Do you think they really care? (0, Flamebait)

riseoftheindividual (1214958) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269554)

They'll read the comments, take a few minor suggestions that are about as a substantive of a reform as a changing the paint on the wall from beige to white, and call it even. Then everyone in power will trumpet how the system works, the people were heard, and how America is still the greatest country on the face of the Earth.

You forgot about updating all the complainers files, because terrorists complain about governments so people who complain about governments are potential terrorists. Patriots love being intrusively searched at the airport. They just don't like paying taxes. :P

Re:Do you think they really care? (2, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269656)

The first time I flew after 9/11, I wondered if the National Guardsmen with M16's were really planning on shooting anything. I was checked for explosive residue once, and my bag was searched, but I didn't think they did a very good job. The M16's were intimidating, in an off putting way. The other stuff seemed crazy.

The second time I flew after 9/11, I was somewhat amused that I had to take my shoes off but didn't even really notice the TSA people. Sure, they were there putting on their serious act, but they had it down, and things moved along smoothly.

Maybe comparing 1 US airport to 1 French airport does not a survey make.

Re:Do you think they really care? (3, Interesting)

qw0ntum (831414) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269676)

First, the parent needs to be modded troll. Lay off the stereotypes, will ya?

Second, it's kind of silly for you to state that you've only flown ONCE in the past 6-7 years, and then proceed to make comments about the entire TSA. I, for instance, fly three or four times a year, including a couple international trips. My experience with the screeners has been generally positive. Usually they are quite cordial, though I have run into a few unfriendly ones. I've only been taken aside for extra screening once - and I'm an Arab with a beard.

Since 9/11, I've flown through CDG. The security there was rude and somewhat intimidating. Since 9/11, I've flown through ATL, Sea-Tac, JFK, a bunch of regional airports. The TSA folks at the smaller airports are actually quite nice people. I've seen a lot of improvement in their operation over the past few years as well in terms of getting people through quickly and clearly explaining what will be expected of people. I don't mind having to take off my shoes, and having to keep my liquids in a plastic bag helps me pack lighter. Make the best of it; it's not that bad.

I've been through Israeli security as well. You try being an Arab crossing that border when the IDF soldier at passport control is having a bad day, and you'll never complain about the TSA again! :)

Things to get though the TSA security (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22269500)

Now I'm used to it, I'm fine with the liquid restrictions when going through security (though if they take my toothpaste again I might flip) -- it stops them from spotting other dangerous/hazardous/banned items about my person such as a pressurized lighter, fruit & food (on international flights) and a nice bit of da mary J ;-)

Honest suggestion: (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269530)

instead of repeating the instructions over and over again, put up a sign.

Why do they keep saying "please have your boarding pass in your hand when you go through the metal detector" over and over again? Just put a sign on the metal detector.

Of course, when I see how incompetent they are at passing on a simple instruction like that I know they are there to do nothing but make idiots "feel safe".

Re:Honest suggestion: (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269630)

Because people don't read signs. How many people need to be told that and still don't have it ready?

I ahve problems with TSA and this alleged higher level of security, but repeating that is probably one of the best things they do.

Re:Honest suggestion: (1)

Itninja (937614) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269660)

Because millions of people that fly cannot read English, even if they can speak and understand it. Just like I can converse in limited Arabic, but still cannot read it worth a darn. And having massively multi-lingual signs would be counterproductive. It's just more efficient to continuously repeat the instruction verbally.

Re:Honest suggestion: (1)

meatspray (59961) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269798)

Meh, by that standard, nothing in the airport should be labeled.

If 50% of the people in a given place would benefit from the sign, put it up, make it big and clear.

BWI has one, but it's rather innocuous. When I get on the plane, they try to train me 7 ways to Sunday on how to crash. When you're hopping from airport to airport it's hard to tell where the damn lines start and end.

In MIA you carry your check bags to a tsa screener and then get in line, I've been through San Antonio a couple of times and they can't decide whether to take my shoes off or not.

murder (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22269534)

Maybe they will explain on there why they murdered that mentally ill guy aboard the plane.

Re:murder (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22269718)

Or why there are always mother phucking snakes on the mother phucking plane. I mean, why aren't THEY banned at security? You'd think they could be classified as liquid or "other dangerous substance". But no, they are always on the mf plane...

No one offer any responsible suggestions, please (-1, Troll)

Kohath (38547) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269540)

Definitely complain about the TSA. Please don't offer any responsible suggestions or anything that might solve any problems.

It's important to remember that no one can ever hold a complainer responsible for any outcome. Complainers have no duty. Complainers need not be realistic -- nor do they need to acknowledge any reality at all. Complainers need not weigh the pros and cons of different choices. And even if they do, complainers don't have to weigh them honestly.

You too can be free from responsible adulthood. Now the TSA has a blog so you can complain.

Re:No one offer any responsible suggestions, pleas (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269616)

My suggestion is quit making me throw out my drink, and allow everybody else the same freedom. It's a risk I'm prepared to take.

Re:No one offer any responsible suggestions, pleas (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269826)

And it's a risk you're happy to impose on everyone.

Re:No one offer any responsible suggestions, pleas (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269854)

I'd say the fair thing to do is put it to a vote.

Re:No one offer any responsible suggestions, pleas (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269994)

I for one would glad impose that "risk" on anyone willing to fly. You wouldn't? If not I hope you don't drive since that imposes much greater risks on the public than liquids on a plane ever will.

tons of obvious changes, response? (1)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269578)

People posted tons of obvious changes for the TSA to "consider"... but I'd assume that if these silly and obvious issues haven't been changed yet while most at the TSA must have already been aware, then hearing that it pisses off a few hundred other people probably isn't going to cause any extra pressure to change.

How long before they have their own memes? (1)

riscfuture (997873) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269580)

Poll: Which airline do you feel safest flying with?

( ) American
( ) United
( ) Delta
( ) Southwest
( ) KipThorne Royal Airways

Re:How long before they have their own memes? (1)

Wuhao (471511) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269696)

As it improves staff morale, memes will leak out into the security lines. A staff video will be posted to the forums:

TSA guard: ID please?
Traveller: Sure thing.
TSA guard: mmmhmmm... Well, Bob, terroristsayswhat?
Traveller: what?
TSA guard: oh ho ho, to gitmo we go!

and across the nation, copycat guards will try to duplicate it.

Silly question from a foreigner (2, Insightful)

Curmudgeonlyoldbloke (850482) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269586)

How much liberty does the TSA have with the screening that takes place? Surely it was either mandated by the Aviation and Transportation Security Act or is a reaction to perceived threats since, real or otherwise?

In the same way that a local police chief can't decide what the state speed limit is (although he might decide how anally to enforce it), I can't believe that the head of the TSA has a lot of freedom when it comes to screening:

Richard Reid? Off come the shoes.
Alleged binary liquid plot? No bottled water onboard for you.

It seems (from a perspective from across the sea) entirely reactive, and a result of the current political climate. That's not to say that US airport security wasn't atrociously lax pre-2001, it was; but things aren't going to become any easier until something rather more dramatic occurs than an official in a government agency starting a blog.

Re:Silly question from a foreigner (1)

doktor-hladnjak (650513) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269818)

The bottom line is that the TSA's changes are all about making the public feel like the government is doing something to make air travel safer. It's all about the politics of perceptions and not at all about actually making travel safer. Unfortunately, as the comments on the blog demonstrate, a lot of people have already seen through their bullshit, which means they've done little to even improve the perception of safety.

Re:Silly question from a foreigner (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22269934)

Richard Reid? Off come the shoes.
Alleged binary liquid plot? No bottled water onboard for you.

That's why we all hope there will never be an attack where the terrorist will hide the bomb in his ass.

Long story short (5, Insightful)

Arthur B. (806360) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269680)

The government has no business performing security checks on passengers.

If passengers wish secure flights, the airlines will provide security checks, different airlines might even offer different security levels to cater from the person in a rush to the paranoid.

What if someday, I went to the doorstep of a DHS officer and start requiring every one entering, including his friends and family to strip naked, out of security concern for him. What if, even worst, I decided to charge the service to him, by threatening to put him in jail if he doesn't pay for the service or comply with the security checks. Hey I'd be arrested.

The government is doing the exact same thing and guess what : they're just a bunch of people. They are not different from other people. Just because they're elected by a majority and have a nice nametag saying "Hi, I'm from the government" doesn't really give them super-moral powers. If a normal person is not allowed to do something, there's no reason people from the government should.

With a monopoly on law enforcement, it is natural that the quality of enforcement lowers and the price rises. I mean... if everyone is forced to buy your security services, you're going to charge for anything. Hey why not protect people from nail clippers in airplanes ! Good !

Re:Long story short (1)

siddesu (698447) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269778)

that would be true if, as a result of bad security, only the passengers on the plane are in danger. being, as it is, that a plane can be used as a vehicle to deliver harmful stuff, and as a bomb, things aren't so simple. unless you suggest airports are moved far enough for a potential plot to be detected, and that the government is authorised in advance to shoot some planes ;)

Re:Long story short (1)

Arthur B. (806360) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269876)

The same can be said for almost anything, a car, a truck, a computer...

Re:Long story short (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 6 years ago | (#22270014)

Yes, and that's exactly why those area also subject to regulation (the car and the truck that is, I don't know what danger you imagine the PC presents).

Anonymous says... (1, Troll)

Jeian (409916) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269688)

I'm seeing a lot of "Anonymous says" in the comments... is Anonymous going to war with the DHS as well?

Re:Anonymous says... (1)

GuNgA-DiN (17556) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269700)

I think that everyone's afraid if they use their real name they'll make it onto the "no fly" list.

Well, TSA shouldn't exist in the first place (1)

$inisterAngel (768361) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269744)

The burden of airline security should rest on the airlines/airports themselves. Private entities are going to be much more accountable, as well as efficient. One of the first pieces [rrfaae.com] I've done in my blogging career actually concerned the abolishment of TSA. As a former employee for Air Wisconsin, I've had to deal with this people on a daily basis. I can tell you that although a good amount of the employees are decent people, there are some who get their rocks off on the fact they're federal employees. Believe me, I have a few stories over the relatively short time I worked there. It's kind of ridiculous.

Liquid ban has nothing to do with security (0, Troll)

rtechie (244489) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269830)

The liquids ban has nothing to do with security. Basically, they don't want you pissing during the flights. Each flush of the onboard toilet costs the airlines around $500. A friend reported to me that China Air now bans liquids on flights, PERIOD. Can't bring anything on the plane, can't buy anything on the plane.

A fair offering by the TSA (2, Insightful)

Killer Eye (3711) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269838)

If you actually read the intros and responses written by the TSA blog maintainers, it does seem (to their credit) fairly sensible and honest so far; so it has a decent shot at being effective. Yes, it's moderated, but not in a draconian way: they're trying to keep things as written, throwing away only the obvious personal attacks or things rife with ads, etc.

TSA is a joke. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22269840)

I only remove my shoes if asked explicitly. That's my little version of passive resistance. I do it just to make their job harder, since it's obvious security doesn't do their job.

If a handful of careless security agents weren't asleep at the wheel 6 1/2 years ago, newspapers on 9/12/01 would read "19 terrorists arrested in diabolical plan" instead "America Under Attack: Thousands Feared Dead"

TSA and Homeland security sucks ..... (0, Offtopic)

NullProg (70833) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269888)

Allowing illegals free access (LA Raza) to cross the Mexican border into the USA while frisking old people since 12/2001 is wrong.

Its a sore subject with me. Watching at two separate airports homeland security frisking elderly white and black couples for no reason. Meanwhile I get through security with my zippo and screwdrivers. "Yes, I do have a knife, its packed in my bags". Oh.. Ok, your cleared.

- AQ is not going strike on airlines anymore, they know that they would fail (Flight 93, Some Americans still have Balls).
- If the Bush doctrine was correct, we pretty much "Fucked" AQ worldwide so how many are still here in the USA? How many worldwide?
- Were still killing AQ cells in Iraq. I'm all for it. I wish I were younger and could take my gun.
- Our kids and grandkids will never have to deal with a Nuclear weapons program from Libya.

The US government could be a little more straightforward with us. During the State of the Union, Bush did not once say if we were winning or loosing the War on Terror. When does the frisking of seniors end?
At this time, Iraq is just an occupation waiting for the natives to take over (And no, it was never about the oil). When and where can we kill more AQ cells next?

Homeland security is an extra layer of government incompetence that needs to stop. When do we win the War on Terror?

My pissed off opinion
Enjoy,

Everyone's Missing something. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22269894)

Perhaps I'm just a cynic, maybe I'm paranoid. But does it strike anyone else a bit odd that the TSA is doing this? Dollars to Dohnuts say the people making negative comments, or pointing out the idiocy of the TSA, or their gross incompetence, or the idiocy of the American Public (of which I am a member) for putting up with it, or the fear mongering nazi scare tactics currently weilded against the American Public, or for the countless other outrageous crimes against humanity that have happened in recent years all in the name of "National Security", will have some unexpected visitors shortly.

Either that or they'll be put on some terrorist watch list.

Either way, I would be EXTREMELY wary of commenting on that site. As it is, I fully expect THIS comment to land me in trouble. I suspect not even Slashdot could hold up against the army of trash that our fine government tries to get away with.

Course it could just be a ploy for someone to try and get votes in an election that may or may not be coming up.

Wrong Two Categories (4, Funny)

alteran (70039) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269942)

The categories are actually:

1) TSA employees who got the internal memo about the blog launch and dropped by to post positive things, and citizens who are really mad about the liquids screening policy and
2) people about to added to the no-fly list.

They can't even screen their grammar! (1)

Assassin bug (835070) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269952)

From the top of the TSA blog,

Questions We Hear Everyday
They apparently don't edit every day. Good think they are not in charge of seeing details... oh wait.
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