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Airport Security Prize Announced

samzenpus posted more than 6 years ago | from the no-screening-everyone-gets-a-bat dept.

Security 381

Reservoir Hill writes "Verified Identity Pass, a firm that offers checkpoint services at airports, has announced a $500,000 award for any solution that will make airport security checks quicker and simpler for passengers. The cash prize will go to any individual, company or institution that can get customers through airport security 15% faster, at a cost of less than 25 cents per passenger, using technology or processes that will be approved by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Passengers must not need to remove their clothes or shoes, something that slows down processing significantly. "We're looking at moving things that are conceptual or in the lab to things that we can deploy," says company spokesman Jason Slibeck and added that over 150 individuals, start-ups, defense contractors and universities have shown an interest in the prize. One promising procedure is mass spectroscopy, which involves analyzing the mass-charge ratio of ions on a swab sample taken from a passenger's clothing or air collected from around them to spot traces of substances including explosives or drugs. The Pre-Registration Package Information Sheet is available online."

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Eliminate it? (5, Insightful)

nog_lorp (896553) | more than 6 years ago | (#22496596)

The summary says nothing about maintaining security. Just abolish it, or limit it to the bare minimum and then have an air-marshal on every plain to stop people with box-cutters.

Re:Eliminate it? (5, Insightful)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 6 years ago | (#22496722)

Hell, hand out box cutters to every passenger. Sure, some people are gonna get hurt but no planes will be hijacked ever again.

Re:Eliminate it? (5, Funny)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 6 years ago | (#22496900)

And it will cut down on those annoying cell phone conversations.

Re:Eliminate it? (3, Funny)

milsoRgen (1016505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22496930)

hand out box cutters to every passenger
You just make damn sure those box cutters carry a warning about the risk of addiction to cutting oneself!

Re:Eliminate it? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22496742)

> The summary says nothing about maintaining security. Just abolish it, or limit it to the bare minimum and then have an air-marshal on every plain to stop people with box-cutters.

One catch: You forgot about the requirement of "using technology or processes that will be approved by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA)."

...which is easily fixed, of course: "Hire two TSA goons and one supervisory TSA goon to stand around at the checkpoint and ignore everything they see, and allocate $500M/year to the guy running TSA, to dole out to his politically-connected friends as he sees fit."

Re:Eliminate it? (5, Informative) (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#22496798)

Everyone (at least here in America) seems so focused on preventing people from getting on board a plane with a weapon. I think this kinda misses the point of a big part of airport security: the airport itself. This site [] gives a chronological list of some major security incidents in airports; it's not pretty stuff.

Re:Eliminate it? (2, Interesting)

gnick (1211984) | more than 6 years ago | (#22496910)

I think this kinda misses the point of a big part of airport security: the airport itself.
Exactly - And it goes further. On 9/11, our planes were a soft target and useful weapons. Now, they're a significantly harder target (of course far from perfect - we've all got schemes that could defeat the security measures - but... harder.) Planes at this point would be very difficult to hijack and fly into buildings, so why would anyone bother trying? If you bomb a plane, you kill a bunch of people, make headlines, and scare the nation/world. But, there are a lot more cost-effective and better risk/benefit alternatives out there for the black-hats. If we want to throw our $$ at preventing attacks on our soil, is there any rational reason (besides placating the tax-paying/voting masses who buy into media-sponsored post-9/11 fear-mongering) for the huge focus on the damned planes?

Re:Eliminate it? (5, Insightful)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22497012)

The American political system is about getting the most votes; if planes scare Americans then that's what they're going to lock down- why would you expect anything else from a constitutional republic? Also about airports.. why not just get the national guard involved? You sure don't see many incidents in Israel that got beyond "Man pulls gun in airport, gets hand then head blasted off with 50 caliber sniper rifle"..

Re:Eliminate it? (1)

gnick (1211984) | more than 6 years ago | (#22497070)

if planes scare Americans then that's what they're going to lock down
Unfortunately, that's the actual motivation. I was just hoping for something rational on a society-wide level rather than a everyone-watches-out-for-themselves level. Anyone got anything? I almost thought that I was flamebaiting/trolling with the GP post and was sure somebody would set me straight...

The purpose is fear (3, Insightful)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#22496832)

The main purpose behind the security is to keep the population frightened and annoyed. A frightened populaton is easier to control. To claim the prize you need to demonstrate its effectiveness at keeping the population under control too.

Re:The purpose is fear (4, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | more than 6 years ago | (#22496944)

I am not afraid of terrorists. I am not afraid of what might happen to my airplane, or at the airport. I do, however, value my freedom, and a constitution that *specifically* says that the goverment can't search people this way. I wish people in power would stop being afraid on my behalf.

Re:The purpose is fear (0, Troll)

boltik (683813) | more than 6 years ago | (#22497190)

Its easy not to be afraid when you not about to get shot or blown up by terrorists, because your goverment have you had that big freedom of not being shot or blown up by terrorists.

Re:Eliminate it? (4, Insightful)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 6 years ago | (#22497220)

Yeah, can we use statistical analysis to compare the number of people who die in terrorist-related airplane accidents compared to, say, the number of people who die in car accidents or toilet-related accidents?

I think the line is: "On Sept 11, 2001, 40,000 children starved to death."

But yeah, your air-marshal plan kicks ass and you should get a cheque. Never mind some ridiculously over-priced chemical sniffer (hello, dogs?) or facial recognition software (hello, it's fooled by smiling).

Just have a guy (or girl) with a gun on every flight. Perfect solution.

Oh, add a Faraday cage to every plane so remote explosives can't get their signals.

How about (5, Funny)

plover (150551) | more than 6 years ago | (#22496604)

How about handing everyone in line a one-use single shot pistol? It'd take about 15 seconds to show them how to turn the safety off and shoot it -- no worse than figuring out how to use the seat belt.

You only get one bullet. It's preloaded, can't even be unloaded, maybe small caliber, maybe fairly low velocity, and has a 75% chance of being a blank. Tag the bullets, and maybe ink-tag the gun so it sprays the user when the trigger is pulled. Maybe even a point-blank "contact trigger", kind of like a nail gun -- you'd have to put the gun directly on someone to shoot them, avoiding aim problems in a crowded plane.

Turn them in at the end of a flight -- everyone got one while boarding, everyone better turn the same one over when leaving.

Anybody tries anything on the plane, and *bang* -- if a dozen passengers shoot at him, at least a couple are likely to nail him.

That's security through strength in numbers.

Who do I go see about collecting my $500,000?

Re:How about (1)

nog_lorp (896553) | more than 6 years ago | (#22496646)

That'd be more than 25 cents per passenger, no dice :D. Plus, you might want them to have rubber bullets!

Re:How about (1, Insightful)

Atario (673917) | more than 6 years ago | (#22496690)

I bet it's a lot less than 25 cents per passenger, once amortized over the life of each gun.

Re:How about (2, Insightful)

plover (150551) | more than 6 years ago | (#22496692)

No, they turn them when deboarding the plane. Amortize them over several years use and it'll be less than $0.25 per passenger.

And I don't care about rubber bullets. They have to be lethal in order to be an effective deterrent. Mythbusters showed pretty conclusively that a bullet's not going to do much of anything to an airplane in flight -- no massive depressurization, etc. And a suicide terrorist isn't likely to bet their life on a 25% chance that their gun will contain a live bullet AND be a "good enough" shot to hit a vital control surface or cable from within the passenger cabin. Might want to armor the fuel tanks, though.

Re:How about (1, Funny)

plover (150551) | more than 6 years ago | (#22496648)

Who the hell modded me funny? I want my $500,000, dammit!

Re:How about (0)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 6 years ago | (#22496676)

I was actually going to just suggest shooting all the passengers before they got on board... you know, jokingly at first to gauge your response, but then if you were cool with it, we'd go from there, but that's an even better idea. :-D

(Reference to a Family Guy episode for anyone who didn't get the above comment.)

Re:How about (0)

jmv (93421) | more than 6 years ago | (#22496730)

That's actually the thing I never understood about the gun control debate in the US. I keep hearing USians saying guns are important to protect yourself and that it should be/remain a right. Yet, when it comes to airplanes, why isn't the TSA *mandating* guns on airplanes. That would only be consistent, no?

Re:How about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22496822)

If you expect a country of 300 million people, each with wildly varying opinions and ideas, to be completely consistent in everything it says, you are a moron.

Re:How about (1) (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#22496854)

As someone who's flown a lot, be assured that mandating guns on commercial flights would have a terrible impact on the airline industry. Airlines would buckle under the financial strain of having to provide so many body bags.

Re:How about (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22497050)

So you're saying they would literally die before providing better service?

Re:How about (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#22496958)

Yet, when it comes to airplanes, why isn't the TSA *mandating* guns on airplanes. That would only be consistent, no?
Those guns are called "Federal Air Marshals" and "Armed Security Officers". [] []
As I understand it, ASOs are the lite version of Air Marshals

I know you were trolling, but there is a serious answer to your question.

Re:How about (2, Insightful)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 6 years ago | (#22496968)

I think you are confusing the citizens of the USA with the government of the USA.

( It's a common mistake; the government does it all the time. )

Re:How about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22497214)

explosive decompression?

Re:How about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22497216)

That's actually the thing I never understood about the gun control debate in the US. I keep hearing USians saying guns are important to protect yourself and that it should be/remain a right. Yet, when it comes to airplanes, why isn't the TSA *mandating* guns on airplanes. That would only be consistent, no?

Consistent? Why would 300 million people be perfectly consistent? Of course America has way too many gun nuts, but we aren't all gun nuts.

Just like the Liberals on Slashdot (-1, Flamebait)

xzvf (924443) | more than 6 years ago | (#22496736)

You want to give away guns at government expense. What a boondoggle. Where is the personal responsibility? We could get the same result for free by allowing people to carry their own guns on the plane.

Re:Just like the Liberals on Slashdot (1)

plover (150551) | more than 6 years ago | (#22496808)

You conservatives and your unwillingness to spend on our social need for guns. And there might be children on the plane, so won't someone think of the children? We need child-sized guns for child-sized hands!

Anyway, if you look at it rationally these guns are for defense, so if you think of buying them as another way of saying "defense appropriations" our current president should be willing to pay Halliburton about $35,000 apiece for them!

Re:Just like the Liberals on Slashdot (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22497232)

You missed the part where passengers give the guns back after the flight.

Re:How about (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22496804)

Easy. No luggage of any kind. No carry-on bags. Nothing allowed in your pocket. Those with medical conditions that can't not use medication for 4 hours, well, take the bus.

FedEx your stuff the day before, or the week before if you like snail mail.

I'll collect my draconian dollars now.

Re:How about (1)

adrian727 (968395) | more than 6 years ago | (#22497004)

What if the terrorist stored the weapon in their gut?

Re:How about (1)

Refenestrator (1060918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22497234)

Indeed. They could be hiding corrosive acid inside their body!

Re:How about (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22497020)

How about only stopping MUSLIMS?

What a crazy idea...

We mustn't 'profile' people, must we... That would be too easy, and simple, and sensible...

And who says we mustn't 'profile' people? Why, our friends the Jews. The Jews who run America. The Jews who run Canada. The Jews who run EVERY white country, and the same Jews who own most of the media in all white countries, and have told us for fifty years, non-stop, day in, day out, how 'wonderful' 'multiculturalism' and 'diversity' is, even though it obviously ISN'T 'wonderful' for the indigenous white people who are having to pay for their countries to be turned into third world shitholes...

Re:How about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22497222)

Now that's a good way to make that in-flight diarrhea attack and accompanying sudden sprint to the bathroom literally lethal...

Re:How about (1)

tm2b (42473) | more than 6 years ago | (#22497246)

Nice idea, but I'd worry about the first screaming baby.

Hurm, maybe it's a good idea after all...

I know! (5, Insightful)

kongit (758125) | more than 6 years ago | (#22496618)

Remove all Airport security. Lots more convenient, and probably about as secure.

Do I win?

Re:I know! (1)

egr (932620) | more than 6 years ago | (#22496740)

Or you can put one guy on each plane with a baseball bat. He should knock out each passenger before the departure.

Re:I know! (1)

plover (150551) | more than 6 years ago | (#22497022)

Give "Mission Impossible"-quality Chuck Norris masks to all the air marshals, and hire Chuck Norris to randomly fly on airplanes.

The terrorists would never know if their plane had the real Chuck Norris or a fake one, but Allah help them if they guess wrong.

Re:I know! (1)

tm2b (42473) | more than 6 years ago | (#22497208)

Huh. Can Chuck Norris kick somebody's ass so hard that they can't make it to Paradise?

Re:I know! (1)

MikeyNg (88437) | more than 6 years ago | (#22496794)

This would fail because people would need to have personal responsibility. And that's something that we're afraid of. We should let government, in its omniscience, take care of things for us.

Re:I know! (1)

ThinkingInBinary (899485) | more than 6 years ago | (#22496938)

This would fail because people would need to have personal responsibility.

Exactly how can someone have "personal responsibility" for others on a plane? While I believe a lot of the current security is unnecessary or at the least far less useful than everyone thinks, I wonder how you would take responsibility for someone who simply decides to take a gun on board a plane with you and shoot you. Are you going to insist that all the passengers sharing the plane with you let you search them? Some minimum level of security checks is necessary.

Re:I know! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22496892)

Just make sure you watch the 6 foot 4 guy who is lighting matches and putting them out on his tongue.


A cannister of halon gas in every plane, operated from the cockpit.
Anybody stands up and waves a box cutter, everybody without their mask on chokes out.

Pretty hard to break down a cockpit door with your mask attached to a seat in business class.
Added bonus, halon chokes fire by binding to o2... hard to light your shoe bomb without o2.

Airlines already have zero respect for passenger rights... oxygen is a privilege.

How about... (1)

nevillethedevil (1021497) | more than 6 years ago | (#22496622)

Stop treating us all like criminals/terrorists, stop wasting my tax dollars and just let us on the damn plane.

how to stop hijackers (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22496632)

Put several armed officers on each plane.

Put the door to the cockpit on the OUTSIDE of the plane.

Problem solved. I'll take my money now.

Re:how to stop hijackers (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 6 years ago | (#22496706)

Problem not solved. If something happens and the crew all get simultaneously ill, they can't open the door to get Robert Hays [] .

Re:how to stop hijackers (1)

gnick (1211984) | more than 6 years ago | (#22496748)

Put the door to the cockpit on the OUTSIDE of the plane.
I'm not sure that's a concern. The equipment needed to get through that door would be much tougher to sneak through security than a bomb and, after 9/11, there's no way a pilot's opening that door even if the entire service crew and all of the passengers are slaughtered. After all, at this point it's not unlikely that we'd just shoot down a hijacked plane rather than let it be used as a weapon.

But, I'm not against having an armed Air Marshal on every plane. That would be a better use of $$ than some of the stuff we're paying for.

How about. (4, Interesting)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 6 years ago | (#22496656)


Yeah, trained dogs..

Dogs can smell fear, and many chemical substances. You just have a pack of em and train them to bark ferociously when they "sense" trouble. Police dogs already have that kind of leeway.

Re:How about. (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 6 years ago | (#22496908)

and what about the cleanup costs for the dogs?

and the cleanup costs for those scared/allergic to dogs?

Re:How about. (4, Interesting)

Mr. Flibble (12943) | more than 6 years ago | (#22496964)

How about those who are afraid of dogs? Or those who are afraid of flying? That would trigger a great deal of false positives.

Also, I have worked with dogs, and police dogs specifically, and I don't find their purported "detection" ability to be as good as public opinion makes it out to be.

Re:How about. (1)

DougWebb (178910) | more than 6 years ago | (#22497174)

The security we have now isn't as good as public opinion makes it out to be; dogs couldn't be much worse. Also, terrorists may not be afraid of setting off a metal detector, or getting pulled out of line for manual inspection and possible detention, but they'd probably be more wary of the risk of being attacked by a pack of police dogs. Remember, any terrorist who's going to hijack a plane has been convinced that suffering a near instantaneous death is worthwhile; convincing that person to suffer through getting ripped to shreds by an animal is much tougher.

As far as the honest people who are afraid of either dogs or flying; I don't want them on my plane anyway.

I am afraid of dogs. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22497006)

So, I should not be allowed to flight in your dream world?

air marshalls.. (1)

icegreentea (974342) | more than 6 years ago | (#22496674)

Before everyone screams 'eliminate all secruity' and hire a bunch of air marshalls... how much do they cost? I'm serious, I have no idea how much they cost.

Re:air marshalls.. - Not that much (2, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22496858)

From 2001 []
Probably Pay band G salary. Higher grades do investigation and other duties.

Call it 75K after benefits.

that works out to about 30 an hour. Air flight that take for hours would be an addition of 120 + overhead So if you ahve 60 seats, two bucks or so a ticket.

I think even an 10% cost hike would be well worth it.

Plus you will need to pay fewer people for gate security.

Smoke a joint and mellow out (4, Funny)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 6 years ago | (#22496686)

Did I win?

Re:Smoke a joint and mellow out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22497084)

This is insightful and not funny? Mods have already taken your advice!

Air Marshel and a gun. (3, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22496688)

remove first class(shock!)
Put a seat facing the passengers, put an air marshal with a pistol and a shotgun. Give him mirrored shades.

Create a secured cockpit door.

Go back to the more general pre 9/11 security

Profit..I mean Done.

Maybe a lock down code on the auto pilot, so you can land the plane w/o pilot intervention. Auto pilot landing can be, and is more then most people know, done today.

oh, wait, you mean maintain the theater of security and speed it up? no, those two things are opposites.

Re:Air Marshel and a gun. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22496934)

Do you know what happens when you fire a gun inside a pressurized cabin?

And thats assuming the bullet doesnt hit any of the oxygen lines criss-crossing the top of the cabin, then you get firey disaster!

Normally I don't respond to AC (4, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22497030)

But since so many people harbor the fallacy that firing a gun I'll make an exception.

I can tell you exactly what will happen. A quite hiss. You can not create a fiery disaster on a plane with a handgun, or a shot gun. Also, the person being shot at will die.

Of course, you have normal procedure.

I've seen it, so unless you can provide some counter evidence, STFU.

All this ignoring the fact the O2 masks are useless. They ahve never saved a life. Any aircraft incident large enough to cause deployment means the aircraft will desend rapidly, preferably under control, but not always.

Since there is air at the altitude the plane is flying, and the fact that in about 90 seconds you will be at an altitude with sufficient air, they really aren't need.

All other incidents render them moot.

Re:Air Marshel and a gun. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22497150)

remove first class(shock!)
Put a seat facing the passengers, put an air marshal with a pistol and a shotgun. Give him mirrored shades.
So you mean like they transport prisoners?

Make it accountable (4, Insightful)

toupsie (88295) | more than 6 years ago | (#22496698)

The main problem with airport security is the people manning the checkpoints. Their goal is not to get you through in the quickest period of time. They are not professional, they do not care about the happiness of their customers and appear to get their kicks by making your life miserable with their "authority". If you complain about their behavior, is rectified or do you get a rectal exam for it? There should be bonus incentives for prompt and courteous service. Have random samples of folks that have been through security give feedback on their service. Run "tests" to ensure security. Make someone accountable for the service. Unfortunately, government agencies are never accountable for the service provided to citizens. Run it like a for profit business where the customer is the focus.

Give up the charade? (4, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 6 years ago | (#22496704)

Stop the ridiculous liquid thing for a start.

Yes, there WAS a plot to do that. It was an epic fail from the start and there's no reasons to keep the restrictions in place.

Hey, I have a good one, everyone checks in *everything* and flies naked. Then we'll finally be safe.

Re:Give up the charade? (1) (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#22496976)

Then we'll finally be safe.
Except for the surgery I'll need on my eyes after a 300 pound grandma walks in front of me on her way to the plane's restroom.

There is good stuff already out there (4, Interesting)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 6 years ago | (#22496716)

I recently worked on a gig where many high profile business and political figures were attending. I walked through a SecureScan system. [] I'm a stagehand, so I had tools on me. I the scan operator could tell the difference between my 8" crescent wrench, my multi-tool, and my Spyderco knife as I walked through at a normal pace. I know because he only asked about my knife, not the other tools.

Re:There is good stuff already out there (1)

mcsqueak (1043736) | more than 6 years ago | (#22496844)

Yes, better scanners would be a good start and a realistic solution. What takes me the most time in airport security is unloading myself of all metal that could set off the detectors and thus get me pulled aside for "additional searches"... my shoes (some shoes have a metal "shank" in them), my belt, my loose pocket change... then I have to stand around on the other side getting re-organized. Give me a break. If people could just walk through without all that hassle it would be much better.

Weren't they working on some type of "Total Recall" style scanner that basically makes you look like a walking skeleton while going through security? I know there were issues because people were worried about their privacy being violated...

False positives - false incrimination (1)

KudyardRipling (1063612) | more than 6 years ago | (#22496756)

When word gets out that common household products can cause false positives, such as the cooling agent in cold packs (ammonium nitrate), nail polish remover (acetone) or even luncheon meats (nitrites), there shall be trouble. Then it's back to screwing the Fourteenth Amendment the old fashioned way: "Hey you swarthy bearded porkshunner, bend over for a prostate check!"

bomb sniffing dog (1)

zakezuke (229119) | more than 6 years ago | (#22496758)

Seriously... your basic bomb dog, perhaps another one trained in gun oil. Have the damn dog sniff shoes and butts. "No explosives here George"

Customs I believe employ beagles for drugs.

Speed Improvement at No Cost (1)

LlamaDragon (97577) | more than 6 years ago | (#22496762)

Removing my shoes is one of the most useless "security measures" I've ever seen. One guy thought he'd be clever and set his shoes on fire on the plane, better swing into knee-jerk reaction mode and force everyone to take off their shoes. What if he's got [explosive] in his pocket and just sets his pants on fire?

There you go, huge speed up, zero cost.

Also, you overzealous Denver TSA agents, making me remove my sweatshirt isn't helping things either. It's not baggy and if I was going to hide something under it, why wouldn't I hide it under my undershirt too?

Re:Speed Improvement at No Cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22496864)

One guy thought he'd be clever and set his shoes on fire on the plane

Well he *DID* have a bomb in those there shoes. If he'd been just a little more clever the whole thing might have ended very differently. If he'd A) visited the potty to make sure everything was in order and that the fuse was exposed enough to light rapidly, and B) considered using a disposable lighter than matches then he might well have achieved his goal of downing the airplane.

Re:Speed Improvement at No Cost (2, Informative)

lgw (121541) | more than 6 years ago | (#22496898)

You got that one backwards: we remove our shoes *not* because it's a security measure, but because it speeds up the lines. Too many shoes have enough metal to set off the metal detector, and it was becoming a problem to wand everyone.

Re:Speed Improvement at No Cost (2, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22496946)

Many Shoes actually trigger metal detectors because they have nails in it. It would be unreasonable to expect any security person to know which brands and models have nails at any given time.

Plus you can hide things in them.

I asked this same question, and they let me look at the x-ray machine at my sandals; which to my uprise, had metal nails in them.

Sweaters can hid thing and still not look baggy. When I did security for a large chain, they made us watch actual shop lifting films. In it people would put things under loose clothing that just made it look like tight clothing. The most amazing one was the guy that put a chain saw in his baggy pants and walked out of the store. If you didn't see it, you wouldn't know.

So within todays security context, both those things are reasonable.

I do find searching any person randomly an obscene abuse on the US contsitution.

Re:Speed Improvement at No Cost (1)

(H)elix1 (231155) | more than 6 years ago | (#22497226)

I can guess why... (one of the hazards of doing more than 500k miles a year) Many shoes do indeed have metal in them. I suspect scanners were implemented with this in mind, so one of the more clever tricks you would do back when you could wear your shoes is to shuffle your feet on the ground as you pass through the portal. Tis a bit harder to hide stuff in your socks.

What's missing here? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22496764)

Quicker. Simpler. Cheaper. What's missing? Oh yes, that's right... HOW ABOUT "MORE EFFECTIVE?"

If you want *effective* airline security, follow the best model in the world: Israel's airline, El-Al. There, if a guard so much as doesn't like your aftershave -- you're off the flight. And if you disagree, you get to talk to the business end of a submachine gun and will probably spend the night in a jail cell, at the least. They take that shit seriously because they have to - they are quite literally surround by tens of millions of people (yes, mostly Muslims) that want them dead.
All baggage is pressure/decompression tested (to check for pressure-trigger bombs). It is all chemically "sniffed". It is X-Rayed. Everyone goes through a metal detector. etc. etc. etc.

You can have safety. Or you can have convenience. But so long as there are tens of millions who want to kill you, you cannot have both.

But we're still living in a fairytale world here in the US. Some think we can negotiate with the world's murderous fanatics. Just talk out our differences. They'll talk us all into either a burqua or a grave.

Sedatives (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 6 years ago | (#22496806)

No external security, just once everyone is in their seats, inject them all with sedatives and fill the passenger cabin with sedative gas to put them all to sleep.

Or get rid of the plane and use mass teleportation.

Or how to foil this (1)

Fanro (130986) | more than 6 years ago | (#22496816)

If someone wanted to foil current as well as new security measures and as a bonus create chaos in an airport with almost no risk, he would simply have to distribute traces of powdered explosives or drugs or other chemicals they search for somewhere near the entrance.

This would be a simple as dragging a sligthly leaking luggage bag around outside the building, and with all the other travelers hauling luggage won't be noticed for sure.

Whether the airport uses spectroscopy, dogs, or other sensors, everyone who walks trough that powder will trigger the alarm, more so than a terrorist that actively tried to remove all traces from himself.

A large tank of water (5, Funny)

stox (131684) | more than 6 years ago | (#22496848)

If they float, they're a witch^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hterrorist. If they sink, they're not. Seems about as valid as any other TSA methodology.

how about..... (1)

theNetImp (190602) | more than 6 years ago | (#22496862)

If you have a bag you have to go to the counter. If you want to carry it on you give it up at the counter, it is then there waiting for you at your gate after it has gone through security on it's own. Now there is nothing to search at the security checkpoint except the person. The only thing that you are allowed with you is your boarding pass, id, and for women as "SMALL" purse.

Soup Nazi Style (2, Insightful)

MagicDude (727944) | more than 6 years ago | (#22496870)

A lot of the holdup are people who don't know the drill at airport security. You always have to take of your shoes, you always need to empty your pockets, you always need to take the laptop out of its bag, and you should just minimize how much metal you're carrying (before I enter security, I just toss all my pocket change into my carry on, rather than fishing for it at Xray, and then putting it back in my pocket). When you watch the experienced business travelers, they know the drill, and how to get to the other side of security quite quickly. To this end, I suggest that security use a soup nazi style of handling the line. You show up to the front of the line, shoes off, coat over your arm, carry on over your shoulder, ticket and ID in your hand (completely out of the wallet), step to the conveyor belt, a basket will be waiting for you, place everything in the basket, take two steps to the right, go through the metal detector, pick up basket en mass to separate re-dressing area where you will leave the basket, and then proceed to gate. Any breach in this protocol (fishing for ID, untying shoes, being told that you need to take your laptop out of your bag), and all your belongings will be returned to you, and you will be sent to the back of the line (don't worry, you should be back to the front in 20 minutes or so). Travelers with young children will be given a modicum of leeway, but not too much.

Re:Soup Nazi Style (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 6 years ago | (#22496978)

Soup Nzvi style? More like plain old Nazi style. The solution to odius goverment imposition on my life is *not* to make the government imposition stricter. How about we stop being afraid of our own shadow, instead, and rememeber that that if the government doesn't have evidence that a specific person committed a specific crime, it can't search that person. Oh, right, we flushed the 4th down the toilet for drunk driver checkpoints, so we're a pushover for "terrorism".

Re:Soup Nazi Style (1)

BeerCat (685972) | more than 6 years ago | (#22497056)

Oh great. First it was the grammar nazis. Now it's soup nazis. Anything else you want to add to the mix?

Why search for drugs? (2, Insightful)

Simonetta (207550) | more than 6 years ago | (#22496894)

Seriously. Why are the Americans obsessed with searching for traces of drugs? Most so-called 'drug users' that drive the Americans batshit are harmless young cannibus smokers. And if they develop a machine that detects microscopic and molecular trace levels of cannibus (that's weed, you'all), well they are going to find it. Because roughly 10% of the people going through what they call 'airport security' are going to have molecular levels of exposure to cannibus. Seek and ye shall find.

    So what are the stupid Americans going to do then when they find some young person with trace molecular levels of cannibus in their aura? Shut down the airport? Call out the National Guard? Taser the poor motherfucker over and over and make him or her flop around on the airport floor like a white shark dragged into a tuna boat? All of the above?

    And what are they going to do when it happens again a half hour later?

    What the fuck is wrong with these people?

    Americans! Let us give you a hint about security. Forget about finding the molecular levels of cannibus on random college students. Concentrate on the people who are seriously interested in blowing up airplanes.

    Here's another hint. No serious terrorist is going to try hijacking a commercial airliner any more. If they are serious about flying a big plane into a place where a plane has no reason to be they will spend the money to rent a private plane, or blackmail some corrupt CEO into letting them borrow the corporate jet. Which never get inspected by what these bozos call 'security'. Because they are corporate private property. Which according to what passes for logic in the American mind, can't be used for terrorist activities because it is corporate property. Inconceivable!

    If the Americans were really serious about making their airports safe they would turn the whole operation over to the Israelis or even the British. After all, this would give them more time to go around tasering random young people found in the presence of molecular traces of 'drugs'.

Re:Why search for drugs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22497060)

Gee you sound unhappy. Did your Mom catch you smoking in the basement again and flush your stash?

Maybe you should take a nice trip [] to the United Arab Emirates [] so you can chill out.

P.S. Quit hating on Americans. It makes us want to taser you even more than we already do.

Thats easy (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22496906)

2 steps:

1 - RFID tag every human on earth. ( to allow tracking and scanning )
2 - All passengers must remove all clothes before debarking their vehicles. ( to avoid having to search )

Shoes are easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22496922)

Forbid all passengers to wash their feet at least for a week, prior to boarding. In less than a month, airport security will BEG for passengers not to take off their shoes.

A still open flaw... (4, Insightful)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 6 years ago | (#22496966)

A few times now, I've travelled on a plane with heavy computer equipment. Every time, i've checked in the main boxes minus hard-discs which I've taken as hand-luggage. Sometimes in fact, it's been so heavy the baggage at the end it's needed to be checked in via the heavy/awkward baggage drop as it's approached the 40kg mark. The thing is, every time I've done this, I've always made sure they known there's a computer inside my bag because to my mind, solid steel casing encasing circuit boards with wires coming out of it is about as suspicious a package as you can get.

What gets me is that no one seems to give a shit about what's in there - not once have they even looked to check when it goes through the ex-ray machine; lighting it up like a Christmas tree. They just assume that because it's being checked in with me, it's safe? I don't know, this is just my experience.
The discs I'm taking on as hand-luggage is a different story. I've had to explain to person after person that they're "hard-discs for a kom-pooo-ta!" not in fact weapons of mas destruction, nor agents of deadly nerve gas.

Now to my mind, if you can get a 40kg bag checked into a plane without any/many checks because it's not hand-luggage, you're just asking for trouble. The bombs that went of in Madrid were mobile detonated....what if after boarding the plane you don't suddenly "get a headache" just before take-off (of course they wont take off with your bag still in the hold), nip outside and blow the lot to kingdom come once at a safe distance? Baggage handlers aren't known for their efficiency, and imagine doing it on a plane with 300 passengers.

My point is, to my mind, this is a huge hole. Most plane hijackers have been willing to sacrifice themselves too, so just getting a "computer" into the hold would be enough...

Re:A still open flaw... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22497152)

Fine the parent $500,000 for giving the terrorists ideas! Our security cannot be sacrificed for some "examples" or "ideas"!

Old News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22497064)

Is everything here a repost?
Direct your attention to this recent /. story on the EXACT SAME THING: []

Another one: (4, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22497066)

See Fifth Element. Lock people in cabins and knock them out.

I could have sworn I've seen this before... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22497068)

Oh, here [] it is. I can see why they couldn't find it ... after all, it's only the first Google hit on slashdot for "airport security prize."

Easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22497082)

When reaching the security point you ask each passenger:

"Are you a terrorist?"

If you got people to raise their hand you could probably do five or six at a time.


The contest is not TSA (1)

not-enough-info (526586) | more than 6 years ago | (#22497126)

To clarify: This contest isn't about improving TSA procedure. The contest is an effort to improve a 3rd party screener's ability to expedite verification of passengers. Specifically, the throughput of paid "members-only" lanes [] .

Honestly, if they're not helping all air travelers, then it's really not something I'm interested in. This type of treatment is rife with inequity and is just another step towards a consummate terror state.

If you really want to increase throughput on all lanes, all you have to do is increase parallelism. Have self-service metal detectors and numbered/tagged x-ray bins prior to the checkpoint. Let people screen themselves. Instead of waiting in line, then waiting for the jackass in front of you to go through the metal detector 3 times looking for his belt buckle, you just wait in line. At the supervised checkpoint, everybody has already figured out what metal they need to remove and all their items are in bins already. If you can check your bins into the system way ahead of the line and retrieve them by number after the line, you've cut the wait time even more. If everybody does their own pre-screening simultaneously, every supervised check is reduced from a minute down to a few seconds.

Real democracy (1)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 6 years ago | (#22497128)

Get rid of all the security gates, the x-rays, the bomb-sniffing dogs. Let people walk into an airport as easilty as into a supermarket.

Have a large room with plenty of tables near the gate. All passengers go in with their luggage. They can work it out among themselves. When all passengers are satisfied, then they board the plane.

the solution that pays for itself (2, Insightful)

nickhart (1009937) | more than 6 years ago | (#22497160)

I call this prize throwing good money after bad.

Here's a novel solution: stop bombing people. Not only will we reduce the number of people that want to bomb us in return, we can save half a trillion dollars annually from slashing the military budget and closing every overseas military base. With all that extra cash we can afford all kinds of security, not to mention national health care, schools, repairing infrastructure, jobs... you name it. Of course, we also may find we don't need as much security.

drug them (1)

ezwip (974076) | more than 6 years ago | (#22497180)

Give each passenger a pill/gas to knock them out through the trip. When landing is ready to commence give them a new dose that wakes them up. The pharmaceutical companies will line up around the block for bids. I want a cut from them also. I'm thinking 1% since I am so smart.

Remove it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22497192)

Stop all personal and luggage screening and eliminate any government intervention. This worked fine up until 1963(?) and still works for all other types of public and private transit. Has anyone else figured this out yet?

Cost $0. Time 0. Send me my check.

Denounce Mohammad (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22497196)

Anyone who will simply verbally denounce Mohammad and all his teachings can enter the plane without any additional security checks. Anyone not willing to denounce Mohammad goes through the existing security checks.

Simple (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 6 years ago | (#22497202)

Allow anyone with a current valid concealed weapons permit to carry their pistol onboard.

Get rid of metal detectors (or improve them) (1)

koalapeck (1137045) | more than 6 years ago | (#22497252)

I wear a titanium watch... I never take it off when I go through security because it never sets off the metal detectors.

What if someone had a titanium knife? Pretty scary really.

The only logical solution (5, Insightful)

Dracos (107777) | more than 6 years ago | (#22497260)

...from a perspective not saturated by fear is to revert to the policies and procedures in place on September 10, 2001

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