Ignore the man behind the curtain

The DHS Inspector General proudly released a statement, reported February 28th, claiming that the ionizing radiation from backscatter machines is "safe." As justification, The DHS Attorney General states that a person would need 47 screenings a day, 365 days a year, to reach the maximum allowable for a person. Oh, really? Let's look at what the DHS ...read more »

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Risk-based screening

As we've written before, the TSA has rolled out a program called Pre-Check that is now expanding to airports across the country. In conjunction with Pre-Check is a TSA screening method that is colloquially referred to as "chat-downs" -- passengers are questioned by so-called Behavior Detection Officers. All of this adds up to "risk-based screening" ...read more »

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TSA and risk: perspective, please

The editorial board of the Asbury Park Press recently fretted that we need to keep our guard up, the reason being, ". . . as we know too well, there are countless other would-be terrorists out there just like him" ("him" refers to Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab, the so-called Underwear Bomber). So may I challenge this sentence ...read more »

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TSA’s procedures don’t make anyone safer

In response to a pro-TSA editorial in the Asbury Park Press, I maintain that not only does the TSA fail in its mission of protecting passengers, but that it actually harms our security by its actions. That the TSA fails in its stated goal of keeping prohibited items off airplanes is amply demonstrated by its ...read more »

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What’s behind the TSA’s new charm offensive?

Where would we be without the TSA? Representatives of the $8.1 billion-a-year agency, which is charged with protecting America's transportation systems, are stepping into the spotlight to ask that question. Two of them caught my eye last week: an op-ed by a Federal Security Director in Florida and a "show-and-tell" event in Tennessee, that underscored the ...read more »

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TSA security model: epic fail

On any given day, I'll find several complaints about the TSA in my Twitter stream. Yesterday, one in particular stood out among the typical grousing about long lines and pointless shoe-removals. It contained language that suggested the agency had screwed up in yet new ways (and as someone with family members and friends who travel ...read more »

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Groped again at the airport, followed by a lecture

At LAX, flying Delta. Gregg told me to go through the lane at the left, and I did, but I still got marked for a search. I spent much of my morning dreading this, and when they told me I immediately burst into tears. I was so upset at being put through a full bag search ...read more »

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TSA propaganda continues apace

The TSA is ever busy placing op-eds and articles in the mainstream press under the guise of factual information. This morning brings two such "news" pieces, one about scanners and one about confiscated items.  First, Robert Cohen, the TSA federal security director at Florida International Airport, repeats false claims about airport scanners: Imaging technology not only enhances security, ...read more »

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TSA lied about 2008 incident

The TSA has a good thing going. It has a budget of $8 billion a year and guaranteed jobs for 60,000 people -- in a down economy, no less. It issues orders and everyone (almost) complies. For those who don't, there's always the trump card of DYWTFT ("Do you want to fly today?"). That's a ...read more »

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TSA and passenger complaints

Recently we had a story about a woman who claimed that she was required to go through Dallas/Fort Worth airport whole-body-imaging scanners three times during one screening.  From her account, the questions and remarks by the TSA screener made it clear that a few people in another location were getting their kicks viewing her figure ...read more »

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