Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


TSA Roundup

flight-deck.jpgAllow me to begin by shocking my regular readers with a few words of praise for TSA: Ryan Singel reports that they found a bomb, in “ Screeners ID IED
.” Of course, that’s 1 bomb:1,000,000 nail clippers, but still. It’s good to see that they can find the bombs. When they’re not harassing babies with that no-fly list of theirs. Maybe they could put the birthdays of terrorists in, to help out?

It turns out that TSA is listening. After only four years, they’re considering relaxing the screening of those dastardly…airline pilots. As the Washington Post reports in “TSA May Loosen Ban on Razorblades, Knives:”

The federal agency in charge of aviation security is considering major changes in how it screens airline passengers, including proposals that an official said would lift the ban on carrying razorblades and small knives as well as limit patdown searches.

Unfortunately, they still seem to think that CAPPS is a good idea, and want to eliminate oversight of the program. Oh, that pesky oversight!

Finally, that flight deck picture? Recent, airborne, and safe. Although some passengers took umbrage at my camera’s flashing.

7 comments on "TSA Roundup"

  • Guest says:

    Adam, are you saying that the flight deck was unprotected when you took the picture (i.e. no flight attendant with drinks cart positioned before her in front of it)?

  • Adam says:

    Oh, gosh, no. I’m saying the flight deck was perfectly reasonably protected.

  • Whoa! A bomb in Oklahoma!
    The device was described in an FBI affidavit as a carbon dioxide cartridge filled with gunpowder that could be detonated when connected to a power source such as the batteries Dreyling had in his electric razor and in his cell phone, which were also in his carryon bag. An FBI bomb technician concluded the device could detonate with sufficient force to cause serious injury.
    But maybe this isn’t much of an interdicted threat after all:
    But Dreyling’s landlord, former Oklahoma City Mayor Kirk Humphreys, said he had created a “glorified firecracker” and forgot it was in his luggage.
    “I know Charlie Dreyling quite well,” Humphreys said. “I appreciate what the authorities are doing making our airlines safe. I have every confidence that they’ll find out Charlie Dreyling is a fine young man and no terrorist.”

  • Scott Blake says:

    Interesting that your bomb to nail clipper ratio is approximately the same (order of magnitude) as signal to noise for Intrusion Detection Systems. And look at all the money, time, and effort we spend on those.

  • DM says:

    Scott, you must have a better IDS implementation that I do…. 🙂

  • Guest says:

    Adam, I’m guessing you’re being sarcastic. It’s not entirely clear to me, though, which is frustrating.

  • Adam says:

    I believe that that aircraft was perfectly safe. It may or may not have been compliant with all TSA regulations–It’s hard to tell when they’re all secret. But it was safe.

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