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Big Brother Is Watching You... Pack

The TSA wants you to know, dear American, that if you don't pack your bags neatly, the terrorists have already won. This busiest Thanksgiving travel week ever, why not Simplifly? [more inside]
posted by dw on Nov 20, 2007 - 95 comments

Chattin' With Kip

Conversation with Kip Hawley, TSA Administrator (Part 1) Part one of five, Bruce Schneier chats it up with Kip, TSA Administrator. The TSA and airport security have long been hot topics on Metafilter; here is a chance to read some hard questions put to the man himself and his answers.
posted by Bovine Love on Jul 30, 2007 - 29 comments

TSA busts myths, too!

Last week, a woman at DC's Reagan Airport was detained because of water in her son's sippy cup. In an unusual step, the TSA has posted their own Mythbusters site where they show the security footage and the official incident report. Here is BoingBoing's take on the video. And a security/security technology blogger posts about the larger lesson that people readily side against the TSA "because there's no accountability or transparency in the DHS."
posted by spec80 on Jun 18, 2007 - 253 comments

How to crash an airplane by cheating at Tetris

This simple hack actually only crashes the in-flight entertainment system (perhaps this one?), but that's already enough to cause concern with the kind of people who comment anonymously on a blog for "security executives."

I'm certain that this vulnerability (like this vulnerability) will be taken seriously.
posted by jdfalk on Feb 11, 2007 - 44 comments

"TSOs have been trained to not touch the monkey during the screening process."

The TSA would like to help you travel with your service animal. As with any set of guidelines, sometimes people try to game the system.
posted by scrump on Dec 21, 2006 - 17 comments

Oh, I wish we had the image tag again...

Bare naked travel? (Previously on MeFi: here, except now they're actually doing it, and here). The TSA wants to see you naked. Just don't paint "Kip Hawley Is An Idiot" on your torso in Pepto-Bismol before you go to the airport.
posted by bitter-girl.com on Dec 3, 2006 - 51 comments

OMG LOOK PUPPIES!!!!eleventy!1!

Meet the TSA's newest, cuddliest employees! Sure, the TSA could spend its time and money developing a training course that won't result in a stunning 91% rate of failure in detecting weapons in carry-on luggage, but how do you make cute pictures out of that?
posted by clevershark on Nov 29, 2006 - 33 comments

"Kip Hawley is an Idiot"

"Kip Hawley is an Idiot". Careful what you say about the Director of the TSA when you're waiting to pass airport security.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese on Oct 2, 2006 - 208 comments

Persecution by Paperwork

Marshals: Innocent People Placed On 'Watch List' To Meet Quota "Innocent passengers are being entered into an international intelligence database as suspicious persons, acting in a suspicious manner on an aircraft ... and they did nothing wrong," says one federal Air Marshal. Why? Because a memo from management requires marshals to file one Surveillance Detection Report (SDR) per month, and failure to do so will negatively impact upon their annual raises, bonuses, awards and special assignments. Marshals deny fabricating stories wholesale, but claim to have resorted to creatively stretching the truth to turn benign acts into potential threats and the harm this may cause to people who have done nothing wrong seems irrelevant to the marshals and the TSA officials who created the rules.
posted by Dreama on Jul 24, 2006 - 44 comments

All such matters will be taken seriously.

Making any jokes or statements during the screening process may be grounds for both criminal and civil penalties.
posted by quonsar on Apr 24, 2006 - 73 comments

Thread Thread

"This item has become very popular following the ban on use of scissors on aeroplanes." Relax, Officer, it's just a thread-cutter.
posted by serafinapekkala on Apr 12, 2006 - 30 comments

Fly in the Fast Lane

Tired of standing in line at the airport? Worried that you might share a name with a known terrorist or subversive on the TSA's mysterious no-fly lists? Relax. Get fingerprinted and/or iris scanned. And pay $79.95 a year to become a Registered Traveler, and fly Clear in the fast lane. (And note how quickly conceptual art projects become indistinguishable from reality.) Meanwhile, the Feds settle an ACLU lawsuit over the no-fly lists... while revealing no information about them. [Lists recently discussed here].
posted by digaman on Jan 25, 2006 - 52 comments

The Increasingly Unfriendly Skies

Is your name James Moore? If so, you may be a terrorist. Or at least the NSA thinks so, having added that name -- which also happens to be the name of the author of Bush's Brain: How Karl Rove Made George W. Bush Presidential -- to its mysteriously targeted and infamously mismanaged "No-Fly" list [previously discussed here.]
posted by digaman on Jan 5, 2006 - 51 comments

Stealing Osama's Identity

Security, the TSA, and the No-Fly List You would think that our National Security apparatus would be like the TV series "24", with the most ingenious and sophisticated technology available. You would be wrong. Disclaimer: TSA is not an intelligent intelligence agency. Here's a blurb from the resume of the designer(Kenneth Mack) of the application the airline industry uses for *PDF* managing their employee data and the cross-checking them with the no-fly list:
- Sr. Developer: Developed a program [for Goddard Technologies] that uses the "No-Fly List" Excel spreadsheet, provided by the FAA and the database of badged employees to permute the name combinations. It takes into consideration multiple first and middle names, with Soundex and the various "initial" combinations. This program reduced the time for comparison from 3 days to 10 minutes.
The scary yet interesting part of all of this is that the No-Fly List is nothing more than a password-protected spreadsheet (see this PDF). One would guess our Government's geeks would know that it's a bad idea to send email attachments containing social security numbers and dates of birth, unencrypted, over the internets, even if they might be terrorists.
posted by rzklkng on Jul 15, 2005 - 30 comments

Who caught Zacarias Moussaoui?

Who caught Zacarias Moussaoui? Clancy Prevost smiles at the absurdity of his story. We are just a few miles down the road from the Eagan flight school where, one month before the September 11th attacks, he tried to teach Zacarias Moussaoui how to fly a Boeing 747.
posted by Kwantsar on May 24, 2005 - 9 comments

Do you 'av your papers? Vhere are your papers?

Selkie Goes to the Airport "This morning, I arrived at the airport with an hour to make my flight. I kissed my fiancee, wiped off the tears, and queued up for the TSA checkpoint with my laptop out, my shoes off and my identification in my hand. There were three people in front of me; I had plenty of time." It goes down hill from there.
posted by FunkyHelix on Nov 30, 2004 - 99 comments

Morning has broken

Cat Stevens on NatSec watchlist. "A London-to-Washington flight was diverted to Maine on Tuesday when it was discovered passenger Yusuf Islam - formerly known as singer Cat Stevens - was on a government watch list and barred from entering the country, federal officials said... Homeland Security Department spokesman Dennis Murphy identified the passenger as Islam. 'He was interviewed and denied admission to the United States on national security grounds,' Murphy said, and would be put on the first available flight out of the country Wednesday."
posted by mwhybark on Sep 21, 2004 - 79 comments

It's no velociraptor, but...

I *heart* Bea Arthur:
Bea Arthur sparked a security scare at Logan Airport in Boston this week when she tried to board a Cape Air flight with a pocketknife in her handbag. The "Golden Girls" star, now 81, was flagged by a Transportation Security Administration agent, who discovered the knife - a strict no-no following 9/11. "She started yelling that it wasn't hers and said 'The terrorists put it there,' " a fellow passenger said. "She kept yelling about the 'terrorists, the terrorists, the terrorists.' " After the blade was confiscated, Arthur took a keyring from her bag and told the agent it belonged to the "terrorists," before throwing it at them. As she boarded the plane, she told the TSA employees, "We're all doomed."
Kuro5hin offers a novel proposition: Bea for President!
posted by Vidiot on Aug 28, 2004 - 58 comments

Are We Safer Yet?

Air Marshal Forgets Gun in Airport Bathroom
Are we safer yet?
posted by fenriq on Apr 12, 2004 - 24 comments

Minneapolis Airport Security Official Threatened Screeners

"If you don't do as I tell you, I'll personally take you out in the woods and shoot you." A top federal security official at the Minneapolis-St.Paul International Airport angrily threatened to "shoot" baggage screeners and financially ruin their families if they did not do their jobs to his satisfaction, airport employees have told the Department of Homeland Security's inspector general.

All jokes about bombs, guns and killing will be taken seriously?
posted by busbyism on Jan 30, 2004 - 24 comments

Dulles TSA Chief Busted for DWI

Charles Brady, TSA chief for Dulles Airport, was stopped at 1a by Airport Police near Dulles airport and charged with DWI. Brady was scheduled for Orange Alert Duty on New Year's Eve until 2a, and contends that he was stopped at 2:30a (30mins after his shift ended). I feel safer already!
posted by cpfeifer on Jan 2, 2004 - 25 comments

20-year old college student calls the TSA and tells them security is below-par. Then he proves it.

20-year old college student calls the TSA and tells them security is below-par. Then he proves it. Taking the hacker's ethic of "exposing weakness for the greater good, law be damned" this guy did just that by planting knives and other objects with little notes admonishing the TSA. Feeling safe yet? The TSA thinks we should be.
posted by skallas on Oct 17, 2003 - 52 comments

Please step away from the line....

All US Air Passengers to be Profiled, and 1% Will be Banned from Boarding. In the most aggressive -- and, some say, invasive -- step yet, the federal government and the airlines will phase in a computer system next year to measure the risk posed by every passenger on every flight in the United States. Up to 8 percent of passengers who board flights will be coded "yellow" and pulled for additional screening. An estimated 1 to 2 percent will be labeled "red" and will be prohibited from boarding. These passengers also will face police questioning and may be arrested. [More Inside....]
posted by Dunvegan on Sep 9, 2003 - 97 comments

Who talked?

"The Transportation Security Administration is conducting a 'witch hunt' to ferret out and discipline employees in the federal air marshal program who have talked to the media", according to MSNBC. See previous thread on air marshals being pulled from high risk flights. The "Patriot Act" is involved, too. Via the hole.
posted by Eloquence on Aug 15, 2003 - 0 comments

100,000 years is a long time

John Gilmore, co-founder of the EFF , is suing a couple of airlines, the FAA, the FBI, the TSA, the DHS, and a Mr. John Ashcroft. Why? May I see your papers, please?
posted by majcher on Jun 8, 2003 - 36 comments

But Can I Bring My Spear Gun?

What should I pack? According to the official list Toy Transformer Robots are OK (presumably real ones are not), but I'll have to put my throwing stars in my checked luggage.
posted by JoanArkham on Jan 15, 2003 - 31 comments

Coffee, Tea or should we feel your pregnant wife's breasts

Coffee, tea or should we feel your pregnant wife's breasts? Well, like most of you I've read many personal accounts of the change in air travel since 9/11. But this one packs a major wallop, well written, infuriating and containing one of the best concluding sentences . . . ever. ( via Blogdex )
posted by jeremias on Dec 22, 2002 - 138 comments

Student arrested with boxcutter & scissors.

Student arrested with boxcutter & scissors. But the thing that really boggled my mind was this: "Since February, we've taken more than 25,000 boxcutters from carry-ons and off of passengers. We've taken more than 500 firearms and 215,000 knives," Johnson said." For one thing, I guess I had never realized how much box cutting went on in the US - but the bizarre piece is the guns. A half dozen I can see, but five freakin' hundred? How can that many people - in the post 9/11 world - still be trying to get serious weapony onto airplanes?
posted by MidasMulligan on Sep 30, 2002 - 45 comments

Activists' names on no-fly blacklist -

Activists' names on no-fly blacklist - A federal "No Fly" list, intended to keep terrorists from boarding planes, is snaring peace activists. Several federal agencies -- including the CIA, FBI, INS and State Department -- contribute names to the list. But no one at those agencies could say who is responsible for managing the list or who can remove names of people who have been cleared by authorities.
posted by dejah420 on Sep 28, 2002 - 20 comments

Is this so called heighted security?

Is this so called heighted security? Why are we permitting people to bring on carry on luggage at all? If the airlines are unwilling to put a skymarshal on every flight then they need to arm the pilots. We really need to take much stronger steps in this area than the feeble attempts taken thus far.
posted by Wong Fei-hung on Aug 29, 2002 - 61 comments

2" GI Joe Rifle Confiscated in Airport Security Crackdown

2" GI Joe Rifle Confiscated in Airport Security Crackdown Airport security staff confiscated a TWO-INCH plastic gun from a toy soldier. "They examined the toy as if it was going to shoot them . . . Then they asked me if there were toy grenades as well. I thought they were joking, but they weren’t smiling — they were deadly serious." Have the terrorists already won?
posted by dogmatic on Aug 5, 2002 - 43 comments

"You can't professionalize unless you federalize",

"You can't professionalize unless you federalize", we were told. So, this is a professional case of giardia, I guess. Still, the kid COULD have mentioned that the muck was a project, and not his favorite tonic.
posted by dwivian on Apr 9, 2002 - 4 comments

No high school diploma or GED required for new aiport security screeners.

No high school diploma or GED required for new aiport security screeners. The author of the bill, Senator Kay Bailey-Hutchison of Texas, "said Sunday she would prefer airport security screeners have at least a high school education, but it is a "judgment call." The DOT requirements page requires a h.s. diploma, ged, or "one year of any type of work experience that demonstrates the applicant's ability to perform the work of the position." In a rush to overhaul the system, are we setting our standards too low?
posted by Ufez Jones on Dec 31, 2001 - 18 comments

Your tax dollars at work?

Your tax dollars at work? Apparently the FAA is paying $50 a click to make sure that Americans are well informed passengers. What ever happened to Public Service Announcements? Anyone want to buy a $200 screwdriver?
posted by shoepal on Dec 18, 2001 - 11 comments

New travel package

New travel package minimizes the amount of time it takes for you to get from the airport to the beach. Now you can get off the plane, and start swimming and sunbathing in no time! Isn't this amazing?
posted by yevge on Dec 12, 2001 - 9 comments

Terrorism is always disgusting, but this is just plain gross.

Terrorism is always disgusting, but this is just plain gross. Wired wonders if terrorists will start carrying explosives inside their bodies. They don't explain whether they'll, uh, "remove" them before detonation. Will Argenbright start issuing rubber gloves? And on a more serious note, does this underscore the fact that planes can never be fully secure, meaning I can get my plastic lunch knife back? (I think so.)
posted by Sinner on Dec 6, 2001 - 11 comments

This information is somewhat discomforting.

This information is somewhat discomforting. I always imagined that there would be instances of people bringing something that could be considered on an airplane but I did not think that there would be this many.
posted by Stretch on Nov 5, 2001 - 8 comments

How, exactly, did this happen?

How, exactly, did this happen? I'll tell you how. I happened to be at O' Hare yesterday, and the security drones there were about as dumb as a bag of wet mice (more in comments).
posted by vraxoin on Nov 5, 2001 - 46 comments

Who needs boxcutters, when you can just pack a gun

Who needs boxcutters, when you can just pack a gun In the midst of so-called heightend security, a man accidentally brings a loaded gun onto a plane undetected. I know Southwest doesn't have meals, but do they not have metal detectors either? from Amy Langfield's always entertaining blog.
posted by tsarfan on Oct 25, 2001 - 24 comments

Feinstein want national guard to be home defense outfit

Feinstein want national guard to be home defense outfit Let's see. The air lines hired cheap and unskilled workers for security. They lost planes and lots of business. But the GOP doesn't want air carriers to become federalized nor have feds take care of security (too much like Big Govt or socialism.) So instead, we will use tax payer's money and have the National guard do the security work for private concerns and a few public ones. What will the underpaid and/or illegals do for a living? Don't most folks in the Guard have regular jobs and do their thing on weekends? If so, should they give up their jobs for this? or double dip or flip a coin? The Guard was called up in my state. But I was told (I can not verify) that they are not allowed to carry rifles or sidearms while guarding local airports. That makes me feel safer.
posted by Postroad on Oct 10, 2001 - 7 comments

Airport BodySearch may reveal more than passengers know

Airport BodySearch may reveal more than passengers know
Does anyone really care if the lonely airport security guards have a look under your clothes?
posted by chiXy on Aug 21, 2000 - 0 comments

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