RIP Philo

A Huge Hole in Airport Security

Awhile ago CoT had a discussion about airline employees stealing from passengers' luggage.  Some here thought that they should be more carefully supervised, and that the airlines should take responsibility for their employees actions while on the job; others thought that was ridiculous. 

Here's a followup article:  http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/16/opinion/16fri3.html

Apparently some of the airlines are now insituting stricter policies regarding baggage handlers and the like.  After all, if passengers are subject to such strict searches, why not the people who work at the airport?
Permalink AMerrickanGirl 
March 16th, 2007 7:58pm
Security as Theatre -

It's not about making things (e.g. in this case air travel) more secure, it's about doing stuff that sorta look like it's making things more secure.

Everyone knows it's theatre; the people running doing it, the media, the travellers.  So why is it still going on?

Here's the guy who (literally) wrote the book on encryption:

http://www.schneier.com/crypto-gram-0702.html#1

And here's Fred on Everything:

http://www.fredoneverything.net/SecurityHokum.shtml
Permalink Send private email Ward 
March 16th, 2007 8:07pm
Interesting reading. 

It doesn't bring me around to the answer as to why the government engages in security theater. Especially transparently obvious security theater. Do we feel better and therefore vote for the government?  Is it an easy way to give fat contracts to friends which are hard to argue against?
Permalink zed 
March 16th, 2007 8:21pm
Both. It's win-win. Plus it provides employment for the marginally employable.
Permalink trollop 
March 16th, 2007 11:51pm
Last time I went through security at AMS, I had not one, but TWO employees say to me "I know it's ridiculous but..."

First was when they confiscated a bottle of hair gel because it was "more than 250 ml" even though it was obviously 90% empty but let me keep a bottle of toothpaste which obviously had more stuff in it.

Second was AFTER I'd been through security *once* already and had my stuff x-rayed, etc. I bought a bottle of mineral water in front of a security guard who wanted to x-ray my stuff for a *second* time at the boarding gate. He told me that liquids weren't allowed on the plane.
Permalink Colm 
March 17th, 2007 10:08am
>It doesn't bring me around to the answer as to why the
>government engages in security theater. Especially
>transparently obvious security theater.

I'm pretty sure they instinctively ban everything they can, and then let up selectively based upon who lobbies the most. So cigarette lighters and laptops are let through despite being higher security risks because tobacco companies and airlines lobby for them and nail clippers aren't.
Permalink Colm 
March 17th, 2007 10:10am
Sounds approximately correct.
Permalink zed 
March 17th, 2007 12:44pm
On the Middle East to Indian subcontinent route, which must have the most number of terrorists and terrorist targets in the world, you get your champagne in real glasses and eat your lunch with metal knives and forks.

In the US and UK it's all about playing to the gallery.
Permalink Send private email Stephen Jones 
March 17th, 2007 2:08pm
Nicely put Jonesy, but