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Scott Francis Baker


October 16th, 2008

Ridiculous airport security @ 10:48 pm

"What’s allowed?" I asked. "Saline solution, or bottles labeled saline solution?"

"Bottles labeled saline solution. They won’t check what’s in it, trust me."

They did not check. As we gathered our belongings, Schnei­er held up the bottle and said to the nearest security officer, "This is okay, right?" "Yep," the officer said. "Just have to put it in the tray."

"Maybe if you lit it on fire, he’d pay attention," I said, risking arrest for making a joke at airport security. (Later, Schnei­er would carry two bottles labeled saline solution—24 ounces in total—through security. An officer asked him why he needed two bottles. "Two eyes," he said. He was allowed to keep the bottles.)
- The Atlantic


I highly recommend reading this article. It points out the ridiculous nature of airport security. Bruce Schneier really knows his stuff.
 
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From:graceadieu
Date:October 17th, 2008 04:21 pm (UTC)

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What was actually in the bottles, or doesn't he know? Regarding airport security checks, they are only as effective as the guards are. Also, although it may not signify to cynics like Bruce Schneier, heightened airport security has foiled many insidious plots since 9/11 and will continue to do so. The shameful part is that people do not cooperate with security and act like petulant 5th graders. That includes the media, who, like Bruce Schneier, want to sell stories and line their pockets with the proceeds.
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From:muerte
Date:October 17th, 2008 05:00 pm (UTC)

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I'm sure it was just water, but that's the point. The security guard doesn't let through 3.5 ounce bottles of toothpaste, but just because some guy says "this bottle is saline" it's ok? The point is that all these security measures haven't made us *ANY* safer, it just makes people feel safer while doing nothing but wasting our time and money.
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From:graceadieu
Date:October 17th, 2008 08:47 pm (UTC)

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The problem with his premise is that it is based entirely on what was, according to him, one person's encounter with one security guard during one moment in time. No one is 100% effective all day, day after day. His experience proves only, if his data is correct, that the security guard was ineffective in checking the contents of two bottles for one person during a brief encounter on one day. That in no way proves that security measures are ineffective and a waste of time and money.
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From:muerte
Date:October 17th, 2008 08:52 pm (UTC)

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I think Bruce Schneier is much more qualified to talk about security measures than you are. He's a security expert whose focus is on making people safer, and not just making people *feel* safer.

If you read the whole article he talks about how he gets through security *MULTIPLE* times in many different airports with many different security guards. I don't think it was just one isolated incident.
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From:graceadieu
Date:October 17th, 2008 10:43 pm (UTC)

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I am not just going on my experience, Scott. My son worked for the Deputy Director of the Department of Homeland Security in Washington DC. It's popular in some circles to constantly bash the security measures since 9/11, but the proof that they are effective is that there have been no more successful attacks since 9/11, although many attempts have been made and foiled.

Scott Francis Baker