Tag Archives: Security
Teenagers aren’t know for being the most respectful individuals especially towards authority. That’s why I am not surprised to read that some teenagers had been kicked off a flight for refusing to sit down and turn off their phones. What did surprise me when I was reading the USA Today Blog Post was that one hundred students plus chaperones had been kicked off had been kicked off of one flight. If I remember High School traveling in a group was an ordeal but the entire group was acting up. There are always a few teenagers who flaunt the rules and authority, but I can’t imagine one hundred students acting up at one.
With out knowing more, there seems like there is more to this story. Why did they kick off all of the students? Why didn’t the chaperones have control of the students? What was the response to everyone’s favorite question “Do you want to fly today?”
I think there is more to the story.
Last year I wrote about how a person could conceivably take their boarding pass and edit it in such a way as to permit the passenger to use the PreCheck TSA line. The TSA has been telling us for years that all of the added security at U.S. airports is necessary. With the PreCheck system it suddenly became ok for frequent travelers and other people who submitted their information to the government to go through less stringent security. Through the use of online barcode readers, barcode makers, and something like MS Paint, it became possible for any determined person to edit themselves a new boarding pass that would allow them to go through the less stringent PreCheck security lane. As I pointed out this is an obvious security flaw. I suggested encoding the data on the boarding pass, but the powers that be had another idea in mind.
U.S. Senator Nelson from Nebraska introduced a bill today to end the practice of airlines providing elite security lines. These lines which require the user: to maintain some sort of elite level; have the correct credit-card; or purchase the service from the airline allow the passenger expedited access to the TSA checkpoint. The users clear the same security as everyone else it just takes less time to do so.
Why is this a big deal? Well there was a companion article in Slate that calls these lines racist and un-American. Whether or not they are racist is up for you all to decide. What they are to the airlines is another opportunity to make money of the flying public. It is for this reason that they are not going away. I don’t think Sen. Nelson expects this bill to go anywhere as well.
Every day bills are introduced in congress. They are assigned to a committee who is supposed to hold hearings on them and then either reject the bill or pass it back into the house or senate for a full vote. The majority of bills introduced never even get a hearing, they “die in committee.” My guess is we will never hear from this bill again as it too will die in committee. You can read both articles below.
Stratfor, a private intelligence firm out of Austin, TX published an online article detailing how to deal with terrorism.
Personally, I fall more on the libertarian side of politics so I agree with the premise of the article. The premise is that terrorism is only terrorism because we make it so. Terrorist attacks are going to happen. The government will stop some, but not all. However, the overall effectiveness of a terrorist attack is measured by how we as a society respond to it. For example, the Madrid train bombing changed the course of the Spanish election and 9/11 spawned numerous armed conflicts around the world and created a color coded “awareness” scale that even though it has been retired it still ingrained in the American consciousness.
Terror is terror only if you let it be so.
The TSA, defenders of the homeland, had reps testifying on Capital Hill this morning. Without surprise, the TSA were brought to task over screeners that were both rude and ineffective. USA Today has the story here.
This comes at a time when President Obama has proposed increasing the security fee all air passengers pay. Right now the current fee is $2.50/segment. That means if you have a non-stop return you are paying $5.00 and if you connect $10.00 on every ticker. President Obama has proposed increasing this fee. The airlines are against it because they say it will drive passengers away.
I say increasing the already bloated budget for an agency that is more concerned with taking away water and harassing children is a horrible idea. Put it to you this way there were the exact same number of terrorist acts from U.S. airports in the 11 years preceding 9/11 as there were in the 11 years after.