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TSA Subpoenas Bloggers Over New Security Directive 379

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the travel-by-camel dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The NY Times reports that TSA special agents have served subpoenas to travel bloggers Steve Frischling and Chris Elliott demanding that they reveal who leaked a TSA directive outlining new screening measures that went into effect the same day as the Detroit airliner incident. Frischling said he met with two TSA special agents for about three hours and was forced to hand over his laptop computer after the agents threatened to interfere with his contract to write a blog for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines if he didn't cooperate and provide the name of the person who leaked the memo outlining new security measures that would be apparent to the traveling public. 'It literally showed up in my box,' Frischling told The Associated Press. 'I do not know who it came from.' Frischling says he provided the agents a signed statement to that effect. The leaked directive included measures such as screening at boarding gates, patting down the upper legs and torso, physically inspecting all travelers' belongings, looking carefully at syringes with powders and liquids, requiring that passengers remain in their seats one hour before landing, and disabling all onboard communications systems, including what is provided by the airline. In a December 29 posting on his blog, Elliott said he had told the TSA agents at his house that he would call his lawyer and get back to them."
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TSA Subpoenas Bloggers Over New Security Directive

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  • by DotNM (737979) <matt@@@mattdean...ca> on Thursday December 31, 2009 @01:39PM (#30607348) Homepage
    ... is the best security.
    • by biryokumaru (822262) * <biryokumaru@gmail.com> on Thursday December 31, 2009 @01:44PM (#30607426)
      Anonymity is quite possibly the only security.
      • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary&yahoo,com> on Thursday December 31, 2009 @02:12PM (#30607852) Journal

        Hypothesis: either anonymity, or total information, can provide equivalent security. If everyone had access to all the information anyone else had, anonymity would no longer be necessary. As it is, anonymity is a kludge to protect those with less access to information from those who have more. It protects the guilty as well as the innocent. If everyone were totally informed (yes, this is purely hypothetical) then no one could act against another's interests unless the majority of humanity agreed with that act. While this would still leave open the possibility of a tyranny of the majority, I doubt a majority of totally informed people would act against a minority in a punitive way, as this would leave each individual open to punitive acts from a different majority.

        • by tapanitarvainen (1155821) on Thursday December 31, 2009 @02:52PM (#30608356)

          [...] I doubt a majority of totally informed people would act against a minority in a punitive way, as this would leave each individual open to punitive acts from a different majority.

          You underestimate the shortsightedness of people. Those in a majority hardly ever stop to think they might be in a minority at a later date - and when they do, it just encourages them to (ab)use their majority power while it lasts.

    • by jo42 (227475) on Thursday December 31, 2009 @01:47PM (#30607470) Homepage

      The next phase in the TSA idiocracy will require passengers to perform a #1 (pee) and a #2 (poop), with proof, before boarding a flight to prevent potential liquids and solids of terror being brought on board.

      • by Duradin (1261418) on Thursday December 31, 2009 @01:55PM (#30607590)
        You forgot puke.
      • by kpainter (901021) on Thursday December 31, 2009 @01:57PM (#30607608)

        The next phase in the TSA idiocracy will require passengers to perform a #1 (pee) and a #2 (poop), with proof, before boarding a flight to prevent potential liquids and solids of terror being brought on board.

        This will dovetail nicely with the current policy. This way, you won't need to go to the bathroom in the last hour of the flight. Its a win-win!

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by oldspewey (1303305)
        I thought the next phase was going to involve banning whatever colour pants it was that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was wearing on that flight. I mean, clearly people wearing the same colour pants as Abdulmutallab represent a similar danger right?
      • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Thursday December 31, 2009 @03:38PM (#30608862)

        Explosive goes into condoms which are then stored in your body cavities.

        Show up for the flight very early.

        During that time, recover the explosives and PREP THE BOMB BEFORE HAND IN THE PUBLIC BATHROOM. You've already cleared security. They don't care about you anymore (until the headlines hit).

        So far, our best defense against terrorism seems to be that they're all rather dumb.

        • by dgatwood (11270) on Thursday December 31, 2009 @10:53PM (#30611992) Journal

          Explosive goes into condoms which are then stored in your body cavities.

          This is what I've been pointing out ever since they started talking about those millimeter wave scanners. It is a trivial escalation that completely defeats both backscatter X-Ray and millimeter wave scanners. That means that the only way those machines add ANYTHING to security AT ALL is if they are installed without anybody knowing they are there. Now that we know about them, they are USELESS.

          And still our government is spending millions of dollars on this complete waste of money. Follow the money and I'd be willing to place a sizable bet that the manufacturer of those scanners has contributed a large sum of money to one or both major political parties and/or the campaigns of several high-profile members of our government. That's the only explanation for our government's complete and utter inability to comprehend what a colossal waste of money these things are.

          There is exactly ONE scanner technology that will do ANY good, and that's NQR [wikipedia.org]. Spending even one penny on millimeter wave or backscatter X-Ray systems is just flushing money down the toilet.

    • by onionman (975962) on Thursday December 31, 2009 @01:51PM (#30607528)

      Except that it wouldn't be obscure for long... it only takes a single blogger getting run through the security process while trying to board for the whole "secret new screening procedure" to become completely known.

      To paraphrase Bruce Schneier, it seems like the DHS/TSA is now engaging in security meta-theater so that they can demonstrate how oh-so-very-important the security theater is.

    • by zippthorne (748122) on Thursday December 31, 2009 @02:37PM (#30608182) Journal

      I fail to see how they could have kept "requiring passengers to stay in their seats one hour before landing" secret for any length of time.

  • Fuck George Bush! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Vinegar Joe (998110) on Thursday December 31, 2009 @01:41PM (#30607372)

    When will Obama be inaugurated?

    • by A beautiful mind (821714) on Thursday December 31, 2009 @01:55PM (#30607600)
      Bush's years were a slow slide into an insecure, financially teetering country. Why do you expect the climb out of that mess to be quick and be dependent on one man? Electing Obama was a precondition of improving on things, not a magical wand to roll back the clock before Bush.

      Obama is also held back by the democrats, the "lesser evil" party. It is an extreme outcome of the first past the post electoral system that the system tends to converge on two parties and the two parties remain similar in a lot of respects, eliminating voter choice. Sure you're free to vote for a third party, but the third party faces a very steep uphill fight to gain any traction at all.
      • by wizardforce (1005805) on Thursday December 31, 2009 @02:08PM (#30607796) Journal

        Well the problem is that we aren't "climbing out of this mess" if anything, things are getting worse. The problem is that people naively thought that electin Obama would improve things. The truth is that the government does what the people allow it to do. Bush was a warning sign that the checks and balances that were supposed to restrain the federal governments' power are essentially destroyed. The conditions that allowed Bush to frak up this country as bad as he did still exist. Now is it any wonder why the "change we can believe in" didn't happen as people believed it would?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Well the problem is that we aren't "climbing out of this mess" if anything, things are getting worse. The problem is that people naively thought that electin Obama would improve things. The truth is that the government does what the people allow it to do. Bush was a warning sign that the checks and balances that were supposed to restrain the federal governments' power are essentially destroyed. The conditions that allowed Bush to frak up this country as bad as he did still exist. Now is it any wonder why th

  • I still say... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 31, 2009 @01:43PM (#30607406)

    The terrorists won. And won big!

    They spent what... couple million? some of their dumber guys who they could talk into blowing up.

    And got back what... The usa crapped itself and spent BILLIONS of dollars on totally useless 'security'.

    Man... they won huge!

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Vinegar Joe (998110)

      The terrorists won. And won big!

      You mean the TSA?

    • Re:I still say... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by wizardforce (1005805) on Thursday December 31, 2009 @01:58PM (#30607636) Journal

      It's no longer in the billions. If you count Iraq and Afghanistan, the tab is over a trillion dollars. THe human cost is well over 5,000 dead soldiers, tens of thousands wounded, countless thousands of dead Iraqis and on top of that, they've managed to have the US ruin its own international reputation permanently. The US has become self-terrorizing ever since 9/11 making future terror attacks completely unnecessary.

      • Re:I still say... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by redhotgranny (1013471) on Thursday December 31, 2009 @05:06PM (#30609784)
        And, frankly, the whole country is close to bankrupt. So, terrorist might win the war on terrorism sooner than anyone expected. I am pretty sure that even they were not really thinking about winning that big. It was coincidence of expensive wars and Wall Street crisis. Resources are running thin and wars just keep going. The biggest problem will soon be increasing cost of new loans when rating goes down. Old loans expire too and they need to be refinanced, which becomes easily vicious circle if you have a bad rating. To think of it does losing 'world leader' status count already as a small victory for terrorist.
    • by RingDev (879105) on Thursday December 31, 2009 @01:59PM (#30607640) Homepage Journal

      Terrorism is the use or threat of use of violent to bring about a social, political, or economic change. Any single violent action taken by any terrorist group can not alter any of this. Yes, people will die, destruction will occur, and lives will be change. But it is only in our response to their attacks that our way of life can be changed.

      You want to send a chilling message to those who would attack our very society? Find them with our existing intelligence systems. Try them in our existing court systems. Imprison them in our civilian detention system. And build back the Twin Towers just as they were with an anti-aircraft cannon sitting on the top of both of them. Show them the might of a free nation.

      Or our politicians (on both sides of the isle) could use these attacks to justify sweeping changes to civil liberties, the judicial system, the creation of a new "security" department, and gross consolidation of federal and presidential power.

      -Rick

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 31, 2009 @02:04PM (#30607718)

        Always remember - "They hate us for our freedom."

        So in order to protect ourselves, we give all our freedoms to the government so that we don't have them anymore. If we don't have them, the terrists won't hate us, and thus all terrorism will stop!

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          Wow. I can't believe how blind I've been. Bush wasn't a fascist ruler or a clueless moron, he was a GENIUS dedicated to keeping America safe.

          Thank God Obama hasn't been restoring those dangerous freedoms, or this attack might have succeeded!

    • Re:I still say... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by joe_frisch (1366229) on Thursday December 31, 2009 @02:09PM (#30607818)

      They won because we (Americans, Europeans) are stupid cowards. Your chances of being killed by terrorists in the US and Europe are vanishingly small. One estimate puts it at one in 10 million per year, about the same as being eaten by a shark and a thousand times less likely than being killed in a house fire.

      (source was http://www.sixwise.com/newsletters/05/07/13/the_six_most_feared_but_least_likely_causes_of_death.htm [sixwise.com], now independent verification)

      Another statistic gives 22000 worldwide deaths / year from terrorism compared with 57 million from other causes.

      What is the big deal? Why should I give up freedoms, privacy and time for this?

      I fly very frequently and I am not afraid of terrorists. I'd be happy to walk through a metal detector set to pick up conventional guns, and run my luggage (laptop still in case) through an X-ray to look for obvious weapons. When terrorists down a US airline every month for a year we can talk again.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I think there is a bit of irrational egotism involved in that cowardice.

        If I'm a afraid of sharks, I can at least read up on what to do in the ocean, or even lay on the beach while other people are surfing. As an old man, your chances are probably much less, most old men aren't in the ocean all the time.

        You say there is a 1 in 1,000,000 chance to die in a house fire. I can bet you that as a educated upper class white male, my chances are less. I actually change batteries/maintain my fire alarm. I don't live

    • Re:I still say... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by fermion (181285) on Thursday December 31, 2009 @02:26PM (#30608044) Homepage Journal
      The terrorist did win by diverting resources from activities that would increase our national prosperity to activities that at best do nothing.

      Very little tangible has been done to limit the threat. For example, here is a US news report on the Saudi Link to terrorism from 2003 [usnews.com]. Recent articles state that the link is still there, for instance there may have been a 15 million transfer from Saudi fundamentalists to Yemen terrorist forces. For those who do not know, Saudi Arabia earns much of their money through oil, and almost nothing has been done to limit the amount of money they earn. In fact many people they have a right and responsibility to use as much oil as they want, thereby funding the terrorists.

      A better example is the lack of training of the TSA. We have had eight years to create a professional police force. If the TSA screeners were seen as a professional force, instead of simply a work program for people who would otherwise be unemployed, I bet there would be much less protest against the body scanning machines. As it is, the airport screeners are treated as easily replaceable figureheads, not really there to do much of anything. Yet the screeners should be the most important part of airport defense, not only to prevent terrorists from entering the plane, but to prevent suicide bombers in the airport.

      My concern is the TSA does not have leader, and instead of concentrating on making it a professional organization, Conservatives are bickering about unionization. Most police forces in the US are unionized. It is a non issue. This would not really have effected this case. What might have helped, and what will help, is if every country would take the screening process seriously, instead of just assuming that machines will do everything. This is something that is a human problem, and CCTV and x-rays will not solve it. Humans know how to subvert machines. The only flexible agent is another human

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Hurricane78 (562437)

      That’s the modern terrorist’s strategy: Why work hard to fuck up the enemy, when you can work little, and let them fuck themselves up, better than you ever could.

      Sometimes I wonder, if I would have a better life, if I were with them...

  • by M-RES (653754) on Thursday December 31, 2009 @01:48PM (#30607494)

    The TSA security directive was never meant to be known by the public, yet would call for new security measures which would require searching or controlling the public in new ways!? That's a bizarre contradiction. How do you secretly MAKE people submit to new body searches or restrain them in their seats an hour before landing?

    I don't think they really thought this plan through...

  • by Alcoholist (160427) on Thursday December 31, 2009 @01:53PM (#30607558) Homepage

    The terrorists aren't even trying that hard.

    They're setting their sights too high. Stopping all air flight in the Western world is easy. You don't even need to get on the plane. Walk into an airport with a few pounds of explosives strapped on under your coat. Think of how many people tend to get queued up at those checkpoints.

    When they stop you at the security checkpoint, go boom. It'll only have to happen a few times before air flight is completely stopped indefinitely.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      When they stop you at the security checkpoint, go boom. It'll only have to happen a few times before air flight is completely stopped indefinitely.

      Or we finally get the media to drop the "zomg terrorism" stuff and let terrorism become another statistic like automobile accidents. I do not wish any attacks to happen that results in deaths, but if they would happen like every 1-2 months, that would probably result in an overall improvement of affairs because people would just carry on.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by shadoelord (163710)

      I've argued this same point time and time again; the TSA and airlines are only worried about expensive planes and the buildings they could hit. Blowing up a security line at Atlanta's Hartsfield airport (busiest in the world) would cause unheard of levels of panic.

      It would be an interesting 'art piece' to draw concentric rings around a random point in line to demonstrate "90% kill", "50% kill" zones.

      • by Alcoholist (160427) on Thursday December 31, 2009 @02:26PM (#30608040) Homepage

        The permutations of terror of this kind are endless because there are so many points of failure in airport security. These are just off the top of my head:

        - A big fat bomb in your checked luggage. Set to go off say 15 minutes after they check it (bad guy flicks a little switch or something). Would totally bring an airport to a halt.

        - Since you are committed to die for Allah anyway, why not stride into the lobby of an airport with an AK and as much ammo as you can carry and just start shooting until they get you?

        - Car bomb in front of terminal. It's not hard to make a stupid pile of ANFO and cram it into the back of a stolen taxi.

        - Rent a small plane at a regional airport, fly it to a big airport and crash the bugger into a terminal.

        - Drive a truck chock full of explosives on to one of the runways and blow it up. Now you can't land planes on that. Hell, you might even be able to escape from that one with your life.

        I'm not even a terrorist and I can dream up shit like this in a few minutes. Imagine what the actual terrorists are hatching.

        • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Thursday December 31, 2009 @03:17PM (#30608638) Journal
          Or you could forget about sexy targets like aircraft entirely. Just put a decent sized bomb, dressed up like a lost duffel bag, under the bleachers of some random middle school in Iowa, just before a little league game.

          There is no way in hell you could ever watch, let alone usefully guard, all such locations; but, once the 24/7 news cycle got ahold of a bunch of kids who've seen their cheering friends and families blown to fragments right in front of them, the public will absolutely lose its shit.
        • by Knara (9377) on Thursday December 31, 2009 @03:38PM (#30608860)

          They can hatch all they want, however, it seems to me that the main problem Al-Qaeda has lay in some disconnect between their 21st century access to technology and their 12th century outlook on reality.

          I'm not so much saying that their leadership isn't clever and intelligent in terms of coming up with plans. Rather, that their rank-and-file are incompetent, at best, when it comes to carrying out their plans. You can only IED and suicide bomb yourself into a limited amount of success.

          After all, it our security infrastructure had to fail at multiple basic levels in series and the folks on the planes on 9/11 to do nothing to restrain the hijackers in order for the plan to succeed (and in the one case where they did do something, unfortunately too late to save anyone, the plan was foiled -- just like these last two times).

          I'm not saying we should stop trying to improve our security infrastructure, but let's realize that the folks who are planning this stuff are being forced to utilize fodder that is significantly sub-optimal with regard to the task (a short logical leap to make, since they believe that blowing themselves up is a reasonable and sustainable tactic vs the largest military force in the history of the world).

    • by kevinNCSU (1531307) on Thursday December 31, 2009 @02:13PM (#30607872)

      Oh totally, just like everyone in Israel completely stopped eating when Hamas and company were blowing up cafes. There's a psychological effect to blowing up an airplane because deep down on a primal level people are already scared of flying because it just aint natural. Plus the view of an airplane falling out of the sky is much more enthralling and attention grabbing then a simple explosion.

      They don't want to attack you where you know you can be attacked, they want to attack you somewhere you're already afraid of, and where the government is trying to tell you is safe and protected to prove they can get to you anywhere, and instill fear.

    • by mikael (484) on Thursday December 31, 2009 @02:21PM (#30607994)

      Then the security checkpoint would be moved to the front of the airport, and queues would form there, which would then be another target for the terrorists.

    • by Obfuscant (592200) on Thursday December 31, 2009 @02:52PM (#30608352)
      When they stop you at the security checkpoint, go boom. It'll only have to happen a few times before air flight is completely stopped indefinitely.

      You mean the way there is no bus service in Israel or police stations in Iraq?

  • by BCW2 (168187) on Thursday December 31, 2009 @01:57PM (#30607616) Journal
    Another proof, to join the seemingly endless list, that Napolitano is totally unqualified to head DHS. A talking head on TV this week made the following reference to her "leadership ability"; She couldn't lead Tiger Woods to a free weekend at a whorehouse!

    I am beginning to wonder if there are any qualified people in this administration at all.
  • Forced? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Thursday December 31, 2009 @02:09PM (#30607816)

    Frischling said he met with two TSA special agents for about three hours and was forced to hand over his laptop computer after the agents threatened to interfere with his contract to write a blog for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines if he didn't cooperate ...

    Hmm.... I think Steve and I have different definitions of the word "forced", but it sounds like standard Gestapo - I mean TSA - practices to me.

  • Correction (Score:5, Informative)

    by selan (234261) on Thursday December 31, 2009 @02:16PM (#30607916) Journal
    This is an Associated Press story published on the New York Times site. The NY Times did not report this.
  • No surprise there (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jodka (520060) on Thursday December 31, 2009 @02:22PM (#30608002)

    So the government announces a massive initiative to protect our rights from the terrorists and here we find it harassing online journalists for informing the public about what the government is secretly up to. Not so different from the way it is charged by the Constitution "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries," and subsequently creates a legal morass which rewards patents trolls, suppresses innovation with legal harrassment, and extorts campaign donations from perpetual copyright extension. Then there is the initiative to lower health care costs and in improve the quality of care which will raise the costs of medical care and ration medical care. Next up: "Net Neutrality". What could possibly go wrong?

    When will Americans wake up and recognize that no matter how noble are the stated goals of politicians that the actual outcomes usually oppose the stated goals?

  • by headkase (533448) on Thursday December 31, 2009 @02:30PM (#30608098)
    Does anyone else think that the TSA is exhibiting symptoms of: The Stanford Prison Experiment [prisonexp.org], wiki: here [wikipedia.org]. Basically, when given power and the mandate to do something without proper checks and balances then stupidity or sadism emerges. The Stanford Experiment had to be called off early because normal people when put into that framework extremely mistreated other normal people. So, does the TSA need a good spanking and a bit of restructure?
  • by Animats (122034) on Thursday December 31, 2009 @02:37PM (#30608190) Homepage

    It's not classified information. It's just called "sensitive" information under 49 CFR 1520 [gpoaccess.gov]. That's a federal regulation, not a criminal law, and it only applies to persons authorized to receive the information [gpoaccess.gov], not to the general public. If the TSA finds the authorized person who is the source of the leak, they can charge them a civil penalty, but a non-authorized recipient has no obligation to keep the material confidential.

    There are criminal penalties associated with actual classified information, but they don't apply here. Homeland Security has the authority to create classified documents, but then they have to comply with all the requirements of accountability, marking, numbered copies, copying restrictions, approved containers, encrypted transmissions, burn bags, and security clearances. They can't send something to every airline gate agent and baggage handler and call it "classified", because those people aren't cleared for classified information.

  • by WCguru42 (1268530) on Thursday December 31, 2009 @03:49PM (#30609008)

    Home of the Brave. It's not my usual thing to spout off about people needing to leave the United States of America but gimme a break. A large amount of the federal government practice fear tactics to try and convince the people that they need to give up their freedoms to be safe. And the worst part is, most of these supposed secure measures don't do jack shit. We as a nation need to realize that we'll never be completely safe, that there's no level of TSA gadget that will prevent every single act of violence. We as a nation need to remember that we didn't become a nation by being scared pussies.

  • by Evets (629327) * on Thursday December 31, 2009 @04:05PM (#30609168) Homepage Journal

    Welcome to the police state. Pretty soon, we'll have "pre-screened" passengers wearing armbands and we all know where it goes from there

  • by Animats (122034) on Thursday December 31, 2009 @05:46PM (#30610176) Homepage

    That guy needs a lawyer. But looking at the authorities referenced in the "subpoena", there are some real questions. It's an "administrative subpoena", not one issued by a court. Some agencies can do that. (The FBI has been refused that authority by Congress). The Department of Transportation has subpoena authority for its hearings and investigations [house.gov], and Homeland Security inheirited that authority when TSA was transferred from DOT to DHS. For all administrative subpoenas, the party served can file a motion to quash the subpoena with a District Court, and the court has to rule before anything happens.

    But that section (49 USC 46104) refers to a "hearing or investigation", a formal proceeding presided over by a hearing officer. This is just some "special agent", and the subpoena is signed by someone with the title "Senior Counsel - Civil Enforcement". There's a list of people who can sign these things at 49 CFR 1503.303, and a "Senior Counsel" isn't high enough up the food chain to sign off. A Deputy Chief Counsel or the Chief Counsel [tsa.gov] is supposed to sign. This probably reflects who the TSA had in the office on December 26. A more senior official probably would have considered the political implications of doing something this embarrassing.

    This is a touchy area, related to the "National Security Letter" debacle. See this Congressional Research Service analysis. [fas.org] The FBI got in trouble for issuing demands for documents without statutory authority. [washingtonpost.com]

    The Associated Press reports that the blogger is going to challenge the subpoena in court. [latimes.com]

  • by Lazy Jones (8403) on Thursday December 31, 2009 @05:51PM (#30610208) Homepage Journal
    The incident happened around 11:20 am (EST) and they managed to send out a new security directive on the same day . One would have thought they'd take longer to draft something as elaborate as that. Who knows, perhaps they had it prepared already for such an incident...
  • by omb (759389) on Thursday December 31, 2009 @06:42PM (#30610636)
    On one hand the US National Security aperatus has reverted to pre 9/11 games ie Not Sharing, usually justified to PROTECT SOURCES, in this case a walk in concerned father, and just after they released an incorrectly redacted PDF which contained all the original screening material, just covered in black, and now Napolitano is dithering in Circles.

    These idiotic assholes are very lucky I am not president because I would fire all the secretaries, directors, deputy and assistant directors of each of the Departments and Agencies involved in these repeated debacles, in this case CIA, DHS, TSA and anyone else found with dirty hands,

    Then I would use the C level pay savings by re-appointing only half these posts to:

    Get Schneier to head an office of Risk Assesment of no more than 50 analysts, drawn from existing agencies, reporting to the NSA so we would stop continually fighting the last war.

    Get a similar independant thinker to take over and run an Office of Counterterrorist Reference Data, Comprising No-Fly, Watch ... lists with the responsibility get them up-to-date and correct. Web access to all via a web interface.

    Finally, let me point out that all this full-body scan/sniffers is bullshit since the next guy to try this will probably put the stuff up his ass, not in his unter hosen, so that unless you use an NMR machine you are not going to find it. That is exactly why it is vital to listen to people like Schneier, who has been consistently correct, rather that sheeple pacifing politicians. This is too serious for business as usual.

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