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United States Security Transportation

TSA: Confiscating Aluminum Foil and Watching Out For Solar Powered Bombs 289

schwit1 writes "If you think confiscating aluminum foil to prevent a solar powered bomb attack on a plane is a waste of time, don't blame the TSA agent. According to a former employee most of the security people agree with you. Instead, we need to hold accountable the people sending down such ridiculous orders. From the article: 'Ridiculous restrictions and the TSA have become nearly synonymous in the post-9/11 airport, and as new, improbable terrorist plots come to light, we will likely continue to be burdened with new, absurd rules. But our best bet is to take the frustration toward the TSA agent confiscating our over-sized liquids, and re-direct it to the people at TSA headquarters who are being paid the big bucks to make the rules — the ones who make the call as to whether our toothpaste is verboten and whether our shoes will need extra screening.'"
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TSA: Confiscating Aluminum Foil and Watching Out For Solar Powered Bombs

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  • by Firethorn ( 177587 ) on Friday February 21, 2014 @02:45AM (#46302047) Homepage Journal

    Personally, I think any TSA employee in charge of TSA procedures needs to go through said procedure/screening every day before work.

    Actually, they need to be fired and replaced by people with proper risk management training, as opposed to risk avoidance.

    Risk Avoidance: Do everything in your power to prevent some risk, no matter the cost
    Risk Management: Assess the risk, consider the liklihood of the risk, the damage it will cost if it happens, then look at mitigations, how likely they are to work, how much they'll cost, etc... And make the cheapest decision. IE if on average the mitigation will prevent more loss than it costs, you impliment it. Otherwise you just accept the risk.

  • by mrbester ( 200927 ) on Friday February 21, 2014 @02:59AM (#46302085) Homepage


  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 21, 2014 @03:10AM (#46302117)
    Of course they've caught terrorist!

    You just don't hear about it.... because.... because it's classified.

    It's classified because... if the terrorist planners knew that their plot had failed then they would try again. If you just get rid of the ones doing it, then the plane is safe, the planners assume it's a successful mission, and everyone goes home safe and sound. Do you want the terrorists to make a new plot instead? Why do you hate freedom and democracy?
  • by thephydes ( 727739 ) on Friday February 21, 2014 @03:45AM (#46302217)
    That makes me wonder why I would ever want to visit the USA. I'm sure there are lots of beautiful places to go to and enjoy, but why would I want a semi-educated thug feeling me up and confiscating shit because I might be a bomber. Come to think of it I'm probably on the "fuck this guy over" list because of this and similar comments on other forums. Fuck you NSA, you've cost your country a potential tourist spending several thousand dollars travelling, eating, drinking, visiting places .........
  • by jhol13 ( 1087781 ) on Friday February 21, 2014 @04:35AM (#46302331)


    All the "TSA's" of the world have cought exactly zero terrorists.
    Can you make same claim about sprinklers, smoke detectors, insurances, airbags? Even USA wide? Even in your city? Your block?

  • If I may play Devil's advocate.. isn't aluminum foil one of two ingredients in a simple, household-items explosive? I'm not sure why you would need to carry it on a plane with you, either.

    - aluminium powder rather than simply foil
    - to wrap your sandwich ? Since nowadays low-cost airlines don't even feed you on board.

  • by wonkey_monkey ( 2592601 ) on Friday February 21, 2014 @05:30AM (#46302495) Homepage

    Why doesn't he just suicide-bomb the TSA line? Wouldn't that cause enough terror?

  • by Martin Blank ( 154261 ) on Friday February 21, 2014 @05:47AM (#46302553) Homepage Journal

    That site appears to have it backwards. Davy settled on "aluminum" by the time he published Elements of Chemical Philosophy in 1812 (the year your link claims was when he settled on an ending of -ium. Wikipedia includes a quote from the book.

    "This substance appears to contain a peculiar metal, but as yet Aluminum has not been obtained in a perfectly free state, though alloys of it with other metalline substances have been procured sufficiently distinct to indicate the probable nature of alumina."

    The quote is visible from a scanned copy at this link [google.com]

  • by DarkOx ( 621550 ) on Friday February 21, 2014 @06:38AM (#46302725) Journal

    No your counter argument is incorrect. All of those things are there to protect you from a statistical existent risk. Perhaps your smoke detector has never detected smoke but there are many houses and some have caught fire. The same for air bags we know lots people of car accidents every day and those airbags deployed saving lives. Thing is there lots of flights every day to the TSA is never caught a terrorist. I really only been a handful of incense in the last decade all them gotten past the TSA. Which demonstrates the TSA is both ineffective as a detective control and unneeded as the statistical risk is vanishingly small.

  • by DNS-and-BIND ( 461968 ) on Friday February 21, 2014 @06:44AM (#46302743) Homepage

    We're talking about the TSA, not the NSA. Do try to keep up.

    Somehow, with your hostile attitude, I think you made the decision quite a long time ago to never visit America. And yet you feel the need to get up and talk shit in front of everyone, acting like this is the last straw that cost America a shit-ton of money. Here's a clue: we Americans hate the federal government, too. If you set your prejudices aside you might just find friendly, like-minded people. But I have found in my life that closed-minded bigots will not do this, and instead spend time bitching and moaning to others like themselves. Like the people who modded you +5 Insightful.

  • by reboot246 ( 623534 ) on Friday February 21, 2014 @06:47AM (#46302759) Homepage
    Your smoke alarm, sprinkler system, seat belts, airbags, helmets, life insurance, condoms, life preserver, safety vest, and Depends have not violated anyone's Fourth Amendment rights.

    I bet your Depends have kept your bed dry.

    THIS is the question you need to ponder, "Has the U.S. government violated our rights in the name of (perceived) safety?"

To write good code is a worthy challenge, and a source of civilized delight. -- stolen and paraphrased from William Safire