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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 NixieBunny ( 859050 ) on Friday February 21, 2014 @02:50AM (#46302065) Homepage
    Story: I walked into the Detroit airport a couple years ago while wearing the Video Coat. The nice TSA people marked my entire family's boarding passes SSSS. They inspected us thoroughly, including the eight 5 AH Chinese LiPo battery packs used to power the coat. These are the no-protection-board version with the factory connectors that let you plug two batteries together like BIG 9V batteries. They will happily put out 100 amps.

    Had we been 'the type', we could have started four fires in the cabin that day.
  • by hedgemage ( 934558 ) on Friday February 21, 2014 @03:07AM (#46302109)
    Its time to privatize the TSA. If it were up to the airlines to contract with security firms, you'd have logical risk management made through the lens of monetary cost. Make the airlines assume the risk for liability if their security is crap, and they will find a good happy medium between the extremes. I'm not normally a small-government guy, but in this area, it simply makes sense.
  • by Firethorn ( 177587 ) on Friday February 21, 2014 @03:34AM (#46302173) Homepage Journal

    It can't just be the media though, as the media has been lambasting the TSA as too expensive for negligible effect for quite some time now.

    I think what it's going to take is a new president to replace the head of the TSA with somebody else to force change from the top down.

  • by CaptQuark ( 2706165 ) on Friday February 21, 2014 @03:34AM (#46302175)
    This has been an option since 2003. The TSA was put into place after 9/11 but airports were supposed to be allowed to return to private screening after two years. New legislation passed last year supposedly makes it easier to replace TSA agents with private contractors although few airports have done so.

    Currently sixteen airports use private contractors instead of TSA agents. []

  • Lousy argumentation (Score:2, Interesting)

    by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Friday February 21, 2014 @04:03AM (#46302261) Journal

    Whether you agree or disagree with the need for the TSA, the above is a lousy childish argument.

    The spinkler system at my office has not put out a single fire. My smoke detector has not once detected smoke. My life insurance has not once payed out. The airbag in your car has not once inflated and safed your life. My helmet has not once protected my head from a crash.

    The TSA could counter khasim logic very simply: Since the TSA has been in existence no terrorist action on US targets has been succesful.

    Both statements are true. And totally irrelevant.

  • by michelcolman ( 1208008 ) on Friday February 21, 2014 @04:46AM (#46302373)

    Sadly though, most european airports are exactly the same. I'm a pilot, and I've actually seen them take a bottle of after shave from a captain, not even apologising for their idiocy, as if it was the most normal and logical thing in the world. Never mind the giant crash axe behind the first officer's seat, we must not allow them to bring nail clippers on board! Back when I was flying private jets, they wanted to pass my passengers' cat through the X-ray machine. They might try to hijack their own private plane with a weapon hidden in the plastic cat container! We had to take the cat out, fortunately it didn't run away or they would no doubt have closed the airport. Idiots.

If I have not seen so far it is because I stood in giant's footsteps.