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‘tsa sucks’ Archives

Demonstrating TSA futility by stabbing dead pigs with pens

Demonstrating TSA futility by stabbing dead pigs with pens

An article in The American Journal of Forensic Medical Pathology entitled "Use of a pig model to demonstrate vulnerability of major neck vessels to inflicted trauma from common household items" describes all the ways you can stab people with stuff you're allowed to take through airport security, like pens and plastic knives. Commonly available [...]

TSA bans snowglobes. TSA, meet Archimedes.

TSA bans snowglobes. TSA, meet Archimedes.

The TSA says you can't carry a snow-globe onto a plane, even if it fits in your freedom baggie, because they can't measure how much liquid it contains, and therefore it must contain more than three oz of potential explosive, um, water. TSA, meet Archimedes. He lived over 2,000 years ago and figured out how to calculate the volume of a object by [...]

TSA doesn’t understand what “random” means

TSA doesn’t understand what “random” means

Deirdre Walker, the 24-year police veteran and former Assistant Chief of the Montgomery County, Maryland, Department of Police who wrote up a sharp, professional critique of the TSA's checkpoint procedures, has written a follow-up, showing a huge flaw in the "random" screening process used at the BWI airport... I asked, "How are people selected [...]

Police veteran critiques TSA procedure

Police veteran critiques TSA procedure

Deirdre Walker, a 24-year police veteran who retired after serving as the Assistant Chief of the Montgomery County, Maryland, Department of Police writes up a recent interaction with the TSA in the Albany airport, subjecting it to critical policing analysis and finding it sorely, sorely wanting. This is a very good critical piece on conducting [...]

Chicago’s Olympics Loss: Is Passport Control to Blame?

Chicago’s Olympics Loss: Is Passport Control to Blame?

Chicago may have lost its Olympic bid due to the insane fingerprints-and-photos regime at the US border: the Chicago bid team was questioned by an IOC member who called the US border "a rather harrowing experience." I've actually found the O'Hare border procedure pretty painless, but God help the foreigner who lands in Texas. At DFW, I was told by [...]

Here come the airport rectal exams!

Here come the airport rectal exams!

Uh-oh. Now that a terrorist has tried unsuccessfully to blow up a Saudi prince with a bomb shoved up his ass, the TSA is obliged to perform rectal exams on every flier for the rest of time. After all, once a jihadi failed to blow up a plane with his shoe, we all needed to start taking our shoes off. Then some knuckleheads believed they could blow [...]

What Does DHS Know About You?

What Does DHS Know About You?

Here's a real copy of an American citizen’s DHS Travel Record retrieved from the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol’s Automated Targeting System (ATS). This was obtained through a FOIA/Privacy Act request and sent in by an anonymous reader. The document reveals that the DHS is storing the reader’s: Credit card number and expiration [...]

TSA officer caught stealing laptops at JFK

TSA officer caught stealing laptops at JFK

A joint TSA/Delta airlines sting caught a TSA officer and a JFK baggage handler ripping off a laptop and phone from a decoy suitcase and then switching the suitcase tags, deliberately misrouting it to delay any investigation. Wanna bet they're not the only ones, and that this wasn't the first time they did it? Gee, thanks for taking away our [...]

Comics creator stopped by TSA for carrying script about writer under suspicion by TSA

Comics creator stopped by TSA for carrying script about writer under suspicion by TSA

Comics writer Mark Sable was detained and intensively questioned by the TSA for carrying a script for an upcoming comic book about a writer who is detained and intensively questioned by the TSA for writing a comic about terrorism. "Flying from Los Angeles to New York for a signing at Jim Hanley's Universe Wednesday (May 13th), I was flagged at [...]

ACLU sues TSA for illegally detaining and searching man carrying $4,700 in cash

ACLU sues TSA for illegally detaining and searching man carrying $4,700 in cash

The ACLU is suing the Transportation Security Administration for illegally searching and detaining Steve Bierfeldt, a US citizen who was detained, cursed at, and threatened by TSA agents for carrying $4700 in cash (which is legal and doesn't require disclosure in advance) at an airport in April. The TSA agents surely would have gotten away with [...]

Clear, aka the “TSA fast pass,” shuts down

Clear, aka the “TSA fast pass,” shuts down

Clear, Steve Brill's second baby turkey (the first being "Brill's Content") flops: rolled out with great fanfare July 18, 2005, in Orlando. Travelers initially paid $99 a year for a card that was supposed to target those who posed a minimum security risk, and give them a special line that would process them through airport security more [...]

Blind man dragged off plane in Philadelphia and accused of faking

Blind man dragged off plane in Philadelphia and accused of faking

A blind man flying with his wife from Philadelphia to Belgium (where he works as a translator) was arrested and dragged off the plane when he stood up and demanded to know, after two hours, why they were sitting on the tarmac, with no drinks and no news. The arresting officers didn't let him grab his cane, but rather accused him of faking [...]

The expanding invasion of the body scanners

The expanding invasion of the body scanners

The naked body scanners are taking over. When we first checked in on them two years ago, the scanners, which see through clothing, were being deployed at a single airport. A few months later, they were upgraded to millimeter-wave technology, which delivered similar images with even less radiation—"10,000 times less than a cell phone [...]

Man stopped by TSA… unknown to them, he is recording their conversation

Are the TSA people really supposed to be acting as interstate customs agents? I thought they were just supposed to be security personnel. It seems like questioning on things like cash and drugs is taking time away from screening for the stuff you are supposed to be screening for. This is probably why the government isn't capable of handling [...]

TSA: More gate searches in store for fliers

TSA: More gate searches in store for fliers

WASHINGTON — A new, more aggressive effort by airport screeners aims to halt randomly selected passengers for a security check just before they step onto their departing plane, according to a government memo obtained by USA TODAY. Scores of passengers have already been pulled aside for searches as they waited in line at airport gates for [...]

Forget your photo ID for your EasyJet flight? Just go print one up!

Forget your photo ID for your EasyJet flight? Just go print one up!

Don't worry if you show up for your domestic UK EasyJet flight without the mandatory photo ID the airline now requires; the helpful check-in clerks will direct you to the nearby train station where they'll make you up a free photo-card to go with a rail-pass, should you ever decide to buy one. Ah, security. "They suggested I go to the railway [...]

Body scanners replace metal detectors in tryout

Body scanners replace metal detectors in tryout

WASHINGTON — For the first time, some airline passengers will skip metal detectors and instead be screened by body scanning machines that look through clothing for hidden weapons, the Transportation Security Administration said Tuesday. An experimental program that begins today at Tulsa International Airport will test whether the $170,000 [...]

Amazon User Reviews of “Playmobil TSA Checkpoint”

Amazon User Reviews of “Playmobil TSA Checkpoint”

These user reviews for a Playmobil Security Check Point ($55!) are pretty hilarious. (more…)

Clown strip-searched before children’s charity flight

Clown strip-searched before children’s charity flight

David Vaughan, aka PC Konk the clown, was made to strip down to his underwear at Birmingham Airport, England when his costume set off the metal detectors. He was booked to do an in-air charity show for disadvantaged children. Apparently, PC Konk was good humored about it. A piece of metal on his costume set off the security alarm, prompting [...]

HOWTO: Carry a gun onto an airplane

HOWTO: Carry a gun onto an airplane

Wanna carry a gun onto an airplane? It's easy -- just get any government ID (the cards issued to part-time assistant harbor masters on Cape Cod will do) and then tell the TSA that you need a "flying while armed" form. Not only will they let you bring your gun onto the plane, they'll helpfully bring you into the cockpit (with your gun) and tell who [...]

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