Category Archives: Security

Strip the TSA

When the TSA came into existence, their screeners worewhite. Then, they became Transportation Security Officers(TSOs), and got new blue uniforms. Their embroidered [caption id="" align="alignright" width="250" caption="Image via Wikipedia"][/caption] badges got replaced with metal ones to “represent the continuing evolution of the officers’ role and responsibilities.” At the time when this happened in 2008, we were…

Man Flies with Invalid Boarding Pass – We Question

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Image via Wikipedia"][/caption] We’ve been thinking about the issues with the airport check-in and security process for  a long time. We approved of the government insisting that higher standards be applied to security screening, although we remain unsure if it was necessary for this to be done by government workers. Up…

Obama Insists Security Failure was in Leveraging Intelligence

President Obama said today that the December 25th attempted bombing of a Detroit-bound flight was not a failure of the U.S. Intelligence gathering system, but a failure to analyze that information and respond to it. Instead of focusing solely on defending the performance of his government, which his predecessor might have done, he came out and said that this was unacceptable and we had to do better. We may not do better, but we choose to respect him for being so direct about making a mistake, if nothing else.

Ireland Enraged after Slovakia Plants Explosives on Unsuspecting Passenger

The Irish government is demanding answers after an unsuspecting passenger carried high-grade explosives on a flight to Dublin as part of a botched training exercise. Slovakian Agents planted RDX explosives in the bag of a 49-year old electrician without his knowledge. The explosive was one of eight items planted by the Slovakian authorities in the baggage of unsuspecting passengers at Bratislava airport this past weekend.

The Firestorm Continues – Security Screening in the US

We’ve maintained consistently that the most effective anti-terrorist tool in intelligence. Good intelligence can stop a potential terror suspect before he gets anywhere near the airport. Beyond that, we have screenings. The New York Times reports that the U.S. Government’s response to a warning from the man’s father that he developed radical views, had disappeared and might have traveled to Yemen, was not to revoke the young man’s visa to enter the United States, which was good until June 2010. Now, on some level, that makes sense. But their response was to flag him for an investigation should he ever apply for another visa and to add him to a list of over half a million other individuals with possible terrorist connections.

The High Cost of (In)Security- When Will Sanity Come to The TSA?

As my name(the Infrequent Flier) suggests, I don’t often have a chance to get up in the air. As a result, my trips form a time-lapse portrait of the flying experience as it has changed. Each time I fly, I am amazed at the new rules, regulations and procedures that have been put in place. It has become common to refer to this group of measures as “Security Theater”- a group of actions for show which have no real impact on security.

Come Fly the Unfriendly Skies

On Friday, a passenger on a Northwest flight set off a small explosive device shortly before landing in Detroit. The man, Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab, was subdued. He had connected in Amsterdam to the flight from a KLM flight inbound from Lagos, Nigeria. He had been rescreened in Amsterdam, as is standard procedure there. The device failed to fully detonate, and has been described as a mixture of liquid and powder, and were described as more incendiary than explosive.

September 11th, 2001

Saying something about 9/11 is almost obligatory, especially for a commercial aviation blogger. The scope of the tragedy was nearly unimaginable at the time…that such a thing could happen. Our hearts continue to go out to those who lost loved ones that day and we will never forget the sacrifice of those who rushed to assist. The two biggest security developments that came in a post-9/11 world were…

Passengers Kept Captive on Diverted Plane

Image by Kevin Boydston via Flickr Passengers on a Continental Express flight from Houston to Minneapolis spent the night on a regional jet parked at Rochester MN Airport. The plane was operated by Expressjet, and Chris Elliott rightly asked who was in charge. The plane is branded Continental, it was sold by Continental, yet operated…

TSA Likely to Relax Liquid Ban Next Year

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="202" caption="Image via Wikipedia"][/caption] Kip Hawley, head of the Transportation Security Administration, said in an interview last week that in a year, the organization and its foreign counterparts would be in a position to relax the restrictions on liquids. The X-ray machines capable of detecting liquids used in bomb making are already…

Checkpoint-Friendly TSA Bags

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="93" caption="Image via Wikipedia"][/caption] One of our affiliate blogs, Gadget Wisdom, posted an article today on taking your laptop on the airplane. We checked out Targus, one of the best known creators of laptop bags. They are advertising for pre-order a Zip-Thru 15.4″ Corporate Traveler Laptop Case for $99.99. It splits down…

TSA Gives itself a 9/11 Present

Effective today, September 11th, 2008, transportation security officers at airport checkpoints all over the country will be wearing new uniforms and badges. The new uniform will be blue, and a gold badge will replace the patch. Plans for this were announced over a year ago, and have finally been implemented. At the time, it was…