What the F*ck TSA?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by B_dan_n_stpete, Mar 18, 2008.

  1. B_dan_n_stpete

    B_dan_n_stpete New Member

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    MacBook Air stumps TSA agents, owner misses flight


    The suspiciously thin, port-free laptop sends airport security into a tizzy, until cooler heads prevail. Maybe it's time for some tech briefings at the TSA, no?On his blog, programmer Michael Nygard (by way of the Unofficial Apple Weblog) writes that during a recent trip through the airport, his solid-state MacBook Air stopped TSA agents—puzzled by its lack of rear-facing ports or a standard hard drive—in their tracks.

    Nygard said the agents put him and his suspicious "device" in a holding cubicle as security staffers huddled nearby, looking at X-ray printouts of the sinister-looking Air and scratching their heads.

    A younger TSA agent—who, apparently, was aware of Apple's newest laptop—tried explaining to the group that the Air uses solid-state memory in place of a traditional hard drive. The senior staffer, however, was still reluctant to let it go: "New products on the market? They haven't been TSA approved. Probably shouldn't be permitted," Nygard writes.

    Finally, after booting up the Air and running a program, the agents let Nygard go, he said—but only after he'd missed his flight.

    I've been hearing stories like these all too often, which leads to the question: how exactly are TSA agents being trained, anyway? How about, I dunno, some regular briefings on the latest gadgets that might be making their way through security checkpoints? And while TSA agents are wasting time fussing with laptops, undercover investigators with bomb parts in their bags have been sailing though security checkpoints.
     
  2. B_dan_n_stpete

    B_dan_n_stpete New Member

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    I just copied and pasted from yahoo hope that's ok and not against any rules
     
  3. HazelGod

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    No, it isn't...but last week called and said they'd like their headline back.
     
  4. Principessa

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    Ease up dude, it's no biggy. I watch a lot of tv and I completely missed this last week. I'm glad he posted it.
     
  5. B_dan_n_stpete

    B_dan_n_stpete New Member

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    Thanks njqt466 for sticking up for me but I live my the three F's if you're not

    Feeding, F*cking or Financing me I really don't give a sh*t
     
  6. amhersthungboi

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    Does make you wonder, actually ...

    In Man of the Year, Robin Williams' character is rather astute in saying all these regulations and stop-points merely give the "illusion of security".

    Here's a bit of TSA griping, but why is it that I always end up being the one selected for the "randomly selected security screening". I'm a friggin Gold level frequent flier on Star Alliance ... you'd think TSA would figure out I'm not trying to blow up a plane [the code for "randomly selected" is actually printed on your boarding pass that you show on your way through the metal detector, at least in my experience].

    So, yeah, perhaps it is time to overall the TSA system to something that works for passengers, rather than making airports even more of an inconvenience.
     
  7. Phil Ayesho

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    get RID of TSA...

    They have failed every test... whenever some agent tries to get a bomb past them... he does.

    They are great at finding and seizing fingernail clippers.... anything more technologically complex and they are bamboozled.

    And there is zero evidence that TSA has thwarted even ONE terrorist act.


    One security expert made the compelling observation of " what can you conceal in your shoe, that you couldn't conceal in your underwear?"


    The truth is the solution is simple... tell passengers to kick the shit out of anyone who even tries to take the plane.

    Hijackings only worked as long a passengers had a reasonable expectation of survival.
    That's gone now... and no group of Hijackers can take a plane away from 200 pissed off passengers.

    Or do what the Israelis do that has kept El Al flights safe. An Armed man or two , in plains clothes, on EVERY SINGLE FLIGHT.
     
  8. simcha

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    Awww, well people are finally waking up to the fact that we now live in a police state. It's too late people. Georgie has already put into place wire tapping without warrants so that the American Gestapo (TSA) can listen in to every conversation. Most likely they are reading this website now.

    It's about time that people started to really complain about the American Gestapo. Do you know that you can be permanently banned from flying in America without due process and you have no right to know why?

    Yeah, Israel has the right idea. All you have to do is militarize your airlines and kill any hijacker that dares to raise a fist on the flight.

    This is much different than being controlled by a brand new, giant, and expensive and unsupervised Branch of Government called the TSA.
     
  9. midlifebear

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    I'm oddly on the side of Phil of Aysheo on this one. Even when one is perfectly pleasant and marches correctly TSA employees have some reason to ruffle your day. And I agree. They do not work. I'm not certain what level of education or social IQ (the only type that counts, because general intelligence tests are worthless and bogus) is necessary, but I'm certain the bar is very low.

    I have a great deal of sympathy, however, for TSA folks having to constantly bark "Take of your shoes" a hundred times to the same person in line who somehow believes the rule does not apply to them, although they've flown 50 times in the last year. I'm sure their job is not an easy one, regardless of how talented or talentless they may be.

    If you are like me, a US citizen who lives abroad, it is truly amazing how the fear factor permeates customs agents and TSA personnel within the USA. Other countries are just as interested in checking for potential threats, but US Carriers are particularly paranoid. Probably for good reason. The USA, despite how much we may love her, is very much hated by the rest of the world. Whether as a US citizen you feel that hatred is warranted or not is simply moot.


    As for Amhursthungboi's comment on always being pulled aside and "super checked,"; well, just try being middle-aged and regardless of what other countries recognize about your marital status, TSA regards you as "an older, single male flying alone." That's one of the profiles they like to use for sniffing out trouble-makers. They may be correct, for they often piss off this older single male flying alone whenever he tries to return to the USA.

    One no longer has any rights or respect as a human these days if you choose to fly in and out of the USA.
     
  10. DC_DEEP

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    You are correct. The "additional scrutiny" flag (at least used to be) printed on the boarding pass.

    At one time, shortly after the TSA was assigned to airport security, I must have been "databased," because every time I flew, my checked baggage got dumped and searched, I was double-screened at the security checkpoint, and then re-screened at the gate. When that happened as I was flying home for my Mom's funeral, I threw a fit at the airport, and then filed complaints with the TSA. Miraculously, after that, I never got "randomly picked" again, and I noticed that my boarding passes no longer had asterisks in certain fields.
     
  11. prepstudinsc

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    MLB, it's not you, it's your big hair. They think you can smuggle in bombs and stuff in that Wonder Woman 'do you've got. :tongue:
     
  12. Principessa

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    I hate the TSA!

    My only experiences with them since 9/11 has been at Newark Liberty, La Guardia International, JFK, Philadelphia International, Atlanta Hartsfield; and Albuquerque International airports. The one constant in each airport is that the TSA agents are never American! For the love of God in Heaven if you are going to flag me as a terrorist don't look like one yourself. :12: Yes, I know that is a racist statement.

    In Newark and Philly, in particular the people giving me crap, for not taking my shoes off fast enough or having a wrinkled boarding pass are usually darker than me and from India, a Carribbean country, or some middle eastern country. :wtf2: The only good thing about 9/11 is that for once black folks didn't "fit the profile." Yes, I know there are many black muslims in the USA and abroad but we aren't usually the suicide bombers. :cool:


    A few years ago I was living in NJ and visiting my parents in Georgia. The problem: my license was suspended for 30 days. I had to hand it into the judge (long story :rolleyes:). I did however have an older license which had expired. I kept it because it was a good picture. :biggrin1: Anywho, this middle aged Bob Marley wannabe almost wouldn't let me enter the gate area because the only photo I.D. I had wasn't current. Grrrrrr! :angryfire2: All the printed information matched the info on my boarding pass and of course I looked kinda like the picture.

    Another issue I have is that due to asthma if I know I am treveling through a large airport I always request a wheelchair in advance. They have now started flagging people in wheelchairs! I felt so bad for the people in front of me. :frown1: The woman was about 95 and obviously in poor health. She was traveling with her son and he was 70 if he was a day. Both had to take off their shoes which took forever, stand on the footprint mat, etc. I know from working in retail that thieves often use strollers and wheel chairs as a means of hiding stolen goods. Common sense should be exercised in these instances and it's not. :mad:

    I was released before they were because it took her son a while to put his shoes back on and to in turn get her re-situated in her wheelchair. He also had to re position her oxgen tank. They didn't disconnect it, but they did move it; and I guess check to make sure it was not an incendiary device. :rolleyes:

    I have a crazy thought. Why not bring home our National Guard from Iraq, Iran; and Afghanistan; and train them to do these safety searches or whatever it is the TSA is allegedly supposed to be doing. I would have less of a problem with being stopped and searched by a trained military person than I do with these grumpy curmudgeons. Many of whom I suspect barely finished high school.
     
  13. SpeedoGuy

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    What's always puzzled me about TSA is the inconsistency about checks of boarding passes and IDs. TSA at some airports, like Sacramento and Salt Lake City, requires the traveler to show boarding pass and ID at the beginning of the screening line and then again just before going through the metal scanner. TSA at other aiports, like Oakland and Portland, only require one check of the boarding pass and ID at the beginning of the screening line. Why the difference?

    And I also frequently get selected for "random" extra screening too often to really be considered random. At least I don't get selected nearly as often now as in 2002.

    I don't know how many potential incidents TSA has actually thwarted but I do hope it has improved security over what it was prior to 9/11. However, given the reports of bomb making materials successfully smuggled through security by federal testing agents, I admit I sometimes get a very hollow feeling about the level of security TSA actually provides.
     
  14. amhersthungboi

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    Yup ... depends on the airport, and even sometimes the terminal at the airport. American terminal in Boston requires the double check, whereas the United terminal is typically a single check. Perhaps the way to go would be Denver style -- one massive security point, and then go your seperate ways to the terminals, since at least that way things would be consistent.

    It amazes me how informal security is in other Western countries (in Oz you don't even need a boarding pass to go through security, nor do you need to take off your shoes, no random checks) , and how militant it has become in the US.

    60 minutes domestic, 2 hours international ... bah.
     
  15. SpeedoGuy

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    I'm coming to Oz Monday. Melbourne. Any tips you can give me about going through security, customs, etc?
     
  16. Principessa

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    Leave your boomerang at home, they sell them in every gift shop and cornerstore. :tongue::biggrin1:
     
  17. B_Think_Kink

    B_Think_Kink New Member

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    So what does it mean in layman's terms? How does it effect me personally?
     
  18. The Dragon

    The Dragon New Member

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    We are deadly serious when it comes to customs-bio security so read up on what you can and can't take into the country.
    You'll end up in a holding cell and detained for questioning for a very long time.
     
  19. DC_DEEP

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    Probably the difference is between how different security managers read the directives. Most airports check both your photo ID and your boarding pass before you queue up for the security screening, and then just your boarding pass to get through the metal detector. I think that's what the security directives actually mandate.
    It's entirely possible that your name generates a Soundex score that's been flagged. My name is "white-bread america" enough that I'm not sure if it flagged me or excluded me, but something got me on that list back in 2002. I know I didn't fit any of the other criteria for flagging at that time, except travelling alone, but that by itself should not have done it. The others that "raise suspicion" are paying cash, flying one-way, last minute purchase, and one bag (one checked, no carry on, or one carry on, none checked.)

    Back on topic... I've never had a problem with electronics, getting through security, but then again, I never flew with a laptop. The two things I've carried through that caught their attention were my 35mm camera (especially the telephoto lens)... I had to remove the 50mm lens, show them how the camera worked, let them look through the 50mm, the 28mm, and the 70-210mm lenses, and open every film canister. What REALLY had them flummoxed and in a panic was my flute. The agent wanted to inspect it, and I told him he could look, but not touch. We argued a bit (the suspect is not supposed to touch anything while it's being inspected.) We got a supervisor, and I explained to him that it was a $3000 musical instrument, and if he wanted to be responsible if it got damaged, that's fine, but he would have to sign a statement first. He agreed to allow me to open the case and show them the contents.

    I do wonder how much training they get on things like musical instruments, cameras, and electronic gadgets. Obviously, some things are not going to change drastically over time. A clarinet will always be a clarinet, regardless of model or options. We can't really expect them to be up-to-date on every new gadget, though... but some things should be obvious. And I'm sure that the ones in charge can't anticipate what everyone else will either know or not know. I would have known instantly had I been a screener, and saw a brand-new Mac AirBook... but the person working next to me may not.
     
  20. vince

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    I like the airport security here in Turkey. Before anyone can enter an airport you and your bags are scanned. Then the bags are scanned again in the baggage handling system. You and your handbags are scanned before entering into the boarding area and you have to show ID and a boarding pass. The police in charge are not friendly but they are not rude either. All this scanning and checking seems to happen fairly efficiently and I never feel like I'm being unduly delayed.

    If your flight is direct to the USA then every handbag is hand-searched in the boarding area.

    The last two times I flew into the US the immigration people were really nice. Friendly in fact! I read somewhere that they had recieved some kind of PR training because so many foreign tourists were not coming to the US due to the unfriendly reception we receive.

    btw- NJQT466. Your post was way too xenophobic. Just because someone doesn't fit your stereotype of what an American should be doesn't mean they are not American. The most incompetent TSA workers I have encountered were some really fat black women in Chicago. They could barely move their obese asses or speak understandable English. TSA employees are under-trained and underpaid and that's not their fault.
     
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