Terrorism and the TSA

172 posts

Flag Post

A while ago, there was something in the news about people getting mad that the TSA searched a little kid.

Going off of that, this thread is meant to be a discussion based on a hypothetical scenario…


Time: the near future
Place: an airport in the United States
The scenario:
A family comes to the airport, nothing suspicious looking about them. They go through security and thier little kid sets off alarms. Despite a lot of upset people, the TSA agents search the kid anyway. They find that the family are actually terrorists that were tying to use the kid to sneak a bomb onto the plane.


What would happen next? How would people react? How would the TSA react? What would people think of the TSA after this happens? What would people think about national security in general?

 
Flag Post
Originally posted by fma1:

What would happen next?

Family gets arrested, kid is brought to an orphanage.

How would people react?

“Honey, did you see the news? Some lunatics tried smuggling a bomb into an airplane. They hid it on their child?”
“… Wow. Did you see how Manchester played?”

How would the TSA react?

Their policy worked. Job well done. Continue.

What would people think of the TSA after this happens?

First: “Wow! Thanks guys! You saved our lives!”

one week later

“Did you hear? Those bastards groped a kid again.”

What would people think about national security in general?

seeing a pattern here? I doubt they would change.

 
Flag Post

what EPR said.

 
Flag Post

Let me give you another scenario. This one more true.

Time: the near future
Place: an airport in the United States
The scenario:
A family comes to the airport, nothing suspicious looking about them. They go through security and thier little kid doesn’t set off alarms. Despite the fact the kid doesn’t set off alarms, the TSA agents search the kid anyway. They find that the family are actually regular Americans flying from Boston to Oxnard t see grandma and grandpa. Despite the fact the parents have taught their toddler to not let others touch them inappropriately, the TSA had hired another pedophile and he used his position to touch the child, upsetting a lot of people. The child has been traumatized and a lawsuit is brought against the TSA. The courts dismiss the lawsuit, stating the government has the right to sexually abuse children in the name of airline safety. Another infringement on the rights of American citizens. Giving up your freedoms for a little safety.

 
Flag Post

Because being searched = being sexually harassed

EDIT: Assuming they are trained properly and take their job seriously.

 
Flag Post

Texas no longer allows the TSA to search children in their state.

 
Flag Post

Awesome!



Time: the near future
Place: an airport in the United States Texas

 
Flag Post

Let me ask you all a question. How many terrists has the TSA caught? A dozen? Two dozen? How about none, nada, zip. Why do we have this program?

http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-18563_162-6500349.html
http://www.disinfo.com/2012/03/has-the-tsa-ever-foiled-a-terrorist-plot/

 
Flag Post
Originally posted by jhco50:

Let me give you another scenario. This one more true.

And by “more true,” you mean it actually happened?

In which case, while I wouldn’t doubt it, I would still need to see an article about it.

Originally posted by jhco50:

Let me ask you all a question. How many terrists has the TSA caught? A dozen? Two dozen? How about none, nada, zip. Why do we have this program?

Of course, there’s always the argument that it’s because it exists that there hasn’t been one, but that would be silly, wouldn’t it?

 
Flag Post

All kinds of links on that Tenco. TSA has a well deserved reputation with their treatment of children. The third link talks about a disabbled 7 year old with Cerebral Palsy.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lisa-belkin/airport-security-pat-downs_b_1432606.html

http://newsfeed.time.com/2011/04/13/six-year-olds-tsa-pat-down-careful-or-crossing-the-line/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2135308/Familys-outrage-TSA-pats-daughter-Dina-Frank-7-mentally-handicapped-Cerebral-Palsy.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBcRo4xKGdU

http://www.aclu.org/technology-and-liberty/know-your-rights-when-traveling

 
Flag Post

To me these cases sound like people not understanding wha is going on ("OMG! They touched me for no reason (other than searching you because you set of the alarm or could not go through the scanner for some reason)! SEXUAL HARASSMENT!!!1) and some of the guys working there are idiots which apparently happens everywhere. Do you want to get rid of the police because there are cases of police brutality? You have guys who abuse their power everywhere. That doesn’t mean that it happens all the time and it sure as hell doesn’t mean that this automatically makes their profession loose its purpose.

What I do believe is that they generally need better training to effectively do their job. The fact that someone is a child and/or handicapped does not exempt them from being searched, though. The OP’s scenario is possible after all.

 
Flag Post

Then, on the other side of the coin, with security staff just as ‘alegedly’ efficient as the TSA, we have situations like this one where a little boy somehow snuck onto a flight without security knowing. They found him halfway though the flight.

 
Flag Post

so, the conservatives are not in facor of this TSA gestappo? then…who is? liberals? libertarians? what group of population wished this into existence?

 
Flag Post
Originally posted by OmegaDoom:

What group of population wished this into existence?

That would be the knee-jerk reaction politicians after 9/11. Pile on the plane security and deal with the problems that causes, later.

 
Flag Post

What would happen next?

The parents would be arrested and the child will be sent away to foster care.

How would the people react?

Happy if they stopped a bomb.

How would the TSA react?

Happy that they stopped it, but cautious not to piss off the people.

What would people think of the TSA after this happens?

Safe to be around, but cautious of their self being.

What would people think about national security in general?

Too deep in what they are doing.

 
Flag Post
Originally posted by OmegaDoom:

so, the conservatives are not in facor of this TSA gestappo? then…who is? liberals? libertarians? what group of population wished this into existence?

Idiots.

 
Flag Post

sounds very democratic… :/

 
Flag Post

I just heard they dropped the body scanners in Europe. Anyone know anything about that?

 
Flag Post
Originally posted by jhco50:

I just heard they dropped the body scanners in Europe. Anyone know anything about that?

I just know about Germany. People raged over it because… Well, I don’t even know why. I guess they thought the airport personnel saved the images in an “after hours” photo album. At least that’s what a few of the tabloids tried to make it look like.
They were ultimately not officially introduced after tests in the field showed that they still weren’t reliable enough to replace the traditional method.

 
Flag Post

That has happened here too. Several agents have been fired for it. They caught a couple of pedophiles too. Maybe they need to do a better background check on hires.

I think the big grip about the machines is the personal invasion. People like their privacy.

 
Flag Post

Well, then they should not fly. Or maybe we should do away with security checks.
Anyway, if the images are not saved, which is how it should be done, then I don’t see any problems with body scanners. As soon as they work.
But, then again, I don’t see a problem with what is happening now either. As long as it is done in a professional way.

 
Flag Post

and how would you suggest we make sure it is done “in a professional way”? and that the images aren’t stored? and what about the issue that this radiation can cause cancer at a, though very low rate, still more likely than someone would die from someone sneaking a bomb on board a plane?

or the fact that if you can hide an explosive in a way that requires that to reveal it, you could also simply swallow it, or conceal it some other such a way?

 
Flag Post
Originally posted by jhco50:

I just heard they dropped the body scanners in Europe. Anyone know anything about that?

I don’t know about Europe, but Manchester Airport they are being scrapped at Manchester Airport, officials have said.

The machines will not be used from October as they failed to get a decision from the European Commission (EC) after the three-year trial ended.

They will be replaced by “privacy-friendly” scanners at a cost of £1.3m and an extra 55 security staff. (source)

 
Flag Post
Originally posted by OmegaDoom:

and how would you suggest we make sure it is done “in a professional way”? and that the images aren’t stored? and what about the issue that this radiation can cause cancer at a, though very low rate, still more likely than someone would die from someone sneaking a bomb on board a plane?

or the fact that if you can hide an explosive in a way that requires that to reveal it, you could also simply swallow it, or conceal it some other such a way?

In the order you ask;

Well you can’t ensure that it always will be… but employ the ‘right’ staff, train them properly and make a proper example out of anyone doing anything ‘unprofessional’ to disincentivise such behaviour in others (up to and including criminal proceedings depending on what they’ve done).

Not storing images is a bit easier… build the system without any recording or retention mechanism (e.g. straight from ‘camera’ to screen. Prohibit the possession of devices that could be used to capture an image from the screen (e.g. camera phones, cameras), check on start of shift and randomly through shifts… apply point 1 if necessary.

Radiation is, pretty much a non-issue for two main reasons… the average person in the US gets about 360 mrem per year from background sources. So, that is about 1 mrem per day (average). The backscatter scanners will give a scanned person a few micro-rem, or less than 2% of one day’s nominal background radiation dose.

Flying at cruising altitude will cause the people on a plane to receive about 1 mrem (rough rough number) for every 1000 miles flown due to natural background radiation. So, for a trip coast to coast (US again), all onboard the plane will get about 3 mrem. To get 3 mrem from the backscatter scans would mean having 150 scans.

e.g. the dose from the scanner is insignificant in terms of both normal daily exposure and the much greater exposure experienced by flying at altitude.

Meh, people are too worked up about bombs on planes… a more effective strategy for the bomber would be to detonate within the airport itself… take out the whole security area, for example – which wouldn’t be too difficult with a backpack filled with HE (as opposed to the, relatively, tiny bombs usually snuck on to an aeroplane).

One of the many reasons we call it security theatre… does very little but makes most of the plebs flying feel safer doing so.

 
Flag Post
Meh, people are too worked up about bombs on planes… a more effective strategy for the bomber would be to detonate within the airport itself… take out the whole security area, for example – which wouldn’t be too difficult with a backpack filled with HE (as opposed to the, relatively, tiny bombs usually snuck on to an aeroplane).

lol. just for the irony of that, someone aught to do it some time.

less than 2% of one day’s nominal background radiation dose.

that means the same amount of radiation one would naturally receive every 30 minutes. gotta be more to that story…hmm.

Not storing images is a bit easier… build the system without any recording or retention mechanism (e.g. straight from ‘camera’ to screen. Prohibit the possession of devices that could be used to capture an image from the screen (e.g. camera phones, cameras), check on start of shift and randomly through shifts… apply point 1 if necessary.

doesn’t sound that easy at all. even with such things in place, it’s still freaky.