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Time For 'Israelification' Of U.S. Airports?

from the security-or-security-theater dept

theodp writes "A few days ago, the Toronto Star reported that security experts point to 'Israelification' as a possible cure for what ails North America's security-paralyzed airports. That is, how can we make our airports more like Israel's, which deal with far greater terror threat with far less inconvenience. 'It is mindboggling for us Israelis to look at what happens in North America, because we went through this 50 years ago,' said Rafi Sela, president of a transportation security consultancy. Unless a more sensible approach to security is adopted, Sela warned that North American airports could be crippled by needless airport evacuations. As if to prove his point, Newark Liberty International Airport -- which is planning to unleash $160,000 high-tech full-body scanners on travelers to improve security -- had to be evacuated Sunday night and flights were grounded after a man walked the wrong way through a screening checkpoint exit to enter the secured side of a terminal. Looks like we may owe Mr. Sela an I-told-you-so on this one."

I had seen the Toronto Star article when it came out, and it's definitely worth reading. It does appear that the Israelis are a lot more focused on security that works, rather than security theater -- though I don't think any security system is foolproof. I do think that there's a lot to what Sela says at the end of the article as to why the TSA hasn't followed Israel's lead:
"We have a saying in Hebrew that it's much easier to look for a lost key under the light, than to look for the key where you actually lost it, because it's dark over there. That's exactly how (North American airport security officials) act," Sela said. "You can easily do what we do. You don't have to replace anything. You have to add just a little bit -- technology, training. But you have to completely change the way you go about doing airport security. And that is something that the bureaucrats have a problem with. They are very well enclosed in their own concept."
As for the question on "full body scans," while not mentioned in the article, it's worth noting that Israeli airport security apparently doesn't use such machines either. I saw an interview recently with an Israeli security expert, who said that using such machines (the ones that allow screeners to effectively see travelers naked) would create a much bigger mess, as traditional and religious men would become incredibly offended at screeners seeing their wives naked.

The key difference in the two systems is that the US (and most others) seem intent on scanning what you're bringing on the plane. The Israelis are a lot more interested in who you are and how you act.


Reader Comments (rss)

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    Ima Fish (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 7:01am

    "Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing...after they have exhausted all other possibilities."
    -- Winston Churchill

     

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    Designerfx (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 7:03am

    my thoughts exactly, Mike

    I've made multiple trips to and from Israel and they don't use full body scans. They will inspect your bag if they have a reason to, but other than that, at most they might wand someone down.

    It's also of note that you don't have to take your shoes off or anything ridiculous, and that they have armed guards that actually know how to use the weapons they have (as most are military). Oh, and they don't have bad lines. I think I spent 10mins through getting the passport stamped and that was it.

    Where do they even make up the screening stuff, too? When they check your luggage for further inspection is at a counter with you present, so that they can ask questions if necessary.

    The whole article is full of false information.

     

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    Call me Al, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 7:23am

    "As for the question on "full body scans," while not mentioned in the article, it's worth noting that Israeli airport security apparently doesn't use such machines either. I saw an interview recently with an Israeli security expert, who said that using such machines (the ones that allow screeners to effectively see travelers naked) would create a much bigger mess, as traditional and religious men would become incredibly offended at screeners seeing their wives naked. "

    That will be "solved" by having gender segregated security. With female only staffers on the women's and men only on the men's.

    Though it does remind of an aiport I once travelled through which had such segregating at the metal detector. They were so fed up with the women's one going off due to jewellry that they'd unplugged it.

    I would add though that the "traditional men" will likely use their wives as the excuse but really are just terrified of having their own unmentionables oggled by the poor screener.

     

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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 7:25am

    Re:

    Well, that quote's going into my all-time favorites list.
    Thank you Ima Fish.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 7:25am

    The average starting pay for TSA people is 23k . . . how much security do you really expect.

     

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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 7:27am

    Re:

    That will be "solved" by having gender segregated security. With female only staffers on the women's and men only on the men's.


    Perfect! If all the female staffers are sick that day--no women will board the plane. :P

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 7:27am

    Re: my thoughts exactly, Mike

    What false information? The article (at least the Toronto Star article) says what you just said.

     

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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 7:31am

    DRM

    Maybe they are taking notes from the IP industry's zealous nature regarding DRM, which only serves to inconvenience honest people while doing little to nothing to stop the actual people they are trying to stop.

    This type of if-it-is-a-hassle-then-it-must-be-working thinking rears its head anytime the solution to a problem is of the knee jerk variety. We, the public in general, are partly to blame; If our leaders said that they needed a few weeks to decide how best to handle the situation, the public would jump down their collective throats demanding immediate action. Hence, body-scanners, no standing the last hour of flights and nothing in your lap for that last hour, as well. (Terrorist time-out?)

    I dread the day a terrorist decides the best place to hide an IED is in his butt.

     

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    hegemon13, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 7:32am

    Different situation

    "The key difference in the two systems is that the US (and most others) seem intent on scanning what you're bringing on the plane. The Israelis are a lot more interested in who you are and how you act."

    That sounds good in theory. The difference is that, in Israel, terrorism is a lot more focused. That is, they really only have a few specific groups to screen for because they know where terrorism is going to come from. In the US, that is not true at all. People forget that, prior to 9/11, the largest terrorist act in our country was perpetrated by a white, middle-aged, ex-military male American citizen with a spotless criminal and military record. He was, by most external, objective standards, a "model" citizen. Scanning for "who you are and how you act" would have done nothing to stop Timothy McVeigh had he chosen to use a plane instead of a Ryder truck.

    Likewise, the latest attempted bomber was not Middle-Eastern, but Nigerian, not exactly our top expectation. Sure, he was Taliban, but how would airport security know that ahead of time? The fact is, the Israeli approach is subjective, and it works because they can screen for a pretty limited profile. In the US, we have to be a bit more objective, both for constitutional reasons, and because, frankly, there are a lot more people who dislike us, even occasionally our own citizens.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 7:36am

    back to basics

    If it was within the realm of possibility, in protest, I would limit my method of travel exclusively to steam ship and horse drawn carriage.

    Thusly, I am expecting those with the ability to follow said lead!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 7:55am

    I can't imagine what the TSA may do if they're allowed to discriminate on you based on "who you are" and "how you act".

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 7:57am

    Weren't israelis the ones to destroy a travelers computer just because?

     

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    Bob Webster (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 8:08am

    Israelification

    I went in and out of Ben Gurion Airport a few months ago and I did NOT have to take my shoes off. They were a lot nicer than TSA, too.

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 8:12am

    Re: Re:

    "Perfect! If all the female staffers are sick that day--no women will board the plane. :P"

    Sounds like a perfect job for Cher's daugh--er....son---wait....thing? He/She could check EVERYONE....or is it no one?

    Stupid Cher thing, fucking up airport security....

     

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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 8:12am

    Re: Different situation

    McVeigh would have had a hell of a time getting a truck-load of manure on a plane, I'll wager. :)

    The Nigerian was on a terrorist watch list, was he not? The only bigger red flag would be if he was holding a over-sized cartoon bomb with the fuse lit. Being on such a list should warrant a more extensive search, I'd think. As it is now, we all might as well be on a terrorist watch list, since we're *all* going to get extensive screening.

    Also, for perspective: Terrorism is less deadly than salmonella and the true odds of airborne terroism.

    The true goal of terrorism is not to kill, it's to cause fear and thus negatively impact our quality of life.

    Mission Accomplished.

     

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    Kevin Donovan (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 8:17am

    ID-based Security

    The problem with the Israeli focus on 'knowing who you are,' is, obviously, privacy on a more holistic scale than body scanners. Keep in mind that the security measures that have boosted security are not ID-based: reinforced cockpit doors and passengers fighting back.

     

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    interval, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 8:20am

    I've been arguing this for months with friends; all we need to do is learn from the Israelis.

     

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    Designerfx (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 8:23am

    Re: Re: my thoughts exactly, Mike

    article says "First, the screening area is surrounded by contoured, blast-proof glass that can contain the detonation of up to 100 kilos of plastic explosive. Only the few dozen people within the screening area need be removed, and only to a point a few metres away."

    This doesn't happen in Israel. They also don't use Bomb Boxes, they have a chemical scanner built into the counter you walk up to and place your bag on (if they choose to scrutinize you). That's what they do for the first part.

    My bags have been examined, and they are mega-full with stuff on my return trips, and you basically stand there while they inspect the bags with you and/or have you open your bag for them.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 8:25am

    Re: Re:

    What if you have gay and lesbian security staffers?

     

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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 8:28am

    You cannot do a system similar to Israel in the US because Americans seem to think they have endless rights. Some of the Israeli system is based on racial profiling. While in the US there is the issue of "driving while black", in Isreal the issue is "flying while Arab".

    Further, Israelis require extensive background information on every flier, which is also retained, cross referenced, and checked over and over again.

    Americans would never want to give up their freedom, would never be willing to accept the concepts.

     

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    ScaredOfTheMan, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 8:35am

    Its easy when you have 2 sides

    The Israelis do a great job because its relatively easy to discern who is "not us" They have a few groups of ethnicities that are considered "safe" and all the rest are not. Most Muslims and Arabs if given the choice will steer clear of any Israeli airline and airport, so its a safe bet that when someone other than the the usual show up to board a plane they will get extra attention.

    Israeli security does not fare as well when its local home grown terrorists, like the one that literally walked up to their PM and gunned him down.

    Also America is too diverse and has too many people to have that level of profiling and control effective.

     

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    hegemon13, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 8:40am

    Re: Re: Different situation

    "The true goal of terrorism is not to kill, it's to cause fear and thus negatively impact our quality of life."

    Absolutely.

    "The Nigerian was on a terrorist watch list, was he not?"

    Perhaps so. I have not done a lot of research on the Nigerian bomber. My point, however, is that he was Nigerian, which does not fit the type of profile that so many tried to defend when "racial profiling" charges were made.

    "McVeigh would have had a hell of a time getting a truck-load of manure on a plane, I'll wager. :)"

    Clearly, McVeigh could not have used the same type of bomb, but crashing a plane into the building instead of using the truck bomb would have had a similar effect. The point is, he was on NO ONE's watch list, and we really don't know where the next terrorist attack on America will come from.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 8:41am

    Re:

    Israel has just one big airport and local air travel is almost non-existent. The situation is far different is US. Also Israelis use profiling. As a brown man living in the US I feel uncomfortable in US starts using similar methods.

    BTW, this whole thing is overblown. No matter what kind of security is used it is always possible to kill some people.

     

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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 8:46am

    Re: Re: Different situation

    On an airplane you require only a relatively small explosion to do major damage, especially when the plane is pressurized at altitude. A small hole in the fusilage can lead to explosive decompression, which can tear the aircraft apart, injure passengers, etc.

    It is why some people have suggested that this bomber chickened out or was poorly trained, because this size device at low altitude likely would not have taken the plane out. Had the device functioned properly with the plane at high altitude over the ocean, it could have been 100% fatal.

    The true goal of terrorism is for a very small minority to hold the majority hostage. It's the schoolyard bully taken to the Nth degree.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 8:47am

    "It does appear that the Israelis are a lot more focused on security that works, rather than security theater"

    You sound like my dad. However, it is noteworthy that it's not very difficult to have a bunch of guns pointed at you in Israel. As someone already noted, in Israel they use profiling and such and it doesn't take much to get them to point a bunch of guns at you. I know people who have had that experience over there.

     

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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 8:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Different situation

    "A small hole in the fusilage can lead to explosive decompression, which can tear the aircraft apart, injure passengers, etc. "

    You've been watching too many Bond movies.

     

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    Ima Fish (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 8:58am

    Re: Re:

    All very good points.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 9:06am

    I am not scared of some crazy ass who is going to blow themselves up along with me. You know what, shit happens. You have a better chance that the plane will go down cause airlines are cutting corners.

    I am not scared of the terrorist, fuck the terrorist, who i am scared of is the TSA agent with a chip on his shoulder and a bit of a power problem

    I am glad that i have no where to go cause i wont fly planes. I am not some cattle you can move around and herd into the plane

    You want to know why the terrorist are going to win? cause we are stupid enough to let them, If these little scare tatics they use didnt work, they wouldnt do it. But no, the media cant keep there eye off the dollar and will play or talk or discuss about how endangered we all are for days, years, months, decades, as long as we are staring at that tv pissing ourselves.

    Let me tell you something America, Yellow stone could go off tomorrow and we would all be fucked, plane or no plane. A meteor could slam into the earth and wipe out 90% or more of the earth population and it could happen in the next hour. It doesn't matter if you die by Yellowstone, by a meteor, by a terrorist or by any of the endless random unlikely possibility that you will die.

    I think you got a better chance of dying from yellow stone or a meteor then you do of a fucking stupid terrorist. I am really getting tired, so very very tired of the stupidity terrorism causes, its like bush got on the TV and replaced everyone IQ with his own.

    wake the fuck up, your not going to die from a terrorist, probably die from something allot worse, cancer for example, you'll probably die a slow ugly horrible death from cancer all the while your family changes your shit diaper, personally, ill take the plane blowing up.

     

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    Chris Maresca (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 9:17am

    The Israeli system works because of heavy surveillance...

    The Israeli system only works because of extremely heavy internal surveillance. I'll give you a small example of my wife traveling there on business several years ago.

    When she went to leave, she was stopped and questioned at the airport about why she had not spent one night in here hotel. She had actually spent the night at an old college roommate's house, who they then called to verify. The questioning continued and it was very obvious that she had been followed the whole time she was there. BTW, she is Dutch, lives in the US and was working for Accenture at the time.

    Luckily for my wife, her old roommate was an investigative reporter for one of the TV networks and showed up 20 min later with a full crew asking awkward questions about why my wife was being detained. Which was probably a good thing as they were busy tearing apart her luggage and it was increasingly looking like she was going to spend more time in Israel as a guest of the state....

    Bottom line, it's not airport security that's effective in Israel, it's the heavy internal surveillance. As to whether Americans would tolerate this level of surveillance, I'll leave that as an exercise for the reader.

     

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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 9:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Different situation

    Nope, sorry, that isn't my source.

    rapid decompression of an airplane has all sorts of implications. Consider what happened to the Aloha Airways plane (one of the best examples), where a flight attendant was sucked out of the plane. Thankfully, the vast majority of passengers were belted in. It is also incredibly lucky that the plane did not snap in two.

    It isn't just the decompression by itself, but also the incease of drag in the area of the hole, which can lead to progressive failure of the airframe, peeling panels off as the mounting rivets fail. There is also the potential for damage to control systems, as parts coming off my damage the aircraft.

    Aircraft are perfect targets, because even in an emergency, the time to landing is long enough that the secondary effects of damage can come along and cause many more problems than just the initial blast.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 9:19am

    Scaleability

    How many major airports does Israel have that deal with domestic and international flights? How many in America? Can that same style of security apply to the expansive nature of the US airport infrastructure? It seems fairly cost prohibitive and extremely difficult to orchestrate. Not that our current network the TSA has in place scores big on either of those points.

    OK, just checked, looks like 5 airports in Israel (all international?) compared to 111 US airports (that handle 450k+ passengers per year). I dunno, I would hate to be the person in charge of organizing that.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 9:33am

    Re: Re: Re:

    my thought too. Men would start demanding that you can't have gay people looking at them. And who looks at the kids? uh oh child porn!

     

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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 9:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Different situation

    " Consider what happened to the Aloha Airways plane (one of the best examples)..."

    Of what? Not an explosion. Bad epoxy, last I heard.

    Regardless, the effects of 'explosive' decompression are popularly overblown. You're correct that the increase in drag, et al., are the real problem. The unfortunate attendant was either tossed or blown out, not sucked.

    Still, as the safe (given the circumstances) landing shows, it's pretty hard to bring down a plane even with such a catastrophic failure (fly-by-wire planes are another discussion.)

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 9:46am

    Re: Different situation

    That sounds good in theory. The difference is that, in Israel, terrorism is a lot more focused. That is, they really only have a few specific groups to screen for because they know where terrorism is going to come from. In the US, that is not true at all.

    If you read the article you would see that is not true at all. They do not racially profile, they do behavioral profiling.

    People forget that, prior to 9/11, the largest terrorist act in our country was perpetrated by a white, middle-aged, ex-military male American citizen with a spotless criminal and military record. He was, by most external, objective standards, a "model" citizen. Scanning for "who you are and how you act" would have done nothing to stop Timothy McVeigh had he chosen to use a plane instead of a Ryder truck.

    You assume -- almost certainly incorrectly -- that McVeigh would not have given off behavioral clues as to what he was about to do. The whole basis of the Israeli system is the behavioral clues. It is not about what a person *looks* like, but how they act.

    Sure, he was Taliban, but how would airport security know that ahead of time?

    Again, based on his behavior.

    The fact is, the Israeli approach is subjective, and it works because they can screen for a pretty limited profile.

    Again, this is simply incorrect.

     

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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 9:48am

    Re:

    Further, Israelis require extensive background information on every flier, which is also retained, cross referenced, and checked over and over again.

    Link please, I'd be interested to read that.

     

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    JackSombra (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 9:53am

    Re: Re: Different situation

    The Nigerian was on a terrorist watch list, was he not?
    He was but not on the no fly list (ask the US intelligence services why not, your mother is probably on the list but someone reported by his own family is not?), not that it would have not done much good because what TSA and most authorities like to overlook is the simple fact that he bypassed not only most security checks but also basic passport control.

    He was a transfer passenger from Nigeria flying via Amsterdam. Nigeria is not exactly known for it's security and little to no checks were done in Amsterdam.

    He managed to get on the plane with a bomb because of poor intelligence, the one thing most intelligence experts (and Israel demonstrates) is the best defence against terrorists you can have.

    1000 times more valuable than 101 baggage checks or the most expensive security systems money can buy

     

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    interval, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 9:56am

    Re:

    "Americans seem to think they have endless rights."

    No. Only those as set forth in the Bill of Rights, at least when we are on American soil. I've given up trying to comprehend European notions on freedom and civil rights.

    "Americans would never want to give up their freedom..."

    I'm always amazed when I read comments like this from Non-Americans. As though we really have no business ensuring those rights, silly Americans.

     

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    JackSombra (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 9:58am

    Re:

    Further, Israelis require extensive background information on every flier, which is also retained, cross referenced, and checked over and over again.
    So does the USA.

    For Americans that is pretty transparent, as the government can access that information easily. But it is very obvious to foreign travelers and they keep on asking for more

     

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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 10:01am

    Re: Re: Different situation

    Mike, consider this story, written well before the current panic in the sky:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23714853/

    If you think that they are complaining, imagine what your average American with an overblown sense of entitlement would sound like complaining about this.

    They use very agressive techniques, and some of those techniques include racial profiling. The issues are strong enough that many arabs choose not to fly through Israel, to avoid any potential issues.

    Walks like a duck, quacks like a duck.

     

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    James, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 10:37am

    Interesting

    its interesting that someone would suggest being offended of scanning because of religious sensibilities when its those same religious wackjobs that are often intent on bringing down a plane.

    good article.. why not a combined approach?

     

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    Josh (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 10:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Different situation

    Didn't the Mythbusters bust explosive decompression?

     

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    NullOp, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 11:12am

    Yep

    Its time to put some hardcore security in place. The old days of Free-America are gone. We let dumb-ass, pony-tailed liberals dictate our policy and this is what we get. As a country we are too scared of little guys so we let them walk all over us anywhere in the world.

    Let me put it this way. In the old west the problem of lawlessness was solved with a gun. At first it was only a gun. After that, the law came in and decent people were not victims of crime nearly so often. In today's America, we are just not willing to do step 1.

     

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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 11:31am

    Re: Re:

    see Chris Maresca comment on this page for more.

     

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    liw (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 11:41am

    Blowing Up Laptops

    Anyone remember the article on Gizmodo. One of the writers was going through an airport in occupied Palestine and they did not like some of the stamps in her passport so they decided to shoot up her laptop. I wish I could find the article. Yeah.. I am we would all love that!!

     

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    liw (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 11:49am

    Re: Blowing Up Laptops

     

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    TSO, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 11:49am

    Obligatory xkcd reference...

     

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    Andrew F (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 11:53am

    Re: Re:

    The trick is to use "behavioral profiling" (you act funny) vs. "racial profiling" (you look funny). Not sure how if the average TSA screener could distinguish the two though -- maybe we could do a buddy system between TSA and volunteer ACLU members.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    RD, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 12:01pm

    Traitors

    "Its time to put some hardcore security in place. The old days of Free-America are gone. We let dumb-ass, pony-tailed liberals dictate our policy and this is what we get. As a country we are too scared of little guys so we let them walk all over us anywhere in the world."

    No, we are not scared of little guys or even terrorists. We are scared of the massive knee-jerk over-reaction by our leaders and unamerican traitors like you who would trade out hard-won freedoms for the illusion of your version of "security."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    Jean, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 12:08pm

    Israelis are experienced but their situation is different

    I've made a few trips there. Once, I've found myself nearly naked while they were inspecting the dirty laundry inside my bag (not a nice job). They also had a very close look at a walkman I had bought in an Arab village. That was not very pleasant but interesting. I didn't know then about the famous bombing plot involving a clock that a British woman was supposed to give to her parents in law. The clock was actually an explosive device built by the husband, and the woman was pregnant. Charming. I had been under suspiscion because of a bad hangover that made me look less than confortable.
    There is a recent post by Michael Toten on the subject on the Commentary blog. He says the Israelis look for people while the Americans look for things like a bomb.
    But we must remember that Israel has only one international airport and not much traffic between domestic ones. The USA are a different story.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 1:05pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    ""racial profiling" (you look funny)."

    Just out of curiousity, which race or ethnicity do YOU think looks the funniest? Me? Samoans.

    Just looking at their ginormous hairless calves cracks me up...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    icon
    chris (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 1:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    my thought too. Men would start demanding that you can't have gay people looking at them. And who looks at the kids? uh oh child porn!

    that's easy. add a gay line (with gay screeners), a lesbian line (lesbian screeners) and a child line (staffed by children).

    you also need a christian line, a jewish line, a muslim line, an athiest line, a fat line, a disabled line...

    clearly this will eliminate long security lines and if you require every US citizen to fly once a year, you can eliminate the census bureau as well. it will be a victory for small government.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 2:53pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    this is exactly the point, and this is what works in Israel. I flew there several times last year with work and was questioned in detail every time - but in no more detail than I am anywhere else. I was surprised that I was never searched, and bypassed the bag screening every time... I look Arabic... my father is Indian, my mother white... and I have a muslim name. I can only assume that it was my behaviour that they were making decisions on, rather than my race...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 4:32pm

    Not Practical

    Bruce Schneier reckons it wouldn’t scale.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    identicon
    AnonCow, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 6:15pm

    If we would have followed El Al's security strategy on just ONE ITEM, 9/11 probably wounldn't have happened or, at least, been dramatically less tragic:

    Hardened Cockpit Doors

    Hardened cockpit doors, pilots that understand that they may need to let themselves & their passengers be killed to save thousands, and passengers that know that it will be up to them alone to stop the terrorist, and the real terrorist threat is extinguished.

    A few hundred people killed on a plane blown-up over the Atlantic? No biggie. 2x that number die in car accidents each week just in the U.S...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 6:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Different situation

    Yeah, as would a moment's consideration.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 11:59pm

    Why Explosives Detectors Are A Complete Waste of Time

    In order for detection to work, it has to work 100%. It only takes one to get through, and The Terrorists Win.

    And if the security forces fail their own detection test, how hard would it be for the terrorists?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    icon
    Ian Channing (profile), Jan 6th, 2010 @ 1:43am

    Re:

    Good stuff Mr. Fish, love the Churchill comment.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    identicon
    Gene Cavanaugh, Jan 6th, 2010 @ 11:20am

    TSA screening

    Asinine! A very small country with an essentially homogeneous population and culture is compared to a very large country with a very inhomogeneous population, and the decision is that solutions that work in the small country will work in the large country?
    Perhaps the article should end with the sage comment; "regardless of what people say, oranges are really apples!"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
    identicon
    Ben, Jan 6th, 2010 @ 11:42am

    Study on Airport Safety

    MediaCurves.com conducted a study among 300 Americans viewing an interview with a former Department of Transportation inspector. Results found that the majority (74%) reported that the government should spend more money on improving airport security. After viewing the video the percentage of viewers who reported feeling “not at all safe” on an airplane flight increased from 14% to 25%.
    More in depth results can be seen at: http://www.mediacurves.com/NationalMediaFocus/J7692-AiplaneTravelSafety/Index.cfm
    Thanks,
    Ben

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
    icon
    Bri (profile), Feb 1st, 2010 @ 7:53pm

    Re: Different situation

    You do realize that Israeli's and Palestinians are genetically related, so you can't screen solely based on ethnicity. Forehead slap.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
    identicon
    Adam Cooper, Jun 5th, 2010 @ 11:57am

    Good read.

    Good read. I to liked the Churchill comment.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Nov 21st, 2010 @ 6:21pm

    Re: Different situation

    My understanding of how the Israeli airport security works is that they look for certain behaviors that are suspicious and then do extra screening. While they may pay more attention to those of certain ethnicities, that is not their major filter/criterion.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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