If past history is any indication, it seems likely that the little convenience shop on the "air side" of most airports is soon going to be told to stop selling certain items. Last week a few sites, including Boing Boing
and Business Insider
, all had stories on a guy who showed how to build a small bomb in less than ten minutes with items that could all be purchased after
already passing through TSA security in an airport. The bomb may not be that big, but you could see how it could do at least some damage (and, given the situation, it's not that difficult to imagine ways to make changes to it that would be more damaging).
But, here's the thing. That video isn't the only weapon shown. The YouTube account Terminal Cornucopia
actually put up ten videos
of weapons that can be built on the air side of airport security, including a crossbow, a remote detonator, a slingbow, a "remotely triggered incendiary suitcase," a shotgun, a spiked club, a pewter slug and a blowgun.
Frankly, the exploding suitcase
and possibly the shotgun
strike me as even more impressive than the initial small bomb.
So, who's behind this? Apparently, it's a security researcher named Evan Booth who explains that he sent all of these examples to the TSA. He also explains his response to the obvious question: "but what if the terrorists see these videos?"
That’s a great question. An even better question is: What if they already know all this? All of these findings have been reported to the Department of Homeland Security (TSA) to help them better detect these types of threats. Furthermore, the next time you fly, you’ll be flying as a more informed consumer (and taxpayer, possibly) — one who is more equipped to demand better, more appropriate airport security.
Which, of course, is really the point. Pretending that keeping this info secret makes people safer means believing that if you don't know about a security hole it goes away.