a view from the inside

Old Jan 12, 12, 7:04 pm
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Fredd View Post
Actually, a lot of police investigative work utilizes criminal profiling. The concern is racial and other discriminatory blanket kinds of profiling. It's also why IMO the resources should be allocated to investigations will take place long before the airport.
we agree there. way more resources should be directed towards intelligence and investigations.
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Old Jan 12, 12, 7:22 pm
  #32  
 
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Originally Posted by spacev1986 View Post
....

So... how could the system be improved... Realistically wed all like a system that 1)keeps us safe EFFECTIVELY 2)is efficient and 3)minimizes hassle for travelers. lets break it down:
.........
Excellent post. What you say makes a lot of sense. If the TSA would take those simple steps, it would reduce at least 90% of the friction caused by the security process. It's incomprehensible to me that these things are not being done already. It's a fair question to ask that given the mental defectives running the show now, who have designed the current clusterf***, is there any hope at all of your suggestions ever being tried?
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Old Jan 12, 12, 7:27 pm
  #33  
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Originally Posted by nachtnebel View Post
Excellent post. What you say makes a lot of sense. If the TSA would take those simple steps, it would reduce at least 90% of the friction caused by the security process. It's incomprehensible to me that these things are not being done already. It's a fair question to ask that given the mental defectives running the show now, who have designed the current clusterf***, is there any hope at all of your suggestions ever being tried?
i think the Pre-check thing thats getting rolled out is a start. its pretty limited now, but i think once its rolled out large-scale, most frequent fliers, and in turn, most the people posting here, are going to experience a much different screening checkpoint. You might spent 20 seconds longer answering a few seemingly silly questions, and your ticket might get scanned. But in turn, your going to go through alot less hassle as far as phsyical screening. shoes on, coats on, laptops in bags, etc...

the changes made in the screening of children is another example...

By easing up on groups of people we know alot about, and who have demonstrated that they can at least be trusted to some extent, we can isntead focus the little resources we have on the people we know nothing about or who are on the radar for whatever reason.

Of course theres the argument that "even someone who flies a million miles a year with a background check can still do something bad"...but lets face it, this is about REDUCING risk. not eliminating it. There simply isnt enough time or resources to completely eliminate risk, and short of making everyone fly naked and empty handed, there is no way to completely eliminate risk.
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Old Jan 12, 12, 8:35 pm
  #34  
 
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Originally Posted by spacev1986 View Post
i think the Pre-check thing thats getting rolled out is a start. its pretty limited now, but i think once its rolled out large-scale, most frequent fliers, and in turn, most the people posting here, are going to experience a much different screening checkpoint.
This would be a great development. Yet, those who fly infrequently must not be abused by invasive physical searches without cause, nor treated as perps. So by "greater scrutiny" I hope you don't mean that the current nonsense will continue. A lot of air traffic consists of passengers who are infrequent flyers.

You might spent 20 seconds longer answering a few seemingly silly questions, and your ticket might get scanned.
having tickets/ID scanned may be ok, innocuous questions ok, I would play nicely. But if you ask me who I work for, where I'm going, what I'm doing there, how long I'm going, sorry, but that is offensive and those questions should not be answered.
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Old Jan 12, 12, 8:47 pm
  #35  
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Originally Posted by nachtnebel View Post
This would be a great development. Yet, those who fly infrequently must not be abused by invasive physical searches without cause, nor treated as perps. So by "greater scrutiny" I hope you don't mean that the current nonsense will continue. A lot of air traffic consists of passengers who are infrequent flyers.

having tickets/ID scanned may be ok, innocuous questions ok, I would play nicely. But if you ask me who I work for, where I'm going, what I'm doing there, how long I'm going, sorry, but that is offensive and those questions should not be answered.
they ask pretty much anything...from mundane things like where your headed to something silly like what your favorite sport is or what color you like. The point isnt the answers you give to the questions, its the behavior you present while answering the questions.
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Old Jan 12, 12, 9:04 pm
  #36  
 
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Originally Posted by spacev1986 View Post
they ask pretty much anything...from mundane things like where your headed to something silly like what your favorite sport is or what color you like. The point isnt the answers you give to the questions, its the behavior you present while answering the questions.
Lurking no longer.

Can you cite the public law or properly promulgated regulation that requires submission to an interrogation before one can board an aircraft to fly domestically?
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Old Jan 12, 12, 9:04 pm
  #37  
 
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Originally Posted by spacev1986 View Post
they ask pretty much anything...from mundane things like where your headed to something silly like what your favorite sport is or what color you like. The point isnt the answers you give to the questions, its the behavior you present while answering the questions.
Somebody asking me those question I would look at them like a ? mark.
That is stupid.

Where am I heading. To a gate. And then on a plane. I am not american.
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Old Jan 12, 12, 9:09 pm
  #38  
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Originally Posted by spacev1986 View Post
By easing up on groups of people we know alot about, and who have demonstrated that they can at least be trusted to some extent, we can isntead focus the little resources we have on the people we know nothing about or who are on the radar for whatever reason.

Of course theres the argument that "even someone who flies a million miles a year with a background check can still do something bad"...but lets face it, this is about REDUCING risk. not eliminating it. There simply isnt enough time or resources to completely eliminate risk, and short of making everyone fly naked and empty handed, there is no way to completely eliminate risk.
Wow, if the red highlighted phrase is not a perfect example of TSA's mindset about passengers I don't know what is. As for "little resources", come on. Billions and billions of dollars and tens of thousands of employees do not equate to "little resources."

Last edited by doober; Jan 12, 12 at 9:20 pm
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Old Jan 12, 12, 9:25 pm
  #39  
 
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Originally Posted by spacev1986 View Post
they ask pretty much anything...from mundane things like where your headed to something silly like what your favorite sport is or what color you like. The point isnt the answers you give to the questions, its the behavior you present while answering the questions.
Except there is no published scientific basis for that approach...
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Old Jan 12, 12, 9:44 pm
  #40  
 
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Originally Posted by spacev1986 View Post
Not sure, though id imagine the Israeli system has some sort of statistical formula to calculate risk...
They actually do human interaction.

Ever read the article "The Things He Carried" by Jeffrey Goldberg? It's worth a read if you haven't seen it.

Also, welcome to FT.
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Old Jan 12, 12, 9:53 pm
  #41  
 
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Originally Posted by spacev1986 View Post
they ask pretty much anything...from mundane things like where your headed to something silly like what your favorite sport is or what color you like. The point isnt the answers you give to the questions, its the behavior you present while answering the questions.
From their perspective, perhaps. From the perspective of passengers, some of these questions are not mundane, but are sensitive information (where are you staying, how long will you be gone, etc) and the implied threat is that if you don't answer our questions, something will happen to you. And there apparently have been retaliations for some folks who decline to answer the more intrusive questions. All this quite apart from the unfounded pseudo science behind it (the GAO said this in their report) and practiced by unqualified personnel to boot.

The spectacle of of US citizen being shaken down like this traveling their own country is a sad sight.
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Old Jan 13, 12, 12:30 am
  #42  
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Originally Posted by spacev1986 View Post
i think the Pre-check thing thats getting rolled out is a start. its pretty limited now, but i think once its rolled out large-scale, most frequent fliers, and in turn, most the people posting here, are going to experience a much different screening checkpoint. You might spent 20 seconds longer answering a few seemingly silly questions, and your ticket might get scanned. But in turn, your going to go through alot less hassle as far as phsyical screening. shoes on, coats on, laptops in bags, etc...
Everyone should go through the same common sense screening.

Perhaps you would like to address some of my original counterpoints to your first post?

Last edited by essxjay; Jan 17, 12 at 7:10 pm Reason: reference to deleted posts
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Old Jan 13, 12, 7:15 am
  #43  
 
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Thanks for your post! I thought you made some good points, and it's nice to see a desire for improvement from within the TSA. I do have a few issues with the practicality of some of your suggestions...

Originally Posted by spacev1986 View Post
To scan and ID and a Ticket with a machine reader would be alot quicker than staring at it with a magnifying glass.
The 2D bar codes on tickets only encode the information that's already printed on the ticket in human readable text (passenger name, flight info, etc.). In fact, these bar codes follow a standard that is published online for free download (link to PDF). In order for scanning these bar codes to be effective, the scanner would have to validate the passenger name and flight info against the airline's own database (the same way the info is validated at the gate). I imagine the same is true for photo IDs. Unfortunately for the TSA, a standard interface to every airline's ticketing system to confirm a BP is legitimate would probably be cost prohibitive (not to mention the increased screening times...). All of this being said, adding a note for SSSS to the bar code that alerted at security would probably help keep the TSOs from missing it, but I suppose if you knew the SSSS was coming removing it from your BP and bar code would be trivial.

Originally Posted by spacev1986 View Post
Rather it would be fairly easy to concoct a race/gender neutral statistical system that consider other factors- how the person paid, how many bags they checked, travel history, age, travelling companions, watchlist status, etc. Not to mention behaviorial considerations.
All I have to say here is that its easy for "behavioral considerations" to become racial profiling (For some people, an Arab in an Airport will always be suspicious). As long as the system includes elements based on a person's intuition, that person's prejudices will inform their evaluation of passengers. I'm not saying that TSOs are more racist than you or I, simply that "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist"

Last edited by essxjay; Jan 17, 12 at 7:12 pm Reason: off topic
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Old Jan 13, 12, 7:39 am
  #44  
 
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Originally Posted by cardiomd
The most realistic scenario is that somebody bribes a pilot to taking a small package through and hand it off to somebody airside.
Originally Posted by jkhuggins View Post
Don't discount the possibility of blackmail, either.
Neither scenario is remotely realistic.
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Old Jan 13, 12, 7:47 am
  #45  
 
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Originally Posted by joemcool View Post
All I have to say here is that its easy for "behavioral considerations" to become racial profiling (For some people, an Arab in an Airport will always be suspicious). As long as the system includes elements based on a person's intuition, that person's prejudices will inform their evaluation of passengers. I'm not saying that TSOs are more racist than you or I, simply that "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist"
I am going to use your quote to off which to bounce.

Immediately after 9/11, I did indeed find every Arab in an Airport (AIAA) to be suspicious. One event and a series of observations changed that.

When we were still doing gate searches the first time, a mid-20's Middle Eastern male was waiting in the area where I was. Every time he would sit down people around him would move. If he left and came back the same thing would happen. He went to the security people that were everywhere at that time and asked to be selected for the search. They said he did not have to do that, He remarked that his fellow passengers needed the assurance that he he had been checked. Mark that as my first data point.

As time went on, I started my own SPOT program. Oh, I was not looking for bad guys, I was just the type to sit down and start a conversation about nothing. It may be the computer they were using, their luggage, where they were going, whatever. I do not do this as much since my hearing has gone to pot, but I did then.

I found foreigners, particularly Eastern Europeans and Middle Eastern people to be some of the most interesting and informed people to which I talked. Almost all were engaging and returned conversation intelligently and politely. Almost none were rude. Almost all had interesting and challenging jobs.

So, my limited SPOT program taught me this: Suspicious looking people based on some stereotypical visual indication was always false. None of the flights on which I traveled with these folks was in any danger at any time.

Extrapolate that to the macro. Millions of people have passed through security checkpoints in the ensuing years. A large percentage of those are of the aforementioned stereotypical class. Yet, the only attacks occurred by two non-stereotypical looking passengers. There may come a time when that pattern will be broken, but for now, the attacks on airplanes by a group of people overcoming the crew are minimal or ended. There is little need to search for what is not there.

Do I still notice when these people are on my flight? I must confess that I do. Then I immediately tell myself, "Silly me, that was a stupid thought," and go back to whatever I was doing.
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