TSA "Pilot Program" re: Paper Products

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Old May 2, 17, 6:42 am
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TSA "Pilot Program" re: Paper Products

It has occurred to me that the new policy re food (I note granola bars were confiscated yesterday), electronics and now paper, is TSA's new way to try to force people to enroll for PreCheck.
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Old May 2, 17, 9:09 am
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Originally Posted by petaluma1 View Post
It has occurred to me that the new policy re food (I note granola bars were confiscated yesterday), electronics and now paper, is TSA's new way to try to force people to enroll for PreCheck.
What paper item was confiscated by TSA?
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Old May 2, 17, 10:28 am
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Originally Posted by Boggie Dog View Post
What paper item was confiscated by TSA?
Not confiscated - yet - like foodstuffs but:

Friend just flew through @KCIAirport and @TSA required him to remove all *paper products* - claimed it was a new procedure #avgeek #travel

Move this wherever you might want to move it - iI don't know where to put comments any longer.
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Old May 2, 17, 11:36 am
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Originally Posted by chollie View Post
It's interesting - I haven't seen anyone post yet what the excuse is for confiscating solid snack foods.

Did the granola bar alarm? Was it swabbed? Did it look 'suspicious' on the xray - suspicious in way that could be easily cleared if the pax wanted to rip the bar open and display the contents?

Or is TSA moving their WoD from baggage claim (where they generally participate in the drug smuggling) to a checkpoint obsession with marijuana edibles?
In the unlikely event that TSA ever makes a statement justifying these new harassments, I'm sure the excuses will be that a) there was a credible threat that Bad Guys (tm) were planning on sending bombs in laptops from the Middle East (hence the useless change in domestic electronic device procedures); b) since it is now impossible for the Bad Guys (tm) to smuggle explosives in electronic devices, they are probably looking for other ways to get explosives aboard planes, such as disguising them as granola bars, Snickers, peanuts, and other food items, c) books are a solid mass on the x-ray that looks like C4, so all books must now be checked, and d) all paper must be checked for the infamous Sheet Explosives that have been used to such devastating effect in the imaginations of movie writers everywhere.

Frankly, I think it's pretty obvious that the best way to get C4 on a plane is to label it "C4 HIGH EXPLOSIVE" in big letters, shove it into a duffel with some Christmas presents and a smoke grenade, and present a US military ID card at the checkpoint. You could get a nuke on the plane using that technique.
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Old May 2, 17, 11:50 am
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It's oddly clear that whatever intel is driving TSA's new initiatives, it is clearly intel that we are either not sharing with other nations or it is 'intel' that other nations are laughing at.

Other than the ME airlines that have had to come up with new procedures for electronics in the cabin, no one else is reporting renewed attention to books, breast milk, genitals, or snacks at airport checkpoints outside the US.
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Old May 2, 17, 12:04 pm
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Originally Posted by WillCAD View Post
In the unlikely event that TSA ever makes a statement justifying these new harassments, I'm sure the excuses will be that a) there was a credible threat that Bad Guys (tm) were planning on sending bombs in laptops from the Middle East (hence the useless change in domestic electronic device procedures); b) since it is now impossible for the Bad Guys (tm) to smuggle explosives in electronic devices, they are probably looking for other ways to get explosives aboard planes, such as disguising them as granola bars, Snickers, peanuts, and other food items, c) books are a solid mass on the x-ray that looks like C4, so all books must now be checked, and d) all paper must be checked for the infamous Sheet Explosives that have been used to such devastating effect in the imaginations of movie writers everywhere.

Frankly, I think it's pretty obvious that the best way to get C4 on a plane is to label it "C4 HIGH EXPLOSIVE" in big letters, shove it into a duffel with some Christmas presents and a smoke grenade, and present a US military ID card at the checkpoint. You could get a nuke on the plane using that technique.
Or just have an airport worker, who TSA doesn't regularly screen, take it into the secure area and hand it off or even load it in the hold.
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Old May 2, 17, 1:24 pm
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Originally Posted by chollie View Post
It's oddly clear that whatever intel is driving TSA's new initiatives, it is clearly intel that we are either not sharing with other nations or it is 'intel' that other nations are laughing at.
Maybe this is the reason behind the latest Europe Travel warning. I hear Europe is FULL of Paper...
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Old May 2, 17, 1:54 pm
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Originally Posted by WillCAD View Post
In the unlikely event that TSA ever makes a statement justifying these new harassments, I'm sure the excuses will be that a) there was a credible threat that Bad Guys (tm) were planning on sending bombs in laptops from the Middle East (hence the useless change in domestic electronic device procedures); b) since it is now impossible for the Bad Guys (tm) to smuggle explosives in electronic devices, they are probably looking for other ways to get explosives aboard planes, such as disguising them as granola bars, Snickers, peanuts, and other food items, c) books are a solid mass on the x-ray that looks like C4, so all books must now be checked, and d) all paper must be checked for the infamous Sheet Explosives that have been used to such devastating effect in the imaginations of movie writers everywhere.

Frankly, I think it's pretty obvious that the best way to get C4 on a plane is to label it "C4 HIGH EXPLOSIVE" in big letters, shove it into a duffel with some Christmas presents and a smoke grenade, and present a US military ID card at the checkpoint. You could get a nuke on the plane using that technique.
Here's TSA's "justification" for screening paper:

Officers may screen books, magazines & other paper products to be sure dangerous items aren't contained between the pages.
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Old May 2, 17, 11:08 pm
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TSA "Pilot Program" re: Paper Products

http://www.kshb.com/news/local-news/...tems-from-bags
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Old May 3, 17, 3:21 am
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While I understand why the TSA is trying to "test" this, this kind of blanket demand for the "test" is not an effective measure for anything. Welcome to the TSA being more uniquely ridiculous in the world of aviation security than it already was.

Does the TSA realize this also means taking out cash to place it out in the open? You can bet it does.
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Old May 3, 17, 7:21 am
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So we know TSA is afraid of explosives packed into electronics, drugs/explosives made to look like snacks, but paper? I read speculation yesterday that they are concerned about paper being soaked in explosives and then allowed to dry, similar to the "threat" several years ago regarding clothing.

Process is just a waste of time unless screeners go looking through every single page of every post-it note pack, book, magazine, etc.

How much time will the new exercises in futility add to the screening process?
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Old May 3, 17, 7:40 am
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Saw the thread title and thought "surely this is a joke?".

The passengers seemed to indicate the paper was sent through the x-ray machine. How would x-raying a paper reveal if it had dried explosive residue on it? Wouldn't they need some other equipment to detect that? I don't have any expertise on explosives detection so maybe those are dumb questions.

In any case, how much more ridiculous are things going to get? For Pete's sake, before long we'll either have to start flying naked or allow 2 hours to clear security.
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Old May 3, 17, 7:48 am
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Originally Posted by petaluma1 View Post
So we know TSA is afraid of explosives packed into electronics, drugs/explosives made to look like snacks, but paper? I read speculation yesterday that they are concerned about paper being soaked in explosives and then allowed to dry, similar to the "threat" several years ago regarding clothing.

Process is just a waste of time unless screeners go looking through every single page of every post-it note pack, book, magazine, etc.

How much time will the new exercises in futility add to the screening process?
I wonder if they plan to try to burn some of this stuff. Magnesium ribbons (or magnesium sheets) for example could cause quite the intense flame.

Some kinds of stacks of coated paper can reduce the ability of the TSA to figure out what they are looking at in a bag when using scanners, but demanding all paper out is just not a smart way to go about this kind of situation.

For all the money spent by the TSA on "security", the government still can't get the right people, processes and technology. This kind of situation just speaks to institutional inertia, conflicts/conflicts of interest and incompetence, but it seems to me that the government is trying to ramp up the show aspect of the dog and pony show by making the changes more "visible". Some people just want to look "tough" on "security" while not doing much of any good by undertaking such measures. This "papers out" test seems to be just part of that show to "shock and awe"/"impress" the gullible and cheerleaders of a sort.

Last edited by GUWonder; May 3, 17 at 7:54 am
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Old May 3, 17, 7:55 am
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Originally Posted by petaluma1 View Post
So we know TSA is afraid of explosives packed into electronics, drugs/explosives made to look like snacks, but paper? I read speculation yesterday that they are concerned about paper being soaked in explosives and then allowed to dry, similar to the "threat" several years ago regarding clothing.

Process is just a waste of time unless screeners go looking through every single page of every post-it note pack, book, magazine, etc.

How much time will the new exercises in futility add to the screening process?
It's pretty obvious to me that they're actively looking for drugs, cash, and child porn. "Looking for explosives" is a transparent excuse for any of this - a proper ETD swab or explosives sniffing canine would pick up real explosives far more efficiently than a TSO manually pawing through any of these items.

In the past, TSO's have flipped through passengers' private papers, as well as books and magazines, and even passports, actually reading the private information contained in some documents, with the stated (ludicrous) justification of searching for 'sheet explosives', which are apparently explosives that have been flattened into paper-like sheets and disguised as printed or written materials. It was a transparent fishing expedition for child porn or any other illegal activities, which TSA is neither empowered to search for or investigate if found.

They have also used the (slightly less ludicrous) justification that they are looking for prohibited items such as blades, hidden within the pages of a book or magazine. Though this excuse might hold water in the case of books or magazines, it does not explain why TSOs read the contents of personal papers. Again, this was a transparent excuse for an illegal fishing expedition.

And of course, they have stated that books present as large opaque masses in an x-ray scanner, necessitating a hand inspection to insure that they are not blocks of C4. Two-and-a-half-pound blocks of C4, however, don't seem to present a similar opaque mass on the x-ray, at least not in Fayetteville, NC.

I'm not sure what a book actually looks like in one of TSA's x-ray scanners. I wonder if there are any sample images of books on the TSA web site?
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Old May 3, 17, 8:03 am
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Originally Posted by WillCAD View Post
It's pretty obvious to me that they're actively looking for drugs, cash, and child porn. "Looking for explosives" is a transparent excuse for any of this - a proper ETD swab or explosives sniffing canine would pick up real explosives far more efficiently than a TSO manually pawing through any of these items.

In the past, TSO's have flipped through passengers' private papers, as well as books and magazines, and even passports, actually reading the private information contained in some documents, with the stated (ludicrous) justification of searching for 'sheet explosives', which are apparently explosives that have been flattened into paper-like sheets and disguised as printed or written materials. It was a transparent fishing expedition for child porn or any other illegal activities, which TSA is neither empowered to search for or investigate if found.

They have also used the (slightly less ludicrous) justification that they are looking for prohibited items such as blades, hidden within the pages of a book or magazine. Though this excuse might hold water in the case of books or magazines, it does not explain why TSOs read the contents of personal papers. Again, this was a transparent excuse for an illegal fishing expedition.

And of course, they have stated that books present as large opaque masses in an x-ray scanner, necessitating a hand inspection to insure that they are not blocks of C4. Two-and-a-half-pound blocks of C4, however, don't seem to present a similar opaque mass on the x-ray, at least not in Fayetteville, NC.

I'm not sure what a book actually looks like in one of TSA's x-ray scanners. I wonder if there are any sample images of books on the TSA web site?
There are x-ray machines in use at airports where I can stack some kinds of paper material in such a way that it has messed with the screeners' ability to see everything in the bag. Some kinds of coating can really mess with visibility.
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