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-   -   What is happening at DTW security? (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/practical-travel-safety-security-issues/1433865-what-happening-dtw-security.html)

sunnyjl Jan 31, 13 3:54 pm

What is happening at DTW security?
 
Ticket checkers are asking all pax where they are going and why. If you answer business, they want to know who you work for. What? This isn't customs. I answered the first two questions very vaguely and refused to answer the third. I cannot believe the sheeple just going along with this nonsense.

Spiff Jan 31, 13 4:00 pm

I wouldn't answer them at all.

"I am not interested in speaking to you." Lather, rinse, repeat.

sunnyjl Jan 31, 13 4:05 pm

I acted completely unamused. I answered "home" consulting" and "that's personal". If I said "I'm not interested in talking to you", bit probably would have gotten ugly. Fellow pax were having all-out convos with these rent-a-cops, telling them every nuance of their travel plans, if not their life stories. Good grief.

Spoddy Jan 31, 13 4:08 pm

I bet it's a customer survey (by the airport or Delta) so they can provide "better services" to customers.

I would say nothing as well, they're not customs and it's not important to anyone - except me - on any who/where/why/what, etc. If they want to know where, they should read the boarding pass itself, which they should be checking anyway.

sunnyjl Jan 31, 13 4:10 pm

No offense Spoddy, but you are quite naive.

Spoddy Jan 31, 13 4:26 pm


Originally Posted by sunnyjl (Post 20161900)
No offense Spoddy, but you are quite naive.

Perhaps, but that was my first thought.

The US Government (and its agencies) know more about me than my own Goverments. I don't need to provide verbal anything to a mall cop who doesn't need it. :)

.. and I was referring to the ticket checker at the beginning of the line, not the TSA agent who scribbles on the BP before the scanners.

sunnyjl Jan 31, 13 4:38 pm

No it was the ticket checker. Apparently this is not uncommon at DTW.

xxmimxx Jan 31, 13 5:31 pm

Why. Why why.

Ocn Vw 1K Jan 31, 13 6:08 pm

Please follow the discussion as the thread moves to the Practical Travel Safety Issues Forum. Ocn Vw 1K, Moderator, TravelBuzz.

cptlflyer Jan 31, 13 6:10 pm

No news here
 
It's nothing new. DTW was an early pilot city for TSA's Behavior Detection Officers... along with BOS. This technique has been advocated by security experts for years because of its combination of relative effectiveness and being within U.S. discrimination laws (what you say in response to their questions is irrelevent -- it's how you respond that they are observing).

http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-informat...etection-pilot


As part of TSA’s risk-based, intelligence-driven security approach, TSA is piloting an expanded behavior detection program in which specialized behavioral analysis techniques are used to determine if a traveler should be referred for additional screening at the checkpoint. The vast majority of passengers at the pilot checkpoints will experience a “casual greeting” conversation with a Behavior Detection Officer (BDO) as they go through identity verification. This additional interaction is used by security agencies worldwide and enables officers to better verify or dispel suspicious behavior and anomalies.

goalie Jan 31, 13 6:23 pm


Originally Posted by sunnyjl (Post 20162080)
No it was the ticket checker. Apparently this is not uncommon at DTW.

Then it is none of their "you know what" bidness :mad:

coachrowsey Jan 31, 13 6:31 pm


Originally Posted by Spiff (Post 20161832)
I wouldn't answer them at all.

"I am not interested in speaking to you." Lather, rinse, repeat.

Same here & I wouldn't be to nice either.

RadioGirl Jan 31, 13 7:18 pm


Originally Posted by cptlflyer (Post 20162632)
...This technique has been advocated by security experts for years because of its combination of relative effectiveness and being within U.S. discrimination laws (what you say in response to their questions is irrelevent -- it's how you respond that they are observing).

Are you able to point to any evidence whatsoever of the "relative effectiveness" of this technique? That is, other than Paul Ekman (who refuses to submit his work for peer review and who makes money by peddling his theories) or claims by the TSA/DHS that "we're pretty sure it works."

In 2008, a major report by the National Research Council reviewed behavior detection techniques and concluded:


Originally Posted by NRC report
Scientific support for linkages between behavioral and physiological markers and mental state is strongest for elementary states (simple emotions, attentional processes, states of arousal, and cognitive processes), weak for more complex states (deception), and nonexistent for highly complex states (terrorist intent and beliefs). ... Indeed, there is no consensus in the relevant scientific community nor on the committee regarding whether any behavioral surveillance or physiological monitoring techniques are ready for use at all in the counterterrorist context given the present state of the science.

In May 2010, the well-regarded science journal Nature published a paper in which they concluded:

Originally Posted by Nature
"No scientific evidence exists to support the detection or inference of future behaviour, including intent," declares a 2008 report prepared by the JASON defence advisory group. And the TSA had no business deploying SPOT across the nation's airports "without first validating the scientific basis for identifying suspicious passengers in an airport environment", stated a two-year review of the programme released on 20 May by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the investigative arm of the US Congress.

TSA has never responded to this criticism nor undertaken the scientific validation that the GAO called for.

More recently, the journal Regulation published by the Cato Institute had an article by two medical professionals who apply the accepted analysis of risk/benefit tradeoff of medical screening to the TSA's SPOT program: "Screening Tests for Terrorists - Does the latest TSA procedure make us safer?" (pdf warning) Guess what? They also concluded that even from a purely statistical basis, the behavior detection program is bogus.


Originally Posted by Regulation journal
Utilizing this construct, we believe that Americans should not tolerate the charade of mini-interviews of all passengers. It would add virtually no additional security to our airports, but it would come at great cost. This is modern-day phrenology, with components of mysticism and mind-reading resulting in an avoidance of rational examination. There is a very real risk of systematic bias from the subconscious transference of the “behavior detectors,” repeated persecution of “nervous fliers,” and degeneration of detection into simple racism or religious appearance-based screening.

So I've got three reputable scientific studies; what have you got?

Wally Bird Jan 31, 13 9:37 pm


Originally Posted by RadioGirl (Post 20162958)
So I've got three reputable scientific studies; what have you got?

The TSA's website. Must be true then.

Oh wait, "the website is out of date".
See: petard; hoist.

saulblum Jan 31, 13 10:32 pm


Originally Posted by cptlflyer (Post 20162632)
combination of relative effectiveness

My pet rock has also been relatively effective at detecting and keeping away terrorists.

Global_Hi_Flyer Feb 1, 13 11:39 am


Originally Posted by goalie (Post 20162685)
Then it is none of their "you know what" bidness :mad:

Which is exactly the answer I gave to the three-striper at DCA who started that stuff with me when I opted out.

cptlflyer Feb 1, 13 6:51 pm


Originally Posted by RadioGirl (Post 20162958)
So I've got three reputable scientific studies; what have you got?

I'm not a security expert, so I'm not arguing one way or the other. But, observing an individual's behavior for subtile cues has been used the world over for centuries -- from law enforcement to poker.

Fly El Al, and you'll see it used to an extreme... the difference is that El Al actually racially profiles, which is against U.S. law.

Whether it actually works or not may be a matter of dispute, but that it's been relied-upon heavily, far-and-wide (and yet only in the pilot phase at TSA) sure would indicate to me that there's at least something to it beyond "TSA ineffectiveness at work".

cptlflyer Feb 1, 13 6:53 pm


Originally Posted by saulblum (Post 20163794)
My pet rock has also been relatively effective at detecting and keeping away terrorists.

You might be surprised how much horror we could avoid in this world if people actually just paid a little more attention.

jms_uk Feb 3, 13 6:27 am

Flew through DTW couple of weeks ago on DL [international>>domestic] and wasn't asked this.

cptlflyer Feb 3, 13 1:07 pm

What is happening at DTW security?
 
Again, it's a pilot program... only in BOS & DTW so far, and only at certain checkpoints. If you flew in from an international origin and went through the international reconnect checkpoint, you wouldn't be asked.

Pup7 Feb 3, 13 4:16 pm


Originally Posted by cptlflyer (Post 20169384)
I'm not a security expert, so I'm not arguing one way or the other. But, observing an individual's behavior for subtile cues has been used the world over for centuries -- from law enforcement to poker.

Fly El Al, and you'll see it used to an extreme... the difference is that El Al actually racially profiles, which is against U.S. law.

Whether it actually works or not may be a matter of dispute, but that it's been relied-upon heavily, far-and-wide (and yet only in the pilot phase at TSA) sure would indicate to me that there's at least something to it beyond "TSA ineffectiveness at work".

I think the prime argument here is not just that the scientific validity may be questionable, it's also that based upon prior encounters with TSA agents, two weeks' "specialty training" is never going to produce a reliable practitioner from that particular group. The skill seen with poker players and long-time cops, to include organizations like the FBI, has been honed with extensive training (in the case of law enforcement) and equally extensive experience. And my guess is more reliance is placed on the experience.

I would think two weeks is just long enough to make you dangerous and possibly gives you just enough knowledge to misread nervousness and irritation for guilt and deception.

saulblum Feb 3, 13 5:49 pm


Originally Posted by cptlflyer (Post 20178179)
Again, it's a pilot program... only in BOS & DTW so far, and only at certain checkpoints. If you flew in from an international origin and went through the international reconnect checkpoint, you wouldn't be asked.

So, what's the metric by which the "success" of this pilot program is measured?

saulblum Feb 3, 13 5:50 pm


Originally Posted by cptlflyer (Post 20169395)
You might be surprised how much horror we could avoid in this world if people actually just paid a little more attention.

What did I misinterpret?

saulblum Feb 3, 13 5:54 pm


Originally Posted by cptlflyer (Post 20169384)
Fly El Al, and you'll see it used to an extreme... the difference is that El Al actually racially profiles, which is against U.S. law.

I guess the El Al mind-readers must have somehow missed this guy.

I've never understood why so many people view El Al as the ideal.

RadioGirl Feb 3, 13 8:43 pm


Originally Posted by Pup7 (Post 20179192)

Originally Posted by cptlflyer (Post 20169384)
I'm not a security expert, so I'm not arguing one way or the other. But, observing an individual's behavior for subtile cues has been used the world over for centuries -- from law enforcement to poker.

Fly El Al, and you'll see it used to an extreme... the difference is that El Al actually racially profiles, which is against U.S. law.

Whether it actually works or not may be a matter of dispute, but that it's been relied-upon heavily, far-and-wide (and yet only in the pilot phase at TSA) sure would indicate to me that there's at least something to it beyond "TSA ineffectiveness at work".

I think the prime argument here is not just that the scientific validity may be questionable, it's also that based upon prior encounters with TSA agents, two weeks' "specialty training" is never going to produce a reliable practitioner from that particular group. The skill seen with poker players and long-time cops, to include organizations like the FBI, has been honed with extensive training (in the case of law enforcement) and equally extensive experience. And my guess is more reliance is placed on the experience.

I would think two weeks is just long enough to make you dangerous and possibly gives you just enough knowledge to misread nervousness and irritation for guilt and deception.

I agree. It's a long way from "some people can tell when others are lying" to "any TSA person with two weeks training can identify a terrorist by chatting with passengers in line."

Let's consider the poker example.

First, there's no doubt that a good poker player develops skill in reading signs from other players; indeed, someone who can't develop this skill will never be a great poker player. (TSA, OTOH, believes they can train anyone in 2 weeks.)

Second, the environment is controlled: the whole point of the game is to hide from the others whether you have a good or a bad hand, so everyone knows that some kind of deception is occurring, and those looking for deception are themselves trying to deceive the others. (TSA, OTOH, is working in an environment, as pointed out in the third article I referenced, where 99.99(how long have you got?)99% of passengers are not terrorists, so the chances of finding a genuine Bad Guy is vanishingly low.)

Third, the nature of deception in poker is binary: does he have a good hand or is he bluffing? TSA, OTOH, has to determine some intention to do harm in some unspecified way, with some unspecified device/material/information which may (or may not) be hidden on the passenger or in their bags or already on the airplane or...

Fourth, in a poker game the players' attention - both the observer and the observed - is focused on the game, not on the thousand other details of life. Henry isn't trying to determine whether Fred's nervousness is because he has a bad hand, or whether it's because his Fred is cheating on his wife, embezzling from his company, planning to rob a gas station, worried about his dying mother, scared of playing poker, coming down with the flu or plotting a terrorist attack. TSA, OTOH, deals with passengers facing all sorts of personal issues - good and bad - which may cause excitement, anxiety or stress: meeting a girlfriend, going to a funeral, going on a luxury vacation, leaving a bad marriage, going to a job interview, scared of flying. And they have to find the one in a billion terrorist out of all those ordinary people.

Fifth, as a poker game progresses, the players get immediate feedback about who was bluffing, and can start to relate outcomes to behavioral cues. TSA gets no such feedback, mostly because there are so very few terrorists that they've never been able to relate someone's specific behavior with "they turned out to be the Bad Guy" and partly because they deal with thousands of people, each for a minute or three, rather than spending hours at a poker table with a few other people.

You (cptlflyer, not Pup7) claim that behavior detection has been "relied-upon heavily, far-and-wide" but you can't provide evidence that it's been used with success in the casual, short-encounter, trying-to-find-a-needle-in-a-haystack way that the BDO program is.

In fact, from the GAO 2010 report (pdf):

Figure 4 shows that approximately 2 billion passengers boarded aircraft at SPOT airports from May 29, 2004, through August 31, 2008. Of these, 151,943 (less than 1/100th of 1 percent) were sent to SPOT referral screening, and of these, 14,104 (9.3 percent) were then referred to LEOs. These LEO referrals resulted in 1,083 arrests, or 7.6 percent of those referred, and less than 1 percent of all SPOT referrals (0.7 percent of 151,943).

Reason for arrest and number of people
Illegal alien - 427
Outstanding warrants - 209
Possession of fraudulent documents - 166
Other - 128
Possession of suspected drugs - 125
No reason given - 16
Undeclared currency - 8
Suspect documents - 4
When considering how many people were arrested out of the total number of passengers (or even out of the total number of people "SPOTted"), the arrest rate is probably similar to what you'd get for just randomly referring people to LE. More importantly, the arrests were for immigration status, fake ids, drugs, etc, not for terrorism. Not one.

Further, you claim that it's "only in the pilot phase at TSA". The 2010 GAO report states that the pilot program started in 2003 at BOS, expanded in 2004/5, then moved from a pilot program to full deployment at 42 airports in 2007. TSA press release from 2006 says that "The goal is to have 800 "BDOs" by the end of 2008." The GAO notes that "As of March 2010, about 3,000 BDOs utilizing SPOT were deployed at 161 of 457 TSA-regulated airports." TSA continually hides its incompetence behind "we're only a new agency"; "we just started this program"; " we haven't trained everyone yet"; "it will take us a while to get it right" but after nearly a decade, it's a little silly to call it a pilot program.

FlyingHoustonian Feb 3, 13 8:52 pm

and as an aside, what is up with the 8 for "undeclared currency"? I presume they mean CBP got someone for a FINCEN 105 violation since there is no rule or law to declare currency during any domestic travel.

I know the TSA has a history of thinking otherwise but I would be curious which law agency actually arrested those 8 people.
Is it burried in the report by any chance? I only see the table on page 44.

RadioGirl Feb 3, 13 9:35 pm


Originally Posted by FlyingHoustonian (Post 20180304)
and as an aside, what is up with the 8 for "undeclared currency"? I presume they mean CBP got someone for a FINCEN 105 violation since there is no rule or law to declare currency during any domestic travel.

I know the TSA has a history of thinking otherwise but I would be curious which law agency actually arrested those 8 people.
Is it burried in the report by any chance? I only see the table on page 44.

Well, there are two anecdotes (first and third) from TSA on page 45 that describe three undocumented aliens, two of whom had large sums of money which in one case tested positive for drugs, but it doesn't describe any charges in relation to the money.

A global search on the word "currency" only hits on page 44 and 45. Mostly the report is about..., oh, heck, it's so good, let's just quote the GAO itself :D:D :

TSA deployed SPOT nationwide before first determining whether there was a scientifically valid basis for using behavior and appearance indicators as a means for reliably identifying passengers as potential threats in airports. TSA reported that it deployed SPOT before a scientific validation of the program was completed in response to the need to address potential threats to the aviation system that would not necessarily be detected by existing layers of aviation security. TSA stated that no other large-scale U.S. or international screening program incorporating behavior- and appearance-based indicators has ever been rigorously scientifically validated. While TSA deployed SPOT on the basis of some risk-related factors, such as threat information and airport passenger volume, it did not use a comprehensive risk assessment to guide its strategy of selectively deploying SPOT to 161 of the nationís 457 TSA-regulated airports. TSA also expanded the SPOT program over the last 3 years without the benefit of a cost-benefit analysis of SPOT.
Even TSA admits it hasn't been validated and that no one has validated behavior detection for "large-scale screening." But yeah, they're "pretty sure that it works.":rolleyes::rolleyes:

Epod Feb 5, 13 10:11 am

"My cell leader ordered a face-to-face meeting of all the co-conspirators...no, um, my Grandmother is ill...no, wait, I had it right the first time, ...the cell leader thing."

SeriouslyLost Feb 5, 13 10:51 am


Originally Posted by saulblum (Post 20163794)
My pet rock has also been relatively effective at detecting and keeping away terrorists.

Hi, I'm from the TSA. Wee've read about your Scientific & Successful (tm) pet rock terror detection programme I'd like to talk to you about having your pet rock train our TSO's in terrorist detection. Would $45 million be enough to start a pilot programme for that? :(

SeriouslyLost Feb 5, 13 10:55 am


Originally Posted by cptlflyer (Post 20169395)
You might be surprised how much horror we could avoid in this world if people actually just paid a little more attention.

I find it enthralling that you somehow expect humans to not be, well, human. :rolleyes: "Solutions" that require the human race to change are not really... solutions. You might as well announce a cure for the common cold by asking everyone to Just Be Healthier.

mikeef Feb 5, 13 1:38 pm


Originally Posted by RadioGirl (Post 20180430)
Well, there are two anecdotes (first and third) from TSA on page 45 that describe three undocumented aliens, two of whom had large sums of money which in one case tested positive for drugs, but it doesn't describe any charges in relation to the money.

Question: If a person is detained/arrested/whatevered for more than one of the above, is that person counted in two categories? ;)

Regarding Israeli security: It is a fallacy to believe that the Israeli security folks are mind readers who can tell you are a terrorist by the way you blink. Israeli security is not a mish-mash of ineffective tactics that will hopefully catch a bad guy. At Tel Aviv, security is coordinated and trained. They know who you are before you get on the plane, where you have been, where you are going, etc.

They are looking for inconsistencies, not randomly grabbing people or applying a dragnet. As an American Jew, I was asked on my first trip through Israel if I spoke Hebrew. I had never been to Israel before and frankly, they may have thought that it would be more suspicious if I did speak Hebrew. I joked that I only spoke the ten words that I remembered from six years of Hebrew school and the agent laughed, gave me her phone number and sent me on my way. On the other hand, my wife had been to Israel about a dozen times and lived there for a year. They simply spoke to her in Hebrew without even addressing her in English.

At TLV, it isn't about the mind-reading. It's about the research.

Mike

saulblum Feb 5, 13 4:26 pm


Originally Posted by mikeef (Post 20190630)
At TLV, it isn't about the mind-reading. It's about the research.

Correct me if I am wrong (as I have never been to Israel), but you also need to show up around three hours before your flight, correct?

And TLV security makes no secret of engaging in ethnic and religious profiling, correct?

And you may also be asked questions about the most intimate aspects of your life, correct?

I don't see it as a model to emulate.

In addition it's not foolproof. That attempted attack was subdued the same way such an attack here would be subdued on any flight post-9/11/01.

mikeef Feb 6, 13 3:19 pm


Originally Posted by saulblum (Post 20191717)
Correct me if I am wrong (as I have never been to Israel), but you also need to show up around three hours before your flight, correct?

And TLV security makes no secret of engaging in ethnic and religious profiling, correct?

And you may also be asked questions about the most intimate aspects of your life, correct?

I don't see it as a model to emulate.

In addition it's not foolproof. That attempted attack was subdued the same way such an attack here would be subdued on any flight post-9/11/01.

You are right about all of those and I, in no way, want to see that model in the US.

My point was that the TSA has tried to get us to believe that Israeli security is all about judging the way people blink and that they can emulate this magical program.

Mike

gobluetwo Feb 6, 13 4:08 pm


Originally Posted by cptlflyer (Post 20178179)
Again, it's a pilot program... only in BOS & DTW so far, and only at certain checkpoints. If you flew in from an international origin and went through the international reconnect checkpoint, you wouldn't be asked.

I was asked this a couple of times at ORD a while back - maybe sometime early last year? can't quite recall.

TSA ID checker asked me where I was going.
Me: Home, I wish!
Him: Where are you traveling to?
Me: It's on the ticket.
Him: You need to TELL me where you're going.
Me: Why?
Him: Sir, you need to answer my question.
Me: No I don't. You can see it on the ticket. (probably sounding a little annoyed at this point)
Him: Sir, just answer the question or I can't let you pass.

At that point, a 3-striper came over to see what the hubbub was about. She took me to the side and asked me where I was going. I again reiterated that it's on the ticket, which the ID checker looked at. She asked why I didn't want to answer the question, we're just trying to engage in conversation with passengers. I said I wasn't interested in engaging in conversation, just getting to my flight (probably sounding quite agitated at this point). And that the demand to state my destination or I wouldn't be able to proceed didn't sound much like a "conversation" to me. She apologized and let me go.

It was a pain.

goalie Feb 6, 13 5:49 pm


Originally Posted by gobluetwo (Post 20198473)
I was asked this a couple of times at ORD a while back - maybe sometime early last year? can't quite recall.

TSA ID checker asked me where I was going.
Me: Home, I wish!
Him: Where are you traveling to?
Me: It's on the ticket.
Him: You need to TELL me where you're going.
Me: Why?
Him: Sir, you need to answer my question.
Me: No I don't. You can see it on the ticket. (probably sounding a little annoyed at this point)
Him: Sir, just answer the question or I can't let you pass.

At that point, a 3-striper came over to see what the hubbub was about. She took me to the side and asked me where I was going. I again reiterated that it's on the ticket, which the ID checker looked at. She asked why I didn't want to answer the question, we're just trying to engage in conversation with passengers. I said I wasn't interested in engaging in conversation, just getting to my flight (probably sounding quite agitated at this point). And that the demand to state my destination or I wouldn't be able to proceed didn't sound much like a "conversation" to me. She apologized and let me go.

It was a pain.

Bolding mine: I was told the very same thing at FLL this past Sunday under the "guise" of a similar conversation where I responded, "I don't talk to BDO's" and after hesitation and a look of befuddlement by the TSO, I was told "have a nice trip" and sent on my way

chollie Feb 7, 13 10:20 am


Originally Posted by goalie (Post 20199178)
Bolding mine: I was told the very same thing at FLL this past Sunday under the "guise" of a similar conversation where I responded, "I don't talk to BDO's" and after hesitation and a look of befuddlement by the TSO, I was told "have a nice trip" and sent on my way

You folks are far gutsier than I am.

I avert my eyes, "sir" and "ma'am" all the way, tiny voice, avoid saying anything that might be remotely construed as a 'challenge'.

Kind of the approach (short of lying down on the ground and playing dead or turning tail and running) that I would use with a rabid dog.

I still get hands between the legs and down my pants every single time I fly.


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