Schneier on Security

Old Jul 31, 07, 2:44 pm
  #16  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: BWI
Programs: AA Gold, HH Diamond, National Emerald Executive, TSA Disparager Gold
Posts: 15,127
Originally Posted by doober View Post
I really liked this response by an anonymous poster (emphasis mine):



Almost as good as a national day of civil disobedience - actually, even better.
Be sure to distribute the poster I created too.
Superguy is offline  
Old Aug 1, 07, 10:05 am
  #17  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Programs: AC, SWA, AA, NWA, EVA
Posts: 359
Next installment:


BS: Let's talk about ID checks. I've called the no-fly list a list of people so dangerous they cannot be allowed to fly under any circumstance, yet so innocent we can't arrest them even under the Patriot Act. Except that's not even true; anyone, no matter how dangerous they are, can fly without an ID .or by using someone else's boarding pass. And the list itself is filled with people who shouldn't be on it -- dead people, people in jail, and so on -- and primarily catches innocents with similar names. Why are you bothering?

KH: Because it works. We just completed a scrub of every name on the no-fly list and cut it in half -- essentially cleaning out people who were no longer an active terror threat. We do not publicize how often the no-fly system stops people you would not want on your flight. Several times a week would low-ball it.

Your point about the no-ID and false boarding pass people is a great one. We are moving people who have tools and training to get at that problem. The bigger issue is that TSA is moving in the direction of security that picks up on behavior versus just keying on what we see in your bag. It really would be security theater if all we did was try to find possible weapons in that crunched fifteen seconds and fifteen feet after you anonymously walk through the magnetometer. We do a better job, with less aggravation of ordinary passengers, if we put people-based layers further ahead in the process -- behavior observation based on involuntary, observable muscle behavior, canine teams, document verification, etc.
If you can't or won't tell the truth, "say anything" seems to be the motto.
coxta is offline  
Old Aug 1, 07, 10:24 am
  #18  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Hong Kong
Programs: None any more
Posts: 11,015
Originally Posted by the Idiot
We do not publicize how often the no-fly system stops people you would not want on your flight. Several times a week would low-ball it.
That I simply do not believe.
christep is offline  
Old Aug 1, 07, 12:08 pm
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Salish Sea
Programs: DL,AC,HH,PC
Posts: 8,977
Originally Posted by Kip
We do not publicize how often the no-fly system stops people you would not want on your flight. Several times a week would low-ball it.
Originally Posted by christep View Post
That I simply do not believe.
Neither do I, which is likely the reason it's not publicized. Wouldn't the TSA want the people to know
a) how many bad guys there are trying to fly (be afraid, be very afraid), and
b) what a heckuva job the TSA is doing in catching them (but not having them arrested of course ) ?

Kipspeak again
Wally Bird is offline  
Old Aug 1, 07, 11:46 pm
  #20  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Programs: AC, SWA, AA, NWA, EVA
Posts: 359
Wasn't it the Parliament of GB that said, upon requesting additional information from the U.S about information sharing, that 800,000,000 had been screened, individually, but only 11 had been identified as terrorists, and none of those caught or at least disallowed from traveling on airplanes? So much for the success of screening.
coxta is offline  
Old Aug 3, 07, 9:38 am
  #21  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: BWI
Programs: AA Gold, HH Diamond, National Emerald Executive, TSA Disparager Gold
Posts: 15,127
Day 5 is up.

If you look towards the bottom, you'll see a link to a poster that was distributed on FT.
Superguy is offline  
Old Aug 3, 07, 9:45 am
  #22  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,704
Originally Posted by Wally Bird View Post
Neither do I, which is likely the reason it's not publicized. Wouldn't the TSA want the people to know
a) how many bad guys there are trying to fly (be afraid, be very afraid), and
b) what a heckuva job the TSA is doing in catching them (but not having them arrested of course ) ?

Kipspeak again
I can't speak to the number of incidents, etc. but one thing I would point out is - is it in the airlines best interest to have such information in the media? Would this help or hurt them?

And how much pull do you think the airlines have at the Congressional level?

Just remember DHS and TSA are not the only entities in play here.
law dawg is offline  
Old Aug 3, 07, 9:51 am
  #23  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
IHG Contributor BadgeMarriott Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: SEA
Programs: Delta - Silver; UA - Silver; HHonors - Diamond; IHG - Spire Ambassador; Marriott Bonvoy - Titanium
Posts: 13,663
Originally Posted by law dawg View Post
I can't speak to the number of incidents, etc. but one thing I would point out is - is it in the airlines best interest to have such information in the media? Would this help or hurt them?

And how much pull do you think the airlines have at the Congressional level?

Just remember DHS and TSA are not the only entities in play here.
Screeners get crunched into doing "mini SSSS's" for most passengers with this "anything can be dangerous!" mindset. The lines back up. Folks who leave enouigh time to check in get caught, and flights can't close. That seems to me to be where the airlines notice the most.
Points Scrounger is offline  
Old Aug 3, 07, 10:25 am
  #24  
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Programs: QF WP, AA EXP
Posts: 3,178
Reading Kippie's responses to Bruce's very well thought out and posed questions reinforces the fact that he is an idiot and a waste of life.
SNA_Flyer is offline  
Old Aug 3, 07, 11:19 am
  #25  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Between DCA and IAD
Programs: UA 1K MM; Hilton Diamond
Posts: 60,088
Originally Posted by law dawg View Post
I can't speak to the number of incidents, etc. but one thing I would point out is - is it in the airlines best interest to have such information in the media? Would this help or hurt them?
I can't imagine it would actually hurt the airlines to have published the stats on real, honest-to-god "bad guys" who have been stopped from boarding planes via the asine no-fly list.

"Look how much safer you are, thanks in large part to our cooperation in helping the feds screen passengers against the no-fly list!"

The problem is, the "several a week being a low-ball" figure Kip spouted is either (1) an outright lie; or (2) a deliberate misrepresentation, meaning several a week are stopped, but are clearly not a real threat. As Bruce asked, why are these guys, if they're so dangerous, not being arrested or charged with anything?

And ongoing investigation doesn't cut it as an explanation; we've been told previously that the most dangerous potential terrorists aren't even on the list, because we don't want to tip them off to the fact that we're watching them. The guys who are "legitimately" on the list but who aren't arrested are allowed to probe the system to see how they can get past it (by trying different variations of their names, getting fake IDs, etc.)
exerda is online now  
Old Aug 3, 07, 11:57 am
  #26  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Between DCA and IAD
Programs: UA 1K MM; Hilton Diamond
Posts: 60,088
Originally Posted by Kipster the Idiotic
I often read blog posts about how someone could just take all their three-ounce bottles -- or take bottles from others on the plane -- and combine them into a larger container to make a bomb. I can't get into the specifics, but our explosives research shows this is not a viable option.
Ah, yes. The "Due to SSI, I can't tell you that," cop-out.

Someone points out some of the idiocy of what Kip and his cronies have spouted, and his response is, "You're wrong, but I can't tell you WHY you are wrong. Just take my word for it!"

I'd love to see what "explosives research" says you can't combine several smaller quantities of explosive into a larger container. Yeah, TATP may be too sensitive to pour between containers easily, but the commerical and military nitromethane-based binaries are not.
exerda is online now  
Old Aug 3, 07, 12:02 pm
  #27  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 10,037
Originally Posted by exerda View Post
I can't imagine it would actually hurt the airlines to have published the stats on real, honest-to-god "bad guys" who have been stopped from boarding planes via the asine no-fly list.
The problem is twofold:

First, the cost-benefit analysis will be so weak that the public would revolt at it.

Secondly, it would reveal the number of toddlers being stopped because of the no-fly list. And the TSA doesn't want any more bad PR.

I know you said "airlines," but I'm sure they're bound under a gag order from DHS.
LessO2 is offline  
Old Aug 3, 07, 12:13 pm
  #28  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Between DCA and IAD
Programs: UA 1K MM; Hilton Diamond
Posts: 60,088
Originally Posted by LessO2 View Post
I know you said "airlines," but I'm sure they're bound under a gag order from DHS.
Oh, I know why DHS/TSA doesn't talk about the numbers. They want to claim they have stopped "several per week" yet don't want to talk about how many people are unfairly and wrongly prevented from flying or find it very difficult and frustrating to fly. My point about the airlines was in response to law dawg's question as to why the airlines might be silent on the issue, and whether or not it would hurt them, PR-wise, to have such stats revealed.


On a separate note, here's another point from the Kipster that really irks me:
Originally Posted by Duncester Kipster
We are getting at the fake boarding pass and ID issues with our proposal to Congress that would allow us to replace existing document checkers with more highly trained people with tools that would close those gaps. Without effective identity verification, watch lists don't do much, so this is a top priority.

Having highly trained TSOs performing the document checking function closes a security gap, adds another security layer, and pushes TSA's security program out in front of the checkpoint.
So... let me see if I get this right... TRAINING will stop fake IDs and BPs? What is he smoking?!

No amount of training will stop fake BPs from getting through the checkpoint. All one needs is a computer and Photoshop, and you can have a BP which is entirely authentic to all amounts of training.

You'd need a BP scanner at the checkpoint that reads the BP to even begin to make "validating" a BP a viable option. That would eliminate fake BPs, making it so that only real, valid BPs for that date whose name matches what is printed on them can get through.

But does that even begin to buy you anything? No--you can buy a real, honest-to-god ticket under a fake name, so long as you have a fake ID to match it.

So what does that mean? You'd have to restrict the types of ID used, and provide a way to validate THEM, too. Not a bar bouncer glance to see if it "looks" fake, but a real, systemic, and automated method for verifying that the ID is legit.

Of course, the determined terrorist then simply gets a fake ID by providing a fake birth cert (or even a stolen legitimate one) and other fake documentation--most IDs require at most a utility bill or two, which can easily be done on a computer. Even a national ID system isn't going to stop real ID cards for fake identities.

Kip is just an idiot, plain and simple.
exerda is online now  
Old Aug 3, 07, 12:37 pm
  #29  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,704
Originally Posted by exerda View Post
I can't imagine it would actually hurt the airlines to have published the stats on real, honest-to-god "bad guys" who have been stopped from boarding planes via the asine no-fly list.
What is the perception of "bad guys" trying to get on the plane by Joe and Jane Citizen?

"They" are still out there looking to get us and flying probably isn't worth the risk.

"Look how much safer you are, thanks in large part to our cooperation in helping the feds screen passengers against the no-fly list!"
Or "no news is good news." Maybe? That's my take on it.

Just like publishing crime stats makes people think things are perhaps worse than they would have had they not heard anything. Ignorance is bliss.

The problem is, the "several a week being a low-ball" figure Kip spouted is either (1) an outright lie; or (2) a deliberate misrepresentation, meaning several a week are stopped, but are clearly not a real threat. As Bruce asked, why are these guys, if they're so dangerous, not being arrested or charged with anything?
Some have been that I know of, whether or not they all add up to the levels portrayed here. Others are suspicious but don't do anything actionable. They commit no crime, but are still not acting normally.
law dawg is offline  
Old Aug 3, 07, 12:57 pm
  #30  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Between DCA and IAD
Programs: UA 1K MM; Hilton Diamond
Posts: 60,088
Originally Posted by law dawg View Post
What is the perception of "bad guys" trying to get on the plane by Joe and Jane Citizen?

"They" are still out there looking to get us and flying probably isn't worth the risk.
But we have people throughout the administration already trumpeting that same fact all the time, and from reactions to recent tragedies where so many people admit to first thinking an act of terrorism had occurred, I'd be pretty sure the airlines wouldn't be scaring off pax by saying they'd caught potential terrorists. I could be wrong, but that's my thought, anyway.
exerda is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: