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Schneier on Security: TSA asked pax in SAN to smuggle fake bombs past c/p

Schneier on Security: TSA asked pax in SAN to smuggle fake bombs past c/p

Old Oct 23, 07, 2:52 am
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Schneier on Security: TSA asked pax in SAN to smuggle fake bombs past c/p

LINK

I sure missed this bit from last week's, erm, bombshell ...

And there's unexplainable news:
At San Diego International Airport, tests are run by passengers whom local TSA managers ask to carry a fake bomb, said screener Cris Soulia, an official in a screeners union.
Someone please tell me this doesn't actually happen. "Hi Mr. Passenger. I'm a TSA manager. You know I'm not lying to you because of this official-looking laminated badge I have. We need you to help us test airport security. Here's a 'fake' bomb that we'd like you to carry through security in your luggage. Another TSA manager will, um, meet you at your destination. Give the fake bomb to him when you land. And, by the way, what's your mother's maiden name?"

How in the world is this a good idea? And how hard is it to dress real TSA managers up like vacationers?

I could have sworn we had a thread here recently where someone posted that their wife was asked to carry a bag through a c/p. I'll see if I can't find it ...

ETA: Found it ... Dulles TSA Bag Test

Last edited by essxjay; Oct 23, 07 at 3:12 am
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Old Oct 23, 07, 6:51 am
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If anyone from the TSA asks me to take anything through security, I'll report them to the airport police as suspicious. That's what we're supposed to do, right?
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Old Oct 23, 07, 7:01 am
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So how do you tell an Evil Terrorist from a TSA Manager?
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Old Oct 23, 07, 7:33 am
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Originally Posted by alanR View Post
So how do you tell an Evil Terrorist from a TSA Manager?
You can negotiate with a terrorist.
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Old Oct 23, 07, 7:55 am
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How long until the government eventually arrests someone for being an unwitting tool of the government or of a government-paid handler in one of these situations?

This kind of activity on the part of the TSA is just asking for trouble.
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Old Oct 23, 07, 8:20 am
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Just say NO to this idea

Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
How long until the government eventually arrests someone for being an unwitting tool of the government or of a government-paid handler in one of these situations?
Before or after Mr or Mrs Once a Decade Vacation Sheeple, who is clueless enough to accept the "bomb", freaks out when the screener says "I found a bomb in your bag" and causes Mr/Mrs Sheeple to run (what normal sheeple do when a bomb is two feet in front of them) causing nearby LEO who does not know it is a fake TSA bomb to shoot them in the back as a "fleeing TERRORIST who planted a bomb for gosh sakes"?

to this TSA stinker. Yes I know normally LEO is not supposed to shoot people in the back, but in this War On Tewwow, Zero Tolerance for even Joking about a Bomb, Terminal Dumps On Suspicious Packages, Score the BIG CATCH to justify a Budget Increase Next Year mentality at checkpoints SOMEONE most likely the civilian is going to get hurt when a planted bomb is "found" in their bag.
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Old Oct 23, 07, 8:25 am
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Any passenger who agrees to do this is dumber than dirt -- sorry.

Don't they also open people's checked luggage without their knowledge or consent to hide fake bombs as well?
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Old Oct 23, 07, 8:41 am
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LOL. This is hilarious and reminds me of when I joined the checkpoint queue in MEM a few weeks ago and was given a piece of paper by a TSA supervisor. He told me they were doing a wait-time study and needed me to hand the time stamped piece of paper to the agent manning the metal detector. Fair enough, but there were only two people in the queue ahead of me and I probably waited no more than 2 minutes! I suppose that data point nicely offset that for someone waiting 25 minutes.

I don't know what the detection rates are, but the bomb detection test is probably also rigged in a similar manner.
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Old Oct 23, 07, 9:06 am
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Originally Posted by PhlyingRPh View Post
LOL. This is hilarious and reminds me of when I joined the checkpoint queue in MEM a few weeks ago and was given a piece of paper by a TSA supervisor. He told me they were doing a wait-time study and needed me to hand the time stamped piece of paper to the agent manning the metal detector. Fair enough, but there were only two people in the queue ahead of me and I probably waited no more than 2 minutes! I suppose that data point nicely offset that for someone waiting 25 minutes.
I always say "no thanks." You should see the look on the screener's faces when they realize that they can't expect automatic favors from passengers.


BTW: Never forget 1-31-07
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Old Oct 23, 07, 9:47 am
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Originally Posted by whirledtraveler View Post
I always say "no thanks." You should see the look on the screener's faces when they realize that they can't expect automatic favors from passengers.
Keep it and hand it in the next time you go through a checkpoint. That should **** their 'statistics'.
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Old Oct 23, 07, 10:01 am
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You want to time the line?

Here, I'll let you cut in front of me.
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Old Oct 23, 07, 10:02 am
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Originally Posted by Wally Bird View Post
Keep it and hand it in the next time you go through a checkpoint. That should **** their 'statistics'.
Maybe next time I'll ask for $5.
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Old Oct 23, 07, 10:57 am
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TSA supplied amusement

"Here's a 'fake' bomb"

TSA gave it to you to plant to see if they could find it. Add some complexity to the test, don't make it easy and hide it in your carry on bag. The goal here is to TEST the screeners, right? Help them out. It will make them better.

If someone gives you something, it is a GIFT, right? So you can keep it. Go put it in your car, then come back and sail thru the checkpoint. While TSA Tester scratches his head and yells at the xray op for missing a bomb which does not exist. Then sell the fake bomb on ebay, I'm sure many FTers would love one for an office decoration artifact. Mailing it to Kip with a "Returning what belongs to you" note might not be the wisest idea.

Or drop it in a trash can which hopefully the cleaning crew will not find until after your flight leaves so you miss the fun of the terminal dump. Or is it a crime to throw Government Property into the trash after it was gifted to you?

"1001 Uses for a Gift Fake Bomb" Look for it at the airport newsstand.
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Old Oct 23, 07, 11:07 am
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I find this whole thing really disturbing. If they can have a fake bomb why can't they have a fake passenger? Kind of like Secret Shopping the TSA.... Aren't there constant announcements NOT to take items from people unknown to you?
What is to say that the TSA agent trying to do this isn't a fake? Scenario - have a PAX sneak your real bomb through the checkpoint and collect it on the other side. If the PAX gets caught - walk away and try again another day. If they don't....
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Old Oct 23, 07, 1:10 pm
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Originally Posted by bzbdewd View Post
I find this whole thing really disturbing. If they can have a fake bomb why can't they have a fake passenger? Kind of like Secret Shopping the TSA.... Aren't there constant announcements NOT to take items from people unknown to you?
What is to say that the TSA agent trying to do this isn't a fake? Scenario - have a PAX sneak your real bomb through the checkpoint and collect it on the other side. If the PAX gets caught - walk away and try again another day. If they don't....
What they should do is hire some temps for half a day at a nominal cost, set them up with real boarding passes, provide them with some luggage and fake bombs/contraband to do the testing. Alternatively, they could solicit volunteers from an ad in the newspaper and provide the volunteers something in return like airline discount coupons or movie tickets. Run an ad in a local university/college newspaper. This way it would be above board, IMHO.

Asking real pax to do this is wrong in so many ways. For starters, what if the person in the TSA uniform isn't TSA; what if it is indeed a TSA employee who had been bribed to get certain items through a checkpoint?

On the other side of the coin, what do you think the same person (who helped the TSA with testing) may do if they're overseas and someone offical looking approaches them with a similar request - to bring something through the checkpoint?
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