Friday Fun Flight Link: TSA Trashed by Bruce Schneier


refuse to be terrorized by pleats

Reason's favorite security expert Bruce Schneier absolutely destroys the Transportation Security Administration's Kip Hawley in a debate about post-9/11 airline security changes at The Economist. 

Schneier's wrap up:

Return airport security checkpoints to pre-9/11 levels. Get rid of everything that isn't needed to protect against random amateur terrorists and won't work against professional al-Qaeda plots. Take the savings thus earned and invest them in investigation, intelligence, and emergency response: security outside the airport, security that does not require us to play guessing games about plots. Recognise that 100% safety is impossible, and also that terrorism is not an "existential threat" to our way of life. Respond to terrorism not with fear but with indomitability. Refuse to be terrorized.


Via Radley Balko.

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  1. Excuse me, sir. I just needs to check inside ya ass-hole.

  2. Bruce Schneier absolutely destroys the Transportation Security Administration...

    And Maobama's union absolutely destroys all of Bruce's hopes for a better world.

    1. But but but we have to vote for Obama or women and gay people will have no rights.

  3. Back of the envelope:
    Number of US passengers/year = ~800,000,000.
    Number of hours in 77 year life span = ~675,000.
    Assuming one hour delay per passenger, that converts to ~1200 person-lives per year lost waiting.
    How many lives have been lost to terrorists in the last ten years?

    1. at least 50,000 in Mexico.

      1. I am not a terrorist!

        1. That's just what a terrorist would say. To Gitmo with you! Hope you enjoy your stay. Indefinitely

  4. Bruce deserves a medal just for the term "security theater" alone.

    A two word phrase that succinctly describes the idiocy that is the TSA.

    I hear Bruce was blocked from testifying before a Congressional Committee recently, any more news on that?

    1. Yeah, that didn't get anywhere near the amount of coverage it deserved.

    2. fyi:

      On Friday, at the request of the TSA, I was removed from the witness list. The excuse was that I am involved in a lawsuit against the TSA, trying to get them to suspend their full-body scanner program. But it's pretty clear that the TSA is afraid of public testimony on the topic, and especially of being challenged in front of Congress. They want to control the story, and it's easier for them to do that if I'm not sitting next to them pointing out all the holes in their position. Unfortunately, the committee went along with them. (They tried to pull the same thing last year and it failed -- video at the 10:50 mark.)

      1. pointing out all the holes

  5. Better dead than Red

  6. I wonder, what would Keith Olbermann, who was just fired from Current TV today, have to say about all this??

    1. Olbermann:
      "It goes almost without saying that the claims against me implied in Current's statement are untrue and will be proved so in the legal actions I will be filing against them presently."
      Not sure who is arguing that the other isn't lefty enough, but I'm sure some lawyers are going to be able to pay their mortgages.

    2. >lefties in charge of running a media company

      1. Pretty sure it was on Slate: Hitchens' comments on lefties' ability to produce a broadcast show (this was Air America) was hilarious.
        People tripping over cables, knocking over the mics of the people on the air...

  7. That's all well and good, Mr. Schneier, but how does your proposal increase government employment, union membership, or state power?

  8. That's all well and good but come on -- claiming you had an open and honest debate about the effectiveness of the TSA in a libertarian sphere like The Economist is the equivalent of discussing the merits of socialized medicine in Mother Jones or same-sex marriage rights with the Freepers.

    1. ..."a libertarian sphere like The Economist"...

      1. Seconded. The Economist hasn't been a libertarian "sphere" (?) since, um, the Corn Laws.

        1. It's not as statist as, oh, Time or Newsweek, but then that's damning with faint praise.

          1. Anything that's not as statist as Time or Newsweek must be a radical anarchist rag that wants to sell off the roadz!

    2. 1. The Economist is not libertarian.

      2. Their debates are structured fairly. It doesn't matter what the biases of the publication are if both parties are given equal opportunity to present their arguments.

  9. Sometimes you really gotta wonder man, I mean seriously.


  10. Schneier against ALL of the TSA isn't a fair fight, let alone one spokes-critter.

  11. Does anyone else find it absurd that there's an ad begging for money for Elizabeth Warren on this page?


    1. If you donate $100 to my campaign, I will come over to your house and give you a lap dance. Happy ending is extra.

  12. Tell the administration to withhold funding from TSA until they respect the Constitution and the public:


    1. Remove and destroy all imaging machines that potentially can "see" under our clothing.
    2. Cease and desist all invasive patdowns that involve touching genitalia unless there is probable cause to believe that the individual has committed a crime.
    3. Cease immediately harassment of people who assert their constitutional rights during airport screening.


    1. That's like asking the guy who stole your car to go easy on the gas.

  13. Boom.

    Glad to see I'm not the only one who's now addicted to Jim the Realtor videos since he appeared on Reason.

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