The Illusion of Security

Beyond Saving
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The Illusion of Security

 http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/confessions_of_tsa_agent_we_re_bunch_OhxHeGd0RR9UVGzfypjnLO

 

Quote:

It is perhaps America’s most unsafe airport. Despite being the launching point for one of the planes hijacked on 9/11 — Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania — Newark Airport has had numerous security violations since. The latest: a fake bomb that made it past Transportation Security Administration officers. Here, a Newark TSA screener who recently left the agency tells how silly policies and lazy workers do little to stop real threats:

A LOT of what we do is make-believe.

 

I’ve had to screen small children and explain to their parents I had no choice but to “check” them. I would only place my hands on their arms and bottom half of their legs, and the entire “pat-down” lasted 10 seconds. This goes completely against TSA procedure.

 

Because the cameras are recording our every move, we have to do something. If someone isn’t checked or even screened properly, the entire terminal would shut down, as this constitutes a security breach.

 

But since most TSA supervisors are too daft to actually supervise, bending the rules is easy to do.

...

Quote:

An agent got through Newark last week with an improvised explosive device? That’s not even news to anyone who works there. It happens all the time. The failure rate is pretty high, especially with federal investigators, and the pat-down itself is ridiculous. As invasive as it is, you still can’t find anything using the back of your hand on certain areas.

 

When there are internal tests, conducted by the Newark training department, it’s easy to cheat because they use our co-workers. You could be working with someone all morning, and then they’re gone. Word gets around the checkpoint. Someone will come over to you and say, “Hey, it’s Joe. He’s got a blue duffel bag.”

 

What are the chances of you being on a flight where something happens? We always said it’s not a question of if terrorists get through — it’s a question of when. Our feeling is nothing’s happened because they haven’t wanted it to happen. We’re not any big deterrent. It’s all for show.

Is this just an upset worker talking smack about a former employer or an accurate representation of the TSA? I'm inclined to think that it is accurate based on my experiences of going through the airport. I once accidentally got through airport security with a half dozen shotgun shells in my pocket that I simply forgot I had put there. 

In all fairness, security is an incredibly difficult job to do well. The odds of any particular TSA agent screening someone who is a real terrorist planning an attack on an airplane is probably lower than their odds of winning the powerball. So they sit there all day, every day screening people who are completely innocent. Every once and awhile they might get a little bit of excitement with some idiot who forgot they had a knife or even a pistol in their bag but probably had no intent. When you spend hours upon hours of everyday where nothing happens it is natural for your mind and instincts to grow complacent because you don't expect anything to happen. The result is that you are unlikely to be paying attention when the one in a billion chance hits and a real terrorist/hijacker comes through the line. It takes a very special person and lots of training to be able to maintain a high level of alertness when the reality is that they will never face a real threat their entire career. For $15/hour you are not going to attract those kinds of people because they can get much higher paying jobs elsewhere.

At the end of the day, I think airline security is a joke that is mostly for show and it really isn't worth the effort or the money to make it into something that would actually be effective. Airline security is an illusion but so is the threat.   

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


Brian37
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The answer is GUNS GUNS MORE

The answer is GUNS GUNS MORE GUNS, GUNS GUNS GUNS, GO AHEAD MAKE MY DAY, HEAD EM UP AND MOVE EM OUT PILGRIM!

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The problem on the security

The problem on the security side really boils down to internal politics and commerce. I worked in security for a long time at a wide variety of places and circumstances. There tend to be types of jobs.
If you're in an office building, then you are communications, vagrant deterrence/removal, and the centre of activity in case of emergency like fire. Your power is effectively absolute. You can tell a cop to fuck off unless he has a warrant, and even then you can delay him as you please if he's being a dick.
Then there's event. Concerts, sports, etc. In such situations you're part medic, part bodyguard, ticket handler, and general safety shit.
I generally consider jobs like mall security to be event security plus. You incorporate some office building bits, and even some duties which were once the job of the police, but the job is so similar to event security that its basically the same thing.
And of course there is direct, focused protection. Bodyguards and armoured cars and bouncers.

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For the most part you're

For the most part you're free to do your job in all of these. Bodyguarding would be an exception, as you obviously have limited control, at best, over the target. But other than that they are all simple jobs that don't generally have any more bs than any other job.
But then you get to government and commerce, and shit goes out the window. There are too many catch 22's to count. The only real way to survive in the job is to become really good at anticipating which particular side of the catch 22 the boss will find more important in this situation. Not your supervisor, nor indeed anyone in the security department, but management. And yet you have to appease your supervisors at the same time or they'll get pissed at you.
I could write a book on the number of situations, but it usually boils down to a conflict between security of the premises, assets, and personnel; and the freedom of access for individuals and commercial interests. If you have to skip a patrol so a truck carrying product can get on site 45

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minutes faster, you do. If a

minutes faster, you do. If a VIP wants to enter a potentially hazardous area without safety equipment and flat out refuses to comply with standard protocol, you look the other way. If the guy who runs the building tells you to do something, you do it. These are merely a few variations on the theme of a minefield for security which works in airports, factories, on the border, in hospitals, and generally anywhere which has a high rate of commercial traffic or high profile civilian traffic.
If you don't find the necessary balance, you're looking for a new job. And that balance is always a compromise of security.

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digitalbeachbum
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Beyond Saving wrote:I once

Beyond Saving wrote:
I once accidentally got through airport security with a half dozen shotgun shells in my pocket that I simply forgot I had put there.

I read the same article and thought the same things but...

The fact that you forgot you had a half dozen shot gun shells in your pocket is a serious issue. Really? A half dozen shotgun shells? I could understand forgetting a keyring pocket knife, but a half dozen shotgun shells? Dude. Are you desensitized when it comes to weapons/ammo?

As for the TSA. They are worthless. It's a fucking joke and another example of wasted money by a bureaucratic bullshit procedure setup to make people feel safer. What we need is the security setup in Israel where trained individuals sit and watch people walk by; they look at your gait, body language and facial expressions.

In a study done trained people can tell if you are hiding something physically under the clothes or if you intend on doing something illegal almost 100% of the time.  I can't find the article but I believe it was Time.

The person they interviewed was put through a test. He was able to nab the test subjects 100% of the time.

No scanning. No xray machines. No searching luggage.

He said that in the airport they would have people up on platforms who were constantly scanning people. Then you would have other people further down the line who would walk around the bathrooms and near the gates.

Apparently if you strap a bomb on to your body and intend to go blow up the plane, you would walk, talk, sweat, jitter, etc, a very specific way. It was also explained that it would take a lot of mental training to avoid doing this because the human mind has so many weaknesses.

 

 (edit)

I found this little article.

http://www.internationalpolicydigest.org/2012/06/19/what-israeli-airport-security-teaches-the-world/

and another

http://www.hfes.org/web/Newsroom/Improve_Airport_Security.pdf

And one more...

http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/01/11/yeffet.air.security.israel/index.html

 


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digitalbeachbum wrote:The

digitalbeachbum wrote:

The fact that you forgot you had a half dozen shot gun shells in your pocket is a serious issue. Really? A half dozen shotgun shells? I could understand forgetting a keyring pocket knife, but a half dozen shotgun shells? Dude. Are you desensitized when it comes to weapons/ammo?

I was returning from a hunting trip and had been wearing that jacket all week so it had my reload in it (along with my hat, fingerless gloves, compass, small first aid kit and a bunch of other miscellaneous and harmless junk). Since I always use that jacket for hunting, I always store everything I need for a day of hunting in it, including ammo for which it has purpose made cartridge loops. My standard practice with this jacket is to get home, hang it up with everything in it and just grab it in the morning as I head out for another day of hunting. When I got up in the morning to go to the airport it didn't even occur to me to remove the ammo, I just knew it was fucking cold outside so I put on my jacket instead of packing it- until I got through the security and thought about it for a moment.

You do know that shotgun shells are not going to go off by themselves? Without the shotgun they are pretty worthless.  

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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Brian37 wrote:The answer is

Brian37 wrote:

The answer is GUNS GUNS MORE GUNS, GUNS GUNS GUNS, GO AHEAD MAKE MY DAY, HEAD EM UP AND MOVE EM OUT PILGRIM!

I think the Federal Air Marshal Service is a far more logical response to the perceived threat, plus the added benefit that they can help deal with people who are just unruly assholes and not necessarily hijackers. There are a lot more unruly assholes than hijackers and your typical flight attendant is neither physically able or trained to restrain them. And yes, Air Marshals should have guns.  

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


digitalbeachbum
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Beyond Saving wrote:You do

Beyond Saving wrote:
You do know that shotgun shells are not going to go off by themselves? Without the shotgun they are pretty worthless.  

Well it's true.... you learn something new every day. Sticking out tongue