How Big A Joke Is The TSA?

This big.

A big, scary joke. A big, scary, expensive joke.

Those body scanners that take nudie pictures of you when you go through them? You can get almost anything past them if you know what you’re doing.

The guy had it exactly right. Security at the airport ought to be up to the airlines – because they have the right to refuse service to people they think are a security risk. The airlines are going to be about risk management, not politics.

TSA is about politics. TSA is about political correctness more than anything.

TSA is a waste of money. It’s the worst of Bush’s mistakes, y’all.

UPDATE (MacAoidh): TSA saw the video and dispatched one Blogger Bob Burns, of the TSA Blog Team (seriously, they have a blog team) to offer this in response…

A video is making its way around the interwebs this morning from some guy claiming he figured out a way to beat our body scanners (imaging technology).

I watched the video and it is a crude attempt to allegedly show how to circumvent TSA screening procedures.

For obvious security reasons, we can’t discuss our technology’s detection capability in detail, however TSA conducts extensive testing of all screening technologies in the laboratory and at airports prior to rolling them out to the entire field. Imaging technology has been extremely effective in the field and has found things artfully concealed on passengers as large as a gun ornonmetallicweapons, on down to a tiny pill or tiny baggies of drugs. It’s one of the best tools available to detect metallic and non-metallic items, such as… you know… things that go BOOM.

With all that said, it is one layer of our 20 layers of security (Behavior Detection, Explosives Detection Canines, Federal Air Marshals, , etc.) and is not a machine that has all the tools we need in one handy device. We’ve never claimed it’s the end all be all.

However, our nation’s aviation system is much safer now with the deployment of 600 imaging technology units at 140 airports. It is completely safe and the vast majority use a generic image that completely addresses privacy concerns. Also, keep in mind that is optional. Anybody can opt out of the body scanner for a pat-down.

The comments under that post indicate that the public isn’t particularly impressed. A sampling…

This was such a carefully worded blog post that one can safely conclude that the vulnerability described in the video is true.

I especially like your use of phrases like “some guy” and “crude attempt” in an attempt to discredit the allegations without actually addressing the allegations themselves.


Beautiful, so instead of posting anything to refute the video and/or support it. You give us the old soft shoe and call it good. Sorry, not good enough, if someone has figured out how to bypass the screening. Then this is a cause for concern.

A little more…

So just to be clear, are you suggesting that the video is faked, and Jonathan Corbett didn’t make it through the scanners with the metal object he shows in the video?

You write, “I watched the video and it is a crude attempt to allegedly show how to circumvent TSA screening procedures.”

You go on to say that the scanners have found guns, nonmetallic objects, etc., but don’t address whether you think the “crude attempt” actually circumvented TSA screening procedures, which seems to be the central question raised about the scanners by the video, and would seem to be the main reason you would want to respond to Corbett–to tell him (and the public) that the method he says he used wouldn’t work.

And finally…

It may have been a crude attempt, but it looks successful at evading detection at airports with both types of scanners. It really makes me question the amount of money spent on the scanners when metal detectors and x-ray machines do a better job at detecting threats. On the weekly roundups of prohibited items, the body scanners seem to catch very few of the items.

How many millions of dollars have been spent on these new scanners? It seems like way too much if somebody can smuggle something by putting it in a pocket on his side.

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