Non-theatrical security

As it turns out, a good friend was on that Northwest flight. I won’t identify him (though I know he reads this blog occasionally). What happened to him has made me think of my own responses in such a scenario. But it has also made me question the TSA’s kneejerk ineffective new guidelines.

Especially in light of the potential accuracy of this report, if true, suggests that real security measures ought to be taken. What the TSA proposed and implemented would not have stopped this.

Bruce Schneier, noted security guy in computing had this to say:

December 26, 2009

Separating Explosives from the Detonator
Chechen terrorists did it in 2004. I said this in an interview with then TSA head Kip Hawley in 2007:

I don’t want to even think about how much C4 I can strap to my legs and walk through your magnetometers.

And what sort of magical thinking is behind the rumored TSA rule about keeping passengers seated during the last hour of flight? Do we really think the terrorist won’t think of blowing up their improvised explosive devices during the first hour of flight?

For years I’ve been saying this:

Only two things have made flying safer [since 9/11]: the reinforcement of cockpit doors, and the fact that passengers know now to resist hijackers.
This week, the second one worked over Detroit. Security succeeded.

Yeah … why not use real security measures. Please? Especially in light of the promise of more bad guys. Look at security that actually works and really prevents attacks. Do what they do.

But lets put this absurd theatre out to rest. It didn’t help here, it wouldn’t have helped here. Implementing it and pretending that it helps is worse than doing nothing. That is self delusion.

Since passengers are more likely to be security instruments post 9/11 and 11/25, why not work with that? I had proposed something like deputizing the frequently traveling folks, giving them close quarters combat training, and other things like that post-9/11. People who travel a lot want to get to point B from point A. Not to a place between B and A. Often they want to return to point A. They are often highly motivated to stay alive. Why not leverage this?

Real security … please.

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