Friday, July 13, 2007

Security theatre.

How to smuggle a water bottle aboard an airplane.

All you need to do is surrender the bottle at the screening station, wait for the the TSA to throw it away in an unguarded trash-barrel on the "secure" side, and then retrieve it from the trash.

The reason this "smuggling" technique works, of course, is that liquids aren't dangerous. Everyone knows this -- even the TSA. That's why they don't guard the barrel after they confiscate your wine, water, and salad-dressing. The point of taking away your liquid isn't to make airplanes safe, it's to simultaneously make you afraid (of terrorists with magic water-bombs) and then make you feel safe (because the government is fighting off the magic water-bombs). It's what Bruce Schneier calls "security theater."
Do not try this yourself. You never know when the TSA agents you're dealing with have been ordered to arrest someone for no particular reason in order to prove their worth.

I don't like the TSA because it makes millions of people waste lots of time every day. Just like Windows.


Jason said...

The difference is that if if airplanes crashed as often as Windows did, nobody would every fly.

Kindralas said...

Not sure what Windows does that makes me waste my time. And the non-beta versions of Windows I have used have not crashed once (I have a beta version of Vista that crashes all the time, as beta software often does.)

Windows has its faults, but at least get them right.

Bpaul said...

You should see The Wife go off about "security theater." Man she has a hard time not going postal every time we have to go through the security in airports. Luckily we're poor enough right now it's not an issue.

I love that phrase, "security theater" I'm so keeping it.