Hassles at security
checkpoints are just
theater of the absurd
A passenger is “up in arms” at a security screening checkpoint at an airport somewhere. Click image to enlarge.
YOU DONT HAVE TO BE a frequent flyer to find the so-called “security” screening process at airports in the U.S. a major headache.
Everyone – infants, grandparents, quadriplegics – has to take off shoes, unbuckle belts and put laptops in separate containers.
The lines are long and unpredictable.
It doesn’t have to be that way. It is time for a reassessment.
WATCH A HILARIOUS VIDEO BELOW THE FOLD.
IN A NEWS RELEASE on July 19, the TSA announced a new program for pre-screening certain passengers.
In TSA Launches Application Program for TSA Precheck it says: “The TSA announced today that it will add a new process allowing more U.S. citizens to enroll in TSA Precheck, an expedited screening program that allows pre-approved airline travelers to leave on their shoes, light outerwear and belt, keep their laptop in its case and their 3-1-1 compliant liquids/gels bag in a carry-on in select screening lanes.”
Well, it’s about time. But its too little, too late and too expensive.
The web site of Science Daily with the scathing report on airport screening ineffectiveness. Click image to enlarge.
“Starting later this year, U.S. citizens will be able to apply online and visit an enrollment site to provide identification and fingerprints.”
However, the program requires a background check, fingerprints, and an anticipated enrollment fee of $85 for a five-year membership.
Are you going to buy this BS?
Before you do, check this out.
In a December article in Science Daily Airport Security Measures Not Backed By Solid Evidence it was reported that an article in the British Medical Journal, a scholarly publication, found “there is no solid evidence that the huge amounts of money spent on airport security screening measures since Sep. 11, 2001 are effective.”
“Despite worldwide airport protection costing an estimated $5.6 billion every year, they found no comprehensive studies evaluating the effectiveness of passenger or hand luggage x-ray screening, metal detectors or explosive detection devices. There was also no clear evidence of testing accuracy.”
Not convinced yet?
The article adds:
“The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) defends its measures by reporting that more than 13 million prohibited items were intercepted in one year. But, argue the authors, there is no way of knowing what proportion of these items would have led to serious harm.”
While most airports in Europe no longer require passengers to take off their shoes, the TSA is on the defensive.
In a Jan. 7, press release Need for Removal of Shoes at Checkpoint it says: “TSA’s objective is to mitigate risk in a way that ensures security measures while both promoting the safe movement of people and commerce and guarding against a deliberate attack against our transportation systems.
“The agency has implemented a number of risk-based security measures including modified screening procedures for passengers 12 and under, passengers 75 and older … All other passengers must undergo shoe screening and passengers with a disability or hindering medical condition who cannot remove their shoes can be screened using alternative methods.”
The website of the Transportation Security Administration. Click image to enlarge.
If it made any difference to safety in the skies, it may all be worth the hassle, but it doesn’t.
In a November 2009 article also in Science Daily, the headline says it all. Security Measures Lead To False Sense Of Security.
In a journal article cited, many scientists dispute the use of screening measures employed.
“Many of the security tools used by national governments lack scientific underpinning. This was posited by a team of thirteen international behavioural scientists, including Bruno Verschuere and Geert Crombez (Ghent University), in a recent publication in the Open Access Journal of Forensic Psychology.
“The team denounces the current situation regarding the use of tools and methods to protect national security.”
The report was about a research paper cited “Ghent University (2009, November 2). Security Measures Lead To False Sense Of Security.”
On Sunday, The New York Times editorialized in Airport Security Without the Hassle that change is long overdue:
“It is time to stop pretending that annoying protocols like these are all that stand between us and devastation,” said the Editorial Board.
Indeed, it is time. The screening system should be based on what really works … and nothing in the current procedures has been proven effective.
Unless, of course, the goal is to thoroughly annoy passengers and discourage travel to and around the country…a vital source of revenue for many local economies.
Then the program is working splendidly.
Watch a hilarious video parody below, posted by Scott Moore on April 8, 2002. It has been viewed more than 330,000 times.
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