As a 3 year Veteran of TSA, and the senior screener (considered by years of total government service) and worked as a passenger screener and a checked baggage screener and qualified at that time on every piece of electronic technology and procedures at one of the airports listed in the article listed below, and met all requirements to advancement to a lead screener and supervisor, I am getting, as I was during those three years at one of the airports listed in the article below, getting a bit disgusted with TSA’s ever increasing need for technology to heck a public transportation passengers “STUFF” in order to meet the portion of TSA’s Mission statement to provide “excellent customer service” as part of their security methodology and to “provide the freedom to travel throughout the USA and the world safe and secure”.
They continue to use machines, designed by humans, with the help of computers, software, engineers, computerized assembly machines to detect “stuff” that could be used to put travels in danger, solely based on “Stuff” that has been used before and “stuff” that they think that could be used, that is similar to stuff that has been used before.
Basically data used in a reactive action to something that all ready been used. We citizens of the USA are a reactive society, taking action on something that has already happened in an effort to keep it from happening again. Yet, in doing so TSA decides that not only will we protect travelers from doing things that has already been done, TSA want’s to make the customer happy, thus the “CUSTOMER SERVICE” part of their mission statement.
I have always said and still hold to the statement – “YOU CAN NOT COMBINE CUSTOMER SATISFACTION AND SECURITY”, because those two things do not combine because a terrorist holding a valid ID and Valid boarding pass and a valid newly designed never seen before method or object (STUFF) that would threaten the lives and safety of travelers are considered those we must also provide with “Customer Satisfaction”. And in a society that continually holds to and personally and thru the media does not hold back on expressing these rights as a “violation of their rights to privacy”.
As mentioned above, the technology produced to screen human travelers “stuff” to determine if they are a potential threat to fellow travelers are the results of Human ideas. And Humans make mistakes. And electronics break down, software crashes and poof, you are left with the inability to screen “traveler’s Stuff”.
With the introduction of this new 3.2 million dollar potential investment in id and Boarding Pass screening devices does two things. It adds another electronic piece of equipment to do something a person can do (aka screener) adding dependency on machines for “traveler safety” and adds to the known psychological effect of complacency to the screener.
And now consider the idea that at least two times it caused a couple of passengers up to a 2.5 minute delay in getting to the next check point (180 seconds). This I am sure will cause a cry of “more delays”, and a definite complaint of “violation of the travelers privacy”.
Most of us have no idea what information is contained in bar codes and the magnetic strip on the back of our credit cards. I once ran my drivers licenses bar code over a grocery store scanner and it returned the results that stated my drivers licenses was a can of green beans.
And, there is a “profiling objection” which is where you screen passengers, not stuff. Security for Israel’s airports go through the passengers “stuff” but they do not screen “stuff” they screen “passengers” via many check points and conversations to determine a potential threat. They have even incorporated a handheld lie detector to see if the travelers answer are deceptive (which means not necessarily a lie but with some answers are not really honest)
The TSA mentioned doing that and POOF – “violation of privacy, profiling etc.
Let me finish this rambling with this – “People Kill People”, “Stuff dose not.” As fast as we can build a new detector to detect new “Stuff” that can be used to kill thousands, terrorists are working on new ways not yet know by TSA or anyone but them.
The head of security at Israel’s airport said in an NBC news interview shortly after 9/11 that “the USA would spend Billions on increased Airport security or Billions on Burying the dead.” (It’s still on the web if you want to search for it). What he did not say is how much we would spend on providing and how much extra it would cost in making part of your mission to please all the people all the time (“excellent customer service”) and how that would screw things up.
Bottom line is electronic equipment increased security is not going to make things better, increase in screening people (and if you want to call it profiling, go ahead, because it’s profiling threats to travelers and has nothing to do with race) and it should be done soon before some one figures out how to pull the plug on the electronic “STUFF” screening funding.