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View Full Version : Is This the Best Response to TSA?


ChronicSelfEditor
11-24-2010, 02:07 AM
I saw this on another forum and wanted to share here. I don't know if this is the answer to the issues on-going with the TSA and their changes. I hope not, but I guess I'm in the naive minority.

In recent days, the right has worked themselves into hysteria over the TSA’s new, more invasive screening protocols, with right-wing media magnate Matt Drudge breathlessly hyping the latest video of an intrusive pat down, and Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips demanding the impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. While the TSA has promised to revise the methods to make them less intrusive, many conservatives have turned to one of their favorite solutions to the national security threat de jour: ethnic profiling.

Source (http://thinkprogress.org/2010/11/22/chaffetz-hoekstra-profiling/)

Williebee
11-24-2010, 02:30 AM
Two words: Oklahoma City.

blacbird
11-24-2010, 02:33 AM
Two words: Oklahoma City.

Exactly. We should be on the lookout for tall skinny angular white guys with brush haircuts.

Noah Body
11-24-2010, 02:36 AM
Well, thank God I've gone bald. :D

blacbird
11-24-2010, 02:39 AM
Me, I took care of the skinny part some time ago.

kuwisdelu
11-24-2010, 02:50 AM
I still don't understand why people turn to racial profiling rather than behavioral profiling? Aren't there reasonable people anymore?

Bird of Prey
11-24-2010, 02:53 AM
I still don't understand why people turn to racial profiling rather than behavioral profiling? Aren't there reasonable people anymore?

I've wondered the same thing. . . .

backslashbaby
11-24-2010, 02:56 AM
I think folks are interested in the definition being 'Not Me'. Everybody has behavior ;)

Don
11-24-2010, 02:59 AM
I think folks are interested in the definition being 'Not Me'. Everybody has behavior ;)
Yeah. Like behavioral profiling would save ME any time in an airport. :ROFL:

"Y'all go on and catch your flight. I'm sure I'll be along in a little while."

blacbird
11-24-2010, 03:21 AM
I still don't understand why people turn to racial profiling rather than behavioral profiling?

In large part because the 9/11 hijackers behaved like choirboys, until they were ready for business.

Magdalen
11-24-2010, 03:27 AM
Why do I think the TSA employees (who appear to be sorely lacking in empathy and tactile skills) would be even worse at having to actually use their brains to profile any kind of thing at all, except maybe their own silhouette?




ETA: Some of the TSA emps, at some of the airports, some of the time.

billythrilly7th
11-24-2010, 03:36 AM
If the last 50 horsenappings in Dodge City were committed by green people, you should probably pay a little more attention to green people when they're milling around your horses over the purple people.

That doesn't mean a purple person won't do the next horsenapping, but....stilll...

Pay a little more attention to the green people.

Duh.

Atlantis
11-24-2010, 03:41 AM
All ethnic profiling will do is piss more people off and the TSA will have to put up with claims that they are racist. These people sound so hopelessly stupid and untrained. They need to be trained to look at people and think to themselves "Is that a suspicious bulge at the back of their shirt? Is something hidden there?" or "Does that person look nervous? I should question them and evaluate their behavioural responses" or "Why does that person have such little luggage?"

Jesus. I feel like I am more trained then these fellas just from listening to my boyfriend's customs stories.

defcon6000
11-24-2010, 03:46 AM
I think the answer is we need psychics and crystal balls. Pretend to give people their fortunes in line when really they're reading their palms for signs of terrorism. It's got a 50/50 chance. ;)

Gregg
11-24-2010, 03:51 AM
Why not learn from the best -

"Rather than all the invasive searches, they (Israeli airline El AL) interview every passenger and look for signs that the interviewee might be up to no good."

The former head of security for El AL contacted the TSA to offer suggestions and help, but they brushed him off.

http://www.dakotavoice.com/2010/11/intrusive-security-or-smart-security-the-el-al-way/

defcon6000
11-24-2010, 03:55 AM
"Is that a suspicious bulge at the back of their shirt? Is something hidden there?"
Or they could just be a hunchback.

or "Does that person look nervous? I should question them and evaluate their behavioural responses"
A lot of people are nervous of flying so getting pulled over as being "suspicious" just makes the experience worse.

"Why does that person have such little luggage?"
Day trip? Don't believe in materialism? They lost part of their luggage?

Behaviors are just tricky to figure out. TSA agents might as well cover their eyes and spin around till they stop and whoever they're facing wins a patdown.

billythrilly7th
11-24-2010, 03:59 AM
Why not learn from the best -

"Rather than all the invasive searches, they (Israeli airline El AL) interview every passenger and look for signs that the interviewee might be up to no good."

The former head of security for El AL contacted the TSA to offer suggestions and help, but they brushed him off.

http://www.dakotavoice.com/2010/11/intrusive-security-or-smart-security-the-el-al-way/

Agreed.

From the same article....
As Dr. Theo has pointed out before, the Israeli airline El Al has a fantastic air travel safety record. Of course, they don’t play all the politically correct games we feel obligated to play here in the United States.

Couldn't agree more.

Don
11-24-2010, 04:00 AM
The GAO has something to say (http://www.usatoday.com/travel/flights/2010-05-24-airportcheckin24_ST_N.htm) about why behavioral profiling isn't in widespread use... yet.

A Transportation Security Administration program to screen passengers at airports based on their behavior missed at least 16 people later linked to terror plots, according to a government report released last week.

The program — dubbed Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques — began testing in October 2003 to identify those who pose a risk to aviation security by focusing on behavior and appearance. But the program was introduced without valid "scientific basis" and still faces operational challenges, says the report by the Government Accountability Office. "A scientific consensus does not exist on whether behavior-detection principles can be reliably used for counterterrorism purposes," the report says.

blacbird
11-24-2010, 04:07 AM
"Rather than all the invasive searches, they (Israeli airline El AL) interview every passenger and look for signs that the interviewee might be up to no good."

If you think the current (and abominably stupid) TSA screening techniques make for long lines at Security, just wait until they start interviewing every passenger. Israel can do this primarily because it is a small nation with limited passenger air travel, nearly all of it to other countries. Nobody flies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Imagine the amusement it would cause at, say, O'Hare or Dulles or JFK or LAX or DFW if the U.S. started interviewing every passenger.

Norman D Gutter
11-24-2010, 04:08 AM
I was behaviorally profiled two decades by security at Heathrow. Returing to the USA from Kuwait via Bahrain via London with a four day stay, as we were leaving on our last sector security looked at my passport, which contained stamps of a dozen or more countries including every Arab country on the Persian Gulf (except Iraq). They asked me why I went to all those countries, plus why I went to Turkey, then asked the big one: "Did anyone give you a wrapped package to carry with you?" I said yes, because a good friend had given me a small package to mail in the USA.

Security about came unglued, though acted very professional. The looked at everything, wanded me more than once, grilled me about each trip within the Middle East. They did all this even though I was travelling with my wife and two grade school children, was lilly white (my black features being not particularly strong), had two-way tickets for all of us, and was a citizen of the USA. And this was 11 years before 9/11.

And I didn't mind a bit. I'm sure based on my travel history, current residency, and whatever tips/intelligence they had at the time, it was a reasonable procedure for them to follow.

May the USA learn from the Brits.

NDG

Bird of Prey
11-24-2010, 04:09 AM
The GAO has something to say (http://www.usatoday.com/travel/flights/2010-05-24-airportcheckin24_ST_N.htm) about why behavioral profiling isn't in widespread use... yet.

Well, using humans to detect human behavior is a bit idiotic. For example, sexism comes into the equation - as it does in so many places - and suddenly, there's no objectivity. Hostility toward women aka favoritism toward males that do the same thing as females, prejudice toward race or jealousy of a young, strapping lad or lady with a beau. . . Nope, humans detecting human behavior isn't optimum. But, computer detection of visible sweat, elevated blood pressure, a lot of blinking during a quick interview, an exaggerated "calmness" despite signs of anxiety: that's a computer's job: objective, unabtrusive and mostly, not greedy, not sexist and not racist. . . .

defcon6000
11-24-2010, 04:17 AM
Well, using humans to detect human behavior is a bit idiotic. For example, sexism comes into the equation - as it does in so many places - and suddenly, there's no objectivity. Hostility toward women aka favoritism toward males that do the same thing as females, prejudice toward race or jealousy of a young, strapping lad or lady with a beau. . .
Or the chance to frisk your ex. :D

But, computer detection of visible sweat, elevated blood pressure, a lot of blinking during a quick interview, an exaggerated "calmness" despite signs of anxiety: that's a computer's job: objective, unabtrusive and mostly, not greedy, not sexist and not racist. . . . I don't think computers are there...yet. Plus, as I pointed out above, people could just be nervous of flying while the terrorists are totally cool with being about to blow something up.

billythrilly7th
11-24-2010, 04:17 AM
If we all had our flying cars like they promised we could move on from all this ridiculousness.

Gregg
11-24-2010, 04:27 AM
If you think the current (and abominably stupid) TSA screening techniques make for long lines at Security, just wait until they start interviewing every passenger. Israel can do this primarily because it is a small nation with limited passenger air travel, nearly all of it to other countries. Nobody flies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Imagine the amusement it would cause at, say, O'Hare or Dulles or JFK or LAX or DFW if the U.S. started interviewing every passenger.

Absolutely correct - even El Al suggests passengers arrive 3 hours early.
One of the problems with our system, IMO, is that we are reactive - one step behind the bombers. I have no idea how we become proactive, but solving last year's problem today may not be the best answer.

blacbird
11-24-2010, 04:35 AM
solving last year's problem today may not be the best answer.

Agree completely. I'm convinced that the next major terrorist incident in the U.S. (and there will be one, sooner or later) won't involve a hijacked airplane. Hell, how secure are we while we stand in those long lines outside airport gate security? A single person with a suicide bomb vest could cause immense bloodshed right there.

Kate Thornton
11-24-2010, 05:14 AM
Agree completely. I'm convinced that the next major terrorist incident in the U.S. (and there will be one, sooner or later) won't involve a hijacked airplane. Hell, how secure are we while we stand in those long lines outside airport gate security? A single person with a suicide bomb vest could cause immense bloodshed right there.


Malls and mega churches.

dmytryp
11-24-2010, 05:21 AM
If you think the current (and abominably stupid) TSA screening techniques make for long lines at Security, just wait until they start interviewing every passenger. Israel can do this primarily because it is a small nation with limited passenger air travel, nearly all of it to other countries. Nobody flies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Imagine the amusement it would cause at, say, O'Hare or Dulles or JFK or LAX or DFW if the U.S. started interviewing every passenger.

Absolutely correct - even El Al suggests passengers arrive 3 hours early.
Well, yes and no. The Lines in Ben Gurion aren't extremely long (no longer than in other airports I've been to). I don't think the 1 minute interview has anything to do with the 3 hr time before flight arrival. More likely, the fact that all the bags undergo pressure chaber and screening after they are turned in. I usually have about an hour in the duty free before boarding.
BB, you are partly right. First of all, we do have internal air travel. Mostly to and from Eilat. Ben Gurion is pretty large, though not huge by world standards. The problems with transferring the Israeli system to US mostly involve the fact that you need a lot of above average (in intelligence), well trained people for it to work well. Multiply that by the number of US airports and you get the picture. Additionally, you have serious intelligence work behind the scenes. Lots of manhours, money etc.

It isn't clear what parts of the Israeli system can be easily transferred to US and which can't.
As an aside, Michael J. Totten had a short bit about how Israeli profiling works in practice (from his experience).
http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/forget_the_porn_machines_NQAJ5DOzf187gdRQnLURlO

One of the problems with our system, IMO, is that we are reactive - one step behind the bombers. I have no idea how we become proactive, but solving last year's problem today may not be the best answer.

Jeffrey Goldberg had been posting on this issue for a while. He thinks (and I agree) that at some point a bomb hidden in a body cavity (similar to what was tried in S. Arabia) will make current efforts irrelevant. Another thing -- the most vulnerable place in an airport is the line to TSA. It is a large concentration of virually unprotected people.

Williebee
11-24-2010, 07:51 AM
Another thing -- the most vulnerable place in an airport is the line to TSA. It is a large concentration of virually unprotected people.

Couldn't agree more.

blacbird
11-24-2010, 10:21 AM
Malls and mega churches.

. . . and sporting events and theaters and subways and . . . anywhere people congregate in large numbers.

blacbird
11-24-2010, 10:24 AM
The problems with transferring the Israeli system to US mostly involve the fact that you need a lot of above average (in intelligence),

Shit. Are we ever screwed. 90% of U.S. citizens are below average.

donroc
11-24-2010, 05:21 PM
Shit. Are we ever screwed. 90% of U.S. citizens are below average.

The new Yogi Berra? :D

Albedo
11-24-2010, 05:43 PM
Shit. Are we ever screwed. 90% of U.S. citizens are below average.

Just imagine how hard the other 10% have to work!

firedrake
11-24-2010, 05:56 PM
Why not learn from the best -

"Rather than all the invasive searches, they (Israeli airline El AL) interview every passenger and look for signs that the interviewee might be up to no good."

The former head of security for El AL contacted the TSA to offer suggestions and help, but they brushed him off.

http://www.dakotavoice.com/2010/11/intrusive-security-or-smart-security-the-el-al-way/

this.

A few years ago, I flew from Heathrow to Jordan. El Al staff did the screening at Heathrow and I was very impressed. The person who I dealt with was courteous, kind and professional. The TSA could, indeed, learn a lot from El Al.

MarkEsq
11-24-2010, 07:06 PM
Malls and mega churches.

Thank heavens I'm a poor atheist.

Then again, I do love Christmas...

Sheryl Nantus
11-24-2010, 07:22 PM
Shit. Are we ever screwed. 90% of U.S. citizens are below average.

Because you prize paying millions of dollars to sports players over paying teachers to teach the ability to read and write?

Nah...

:D

ChronicSelfEditor
11-24-2010, 08:33 PM
If we all had our flying cars like they promised we could move on from all this ridiculousness.

THANK YOU!!!

Noah Body
11-24-2010, 08:57 PM
Another thing -- the most vulnerable place in an airport is the line to TSA. It is a large concentration of virually unprotected people.

I demand a royalty payment! (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=5534388&postcount=275) :D

Bird of Prey
11-24-2010, 09:24 PM
I demand a royalty payment! (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=5534388&postcount=275) :D

You and about a million others. . . .

backslashbaby
11-24-2010, 11:52 PM
I was behaviorally profiled two decades by security at Heathrow. Returing to the USA from Kuwait via Bahrain via London with a four day stay, as we were leaving on our last sector security looked at my passport, which contained stamps of a dozen or more countries including every Arab country on the Persian Gulf (except Iraq). They asked me why I went to all those countries, plus why I went to Turkey, then asked the big one: "Did anyone give you a wrapped package to carry with you?" I said yes, because a good friend had given me a small package to mail in the USA.

Security about came unglued, though acted very professional. The looked at everything, wanded me more than once, grilled me about each trip within the Middle East. They did all this even though I was travelling with my wife and two grade school children, was lilly white (my black features being not particularly strong), had two-way tickets for all of us, and was a citizen of the USA. And this was 11 years before 9/11.

And I didn't mind a bit. I'm sure based on my travel history, current residency, and whatever tips/intelligence they had at the time, it was a reasonable procedure for them to follow.

May the USA learn from the Brits.

NDG

The Brits are damned good. I kept flying into London and out of Ireland or France, and I had made a bunch of month-long or so trips within 3 years for 'school' (it really was). They grilled me hard, and they were quite serious. I look like a smiling nun, I swear. Nobody is ever suspicious of me. It was pretty cool, actually ;) :D

thothguard51
11-25-2010, 12:56 AM
I am still waiting for Black Sunday...

benbradley
11-25-2010, 01:07 AM
I still don't understand why people turn to racial profiling rather than behavioral profiling? Aren't there reasonable people anymore?
I wonder how many people don't know the difference, who might hear "We should do the type of screening they do in Israel" think Israel is doing racial profiling?

At least one conservative talker (Neal Boortz) knows better.
Why not learn from the best -

"Rather than all the invasive searches, they (Israeli airline El AL) interview every passenger and look for signs that the interviewee might be up to no good."

The former head of security for El AL contacted the TSA to offer suggestions and help, but they brushed him off.

http://www.dakotavoice.com/2010/11/intrusive-security-or-smart-security-the-el-al-way/
We (in the USA, the arrogant f*cks we are) have a phrase for this: "Not Invented Here." And surely if/when we DO implement some of those things, we'll mess them up.
The GAO has something to say (http://www.usatoday.com/travel/flights/2010-05-24-airportcheckin24_ST_N.htm) about why behavioral profiling isn't in widespread use... yet.
I'd say let's send some people (from the smart ten percent of the US population!) to Israel for a couple years to intern as interrogators/whatever for El Al, learn the ropes and then come back to work in the US. But then that would have to be done at all levels, from the administration and management on down.
Agree completely. I'm convinced that the next major terrorist incident in the U.S. (and there will be one, sooner or later) won't involve a hijacked airplane. Hell, how secure are we while we stand in those long lines outside airport gate security? A single person with a suicide bomb vest could cause immense bloodshed right there.
And if there's a train or subway bomber, we'll have even more TSA agents at every stop, putting their hands down the pants of every train and subway passenger.
...
Another thing -- the most vulnerable place in an American airport is the line to TSA. It is a large concentration of virually unprotected people.
That's another thing I've read about in the Israeli airports, people are intentionally made to spread out in the terminals, there are no big, long lines of people.