An ex-employee at the San Francisco International Airport claims the security people doing the passenger screening cheat to pass the tests by federal auditors. Bruce Schneier writes about the necessity of having trusted people. This is true. What he doesn’t point out is that in this case it’s probably an unsolvable problem. Security is no stronger than the weakest link. When you have thousands of people you have to trust to ensure the “sterile area” of the air transportation system is secure the odds of having one or more untrustworthy people is asymtotically close to one.
The odds of getting weapons onboard a plane when the passenger makes no attempt to hide the weapon is about 20%. When the auditors deliberately try to evade security they classify the test results. My guess is the results approach a 100% failure rate.
It’s time to consider alternatives. Obtaining public acceptance of scientifically sound methods of security is a better position to be in than using publicly acceptable methods that can never succeed.