News you can use

Apparently, if you tell the police you are going to be inappropriately touching people, before you actually do it, the police will then give you a pass:

the TSA decided to inform local police in case anyone calls to report an “abnormal” federal frisking, according to a memo from an airport trade association obtained by Bloomberg News.

Good to know.

Security theater has another act

U.S. Airport Pat-Downs Are About to Get More Invasive

The TSA reacts to a study that found weapons making it past security.

While few have noticed, U.S. airport security workers long had the option of using five different types of physical pat-downs at the screening line. Now those options have been eliminated and replaced with a single universal approach. This time, you will notice.

The new physical touching—for those selected to have a pat-down—will be be what the federal agency officially describes as a more “comprehensive” physical screening, according to a Transportation Security Administration spokesman.

Denver International Airport, for example, notified employees and flight crews on Thursday that the “more rigorous” searches “will be more thorough and may involve an officer making more intimate contact than before.”

“I would say people who in the past would have gotten a pat-down that wasn’t involved will notice that the [new] pat-down is more involved,” TSA spokesman Bruce Anderson said Friday.

It’s still going to be security theater.

When will the people say this is too much and demand the abolishment of the TSA?

Quote of the day—FlyersRights.org

Most passengers were shocked to learn carrying live ammo and guns in baggage is permitted.  And now terrorists are fully aware of this startling gap in US airport security.

FlyersRights.org
January 11, 2017
Passenger Group Calls for New Airport Security Measures by Airlines, TSA and Airports
[Are they also “shocked” to learn we have a specific enumerated right to keep and bear arms? If so then perhaps their educations are severely lacking.

What I am shocked about is that despite all the evidence that “gun-free” zones are hazardous and the abject failure of TSA we still are prohibited from carrying guns on our persons while on airplanes. It’s the right thing to do.—Joe]

Quote of the day—issor

I don’t think they seriously think ROT13 is a means of secure communication. I agree it seems to be confusing people enough to collect a good set of downvotes, but for the rest it’s just intended as a lighthearted joke. Everyone knows you at least need ROT14 to be secure.

issor
December 10, 2016
Comment to Op-ed: I’m throwing in the towel on PGP, and I work in security
[I broke out into a laugh that Barb probably heard half way across the house.

Yeah. It’s a joke for computer nerds. And probably mostly old nerds.

Via email from Sean.—Joe]

“Smart” guns

Recent update on so-called “smart gun” regulations.

NRA  ILA take on it.

FOX news take.

Bearing Arms view.

Actual NIJ release.

Obama’s Jan 2016 call for it.

Upshot: it’s voluntary…. with an implied *for now attached. Leave it to the government to call for a way to make a perfectly reliable, simple, mechanical system, and apply a high-tech solution to a social problem that a) won’t fix the problem, b) discriminates against the poor, c) will make good systems less reliable, d) etc [insert all the usual litany of problems with this specific tech here]

 

Well… Isn’t that interesting.

More than a handful of people that read this blog are programmers. Anyone know the best way to get this into the hands of people that can actually do something about it?

Considering Washington State is an entirely vote-by-mail bubble-form and counted by machine state, the possibility of rigging by this method is more than a little plausible.

For what it’s worth, I found it from a Drudge link to Infowars, so it’s not like nobody else will hear about it, but…..

Banana Republic, anyone?

Update: Looks like YouTube’s view-count is getting messed with, just like the vote-count 🙁
After more than two hours with a DrudgeReport link, it’s only at 909 views, and 276 likes. Not bloody likely.

A glitch in The Narrative

Some of you may have heard about the Somali immigrant of undetermined ancestry, religion, or motivation slashed nine people with a knife while asking them if they were Muslim at a Minnesota shopping mall over the weekend. Most news stories say the self-proclaimed “soldier of the Islamic State” was stopped by an “off duty police officer.”

Turns out the hero of the day was also a USPSA member, 3-gun competitor, and NRA-certified shooting instructor who happens to be the “President and Owner of Tactical Advantage and has also been operating Tactical Advantage Firearms Training, Inc., since 2003.”

Yeah. Bad day for that particular knife-dude to go to the mall, and only bring a blade to a gunfight.

Thank you, Jason Falconer. May you live a long and happy life.

Use cash

I use a credit/debit card online. But when I’m in a physical store, except in rare cases, I use cash. This is one of the reasons why:

Clothing store chain Eddie Bauer said today it has detected and removed malicious software from point-of-sale systems at all of its 350+ stores in North America, and that credit and debit cards used at those stores during the first six months of 2016 may have been compromised in the breach.

I work in security and POS systems are one of the things we watch and worry about a lot.

Use the known cure, not security theater

Via Bruce Schneier we have this extremely timely and fascinating article, The Evolving Challenges for Explosive Detection in the Aviation Sector and Beyond:

Another misnomer propagated largely in the press is that these type of explosives threats are not detectable with currently deployed technologies. This is false. The latest generation ETDs, when used in combination with the latest X-ray technologies, are generally excellent at detecting TNT, plasticized explosives such as C-4, PETN (Detasheet), and Semtex. This powerful combination of technologies should catch these explosives threats, even if it were concealed in the electronics of a laptop, because ETD swabs can detect minute amounts of residue.

Even an amateur chemist doesn’t have to think about this topic much to come up with explosives that are undetectable with the latest generation of explosive trace detection (ETD) equipment. As near as I can tell things I pointed out nearly nine years ago are still vulnerabilities.

The OIG also reported last summer that tests of the screening system showed that 95 percent of attempts to smuggle weapons through U.S. checkpoints were successful.

This has actually gotten worse since they started prohibiting weapons on board over 40 years ago. They should just give up on this and let passengers defend the cabin.

The reality of our current war on terrorism is that the costs are inversely correlated. Terrorists can use inexpensive but highly effective means to attack high-value and highly protected targets, forcing governments to take stricter and more costly measures to provide protection. Their model scales while ours becomes more difficult to sustain. Until we are successful in changing the paradigm in which cheap terrorism is effective terrorism, we need to be prepared to continue to invest in technologies and processes that make it more difficult for them to succeed.

Emphasis added. I agree with this. We must change the paradigm. We currently have nothing but security theater.

We are spending trillions of dollars and have nothing of substance to show for it. Those resources could, and should, have been spend in some serious elimination of terrorists rather than attempting to make it incrementally difficult for them at exponential costs to us. We have the resources and technology to make it exponentially expensive for them at incremental cost for us. We have a ruthless enemy who is willing to murder untold numbers of innocent people. We dealt with cultures like this in WWII and fundamentally changed their mindset to make the culture more tolerant to people who were different from them. These intolerant, evil, enemies are now tolerant, functional, members of a world society. It’s time to treat our current enemy with the known cure for evil.

Sympathy in this case is difficult

The French have been working hard for years to show the Muslims that they mean them no harm. THAT, we are told, is how you get along in peace with people of other cultures, and if other people hate you then there must be a good reason; you need to look at yourself and see what you can do to make them stop hating you.

The French have also adopted the idea of massive violations of the right of honest citizens to keep and bear arms. Criminals will have whatever they want, but the honest must be disarmed.

Predictably then, we get this quote after last night’s coordinated jihad attacks in and around Paris. This was from someone at a rock concert;

“We lied down on the floor not to get hurt. It was a huge panic. The terrorists shot at us for 10 to 15 minutes. It was a bloodbath.” (That’s from CNN if you want to look. I’m not linking to them)

If all you can do is lie down and hope, while people around you are being shot, for 10 to 15 minutes, then your tactics suck. Dozens of people died on that scene, like the helpless sheep they worked so hard to become.

They’ve brought this upon themselves, I’m very sorry to say, and it’s difficult to have much sympathy for them. We’ve tried for years to warn them.

The left in the U.S. sees all this and says to themselves; “We totally need more multiculturalism and more gun control.” That attitude, that insanity, is the enemy as much as any jihadist, for it is that attitude that has emboldened the jihadists. They must be laughing their asses off at our stupidity.

Bad guys and worse guys, bad news and good news

To laugh or cry. Hard call. A recent terrorist shooting Paris has some unlikely, er, heros? (it’s transplated, and a little hard to tell if it was the big ISIS shooting or another one at a nearby or related restaurant) It is being reported that when the terrorists entered and started shooting, there were people in the restaurant that rose and returned fire, killing “the two attackers.” So score two for the good guys? Well, ordinary civilians can’t easily carry for self-defense, there. Turns out the concealed-carry guys were Columbia narco-cartel traffickers.

Huh.

Oh, well. Red-on-red fire still counts as a win, yes?

Of course he would say something like that

It’s in his nature:

In the U.S., a person on a watch or “no-fly” list would not be flagged buying a train or bus ticket. Sen. Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, called for creating a “no-ride” list for Amtrak in 2011, a proposal the rail line said “could add value in creating an overall security posture.”

I think there should be more emphasis on the word posture. Schumer nature is to push us more and more toward a police state regardless of the effectiveness of his claims of trying to make people safer. He’s been doing this for decades with the most outlandish gun control proposals. I don’t expect he will stop until he no longer has an audience willing to listen to him.

Quote of the day—Steve Bucci

There are a lot of them that aren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer.

Steve Bucci
Security expert and former top Pentagon official
August 17, 2015
Price for TSA’s failed body scanners: $160 million
[Never forget that they even have TSA backward. A more accurate acronym is AST (A Security Theater).—Joe]

Security theater in the news

Via Bruce Schneier and Tyler Durden:

An internal investigation of the Transportation Security Administration revealed security failures at dozens of the nation’s busiest airports, where undercover investigators were able to smuggle mock explosives or banned weapons through checkpoints in 95 percent of trials, ABC News has learned.

The series of tests were conducted by Homeland Security Red Teams who pose as passengers, setting out to beat the system.

According to officials briefed on the results of a recent Homeland Security Inspector General’s report, TSA agents failed 67 out of 70 tests, with Red Team members repeatedly able to get potential weapons through checkpoints.

In addition, the review determined that despite spending $540 million for checked baggage screening equipment and another $11 million for training since a previous review in 2009, the TSA failed to make any noticeable improvements in that time.

That money is a total waste. It’s nothing but security theater. Let the airlines handle their own security, or lack thereof, any way they want instead of the government continuing to infringe our rights and waste our money.

Interesting first day at work

I no longer work in downtown Seattle near Mugme Street. Today was my first day on the job on the Eastside of Lake Washington.

One of the most interesting things was that at various times during the day my boss would introduce me to someone. This included people as high as the “Senior Director” and maybe a V.P. Nearly everyone said something to the effect of, “You’re the guy that likes to blow stuff up!” The director and her husband are probably going to participate in signed up for Boomershoot this year.

Oh. Word got around ahead of me.

Just as interesting are the people I’m working with.

My boss was former military and law enforcement and during the interview a few weeks ago mentioned something about explosives. Taking a chance I said, “I have a license to make high explosives.” I presume this is how word got around ahead of me. Although Bruce (see also here) could have contributed to this some too, since he works at the same place. This sidetracked the interview quite a bit and he told stories about he and some of his cop buddies doing some things with explosives that were more “interesting” (but harmless) than one would normally admit too.

While showing me around today my boss also told me a first hand story of what Black Talon ammo (in 9mm) did to human targets. Because of the over penetration his police department went to Federal Hydra-Shok’s after that.

One of the guys I’ll be working closely with and whose desk is closest to mine is a former special forces guy. He and my boss were telling me stories from survival school when they were in the military.

I’m working on security stuff with some very interesting people. Security Theater is not tolerated in our environment. This should be fun.