More airport security test failures

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.


One thought on “More airport security test failures

  1. I agree wholeheartedly with your last paragraph. & the only method of airline security that has a chance of success is the exact opposite of what has been attempted.

    Instead of trying to keep people from carrying weapons aborad planes we should encourage it. Aside from the constitutional problems with our current approach (I see no “except at airports” language following the 2nd amendment) it’s practically impossible to prevent someone from carrying weapons abord a plane. It’d e much better to encourage citizens to be armed & capable of acting in their own defense than tell everyone that the gov is going to protect them. Hell, if we’d have been doing that instead of pretending the Right to Arms stops at the ticket counter then perhaps we wouldn’t have lost an arms race to under a dozen thugs with knives a few years back.

    There’s no way to be completely secure, but by not providing a criminal safe zone we’d do a damn sight better at it than we have been.

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