TSA Security and why George Orwell is the New Nostradamas

This is basically ripped from Digg, but I'd much rather open discussion here rather than over on Digg as Digg isn't a discussion, just a horde of comments...

Travelers at Sea-Tac and dozens of other major airports across America are being scrutinized by teams of TSA behavior-detection officers specially trained to discern the subtlest suspicious behaviors...Such people are referred for secondary screening, which can include a pat-down search and an X-ray exam. The microfacial expressions, he said, are the same across many cultures. ...a central task is to recognize microfacial expressions....

Article

Perhaps you've read Orwell's 1984 - if you haven't, do so.

He did not know how long she had been looking at him, but perhaps for as much as five minutes, and it was possible that his features had not been perfectly under control. It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when you were in any public place or within range of a telescreen. The smallest thing could give you away. A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself—anything that carried with it the suggestion of abnormality, of having something to hide. In any case, to wear an improper expression on your face (to look incredulous when a victory was announced, for example) was itself a punishable offence. There was even a word for it in Newspeak: facecrime, it was called.

Digg Linked Here


Again a link to the Surveillance map - in which we (US) have joined the UK, Russia and China as an Endemic Surveillance society...

Link


How do you feel about your privacy?

I say this as I personally have almost nothing but contempt for the TSA.... I say that as someone that almost always gets extra screening - so much that almost all of my flight tickets of the "SSSS" designation (indicating you get special screening without anyone picking you out).

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There just has to be a better way to "save us from terrorists." Judging people based on their skin color, facial hair and general expression is getting us nowhere. Really.
Well I dunno...when was the last time the US has been attacked by terrorists? Seven years ago? That seems pretty good compared to most countries that are targeted. Since 9/11, our security has been stepped up. Since 9/11, we haven't been attacked.
trebuchet03 (author)  Weissensteinburg9 years ago
And on September 10th... We hadn't been attacked by plane in 10 years....
But we shouldn't have been attacked any of those times. Each time we are attacked, efforts are taken to avoid it happening again. If we don't change when something happens, it would be much easier for them to strike again. Like they say: We have to be right every time, they only have to be right once.
trebuchet03 (author)  Weissensteinburg9 years ago
Each time we are attacked, efforts are taken to avoid it happening again.

Bingo.... The problem is - that's not a goal we can reach... This is obvious given the fact that we have been hijacked after a previous one.... We will never be one step in front - we can only be one step behind.

Here's the key issue though.... It's not about any of this... It's about what's next. If a private restaurant did what the the TSA is currently doing... No one would stand for it. Even in a "heavily terrorized" nation where people have blown restaurants....

It also doesn't help that you can pay extra money in which a background check is done (which they do anyway for anyone that books a flight in advance) and you get less of a screening compared to everyone else.... The only thing a hijacker needs is to act autonomously...
But we can catch a terrorist before he strikes, and we've done so. Just because we can't get them every time doesn't mean we shouldn't ever get them.

People would put up with security checks in restaurants to a point that it's worth it to them, just like at airports. People are just willing to put up with more at airports. If they made everyone check all luggage (which would then be totally sifted through by hand). And then made you have a full body cavity search and change into a pair of their pocket less scrubs, I'm sure you would stop flying.

People will put up with things to where it is worth it to them. At some schools, metal detectors and x ray machines are used, and people allow that. At many monuments and large buildings, metal detectors and x ray machines are used.

Those background checks don't free you from security checks, it just allows you to pass through a shorter line, and not be randomly selected for being checked. You still go through the metal detector and x ray machine. You will still be pulled over if the metal detector goes off. You bag will still be searched if there is something seen inside of it.
trebuchet03 (author)  Weissensteinburg9 years ago
An Orwellian society does not happen overnight - small progressions lead to the nightmare described in1984. So right now, it's just airports... In five years - all train/subway service will have the same security check points. A year from that - all bus service. A couple years later - you must submit documentation for interstate travel and await approval. Giving charity? The proper authorities have been notified...

On the subject of charity... In the months following 911 - IIRC, three specific charitable organizations had their assets frozen (among others)... Not for what they did - but what they might do (you know - relief to 10's of thousands of starving children globally and such)... Moving forward 10 months (all organizations cooperating in good faith of an error) - they are labeled terrorist organizations without any criminal case or evidence against them... Flash forward another two years - independent investigation finds no cause for the initial seizure nor the terrorism label.

At what point do we say - This is enough, this is my liberty - if I don't have it, what the hell are we fighting for?

Those background checks don't free you from security checks, ...and not be randomly selected for being checked.

Ergo - less screening.

People will put up with things to where it is worth it to them. At some schools, metal detectors and x ray machines are used, and people allow that. At many monuments and large buildings, metal detectors and x ray machines are used.

Use of it elsewhere doesn't validate anything... My old high school got new fences around the entire campus... So no one could "get in" and cause trouble.... Apparently, they've never heard the term "going postal" - now everyone is stuck inside with "trouble"
Let's try not to get off topic..Micro expressions have nothing to do with charities being frozen. The fact is, if someone starts yelling that they have a bomb in an airport, they will be taken aside. This is just a subsection of that. Israel does the exact same thing, and if you have, or know people who have flown through there, you will know how safe they/you felt...they did not feel as if they needed to guard their emotions, lest they'll be arrested.
trebuchet03 (author)  Weissensteinburg9 years ago
It's not off topic... The topic is privacy and 1984 and has evolved into security. microexpresions is what triggered the discussion :)

I, for one, am glad we are not Isreal. My best friend went on holiday in Isreal... Funny thing is - he was robbed, at the airport in a "secure" area :)

The fact is, if someone starts yelling that they have a bomb in an airport, they will be taken aside.
We're not worried about in the airport - it's on the plane ;) All someone would have to say is "There's a bomb on the plane and it will go off if my heart is stopped" or similar. I imagine that any air marshal on board wouldn't gamble shooting that idiot...
I'm glad we're not in Israel as well...but most people who I have talked to who have flown through there felt extremely safe.

All someone would have to say is "There's a bomb on the plane and it will go off if my heart is stopped" or similar. I imagine that any air marshal on board wouldn't gamble shooting that idiot...

What do you think they would do, open up the cock pit for them? No, the plane would be landed, people evacuated, man arrested. While panic may ensue, people won't be hurt.
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