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Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Transportation Security Administration

Checkpoint Changes Coming

Sunday, March 30, 2008
In TSA's checkpoint of the future, passengers will approach the security kiosk, carry-on in hand, and put a biometric on the scanner. While the scanning system clears you after it confirms your identity and flight information, the technology in the kiosk will verify that there are no truly dangerous items on you or in your bag. Total elapsed time: about 1.75 seconds. Version Two will add a Teleporter so that you will not need to get on an airplane.

Your grandchildren will love it.

Technology is a wonderful thing but it's not an overnight process - it must be invented, funded, built, tested, bought, and deployed. Unfortunately, the security technology field has not sufficiently fired the imagination of scientists or the private capital markets to the point where truly breakthrough technology will soon transform the checkpoint experience. Yet the current security threat environment requires that we get smarter and more nimble, now.

We have some significant changes in store for the checkpoint starting this spring. I would like your thoughts and I hope TSA will earn your support in our common mission. Please take a look at our Checkpoint Evolution micro-site.

TSA has taken a fresh look at our checkpoint operations to see if we can improve security and the passenger experience with what we have today. We took what we know from the intelligence and security communities, we listened to our employees, we learned from passengers (including on this blog), we evaluated readily deployable technology, and have come up with changes that we have begun piloting.

There are three elements to what we are calling Checkpoint Evolution: people, process, and technology.

People. The threat environment makes it clear that we need to add layers of security to be effective against adaptive terrorists. This means adding a capability to detect a potential problem even if they are not carrying anything prohibited - in other words, more focus on people, not just things. That means deploying more officers specially trained in behavior detection and document checking to identify people that intend to do harm, not just waiting to find their prohibited item in a carry-on bag.

Process. We're making improvements to the checkpoint process, including better signs to tell you what's going on at the checkpoint and why, and what you need to do at various stages. There will be areas to divest - or prepare - for screening and also an area to get everything back together after you're done. You have seen some pilots with our Diamond Select and Family lanes and we will continue to make improvements.

Technology. We don't have the end-all-be-all machine yet, but there are some technologies we will be installing in many airports throughout the year that are an improvement to what currently exists, including multi-view x-ray for carry-on bags and whole body imaging for passengers. The deployment of these machines will represent the first significant addition to the checkpoint since metal detectors and X-ray machines were introduced in the 1970s.

Our enemies have the advantage of picking their time, place, and method of attack. Those advantages are more pronounced if our defenses are rigid and predictable - they could use our standard operating procedures and technology against us.

We do have some advantages. First, airports are our turf; we have the home field advantage and can set the rules. Keeping an element of randomness and calming the checkpoint are critical.

Second, TSA's officers have experienced more passengers and bags than anyone else on earth and that knowledge is priceless. They know what doesn't seem right. In a calmer checkpoint environment, hostile intent stands out from the behavior of regular passengers just trying to navigate the system. Behavior detection officers and document checkers will use their training and skills to identify people and things that stand out from the norm and give them added scrutiny.

Third, the advantage we need to bolster most is the fact that the numbers are overwhelmingly in our favor - two million people a day fly, every one of them with a vested interest in assuring the safety of our system. We know the overwhelming majority of passengers pose no threat, so we want to improve your checkpoint experience and get your help in making those who do pose a threat stand out.

In short, we are seeking to reduce our weaknesses while improving our strengths until the futuristic checkpoint with seamless security screening becomes a reality.

Please visit our Checkpoint Evolution Web site to find out more, and share your feedback. If we partner together, we can make flying safer and a lot easier - right now. Thank you for your participation and partnership with TSA in keeping travel safe.

Kip

Comments

Submitted by Anonymous on

I have a question about medication. Our doctor has given my husband medicine samples, since some of his medication is expensive.

These samples do not have his name on them,can he put them in his carry-on or does it have to be in his checked on luggage?

Submitted by Anonymous on

I had almost 30 years of experience in law enforcement in investigations and management of maximum security facilities, jails and prisons. I have travelled through numerous airports around the country. Logan Airport in Boston, MA where the terrorist operation of 9/11 began is still by far the worst in terms of security. I travelled to Tel Aviv, Israel last summer and saw what airport security is all about. Keep in mind that they have been in high alert for terrorist activities for 60 years. First of all the airport is secured in the same manner as a correctional facility.Double layers of hard security, walls or fences, with sensors and detectors. All access to planes or the tarmac area is through double, sally port traps for controlled movement. Not beat one door and your through. All luggae is x-rayed in the terminal and is placed in the machine by the passenger who then subsequently places it on a table for internal inspection. You don't take your shoes off, you carry on as much water as you want to drink, no 3-1-1 nonsense. To me the TSA is nothing more than a federal jobs welfare program.

Submitted by Dssstrkl on

Hey Kip, OR you guys could hire some real security experts like Bruce Schnierer and implement some effective security measures, rather than wasting more time and money on new machines that do more to destroy our civil liberties by helping to transform airports into some cross between Orwell and P.K. Dick. In the meantime, your highly-trained agents can't tell the difference between a small laptop, a nipple piercing and a legitamate threat. One can only hope that the next administration can overhaul the TSA into an organization that can actually deliver what it promises, and the first step is to get rid of you, Kip.

Submitted by Dan S on

I don't know what bothers me more about this -- the obvious effort put into "calming" passengers' dissatisfaction with the process without addressing the causes, or the lack of effort put into establishing more effective methods and procedures.

The first TSO that passengers see will still be focused on their "documents", not the passengers, the presence of "composure" benches indicates that we'll still have to remove our shoes, despite the new hassle of being irradiated with millimeter-wave radiation, humanizing the TSOs hasn't ever been a problem (and I hope I'm not standing in line long enough to read a stranger's bio) -- the issue is generally that TSOs don't see passengers as people with real lives outside of the 15-20 minutes that we suffer through their workplace and the continued (dare I say, expanded) list of banned items, including liquids, shows that the TSA seems much more interested in changing the curtains than addressing underlying issues.

But that's just the opinion of an experienced counter-terrorism professional, pay it no mind.

Submitted by Tina on

Checkpoint evolution is my biggest grief with TSA. I have no idea how business frequent flyers keep up with all the changes. So, here are my suggestions:

Rather than swiping the personal hygiene products - EVERY airport should offer a non-heat shrink wrap at the entrance for all suspect materials AND tools. This is better than a baggie and much harder to re-open during flight time. Any bad intentions would be easily recognized in the attempt to open the sealed package; I know you have experienced these food packages! Seriously consider this idea. At the other end, it would be hospitable and considerate of TSA to offer the use scissors to open the seal for passengers. Not just any scissors, but safety cutters – like the ones used for wrapping paper cutting. This has no open blade! You know destination refresher needs and what not. This is where available technology does meet the TSA’s needs in both arrival and departure process.

Second, the list of rules should be offered, via email or blackberry, to the passenger one day prior to scheduled flight. A checklist if you will, call it TODAYs CARRY ON procedures. At least then you have provided the passenger a chance to be informed.

Third, yes the inconsistency is real frustrating. I do understand that the terrorists are transformists - okay. But at least make this unpleasantry a little more appealing - music! I have suggested, "The Tease" when taking off my winter jacket was not enough, I had to remove my sweat jacket and my fleece sweater too! Plus, an award at the end of the maze of security check points would be gratifying - even a stamp on the back of a hand, or a sticker that says "I passed".

Submitted by Anonymous on

Congratulations! I think what you have started here is wonderful!
A great start and as time goes on I am sure you will find other enhancements to add!

Submitted by Trollkiller on

Hey Kip thanks for showing up. I would like to commend your blog team, they have been doing a good job not over moderating the blog.

Everybody needs to click each dot to see the video for each feature.

Ok now that the pleasantries are out of the way.

STOP just STOP
Quit listening to overpaid phycobabblers.

I don't want to "own" my experience in a TSA line. I don't want to [insert buzz word here], I simply want to get through the line without being yelled at, harassed, molested, or stolen from.

We don't need or want pretty blue lights and new age music to make us calmer. It is not the scenery or the lines that are making us mad. It is the way YOUR TSOs treat us.

The chairs at the end... excuse me the "re-composure benches" are a good addition. I can tell that whoever bought those over priced benches do not have small children. Can you say slide... weeee boom waaa.

Placing the signs as you show in the video nobody will see them. People inline will be blocking the view by standing in front of them and polite people try to avoid looking at anything that is at crotch level.

One more word about signs, I do not need a sign to "prompt my behavior", I am not a lab rat. Give me signs that guide or inform. I know you are thinking "means the same thing", you are wrong. You prompt behavior on people that do not know how to behave like criminals. We are NOT criminals, we are your bosses and your fellow citizens, treat us as such. Think of us a such.

Mural wall is a good way to control access and escape with out being threatening. Good job on that one. P.S. can we get a x-ray of the Macbook Air on it? Blogger Bob already has the pictures.

Or better yet, sell ads on it to pay for the new screening area.

TSO biographies, sigh, I see what you are trying to do. You are trying to show us that your TSOs are real people too.

How about instead of that you put the picture and the name of your supervisors on duty. That way we know who to speak to when we are treated badly. Pat may be a great guy, but if he is not working the airport I am in, knowing he is a great guy is useless.

Prep Area, good idea. The hole for the trash can needs to be bigger and outlined in a bright color. Black on black is hard to see and people will miss the can and litter the floor. You will need to keep constant watch on this area to keep it tidy.

Document checking station, needs a table I can set my stuff on so I can quickly retrieve my boarding pass and wallet. Trying to dig a wallet out when you have a coat over your arm and a bag is problematic.

Automatic conveyor system. Looks like the return system needs some work.

And last but not least the uniform. First I will say that is the best excuse for using a clip on tie I have ever heard, I wonder if my wife will buy that.

Before you change their uniforms, spend MY money on training them to behave. It was bad enough having wanna-be cops in spiffy white TSA uniform, now we will have wanna-be cops in police uniforms.

If you want the TSOs to be LEOs make them LEOs. I would not mind having certified, trained LEOs as screeners.

Ok I give the new set up a C+.

Don't waste money on the lights and the music, instead spend the money you save on cameras. We are tired of losing our stuff. Place the cameras in EVERY blind spot at the TSA line and baggage areas. Just yesterday three baggage handlers were arrested at Tampa for dealing in stolen goods like laptops and iPods.

"An arrest report said one of the men told investigators he bought laptops for $60, iPods for $10 and digital cameras for $50."

I will be VERY interested to see who the person works for that they bought the stolen goods from.

Submitted by Phil on

Bob, apparently quoting or ghost writing for TSA Director Kip Hawley wrote:

"[Adding layers of security in order to be effective against adaptive terrorists] means adding a capability to detect a potential problem even if they are not carrying anything prohibited -- in other words, more focus on people, not just things. That means deploying more officers specially trained in behavior detection and document checking to identify people that intend to do harm, not just waiting to find their prohibited item in a carry-on bag.

Kip:

1. What is an "adaptive terrorist"?

2. Please provide an example of a potential airline passenger who although not attempting to carry on anything prohibited, has such a great potential to cause a problem that he should be barred from traveling.

3. How does the punishment of being barred from air travel, not for a crime that has been committed or for the attempt to commit a crime, but for the perceived potential to commit a crime, judged by any one of thousands of TSA agents, without any indication of an attempt to commit a crime, much less conviction of such by a judge or jury, fit with your interpretation of the United States Constitution?

4. How do you expect that checking documents will identify people who intend to do harm?

Submitted by Anonymous on

I forsee security from "Total Recall" coming about. Which would make my job easier.

Submitted by Steve on

I have worked for TSA for over 4 years. The checkpoint of the future is security cubicles. Large Cat X airports may have as many as 20-25 cubicles with automatic exterior and interior doors. Smaller airports could probably get by with rows of 5-10 cubicles.


1. Passengers approach the checkpoint looking for the open doors. Implied consent for the search is given by entry into the cubicle.

2. The exterior cubicle door closes upon entry.

3. Passengers submit boarding pass and I.D. into a scanner and place carry-on items in a simulated aircraft overhead bin and sit in a simulated oversized airline seat (to accomodate all sizes)

3. Security officers scan the bag using x-ray technology and passengers are scanned for prohibited items by the chair itself. If there are no alarms to resolve, the interior cubicle door opens allowing passengers to continue to the terminal. No interaction with security is required. The process is seemless and thorough.

If alarms need to be resolved in either accessible property or on the person. TSO's wait in queue to handle the next same gender issue. Alarm resolution occurs when the TSO opens the the interior door and begins the screening process. Larger cubicles may be used for PWD's and parent's travelling with small children and infants.

Submitted by Dave Nelson on

"If we partner together, we can make flying safer and a lot easier -- right now."

Kip -- Just one fundamental question: How can you possibly expect us to "partner" with you when you believe everyone of us is a terrorist because we committed the simple act of attempting to buy an airline ticket?

Before you get too dillusional about millimeter wave technology, I suggest you re-read your high school physics book. Here: I'll make it easy for you, thanks to NASA's student web site: http://science.hq.nasa.gov/kids/imagers/ems/waves3.html.

(10-3) meters is one millimeter. Guess what? That's in the same band as a microwave oven. Slightly above 1mm is the infrared band -- sunburn. If you think for a nanosecond that I am going to allow you to fry my Irish-American posterior in a TSA-approved microwave oven, you are truly smoking something.

Sorry, you and your boss created the "us versus them" attitude, and there are those of us out there (the "them") that will do everything we can to ensure that this obscenely expensive attack on civil liberties becomes a dark spot in American history.

We are counting down the days until Jan 20, 2009, a day for which I assume you are polishing your resume?

Why do I find this so obscene? Your government placed me and thousands with my name on the no-fly list.

Submitted by Jim Huggins on

I'm sure someone will have commented on this already, but I feel a need to ask this right away:

The threat environment makes it clear that we need to add layers of security to be effective against adaptive terrorists. [...] That means deploying more officers specially trained in behavior detection and document checking to identify people that intend to do harm [...]

I'm sorry, but the two statements don't completely follow, at least in the case of document checking.

If I approach a checkpoint with an ID and the document checker approves the ID as valid, what have you established? You've proved that I am who I say I am, but have you proved anything about my intentions (malicious or otherwise) for that flight? Not really.

At the risk of repeating what others have said, repeatedly (and rather obnoxiously, I'm afraid) ... the 9/11 hijackers all had perfectly valid ID. Verifying their ID wouldn't have stopped them from boarding their aircraft that day.

Kip, I'm not trying to be shrill here ... but I've still not heard a convincing argument as to how verifying identity relates to identifying intention. (In that respect, BDO operations would seem to be much more productive.)

Submitted by Ewan on

Actually I';d disagree when you say "...the fact that the numbers are overwhelmingly in our favour." They're not. You have a monotonus, repetitive task to perform on hundreds of thousands of travellers a day over all your airports. If there are undesirables out there looking to affect a flight in a negative way, they only need to be lucky once. In the words of the IRA after the Brighton Bombing in the UK "Today we were unlucky, but remember we only have to be lucky once. You [the british government] will have to be lucky always."

I still think that security should start at the cockpit and work out the way, rather than at the massive edges of the airport and work in the way.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I see you are choosing to dress up TSOs as LEOs, no doubt so they can more successfully impersonate LEOs and harass passengers into letting them pretend to have the rights there of. Or is the purpose of the LEOlike uniform so that TSOs can more effectively feel up pretty ladies by intimidation they see in the backscatter machine?

And calming people with blue lights and bios of TSOs? What are you smoking? If you spent a portion of this money on things of real value, like training or lawyers that understand the law we would be in a better place.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I like the changes, especially the new signage (it's amazing how many folks don't know the rules!).

One thing that wasn't addressed--will there be CARPET and perhaps more frequent floor cleaning? I don't have a problem with taking off my shoes, except that the floors are cold and DIRTY.

I also hope that some attention has been paid to making the overall checkpoint SAFER for barefoot souls--I actually cut my foot on my last trip, thanks to sharp exposed metal at the base of the X-Ray machine conveyor belt. Why on earth wasn't it covered with a rubber bumper of some kind?

Submitted by Anonymous on

What's an "adaptive terrorist," Phil asks.

Well, let's think about the last Al-Qaedaish terrorist plot executed on American or allied soil. It was the two bozos in Glasgow whose evil plan involved putting a tank of propane into a car, and then driving 30 mph into a security bollard at an airport. They immediately realized the error in their plan (propane burns--it doesn't explode, unless you mix a bunch with an oxidizer; 30 mph in a small car won't breach a concrete barrier) and adapted by setting themselves on fire and running around the car screaming and flapping their arms while flames danced across their bodies. Oooooh, imagine how terrifying that must have been--I bet everyone who saw and smelled that was unable to eat bacon for at least a week after.

I guess that's what they mean by "adaptive terrorists."

PS: Terrorists are idiots. I'm far more afraid of surrendering my rights to the jackbooted thugs of my own government, than I am in the deluded ravings of a bunch of Islamic malcontents.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Just one simple question;

What was Kip's background in the security arena prior to joining TSA?

Submitted by Rick on

I still vote for a no line cutting policy by TSOs and other TSA personel. Such a simple move - put you guys in the line with us. Seems only fair. And wouldn't cost you a penny.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I'm an airline pilot, with a vested interest in keeping flights as secure as possible. I happily leave my water-bottle behind, crumple my jacket in the bin, and go without my pocketknife.

Here's my gripe: In most travellers opinions (I've interviewed many) TSO's don't look or act like a viable security force.

I believe the uniform sets the tone. You would give a much better impression if you all looked more like prison guards and less like the folks behind the counter at Baskin-Robbins.

Oh, and how about a restriction on maximum body-fat percentage? I mean really, with a lot of TSO's as I approach the checkpoint all thoughts of the flight leave my mind, I'm trying to prepare myself mentally to give CPR!

If changing uniforms & diets is impossible, here's something that you could do:

Quit goofing off!

I know it's a tough gig, but the general public would be much more impressed if you stopped gabbing all the time, quit leaning on the machine with your eyes closed, and completely ban childish jokes and laughter from the kiosk.

Leave that stuff at home or in the break room, and act like your nation's security is your responsibility.

Because... ...IT IS!!!

Submitted by Mike on

Kip,
First of all, thanks for this blog. I think the concept is excellent.

Second, will you please address the MANY questions about identity document checking? You must know what I am talking about.

I am of the opinion that it is a worthless, privacy invading, time consuming exercise to provide the illusion of security through theatrics. That is my opinion. I would love to hear a well thought out, logical, reasoned argument from an opposing viewpoint.

Please stop ignoring the issue. There are enough people clamoring about this one topic that it deserves a response.

Submitted by Anonymous on
Originally posted by Bob:
This means adding a capability to detect a potential problem even if they are not carrying anything prohibited -- in other words, more focus on people, not just things. That means deploying more officers specially trained in behavior detection and document checking to identify people that intend to do harm,


Two words: thougtcrime, facecrime

Seriously, everyone at TSA should be mandated to read Orwell's 1984.

What legal grounds are you going to use to deny travel to someone who you *think* intends to do harm based on subjectively observed behaviors, but is not carrying anything prohibited? Or are you just going to harass them so much with secondary and tertiary screening that they miss their flight and have to go home?

My thoughts and intentions are none of TSA's business. I may or may not be stressed at any given moment. I may have problems at work, or problems with my family. Or I may just be pissed off that TSA prohibits me from carrying harmless everyday items (i.e., water) and subjects me to annoying procedures (removal of non-alarming shoes and jackets) that do nothing to improve security.

Futerhmore, having a non-standard ID or one with valid address-change stickers or a passport with stamps is NOT SUSPICIOUS BEHAVIOR or "intent to do harm" you morons! How many more reports do we need of people with valid drivers licenses, military IDs, passports, and misc. federal/state/local IDs being subjected to secondary haraSSSSment by power tripping screeners.

Seriously TSA, buzz off and stay out of our heads. Go do something productive instead: learn how to detect guns, large knives, and real bombs (not fantasy liquid bombs) without your current abysmal failure rates.
Submitted by Michael S Hyatt on

I admire your courage for continuing to post, despite all the hateful comments. I, for one, am grateful for the important work you do. This blog has been a great source of information. It also explains a lot of the procedures and makes them more intelligible—and bearable—to those of us who travel.

Because of this blog, I always go out of my way to thank TSA employees. Ninety percent of the time I find them pleasant and helpful. This is more than I can say of most businesses.

Keep up the great work and don't let your detractors get you down. (Or stop posting!)

Submitted by Ayn R Key on

In the body piercing entry, I predicted that the blog would soon have a new entry posted. This is because the TSA blog team never responds to comments on old entries, only the most recent. They don't want to respond to that one anymore because the TSA is so clearly in the wrong yet admitting error is not possible.

So yes, we have a new entry about technology so they don't have to discuss the old issue.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Phil:

3. How does the punishment of being barred from air travel, not for a crime that has been committed or for the attempt to commit a crime, but for the perceived potential to commit a crime, judged by any one of thousands of TSA agents, without any indication of an attempt to commit a crime, much less conviction of such by a judge or jury, fit with your interpretation of the United States Constitution?

I think perhaps you are under an incorrect perception when you say "thousands of TSA agents". In fact your everyday TSO never has the ability restrict someone from flying. The very lowest rank of someone who can make that call is a Supervisor, and the majority of the time if someone is barred from flying, it is either by an Airline representative called in by TSA, or a LEO.

4. How do you expect that checking documents will identify people who intend to do harm?

Working under the assumption that those people on the FBI's terrorist watch list would be unable to obtain a legal form of identification and/or a boarding pass. Since all airlines check their fliers against this list, it is a reasonable assumption that they would not be able to obtain a boarding pass, and would be attempting to use a fraudulent/forged one.

Of course, a lot of people are happy to point out that the 9/11 terrorists had valid ID's, but keep in mind that the Federal Government's processes for watching for terrorists are more thorough than they used to be, both within DHS and in other law enforcement realms.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"In the body piercing entry, I predicted that the blog would soon have a new entry posted."

Wow, you predicted that a blog that adds new posts about every other day would...wait for it...add another post! Thank you NostraAnn, your talents are wasted here.

Submitted by Anonymous on
Rick said:

I still vote for a no line cutting policy by TSOs and other TSA personel. Such a simple move - put you guys in the line with us. Seems only fair. And wouldn't cost you a penny.

So the TSOs who show up for their 10 am flight to find that Southwest had a special going and there are unexpected 30 minute wait times...you would prefer these TSOs wait 30 minutes in line and are late for work. Rather than walking to the front of the line, getting to work on time, and getting out on the checkpoint floor to help passengers get screened that much quicker?

You can deny that this is how the situation is, however I'll tell you that here at SeaTac, that's exactly how it is today, March 31st.
Submitted by Anonymous on

The cutesy tone of this blog is quite grating considering the way citizens are treated by your employees. It's clear that this blog is nothing but a cheap public relations stunt and probably a manufactured job for the people who write it. So not only are the tax dollars of all citizens going to pay for worthless, illusory "security" measures such as confiscating shampoo and making even airplane pilots remove their shoes(I mean, really, they are about to PILOT THE PLANE, who cares what is in their shoes), but now we have to pay for TSA employees to amuse themselves with chatty, chummy blog entries that are, from what I can tell, merely lip service. "Someday your grandkids will get through screening much faster!" Oh, whoop de doo. It will take you 25 years to figure out how to speed up security? Let me do it for you right now: drop the liquids ban (if the liquids are potentially dangerous, why do you drop them in a big bin right next to security lines? Oh, because you know THEY'RE NOT DANGEROUS), conduct a visual inspection of shoes instead of making people strip them off, let us all lock our luggage again (which will cut down on the number of carry-ons, speeding up the screening process), and for pete's sake stop letting your screeners wand and poke and prod at passengers. Real police officers would never get away with the invasive and humiliating "search" techniques that high-school-educated TSA screeners perform. I should be able to get on a plane without being told to unbutton my pants or having someone grope my bra because they can't figure out what an underwire is.

If TSA still exists when my grandkids are flying, it will be a tragedy. It is a job welfare program for people who have no education but like having power over others. You could accomplish much better security by ditching 99% of your screeners and hiring 1/4 the number of personnel, pay them a decent wage and make sure they are educated and experienced with REAL security.

Submitted by Winstonsmith on
In the body piercing entry, I predicted that the blog would soon have a new entry posted. This is because the TSA blog team never responds to comments on old entries, only the most recent. They don't want to respond to that one anymore because the TSA is so clearly in the wrong yet admitting error is not possible.

Ayn, you noticed that too, huh? Quick, look over there, something shiny... is it keys?
Submitted by Trollkiller on
Ayn R. Key said...

In the body piercing entry, I predicted that the blog would soon have a new entry posted. This is because the TSA blog team never responds to comments on old entries, only the most recent. They don't want to respond to that one anymore because the TSA is so clearly in the wrong yet admitting error is not possible.

So yes, we have a new entry about technology so they don't have to discuss the old issue.

Yes, yes you did. When you said it I thought "yep right on the money", but what I did not expect was for them to hold the posts made yesterday on the piercing blog until this blog had sufficient posts.

I made several posts yesterday on the piercing blog and I see today others had made posts (approximately 50 posts), but the only thing that got posted after Chance was one deleted post at 8:02pm Sunday.
Submitted by Anonymous on

You know, it really chafes me when I have to throw away a bottle of water or shampoo for "security" reasons but screeners let a guy wearing a jacket that proclaimed "KILL 'EM ALL" was allowed through. I even pointed the gentleman in question out to a security agent (a supervisor/training officer, no less), and he kin of grunted in amused assent, but did nothing. A guy wearing a "KILL 'EM ALL" jacket is allowed on a plane but my 3.3 oz shampoo is not. My iPod and bra straps get a thorough visual inspection by screeners but the "KILL 'EM ALL" jacket is no problem whatsoever. A blog entry about how TSA is right about that and "did nothing wrong" would be pretty amusing, would you write one please? It seems that you're paid to amuse us (because you sure aren't paid to provide real security) so I'd like to see some spin put on this situation. Thanks!

Submitted by Anonymous on
Anonymous wrote: I had almost 30 years of experience in law enforcement in investigations and........in Israel, you carry on as much water as you want to drink, no 3-1-1 nonsense.

On August 10, 2006, authorities in Great Britain announced that they had arrested several people in connection with a plot to attack airplanes with liquid explosives. The attackers planned to disguise the explosives as ordinary liquids and smuggle them aboard. For this reason, authorities in both the United States and Great Britain warned all passengers that liquids would not be allowed in carry-on luggage.

I for one don't mind checking my liquids if it ensures I get to my destination alive and in one piece. If they discover other types of bombs, I'll check those items as well. It really doesn't bother me at all.
Submitted by Anonymous on

Did nobody think to test the new uniform shirts and their color against liquids? The slightest amount of wetness drastically changes the color of the shirt in the places that get wet. So soon, everyone will see the slightest and heavest amounts of sweat on each and every officer working for TSA and how disgusting it will look... The uniforms LOOK better, yes, but they will look gross twenty minutes into wearing them, especially with the awful air conditioning systems in place and checkpoints and in baggage.

Submitted by Anonymous on
On August 10, 2006, authorities in Great Britain announced that they had arrested several people in connection with a plot to attack airplanes with liquid explosives. The attackers planned to disguise the explosives as ordinary liquids and smuggle them aboard. For this reason, authorities in both the United States and Great Britain warned all passengers that liquids would not be allowed in carry-on luggage.

Of course, we now know that these would-be terrorists did not have these mythical liquid explosives, because such explosives do not in fact EXIST in any form that could be brought aboard or used on an aircraft (TSA is welcome to dispute this if they wish, but that's unlikely, given that they have ignored multiple direct questions about the London plot in previous posts). We also know that TSA was aware of this nonsensical plot for months before the arrests were made, but did not implement its idiotic liquid ban until the arrests were made, thus demonstrating that this pointless policy exists for one reason and one reason only: To cover TSA's ample hindquarters. The liquid ban, like the vast majority of what TSA does, is a grotesque joke that wastes everyone's time and money and does absolutely nothing to make anyone safer.
Submitted by Anonymous on

me? "own" the screening process? not as long as TSOs have the "do you want to fly today?" mentality!

Submitted by Txrus on

Please explain & justify the removal of 'TSA' from the back of the new shirts.

I know the 'Checkpoint Evolution Website' claims it is to 'enhance' the look of the new uniforms, but it seems to me all that is being accomplished by taking 'TSA' off is to 'enhance' the (mis)perception amongst the non-frequent traveling public that the screeners are police officers (a deception which is also going to be perpetuated by the screeners themselves after they get their spiffy new metal badges-'Hey, Blogger Bob-they gave me this REAL metal badge, so I guess that means I'm a REAL cop now, right?').

Screeners are most definately not police officers & if the TSA feels the need to spend my '9/11 security fees' on new uniforms for its staff, it ought to be w/the goal of ensuring that it is even clearer to the traveling public who is who @ the checkpoint & what agency is represented.

As far as the screener bios idea, no trees should ever be killed for this lame-brain idea.

Submitted by W Kamm on

Some uniform concerns:

- My dress shirt for service dress blue is also made of USG 65-35 poly-cotton. It must be ironed before wear or it looks like total trash. I do not see any sewn-in creases on the new shirt either, which means that officers will not have any professional creases on their shirt.

- Standard government 65-35 PC is not a heavy fabric. I can rip it with my hands (there's a reason for that; so I can make bandages immediately if needed). It will not stand up well to everyday use if not treated well. For this type of use, 65-35 poly/wool might be a better choice. It's heavier and has the added bonus of maintaining creases and a wrinkle-free appearance through laundry cycles.

- Pretty please require shirt stays. Or, at least, offer some athletic fit sizes of shirt. Without one or both of these, shirts look like parachutes.

- The silver badge screams "LEO", which TSOs are not. Can you perhaps design a new device? Or, better yet, train them as actual LEOs.

- Shoulder boards to indicate rank are only useful if those ranks are public knowledge. Post the exact rank titles and corresponding insignia on your website somewhere easy to find. I like to know how to address the people I'm talking to. The only reasonably standard insignia I've seen on a TSO are the LTJG/1LT silver bars, and those are seemingly quite rare. Perhaps transition to a more standard LEO/military rank structure?

Submitted by Anonymous on

"Did nobody think to test the new uniform shirts and their color against liquids? The slightest amount of wetness drastically changes the color of the shirt in the places that get wet. So soon, everyone will see the slightest and heavest amounts of sweat on each and every officer working for TSA and how disgusting it will look... The uniforms LOOK better, yes, but they will look gross twenty minutes into wearing them, especially with the awful air conditioning systems in place and checkpoints and in baggage."

And probably the new uniforms will be made in a sweat shop in some third world country by poorly trained underpaid workers. Fitting, I guess...

Submitted by Anonymous on

OUTSTANDING!

Submitted by Anonymous on

Anonymous @1:37:

That plot has been PROVEN false! The "terrorists" were planning on manufacturing TATP (which is actually a solid) aboard the airplane. That's NOT POSSIBLE!

Your attitude of, "Well if there's a marginal chance of it somehow foiling a plot, then I don't care how many rights they take away or how inconvenient they make it" is EXACTLY the attitude that's hurting this country! If you were a cow, you'd be happily going "Mooo, mooo," following the herd, right up until the pneumatic stun bolt whacked you in the side of the head.

Wake up: Banning liquids does NOTHING to make you safer. It's security theater. It's a fraud. You're being misled.

Submitted by Ayn R Key on

Chance, Christopher,

Do you see how well your policy of ignoring older posts (and the comments in those older posts) is working out?

People are asking about the 3-1-1 rule in the most current entry without regards to the topic of the entry.

You can continue to ignore our questions, but until you either answer them or shut down the blog (or censor them), the questions will continue.

Submitted by Jim Huggins on
Of course, a lot of people are happy to point out that the 9/11 terrorists had valid ID's, but keep in mind that the Federal Government's processes for watching for terrorists are more thorough than they used to be, both within DHS and in other law enforcement realms.

Ok ... so, if we know that you're a terrorist, and you're stupid enough to try to travel under your own identity card, we can catch you with an identity card catch.

But there's nothing that assures that the person presenting the identity card is, in fact, the person named on the card. All I need to do is find someone who looks like me, who isn't on a watch list, buy a ticket in their name, borrow their ID, and presto: I can get past the identity checkpoint.

(This is what used to happen in the Really Old Days, when people used to re-sell plane tickets to other people. The tickets only had a name attached, so as long as your gender matched the name on the ticket, you were able to fly.)

Also ... this may catch known terrorists ... but what about new terrorists? If you've never given the government a reason to put you on a watch list, proving your identity isn't any sort of security check at all.

Knowing who I am and knowing what I intend to do are different matters entirely.
Submitted by Anonymous on

RE: Are you saying that a TSO Supervisor has the authority to detain a citizen and prevent them from carrying out a legal activity?

Are you sure?

Submitted by Anonymous on

"- My dress shirt for service dress blue is also made of USG 65-35 poly-cotton. It must be ironed before wear or it looks like total trash. I do not see any sewn-in creases on the new shirt either, which means that officers will not have any professional creases on their shirt."

Well some of the TSO's come from crumpled backgrounds anyway, so this will just extend the crumple zone. You can't take them seriously if they aren't starched and pressed.

Submitted by Txrus on

Of course, a lot of people are happy to point out that the 9/11 terrorists had valid ID's, but keep in mind that the Federal Government's processes for watching for terrorists are more thorough than they used to be, both within DHS and in other law enforcement realms.
***********************************
I guess that's why the infamous 'no fly list' is now, by best guesstimates, an excess of 900,000 names, right? And it's so thorough that, by the TSA's own admission, the 'really bad people' aren't even on it because of 'security concerns'.

The No Fly List is just another 'make 'em feel better' aspect of the security theater show the TSA has been putting on, at taxpayer expense, for too many years. If those on the list are so dangerous, why haven't they been arrested, tried, & convicted of a crime in a court of law?

(BTW-this is at least the 2nd time I, personally, have asked this question on this blog. It has also been asked but others, but as yet TSA has not answered any of them; too busy picking out new curtains to go w/their spiffy new uniforms, I guess...)

Submitted by Anonymous on

"In TSA's checkpoint of the future, passengers will approach the security kiosk, carry-on in hand, and put a biometric on the scanner. While the scanning system clears you after it confirms your identity and flight information, the technology in the kiosk will verify that there are no truly dangerous items on you or in your bag. Total elapsed time: about 1.75 seconds. Version Two will add a Teleporter so that you will not need to get on an airplane."

I predict that the printer who makes the "Sorry, Out of Order, come back in the far future" signs will make a fortune...

Submitted by Anonymous on
Good job again!

You found his toothpaste, but missed the knife. If someone wants to bring something dangerous aboard, they are going to do it. All you're doing is wasting money.
Submitted by Anonymous on

"Your grandchildren will love it."

Remember folks, TSA is funded by the same people who sent our military off to fight without suppling them with the proper equipment. It will take TSA quite a while to get security down pat. Their excuses will be around even longer.

Submitted by Courtney on

I'm still waiting for answers to these questions. Perhaps you could make a post on the subject.

- What does the TSA consider to be mistreatment of a passenger?

- Is yelling at a passenger considered mistreatment?

- Is threatening a passenger with detainment or delay (in order to cause that passenger to miss their flight) considered mistreatment?

- How much patting down is too much?

- If a passenger is combative or belligerent is it acceptable for a screener to become combative?

- Is causing a wheelchair bound person to stand in order for their chair to be screened considered mistreatment?

- What recourse do passengers have who feel they have been mistreated?

- Are screeners evaluated on their treatment of passengers?

- Most importantly, what are the consequences for screeners who mistreat passengers?

Submitted by Alaska Wild on

Some of you wish for Israel type security and some of you only want your head patted as you stroll through security (so TSA does not infringe on your "civil" liberties).

So tell me...which IS it? What do you want? You can't have it both ways. What you see here are compromises. Compromises in security and civil liberty.

TSA has put up a blog for your feedback in all things TSA. They listen and give many of your suggestions thought. TSA is considerate of your ideas, opinions and even your rants. You are asked for ideas and to be a partner. Many of react by continuing the insults, slurs and attacks on TSA’s hard working TSO’s and headquarters staff. I honestly have never seen such a shameful display of human behavior until reading the comments on this blog.

Those that post shameful comments must not be familiar with the book, “All I really need to know I learned in Kindergarten”. I pasted in the principles for those of you who need a refresher course in decent human behavior:

ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED IN KINDERGARTEN
• Share.
• Play fair.
• Don't hit people.
• Put things back where you
found them.
• Clean up your own mess.
• Don't take things that
aren't yours.
• Say you're sorry when you
hurt somebody.
• Wash your hands before you
eat.
• Flush.
• Warm cookies and cold milk
are good for you.
• Live a balanced life -
learn some and think some
and draw and paint and
sing and dance and play
and work every day some.
• Take a nap every
afternoon.
• When you go out in the
world, watch out for
traffic, hold hands and
stick together.
• Be aware of wonder.
Remember the little seed
in the Styrofoam cup: the
roots go down and the
plant goes up and nobody
really knows how or why,
but we are all like that.
• Goldfish and hamsters and
white mice and even the
little seed in the
Styrofoam cup - they all
die. So do we.
• And then remember the Dick-
and-Jane books and the
first word you learned -
the biggest word of all -
LOOK.

Share
This doesn’t mean your crap, really. I am sure of it.

Play Fair
Are you? Here on this blog….are you playing fair?

Clean up your own mess.
Keeping America safe, defending your countryman from evil is a shared responsibility. So yeah, fighting terrorism is as much your mess as your governments. Pitch in why don’t you?

Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.
How many thousands of TSA employees have been hurt with your un-thoughtful comments? TSO’s serve you everyday, even when you virtually spit on them for asking for your ID.

Live a balanced life, learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
Learn some and think some... I think everyone gets that. Be quiet and listen, reflect and make sure what comes out of your mouth or what your fingers type is constructive. Those of you who appear the unhappiest...I don't think you are dancing and playing enough in your day.

When you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together.
This is EXACTLY what TSA does for you. They watch out for you 24/7. They make sure you don’t get hit by a car (figuratively), they care for your safety. Their mission is to make sure you get to your destination in one piece, and alive.

Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup - they all die. So do we.
The so do we part… we are very aware of the truth in that statement. However, not today and not on my watch. You can spit on me, you can swear at me and you can be downright hateful, but you will not die, not today and not on my watch. Get it?

And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned - the biggest word of all - LOOK.
Yeah, Look. Look here on this blog. Look here at the TSA of the future model, Look at what you think might be great about it, and constructively offer feedback on what you think could be better. Help us. Be proactive, partner with TSA, and be constructive. We are not perfect, we are constantly evolving, and TSA is asking for your help. Firing off the fact you wish for Kip to be replaced doesn’t really help now does it?

Follow the principles you learned while eating warm cookies and milk and snuggling down for a nap in a cot next to your best friend, oblivious of the evil in the world around you. We aren’t asking to be your best friend, but we are asking you to not be the bully on the playground. If you are, your parents will be called and you will be sent home.

I just don't know how much simpilar this can be addressed. Play nice, plain and simple. Do we come to your workplace and hurt you, belittle you and see you as something gross to be picked off your shirt? NO we don't...not even to "other" government employees ... you know, the ones that you thin you are "over" and the "boss" of because you pay income tax?

Submitted by Anonymous on

"Ok ... so, if we know that you're a terrorist, and you're stupid enough to try to travel under your own identity card, we can catch you with an identity card catch."

TSA negotiations to have all terrorists carry a "Real Terrorist ID" card failed. They are working on a new plan. Stay tuned.

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