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Traveling With Homemade Gadgets

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009
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The internet, as I am sure you all would agree, is a marvelous thing. People from coast to coast and around the world have used it for everything… researching term papers, reading the news, paying bills and even writing blogs. The internet is also a marvelous tool for those looking to save or spend money. These tough economic times have led many passengers to search for discount flights on the Internet and even, as we have learned at TSA, used the Internet to learn to make homemade gadgets. It’s these gadgets that have caused some …. How shall we say, second and third looks at the checkpoint. By second and third looks I’m not talking about just TSA, I’m talking our Bomb Appraisal Officers (BAO) and local bomb squads. In a matter of minutes this morning, Blogger Bob found Internet sites with “how to build” instructions for a desulfator and radio receiver in a common mint tin (a desulfator is used to put high voltage pulses into a battery), a guitar amp out of a cigarette pack , a mint tin made into a guitar and a circuit bender made from an old plastic parts kit . While none of these items are threatening in and of themselves, imagine what a mint tin with wires, batteries and a switch looks like in an x-ray machine. While each of these items gets the award for creativity, it might be a good idea to put these items in your checked baggage or maybe even leave them at home. However, if you have to bring them with you, maybe letting our folks know that you are the master innovator could prevent any unnecessary surprises from occurring. Nonetheless, expect some extra scrutiny… What do I mean by further scrutiny? Yesterday, March 24, an item very similar to those described above, was blown into a zillion pieces in Palm Springs, California, because neither our officers, our BAO or the local bomb squad could determine with 100% certainty the item didn’t pose a threat after seeing it on the x-ray. So, if you are traveling with a homemade charger, amp, desulfator or anything with batteries, screws and wires sticking out of it that could be deemed out of the ordinary, please tell us. It will probably allow us and the local bomb squad to help keep your items in one piece, not a zillion. Probably… Nico - EOS Blog Team 
UPDATE: Based on the comments, Nico & I felt a clarification was needed. This post purposely never mentioned a passenger because the bag was left unattended and there was no passenger available to interview. We're not implying that you cannot travel with these types of items, we're just pointing out that they could be of concern, or possibly even hold you up a little bit. Listen, we think these things are cool too, but this is just a friendly "heads up" and not a threat. Also, explosive detection systems would not identify these types of items in checked baggage, because they aren't explosives. Our checked baggage machines use CT technology and can actually recognize and alarm on potential explosives.  
Blogger Bob EOS Blog Team

Comments

Submitted by Clark on

Then perhaps the TSA needs to get its out head out of its not-invented-here-butt and buy some sniffers so it can actually secure this country AND protect the rights of the people so only a truly dangerous device will cause "extra scrutiny."

Submitted by Anonymous on

What you are really saying is, you don't trust boxes that don't have corporate logos on them. Hence we should all slap a "Sony" logo on any of our home made electronics and spend as much time on the box as the innards. This then means of course that only someone with a LOT of motivation to hide something would bother going through that hassle, but would have no problems because as long as it is black, shiny and has a corporate logo on it you will beleive it is benign.

So basically, you don't want citizens to do lawful things, but simply so you are not inconvenienced not because it improves security. And to drive the point in, you picked someone to make an example of.

Submitted by RB on

What do I mean by further scrutiny? Yesterday, March 24, an item very similar to those described above, was blown into a zillion pieces in Palm Springs, California, because neither our officers, our BAO or the local bomb squad could determine with 100% certainty the item didn’t pose a threat after seeing it on the x-ray.
........................
Not snarking,

Did they ask the owner what the device was before blowing it up?

If an item such as you describe was in checked baggage as you suggest would not the end result be the same.

Xray would identify an unknown item with wires causing additional inspection, TSA would not know what the item was and precautions would be taken (item blown to bits).

Submitted by K T Stevenson on

I would like to think that officers assigned to x-ray screening, secondary screening, and especially bomb squad members would have basic electronics training. After all, aren't the behavioral assessment (I forget the proper term) officers specially trained?

While I understand that an abundance of caution is the order of the day, making the automatic assumption that anything that looks homemade and contains wires and electronics parts constitutes a threat strikes me as poor policy. A little training, coupled with the other checks (like explosive residue sniffers) that are already in place would make much more sense than blowing up a homebrew iPod battery extender that an electronics hobbyist assembled in an Altoids tin.

Submitted by Anonymous on
"In a matter of minutes this morning, Blogger Bob found Internet sites with “how to build” instructions for a desulfator and radio receiver in a common mint tin (a desulfator is used to put high voltage pulses into a battery), a guitar amp out of a cigarette pack, a mint tin made into a guitar and a circuit bender made from an old plastic parts kit. While none of these items are threatening in and of themselves, imagine what a mint tin with wires, batteries and a switch looks like in an x-ray machine.

While each of these items gets the award for creativity, it might be a good idea to put these items in your checked baggage or maybe even leave them at home. However, if you have to bring them with you, maybe letting our folks know that you are the master innovator could prevent any unnecessary surprises from occurring. Nonetheless, expect some extra scrutiny…

What do I mean by further scrutiny? Yesterday, March 24, an item very similar to those described above, was blown into a zillion pieces in Palm Springs, California, because neither our officers, our BAO or the local bomb squad could determine with 100% certainty the item didn’t pose a threat after seeing it on the x-ray."


Do you guys enjoy posting flamebait? Now when I travel with my gadgets (err...personal property) that you only deem 99.9% safe, you're going to demolish it into a million pieces??? Here come the en-masse lawsuits. Who are you to tell me to leave my non-dangerous items at home? Why do we have to justify everything to you? Makes me sick!


Bomb Appraisal Officers (BAO) - learned a new TSA acronym today!
Submitted by Anonymous on

Can you reassure us that if we tell the TSO about our custom-made devices, he won't automatically prohibit them? What recourse do we have if he does? I suspect we're better off saying nothing and hoping they don't notice.

Not too long ago, TSA confiscated/stole a home-made battery pack even after determining it was not a threat. Then they touted the confiscation/theft on their web site as a success story.

A few years ago, TSA sent a flyertalker's laptop to the bomb squad for detonation. Of course, it was harmless. The passenger never received an apology, let alone compensation. It was not an isolated incident.

The burden of proving that a device is safe should not be on the passenger; the burden of proving it dangerous should be on the TSA. Hint: if it passes an ETD swab, it's almost certainly not an explosive. If it's not a weapon, explosive, or incendiary, you have no business with it.

Oh, and if we put it in our checked baggage, as you suggest, not only do we risk the item being stolen by a TSO, but we risk the item being destroyed by the TSA/bomb-squad "out of an abundance of caution" without them ever asking the passenger about it.

I'm an electrical engineer, have traveled with custom or modified devices several times, and have been scared of what TSA would do each time. Fortunately they've never bothered to take note. But IMO warning TSA about the device in advance is just asking for trouble.

Submitted by Brandon Daniel on

As someone who builds and travels with said gadgets, "Check them or leave them at home" is completely insufficient as a response. The *point* of these gadgets is to extend the life of our portable electronics on long flights on outdated airplanes lacking in power outlets. Checking them or leaving them at home defeats the purpose of *having them*.

How about reccommending that travelers remove the batteries prior to xray (reducing the suspicious profile in the xray), make the screening agent aware of it's existence, and, if need be, show the device charging one of the traveler's portable electronic units to the screener?

Bomb squad calls and detonation was completely avoidable. I hope this traveler was compensated for his loss and caught his flight without delay.

Submitted by Anonymous on

While I'm sure there have been plenty of TSA over reactions, any security checkpoint would probably freak out seeing one of these on an X-Ray. Use common sense people - don't bring your IED look-a-likes on a plane.

Submitted by Jim Huggins on

So, if you are traveling with a homemade charger, amp, desulfator or anything with batteries, screws and wires sticking out of it that could be deemed out of the ordinary, please tell us. It will probably allow us and the local bomb squad to help keep your items in one piece, not a zillion. Probably…

Except if your name is Scot Peele.

Submitted by Jay Maynard on

So, I guess I shouldn't ever travel with my TRON costume any more, since the armor pieces have batteries and wires running all over the place (the glow effect is from electroluminescent wire). I am DAMNED sure not going to check it, since it's an extremely attractive target for theft, being both famous and unique, and I'm not going to ship it, since I don't let it out of my custody.

So far, I've had it ETDd a bunch of times, and one extremely zealous TSO insisted on removing it from my suitcase and running it back through the X-ray, but it hasn't been taken from me and destroyed...

I don't know how much it's worth. I do know it's valuable, and since other things that are associated with Internet fame have gone for five-figure sums on eBay, I have every reason to believe it would be worth a substantial amount of money. I sure hope the TSA keeps that in mind.

Submitted by Abelard on
What you are really saying is, you don't trust boxes that don't have corporate logos on them.

Nope. That doesn't work either.

Remember, the TSA caused a passenger to miss his flight because they didn't understand what a Mac Airbook was.

http://tinyurl.com/2lq4dl

Don't worry, though. No matter how legitimate the item is, if a TSO doesn't feel comfortable with it, you wait or lose it.

I would suggest the TSA require their TSOs to read up on electronic and medical gadgets and such, but that won't do any good.

Most of my friends still say they get grilled about their CPAPs every time they fly.
Submitted by Trollkiller on
While each of these items gets the award for creativity, it might be a good idea to put these items in your checked baggage or maybe even leave them at home.

Let me get this right, if you can't tell what it is in a carry on you will blow it up, BUT if we put in in checked luggage it should be fine.

This tells me that the TSA is not as thorough at checked luggage security as it is carry on. Either that or you expect the device to be stolen before it gets on the plane.

Oh wait I now get it, if I place it in my checked luggage you can pilfer it and destroy it without any chance of me protesting your stupidity.

After the fact as you and I both know the TSA will shrug its collective shoulders and say "it must have been the airlines".

Brilliant.
Submitted by Anonymous on

Nice post guys... never knew this kind of stuff was made, but certaily makes you thnk twice....

Submitted by Anonymous on

awesome.. i'm a security geek (by occupation) and i often travel with these sorts of gizmos *constantly*.. in fact many times these gizmos are why people hire me... not being able to travel with these would offically put undue restrictions on my biz travel..

way to go TSA, Kip hawley does it again!

Submitted by Anonymous on

Rb says...
If an item such as you describe was in checked baggage as you suggest would not the end result be the same.

Xray would identify an unknown item with wires causing additional inspection, TSA would not know what the item was and precautions would be taken (item blown to bits).

March 25, 2009 6:56 PM

Yet another example of how much you dont know. The baggage xrays do not look for wires im afraid. Your credibility here is on par with bernie madoff in wall st.

Submitted by Tomas on

Back when working at an internationally renowned research lab, it was fairly common for me to travel to various locations with valuable one-of-a-kind prototype devices for testing in the field.

Those trips were via commercial air.

I suspect that many of the devices would have been totally non-understandable to the average TSO, their supervisors, their managers, or anyone else employed by TSA.

Those devices were usually hand carried because they were valuable, fragile prototypes, and often the ONLY one in existence.

There is no excuse for the ill-prepared non-experts destroying things like some primitive tribe because they don't understand them.

(Yes, TSA has done this before - July, 2008, Replicating Rapid-prototyper.)

Tom

Submitted by CJ on

I'm confused - why should telling you what it is prevent it from being blown up? Otherwise a super clever terrorist could just tell you it's a homemade iPod charger when it's actually a bomb....

Face it - you need to let electronics through, or evaluate all them thoroughly. Homemade devices can be innocent; commercial devices could have been modified. You can't use that a criteria.

Submitted by Bubba on

"Yesterday, March 24, an item very similar to those described above, was blown into a zillion pieces in Palm Springs, California, because neither our officers, our BAO or the local bomb squad could determine with 100% certainty the item didn’t pose a threat after seeing it on the x-ray."

So if you can´t determine with 100% certainty it is safe, you just blow it up? What happened to presumed innocent until proven guilty? Seriously, absolutely nothing can be determined to be 100% safe, which within this logic allows you to blow up anything you want to!

Submitted by TSORon on

One of the biggest challenges in my time on the checkpoint has been trying to interpret a 2 dimensional picture into a 3 dimensional object. In other words, trying to figure out what that is on the screen. To the average layman who has no experience with X-Rays other than what their doctor shows them when they break something, the pictures we see seem to represent something from another planet. With training and experience one can usually look at an object on the X-Ray screen and determine what it is, but that takes time. We have some really good training aids for this, but as most people know no matter how hard the professionals try the aids never really live up to the actual thing. And remember, there are highly educated doctors that get paid a great deal to do what we do, and they usually know what they are looking at before they ever have to view the picture.

We depend a lot on personal life experience when we interpret the images we see, and in those times when we see an image we just cant get our minds around we will ask for assistance from either another TSO or one of the Leads or Supervisors on the checkpoint. Ultimately, the decision to hand check a bag or item rests with the X-Ray operator. If we just cannot determine what an object is, or if a known object appears to have been modified, then a hand check of the bag is required.

So, building a radio into an Altoids can is more than reason enough for me to have it hand checked. Usually this will include an ETD test and a few questions of the owner. Depending on the outcome of that the passenger may be able to continue their trip with their home made whatever. Most bombs now days are home made as well, so to expect to go through a checkpoint without your radio or charger being given more than a casual review is an unrealistic expectation.

Submitted by GSOLTSO on

Anon said "awesome.. i'm a security geek (by occupation) and i often travel with these sorts of gizmos *constantly*.. in fact many times these gizmos are why people hire me... not being able to travel with these would offically put undue restrictions on my biz travel..

way to go TSA, Kip hawley does it again!"

Way to keep up with your current events Anon, Kip has been gone for a bit. As for the content of the post, if the item poses a possible threat, we will call the BAO (and probably the BDO, the LEO and any other acronym we can come up with) to ensure that we clear the item properly. I think it is excellent that we now have the BAO's available to help us! Most of the BAO's have been hands on with more explosives than most demolitions experts in the business world! If there is a valid concern about an item, then it has to be cleared.

Submitted by GSOLTSO on

TrollKiller said "Let me get this right, if you can't tell what it is in a carry on you will blow it up, BUT if we put in in checked luggage it should be fine.

This tells me that the TSA is not as thorough at checked luggage security as it is carry on. Either that or you expect the device to be stolen before it gets on the plane.

Oh wait I now get it, if I place it in my checked luggage you can pilfer it and destroy it without any chance of me protesting your stupidity.

After the fact as you and I both know the TSA will shrug its collective shoulders and say "it must have been the airlines"."


I will take a stab in the dark here, but some of the baggage areas (admittedly not all of them) have better screening equipment that operates in a different way. You guys can all look up the machines and some of the tech specs and all that, but the basic reason it stands a better chance of making it through checked baggage with less opportunity for more physical scrutiny is the way the machines operate. There are several types of baggage x-rays that operate on more than just imagery. Hope that helps a bit, not the best explanation, but at least a basic one.

Submitted by RB on

..................................

Blog Ops, if this post is a near duplicate please toss. First post attempt resulted in a posting error.
..................................


Anonymous said...
Rb says...
If an item such as you describe was in checked baggage as you suggest would not the end result be the same.

Xray would identify an unknown item with wires causing additional inspection, TSA would not know what the item was and precautions would be taken (item blown to bits).

March 25, 2009 6:56 PM

Yet another example of how much you dont know. The baggage xrays do not look for wires im afraid. Your credibility here is on par with bernie madoff in wall st.

March 25, 2009 9:49 PM

............................
To Anon, I make no claim to being an expert in xray imaging.

I asked a question and then set up an example of what I was talking about.

However, I find it interesting that you claim that a device with wires coming out of it would not be detected by the xray systems used to clear checked baggage.

So if a person did as Nico suggested in his post and placed the item in a checked bag that device would go undetected.

If that is truly the case why would an employee of TSA disclose that type of information?

I find your remark comparing me to Madoff a bit odd. Did it make you feel good doing that? What is not surprising to me is that you hide behind the "anon" tag. You do validate my opinion of the typical TSO.

Submitted by Bob on

I just added an update to this blog post.

Thanks!

Bob

Eos Blog Team

Submitted by Patrick (BOS TSO) on

This here is an IRA firebomb.

This picture came out of a book I got as a kid.

Thankfully, The Troubles are over (though the RIRA and CIRA beg to differ).

Of course, for 30-40 years, these devices and countless others wreaked havoc across across Northern Ireland killing and maiming thousands.

And can you not look at that and tell me that doesn't look much different then many of the items, Bob showed above.

Now I feel for electronic hobbyists as I'm aspiring one myself... though I haven't picked up a soldering iron in a while. (Thinking of buying myself a Ramsey Electronics aircraft band receiver kit, but that's beside the point.)

Here in TSA... we have an acronym, it's called...

PIES

Yes, it sounds silly but that's what it's called.

PIES means this:
Power Source
Initiator
Explosive
Switch/Timer

Power Source is what more or less powers the bomb of course... as in the switch and provides the electrical charge to the initiator.

The initiator? Well... that's a good ole' detonator.

Explosive (or in this case an incendiary) is self-explanatory...

And the Switch is what will
activate the bomb and well... BOOM... unless the terrorist decided they wanted a timer instead.

Now what's in that fire bomb can also be found in many electronics.

And it's what we're trained to look for... the BAOs are especially trained to look for and not only that but analyze it and determine and what bomb squads are obviously trained in finding, analyzing and defusing.

And trust me... the BAOs are trained because they're required to be as pointed out in our hiring FAQs

And I'll quote it too:
To serve as a BAO it is a requirement that an employee be a graduate from an accredited Improvised Explosive Devices/Bomb Disposal Course, given by the FBI’s HDS or the Naval School Explosive Ordnance Disposal School, and has field experience as a military or civilian Explosive Ordnance Disposal or Bomb Technicians. This education and experience is required as a minimum deciding factor for selection as a BAO. If an individual does not possess this education and experience, they will not be considered for any BAO vacancies.

And now if our own internal bomb tech and external LEO bomb techs can't determine that they device the destroyed was 100% safe, I'm going to stick by them because their trained to determine whither or not it's an IED... and they felt it wasn't. Although, perhaps... they should have swabbed it.

Anywho, if have a prototype device and that you think will look unique and strange tell the TSO to treat them very carefully... because I do.
Trust me, I will slow as molasses when taking something fragile out of a bag.

If you don't feel safe trusting it with a TSO... tell them you want STSO (a supervisor TSO) and tell them you want this handled carefully as can be, they will usually comply... but if they don't ask to speak to the screening manager and they will most likely take it seriously into to consideration.

That there is my advice, and I'd say the best advice there is because that's practically the only way it go about with something like that.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Thanks TSARon. I think your comments would be received much better if they were similar to this one.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I have a small oscilloscope mfg by Tektronix. I had one TSO comment on the nomenclature on one of the ports (maximum 600 Volts) and was asked what that meant and if it was dangerous. At that point I said "that is the maximum input voltage and it outputs nothing." Was asked by another TSO what it did and I said "it provides an amplitude vs time display for electronic signals." Again I suspected that they were going to confiscate it. Needless to say that it stays home when I fly anymore. Can't trust TSA to do the right thing.

Sad, that something as harmless as a digital o'scope gets view as being suspect. It even has the Tektronix logo prominently display on it and all of the accessories.

Sad.

Submitted by Bob on

Mr.Oscilloscope Said:
Sad, that something as harmless as a digital o'scope gets view as being suspect. March 26, 2009 12:02PM
---------------------------------
Hmmm. Let's see... Your O-scope was always allowed to travel right? You stopped bringing it on your own account.

I find nothing wrong with our TSOs asking questions about something that looks odd. And yes, an O-scope image on the x-ray looks odd.

Bob

EoS Blog Team

Submitted by Anonymous on
Hmmm. Let's see... Your O-scope was always allowed to travel right? You stopped bringing it on your own account.

I find nothing wrong with our TSOs asking questions about something that looks odd. And yes, an O-scope image on the x-ray looks odd.

Bob

I stopped carrying it because of issues at the checkpoints, not because of anything else. Since it is expensive (>$2,000) it didn't get checked. Baggage thieves again (both TSA and airlines). Didn't want any of the accessories taken out due to a sharp point on the scope probes. This wasn't an issue before TSA took over.
Submitted by RB on

Bob, I find it interesting that someone left an unknown electronic item at the check point.

Could have just been an honest mistake but I can see how this type of event set off a chain of events.

Knowing the full story helps with why the item was destroyed.

Had the owner been present I am sure the outcome would have been different.

I, and I would think other readers appreciate having "The Rest of the Story".

Submitted by Anonymous on

Here come the en-masse lawsuits.
___________________________________
What a joke. You people always bringing up the TSA and lawsuits. You guys are really funny. Don't you think that TSA has a team of law professionals who give them the go ahead before they do anything. Because they do. And everyone and their make believe law suits are funny. Makes me laugh everytime someone says they are going to sue.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Not too long ago, TSA confiscated/stole a home-made battery pack even after determining it was not a threat. Then they touted the confiscation/theft on their web site as a success story.
___________________________________
A battery is a main component of an IED. Why would anyone think that it is ok to carry a home-made battery that probably looked terribly suspicious through an airport checkpoint. Leave that kind of garbage at home. I would have taken it too.

Submitted by Phil on

In an update to the original post, Bob at TSA wrote:

"explosive detection systems would not identify these types of items in checked baggage, because they aren't explosives. Our checked baggage machines use CT technology and can actually recognize and alarm on potential explosives."

Earlier, Nico at TSA wrote:

"Yesterday, March 24, an item very similar to those described above, was blown into a zillion pieces in Palm Springs, California, because neither our officers, our BAO or the local bomb squad could determine with 100% certainty the item didn’t pose a threat after seeing it on the x-ray."

Bob, your information conflicts with Nico's. If your equipment can determine that the object was not a bomb, then why were your staff, BAO (whatever that is), or the local bomb squad so concerned that it might be a bomb that they "blew it into a zillion pieces"?

--
Phil

Submitted by Anonymous on

Bob,

Thank you for tackling this issue on the blog. It's a step in the right direction that TSA administration is at least nominally aware of maker culture.
There have been some valid points raised in the comments, like how commercial electronics in fancy casings will automatically receive less scrutiny than something in an altoids tin. (How do you respond to that?) Anonymous 7:22 also asked why explosive detection swabs are not used in cases like this, and I feel that is worth your time to address too.

I understand your position that home-made electronics stand out and so get further inspection, it makes sense in a certain way, however it seems like a simple solution would be to train TSOs in basic electronics, and expose them to X-Rays of many many different kinds of electronic devices as part of their training. You guys are looking for things that stand out as different, and while TSOs can't be expected to be able to immediately identify everything that comes through the XRay machine, I think in the case of electronics it is worth investing in training to recognized different electronics. If the airport employee who panicked when she saw Star SImpson's shirt had remembered her high school physics unit on electricity, we might not have needlessly terrorized and imprisoned a 19-year-old girl.

Submitted by Matthew M (Was... on

A tough policy on homemade electronics is simply a common sense step that all TSA can take to prevent possible incidents. If it means leaving homemade electronics at home, it is a small price to pay for both the safety of passengers and the efficient expedition of security checks. TSA safety checks screen thousands of individuals daily, so leaving electronics at home that may raise warning signs is an easy way to speed up the process. If ensuring my safety takes a little extra time, I am more than willing to leave for the airport a half hour early.

Stringent checks such as these prevent numerous incidents yearly and are part of a policy that has ensured that no terrorist attacks on planes have occured since 9/11. I am glad to see that the TSA is taking the safety of the American people seriously.

Submitted by Anonymous on

So, I guess I shouldn't ever travel with my TRON costume any more, since the armor pieces have batteries and wires running all over the place (the glow effect is from electroluminescent wire). I am DAMNED sure not going to check it, since it's an extremely attractive target for theft, being both famous and unique, and I'm not going to ship it, since I don't let it out of my custody.
___________________________________
OMG a TRON costume. I knew it. This is exactly what I picture the people who are constantly complaining sitting aroung on the computer wearing while they are blogging. HA!!!!!!

Submitted by Anonymous on

Most of my friends still say they get grilled about their CPAPs every time they fly.
_________________________
I doubt that anyone is getting grilled about their CPAP. But yes, A CPAP is an electronic that is tested everytime that it comes through a checkpoint. Thanks.

Submitted by RB on

A battery is a main component of an IED. Why would anyone think that it is ok to carry a home-made battery that probably looked terribly suspicious through an airport checkpoint. Leave that kind of garbage at home. I would have taken it too.

March 26, 2009 1:28 PM

...........................

"I would have taken it too."
..................................


So even if it is determined that an item is not a hazard you would "take it"!

That is confiscation or put more simply just plain theft.

So much for the assurances that TSO's never "take" things.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I find your remark comparing me to Madoff a bit odd. Did it make you feel good doing that? What is not surprising to me is that you hide behind the "anon" tag. You do validate my opinion of the typical TSO.
___________________________________
Whatever this post is that you speak of it was not me. Although I too post ANON. Why? Because it is no ones business who I am. I can still give my opinion with out my identity. Have a nice day. :)

Submitted by Anonymous on

"A battery is a main component of an IED. Why would anyone think that it is ok to carry a home-made battery that probably looked terribly suspicious through an airport checkpoint."

You are aware that there are batteries in your cell phone, camera, laptop, dvd player, watch, PSP, etc... You think they can't be used as power sources? Oddly, we are not even talking about home-made batteries which would have to be very carefully made to not leak acid all over the place, but rather home-made devices, such as battery packs, with purchased batteries in them. But please, feel free to continue talking.

Nobody is saying it makes sense to bring a home made battery pack charging a warming wire embedded in a 2 pound block of cheddar cheese controlled by a cell-phone timer... for on the go racellete.

Almost anything is a power source and ignition these days, the only thing you can screen for is the chemical energy store.

Submitted by Anonymous on

You are aware that there are batteries in your cell phone, camera, laptop, dvd player, watch, PSP, etc... You think they can't be used as power sources? Oddly, we are not even talking about home-made batteries which would have to be very carefully made to not leak acid all over the place, but rather home-made devices, such as battery packs, with purchased batteries in them. But please, feel free to continue talking.
___________________________________
Sure I am aware that these batteries exist. Thank you for the information though. Everyone can travel with all of these batteries, but there is no reason to tamper with batteries, wheather it is innocent or not. To bring something like this through a checkpoint is not neccissay. Leave it at home.

If someone is traveling with a stange prototype or a weird machine that we never see. So what! It is tested and on their way they go. I have never had a problem of that sort.

Submitted by Anonymous on

One person's experience about talking a Supersize Minty Boost through TSA. (With Cops!!)

Submitted by Jay Maynard on

Anonymous@1:35PM 3/26: Not just a TRON costume..theTRON costume that's famous around the Internet. I travel with it to do TV segments and make personal appearances and the like. On those trips, that costume is the reason for the trip. If I can't travel with it, there's no point in making the trip.

Submitted by Wheresmydrive on
Now what's in that fire bomb can also be found in many electronics.

Uh...what? Except for the initiator and the explosives, you mean? Every electronic device - homemade or otherwise - is going to have a power source and most of them have a switch of some kind - possibly several.
Submitted by RB on

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re: Whatever this post is that you speak of it was not me. Although I too post ANON. Why? Because it is no ones business who I am. I can still give my opinion with out my identity. Have a nice day. :)

March 26, 2009 1:48 PM
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Please see post March 25, 2009 9:49 PM on this thread, Anon.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Anonymous@1:35PM 3/26: Not just a TRON costume..the TRON costume that's famous around the Internet. I travel with it to do TV segments and make personal appearances and the like. On those trips, that costume is the reason for the trip. If I can't travel with it, there's no point in making the trip.
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Wow not impressed, no need for an explanation on "THE TRON" costume. I didn't even know what it was until I googled it. And how can I put this nicely, I couldn't be more uninterested in it.

Submitted by TSO-Joe on

"Then perhaps the TSA needs to get its out head out of its not-invented-here-butt and buy some sniffers so it can actually secure this country AND protect the rights of the people so only a truly dangerous device will cause "extra scrutiny.""

Last I heard (and we all know how reliable THAT can be!) is that the sniffers work really well in the dust-free lab, but out in the real world, dust and other contaminents cause too many "false postives. We were to get these sniffers at MSP, but they have not been installed due to the reason above.

TSO-Joe

Submitted by Anonymous on

"Remember, the TSA caused a passenger to miss his flight because they didn't understand what a Mac Airbook was."

Even though the passenger didn't fault TSA for missing his flight since he said he was running late. Thou remember only what thou wants...

Submitted by Jay Maynard on

Matthew M. from DC said: Stringent checks such as these prevent numerous incidents yearly and are part of a policy that has ensured that no terrorist attacks on planes have occured since 9/11.

Gee, you sound like you work for the TSA.

You're saying that we should trust the government, in this case the TSA, to work in our best interest. Unfortunately, we have no reason to trust them, because they haven't given us any. That there have been no terrorist attacks on airplanes does not mean that that's because the TSA stopped them. It simply means there haven't been any. There haven't been any crazed elephants rampaging through the terminal at MSP, either...gonna credit the TSA for that one too?

Submitted by TSO-Joe on

"Let me get this right, if you can't tell what it is in a carry on you will blow it up, BUT if we put in in checked luggage it should be fine."

Trollkiller, I'm surprised at you! Even you know that the CTX machine will scan the homemade item an with the lack of explosive, organic material, never alarming the bag it's in so we'd never see it.

However, if you stick a hunk of cheese in it, it may alarm if you really want us pilfer it and destroy it without any chance of you protesting our stupidity.

TSO-Joe

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