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TSA Screening Barely Working Better Than Chance 337

rwise2112 writes "The General Accounting Office (GAO) has completed a study of the TSAs SPOT (Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques) program and found the program is only slightly better than chance at finding criminals. Given that the TSA has spent almost a billion dollars on the program, that's a pretty poor record. As a result, the GAO is requesting that both Congress and the president withhold funding from the program until the TSA can demonstrate its effectiveness."
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TSA Screening Barely Working Better Than Chance

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  • Fuck the TSA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sexconker ( 1179573 ) on Thursday November 14, 2013 @07:59PM (#45428159)

    Fuck 'em. Disband that shit ASAP.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward


      I will say that the TSA will spend a little extra time on males with olive skin....Sure my olive skin is from my Cherokee heritage, but that is besides the point. The fact that they are still below chance suggests that males with olive skin aren't criminals more often than chance.


      • Re:Fuck the TSA (Score:5, Interesting)

        by trollboy ( 46578 ) on Thursday November 14, 2013 @08:28PM (#45428415) Homepage

        as a 7' tall man of german descent, I always get "randomly" chosen as well. I assure you it's not so much the "olive skin" as it is the "different" or "standing out for any reason".. which is also deplorable and ineffective for the task at hand.

        And yes, no option to opt out of all the still beta FBS

    • Re:Fuck the TSA (Score:5, Informative)

      by Austrian Anarchy ( 3010653 ) on Thursday November 14, 2013 @08:34PM (#45428467) Homepage Journal

      Fuck 'em. Disband that shit ASAP.

      I tend to lean your way on that too. Airlines, buss lines, etc. should be responsible for the security of their own equipment and customers (after said customers are off the street, out of the government airport, and into the airplanes, of course).

      In Brendan I. Koerner's The Skies Belong To Us he touched on that trend beginning in 1972, when some airlines were beginning their own security measures. That all went out the window and the feds took over after the threat by hijackers of Southern Airways flight 49 [wikipedia.org] threatened to crash the plane into the reactor building of Oak Ridge National Labs.

      • Re:Fuck the TSA (Score:5, Insightful)

        by sjames ( 1099 ) on Thursday November 14, 2013 @08:50PM (#45428601) Homepage Journal

        Honestly, with the addition of locks to cockpit doors and passenger awareness of the problem, we can roll the rest back to pre 9/11 levels. It worked just fine for the most part, and the locks and passengers no longer being instructed to sit quietly and enjoy the stopover in Cuba would have taken care of 9/11 just fine.

        • Re:Fuck the TSA (Score:5, Insightful)

          by pluther ( 647209 ) <pluther@us a . net> on Thursday November 14, 2013 @08:55PM (#45428641) Homepage
          I wish I had modpoints left.

          But, this is an accurate assessment. it became obvious within days of the attacks that these two measures were about the only thing that would have made a difference. Every thing else is pure theater.

          • Aye, Fuck the TSA. All you need is someone to make sure that passengers aren't getting on the planes with guns or highly flammable materials (gas, explosives, etc). A couple of bomb sniffing dogs should be able to take care of that.
            • You are suggesting that airport security is an easy problem to solve. I suspect this is very wrong [google.com].

              I'm no fan of the TSA, but let's not be stupid here - you have to process millions of almost-all-innocent people in the search of a few actual suspects, who will have taken great steps to evade detection, and who did so in the full knowledge of all your techniques. It's not an "A couple of X should be able to take care of that" problem.

        • Re:Fuck the TSA (Score:5, Informative)

          by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Thursday November 14, 2013 @09:05PM (#45428709)

          They even figured it out on 9/11. Remember there was a 4th plane.

          • Re:Fuck the TSA (Score:5, Insightful)

            by rahvin112 ( 446269 ) on Thursday November 14, 2013 @10:16PM (#45429105)

            That plane was full of hero's. They knew they were dead, they called family and said goodbye. They were determined that they would not be used to kill thousands.

            As others have said, the TSA hasn't stopped anything. There have been two major incidents since 9/11 where terrorists boarded planes with bombs. Those terrorists weren't stopped by billion dollar security measures, they were stopped by other passengers beating the shit out of them. Between the air marshals and the other passengers I don't believe terrorists could take another plane unless they controlled more than 50% of the seats.

            Disband the TSA. It's a terrible waste of money and a downright infringement of rights.

        • Honestly, with the addition of locks to cockpit doors and passenger awareness of the problem, we can roll the rest back to pre 9/11 levels. It worked just fine for the most part, and the locks and passengers no longer being instructed to sit quietly and enjoy the stopover in Cuba would have taken care of 9/11 just fine.

          That was not one mentioned in Skies, but it is one that El Al implemented back around then and, as you say, one of the most effective measures enacted. Arming pilots is another effective layer of security too (mentioned in the book).

          • Re:Fuck the TSA (Score:5, Interesting)

            by sjames ( 1099 ) on Thursday November 14, 2013 @09:39PM (#45428921) Homepage Journal

            I'm fine with armed pilots. They should be given frangible bullets suitable for use on aircraft./p

            • I'm fine with armed pilots.

              I am not. Reason: how would the pilots use their guns? In order to use a gun the pilots need to open the cockpit door. Think about what could happen if the cockpit doors were opened during an attempted hijacking.

              • by TiggertheMad ( 556308 ) on Thursday November 14, 2013 @11:05PM (#45429351) Homepage Journal
                pistol ports in the doors would probably be an easy solution to this problem. Of course, a much simpler solution might be a trap door in front of the door...
              • by sjames ( 1099 )

                The gun would be the last line of defense should someone manage to force the door open. They should certainly not unlock the door.

            • Re:Fuck the TSA (Score:5, Informative)

              by swillden ( 191260 ) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Friday November 15, 2013 @01:29AM (#45430097) Homepage Journal

              I'm fine with armed pilots. They should be given frangible bullets suitable for use on aircraft./p

              Frangible bullets suck. Pilots should be armed with jacketed hollow points, the same thing air marshals and every other sort of law enforcement carries.

              Frangible bullets are lousy manstoppers. They tend to make wounds that are wide and shallow. Very ugly, but without enough penetration to reach major blood vessels they have no real effect on an attacker who doesn't decide to helpfully fall down and lie still. And yet they still penetrate walls and such much more than we'd like -- and would have absolutely no trouble blowing through the thin aluminum skin of an airplane.

              The bottom line with bullets is that if they have enough penetration to be useful at stopping a person, they're going to be able to pass through a few walls.

              But, really, it's not a problem. Airplanes aren't airtight to begin with. They leak air all the time when "pressurized", but continue pumping more in to maintain the desired pressure. Punch a few half-inch holes in the skin and the pumps will just compensate by increasing the flow a bit.

              The pilots should be armed with standard defensive handguns and ammunition as a last resort in case the hijackers manage to get through the locked door before the passengers beat them to death. It's unlikely they'll need their guns, but it's better to have them and not need them.

        • Re:Fuck the TSA (Score:5, Insightful)

          by reboot246 ( 623534 ) on Thursday November 14, 2013 @09:26PM (#45428853) Homepage
          I agree completely with you, sjames. The way we're going now makes the government much more dangerous than any terrorists ever thought about being. Of course, I believe that's the whole point of the government's actions. They want the citizens to be afraid of their government.
        • Re:Fuck the TSA (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Mistakill ( 965922 ) on Thursday November 14, 2013 @10:21PM (#45429129)
          Indeed you deserve mod points...

          Everyone should watch 'Please Remove Your Shoes' http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1600841/ [imdb.com] as the Israelis do it MUCH better

    • Re:Fuck the TSA (Score:4, Insightful)

      by TheGratefulNet ( 143330 ) on Thursday November 14, 2013 @11:36PM (#45429523)

      of course.

      but you DO realize that the security theater is not about security; its about compliance training for 'citizens'.

      seriously, its what the main unwritten goal is about. that, and pork barreling money to pet projects for lawmakers (kickbacks).

      arguing that the TSA does not make us safe is a non-starter. no one with control or power will listen to you.

  • Magic rock. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NettiWelho ( 1147351 ) on Thursday November 14, 2013 @08:00PM (#45428161)
    But I don’t see any tigers around, do you?
  • Purpose of the TSA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 14, 2013 @08:02PM (#45428185)

    Neither Congress nor the President will withhold funding because the purpose and effectiveness of the TSA is not defined by how many criminals it catches. The purpose, rather, is to condition the American public to accept ever increasing government restrictions on our various freedoms. By that measure, the TSA is reasonably effective.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It's apparent that you and most of the other slashtards don't understand bureaucracy. PAY ATTENTION. No one wants to take away your rights because none of you are important enough and it's too much work. Instead, the people behind the TSA, NSA, and other parts of the runaway government want the same thing that everyone else wants, Republican or Democrat, "Conservative" or "Liberal", they want more money, more power, and more importance.

      And none of you fools understand that this is just as bad as

    • by artor3 ( 1344997 ) on Thursday November 14, 2013 @08:47PM (#45428571)

      No, it's not. Don't be stupid. There's no grand conspiracy out to get you. The TSA exists because after 9/11 people demanded that the government do something to make us safer. And so the politicians created this security theater, because it's what the voters wanted.

      And they still do want it, as the TSA gets excellent approval ratings [gallup.com]. They don't know or care that it's just theater, they just want to feel safe.

      It's as simple as that. The people want to feel safe, so an organization was created to help them feel safe, even if it doesn't actually make them safe. And contrary to the ravings of the conspiracy theorists, this IS a democracy. The people get what they want, for better or worse.

      • Mod up... TSA is about the appearance of security first. Actual security is a distant second or third priority.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by 0123456 ( 636235 )

        No, it's not. Don't be stupid. There's no grand conspiracy out to get you.

        You apparently haven't been reading the news.

        The TSA exists because after 9/11 people demanded that the government do something to make us safer.


        Who exactly demanded that, other than the usual suspects in government who always want more power?

        • by artor3 ( 1344997 ) on Thursday November 14, 2013 @09:59PM (#45429021)

          I have read the news, and clearly I pay closer attention than you. I repeat: there is no grand conspiracy out to get you. The US government is run by TENS OF THOUSANDS of people, who are often fighting against each other. You think that's all an act? You think that many people, working over so many decades, could pull something like that off without leaks? No. It's not possible.

          People are people. Most people think they have good ideas about how to run things. These aren't wannabe tyrants. They legitimately believe their ideas would make life better. You are probably one of these people.

          Now, some of those people don't just daydream, they actually try to put their ideas into action. So they get involved. They get on their local school board, or run for mayor, or whatever. If things go well, they try to move up the ladder, to a position where they could spread their good ideas to more people.

          At some point, they run into other people, who have different ideas. They argue, and fight, and try to convince the public to side with them. In order to win over the public, they do things that they might not really believe in. And like all people, when they do something they don't believe in, they rationalize it. They convince themselves that it is for the best. You do this too. We all do.

          If you can learn to set aside your hatred, and remind yourself that people are people, not comic book villains, the world will make a lot more sense. There's no big evil conspiracy, except within your own imagination.

          • by AthanasiusKircher ( 1333179 ) on Thursday November 14, 2013 @10:56PM (#45429287)

            These aren't wannabe tyrants. They legitimately believe their ideas would make life better.

            You may want to take a history lesson at some point. Go read about the fall of the Roman Republic and how it gradually morphed into a dictatorship. Almost every step along the way was a guy trying to "make things better for the common man," and many if not most of them actually had noble intentions. Take a look at the sequence, from Tiberius Gracchus and his brother Gaius, Marius, Sulla, and Cinna all the way to Pompey, Crassus, and Julius Caesar, most of them were "progressive" reformers, trying to help the downcast and improve the plight of people in Rome in general.

            Plato knew this too, and placed democracy as just one step away from a dictatorship in his classification of governments. The quest to help people can easily turn to a quest for power (since the downtrodden tend to give away any power they have to someone who will given them anything)... and pretty soon you find yourself with a tyrant or at least a "noble, well-meaning" dictatorship at first.

            All through a sequence of people with good intentions and ideas to "make the world better." So was Hitler. Seriously -- this is one place it might actually be appropriate to bring him up, along with just about every other wacko dictator in history. Almost all of them started from a place where they legitimately believed their ideas would make life better.

            "Tyrants" don't have to be "wannabe." They just happen when somebody's "good ideas" turn out to be really bad for lots of people.

            And like all people, when they do something they don't believe in, they rationalize it. They convince themselves that it is for the best. You do this too. We all do.

            Yeah, the issue is that you need to draw the line somewhere. There has to be some action you can't rationalize just to make your vision for the world come true. Unfortunately, I seriously think that most people who have the initiative to get very far up the ladder in government usually are the people who don't have that "line," or at least it's so malleable depending on circumstances that they'll do whatever to maintain their position or power or ability to try out their "good ideas" for the world.

            So, no, I don't and cannot rationalize the way "rights" have been rapidly redefined in the U.S. in recent years. Most of our public officials are clearly even embarrassed themselves by what they're doing, since they bury their actions in secret documents and clandestine actions or try to hide things in piles of legislation.

            It doesn't take a grand conspiracy to erode rights, and it doesn't take a "wannabe tyrant" to end up with a really, really bad government. It just takes a series of gradual shifts, and people doing what they can to -- as you put it -- "spread their good ideas to more people."

            The danger is when people like you fail to see that a sequence of such bad trends can accumulate into something really bad, without necessarily a grand conspiracy of any sort.

          • The US government is run by TENS OF THOUSANDS of people,

            no, it is most certainly NOT run by that many people.

            there are a few dozen at the very top who pull the strings.

            the rest are pawns.

            you may not believe that there is a control element going on (you may be a false flag here, too, btw; you seem to argue pretty strongly in favor of the government...) but everyone else with half a brain seems to understand this pretty clearly.

          • by Tom ( 822 )

            These aren't wannabe tyrants. They legitimately believe their ideas would make life better.

            They are actually the worst kind. As another comment already pointed out, most of the tyrants in history belong to this category.

            And they are bad, really bad. Because they are driven by conviction. They think they are right. Those who know they're only in it for the money/power/pussy also know to get out when the going gets tough. The idealists, on the other hand, would rather see the world burn than step down, because they think they are right.

      • by AthanasiusKircher ( 1333179 ) on Thursday November 14, 2013 @09:52PM (#45428987)

        No, it's not. Don't be stupid. There's no grand conspiracy out to get you.

        Hmm... can you still say that with a straight face after the Edward Snowden stuff?

        Look, I'm NOT a conspiracy theorist. I think the 9/11 "truthers" and the "birthers" and whoever else are mostly lunatics.

        But when I first started hearing about all the crap that was loaded into the Patriot Act, it was pretty scary. And little-by-little, over the years, more and more crap about SECRET government power grabs has come out. After all the stuff with Snowden, etc., can you seriously go around calling people "stupid" who suggest that the government is gradually increasing its power grab into our rights?

        I agree with you that the TSA is security theatre, and Americans wanted something that made them feel safer about flying. But that doesn't explain SECRET initiatives in the past decade or so created by the government that are intent on gradually eroding the First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments (among others).

        If these "rights overrides" were supposed to make us all feel better about how the government is protecting us, why the heck aren't they made public knowledge?

        Don't get me wrong -- I'm not suggesting that there is some secret group of government officials planning to take away our rights piece-by-piece. It's nothing so organized and calculated.

        Instead, politicians are generally interested in two things: (1) getting re-elected, (2) having personal power.

        Politicians are probably just as scared as many Americans are about having another terrorist attack -- at 9/11, it swung in the way of the incumbent administration, which convinced the People that its bungled attempts to be aware of the terrorists should be forgotten. Instead -- "Hey, look over there -- bad guy in Iraq! He must have some bad stuff. Let's go attack them!" Of course, there's oil interests and all sorts of other power/money crap tied up in that, but let's not get into that now.

        The point is: the next time something really bad happens, the public could turn against incumbents. So, all the secret crap is a massive attempt at CYA. Hopefully lots of drones attacking apparent "terrorist civilians," the NSA spying on EVERYONE, etc. will be doing something... and if not, at least it's probably paying a lot of government cronies through contracts and such, who probably can help at election time. Even if they don't manage to prevent an attack, they could trot out all the stuff they did do.

        And along the way, the government gradually ratchets up the power they're taking and consolidating, which doesn't generally make any government officials unhappy.

        It's not a "grand conspiracy." But the power grabs are deliberate and often kept secret, as they erode our rights. So even if it's not an organized attempt to take away our rights, effectively it does condition us to gradually accept more "flexibility" about our rights (as the GP argued)... something which can be helpful at times for people who like to be in power.

        And contrary to the ravings of the conspiracy theorists, this IS a democracy. The people get what they want, for better or worse.

        Yeah, sort of. Any psychologist would tell you that people often tend to make bad choices for themselves. They may think they "want" something, but they really don't -- nevertheless, they keep making stupid choices.

        Hence, Congress has had approval ratings in the toilet for almost as long as anyone can remember (generally excepting wartime, after 9/11, and such, when one has to be "patriotic" and support our Congressmen!). How is it possible that Congress can consistently have approval ratings in the 10-25% range (and even lower), yet incumbents generally keep getting reelected?

        All it takes is a little stump speachifying and a little "bacon" to bring home to the district/state, and people say, "Yeah, let's keep this guy!"

        Similarly, all it takes is some minor continuo

      • by ebno-10db ( 1459097 ) on Thursday November 14, 2013 @10:02PM (#45429035)

        There's no grand conspiracy out to get you.

        Nor does there need to be - this erosion of freedom is far more pernicious than any plot hatched in a back room. The "it's for your own good", or worse, "it's for our own good", is corrosive. Every "security enhancement" for the sake of feelgood eats away at freedom. Every step is justified as being only a minor intrusion, and thought to be worth it because we supposedly live in dangerous times.

      • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

        tsa exists largely now not for even security theater but as a jobs program - and like any jobs program the higher up you are in it the better you get paid and the more people are in it the more you get paid higher up in the chain.

        and since they're selling a tiger repelling rock, there is no upper limit on the budget from TSA's viewpoint.

        if it was just for feelgood, built with that purpose, it wouldn't be costing billions of dollars but rather just millions.

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 ) on Thursday November 14, 2013 @09:15PM (#45428781) Journal
      A US court document that made it to the press might make interesting reading:
      http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20131019/02322924936/accidentally-revealed-document-shows-tsa-doesnt-think-terrorists-are-plotting-to-attack-airplanes.shtml [techdirt.com]
      Think of an internal and external papers please checkpoint for any other "legal" issues you have with your nation.
    • by mschaffer ( 97223 ) on Thursday November 14, 2013 @09:46PM (#45428961)

      The TSA was founded to extend the welfare state. Why else would you create an agency that's sole purpose is to stack grey trays. Remember, the original name for the agency was The Tray Stackers of America. At the last minute, they were forced to change the name, but since their spiffy uniforms and badges were already on order they needed to keep with the "TSA" initials.

      After all, if the TSA was really supposed to catch weapons, terrorists, etc. at the airports I believe that even the Feds could have set up a better system.

  • by naoursla ( 99850 ) on Thursday November 14, 2013 @08:02PM (#45428187) Homepage Journal

    This is just another example of the government cutting funding for the arts. Sure, it may be security theatre but these days that is the only kind of theatre I see to have time for.

    Maybe we can get the National Endowment for the Arts to pick up the slack. Or they could move to an NPR model and hold pledge drives.

    • Please become a stand-up comedian... No, even better, run for president. The world needs more fine comedy like this.

      • I think the correct response is "I find what you have to say very interesting, how can I sign up for your newsletter?"

    • by Xtifr ( 1323 )

      Heh, comments like this are why I haven't given up on Slashdot completely! :)

  • ...as all of the other security theater they spend billions / year on. Why stop with SPOT? How many terr'rists have been caught by body scanners versus good old metal detectors? How many terr'rists have been caught by Freedom Gropes? Oh, I get it, travelers don't actually see SPOT in action. Carry on.
  • by AlienSexist ( 686923 ) on Thursday November 14, 2013 @08:04PM (#45428205)
    Both clips are from the episode: Reverse Cowgirl. That's a Security Camera [southparkstudios.com] and Mind if I Touch Your Balls, Sir? [southparkstudios.com] Enjoy!
  • With random chance you get free cancer and ass-probing. Random chance just not offer that level of customer care and retention.
  • by jfengel ( 409917 ) on Thursday November 14, 2013 @08:07PM (#45428233) Homepage Journal

    The report isn't about the nudie machines or the crotch groping. This was a program designed to spot potential problems based on the way people act. If it worked, they'd ditch the zappers and replace it with eagle-eyed security guards.

    But it doesn't work. Presumably, they spent a billion dollars because they really wanted it to work. This is, after all, patterned after the program that they use in Israel, which is very familiar with terrorism, and has been widely touted as better alternative. In Israel, though, it amounts largely to racial profiling, which has its own drawbacks (as the report points out).

    This isn't about the effectiveness of the security theater, one way or the other. It's about something that was supposed to make the security less theatrical. Except it doesn't.

    • by mbkennel ( 97636 )
      El Al has about fifty international flights per day (not much point to domestic air inside Israel). The USA has tens of thousands.

      El Al can hire high-end, experienced intelligence operatives for this task. TSA obviously doesn't.


      They can spend 10 minutes asking question to half the passengers of each flight.
      • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

        is this again how intelligence doesn't scale with population, being also the reason for ballot machines?

  • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Thursday November 14, 2013 @08:10PM (#45428271) Journal

    I love a good story about government ineffectiveness.
    Unfortunately, this particular story is bull. Their conclusions are based on "meta-analysis of 400 studies over 60 years", not an analysis of the TSA's current procedures. They looked at studies on whether college students can tell when reach other are lying.

    The TSA has some problems for sure, but this article doesn't address those.

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      Ah yes... meta-analysis. You can't take that junk seriously. It is double rounding nonsense. Statistical analysis casts out anomalous data (data that seems to be erroneous for some reason or another), and the criteria of determining what data is anomalous is an exercise of the person doing the analysis. Now you are doing analysis on those analyses, casting out more data. One more step removed than should be comfortable for anybody to take seriously
    • by Bite The Pillow ( 3087109 ) on Thursday November 14, 2013 @09:34PM (#45428903)

      It looked at the meta-analyses to see if there was any support at all to behavioral detection. It looked at the TSA data to see if the TSA could defend its own assertions. The few positive points were basically nullified by poor data collection.

      Half of the GAO summary was devoted to the part of the story you ignored, which was the relevant part. It's like you can read, but chose not to for the middle half. The story you will love is that the TSA is inept at capturing relevant data. The GAO is capable of seeing through that.

      Don't bother straining yourself, I'll even paste the words here so you can ignore them more easily.

      Further, the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) April 2011 study conducted to validate SPOT's behavioral indicators did not demonstrate their effectiveness because of study limitations, including the use of unreliable data. Twenty-one of the 25 behavior detection officers (BDO) GAO interviewed at four airports said that some behavioral indicators are subjective. TSA officials agree, and said they are working to better define them. GAO analyzed data from fiscal years 2011 and 2012 on the rates at which BDOs referred passengers for additional screening based on behavioral indicators and found that BDOs' referral rates varied significantly across airports, raising questions about the use of behavioral indicators by BDOs. To help ensure consistency, TSA officials said they deployed teams nationally to verify compliance with SPOT procedures in August 2013. However, these teams are not designed to help ensure BDOs consistently interpret SPOT indicators.

      TSA has limited information to evaluate SPOT's effectiveness, but plans to collect additional performance data. The April 2011 study found that SPOT was more likely to correctly identify outcomes representing a high-risk passenger--such as possession of a fraudulent document--than through a random selection process. However, the study results are inconclusive because of limitations in the design and data collection and cannot be used to demonstrate the effectiveness of SPOT. For example, TSA collected the study data unevenly. In December 2009, TSA began collecting data from 24 airports, added 1 airport after 3 months, and an additional 18 airports more than 7 months later when it determined that the airports were not collecting enough data to reach the study's required sample size. Since aviation activity and passenger demographics are not constant throughout the year, this uneven data collection may have conflated the effect of random versus SPOT selection methods.

  • Chance has been working pretty hard lately, and from what I hear he is very thorough.

  • by Press2ToContinue ( 2424598 ) * on Thursday November 14, 2013 @08:22PM (#45428383)

    for decades, and is a nation that much more frequently faces domestic terrorism. What are the chances they have a better, and cheaper method? Oops, they use common sense. Never mind.

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/01/11/yeffet.air.security.israel/ [cnn.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 14, 2013 @08:25PM (#45428401)
    is how much taxpayer money can it funnel into private hands thanks to paranoia and security theater?
  • by gmuslera ( 3436 ) on Thursday November 14, 2013 @08:28PM (#45428413) Homepage Journal

    That means that for each 100 people abused by the TSA [libertymusings.com] or just detained for a deeper inspection, 50 were found guilty of something? Or must be read like it could be random chance throwing 100 dices and that all hit 6?

    Anyway, if they are forced to improve numbers, they will find enough victims, after all everyone commits 3 felonies a day [wsj.com]

  • by bobbied ( 2522392 ) on Thursday November 14, 2013 @08:38PM (#45428505)

    TSA is not about providing security, despite the word being in it's name. TSA is about the appearance of security..

    If it was about security, they would have never spent a billion on such worthless tripe. They would have spent a billion buying blue gloves for pat downs, doing background checks and buying boat loads of video cameras to watch.

    This was somebodies billion dollar boondoggle idea to try and sound like they where doing something.

  • by DigitAl56K ( 805623 ) on Thursday November 14, 2013 @09:01PM (#45428683)

    "We have an Accountability Office?? How much does THAT cost??"

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I've always thought that working for the Government Accountability Office (GAO) must be incredibly depressing. They must just see billions upon billions wasted, produce reports or try and enact change, then get ignored because the right congress people have been paid off. Must be a sad and depressing existence.
  • by The Grim Reefer ( 1162755 ) on Thursday November 14, 2013 @09:13PM (#45428777)
    Well that's much better than I would have guessed.
  • Since when is that the job of the TSA? Surely, the TSA's job is to stop people from bringing bombs, guns and knives onto airplanes.
  • Imagine if they only spent half a billion; the program wouldn't even be as good as random chance!

  • There is zero chance that Congress or the White House will withhold as much as a penny from TSA. As soon as someone says "do you want the terrorists to win?" the GAO and everyone else will collapse.

Solutions are obvious if one only has the optical power to observe them over the horizon. -- K.A. Arsdall