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Travelers, brace yourselves for the latest indignity

Thinking about flying?  Well, in addition to "enhanced" searches and the risk that your privates may be photographed and stored by Transportation Safety Administration screeners, travelers now have one more woe to add to their litany of complaints.

According to the Daily Mail TSA agents at the Columbus, Ohio Airport have been subjecting travelers to random seizures/inspections of their drinks at the gate to "check for explosives".  

Of course, these drinks all were presumably were sold by the airport vendors, as any drink-size liquid containers are supposed to be seized by the bag screeners at the security checkpoint -- a policy that has been in place since 2006.  So at first blush it's somewhat unclear exactly why the TSA agents felt it necessary to screen passengers' Starbucks and soft drinks.

The incident has been leaked onto YouTube (of course):



Ryan Mauro, a national security analyst, told the Daily Mail, "They're worried someone could bring an ingredient past security and then mix it with a drink that turns into something else - a poison or something else."

TSA drink screening
Airport screeners test passenger's Starbucks coffee to make sure he isn't a terrorist.
[Image Source: YouTube]

In June, the U.S. reportedly thwarted an attempt to blow up an airliner by a Yemen-trained, Norwegian citizen who was a member of the militant fundamentalist Islamic group al Qaeda.  Despite the potential terrorist's plot failing, national security officials are reportedly alarmed about the fact that his spotless record and lack of inclusion on no-fly lists could have allowed him to escape scrutiny, were it not for the tips.

In a statement the TSA confirmed it might now be seizing people's drinks as a precautionary measure, commenting, "TSA employs multiple layers of security throughout the airport where passengers may be randomly selected for additional screening.  One measure may include testing liquids that are in a passenger's possession."

I
Is that a coconut water or a bomb?  Let's find out. [Image Source: YouTube]

TSA agents "examine" the beverages using a special security screen, which appears to involve taking a small dropper or swab sample of the beverage, then testing it on a slide with some sort of reagent mix.

Some say that the policy goes to far, though.  The person who captured the incident on video told the Daily Mail:

I couldn't help but notice the two TSA women that were 'testing' any and all liquids that people had in their hands.  Now remember that this is inside the terminal, well beyond the security check and purchased inside the terminal ... just people waiting to get on the plane. 

My wife and son came back from a coffee shop just around the corner, then we were approached. I asked them what they were doing. One of the TSA ladies said that they were checking for explosive chemicals (as we are drinking them). I said 'really..inside the terminal? You have got to be kidding me.'

I asked them if they wanted to swab us all. She responded with something like, yes sometimes we need to do that. I then asked if she wanted a urine sample.

The TSA is way out of control. I understand that my ranting to one of these $11.00 per hour TSA goons probably does nothing, but you have to say something. Whats next...perhaps the TSA will come to your home prior to your drive to the airport? The police state of the U.S. is OUT OF CONTROL!

Indeed, as the list of indignities grows at a pace proportional to the would-be terrorists' increasingly imaginative plots, one has to wonder where the line must be drawn.

Sources: YouTube, Daily Mail



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RE: Not about chemicals
By ian80 on 9/5/2012 10:05:01 PM , Rating: 2
So basically - there's no evidence of wrongdoing even after passing existing barriers but what the hey, you're still a suspect. Ideally we're just here to be seen to be doing something on the massively remote chance someone somewhere may do something remotely suspicious just because of the way they look.

I know, it's cheap and hasn't actually yielded results compared to actual intelligence (even rendition and torture's more effective than this crap) but something's better than nothing - at least as long as it's random because that will stump any organised terrorist organisation. Let's just hope they don't realise their plan of drinking the lethal explosive as they pass through the Starbucks outlet they've infiltrated with operatives despite TSA screening already - JUST. WONT. WORK.

Oh, and for the love of god don't let those terrorists figure out they could bring our train, bus and car networks to their knees because god forbid the nasty men realise that in actuality muppets just like us will crucify our transport capacity by demanding anyone who gets in a car submit to a full gastro-endoscopical exam in case they drive their cars loaded with explosives into major freeways (or am I just giving them commonsensical ideas). Perhaps I'm wrong, everyone submit to an exam before they get into their cars.

But I digress, this is not nazi-esque so must be alright - consequently ignore any other connotations involved, after all it's all random and involves private companies (using airspace belonging to and in all probability funded by you).

Liberty should not be sacrificed except... for the fact that maybe we're not explaining ourselves very well but trust us it's scary out there.


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