Bruce Schneier asks Is aviation security mostly for show? on Cnn.com.
Yes, yes it is. My experience traveling the last eight years is that airport security measures to go beyond the border of ridiculous and over into the 2000’s version of Theatre of the Absurd.
Once I smiled at a TSA agent and asked to anyone who didn’t listen, “Doesn’t this evoke a sense of the Dada Theatre, circa 1922?”
Lucky for me, the only thing required of me was to put my shoes in the bin and the bin on the conveyor belt. I felt that I should be chanting nonsense syllables as I walked through metal detector.
Now, I don’t ask culturally relevant art historical rhetorical questions, I just put my shoes in the bin, the bin on the belt, and smile a nice big smile as I go through the metal detector.
Cathal Kelly writes in The Star about the huge difference between Israeli and US airport security in The ‘Israelification’ of airports: High security, little bother:
Five security layers down: you now finally arrive at the only one which Ben-Gurion Airport shares with Pearson — the body and hand-luggage check.
“But here it is done completely, absolutely 180 degrees differently than it is done in North America,” Sela said.
“First, it’s fast — there’s almost no line. That’s because they’re not looking for liquids, they’re not looking at your shoes. They’re not looking for everything they look for in North America. They just look at you,” said Sela. “Even today with the heightened security in North America, they will check your items to death. But they will never look at you, at how you behave. They will never look into your eyes … and that’s how you figure out the bad guys from the good guys.”
That’s the process — six layers, four hard, two soft. The goal at Ben-Gurion is to move fliers from the parking lot to the airport lounge in a maximum of 25 minutes.
25 minutes from parking lot to airport lounge at Ben-Gurion in Tel Aviv! Now that is how to do it.
TSA, pull your head out of your ass. Time for intelligent prevention and not the mindless, droid-like bureaucratic theatre of the absurd of the last eight years.