Oct 032006

I see from the TSA website that we’re now allowed small quantities of liquids on board flights in the U.S.A., and I assume other countries will also start allowing these items. And knitting needles and books are still allowed, so we’ll have something to do on the flights. The thought of a long flight to Australia or Europe with nothing to do was not pleasant…

And you can now buy cans of drink again in the secure boarding areas. I never understood that particular ban, I must admit. If you think about it, whoever decided on that ban ascribed an ability to plan and execute that far exceeds anything anyone is likely to pull off without being found out somewhere along the way. To get some sort of liquid explosive into a can of soft drink (pop) in a vending machine in the secure area would be hard enough, but then making sure the right person gets to that particular can without anybody else accidentally getting in first seems impossible to me, if you postulate that the person who is meant to get the can has to act normal so as not to attract attention. And then making sure the can doesn’t leak at any stage, particularly when it goes thump into the tray… Overall I think the risk of someone making a bomb out of ingredients passed along in that way is infinitesimal. Anyone that organized would choose other, easier methods. Bruce Schneier calls this security theater; his blog should be required reading for whomever sets the rules as well as those having to carry them out. For the rest of us, particularly those subject to the rules, his articles show clear thinking. For example, this piece discussing the airplane security measures and how the London terrorists who started the liquids scare were apprehended. Highly recommended reading.

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