Are the Friendly Skies Still Friendly? Air Travel Post 9/11

“Good afternoon sir. How are you today? I need to see your boarding
pass and ID please. Please remove your outermost garment. You’ll need
to take your laptop out of the case and place it separately in the bin.
Sir, I would recommend removal of your shoes. They look like they will
set off the metal detector. Yes, I would also recommend removing your
belt, as well. Do you have any other metal or foil in your pockets,
sir? Keys, cell phone, money clip, coins, gum wrappers, cold medicine,
batteries, lottery tickets, cigarettes? Sir, I’ll need you to place
your newspaper and bagel in the bin please. No, I’m sorry cigarette
lighters and Swiss army knives are prohibited items. You will not be
allowed to bring those on the aircraft. You may voluntarily relinquish
these items; you may return them to your vehicle; give them to a
non-traveling companion or mail them home to yourself. Thank you, have
a great flight, please step through the metal detector now.”

If you’ve flown the friendly skies since 9/11, you’ll notice some
major changes at the airport checkpoints. At times you’d think you were
stepping into a third world country with the dozen or more federal
security screeners herding you through the process of merely getting to
the gate prior to boarding the aircraft. Due to heightened security,
new safety measures were implemented November 19, 2001. These measures
should not be looked upon as invasive or time consuming, but rather
offer peace of mind knowing all others on the aircraft are screened in
the thorough manner.

Following these tips will help you reduce your wait time at the
security checkpoint. Do not pack or bring Prohibited Items to the
airport. Place valuables such as jewelry, cash and laptop computers in
carry-on baggage only. Tape your business card to the bottom of your
laptop. Avoid wearing clothing, jewelry and accessories that contain
metal. Metal items may set off the alarm on the metal detector. Avoid
wearing shoes that contain metal or have thick soles or heels. Many
types of footwear will require additional screening even if the metal
detector does not alarm. Put all undeveloped film and cameras with film
in your carry-on baggage. Checked baggage screening equipment will
damage undeveloped film. Checkpoint x-ray will not damage any
undeveloped film under 800 speeds. Declare firearms & ammunition to
your airline and place them in your checked baggage. If you wish to
lock your baggage, use a TSA-recognized lock. Do not bring lighters or
prohibited matches to the airport. Do not pack wrapped gifts and do not
bring wrapped gifts to the checkpoint. Wrap on arrival or ship your
gifts prior to your departure. TSA may have to unwrap packages for
security reasons.

Most importantly arrive at least 60-90 minutes prior to the
departure of your flight to allow adequate time to check in and to be
screened. The screening process cannot be expedited. The employees will
do a thorough, consistent job regardless if your flight leaves in an
hour or in 3 minutes.

Following these simple tips will ensure a safe, peaceful flight. Further information can be found at the tsa.gov website.

Office of Homeland Security on the REAL threat… Copyright infringement

I was on Bruce Shnieder's blog and read something that really disturbed
me.  The Department of Homeland Security going after people
pirating copies of Star Wars Episode III.  I'm sure that Mr. Lucas
is happy about this, but what about the sleeper agents ready to
detonate a dirty bomb in the middle of Time Square.

When I first heard that there would be a department of HomeLand
Security I was pretty excited about it.  I even wanted to work for
them.  Hearing stories like this have changed my mind. 

It seems phenomenally stupid that they would be tasked to hunt down pirates.  But when you think about it the DHS actually consumed over 10 other massive agencies
that still have duties to preform.  Perhaps during the initial
design of the DHS more focus should have been put on agressively
hunting down terrorists and keeping out people entering the country
illegally.  It threat level Yellow, Elevated which is a
“Signifigant Risk of Terroist Attack” copyright infringement should be
the least of our conscerns.

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