More Posts On: Safety and Security

In Defense of Not Defending the Electronics Ban

“We have seen successful airplane bombings recently with the downing of the Russian airliner over the Sinai and the attempted downing of the Somali airliner that could have succeeded if the bomber knew enough to get a seat next to a structural member instead of the aluminum skin. In both instances, it was found that the bomber had help from the local ground staff or security. So we hear that Al Qaeda is working on a manually-detonated electronics-based bomb. Why would we poo-poo this report and not act? You really want to wait until hundreds of people die in a bombing and then act? This is like the neighborhood that complains about a dangerous crosswalk, but the city only takes action and installs a light after someone is killed.”

Let me start off by saying that I agree with most of…

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United Kingdom Introduces Its Own Electronics Ban — Here are the Details

As alluded in this article earlier today pertaining to the reasons for the new electronics ban in the United States — which are considered “aviation security enhancements” — the United Kingdom introduces its own electronics ban; but the policy is not the same as the one implemented by the United States.

“In conjunction with our international partners and the aviation industry, the UK government keeps aviation security under constant review”, according to…

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The Reasons For the New Electronics Ban — Which Are Considered “Enhancements”

“Evaluated intelligence indicates that terrorist groups continue to target commercial aviation and are aggressively pursuing innovative methods to undertake their attacks, to include smuggling explosive devices in various consumer items. Based on this information, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly and Transportation Security Administration Acting Administrator Huban Gowadia have determined it is necessary to enhance security procedures for passengers at certain last point of departure airports to the United States.”

The paragraph you just read was extracted verbatim from…

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Border Agents Searching Mobile Telephones: Unreasonable?

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

The first paragraph of this article is a verbatim quote of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, which was created at Independence Hall in Philadelphia on Monday, September 17, 1787 — but the historic document mentions nothing about checkpoints at airports and at national borders, where agents of the Customs and Border Protection of the United States can reportedly force anyone to surrender his or her mobile telephone without permission or a warrant and without citing any reasons, according to…

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Fees to Increase as Transportation Security Administration Budget is Cut?

“At TSA, the $500 million reduction includes cutting $65 million for behavioral detection officers and $55 million for local law enforcement grants to to airports. On the other hand, it proposes a $1 increase to the TSA security fee in fiscal 2018 to generate an extra $470 million in revenue.”

This paragraph is what caught my eye in this article written by…

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More Comprehensive Pat-Downs By the Transportation Security Administration

“The change is partly a result of the agency’s study of a 2015 report that criticized aspects of TSA screening procedures. That audit, by the Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General, drew headlines because airport officers had failed to detect handguns and other weapons. An additional change prompted by the report was the TSA’s decision to end its “managed inclusion” program, by which some everyday travelers were allowed to use PreCheck lanes to speed things up at peak times.”

That quote is from…

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I Drove on One of the 10 Roads You Would Never Want to Drive On and Did Not Even Realize It

On my way from Hurghada to Luxor, I was forced by officers at a checkpoint to go straight to Qena rather than take the desert route of the highway. The most miserable part was having to drive through the city of Qena — which is not along Luxor-al-Hurghada Road and was choked with cars and pedestrians — and then turn left to go south along Highway 75 which hugged the eastern bank of the Nile River, fraught with an agonizing number of speed bumps, roadblocks and checkpoints with armed police, and pedestrians with carts dragged slowly by horses or mules. All of those impediments added a significant amount of time to the journey of…

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