College Student, The TSA and Southwest Airlines (A Poll!)

The TSA ought to have a division that does exactly what that guy did. The only way to test security is to attempt to breach it, randomly and often. That young man should be their first new hire.
I think he should be commended. He exposed the fact that the TSA is not necessarily more effective than security was before, and only there to make the public feel more comfortable. Ballsy move, anyways.
Personally, I don't agree with what he did at all.

HOWEVER, since he's done it, I think it's all too telling of the 'powers that be' that think that all is well because he's probably going behind bars.

I think the problem that he pointed out is that there is a still a long way to go, on many levels, to make security more effective.

Maybe one day, we'll finally schedule a symposium for everyone in the industry (at least reps from each group) to sit down and discuss what actually needs to be done to make airline security effective.
Why do I think he's a frequent poster on
I'm glad that he exposed the problems with the TSA, but I do not think what he did was write. The job of testing the system should belong to government officials, and not to a college kid. If this kid didn't go to jail, any person found with a weapon on board a plane could say they were "testing the system." Bottom line, he broke the law and he should pay for it.
The job of "testing the government" falls squarely in the lap of those who give it its power - i.e. us.

Was there abetter way to do it? Maybe.

Does the fact that we are responsible for keeping an eye on our own government get him off the hook for "breaking" the law? Nope.
While I can understand the volume of tips that the TSA might get is probably huge, I do think it's laughable that it took someone 5 weeks to discover his staff of stuff after he sent an email with the exact location on whatever plane that stuff was.

This is what I find funny: a quote from a TSA admin person:

"Amateur testing of our systems do not show us in any way our flaws,'' McHale said. "We know where the vulnerabilities, are and we are testing them... This does not help.''

Hmm, you know your vulnerabilities? I would call that a large load of horse manure myself. If a rank amatuer, a pacifist even, can get through TSA security, what about professionals? And I think AirborneMedic is absolutely right. SOMEONE in out government should be regularly testing TSA and other airport security measures. Something like the first scene of Hackers.

Anyways, I doth ramble to much....
I dunno if it's done, but they need to do these tests internally and build on the findings.

At least before this incident, the TSA provided the perception of security to the general public. Now, even that one positive aspect of the TSA is gone because they continue to publicly fail do to do what they were designed to do.
I kind of dug it.

I think he exposed a weakness. Was it his "job" to do so? Nope. Not technically... and he'll be punished accordingly.

But, he made a national mockery of the TSA.

My only concern is that things will "tighten up" and make things harder on the folks the TSA are already harassing - i.e., the crew, the rampers, old ladies... etc.
I dunno ... I don't think it was the kid who embarassed the TSA. I think they did that all by themsemselves.
Well the kid is going to be in big trouble for what he did. Regardless, his actions do prove a point at what a joke our TSA is. TSA is just a bunch of minimum wage, uneducated employees, many of whom probably barely have high school diplomas or GEDs.

Well whatever they're background, their pay is piss poor and the low pay encourages them to be lazy. I'm sure they're thinking, "check for terrorists, I don't get paid enough to do this!" As a result, who do we see getting searched at the airport gates? Families and little old ladies. It's never people that may pose a threat that get checked, it's just the people who look cooperative that get stopped at the gates.
Actually, they make pretty good money, about $40,000/year starting. <- <- at least that's what I've heard.

However, I think the #1 head honcho hasn't a clue what to do beyond spend 100% of his appropriated budget.
My first initial reaction was, "great, if things were not bad enough, this is all we need from some bonehead kid, giving the government and TSA more reason to inflict us with more useless rules and reg's!!" Things like taking off your shoes and confiscating nail clippers and all the other stupid security changes at our GA airports. Plus the non-flying general public already has a scewed-up and uninformed enough oppinion of the GA and commercial world without something like this only making matters worse. My .02. I'm still angry at him.

Yes, and it's so true that the TSA has a long way to go. I wish they would go away, what a pain in the ass. But, perhaps that one catch of an actual terrorist act would make it worthwhile, but what are the odds that they'll actually pull that off? I'm not holding my breath.
Well whatever they're background, their pay is piss poor and the low pay encourages them to be lazy. I'm sure they're thinking, "check for terrorists, I don't get paid enough to do this!"

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I don't call being paid $30,000-$40,000 for unskilled labor underpaid. Moreover, I don't see how being underpaid always leads to poor job performance. What about firefighters, police officers, teachers, and flight instructors? Most start at the same money or less as a TSA employee, however most do a pretty good job in my opinion. Mav, do say, "teach landings today, I don't get paid enought to do this!"
Wow, lucky we have mav here to spout off a bunch of crap that isn't even true

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the Pan-Am personal insult slugfest ought to stay in the Pan-Am forum and not leak to the general topics.
I think it is impossible to find every possible weapon. A box knife may get through more often then not. Hopefully they are better at catching "real" knifes and guns and I would assume they are.

After 9/11, people are going to react different too. If somebody stands up waving a box knife and screaming "allah is great, your all gonna die" there is going to be a serious a$$ kicking going on. We are not going to sit and take it anymore.

Anyway, through the guy in jail.
That is absolutely correct!! And I'm glad to see that there are people in this country who still understand that WE are in charge of the government, not the other way around.

People forget that. They need to be reminded often.

Oh, and did you guys happen to see the deputy chief of the TSA on NBC Nightly News last night?

He said something to the effect of, "We don't expect to catch 100% of threats at the checkpoint. That why we have multiple layers of security."

That was a load of sh*t. If they had multiple layers of security at some point the guy would've been caught. I mean the guy even sent emails to the TSA.

If you didn't believe the TSA was simply window dressing before, I hope you do now.

After 9/11, people are going to react different too. If somebody stands up waving a box knife and screaming "allah is great, your all gonna die" there is going to be a serious a$$ kicking going on.

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I wouldn't bet on that.

The weeks and months following 9/11? Sure. But now that we're two years removed from the event life has pretty much gone back to normal - i.e. people are worried about their mortgages, losing their jobs, their kids latest report card, etc. I have a sneaking feeling that if someone were to stand up on an aircraft today fewer people would do something about it than we would hope.

Never under estimate the sheepishness of the general population.