I am sure you are all aware of how unhappy I am with the ever changing US airport security theater, and this is a prime example. I can’t believe that a citizen leaving the country with a valid passport is now considered a privilege and not a right. I am sure that every passenger that regularly travels overseas has creases in their passport. Mine certainly does. But more than the ridiculous nit picking, it is the inconsistency that really bothers me. If the Denver airport was fine with the passports, why is Dallas able to then pull them off the flight? How often is this stuff going on and it not being reported? These kind of stories make me reluctant to want to return to the US even for a short visit because I certainly don’t want to be trapped there anymore.
This sucks. I know that Australia likes to mimic America in most things security related, but this was one instance when I was really hoping they would use their own heads. Plus the no opting out makes it an even worse situation than the US. On the upside I went through security in the US 3 times over the last few months and never was asked to go through a body scanner so maybe the whole thing will blow over eventually.
I get the feeling that a particular TSA agent just wanted a cupcake. Seriously though, one of my big problems with the TSA is that it is so variable from airport to airport that it is nearly impossible to be well prepared to go through security if you travel through multiple airports. If I were more confident in the skill of the TSA, I might think this was to keep terrorist uncertain, but I actually think it is just poor and variable training. You should be able to have an effective security system in place that allows non-security risks to go through security procedures smoothly and without all the uncertainty.
This is a tricky subject because scientists want information to be widely available to further scientific research, but technologies that could be turned into weapons are not something you want openly out there in the public domain. I think these boundaries are much better defined in the realm of physics where a lot of development quickly gets locked behind the secret wall, but it is easier to draw lines in physics since the technologies that can harm people aren’t also going to be able to save them other than by harming the enemy first. However, in biology fighting biological weapons does require the same technologies and techniques as creating them.
I personally don’t feel comfortable with the recipes to create super bugs being out there in the scientific literature/ public domain so I think editing the publications is the right thing to do, but I can also see why that would make a lot of people uncomfortable.
Apparently my home state is determined to be a front runner on destroying civil liberties on all front: allowing the TSA to roam free out of the airports and onto the roads where they can compete with the various drug enforcement agencies on who is going to stop which truck or car and search and seize anything of interest without cause or charging a crime. This does not make me happy about my home for Christmas plans.
A lot of this article should be going over well known territory, but it is always good to remind people about creating secure passwords. Longer passwords are always better so their point about making your password as long as your service will allow is valid. Also the part about just adding symbols to the end makes a lot of sense too.
I have never been very sure how I stand on the whole wikileaks thing, but I don’t think it is good that the information has now been leaked in an unedited form. However, in a digital world I suspect these data leaks will be at least as common as they are now if not more so in the future. I don’t really know how you keep information secure and private in today’s world, and I bet a lot of people spend a lot of sleepless nights worrying about it because they have more sensitive information to protect than I do.
<sigh> Not that I wasn’t expecting this, but I am still disappointed that Australia is now testing security body scanners at Sydney airport. The only good news is that it seems the scanners aren’t working very well and have already been rejected by some European countries. Airport security is such a farce.
Why you REALLY should not look at Facebook or other websites that you need to log into while sitting on an unsecured wifi connection like Starbucks. Seriously, folks, protect your privacy. Protect your accounts. You don’t want the headache of sorting everything out once a hacker has been screwing with your account. And with this security hole, it doesn’t have to be a very good hacker.
The TSA is just coming to the conclusion that they can’t detect bombs that aren’t on a person’s exterior? That was one of the initial major complaints about the X-Ray Backscatter was that it takes naked pictures of people with no actual gain in security because it can’t see in body cavities which is something a terrorist would be happy to leverage. I hate how reactive the TSA and other US security agencies are. Oh, we heard a rumor so now we have to worry about X when any person of reasonable intelligence saw X as a threat ages ago. The risk of being involved in a terrorist attack in America is ridiculously small, and the government continues to propagate fear.