Monday, June 2, 2003

Danger and absurdity of the TSA No-Fly list

John Gilmore points out how to have fun with bomb scanners by using hand lotion with Glycerine, or at least points out how easily such expensive equipment can be rendered useless. If equipment has any significant number of false-positives, be sure that it, or procedures, will tune out any hope of finding a real needle in the haystack.

Also, if you notice an "S" on your boarding pass, prepare for extra scrutiny at the airport. The TSA believes, based on often erroneous matching, that you are a member of its "Selectee" list of people who need additional security measures.

Be sure to check out EPIC's site, "Documents Show Errors in TSA's "No-Fly" Watchlist"

-----Original Message-----
From: John Gilmore [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Sunday, May 18, 2003 3:25 PM
To: Jason C Axley Exchange
Subject: Re: The War on David Nelson

> > ... people who want to see if their name is on either list or who
> > want to make a complaint, can call the agency's contact center at
> > 866-289-9673 or send an e-mail to [email protected].
> Since this inquiry will no doubt result in a listing where none
> existed, I would suggest that everyone reading this make an inquiry -
> *especially* those of us with very common names. Let the system break
> it's own weight.

If you want to break the system under its own weight, I also suggest
using lots of "Kiss My Face" honey scented hand cream. Someone
recently told me setting off the nitrogylcerin censors (oops, I mean
sensors) at that spot where they wipe down your bag with little pads
and then put them through a quick chemical analysis. When she set it
off, they went down a checklist of "Did you do X recently?" until they
got to "Did you put on hand cream recently?" They let her through, of
course; you probably can't blow up an airplane with hand cream. The
problem was with their sensorship, not with her.

If even 1% of travelers refused to show an ID, the system would also
break down under its own weight. Do your part. There is no law or
regulation that requires you to show ID. You are all being sheep for
violating your own privacy, for no reason, when ordered by people who
have no authority. Demand that they show you such a law, and refuse
to show ID until they identify one. As you go up the chain of
command, you will find that you have the option to be searched rather
than show an ID. In regimes where the laws are secret, the only way
to find out what the law is, is to not follow orders.


PS: I doubt that sending a complaint to TSA results in them adding you
to the no-fly list. It's random and arbitrary, but not THAT random
and arbitrary. If you want to see the complaints of some of the
ordinary people who TSA mousetraps every single time they enter an
airport, (not just the David Nelsons), check EPIC's FOIA results. The
dozens of complaints forwarded via Congresspeople are well worth

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