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Posts tagged ‘Airport security’

Ex-TSA Agent Confirms Your Worst Fears About Airport Security Abuses.


Daily Mail UK: A former TSA officer has confirmed many of the worst suspicions about airport security screeners: they stop passengers for having an attitude, they confiscate snow globes from children and nail clippers from pilots, they profile passengers based on their nationality.

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Agents would mock and ridicule overweight passengers, and share their x-rays with others.

And yes, they do see travelers naked in the X-ray photos.

In a confessional piece for Politico, former TSA agent-turned-writer Jason Harrington spills the secrets on the ways that the security workers pass the time during their long shifts.

‘I confiscated jars of homemade apple butter on the pretense that they could pose threats to national security. I was even required to confiscate nail clippers from airline pilots—the implied logic being that pilots could use the nail clippers to hijack the very planes they were flying,’ he wrote.

One of the most coveted rotations while he worked at Chicago’s O’Hare airport while Harrington worked there from 2007 through 2 013 was the secretive Image Operator room where guards took turns sitting in the windowless room- that also lacked security cameras- viewing the pictures of passengers that the x-ray machines took.

‘Many of the images we gawked at were of overweight people, their every fold and dimple on full awful display. Piercings of every kind were visible. Women who’d had mastectomies were easy to discern—their chests showed up on our screens as dull, pixelated regions. Hernias appeared as bulging, blistery growths in the crotch area,’ he wrote in the Politico article.

‘All the old, crass stereotypes about race and genitalia size thrived on our secure government radio channels.’

The I.O. room turned into its own experiment in explicit behavior as agents would use it as a secret meeting point for mid-work rendez-vous since the lack of security cameras kept them from being busted.

The TSA issued a statement in response to MailOnline, saying: ‘Many of the TSA procedures and policies referenced in this article are no longer in place or are characterized inaccurately.’ source – Daily Mail UK.

by NTEB News Desk

Use of Biometric Security Technology at Airports Raises Concerns.


Image: Use of Biometric Security Technology at Airports Raises Concerns

By Courtney Coren

As airports around the world move to more automated airport security functions, concerns are increasing over whether computers will rise to the challenge of actually identifying potential terrorists.

“If you’re sweating profusely, for example, the person checking your ID would notice,” says Arnold Barnett, an aviation-security expert and Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor. “But that computer taking an iris scan wouldn’t.”

Part of keeping travelers safe is “looking at all kinds of things that can’t be captured by an algorithm,” Barnett told  The Wall Street Journal.

About 28 percent of airports around the world are using biometric technology as part of their airport security, which allows airports to streamline the screening process using machines that can verify identities by scanning faces, irises, or fingerprints. Advocates say the technology could make boarding passes obsolete.

London Gatwick Airport conducted an experiment this year with 3,000 British Airways passengers using biometric scanners instead of boarding passes. The machines scanned the irises of the passengers’ eyes when they first checked in, which allowed cameras to identify the travelers at security checkpoints and gates automatically.

While advocates of the technology say that automating some of these processes would free up security personnel to focus on monitoring travelers for suspicious behavior, other experts like Barnett worry that screeners will become too dependent on the technology and it will only serve to dull their senses.

European airports have been much quicker to embrace the biometric technology than American airports, the Journal reported. However, the Transportation Security Administration does currently use the technology for checking employees into some areas and for travelers enrolled in its PreCheck program. It is also used by U.S. Customs and Border Protection at U.S. airports.

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Egyptian Couple Arrested for Smuggling Baby in Luggage.


An Egyptian couple’s attempt to sneak their infant son past airport security and into the United Arab Emirates ended in their arrest after the baby was discovered stuffed inside their carry-on bag.

The couple, who have not been named, were told Saturday by customs officials at the Sharjah International Airport that they could not enter the UAE yet because they did not have a visa for their son,   according to a report on GulfNews.com.

The parents, said to be in their mid-30s, then zipped the boy, described in reports as between 5 months and 1 year old, inside a carry-on bag and got in a line for security anyhow. Carry-on luggage is typically scanned at airports in the UAE on arrival.

Their plan was halted by a shocked security official who spotted the baby in the bag as it went through the X-ray scanner.

“When customs officials saw the baby inside the bag at the X-ray scanner, they were stunned,” a police official told Gulf News. “This machine is very dangerous for anyone, let alone a baby in a bag to pass through.”

The couple was arrested at the scene and charged with endangering the life of the child and infiltration,   according to Sun News. The couple admitted to the act under police interrogation, saying they attempted to sneak their son through inside a bag because they “wanted to have him with them in the UAE,” a Sharjah police spokesperson told the paper.

The couple,   according to Al Arabiya, had traveled to Egypt so their son could be born there but then wanted to return to the UAE, where they had previously resided illegally.

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

By Katie Kindelan | ABC News Blogs

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