This is just precious, precious I tell you.

Those of you who know us know that Geoff and I HATE to fly.  I’m generally not a fan of traveling, but I specifically hate to fly.  It isn’t that I dislike planes or have a problem with a fear of flying or anything like that.  It’s the TSA.  I hate the TSA with the fiery passion of a 1,000 suns.

So then I see a little article like this pop up on and I have to laugh.  It’s pasted in below.  My commentary is added for comedic effect and to keep me from throwing things.  See the green writing.

Air travelers may get to keep shoes on  Oh goody!  When do we get our dignity back?

Posted by Paul Makishima, Globe Assistant Sunday Editor  September 6, 2011 05:07

For some time now, a major sore spot for air travelers involves them having to shed their shoes at TSA security checkpoints.  Orly?  You finally figured this out now, did you TSA peeps?

According to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano that practice may be on the way out. Policies on liquids will likely remain in place for the foreseeable future, however.  Of course, because we can’t have more than 3oz of anything or it might…  Wait, I can have 3oz of this and then 3oz of that, so if I mix them together… I’m so confused.  Why can’t I have my soda on the flight again?  Oh yeah, because you want me to buy it IN THE TERMINAL.  Gotcha.

“We are moving towards an intelligence and risk-based approach to how we screen,” (YOU DIDN’T USE INTELLIGENCE BEFORE????? OMG, we’re all gonna die.) Napolitano said at a Politico event in Washington this morning. “I think one of the first things you will see over time is the ability to keep your shoes on. One of the last things you will [see] is the reduction or limitation on liquids.”  OK, so we’re going to get to keep our shoes on when they grope and/or irradiate us.  This is an improvement?

Napolitano did not hint at when such a change may occur.  I have this feeling that hinting is not her thing.  Call me crazy.

TSA officials have been testing shoe-scanning technologies since 2007. The agency began inspecting shoesafter Richard Reid unsuccessfully attempted to detonate explosives in his boots on a flight from Paris to Miami in 2001.  OK, so.  Dude tries to blow up his shoes and fails miserably in 2001.  They’ve been testing “shoe scanning technology” since 2007, it’s late 2011 and we’re just hearing about this now?  How complicated can it be?  “It’s a shoe made out of C4, it’s a sneaker.  Next?”

Heeding the mounting complaints of airline passengers, (Have they noticed the complaints about getting groped, violated, and otherwise felt up?  Or will that take 10 years to reach the top of the food chain as well?)  the TSA tested a shoe scanner from General Electric at Orlando International Airport in 2007, but pulled the device after a half dozen months because its performance proved unsatisfactory during trials. In 2008, TSA tested two scanning units made by L3 Communications at Los Angeles International Airport.

About a dozen companies have designed shoe scanning devices and last year TSA said that it planned to buy 100 of the devices by this year, presumably for more tests.

Just wait till they start asking to scan your underpants, folks.  You just wait.  For more on “Security Theatre” check out the link in the blogroll to Schneier on Security.  Sheesh.


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