Jun 10 2008
The TSA amazes me sometimes. But usually they just leave me shaking my head. Their latest brain storm is to change their policy to state that you can’t fly without showing ID, sort of. Starting June 21st, you can ‘t claim personal or religious reasons for not showing ID at the checkpoint or you’ll be denied passage. On the other hand, if you claim you forgot you’re ID at home, you’ll be more thoroughly searched and let go on your merry way. Huh?
As Lori MacVittie pointed out to me on Twitter, if you tell the truth and stand up for your personal rights, you’ll be denied entry to the airport proper. However, if you lie through your teeth and just leave your ID in your wallet or purse, you’ll be able to walk on through the security process with minimal problems. You get rewarded for lying and punished for standing up for your rights??! Yet again the TSA comes up with a policy that does absolutely nothing to strengthen the security of airports and does everything to slow down travel and interfere with legitimate travelers.
I can’t wait to see what Bruce Schneier has to say about this one. I just hope it’s more than a couple sentences and a large quote from the article this time. If this move isn’t something that meets Bruce’s definition of ‘security theater’ I don’t know what will. This strikes me as nothing more than an attempt to punish people who want to exercise a constitutional right. The people who’ve complained the loudest about TSA’s security practices and challenged them the most are now basically being told “Shut up and get back in line”.
This change in policy doesn’t do anything to make us safer. Bad guys will lie through their teeth and everyone else will just keep plodding through the lines and hoping they’ll make their flights on time. And overall, there will be no changes to the security of the airports, just another really small hurdle the bad guys will have to overcome.
I wonder sometimes if the TSA doesn’t throw out policies like this just to get some attention. Maybe they’re really a bunch of comedians and this is their way of keeping us entertained. In any case, I hope they read Mr. Schneier’s reaction to this and ignore the rest of us. After all, I have to fly tonight and I’d hate to have someone at the TSA read this before then. I’ll show my ID, but I’m sure they could find a reason to search me if they set their minds to it.