Mad new airline safety procedures

July 10th, 2014 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Passengers flying to and from British airports, and not just those on United States-bound flights, must ensure their electronic devices are charged.

Although New Zealand authorities have not been asked to implement the tough new safety measures, the Aviation Security Service said it was prepared to step up checks.

The ASS should say that they will not succumb to the paranoia from overseas. To ban you travelling with a cellphone if it has run out of power (which is very common) is madness. Think of the huge delays as every person has to power their phone on, and then has to either give up their cellphone or change flights if it has run out of power.

A spokesman for the department said: “In line with the US advice, passengers on some routes into and out of the UK may now also be required to show that electronic devices in their hand luggage are powered up or face not being allowed to bring the device on to the aircraft.

“Passengers … are therefore advised to make sure electronic devices being carried in their hand luggage are charged before they travel.”

Has anyone done a cost benefit analysis of the huge cost this imposes, against the very marginal benefit?

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44 Responses to “Mad new airline safety procedures”

  1. Other_Andy (2,676 comments) says:

    Just remember back when all this madness started…..

    Time to apply some common sense?
    As 99 % of all hijacks are committed by Muslims, why not apply this rule to Muslims only?

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  2. dirty harry (500 comments) says:

    LOL…USA , land of the free..

    Exactly O/A..but go one further..ban all muslims from flying ( unless its their own airline..muslim air ).

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  3. hmmokrightitis (1,590 comments) says:

    In the US at the moment, and the news is full of this. Seems the scoop is that ‘certain bomb makers’ have found a way to make a bomb out of two specific phone types (iPhone and Galaxy) but it requires removing the battery. Hence the rationale fr this change. Looking forward to getting out of here soon :)

    That said, we went to Disney yesterday. The bag check at the gate is perfunctory at best. If you wanted to send a message, thats the place to do it right there.

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  4. JMS (330 comments) says:

    Ethnic/religious profiling is the most efficient method.

    But any Govt that used it as it’s main tool would be ripped to pieces by the MSM.

    So this kind of stuff will continue:

    http://www.tsanewsblog.com/9618/news/tsa-still-harassing-children

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  5. Rich Prick (1,705 comments) says:

    Wouldn’t it be easier to have bomb dogs sniffing next to the metal detectors/scanners?

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  6. Alan Wilkinson (1,878 comments) says:

    I understood this is because the US has intelligence that Somalian Al Qaeda bomb-makers are using these devices now. That makes the policy understandable especially if it is enforced more selectively against the most likely carriers.

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  7. rouppe (971 comments) says:

    To be fair, this would be done at the security check, not the gate. Most people are still frantically tapping away at that time…

    In fact, most are still tapping away during the final seatbelt check, desperate to get that last Facebook update in…

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  8. lastmanstanding (1,297 comments) says:

    Ever noticed the officious behavior of security personal at airports. After 911 I bet they all wet themselves with the joy of how they could harass and delay innocent travelers all in the name of HOMELAND SECURITY.

    They and most pollies get their rocks off finding new ways to ‘deal” to ‘those bastards” YES you bastards who have the cheek to want to use airlines.

    Best way to deal with this is for enough good travelling citizens to stand up to these officious bastards and tell them as others above and elsewhere have done.

    And that is these officious bastards know or ought to know the profiles of those most likely to offend. So search them detain them delay them and let the rest of the 99.999999% travelers get on with doing what they need to do and that is travel without hassle.

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  9. Other_Andy (2,676 comments) says:

    JMS says:

    “Ethnic/religious profiling is the most efficient method.
    But any Govt that used it as it’s main tool would be ripped to pieces by the MSM.”

    You are only partly right JMS.
    The MSM only makes a fuss if it is one of the MSM’s ‘protected identity groups’ that is profiled.

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  10. RRM (9,932 comments) says:

    Has anyone ACTUALLY been caught attempting to smuggle a device on board that had the battery replaced with explosives?

    My first 025 cellphone had a MASSIVE battery pack in it, you could probably take down a reasonable building if you packed it with C4 instead.
    My current LG smartphone doesn’t have a very big battery though. Might make a loud bang and a puff of smoke…?

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  11. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    Other_Andy (2,239 comments) says:
    July 10th, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    why not apply this rule to Muslims only?

    Oh where to start – well for starters, Islam is a religion, whilst many that belong to the religion have similar physical characteristics, there is no way you can determine a person’s religion, simply by their looks.

    Yes, some wear distinctive clothing, but if you don’t want to get caught, you’re quite simply going to dress like everyone else.

    Same for religion etc. You aren’t going to declare your religion if you want to get on a plane that bans people, according to their religion – there are of course lots of other reasons for why your suggestion is stupid… but for now, please don’t apply for a job with customs.

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  12. gump (1,650 comments) says:

    Some officious bastard at Auckland Airport confiscated a small tin of Kiwi shoe polish from my carry-on luggage a few years ago.

    When I complained about it, he replied “But you could take it out and smear it on things”.

    That was the point at which I lost all respect for airport security checks.

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  13. RRM (9,932 comments) says:

    I bet CHC airport security will be quick to implement this.

    They are officious little pricks with a high sense of the importance of their work down there.

    (WLG airport security seem to be pretty sensible and pragmatic about doing their duty without being too OTT about it.)

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  14. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    The answer is very simple.

    All passengers and crew should be made to travel naked without luggage.

    A simple bend and stretch exercise will ensure nothing is hidden.

    And just think of how many new members the mile high club will get – although I suspect there could be an increase on the amount of spew bags required.

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  15. Other_Andy (2,676 comments) says:

    Judith says…….

    Stop projecting Judith, just because you aren’t the smartest tool in the shed doesn’t mean others don’t get it.
    You do know what profiling is Judith?
    Then you do know that New Zealand customs already use profiling.
    Oh wait, you obviously don’t work for customs.

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  16. Raphael (88 comments) says:

    Hmmmm I’ve travelling a fair bit at the moment for work. I have two mobiles, one is my normal mobile, the other (my old phone) has a Aus sim in it provided by one of our clients for them to be able to call me while I am in Aus without racking up international charges. I tend to keep that phone turned off whenever I’m not in Australia.

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  17. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ Other_Andy (2,241 comments) says:
    July 10th, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    Yes I do know what profiling is, and I do know it has been used with only minor success and is relatively easy to beat. There was an article written recently by a Professor at Harvard about it (can’t remember the name right now, but will look for it). He found that profiling was only successful initially, however, now that the systems are well known, it is relatively easy to make the results really unreliable. The article got my attention because it then pointed out ways and means of preventing profile detection from working for those eager to avoid being caught.

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  18. Crusader (316 comments) says:

    The whole “security gate” rigmorale is a huge charade, that achieves absolutely no gains in terms of safety. It’s mainly about the authorities wanting to be seen to be “doing something about the problem”.
    Sniffer dogs for explosives posted near the on-ramp would be the simplest and most effective security intervention.
    It would be of no matter whatsoever if all grannies had sewing kits and kids had pocket knives. As long as the pilot’s door is never open, the 9/11 trick of cardboard cutters will never work again. If you had major concerns, an air marshal would be the gold standard.
    But making everyone go through scanners and empty their pockets and confiscating their nail scissors annoys everyone for no good reason.

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  19. kowtow (8,512 comments) says:

    The problem for the ‘authorities” is they’re damned if they do and sure as hell would be damnd by all and sundry if they didn’t and a ‘plane was brought down.

    There is a much bigger problem facing the west and we all know what it is.

    It’s Islam.

    The Italian navy has intercepted and brought ashore 60 000 illegal immigrants so far this year.

    Some prick who’s happy to live in France but hates France has just been pinged.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/10956636/Islamist-plot-to-blow-up-Eiffel-Tower-Louvre-and-nuclear-power-plant-foiled-say-French-police.html

    Profiling? I remember a plot 30 odd years ago ,a Palestinian paid for his pregnant European girlfriend to go on holiday to israel by El Al ,unknown to her the c#nt had put a bomb in her suitcase. El Al foiled it.These fuckers just won’t stop.

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  20. simpleton1 (230 comments) says:

    A quick answer to Judith’s “why not, ” naked and scroll past as some of it may not make much sense

    Naked Travel

    Carbon foot prints are also supposedly a concern. minimal baggage.
    The planes will travel lighter, less fuel, per person.

    People could be worked out on gender areas or family mixed sex of plane.

    What cost to air line to set up plane.?
    Handy disposable napkin/handkerchief if one needs to be more discreet for young guys

    Why accept that people would not wear it. (it is so simple) Planes in Germany already travel naked, OK they are nudists and this is much more complex, but once thru put and number gear up efficiency should show great savings

    As simple light cloth, washable or disposable be placed attached over seats.

    Why do people travel carrying a paraphernalia of baggage that could be so easily acquired at their destination. clothing toothpaste shampoo?
    People do a big shop up before they travel but why not buy in the country you will be travelling.
    Surely if they travel and want to experience local food, culture why not the clothes and food that can be purchased there.
    Even if things are imported to the country then it would more than likely have been carried much more economically such as sea transport.
    Good for the countries business in supplying safe basic needs.
    Opportunities shop (2nd hand clothes) and charity would be possibly benefit as clothing could be much cheaper and available for poorer people of that country.

    Less chance of hidden explosives.
    No waiting, searching and checking baggage .
    No more full body scanners and/or pat downs. Any thing to declare? a quick pirouette, bend over and cough. Only paper work of passport , cv camera discs laptop cellphone
    Much less chance of smuggling drugs or explosives.
    Much less chance of breaches of bio -security that can cost a country millions of $. in control or eradication or just the ongoing cost living with the problem.

    No profiling, maybe certain types of people will not want to travel naked.

    I sometimes watch “Border Security” and it is amazing the stupidity ignorance, argumentative and arrogance of people who do not declare food items that carry risk diseases, and hide them in their baggage and plead ignorance and only get slapped with a “wet bus ticket” of a fine. Also the drugs they are carrying and ongoing waste of time of step by step procedure to prove he is lying.

    This way of travel would also stop “false positives”, where a drug dog signals about a trace of a problem that needs further inspection. IF that person had been to a party where drugs have been used (whether or not he participated) he will not be hassled.

    A full shower can be done at destination air terminal with disinfectants and foot-bathes, or even before with after standard perfumes/dettol etc in the mix?

    Surely destination countries should be allowed to insist on this to save their own people in bio security and security of planes exploding over their country or terrorising their populations. There have been so over a dozen new exotic species/diseases (insects pathogens plants) come to NZ every year.

    Save on custom staff and costs. transferred to other departments that are short of general search staff and could be more fine tuned to other areas of inspection such as containers and other imported goods.

    Dare you to think of even think of more reasons.
    Sure think of reasons why not, then any solutions that may work.

    Harder to smuggle drugs, concentrate on body cavity searches and internal x-rays/
    Some symptoms and diseases of skin would be picked up.

    Fruit weed/seed insect pests will have less chance of entering.

    Admittedly I can not work out a cost benefit ratio at this stage but I believe it may not be wide of the mark, and may achieve greater efficiencies.

    Business and Frequent Travellers may have a problem, but that may be overcome with lockers of their personal effects at destination airports and may be discounted because of regular/air-points.

    Would other countries follow.?

    Certainly in NZ interests to be first and even better if no other country follows so what is purchased in NZ by a visitor is effectively an export product (purchased by over seas funds).

    Sorry at the moment I have not made this into a logical and coherent structure but just seem to keep adding issues, question and answers?

    The only thing other thing is that I started this with tongue in cheek, but now it is sort of worrying that it may be closer to happening as these scanners see you nude now and pat downs almost and probably will soon in the future check the actual size of your anatomy.

    It seems that more people are objecting to full body scanners and pat downs, so a prior step to the above proposal is just up the shirt/dress, down the under garment all in the queue, so it is quickly done. Hopefully the ugly will balance the cute so the security system people do not need any extra money for so called fugly people. Just a matter of ” no shame “. Back to the “short arm inspection”. Sure would keep the queue flowing as sheeple parade on thru, certainly should be no slower than the scanner.

    The security systems staff is another way of building a private “civvy” army, little bits here and there to merge up later and all being paid agents thru government legislation. Over 65000 now employed in TSA in the USA.

    Is the future with cavity searches as we swallow and allow camera probes in all sorts of openings.

    18th November 2010
    http://www.thelocal.de/sci-tech/20101116-31209.html
    Germany scanning machines are not working on heavily clothed people so they have take off some garments. Then there are problems where there a creases or pleats on light clothing so they are still patted down and then go thru metal detectors. Sounds like very close to asking you drop all your duds(clothing),

    Hope it was worth a laugh, ;-)

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  21. Ed Snack (1,883 comments) says:

    This isn’t necessarily new, I can recall being asked to demonstrate that a laptop was “real” back in the 90’s by powering it up. Although as I recall they weren’t too fussed if you showed that it was too low on battery to actually boot up.

    And profiling can work, professors as usual would know fuck all about the practice. Ask the Israelis how they’ve kept bombs off their aircraft for years without overtly intrusive screening.

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  22. Other_Andy (2,676 comments) says:

    Judith (7,139 comments) says:

    “Yes I do know what profiling is, and I do know it has been used with only minor success and is relatively easy to beat.”

    You have been misinformed.
    Done by people who know what they are doing and combined with other methods, it is still one of the most effective tools in fighting crime.
    You see the word ….one…..

    And if you think a grandmother from Invercargill should be scrutinised as much as Mohammed Ismael, a dirt poor farmer from Waziristan who wants to board with a ticket bought by a benefactor from Saudi Arabia then I hope you don’t work for customs.
    And by the way, no matter how he dresses or what he tells you, there are not many people living in that part of the world with the name of Mohammed who are not Muslims Judith…

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  23. Matt (227 comments) says:

    Those nasty Eurasians…We’ll defeat them yet!

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  24. jp_1983 (213 comments) says:

    Maybe they will change the rules that you will have to show up a week before your flight to get security screened to go on your flight.

    Just think people could spend their holidays in the security lounge, but their annual leave ends before their flight and have to miss their flight.

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  25. nasska (11,575 comments) says:

    I’m in Other_Andy’s corner. Inconvenience those whose compatriots necessitate the rigmarole.

    If they don’t like it…..tough.

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  26. MH (762 comments) says:

    more and more explosives are becoming odourless, thats the cause of this directive. Passports requiring religious affiliation and Pilots to announce their beliefs prior to takeoff. Meccanised transport.

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  27. Pete George (23,591 comments) says:

    In May I flew to Aus where I also had an internal return flight and encountered something new (to me), an explosive detecting wand thing. I was selected for this three out of four trips. Must have been random or some selection criteria because at that stage they don’t have your ID.

    They had a special foot/shoe scanner when I went through Athens a few years ago.

    I wonder how many more checks they might add. It all adds to cost and inconvenience, but it’s doubtful how much it adds to safety.

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  28. dirty harry (500 comments) says:

    “Oh where to start ”

    Give us all a break maybe and I dunno , maybe go and bake some scones Judith..or maybe clean that toilet you’ve been meaning to get to…

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  29. ShawnLH (5,265 comments) says:

    I get the sentiment naaska, but this time at least Judith raises a valid point. The only way to profile would be to go on dress and ethnicity, but practically speaking this would not work. For a start, let’s say we profiled Arabs, not all Arabs are Muslims. But, more importantly, the terrorists would just change tactics, change their names or dress or use sympathetics Westerners or Muslims from an ethnicity that looks European.

    From a purely practical pov, it just wouldn’t be effective.

    My preference, controversial though it is, is kill the terrorist bastards before they get anywhere near the West.

    Go the Drones! :)

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  30. nasska (11,575 comments) says:

    ….”Go the Drones”….

    It’s taking too long. The IDF are most likely to offer a quick permanent solution.

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  31. Other_Andy (2,676 comments) says:

    Pete George (22,517 comments) says:

    “Must have been random or some selection criteria because at that stage they don’t have your ID.”

    Nah, nothing is done randomly.
    You must look shifty.

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  32. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ Other_Andy (2,242 comments) says:
    July 10th, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    Profiling is not reliable, and even when used with other methods, can be overridden.

    Simply understanding the defining points of interest in profiling allows the would be ‘terrorist’ to over come them. With forward planning, a ‘profile’ is able to be constructed that prevents detection. There are also issues of profile abduction, coercion, and theft. This is similar to ‘identity’ theft, but instead the points of interest in the profile are addressed.

    The problem with profiling is that whilst it works extremely well in a forensic setting, after the event, but it has huge limitations in a ‘pre-crime’ setting, especially for those acts in which the forward planning period is extensive, and allows profile construction that falls under the radar. Profiling works, but only when there is a short duration between conception and event, and when those being profiled, are not aware of the key alerts – once the terrorist is aware and has time, it is easy (although time consuming) to establish a profile that does not draw attention.

    For a start your ‘farmer’ would not travel as a Mohammed, if he was part of a highly organised terrorist group. He would be a regular businessman that flew at least several times on the same route and had for the past four years or so, carried out the same routine behaviours. The problem is, the sheer numbers of passengers makes it impossible to check the seemingly irrelevant like they should be, and that is where profile fails – if predicted, it can be manipulated.

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  33. James Stephenson (2,186 comments) says:

    Seems the scoop is that ‘certain bomb makers’ have found a way to make a bomb out of two specific phone types (iPhone and Galaxy) but it requires removing the battery.

    The bastards really understand this game in a way our PTB don’t. They win every time they add another layer of niggle and hassle to our lives and chip away a bit of our freedom. I’m willing to bet they have no ability to do anything dangerous with a smartphone, but it’s a beaut of a claim to get us running around specifically checking something almost every passenger’s carrying.

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  34. UrbanNeocolonialist (288 comments) says:

    It is all a total waste of time. This latest development in security theatre is in response to a suggested threat from the guy who was responsible for sticking a bomb in a relative in an attempt to blow up a Saudi prince. Using PETN explosives that don’t contain nitrogen (which is what is easily detected in most explosives)

    A motivated person can hide >1000grams of high explosive in their stomach, arse or vagina, or have it surgically implanted in their abdomen. It is easy to create a ignitor that won’t set off a metal detector (can even make time-delay all-chemical no metal ignitors).

    There is absolutely no defence to this other than X-raying or MRI-ing passengers which is impossible for health and logistical reasons.

    So stop the charade, stop wasting everyone’s time and money. The fact is there are almost no competent and motivated people in the world willing to suicide that also fly internationally. Presence or absence of airport security makes no difference to our safety. But if you want to anything then profile the passengers. Go to town on religious nutjobs (mostly muslim), and ignore everyone else. Perhaps set up a system where anyone prepared to take a shit on a Koran and insult Allah/Mohammed gets a free pass through security.

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  35. GPT1 (2,122 comments) says:

    RRM My first 025 cellphone had a MASSIVE battery pack in it, you could probably take down a reasonable building if you packed it with C4 instead.

    I think we use some of those early phones in Christchurch on the end of cranes – as wrecking balls.

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  36. UrbanNeocolonialist (288 comments) says:

    Bum bomb used in Afghanistan 2013: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/09/world/asia/attacker-in-afghanistan-hid-bomb-in-his-body.html?_r=1&

    They say that didn’t work because of damping effect of body, but nothing preventing extraction prior to use, and the small confined volume of an aircraft is not able to withstand the abrupt internal overpressure of a bomb regardless of body damping.

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  37. mara (788 comments) says:

    If it is increasingly difficult to sabotage an aeroplane, I wonder why there have been no large attacks on cruise-liners or trains etc. Or for maximum outrage, what about kindergartens and the like. As the Islamists wish to terrorise us into submission, I’m genuinely puzzled that we have not seen more soft targets targeted. Some old geezers on the QE2 would surely be equal in numbers of “virgins” to the same number of families flying abroad to visit rellies.

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  38. cha (4,036 comments) says:

    Skinning cats.

    Security is expensive, and driving up costs is one way jihadists can wear down Western economies. The writer encourages the United States “not to spare millions of dollars to protect these targets” by increasing the number of guards, searching all who enter those places, and even preventing flying objects from approaching the targets. “Tell them that the life of the American citizen is in danger and that his life is more significant than billions of dollars,” he wrote. “Hand in hand, we will be with you until you are bankrupt and your economy collapses.

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/11/23/death_by_a_thousand_cuts

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  39. duggledog (1,559 comments) says:

    For f***’s sake I can fix this now.

    All meals on all flights to and from western countries serve only pork, ham, pork sausages, pork spare ribs. When you board the plane you have to walk through bacon curtains and get sprayed by eau de piggy.

    Pet piglets allowed to roam free on all flights.

    Problem solved.

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  40. Redbaiter (9,080 comments) says:

    A good read.

    How airport security makes you less safe.

    http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/9258451/how-airport-security-makes-you-less-safe/

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  41. wreck1080 (3,922 comments) says:

    they don’t make these rules up for fun.

    Rather than being the armchair critic I guess you have to trust they have credible evidence of a threat.

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  42. Mr_Blobby (177 comments) says:

    Correct me if I am wrong but I seem to remember back in the 80’s people were required to remove batteries from cameras and flashes so that they could not be turned on. What about the nonsense that cell phones can cause planes to crash.

    Sorry but giving up my privacy for the illusion of safety does not wash with me.

    The thought that a bunch of overpaid unemployable’s is going to keep me safe with their pathetic intrusive checks is laughable and makes me feel less safe.

    Given the choice of no checks and cheaper flights most people would chose cheaper flights. So they wont ask the question. How about a mix a choice of security or no security flights.

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  43. G152 (348 comments) says:

    If the Airport security miss just one nutter innocent people are going to die.

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  44. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    @JMS – “Ethnic/religious profiling is the most efficient method.
    But any Govt that used it as it’s main tool would be ripped to pieces by the MSM.”

    I’ve heard that Israel does this (El Al airlines).
    I can only guess that the MSM are so busy bashing Israel for defending itself that they have missed this very sensible move by El Al.

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