Security theatre is dangerous, not only to our civil liberties but also to our individual safety. I am going to outline some of the methods I know which could be used to bypass all TSA (and probably other national equivalents) security restrictions, that way you can realize just how silly they are. These are methods in which you can purposely circumvent security, fellow contributor Andrew Norton shows other circumstances where TSA fail and let people go through the exit because they are too busy reading a book or let a simulated bomb through… the scanners.
I refuse to put a disclaimer up about how you use this information, I will say this: These are just a few things that I had easily figured out how to bypass, and I have no desire to harm another person. If someone has deep seeded ideological reasons to want to harm others, they would have figured these and other things out.
Take your shoes off
Because of the shoe bomber, TSA asks us that everyone removes their shoes and have them scanned (thank goodness he wasn’t a pants bomber, eh?). This does not apply to children (12 or younger) or people over 75, which means that any person who was attempting to put a device inside a shoe just needs to use their child, or be an older person. Good thing there are no elderly terror suspects.
This is one of the security measures which is 100% to make people “feel better”, and I don’t believe TSA is naive enough to actually believe they are going to stop any person with this.
No liquids over x ounces
This one is so simple: You are allowed to exit the secured area, and then go through TSA screening as many times as you would like. This also means that each time you go through, you could bring more liquids (assuming they do not realize what you are doing and stop you, unlikely). Have two people, keep one on the other side with your bags and just go back through with more liquids.
I am not an advocate of TSA allowing knives on an airplane, mainly for the same reason I don’t think people should be able to own handguns: easy access to the weapon makes it more likely to be used. That being said: TSA’s anti-knife policy is extreme, no pocket knives? But don’t worry, those giant knitting needles are totally okay.
3D Printed Knives or Ceramic Knives would also be easy to get through security. Just tie them to your leg or something, and you would be set to go through.
… but I am so glad that we can’t bring our multi-tool.
Access to Cockpit
Long distance flights / Flights to Alaska have many times has service for the flight crew, they open the door while a second flight attendent watches the door. If you had a group of 5 first class passengers, as soon as they did this you could rush the cabin and have access to the cockpit.
Causing General “Terror”
If you want to strike fear in a people, then you don’t need to be successful. Perhaps unsuccessful “attacks” are even more effective because they are the attacks that force the government to make people give up even MORE civil liberties. Pop the emergency exit door mid flight (if you wanted to be extra sneaky, have a parachute and see if you could survive the fall).
In Alaska it’s super easy to just walk onto tarmacs which have flights bound back to the lower 48 or Anchorage. While it would be a much more risky method: You could walk on the tarmac while they are boarding a flight cross over into the line of people walking onto the plane and join them. Hopefully the seat isn’t taken (or the flight is full) and you would be golden. You could also put things in the cargo bays of the planes and it would be really hard to spot.
So what is the lesson here? You can do whatever you want, but someone who has enough anger or hate will always find a way. Instead of stripping people of their civil liberties, dehumanizing them, and creating more angry people… focus on empowering people, and adjusting foreign policy to not be abusive towards other countries. Stop trying to make the world fit your little plan and fix your own problems. That is the way to minimize your risk of attack.
If you guys never hear from me again, I have been V&’d