Wednesday, January 12, 2011


There is news from the lawsuit filed by EPIC against DHS over the scanners: DHS finally filed its answer brief. A run-down of its contents can be found at Network World. Expect to hear more about this suit in March, when the hearing is scheduled to take place.

EPIC sponsored a conference that coincided with this news. Ralph Nader - whom I disagree with on many things - is a consistent civil libertarian and calls out the TSA policies. I don't know what his solution is (ahem! abolition) but his criticism is dead-on:

The TSA is a basketcase, collectively... What's happening is, we are incrementally losing our freedoms.
 Edward Luttock of the Center for International and Strategic Studies (an organization whose policy suggestions I rarely agree with) had an interesting story about the efficacy of the scanners:
In a test conducted in Europe, German prison guards were instructed to sneak explosives past three different scanners, including the full-body X-ray machine currently causing such a furore in the United States, Luttwak, a senior associate at the Center for International and Strategic Studies, said.
"They did it with such ease that the Air Travel Association, IATA, said there is no case for scanners," said Luttwak.
And word is that Rep. Chaffetz will re-introduce his legislation to prevent scanners from being used as primary screening. Chaffetz is one of the good guys here as he's been against the scanners from the start. Speaking personally, though, this is too little too late: I won't fly until airports and airlines run their own security.