Schneier on Security
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January 6, 2010
TSA Logo Contest
Over at "Ask the Pilot," Patrick Smith has a great idea:
Calling all artists: One thing TSA needs, I think, is a better logo and a snappy motto. Perhaps there's a graphic designer out there who can help with a new rendition of the agency's circular eagle-and-flag motif. I'm imagining a revised eagle, its talons clutching a box cutter and a toothpaste tube. It says "Transportation Security Administration" around the top. Below are the three simple words of the TSA mission statement: "Tedium, Weakness, Farce."
Let's do it. I'm announcing the TSA Logo Contest. Rules are simple: create a TSA logo. People are welcome to give ideas in the comments, but only actual created logos are eligible to compete. (When my website administrator wakes up, I'll ask him how we can post images in the comments.) Contest ends on February 6. Winner receives copies of my books, copies of Patrick Smith's book, an empty 12-ounce bottle labeled "saline" that you can refill and get through any TSA security checkpoint, and a fake boarding pass on any flight for any date.
EDITED TO ADD (1/6): Please leave links to your submissions in the comments, and I will add them to the post. After the contest is over, I'll choose five finalists and post them. The winner will be chosen by popular acclaim.
I love to fly and it shows (1)
I love to fly and it shows (2)
EDITED TO ADD: vote on the finalists here.
Posted on January 6, 2010 at 8:42 AM
• 148 Comments
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I think you will get the attention of TSA and it won't be at the airport (or maybe they will just wait until you come to them).
If the TSA are not paying attention to this blog then they are in an even worse state than they appear to be in.
Bruce, you're my hero. Best contest prizes EVER.
"I think you will get the attention of TSA and it won't be at the airport (or maybe they will just wait until you come to them)."
Excellent. I'm sure the winner will license his design at a reasonable price.
"Bruce, you're my hero. Best contest prizes EVER."
Hey, I didn't say it would be a good fake boarding pass.
I don't have a logo, but their song is surely (to the music of the Village People song Y.M.C.A.) : "It's safe to fly with the Teeee Ess Ay" (someone will have to work up new hand gestures, I'm sure with a little imagination one could generate a funny YouTube video).
I can't draw it and so will not win... but...
The logo should consist of the Vitruvian Man image made by Leonardo da Vinci.
Below the picture would be the words, "Please hold position while images are taken."
Over the top, the motto will be "Propinquus stabilis ianua vobis" (Closing stable doors for you.)
Picture of plastic bin with a pair of shoes, and a pair of boxer shorts, on a conveyor belt.
Motto: "Preventing Yesterday's Plots, Today"
Too bad I'm no graphic artist. The motto really should be "You have nothing to fear if you've done nothing wrong", but I can't think of a good, simple logo. Perhaps a head with a gun pointed at it?
Anything with a pair of Schutzstaffel runes in the middle ('TSSA') ...
As a logo, how about: "Misapplying tomorrow's technologies to counter yesterday's threats."
@Captain Justice: That t-shirt design is a thing of beauty.
The winning logo needs to be printed on socks (and underwear!) and sold.
Picture of a bottle of water above "You can have my bottle when you pry it from my cold, dead hands"
I doubt Cory's t-shirt can be bettered. How about
'Abandon all liquids, all ye who enter here', or
'Totus mundus agit histrionem custodiae' ('all the world's a theatre of security', adapting the Globe Theatre motto. I hope that genitive is right.). I think I'll do a logo for this one.
This is the best contest so far this year!
I would encourage making the saline bottle prize clearer by saying "an empty 12-ounce bottle labeled."
You know, we could always have CafePress (or similar print on demand) print the logo on the thongs they sell that say "Electronic Scans are Overrated. Full Body Pat-Down Desired!" or something similar - http://www.cafepress.com/+womens-thongs
I need to do a little bit of work with a motto and design... I'm not artist, but I may be able to photoshop something together.
Great idea, by the way.
Simple. Douglas Adams "Don't Panic" image with the green sphere sticking out it's tongue.
"The Google" found it here:
Get this to Fark.com and you'll be buried in photoshops.
@peri: "I would encourage making the saline bottle prize clearer by saying 'an empty 12-ounce bottle labeled.'"
Why is an association with the noble eagle necessary? A headless chicken, limbs flailing uselessly, would clearly be more appropriate.
It's a shame that we've few graphical designers amongst us. It's time to spread this out on the usual diggreddit sites. =)
I'm thinking something like Smokey the Bear. A picture of a bunch of passengers jumping a terrorist with the logo, "Remember, only you can prevent terrorism."
Picture of the Warner Brothers abominable snowman guaring the security gate exit as a be-turbaned, dunamite vest wearing terrorist goes in through the out door ... "Duh, which way did he go, George? Which way did he go?"
LEDs need to be featured prominently.
@ Jim: I like "Unencumbered by the Thought Process."
How about an image of an ostrich with its head in a suitcase? Many fine slogans to accompany the logo have already been suggested.
@ Jim: I like "Unencumbered by the Thought Process."
Add in Latin as play on their show name:
Conloquium cautela, non acta
"Security talk, no action"
Clearly the printing on the socks/underwear/T-shorts needs to be done in a metal based ink so that it can be read when you are being scanned.
TSA= Thousands Standing Around
How about an ostrich with its head up its own a$$.
TSA: Transporting Shoeless Americans.
TSA: Temporarily Shoeless Authorization
Theatrical Security Annoyances
I think ostriches, lemmings and beheaded chickens need to figure prominently in the logo.
I think their motto should be something short and to the point, like:
TSA -- legal molestation
TSA -- Grabbed more balls than Jordan
TSA -- Keep your knives, we're here for the pancake syrup
This is so easy, I'll even donate the prizes to charity. Just make the logo a gigantic goatse.
Are we allowed to submit multiple entries, or just one logo per person?
Patrick got the order wrong on the words. Instead of:
Tedium, Weakness, Farce
it needs a better acronym:
Weakness, Tedium, Farce
Motto: Tedium, Stupidity, & Arrogance
Terror, Slowdowns, & Aggravation
TSA: Tray Stacking Authority
i suggest a person being body-cavity-searched while holding the knife in its teeth
mission statement could be: constantly searching at the wrong end
Tenaciously Scanning Asses
Thieving & Stealing Agency
My first thought is too simple. The logo could simply be a standard red circle and slash over the word "Everything".
The slogan is one a friend quoted to me: I don't know the origin: "TSA Won't Be Happy Until You Fly Naked And In Chains".
Typically Suspecting Americans
Train Sounds Awesome
Trashed Someone's Aloe
Targeting Second Anomalies
Tracking Saudi Anarchists
Theatro Securitas Absurdum
Perhaps with a pig in the logo to go with the latin.
I suggest as a motto: Propinquus Stabilis Ianua, Equus est Absentis (close the barn door, the horse is gone).
I like Bruce's motto suggestion: "Misapplying tomorrow's technologies to counter yesterday's threats."
To illustrate, maybe one of those Star Trek scanners, with the words "scanning for muskets" on the screen.
I think I've seen this elsewhere but don't remember for sure:
Terror Support Agency
Equal representation for French mottos:
Occupé à manger des beignets
Theatre of Security Actors
TSA: We're not happy until you're not happy.
TSA - Closing the barn door since 2001
Just FYI, the "circular eagle-and-flag motif" used in association with the TSA logo is the U.S. Department of Homeland Security seal. It is used in almost all of DHS's child agencies' logos (e.g., FEMA, TSA, CBP, USCIS, ICE, etc.). Two DHS agencies do have a "custom" logo—the Coast Guard and the Secret Service.
Nitpicking, I know. I fully support the development of a custom branding for every travelers' favorite agency.
Very tempting to design a goatse/goaTSA theme.
What about: "Your Priority is Our Safety".
If it has to be the usual US bird of pray and not the "wild turkey".
How about it dropping like a stone with a surprised look on it's face and wings "blown upwards" by the wind rush.
Around it's legs on of those 1700's devices invented to make cleaning soot out of chimnies easy.
If you have not seen one it consists of two small cannon balls with a scisor like contraption to hold a "wild turkey's" legs. The idea was simple you put it on a live turkey and drop it down your chimney, the turkey flaps maddly on the way down knocking the soot down for you.
On one ball have TSA on the other "Patriot Act" as a motto
TSA Bringing you down since...
Or for a T-Shirt
TSA - For that Personal touch whilst traveling
And of course since Capt Underpats, and the realisation body scaners won't work,
"Touching Scrotums Authoritivly"
Let Veronica Mosier be your inspiration. What happens to her is what TSA does to the average air traveler.
TSA: Totally Search Anything
TSA: Totally Say Anything
TSA, when I first heard that name, I thought, wannabe NSA for Thug Security Apparatchick
Anyway, while ripping on the TSA is good fun, and maybe even trendy, they are just a reflection of our pathetic society.
Scapegoat the TSA, after all the fundamental failures of the USA? Government, Legal systam, Business Protection, Politics, Military, Revolving door, education, and lets not forget, FINANCIAL system.
I'd say give the TSA a break, and relax some rules and let the guys loosen up, so that when things happen, they do not add to the problems.
This is an awesome contest, I wish I had some skill to participate in (I'd love a copy of any of your books).
I've actually started my own series of articles over at my blog (http://blog.joseph-a-nagy-jr.us) over personal security and the Internet. Perhaps you could take a look at them?
How about Larry, Curly and Moe in TSA uniforms?
To borrow from a British term:
With a cartoon jet plane madly flapping its wings, descending with a pair of iron balls chained to its landing gear.
A stylized red white and blue goatse.
I have no logo to offer. Drawing is a bit beyond me. But how about some snappy phrases: "Doing poorly a job that needn't be done at all." Or "Just as every creature has it's hindpart, so does government." Or, "Gainfully employing the otherwise unemployable." or "Have it our way." or "Shut up, hands against wall." I'll think of others.
TSA - We went with the white shirts because they were cheaper than brown.
Whatever rendition is chosen had better be extraordinary! :)
TSA: Our Budget Is Our Priority
"No shirt, no shoes - have a nice flight."
I'm thinking something with an Albatross in place of the Eagle...
Here's my theatrical entry. A bit hodge podge, but I think the idea is clear.
"No lights, no cameras, no action, no fly list, no shoes, no liquid containers larger than 100ml, no ..."
A good motto....
INCOMPETENCE OUR SHIELD,
INACTION OUR SWORD
Not original with me, but good.
How about an image from the master:
"If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever."
Or maybe use the two faces of drama to highlight the security theater aspect.
Theatre Security Actors
Here's my first go (I have another, should get that done this weekend). Decided not to go down the 'great seal' route.
(this is a png of the svg; if someone wants the svg just comment on flickr. CC licensed.)
If anybody wants some raw material to play with, here's a version of the TSA logo without the eagle: http://russnelson.com/temp/tsa-noeagle.png
Maybe the stripes should become bars, with Lady Liberty peering out through them?
The true expansion for TSA is surely "Terror Successfully Achieved".
Has any organization done more to terrorize the public than the TSA?
The prizes are too good to ignore, so here's my entry. I've tried to capture the "essence" of the TSA, I hope you like it. I think I may print some t-shirts.
To borrow from Obama's "yes we can" how about:
TSA: No you can't!
Flanagan's logo (bird flipping the bird is brilliant) + actual name of the agency + Motto (sable scroll, bottom) "Tomorrow's Technology. Yesterday's Threats." = winner, IMO. Bonus points for motto in Latin.
I will be printing that 'Dept. of Security Theater' logo on stationary I will use for every boarding pass I ever print in the future.
I'll give this idea out ther free for someone to draw it:
The Coat of arms of israel-a light blue menorah. You can use colors you deem appropriate:On the center upright of the Menorah, put the head of the American Bald Eagle turned towards the left- the other candleholders are spread in the shape of feathers. And the upright olive leaves are more spread out like a semi circle underneath.
The words arching overhead read:
Transportation Securitiy Administration
and underneath in smaller letters:
"Subdivision of Israel Defense Forces"
I think that every person should stop on their way to the airport at their local sex shop. Buy the biggest phallus you can. Stuff it in your pants (girls, you do it too).
Wait until you go through the lineup. If they pat you down, when they get hold of it say loudly: "You can take your hand off my penis now." Or, after the pat down loudly announce that the person deserves a dollar for that handjob.
If pulled aside for imaging screening, make sure that you wait patiently until they notice the object in your pants. When the mention it, loudly say, "Scuse me while I whip this out." And remove the phallus.
If we could get a movement like this going, the TSA guys wouldn't be able to hire folk fast enough to deal with the PTSD turnover.
Not a contender and not my original idea, but at a recent conference a well-known NZ security researcher was seen wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with:
"Integrity, Team Spirit, Innovation" is/was? sewn around the border of the newest TSA (T-errorists S-talking A-irports) patch. Have you EVER seen an organization that had to SEW A REMINDER not to STEAL, LIE, and CHEAT on their own shoulders!!!! They STEAL from the "confiscated" items, BACK-STAB the PASSENGERS (and their CO-Workers) and "INNOVATIVELY" CHEAT on their own tests.
Supervisors PADDING their hours to make house payments.
Supervisors staggering in drunk.
Supervisors exclaiming all NON-Christians should leave the country
Supervisors expressing their desire to see U.S. Senators DEAD
Real good organization.
Elmer Fudd with a finger to his mouth saying "Be vewy, vewy qwuiet, I'm hunting terrorists", encircled by the standard TSA/Homeland Security text.
I enjoyed reading this page this morning! Thank you Bruce and all.
A suggestion for a slogan:
"We fly, you stay!"
TSA: Totally Screwing America
TSA: Totally Screwing Aviation
What a great idea for a contest! And some of the entries already are pretty sharp...
...which means, of course, that the TSA will steal them too, the next time they're found at an airport or border crossing...
Thousands Standing Around (not original to me) has always been my favorite breakout for the TSA TLA. :)
Am I the only one who feels this is too much TSA-bashing?
It seems to be Bruce Schneier is risking losing some credibility by launching this contest.
Janet Incompetano has ruled all of you to be Right Wing Extremists! You are being watched and targeted.
At least one person has referred to the Douglas Adams description of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, its logo (A planet wiggling fingers in ears, and stick out its tongue), and the accompanying legend "Don't Panic."
I would like to suggest that, though unfortunately punctuated, this is perhaps the ideal legend. I'll leave the latinization to those better educated, but I will suggest a correctly punctuated version of the text:
The TSA brutalised me at the WA truck-crossing border for over 2.5 hours. Probably there was training going on, for the expected surge of visitors to the Olympics, but that's no excuse.
I was waved over. Then the car keys were demanded. I was marched inside, where I had to stand up for over two hours. I was not allowed to leave, visit the bathroom, etc.--basically false imprisonment. Then the entrapment phase: demanding I sign a declaration that I wasn't carrying anything. I said, "There might be something in the car, as I didn't have a chance to check...." Then a TSA doll walks in with a tiny Mandarin Orange box, about 6 x 5 x 5". I'd totally forgotten about it. It contained maybe four or five minuscule mandarins. The TSA guy leaned close. "These are from CHINA!" he snarled.
OK, OK, I must be a terrorist!
He went through every scrap of material in my wallet, saying, "This will help you; this won't help you," as if my execution was slated for the next hour.
When he and he cronies retreated to their computers and private corners, doing who knows what, I began to cry. I'd been robbed the day before and wasn't feeling too strong. I cried for 45 minutes straight.
They came back, wanting me to pay a $300 fine. I told them I don't have $300. They said, "You have credit cards." I told them the credit cards don't work, but if I give them permission to try them, it's an admission of guilt. I won't do it.
They can see my next words are, "I want to call a lawyer." I'm thinking of how it's three hours earlier in HI and I can call my lawyer friend there--as if that will do much good. I'm still crying. All I want to do is drive down to Bellingham, pick up my books, and come back to Canada. Right away.
They don't know what to do with this soppy old female. They give me a notice: I'm being fined up to $20K. I kid you not. No address, no process for protest or dispute on the page. They want me to sign. I won't.
They ask for a statement. I give them one, making clear the false-imprisonment and entrapment facts. They let me go, with the stupid page of accusations. Apparently there will be a hearing, date and place and terms unknown, and I may be fined into bankruptcy. I have no idea what to do with it, but I get into the car. I feel raped. My car doesn't quite feel like mine. I wonder what they've done to it.
I spend all of 47 minutes in the US, crying the whole time. I'm still crying when I get back to the Canada Customs. If they give me a hard time, I'll probably commit suicide or kill somebody.But all they do is have me pay the GST on the books I came to pick up.
For days I feel dirty, besmirched, diminished. Although I lived there for many years, I want nothing more than never again to have to go through the effing US of A.
retrying -- previous message vanished
Nice one, Travis -- though I would argue putting a pair of toenail clippers in the eagle's right talon would be funnier.
Great contest. Not much time for artistry, but I summarized my thoughts with a couple of text only pictures --- ( how do I submit these ? ... not for the contest, too late for that, --- just to vent ?
( brief description :
one has be safe, fly naked. opportunities for fondlers, underwear thieves, crotch sniffers with a faint TSA all over it.
The other says "Task force to Screw Air travelers - bomb sniffing dogs, crotch sniffing agents, if you like the smell of biowaste, we have "openings" " )
I fly all the time and can't wait to have some fun with this. So awesome!!!
These logos need a short phrase, Who knows a good latin translation for
"Perception is Reality"
Another brainiac idea: How about using the two masks typically associated with theatre, except that instead of the crying and laughing masks we have crying and *angry* masks.
"except that instead of the crying and laughing masks we have crying and *angry* masks."
Nagh what you want is that pained "internal examination by black rubber glove" expression with overtones of outrage, as your wallet is also extracted and empted at the same time by the glove wielding TSA person with size 14 hands...
And for those of a more delicate disposition please do not hold that thought...
So when do we find out who won?
Er, never mind, I found the other post.
Actually I agree with Frank's comment there.
But the prizes are absolutely fab though.
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