I'll tackle Thunderbird's angst. If one is on the government payroll, please realize that the taxpayers trust you to do your job right. Part of doing your job is to error-check yourself.
>> Exactly what does a part-time kitchen worker do to earn the sobriquet "security guru".
Earn the respect of security professionals and laypersons worldwide. Publish well regarded books. Have insightful ideas and share them freely. You're talking about Bruce, right?
>> Apart from talk, exactly what is it you do?
Academics do two things that irritate operational people. Academics have the perspective and leisure to think, at length, about very complex problems. Academics have the luxury of doing so without meeting a budget, keeping the boss happy or fearing negative publicity.
They're irritating, but essential. The more irritating they are, the more you need to pay attention to them!
"The truth will set you free. First it will piss you off." -- David Gerrold.
>> Say what you will about the people at TSA, at least they're working the problem.
Are you kidding? TSA is working (budget wise) only the very smallest part of the problem, which is screening passengers. When 98% of maritime container traffic and over 70% of air freight is still not being screened, not to mention rampant baggage theft from 'secured' checked luggage . . . the terminal and the passengers are not the problem. The tarmac and the insiders are the problem, and any security professional who thinks about it for five seconds knows it.
>> Mr. Schneir, you are nothing more than the Paris Hilton of the security world.
That's not fair! Paris Hilton did a great job of putting McCain in his place. Bruce is still being polite to the TSA.
>> One of many, I might add.
When the security community is (politely) telling the TSA that it has its collective head up its butt, perhaps someone should pay attention.
It is the nature of bureaucracies to make it easier to lie to the boss than to tell the truth.
The truth is that on 11 September 2001, four jetliners were hijacked and thousands of Americans died. Today, on 19 December 2008, airport security postures and doctrine are ill equipped to prevent a repeat. The same minds who plotted Mumbai are working the problem today. I won't help them here, but if I can think of a dozen ways to jack a jumbo, I'm willing to bet that the enemies of America can think of a few more.
>> You do nothing more than ridicule and back-bite, and add nothing of substance to the problem.
Bruce has suggested a number of simple, practical solutions that would help TSA in its mission enormously. Armored cockpit doors on all large aircraft, passenger and freight, would be a great start. It's not his fault that your bureaucracy makes it nearly impossible to implement any idea that is not blessed from on high.
Terrorists don't have to get three levels of approval, you know, nor do they have to placate all stakeholders and beg for budget scraps. This puts them inside your decision curve unless you are proactive rather than reactive.
>> At least the people at TSA are putting their efforts where it may do some good.
How many hours of lost productivity? How much damage to the American economy? How many taxpayer dollars spent? How many more taxpayer dollars wasted? How little motive to become more effective and efficient?
A tithe of the money spent on TSA checkpoints (largely labor) could have made a huge difference spent intelligently.
>> You do what, exactly?
Speaks truth to power, to quote Dr. Gary Marx. He's also nice about it. Hats off to him.