spaceman spiff November 20, 2009 11:53 AM

ROFLMAO! I’d still like to get a picture of the gal in Boston who shut down the airport because of the blinky lights on her tee-shirt. That was a couple of years ago as I recall. It was an MIT school project as I recall.

RH November 20, 2009 12:39 PM

To quote caption from the the flickr link ObiJan posted (for those like me who are oft too lazy to click links):
“The Homeland Security Booth at RSA 2007 (a security conference, not a jobfair!) In case you’re wondering, the front of the tshirt says ‘Not a’ and they thought it was funny enough not to shoot me. “

ObiJan November 20, 2009 12:56 PM

Point taken. For those curious but too lazy to browse the flickr stream:




The idea was to have little fun-poking at those that treat us international travelers as terrorists each and every time.

If they believe that taking shoes off improves security, they are probably also going to be persuaded by a “not a terrorist” label on a t-shirt or sticker.

They already believe the “volume” sticker on a liquid container, regardless of the volume of the container or its contents.

Clive Robinson November 20, 2009 1:43 PM

@ spaceman spiff,

“I’d still like to get a picture of the gal in Boston who shut down the airport because of the blinky lights on her tee-shirt.”

Do a google search on salient words and “schneier on security” to find the page and then have a look at some of the links.

IIRC one of them pointed of to a picture of her wearing the offending item.

If that does not work google her name I suspect a photo will still be on the web somewhere even if it’s just on the Internet time machine.

Benton Jackson November 20, 2009 4:38 PM

Brian Briggs, of, told a story in his blog about an interview with the NSA at a job fair:

“Any friends from foreign countries?” he asks.

“Yes,” I reply.

“Ah, what country?”


He drops the pencil he had been fiddling with, “Who do you know from there?”

“My girlfriend.”

He stands up. “Well, thanks for stopping by. If you ever have a change in status, please let us know.”

side-channel November 20, 2009 8:58 PM

@Benton Jackson

If true, then Brian Briggs’ little vignette tellingly illustrates the NSA’s interest in applicants who might have Farsi language skills.

I mean, c’mon. In the story, the NSA guy doesn’t even ask, “Do you speak Farsi?”

Of course, if your target is disaffected Americans, then you don’t need anything but English.

Lee November 21, 2009 2:39 AM

what you don’t see here is that Homeland Security will see the terrorist – but only after he’s made his clean getaway.

You would then expect anyone wearing a similarly-coloured t-shirt in the next 5 years to be whisked off to Guantanamo 😉

yt November 21, 2009 6:23 AM

@Benton Jackson: my partner (who was at one point considering working for the NSA) was unofficially told “They don’t care who you date, but they might care who you marry.” The fact that I live in a foreign country and am applying for dual citizenship would likely disqualify him from receiving a security clearance.

Roger November 21, 2009 11:48 PM

Thanks to the Westernisation policies of the last Shah, in the 1970s there was a very large number of Iranians* studying and working abroad. And thanks to the glorious Islamic revolution, many of them have never been able to go home, and detest the current theocracy. By “many”, we mean approximately 2 – 3 million in the 1st generation alone.

It is so easy to find native Farsi speakers who hate the “Guardians” with all their body and soul, that there is no reason to recruit non-native speakers of doubtful skill and security status.

  • Although in my personal experience, most exiled Iranians prefer to be called “Persians.”

Bruce Clement November 22, 2009 6:42 PM


Just because they hate the current regime in their homeland doesn’t make them “Loyal Americans”, although as long as the US is opposed to the curent regime they are likely to be allies of the US and do all they can to help it overthrow the regime at home.

The difficulty comes later, if or when they are able to return home.

Paulg November 23, 2009 6:14 AM

I like it a lot. A good few years ago I had a similar t-shirt made that says ‘SUSPECTED TERRORIST’ in large print. I havent tried going through an airport whilst wearing it though 🙂

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