uk visa October 21, 2010 4:31 AM

@Steve Thank you for telling us about Michael Roberts – I think he’s absolutely right in making a stand for all intelligent right minded people; would that there were similarly minded people at the TSA.
When will the US Government come to understand that security is not delivered by jobsworths following imbecilic rules?
Let’s all hope that mainstream media picks up this story.

David October 21, 2010 5:36 AM

Having read the entirely of the Michael Roberts discussion (a lot of bickering between pilots, mostly!), there was one brain-jarring re-focussing comment made about mid-way through.

(I think I paraphrase a little) “Box cutters aren’t the weapon, the plane is.”

If only the TSA and their ilk could also make this mental adjustment. Ignore the nail clippers, the box cutters and the 4oz of shampoo – they’re not the weapon; there’s no point in identifying and removing them.

Leading on from this, we need to make the observation that in order for a weapon to be used, someone has to use it.

Thus it is the someone who wants to use the weapon that we should focus on, not the sealed flask of breast milk or whatever the latest fixation the TSA has.

It’s so typical of government security in USA (I’m not there!), the best solutions have the biggest price tags! Everything is done to avoid doing the real work.

mcb October 21, 2010 11:40 AM

“‘…at this point I’m [Roberts] more concerned with the greater threat to our rights and liberties as a free society.’

‘Yeah, I know,’ he said. And then, to my amazement, he continued, ‘But somebody’s already taken those away.'”

This is far too exciting. Where’s my soma?

Nick P October 21, 2010 3:28 PM

@ Bruce Schneier

Thanks for the reminder. I’ve found at least one paper I really like at each conference. My most recent favorite is “Nobody sells gold for the price of silver.” Very good research and analysis in that one.

I appreciate that you guys post your papers online for free. In my opinion, publishing research in places like ACM and IEEE hurts progress because so few have membership and most IT guys don’t even know about them. So, thanks again for supporting real progress by sharing the ideas with the public. 😉

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