TSA gets Bruce Schneier booted from House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing

Bruce Schneier was invited to testify about the TSA to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, but at the last minute he was disinvited, after the TSA objected to having him in the room.

On Friday, at the request of the TSA, I was removed from the witness list. The excuse was that I am involved in a lawsuit against the TSA, trying to get them to suspend their full-body scanner program. But it's pretty clear that the TSA is afraid of public testimony on the topic, and especially of being challenged in front of Congress. They want to control the story, and it's easier for them to do that if I'm not sitting next to them pointing out all the holes in their position. Unfortunately, the committee went along with them. (They tried to pull the same thing last year and it failed -- video at the 10:50 mark.)

The committee said it would try to invite me back for another hearing, but with my busy schedule, I don't know if I will be able to make it. And it would be far less effective for me to testify without forcing the TSA to respond to my points.

Congressional Testimony on the TSA (Thanks, Bruce!)


  1. The Chair of the Committee, Darrell Issa is on Twitter. Anyone so inclined can tweet the link to Schneier’s testimony to @DarrellIssa

  2. I admit to being a layperson on the subject but the name “Bruce Schneier” is literally the only one that comes to mind when I think “Security Expert.”

  3. “Hey, if you don’t like it, sue me (because if you happen to protest here and now you will SO get your rights and all other sorts of things violated when no one is looking (we can assure you that NO ONE will be looking))!” 


    “Hmpf!  Fine, then!  NOW you don’t get to talk about us in front of our parents!  Nyah nyah!”

    Yes, everyone involved truly just wants the US to be safe and and to do so in an efficient, effective manner without unnecessary spending while “balancing” personal liberties and rights against trying to stop the British/Spanish/commie red menace/Charlie/terrorists.  Since the WTC hasn’t been blown up again it’s clearly working.

      1.  I’m expecting the freedom tower to be the most locked-down, non-free tower on earth when it’s finished.

        1. “Welcome to Freedom Tower, please strip in public view and put your clothings along with your belongings in this bomb proof box before entering. You will be provided with one orange jumpsuit to wear for the duration of the stay.”

  4.  At least the TSA was upfront about it with their weasel excuse. I’d half expect them to surreptitiously place Bruce on the no-fly list a few days before the hearing…

  5. I don’t know which is more appalling…The TSA telling Congress they won’t testify if Schneier does or Congress caving in.  

  6. If Schneier doesn’t get to testify because of the lawsuit, neither do the TSA’s spokescritters.  Gotta stay fair and balanced, here.

  7. TSA refusing to let Schneier testify… reminds me of a drunk driver refusing to take a breathalyzer test; the refusal saying almost as much as the test.  

  8. TSA acting like obtuse cowards again.  Thank god the terror threat is overhyped or we’d all be dead by now.

  9. Note that the committee asked for public input BEFORE the hearing.   They only got 350 responses, a turnout too apathetic to spur change.

    If only certain well-read blogs cared enough to do something yesterday.  Maybe it’s more fun to complain once the moment has passed.

    1.  We’ve been complaining for ten years.  Just look at Travel Underground.  Or Flyer Talk before DHS got at the board and explained what would happen to their families if the complaints didn’t stop.

      And what kind of congressional idiot requires Facebook for “public input” anyway?

  10. Schneier is a security professional, unlike the hacks and quacks at the TSA. Naturally, they don’t want to face him.

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