Security theater: ha ha, only serious


Adam Conover latest "Adam Ruins Everything" is five depressingly hilarious minutes on aviation security, security theater, privacy, and ritual humiliation, with a guest-appearance by Bruce Schneier. If you didn't laugh, you'd have to cry, although you can always do both, right? Read the rest

3D print your own TSA Travel Sentry keys and open anyone's luggage


Watch this video on The Scene.

The TSA mandates that all checked luggage must be locked with a deliberately flawed lock that can be opened with one of a handful of skeleton keys that are supposed to be kept secret. It's been more than a year since the TSA allowed a newspaper photographer to print a high-rez photo of its universal luggage-lock keys, allowing any moderately skilled locksmith to create her own set. Ars Technica downloaded a set of key STL files from Github, printed them on a consumer 3D printer, and showed that they could gain entry to any luggage.

It's a model for what happens with any kind of law-enforcement/public safety back door: the universal keys leak and there's no way to re-key all those locks out there in the field. The FBI and UK security services are calling for backdoors in all crypto -- the code we use to protect everything from pacemakers to bank accounts. This is as neat an illustration of why that's a bad idea as you could ask for. Read the rest

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Things to add to your building lobby's CCTV warning

Someone in JWZ's building put up a "THIS BUILDING IS MONITORED BY CLOSED-CIRCUIT CAMERAS" sign in the lobby where only the residents and their guests go, so he's been updating it with messages like "FEAR THE UNKNOWN - MONSTERS ARE REAL." Read the rest

Make your own TSA universal luggage keys

The image above, published in 2014 in this story and credited to The Washington Post, showed the keying patterns for all of the TSA-complaint "Travel Sentry" luggage locks. Read the rest

Regal promises security-theater bag-searches in America's largest cinema chain

Going to the movies is getting airportified: your knapsacks, bags and purses will be searched on the way in to stop you from carrying in guns that you don't stick in your waistband or in a shoulder-holster. Read the rest

Airport security confiscates three year old's fart gun

The eagle-eyed aviation security humans at Dublin Airport prevented a desperate toddler from boarding a flight while in possession of a Despicable Me Fart Blaster: "We don’t make the rules but we apply the rules consistently." (via Lowering the Bar) Read the rest

New pornoscanners are also useless, cost $160 million

The new generation of millimeter-wave body scanners from the convicted war-criminals at L-3 were supposed to replace the useless, expensive backscatter radiation machines from Rapiscan with a more robust, less privacy invasive alternative. Read the rest

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TSA airport checkpoints STILL miss 95% of weapons in smuggling tests

As has been the case since the agency's inception, its agents missed the overwhelming majority of "red team" attempts to smuggle weapons past its checkpoints: 67 out of 70 this time. Read the rest

Pornoscanner lobbyist's new job: overseeing TSA spending

Christopher Romig was the top lobbyist for the aptly named Rapiscan, but now he's got a better gig: staffer for the House Appropriations Committee's Homeland Security Subcommittee, which controls the TSA's spending. Read the rest

TSA trained Disney World's plainclothes in its voodoo "terrorism detection" methods

SPOT, the TSA's billion dollar "behavioral detection" mind-reading program, is now apparently in use at Walt Disney World, Seaworld and other Florida attractions. Read the rest

Airport workers, including TSA, raid unlockable luggage for valuables

Airport stings keep catching insiders pilfering millions of dollars worth of passenger property from bags that can no longer be effectively locked, thanks to a TSA rule that insists on luggage being equipped with locks that are all vulnerable to the same passkey. Read the rest

Here's the TSA's stupid, secret list of behavioral terrorism tells

The ACLU is suing the TSA to get the details of its billion-dollar junk-science "behavioral detection" program, but in the meantime, here's the leaked 92-point checklist the TSA's psychic warriors use to spot bad guys. Read the rest

ACLU sues TSA to make it explain junk science "behavioral detection" program

The TSA refuses to explain how it spent $1B on a discredited "behavioral detection" program that led airport authoritarians to believe that when they racially profiled fliers, it was because they'd acquired the superpower of spotting guilty people through their "microexpressions." Read the rest

Windows 10 announcement: certified hardware can lock out competing OSes

Microsoft has announced a relaxation of its "Secure Boot" guidelines for OEMs, allowing companies to sell computers pre-loaded with Windows 10 that will refuse to boot any non-Microsoft OS. Read the rest

Suspicious people, American Airlines edition

Covertly snapped last night at the AA baggage office in Memphis, after they lost my luggage: Read the rest

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