TSA proud of confiscating non-dangerous items

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The items show here are, according to the TSA web site, an "empty metal bottle and a home-made battery pack, consisting of 28 rechargeable batteries connected by multiple resistors and held together in two layers with a silicone-based adhesive."

Do you like the way the TSA put the wires from the battery pack under the empty water bottle and arranged the two separate items in such as way as to make them look more like a Hollywood version of a bomb?

The TSA website headline: "Explosive-Like Item Intercepted at Checkpoint"

Security expert Bruce Schneier's headline: "TSA Proud of Confiscating Non-Dangerous Item"

Here's an excerpt from the TSA report:

The passenger [at Jackson-Evers International Airport] was an engineer and said he built the battery to power his DVD player for the long flight to Hawaii. After recognizing that the item could be seen by other passengers as a threat, the man surrendered it to Supervisory TSO Raiford Patterson and was allowed to board the flight.

Here's an excerpt from Schneier's blog:

My guess is that if Kip Hawley [Administrator & Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for the Transportation Security Administration] were allowed to comment on my blog, he would say something like this: "It's not just bombs that are prohibited; it's things that look like bombs. This looks enough like a bomb to fool the other passengers, and that in itself is a threat."

Okay, that's fair. But the average person doesn't know what a bomb looks like; all he knows is what he sees on television and the movies. And this rule means that all homemade electronics are confiscated, because anything homemade with wires can look like a bomb to someone who doesn't know better. The rule just doesn't work.

And in today's passengers-fight-back world, do you think anyone is going to successfully do anything with a fake bomb?

Did he get to keep the water bottle?

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