Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Has our frustration with the #TSA reached a tipping point?

EDIT: This piece was also just published by the NYTimes, about the expansion of Pre-Check. Worth a look, though it strikes me as odd to try and put it in Business, instead of in Op-Ed... thoughts?

It's been a while since I wrote about airport security on here, and for good reason - I feel as though my position on the matter is extremely clear, and so delving further into the subject usually just frustrates me. The TSA is, in my view, an unfortunate waste of funding, and all of its attempts to make its processes more palatable to travelers end up coming off as admissions of its own impotence.

Not to mention the egregious acts of misconduct that have been perpetrated by the TSA, either at an administrative level or by its own officers. It's enough to make you want to stay home - if you happen to live within 1,000 miles of your family or on the correct side of ocean to be able to do so. But some of us don't have the luxury to tell others to "put up or shut up."

So I wanted to bring your attention to this NYTimes op-ed. It's short but powerful, and my favorite bit comes near the end:

It is time to stop pretending that annoying protocols like these are all that stand between us and devastation. The most effective security innovation post-9/11 was also the simplest: the reinforcement of cockpit doors, which has made it virtually impossible to hijack an aircraft.
As things stand, the T.S.A. asks its officers to enforce rules of questionable utility while giving them remarkably little discretion; they’re more like hall monitors than intelligence personnel. That is a huge waste of human talent and a source of inefficiency. 
Check it out, and as always, let me know what you think by leaving me a comment or finding me on Twitter.
(photo credit: djbones via photopin cc)

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