Thursday, July 10, 2014

HYPEned Security

The Adminitstration (that would be the United States Executive Branch) issued a notice to all air carriers that passengers on flights to the U.S. must examine battery powered electronic devices to ensure that they are indeed what they appear to be and not a bomb. Apparently they believe that terrorist might be hiding bombs inside a laptop rather than simply shorting the Li-ion battery igniting the small fire-bomb that all laptops come with as a standard "feature."

So now everyone not only has to undress and get a body image (too bad the government won't pick up the tab for MRI's) but you also have to prove your phone/laptop/ipod is charged and functional.

Or maybe not.

Suppose, hypothetically speaking, that you are in Europe, in an EU country and are heading back home. Due to a variety of issues you do NOT have a direct flight which at booking time you may have considered suboptimal. Au contraire mon frere.

As a pretend mental exercise consider what might happen if you change planes in another EU country. Hmm...sounds interesting. Hypothetically speaking of course.

You might board a flight from about Brussels to Frankfurt?...yeah that looks good...and it turns out that your boarding pass is your ID. After all you did authenticate yourself to get it AND you are staying within the European Union--at least as far as BRU security knows. You pass security at BRU (which online resources indicate could take as long as fifteen minutes) and enter the secured area, find the gate and board your flight to Frankfurt.

After disembarking in Franfurt you are in the secured area and go to the gate for your flight to the Good Ole' You Ess of Eh. And you wait. That's why they call it a layover. The plane begins boarding and at the jetway they check...that you have your passport. 'Cuz without your passport they would have to fly your dumb ass all the way back and hope they can get the money out of you for the extra flight.

So there you are. On a flight home with absolutely no pre-boarding check that your cell phone ain't da bomb.

Hypothetically speaking of course.

If the United States wants to ensure that these bombs don't make it into the U.S. why don't they just check at the U.S. immigration and customs? If they think it will keep bombs off the planes they really need to examine the aforementioned Li-Ion issue.

If the U.S. thinks this is so critical why don't they do it themselves? And pay for it. And go face to face with the public and tell them this is being done "because we say so."

That's NOT hypothetical.