2007-11-06

TSA plays it safe

Last week I was talking to a friend, and we got to talk about cars, a Porsche 911 he almost bought, and then I asked: "So do you say nine-one-one or nine-eleven when you talk about Porsche?"

He said, nine-eleven. And I said I didn't know what the right way was to say this, but that I could not hear nine-eleven anymore, because of all the "security" talk.

He laughed and told me this story.

Apparently, TSA has the same level of security checks for people entering their building as for people trying to board a plane at an airport. Whatever makes them happy, right?

So they check these guys, make them take their shoes off, take their laptops out of their bags, walk through metal detectors etc, etc. Then they give them their visitor badges and tell them that the people they came to see are actually in the other building, and -- get this -- to get there, they simply should exit the "secure" area, walk in the street to the other building and enter there without any further screening.

There are no visible video cameras or guards, not even a fence--they have to walk in the street, where they can potentially get any number of dangerous items from someone waiting outside, and carry them into the other building. Or they can give their badges to someone else, and there would be no-one to see.

A disclaimer: I did not verify the story, but knowing how government agencies of non-totalitarian states usually work, I do believe this to be true.