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November 21, 2010

Nudey Photos and Yogurtless Flights

I'm sitting at the airport, eating breakfast, and reading about the new TSA screening procedures. My typical breakfast of granola, fruit, and yogurt is short the yogurt since that's a liquid and that means it could be a bomb. I've finally given up on sneaking one in from home, having had confiscated enough cartons over the last few years to know there is no flexibility when it comes to the danger assessment of yogurt. I also refuse to buy one at an airport kiosk since what is normally priced at $0.75-$1.00 can run as much as $4.00. On the bright side, I didn't have to have a nudey photo taken through the new Backscatter X-ray machines, but they do have them set up at San Jose Airport, ready for a random selection of outbound travelers.


Bruce Schneier has a collection of related current events and personal stories if you're wanting to read some airport nightmare tales. As for me, I'm not sure if I ever really, really cared, but these new machines are not as alarming a change as it seems they are to the rest of Americans. Maybe because this time, the viral story of a man whose citizen rights were violated was a white American as opposed to a tan man wearing a turban.

We passed the point of rational security in airports long ago, and considering that half of the time I fly now, I get the full body public pat down because the underwire in my bra sets off an alarm (after already stripping off my jacket, belt, and shoes), it's hard to feel that much more exposed. I'm glad other people are motivated to fight back, but I don't expect it will make any real difference (especially with our President's endorsement of this nonsense). Maybe one day we can refocus our money and efforts on something more productive or impactful. And as a side effect, I can start bringing my yogurt back in through the security check.
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