Spot on: it isn’t the TSA’s fault


Adam Shostack, one of the security industry’s more eloquent practitioners, had this to say in his Emergent Chaos blog: “It’s true. TSA employees are just doing their job, which is to secure transportation systems. The trouble is, their job is impossible. We all know that it’s possible to smuggle things past the nudatrons and the frisking. Unfortunately, TSA’s job is defined narrowly as a secure transportation system, and every failure leads to them getting blamed. All their hard work is ignored. And so they impose measures that a great many American citizens find unacceptable. They’re going to keep doing this because their mission and jobs are defined wrong. It’s not the fault of TSA, it’s the fault of Congress, who defined that mission.”

All valid points.

As far as I’m concerned, we are the root of the problem. In the days immediately after 9-11, we were all terrified and were willing to let the government do whatever it felt was necessary to keep another attack like this from happening again. We would have walked naked through the TSA line if told to at that point. Criticize me for exaggerating if you will. The point is that in our paranoia and fear we let things like the Patriot Act happen. We were fine with the warrantless wiretaps and the water boarding. Then a few years passed without a terrorist attack on American soil, and all those things became intolerable again to a majority of Americans.

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