Loss of Privacy

Keeping you informed on recent losses to privacy and civil rights worldwide.

Browsing Posts tagged airports

From Schiphol Airport:

Schiphol regularly tries out new technologies as part of our ongoing commitment to innovation. Recently, we began using Google Glass in the terminal and outside on the airfield. By tapping into this innovative technology, we hope to both gain a better insight into the passenger experience and support operations at the airport.

Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport is one of the busiest in Europe. Airport authority officers are trialling Google Glass as a hands-free way to look up gate and airplane information.

The airport started its trial of Glass last month, and has developed a Glass app which lets staff ask the device for gate or aircraft data and have the results displayed via the headset or on their smartphone. Another future feature the airport hopes to implement is the ability to measure the placement distance of barriers on the taxiway just by looking at them, rather than officers having to manually take measurements. It goes without saying that that’s going to require a very thin margin of error.

The airport is not committed to Glass beyond trialling it at this point. Any decision about whether the face computers will become a permanent fixture on staff will be taken next year, it said.

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Samuel Bryant of Brooklyn Park was charged with sexual abuse of a minor, second-degree assault and a fourth-degree sex offense. (Anne Arundel police photo)

Samuel Bryant of Brooklyn Park was charged with sexual abuse of a minor, second-degree assault and a fourth-degree sex offense. (Anne Arundel police photo)

Yet another TSA employee has been arrested on sex abuse charges.

Samuel Bryant, 40, was charged with sexual abuse of a minor, second-degree assault and a fourth-degree sex offense.

Bryant is accused of inappropriately touching a 14-year-old girl on three occasions at his Brooklyn Park home on Jan. 5. The girl told a sibling about the alleged abuse on Feb. 4,and the sibling told their mother, according to charging documents.

Attorney Peter O’Neill, who is representing Bryant, said his client “vehemently denies having any improper relationship or improper touching with this young lady.”

A TSA spokeswoman said early Wednesday afternoon the agency was terminating Bryant’s employment. Bryant later updated his social media page to say he is unemployed.

“These alleged crimes are egregious and intolerable,” said TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein.

O’Neill called the termination “wholly inappropriate.”

“That’s essentially convicting him before he has a chance to defend himself.”

Bryant was a lead transportation security officer for the TSA, according to his LinkedIn professional networking page. People in that position screen passengers, manage and train employees, and oversee the operations of TSA checkpoints, according to the TSA website.

Bryant had worked for the TSA since March 2004, according to his networking page.

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In response to evolving terrorist threats, including non-metallic explosive devices and weapons, the U.S. TSA has adopted full-body scanners as the primary passenger screening method at nearly 160 airports nationwide at a cost exceeding $1 billion. Although full-body scanners play a critical role in transportation security, they have generated considerable controversy, including claims that the devices are unsafe, violate privacy and civil liberties, and are ineffective. Furthermore, these scanners are complex embedded systems that raise important computer security questions.

Despite such concerns, neither the manufacturers nor the government have disclosed enough technical details to allow for rigorous independent evaluation, on the grounds that such information could benefit attackers, or is a trade secret. To help advance the public debate, we purchased a government-surplus Rapiscan Secure 1000 full-body scanner and performed a detailed security evaluation of its hardware and software.

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TSA uniform

Alexandra Schmid was convicted Friday in the Queens Supreme Court of stealing money from passengers’ luggage at Kennedy Airport.

Alexandra Schmid was working as a Transportation Security Administration officer when Dr. Imrana Ali and her family were boarding a flight to India on Dec. 9, 2011, officials said.

Schmid, 34, separated Ali’s family from their luggage for 15 minutes. When they got their belongings back, Schmid bizarrely insisted she never touched their stuff, according to prosecutors.

The family had to rush to make their flight. Once on board they discovered $6,000 in cash was missing from Ali’s husband’s jacket pocket, officials said.

A month later, Schmid ripped off another passenger headed to India, prosecutors said.

As she screened Rahat Mohammed Shimul and his mother on Jan. 5, 2012, Shimul alerted the her his mother’s purse contained $4,000 in cash.

Schmid briefly left the area with the purse, then returned it with the cash missing.

She accused Shimul of stealing the cash from his own mother when he complained to her it was missing, officials said.

Acting Queens Supreme Court Justice Joel Blumenfeld found Schmid guilty of grand larceny, possession of stolen property and official misconduct Friday following a four-week trial, officials said.

“It is particularly troubling that someone hired to ensure the safety and security of our nation’s airlines and to protect all of us from terrorism would stoop to stealing from those she is supposed to protect,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement.

Sentencing is set for March 13, 2015. Schmid faces up to 14 years in prison for her actions.

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From BlackHat:

Every day, millions of people go through airport security. While it is an inconvenience that could take a while, most are willing to follow the necessary procedures if it can guarantee their safety. Modern airport security checkpoints use sophisticated technology to help the security screeners identify potential threats and suspicious baggage.

Have you ever wondered how these devices work? Have you ever wondered why an airport security checkpoint was set up in a particular configuration? Join us as we present the details on how a variety of airport security systems actually work, and reveal their weaknesses. We’ll present what we have learned about modern airport security procedures, dive deep into the devices used to detect threats, and we’ll present some the bugs we discovered along the way.

If you’d like the pdf slides from the presentation, they are embedded below.

Download (PDF, 7.56MB)

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