Loss of Privacy

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

Browsing Posts tagged Security Theater

From TSA Watch:

We are seeking funds to start a National Watchdog Group that will force the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) to clean up their act.

We are a Citizen Watchdog Group, working to protect traveler rights and dignity from abuses by the TSA. We strive to ensure no violations go unreported and grievances are addressed and redressed.

Mission Statement: TSA Watch is a new membership organization being built to will serve the traveling public, American Citizens and Visitors, by working to ensure personal liberty is not sacrificed in the pursuit of national security. For the first time the public will work together in increasing numbers to watch the TSA and make sure all violations are reported. Members and other travelers will enjoy a centralized place to share their own complaints about the TSA, get help with filing official complaints with the TSA itself, and work together to seek redress of grievances and a halt to TSA’s worst patterns of violating human rights to life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness.

Long Description:

TSA Watch will become the “go to” organization for Citizens and guests to address their concerns with the US Transportation Security Administration, the TSA.

For those who don’t know, the TSA is the organization that conducts most screening and searches of air travelers, and increasingly travelers of every modality.

While we prepare the infrastructure for the launch of our fully functional watchdog group, with all of it’s features, this Facebook page will serve as a forum for those who wish to share their TSA experiences publicly. We will also share news, videos and other information pertaining to TSA misbehavior.

Please feel free to share your tales of TSA mistreatment as comments, which will be curated and then made public.

Discussion:
Currently, there are numerous violations being reported in a haphazard manner across the Internet, but there is no one place to collect this information and do something about it. Complaints vary, but the top six areas of complaint include:

1. Lack of accomodation in security screening for travelers with documented medical conditions that routinely trigger in depth scans,
2. Theft of personal property,
3. Damage to personal property,
4. Sexual violations by TSA Agents groping the breasts, genitals, and other private areas of a person’s body,
5. Abusive language and attitude directed by the agents to people, and
6. Arbitrary delay of travelers making them miss their connections, which leads to lost work, happiness, and opportunity.

We will address these violations by:
1) creating TSA Watch, a new national membership organization
2) bringing to light the frequent violations of traveler’s person, property, and dignity currently made by TSA personnel,
3) by documenting patterns of these abuses,
4) by bringing further light through investigation of those TSA divisions and personal making the most egregious violations, and
5) bringing public scrutiny to these abuses through every medium we can.

The group has a go fund me page to raise support.

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Politicians in Congress are pushing to declassify 28 pages from the 9/11 reports. Rep. Massie spoke in July about why these particular pages need to be declassified.

the former co-chairman of the panel that produced the heavily-redacted 2002 report will hold a Capitol Hill press conference calling for its complete release. Former Democratic Sen. Bob Graham will join Reps. Walter Jones (R-NC) and Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.), as well as 9/11 families, to demand President Obama shine light on the entire blanked-out Saudi section.

Graham claims the redaction is part of an ongoing “coverup” of the role of Saudi officials in the 9/11 plot. He maintains the Saudi hijackers got financial aid and other help from the Saudi consulate in Los Angeles and the Saudi embassy in Washington, as well as from wealthy Sarasota, Fla., patrons tied to the Saudi royal family.

Jones and Lynch say they will reintroduce their resolution urging Obama to declassify the information in the newly seated Congress. The bipartisan bill has attracted 21 co-sponsors, including 10 Republicans and 11 Democrats, since first introduced 12 months ago.

organizers have launched a letter-writing campaign to encourage senators to sign the resolution, including Sen. Charles Schumer, who in 2003 led a group of 46 senators in penning a letter to Bush.

Schumer (D-NY) at the time said, “The bottom line is that keeping this material classified only strengthens the theory that some in the US government are hellbent on covering up for the Saudis.”

The New Yorker discussed the 28 pages, questioning why they are still kept secret. No one is allowed to see the documents from the Bush, Cheney and Bill Clinton interviews with the commission, if they exist. Those interviews were said to have no recordings, no transcripts and no one was under oath.

The behavior of the government is why people are skeptical about everything the U.S. government says and does. The whole notions appears to be simply conspiracy, but those who have seen the 28 pages say there is nothing in them that threaten national security and no reason to not let the public read them. By keeping them secret, the government is fueling the conspiracy fire.

James Bamford’s documentary, Spy Factory, touches on what the CIA knew and how it works, including the information it had, but refused to share with the FBI.

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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.

Source.

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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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