More on the struggle to introduce sanity to air travel
Following on the heels of my post on Michael Roberts from last week comes a new report from various news sources (I’ll link to the USA Today story) about fresh criticism of the TSA and of American airport “security” procedures in particular. In pertinent part:
European air officials accused the United States of imposing useless and overly intrusive travel security measures, calling Wednesday for the Obama administration to re-examine policies ranging from online security checks to X-raying shoes.
British Airways‘ chairman made the first in a wave of complaints, saying in a speech to airport operators that removing shoes and taking laptops out of bags were “completely redundant” measures demanded by the U.S.
He was joined less than 24 hours later by British pilots, the owner of Heathrow airport, other European airlines, and the European Union. The EU submitted formal objections to a program that requires U.S.-bound travelers from 35 nations to complete online security clearance before departure. It called the system burdensome and said it could violate travelers’ privacy.
This is emphatically a good start. Sometimes all it takes a little perspective, even if that perspective comes from an ocean away. The “security” procedures in use right now, and especially the TSA which is charged with implementing them, do not keep us any safer than we were before, but they come at a huge cost to privacy, convenience, dignity, and bureaucratic red tape. It seems as though some heavy-hitters in the industry have come to that same conclusion.
Being poked, prodded, and sometimes strip-searched by high school dropouts who answered help-wanted ads on pizza boxes is patently ridiculous, and I for one commend the chairman of BA, the association of British pilots, Heathrow airport, and even the EU (!) in standing up and exclaiming “the emperor has no clothes!”
By the way, thanks to Bruce Schneier and his TSA logo contest finalists for the picture used here.