Is the TSA playing Calvinball with travellers?

Feb 01, 2008

I feel ever so much safer now that the TSA is requiring travelers at some airports to dump each and every electronic device they're carrying into those damned grey bins for examination. So far commenters on this article over at Boing Boing have reported undergoing this at San Francisco, O'Hare, Milwaukee, San Antonio, Phoenix, and Richmond. As one would expect, this makes me not a bit apprehensive about my flight on Monday morning for another field assignment. The amount of hardware I carry in my field kit is considerable, which makes me feel not a bit like a sitting duck.

One commenter suggested putting all of your cables into large zip lock bags to make it easier. Personally, I use a mesh zippercase, which I somehow don't think they'll particularly understand. I might wind up going to the surplus store to get one of those mesh camping bags, like someone else suggested.

What really concerns me is the possibility of someone walking up and grabbing my laptop while I'm trying to make my way through security - as we all know thefts are up at airports ever since they started making people turn themselves inside out.

Interestingly, the TSA now has a blog through which you can communicate with them. Whether or not they'll actually listen to anyone remains to be seen; I'm suspecting that something similar to what happened to the blog that Sunrocket set up about a year before they tanked ("Everyday Hogwash", if you remember) will take place (which is that everyone will complain about the organization that set it up, which will promptly start pretending that it never happened). Either that, or it'll turn into an astroturf campaign. If nothing else, it's a curiosity worth a read before it gets hammered flat by trolls.