August 10, 2011

ABOUT TIME: Bruce Schneier’s Telepathic Takeover of the TSA.

Bruce Schneier is a telepath of unimaginable power. That’s the only possible explanation for the stunning reversal at the top of the Transportation Security Administration.

For years, Schneier, the well-known security gadfly, has blasted the TSA for its brain dead approach to passenger screening: the “security theater” of naked scanners and slipped-off shoes; the focus on terrorist weapons instead of the terrorists themselves; the one-size-fits-all security protocols, instead of measures driven by the latest intelligence. For years, the TSA ignored his critiques.

But late last month, at the Aspen Security Forum, TSA chief John Pistole opened his mouth — and Schneier’s words came tumbling out. Pistole said it was high time to “recognize that the vast majority of people traveling every day are not terrorists.” To “try to apply some more common sense to the process,” even.

Forget patting down kids and telling people with top secret security clearances to take off their shoes. “I think we can do a different way of screening children that recognizes that, in the very high likelihood, they do not have a bomb on them,” he said.

Besides, he added, “the best layer of security we have … is intelligence.”

Well, that is a change.

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