The employer-surveillance state


The more bosses try to keep track of their workers, the more precious time employees waste trying to evade them.

Jason Edward Harrington spent six years working the luggage-screening checkpoint at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. A college graduate and freelance writer, he initially took the job as a stopgap, but found that he enjoyed meeting passengers from all over the world, some of whom showed a real interest in him. But while working for the TSA, Harrington noticed that his bosses were following and video-recording his every move, a practice they said was at least in part for his protection: If, perchance, a traveler’s iPad went missing, the videotapes would prove that Harrington was not to blame. Harrington was on board with that. His problem, he told me, was that supervisors would also view the tapes to search for the slightest infraction—anything from gum chewing to unauthorized trips to the bathroom. Eventually, these intrusions led him to quit. “If they trusted us, respected us, you could really enjoy the job,” Harrington told me. “But they didn’t.”

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You can bring your weed to the LA airport now


LAX is totally cool with passengers packing it in their carry-ons—but if it’s illegal where you land, that’s on you.

It looks like travelers in Los Angeles won’t have to cram their weed inside balled-up socks or stash it in their ibuprofen bottles next time they fly—because LAX is totally chill about bringing pot into the airport now, ABC 13 reports.

This week, Los Angeles International Airport posted a new marijuana policy on its website, announcing that LAX and the LAPD will now let people stroll onto their flights carrying cannabis, as long as it’s under the legal limit.

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The U.S. government’s secret rulebook for labeling you a terrorist

homeland security

The guidelines state that “the general policy of the U.S. Government is to neither confirm nor deny an individual’s watchlist status.

There has been a substantial expansion of the terrorist watchlist system and it has been quietly approved by the Obama administration. It authorizes a secret process that requires neither “concrete facts” nor “irrefutable evidence” to designate an American or foreigner as a terrorist, according to a key government document obtained by The Intercept.



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A security expert’s perspective of why the TSA sucks

The TSA Is Supposed to Regulate Itself.

The TSA is a remarkably unpopular bunch of people. Nobody likes going through security at the airport, but you probably figured most of it had a point. All those hours spent in line with other shoeless travelers are a necessary precursor to safe flying. It’s annoying, but at least it wards off terrorism.



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Understanding why airline travel has become an expensive, annoying and cramped experience

Fewer flights and smaller aircraft leading to many more passengers per flight.

Airline travel today mostly stinks.  It is thanks to higher costs, worse service, and truly uncomfortable in-flight conditions. But understanding why life in the air isn’t particularly good takes a little work. Actually, it takes a lot of work because the Department of Transportation’s new assessment of the airline industry runs a lugubrious 78 pages and is laden with enough charts, statistics, and graphs to make Battlefield Earth seem entertaining.



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TSA’s Grope and Pillage (Infographic)


TSA agent “inspecting” a passenger with his pants pulled down to proved he isn’t a terrorist.

Since 9/11, Americans have already spent over $60 billion on funding the TSA.  This infographic shows how the whole system is flawed.  There have been over 25,000 security breaches despite the increased security.  And $36 million has been wasted on devices that now sit in warehouses.

Check out the infographic to read about even more disturbing statistics:

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Too much passenger screening is making airports less secure


Stricter security measures n U.S. airports is making air travel less safe.

Ever stricter security measures in place in U.S. airports is making air travel less safe and airports more vulnerable, according to University of Illinois mathematics professor Sheldon H. Jacobson. The reason is too many resources are spent screening passengers who pose little risk, which steals time and money away from identifying real threats.

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More Airline Passenger Carry-Ons Costing Taxpayers Millions

 Airlines luggage bag fees

Luggage fees have prompted more passengers to carry-on their bags.

When airline passengers choose to carry their luggage onto a plane instead of checking it with an airline it may save them a few bucks in bag fees, but it’s costing taxpayers about a quarter-billion dollars a year.


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Are TSA’s “Naked Scanners” Protecting Passengers or Padding Pockets?

full body scanner

Full-body scanner at Chicago O’Hare Airport

The degradations of passing through full-body scanners that provide naked pictures of you to Transportation Security Administration agents may not mean that the terrorists have won — but they do mark victories for a few politically connected high-tech companies and their revolving-door lobbyists.


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Surprise! Feds Stored Thousands Of Check Point Body Scan Images After All

How old were you when you realized the government lied to you?
US agencies have long defended the use of body scanning devices at airports with the promise that all images will be discarded as soon as security staff have viewed them. Last summer, the TSA claimed “scanned images cannot be stored or recorded.” Declan McCullagh at CNET tells us more…

Clear Card Ceases Operations

 Clear Card Ceases Operations

Steve Brill’s Clear Card closes operations

The company which aimed to help registered users pass through airport security more quickly and with less hassle, will fold operations as of 2 a.m. on Tuesday.  The New York-based Verified Identity Pass, Inc. is the company which operates Registered Traveler programs under the brand name Clear.

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