04 August 2011

Israel Security Coming Soon...

Saw it over at SayUncle first. The TSA seems to be completely out of touch with reality here in America. 

As the article linked at SayUncle states, the first enormous problem is that Israel's only international airport handles approximately 10 million passengers per year.  Bring that to America and any one big city airport handles twice that traffic each year on its own.  That means longer waits in line while each individual person is "screened".

The second problem is that Americans, especially while travelling domestically, don't tolerate "invasive" questions quite the same as international travelers going to another country.  Add in that if you get picked out of the line because you didn't respond just right to their questions, people will become even more defensive and intolerant of the process.

That brings me to the next issue, which is that the agents the TSA will be using for this $1 billion program (yes I said 1 BILLION DOLLARS) are receiving a whopping 4 DAY training to be able to detect people who have a "nefarious" agenda.  Now, as an auditor you learn very early on in your career that you will NOT be conducting fraud interviews on your own for several years. Why? It takes a lot of interviewing experience to start to be able to detect actual "tells".  People are diverse in behavior, and although certain types of behavior can be indicative of a lie, there are more false positive that there are actual true results. 

Take, for example, an male agent asking a young woman, "where have you been?" (one of the standard questions apparently).  She doesn't look the "agent" in the eyes when she answers clumsily "I have been visiting my grandmother".  Now, in 4 days of training this will likely cause this "agent" to flag her as requiring a full pat down, body scan, and further interviews.  In reality, she is originally from Japan where it is respectful to avoid prolonged eye contact with people in authority positions.

I think this whole thing is going to be a $1 billion waste of tax payer funds that will not make us any safer and will only cost this country in time and money.  Hopefully it falls flat on its face and someone is held accountable for wasting $1 billion in taxpayer money.

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