Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Dear TSA

Dear TSA,

I'm no terrorist. In fact, I'm surely the opposite. Evidence for this being the fact that I really don't mind so much when I get zapped with x-rays in the name of safety, or the fact that I maintain a high-level security clearance with not problem.
The enhanced pat-downs and the x-ray scanners with naked pictures are lame, sure, but I'd rather have 'em than a terrorist on an airplane.

That said, I have to call into question one of your current policies: laptops. I noticed, yesterday, as I was flying from Kansas City to New Orleans that I had to pull out my laptop and put it in a separate bin from my satchel, for some reason. That's fine. But why didn't you check my laptop charger?
Because my laptop is pretty old, my laptop charger is a brick, approximated 4" x 3" x 1". It has cords running out of both sides, one ends with a DC port, the other cord runs to an AC adapter plug. It seems to me that I could have stored a sizeable block of C4 inside that charger and you'd have let me do it.
In fact, I am sitting here looking at it. Based on my measurements, I could package a 0.75" X 3" X 1.75" block of C4 inside the charger. The cord that runs from "the block" to my laptop could easily have been the detonator cord (the detonator having already been pressed into the C4), that I spray painted black to match the block.
Now, take me and three of my friends, all with "laptop chargers" in their satchels on the same plane. One of us has a simple Arduino board (that also went right through security no problem) to use as the trigger. Lo and behold, we could VERY easily take the airplane down.

Now, I am not advocating this. Terrorism is heinous and evil and not a productive way to bring about social change, unless chaos is the social status you wish to achieve. I am just suggesting to the TSA that maybe they think about how dumb it is to scan laptops in the x-ray scanner but not the charger block.


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