02 May 2010

Expensive and Useless Machines

That is the word from an Israeli expert about the body scanners that the US government wants to deploy at hundreds of airports.

The program was created as a knee-jerk response to the Christmas-Day incident on a Detroit-bound plane. The Department of Homeland Security wants to deploy 500 advanced imaging technology units this ear, another 500 next year, according to testimony before its House of Representatives oversight committee.

But do these machines make anyone more secure? The Israelis have some experience in this record. Ben Gurion International Airport is widely regarded as a security success. These machines are not employed there.

A former security chief of the Israel Airport Authority explained why recently to a Canadian newspaper.

Expensive and useless machines. Good concise explanation, that.


SIferryguy said...

The security expert, Bruce Schneier, calls it 'Security Theater'

Christopher said...


By my usual astute timing, I raised the issue of airline security here just before it became a headline issue again.

It seems that the guy who got on a plane, and damn near made his getaway, earlier this week didn't have any weapons with him. And judging from what we've seen of his bomb-making skills, he wouldn't have known what to do with them anyway.

Still, the latest incident shows that the problem at airport security involves actual HUMAN intelligence, and isn't a problem that can be solved by some new gee-whiz high-price machinery.

Knowledge is warranted belief -- it is the body of belief that we build up because, while living in this world, we've developed good reasons for believing it. What we know, then, is what works -- and it is, necessarily, what has worked for us, each of us individually, as a first approximation. For my other blog, on the struggles for control in the corporate suites, see www.proxypartisans.blogspot.com.