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TSA admits shoe removal is a security theater sham

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TSA head John Pistole defends the utter waste of his agency by noting that it no longer asks people over the age of 75 to remove their shoes when going through screening. This is utter nonsense. If screening shoes is a necessary step to preventing terrorism, then a 75-year-old's shoes are no less of a risk to security than a 74-year-old's shoes. One thus correctly concludes that there is no reason for any passengers to be removing their shoes in the first place. (Similarly, there's no difference to the risk of an aircraft from a personal computer than from an iPad, but security theater has us going through the inconvenience of removing laptops from bags.)

The fact that the TSA will not permit Bruce Schneier to testify in front of Congress is further evidence that the TSA policy is not empirically defensible. Related from Popehat citing our earlier criticism.

1 Comment

11 year old kids shoes, ditto.
let's move on to the zillions of cell phones that are never turned off during flight. add the fact that it's apparently acceptable to carry a quart bottle of ice onto a plane. and, in Peru, unlimited quantities of liquids are allowed on internal flights. oh, the TSA reads the labels on suspected bottles, but they dont measure the contents; so i dont know how they handle 6 ounce tubes of toothpaste with fake (but real looking) 3 ounce labels. and, speaking of inconsistencies, i could go through the magnetometer at Newark with no further checks, but when i flew to Newark from Raleigh, i had the choice of magnetometer plus search or backscatter. i can't take a knife on board, but i can be served one with my first class meal.
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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


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