We are rapidly running out of 2015 left to spend, and so the two houses of Congress have been racing to pass an omnibus spending bill that will keep the government funded and the lights on. Because that bill is a must-pass piece of legislation, all kinds of crap has been added, taken away, and snuck back in as we come down to the wire. Among the other bills that have been tacked on is a controversial piece of cybersecurity legislation that has privacy and consumer advocates worried all around.
Oscar-Winning Director Of Snowden Documentary Trying To Find Out Why She’s Been Detained At Airports So Much
Laura Poitras recently won the Academy Award for CITIZENFOUR, her documentary on NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, but the director claims that she’s long been hassled by U.S. federal authorities for years, resulting in multiple unmerited airport detentions. Now she’s suing the government to find out exactly why. [More]
We are fairly certain that cocaine-stuffed shrimp is not a Guyanese delicacy. That’s how 268 kilograms of cocaine arrived in a shipping container at a port in Brooklyn, though. Law enforcement followed the delivery to a warehouse in Queens and arrested a man in the seafood business, who claims that he had nothing to do with the shipment. [More]
In news that is both disturbing and not at all surprising, the Department of Homeland Security is currently asking private contractors to bid on a system that would create a National License Plate Recognition database that could allow various forms of law enforcement to track the movements of drivers, whether they are suspected of a crime or just going to buy a Big Gulp at 7-Eleven. [More]
While you might imagine other big retailers sitting back and having a good ol’ chuckle at the expense of Target, the reality is more like they’re all shaking in their boots. Because if a massive data breach could hit Target, it could happen to any merchant (and probably will hit more). The government wants retailers to be ready, and has released a bunch of information about the methods used in the attack to prepare them. [More]
TSA agents get a bad rap here and elsewhere, so when one of them acts like a human being, nay, a super human being, it is our duty to inform you. Alanna had one such experience this morning when a TSA agent went extremely out of her way to help Alanna get her cellphone from the rental car she had locked it in. This was very helpful because the rental office only opened a half-hour before her plane took off.
A breast cancer survivor says she was forced to go through a patdown where TSA agents touched her breasts, even though she had already gone through the backscatter body scanner and had an ID card explaining the tissue expanders in her chest.
Many of you will remember the story from earlier this year about the man with the Fourth Amendment written on his chest who filed a lawsuit against the TSA, alleging that he had been wrongfully detained after he stripped down to his running shorts at an airport security checkpoint. Now comes news that a federal judge has dismissed complaints against almost all defendants in the lawsuit.
At some currently unspecified point down the road, you’ll be able to go through airport security without taking your shoes or belt off. The policy easement was announced by U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano during a forum hosted by Politico Playbook in DC.
The TSA might be asking you more questions when you go through security starting in August, and that’s a good thing.
If you don’t have time to buy a travel-sized version instead of your mondo bottle of saline solution before the next time you fly, don’t sweat it. It’s totally cool to fly with more than 3oz of contact solution, as it is covered under the TSA “liquid medication” provision.
As someone who travels red eyes coast to coast for weeks for business meetings, Jeanniey knows a thing or two about getting through security with the least friction. She tells NYT that one thing she discovered, the hard way, was that you don’t want to dodge from eye contact with the security workers.
We’ve all gotten annoyed at a passenger in front of us who reclines his seat too far into our space, but most of the time it doesn’t lead to two fighter jets escorting the plane for an unscheduled landing.
Last week, the the Director of Homeland Security suggested to Congress that the TSA get a cut of airline baggage fees. The fees encourage travelers to carry on their bags, and this in turn leads to more bags that have to be inspected by hand at security checkpoints. Should taxpayers keep picking up the tab, or should airlines give the TSA a piece of the baggage fees? How about neither? What if instead the TSA looked for more creative ways to offset costs and even increase revenue? Here are 10 modest proposals:
To avoid bag check fees, travelers are routinely opting to carry on their bags, but the TSA says that the cost is just getting shifted to tax payers, to the tune of $260 million a year. That’s because the more bags that don’t get checked, the more bags the TSA has to inspect by hand at security checkpoints. Now the TSA is looking to get a cut of some of the checked baggage fees the airlines collect.