• FAA lost track of one-third of the 357,000 private aircraft in U.S.

    The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is missing key information on who owns one-third — or 119,000 — of the 357,000 private and commercial aircraft in the United States — a gap the agency fears could be exploited by terrorists and drug traffickers; next year, the FAA will begin canceling the registration certificates of all 357,000 aircraft and require owners to register anew

  • TSA approves for-pay faster security lines at airports

    TSA has given the green light to a “trusted traveler” lane at another one of the U.S. busiest airports; the lane at Denver International Airport is operated by New York-based Alclear LLC, a company that pre-screens fliers, giving them quicker access to security checkpoints

  • Smuggled snakes expose flaws in Indonesian airport security

    Customs officials in Abu Dhabi arrest a traveler from Indonesia who arrived at Abu Dhabi with four snakes, two parrots, and a squirrel hidden in his luggage; Indonesian airport security officials say the only way the passenger could have smuggled the animals on board was for airport officials to be complicit in the illegal wildlife trade; this raises even more serious concerns about Indonesian airport security; in February, Indonesian customs officials seized 700 snakes and 3,400 pig-nosed turtles hidden inside a cargo consignment marked as fresh fruit

  • New underwear line reminds TSA of the 4th Amendment

    If you are not happy with the new, intrusive security measures TSA has mandated at airports across the United States, you may wish to buy “4th Amendment Wear”; metallic ink printed on shirts spells out the privacy rights stated in the amendment and is designed to appear in TSA scanners; the 4th Amendment Wear line also includes non-metallic options, including underpants for both adults and children; should a passenger be stripped down, instead of the full amendment, they will receive a more direct message: “Read the 4th Amendment Perverts”

  • A woman wearing only black underwear gets hour-long airport security search

    An Oklahoma woman tried to avoid being subjected to an enhanced pat-down at the Oklahoma City airport by showing up for the flight wearing only her underwear; the fact that she was wearing black knickers and a black bra did not make a difference, though: after traces of nitrate were found on her body, she was given an enhanced search, which made her miss her flight to Phoenix

  • Al Qaeda seeks to surgically implant bombs into "martyrs'" bodies

    Al Qaeda operatives are looking for ways to defeat the growing number of full-body scanners at airports around the world; they recently tried to deploy a pair of kamikaze canines on a U.S.-bound airplane from Baghdad airport; the bombs were placed inside the dogs’ bodies, but the plot failed because the bombs were so poorly stitched inside the dogs, that the dogs died; Web sites affiliated with al Qaeda are now calling of doctors and scientists sympathetic to the organization to help it devise ways for surgically stitching bombs inside human beings, to usher in what one of the organization’s operatives calls a “new kind of terrorism”

  • Harvard law students sue TSA over pat-downs, full-body scanning

    Two Harvard law students sue TSA, seeking to rein in use of full-body scans and pat-downs at airports; this is at least the sixth suit filed against the TSA since the agency put the enhanced screening procedures into widespread use following the so-called underwear bomber’s unsuccessful attempt to blow up a plane last Christmas with explosives hidden beneath his clothes; the pat-downs, which include “prodding and lifting of genitals and buttocks,” is so intrusive that, “if done non-consensually, would amount to sexual assault in most jurisdictions,” the Harvard students’ complaint says

  • Virginia politician: TSA's "enhanced pat-downs" part of "homosexual agenda"

    Eugene Delgaudio, a Loudon County, Virginia, supervisor e-mail constituents to say that “The next TSA official that gives you an ‘enhanced pat down’ could be a practicing homosexual secretly getting pleasure from your submission”

  • Manchester Airport biometric gate unilaterally imprisons traveler

    Manchester Airport has been testing biometric gates in one of its terminals; the gates work by scanning the passenger’s face using a camera and matching this to the image stored on the passport; if there is a match, the gates open and the passenger is allowed through, removing the need to speak to an immigration officer; the watchdog for the U.K. Border Agency says, however, that the facial recognition checks at Manchester Airport are being undermined by unreliable IT

  • Third lawsuit filed over TSA airport screening

    A Colorado attorney has asked a federal judge to order the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to abandon its airport screening procedures for U.S. citizens; the suit claims that the patdowns the plaintiff, his two daughters, ages 9 and 15, and a family friend were subjected to in San Diego were “disgusting, unconscionable, sexual in nature” and in violation of the Constitution’s protections against unreasonable searches; nationally, at least two other lawsuits have been filed over the TSA’s new procedures; public opinion appears to be shifting against TSA’s “enhanced patdowns,” even as support for full-body scanning appears to remains high

  • All airlines flying to the U.S. now gather passenger information for terror check

    All 197 airlines that fly to the United States are now collecting names, genders, and birth dates of passengers so the government can check them against terror watch lists before they fly; getting all air carriers that travel to or through the United States to provide this information marks a milestone in the government’s counterterror efforts and completes a recommendation of the special commission that studied government shortcomings before and after the 9/11 attacks

  • Versatile terahertz technology could help aircraft to land

    Terahertz scanners detect a type of high-frequency electromagnetic radiation emitted by anything with temperatures higher than around 10 kelvin; it can penetrate dry, non-metallic materials such as clothing or sand, but is absorbed by water and metal; terahertz thus makes for very accurate airport scanners — but the technology can also be used to help aircraft land in poor visibility or power high-bandwidth communication systems

  • Napolitano says scanners may be used for trains, subways, and boats

    DHS secretary Janet Napolitano says that full-body scanners may be deployed in train stations, on subway platforms, and in marinas; experts point out that terrorists would not necessarily need to board a train to do damage: train graffiti is one indication how easy it to access parked trains — and trains roll on miles and miles of exposed track in open landscapes

  • Full-body scanner privacy concerns could be easily solved

    A U.S. government scientists involved in developing the full-body scanner says privacy concerns can be easily addressed by adding a simple algorithm to the scanners’ computer code; the algorithm distorts the body image into “grotesque” shapes without degrading the scanner’s detection capabilities

  • Tungsten-lined undies protect naughty bits from radiation

    A Colorado company offers an attractive line of tungsten-lined undies, aimed, the company says, to protect “the traveling public, airline, medical, and security professionals from radiation generated by security and medical imaging equipment”; business is booming