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Airport security, the Israeli way - Input Junkie
November 16th, 2010
01:25 pm

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Airport security, the Israeli way
Multiple layers, minimal inconvenience, no profiling
At the check-in desk, your luggage is scanned immediately in a purpose-built area. Sela plays devil's advocate — what if you have escaped the attention of the first four layers of security, and now try to pass a bag with a bomb in it?

"I once put this question to Jacques Duchesneau (the former head of the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority): say there is a bag with play-doh in it and two pens stuck in the play-doh. That is 'Bombs 101' to a screener. I asked Ducheneau, 'What would you do?' And he said, 'Evacuate the terminal.' And I said, 'Oh. My. God.'

"Take Pearson. Do you know how many people are in the terminal at all times? Many thousands. Let's say I'm (doing an evacuation) without panic — which will never happen. But let's say this is the case. How long will it take? Nobody thought about it. I said, 'Two days.'"

A screener at Ben-Gurion has a pair of better options.

First, the screening area is surrounded by contoured, blast-proof glass that can contain the detonation of up to 100 kilos of plastic explosive. Only the few dozen people within the screening area need be removed, and only to a point a few metres away.

Second, all the screening areas contain 'bomb boxes'. If a screener spots a suspect bag, he/she is trained to pick it up and place it in the box, which is blast proof. A bomb squad arrives shortly and wheels the box away for further investigation.


Link thanks to vvalkyri.

This entry was posted at http://nancylebov.dreamwidth.org/443922.html. Comments are welcome here or there. comment count unavailable comments so far on that entry.

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[User Picture]
From:jim_p
Date:November 16th, 2010 06:44 pm (UTC)
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Multiple layers, minimal inconvenience, no racial profiling

FTFY. The Israeli approach heavily depends on *behavioral* profiling, which in my opinion is exactly what is called for.

The other thing that's called for, of course, is proper recruiting and training of security agents. I don't think your average TSA goon is *capable* of being trained to Israeli standards...
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From:vvalkyri
Date:November 16th, 2010 10:35 pm (UTC)
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FTFY?
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From:jim_p
Date:November 16th, 2010 11:29 pm (UTC)
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"Fixed That For You"
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From:agrumer
Date:November 16th, 2010 07:01 pm (UTC)
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What does El-Al pay its security people, compared to our TSA?
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From:vvalkyri
Date:November 16th, 2010 07:12 pm (UTC)
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Scalability is a huge portion of the question.
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From:osewalrus
Date:November 17th, 2010 02:12 am (UTC)
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As Israeli security experts have pointed out, they manage their own security in over 400 airports around the world. It scales. You just have to be willing to invest.

Israelis hire well-qualified personnel and invest big-time in training. They think this stuff through and routinely analyze and change protocols in response to new information. They pass the cost on to customers as part of the fare structure.
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From:madfilkentist
Date:November 16th, 2010 08:43 pm (UTC)
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Different purposes.

The purpose in Israel is to thwart a serious ongoing threat.

The purpose in the US is to make people feel scared so that the TSA can pretend it's making us safer.
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From:dcseain
Date:November 16th, 2010 09:23 pm (UTC)
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Sad, but true. :/
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From:agrumer
Date:November 16th, 2010 09:23 pm (UTC)
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Don't forget passing along tax money to well-connected political insiders! Michael Chertoff, former head of the Dep't of Fatherland Security, heads a consulting firm that represents the company that makes the pornoscanners.
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From:bradhicks
Date:November 16th, 2010 08:55 pm (UTC)
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I love the bit about the danger of evacuations. And heck, it understates the case:

1) Send fake bomb into airport.
2) Set up real bomb where the people will be evacuated to -- after all, it's outside the airport, and therefore easier to smuggle a bomb into.
[User Picture]
From:agrumer
Date:November 16th, 2010 09:24 pm (UTC)
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See, by having airports that are difficult to evacuate, we're proactively preventing exactly that scenario!
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From:heron61
Date:November 16th, 2010 10:07 pm (UTC)
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I'd worry that such an approach used in the US would be strongly racially profilled, but rigorous & regular training could definitely help that. In any case, it seems a far better system than in the US, but also one difficult to adopt here, simply because I suspect that there are a fair number of Americans (I hope too all the gods that they aren't the majority, but who can tell) who want security that's visible and intrusive, simply because it makes them feel safer (after Fox News and similar nonsense had done its best to make them feel afraid). OTOH, even with them there reaches a point where the balance between intrusive and fear-reducing tips the other way.
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From:nancylebov
Date:November 16th, 2010 10:26 pm (UTC)
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I should have included vvalkyri's other link-- it's got info about how strongly the Israelis oppose racial profiling. I don't know if an Israeli-style security system could be instituted here, but I'd start by having Israelis do the training.
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From:nancylebov
Date:November 23rd, 2010 02:04 pm (UTC)
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Thank you for the information.

I thought I'd put in a caveat about Israeli practice possibly not being as good as Israeli theory, but it seems not.

I'd put my caveat here.



Edited at 2010-11-23 02:23 pm (UTC)
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From:trinker
Date:November 17th, 2010 02:57 am (UTC)
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Instead, in the U.S., we have this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzEadUBYyLQ
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