Here's the TSA's stupid, secret list of behavioral terrorism tells


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2015/03/27/heres-the-tsas-stupid-sec.html


#2

Whistling - why didn’t I ever try that? It makes anybody look innocent!


#3

If you must whistle, be sure to accompany it with hand-wringing. In general, always do an EVEN number of things from the list, so that the net outcome is that TSA thinks you’re ok.


#4

If they adhere to these guidelines, I expect to see a great number of neurodivergent people getting caught in their ridiculous net.


#5

Yeah. And how many people don’t do two or more of the behaviors under Section 4 - “Signs of Deception” with “Automatic Referral to LEO”. What a fucking joke. (Also, they’re clearly not following their own guidelines because otherwise everyone would be caught by that; I guess we can be thankful for small blessings.)


#6

The question is, did terrorists who flew exhibit these behaviors? If they did, then I have no problem using this checklist. I recently went to Europe and it was pretty rare for anybody I saw to look excessively nervous or apprehensive. While waiting on line and while going through security most people were bored to the point of numbness. It’s not hard to make the leap that if you’re on your way to commit a terrorist act you might feel a little nervous.


#7

Seems to me that the only thing that should be on their list is

We assume you are a terrorist (and will treat you as such) if you are:

  • not wearing TSA or police uniform

#8

ahem… : YAAAAAAAAAAWN!


#9

That’s why I got pulled aside when wearing a Santa outfit to the airport in July. Maybe I shouldn’t have based my Santa personality after the Futurama version…


#10

All the terrorists had ten fingers. All the terrorists wore clothes. All the terrorists had hair follicles.

The useful metric isn’t “Do terrorists do X?” It’s “What do terrorists do that non-terrorists don’t do?”

The answer, according to the best evidence, is “nothing.”


#11

A bobbing Adam’s apple? How is that measured?

Do you think I could sell the TSA a “laryngeao-bob-a-meter?”


#12

I have to wonder if “Excessive complaints about the screening process” was added purely as an excuse to fuck with people whose attitudes they don’t like. Surely their couldn’t be a single terrorist dumb enough to actively antagonize the search-peons while carrying payload?

It is probably all kinds of convenient to be able to have a ‘policy’ to justify marching off anyone who gets uppity; but that has to be the least-terroristic behavior imaginable.


#13

The TSA is proving itself to not be a law enforcement agency, but more of a cult, posing as a law enforcement agency. Who’s started the cult? The most paranoid man in America, Dick Cheney. This is a thing to worry about.


#14

Also on the list of “unusual items” is “Almanacs” and “GPS Units”. Because there’s no reason anyone would want geographic references while travelling.

Also how unusual is a GPS unit really when every single fucking smart phone has one?


#15

If this is indeed a problem(as it might well be, imminent death has a way of getting people worked up) I wonder if any work has been done among the improv political violence set on pharmacological methods. The infidel-standard “Couple of drinks at the overpriced airport bar” might be off the table; but Team Psych has lots of anxiolytics to choose from, and they certainly can help you function normally in the face of near panic.


#16

Under automatic referral to LEO:

Unfamiliar with passport ID/Ticket data

Who the fuck memorizes their passport and ticket number? In the age of cellphones, who the fuck memorizes anything?

The list @Doctorow presented is often me. I yawn a lot when flying, to get my ears to pop, which they often fail to do until well after I’ve landed and usually I have a connecting flight that necessitates going back though screening.

Improper attire for location? Which location? The airport or the destination? I think it’s kind of dorky, but there are a lot of people heading south in the winter who decide to wear socks and sandals at the airport while it’s snowing outside.

Excessive complaints about the screening process is just a fuck-you. That’s the only possible purpose that serves. What terrorist is going to call attention to themselves by walking up to the TSA and complaining?

Do you know what actually works? Not having bizarre, inefficient, dual tracking of passengers. Everyone should just be rigorously screened. I’m not even talking about giving everyone the third degree, I’m talking about making a comprehensive, efficient, and reliable non-woo screening system that doesn’t rely on people being shitty actors or having the wrong skin tone. Secondary screening should be a strange idea, in a system where no one can actually sneak a weapon on board, no matter how poorly behaved they are.


#17

Is your last name Chertoff, Ridge, Pistole or Hayden? Then yes.


#18

Maybe people are wide-eyed and sweating profusely because they have a fear of flying.


#19

That list is a list of typical behaviors of people standing in line at a security checkpoint in an airport.


#20

I like how the higher ups at the TSA expect people with a GED** to notice these signs in one person out of millions that go through the airports. At some point TSA agents have see this massive group as one faceless entity, blind to the individual.

**that is not to say ALL people who have only completed a high school education are stupid. I’ve met plenty of people with higher education that are incredibly stupid.