Schneier: TSA Behavioral Detection Statistics: officers sidetracked 50,000 passengers in 2010 and arrested 300 passengers – none turned out to be terrorists

TSA Behavioral Detection Statistics

Interesting data from the U.S. Government Accountability Office:

But congressional auditors have questions about other efficiencies as well, like having 3,000 “behavior detection” officers assigned to question passengers. The officers sidetracked 50,000 passengers in 2010, resulting in the arrests of 300 passengers, the GAO found. None turned out to be terrorists.

Yet in the same year, behavior detection teams apparently let at least 16 individuals allegedly involved in six subsequent terror plots slip through eight different airports. GAO said the individuals moved through protected airports on at least 23 different occasions.


I don’t believe the second paragraph. We haven’t had six terror plots between 2010 and today. And even if we did, how would the auditors know? But I’m sure the first paragraph is correct: the behavioral detection program is 0% effective at preventing terrorism.

The rest of the article is pretty depressing. The TSA refuses to back down on any of its security theater measures. At the same time, its budget is being cut and more people are flying. The result: longer waiting times at security.

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The current no fly list we have now would not prevent the hijackers from boarding a plane.

Bruce showed 9 years ago how anyone, including people on the no fly list, can get onto a plane simply by printing their own boarding pass.

The TSA has done nothing to prevent this hole in their procedures, because they’re doing security theatre, not real security.