Schneier Takes on Idiot Security Once Again

Bruce Schneier is a security guru. Though much of his focus is related to computer/online security, he will dabble in the world of 07_12_18 schneierair travel from time to time. If you haven’t gone to his website, I would highly recommend doing so to experience the awesomeness of his powers.

Last week, he took on something I briefly noted in my trip report back from London in October. I called it the “strange, random, post-security shoe inspection” that we had to go through after main security in Terminal 3. Schneier rightly pokes holes in what a stupid idea this is.

The setup is that you go through security as usual, but then afterwards you pull your shoes off and put them through a special shoe scanning x-ray. How to beat it if you want to do bad things? Well, bring two pairs of shoes: one clean and one evil and dirty. Walk through the first checkpoint with the dirty shoes on and the clean ones in your bag so they make it through the x-ray. Then, switch them. Put the clean ones through the shoe x-ray while keeping the dirty ones in your already-scanned bag.

Could it be any easier? Think of how many people are inconvenienced by something like this every single day, and then think about how completely useless it is. I know this is UK security, but it sounds like something the TSA would think up as well. Anyone else want to start a campaign to make Bruce Schneier the head of the TSA?

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JamED

What would stop the dirty shoes being picked up on when being scanned inside the bag? Or are the bag/shoe scanners looking for different things?

JamED
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JamED

huh weird that they would do these things individually, shoes and bag should go through the one x-ray together!
Thanks for the reply.