"The police department is hitting a fly with a sledgehammer," said Steven Banks, attorney in chief of the city's Legal Aid Society. "There's been an extensive legislative debate in New York state in which the legislature only permits the police department to collect DNA evidence in certain kinds of cases. So it's incumbent upon the police department not to find a whole new technology and then forge ahead without any legislative authority."
A fly with a sledgehammer? Hardly. And Iris scans are not DNA samples. I've collected Iris scans, other than being a pain because you have to make sure you are the right distance away from their face, it's just a picture of their face with measurements applied to the information in the image.
Governments and corporations intend to use facial recognition software to track the public and to eliminate privacy, he said, noting that automatically identifying people in public in the U.S., when they are not suspected of a crime, could be a violation of constitutional rights.
So what they're saying here is that looking at people in public and knowing who they are is somehow not only illegal but in violation of constitutional rights. I mean, I understand that a computer is more efficient than an individual, but ultimately: it's the same thing. I mean, this isn't even something that I can't do myself like DNA evidence and iris scans, this is just letting the computer do something that anyone can do for themselves.
"Once the incident happened, we were able to immediately notify the 128 flights in the air, as well as airports on the ground domestically, internationally, our law enforcement partners, other allies, institute immediate safe procedures to make sure that this could not happen on other flights and that people were watching out for it on other flights, even as we focused on what went wrong prior to this one," Napolitano added Monday.
...The Transportation Security Administration invoked a "one hour rule" after the thwarted attack, which prohibited passengers on international U.S.-bound flights from leaving their seats during the last hour of a flight, sources said.
-2009.12.28 Air Travel Security Under Review, CNN.com
I'm just not sure what to make of this one. I mean- 'a one hour rule'? Come on- what was this guy's intent? he wanted to detonate in the air and kill everyone on board. And he wasn't successful- the ONLY part of the security system that worked was the onboard, passengers taking it into their own hands. We won't see the long term hijackings that we saw in the seventies and eighties because of 9/11. Americans on aircraft won't allow themselves to be used like they were that day. Flight 93 and the response to the Christmas day bomber was evidence of that. Prior to 9/11 people had no idea that they would use the planes as missiles. Now they do. So anything that we're doing should focus on preventing the long lines in airports to avoid presenting a good target to any would be terrorists. The reason we've built up this ridiculous security apparatus for the air travel industry is because of the repercussions of the long term hijackings of the seventies and eighties. Since that's not going to happen anymore, we need to focus our efforts elsewhere. The reason that aircraft presented such a good target was their isolation and their ability to control a large number of passengers with limited manpower. That advantage has gone away and aircraft now present just as good a target as any other group of people.
One passenger on same plane as AbdulMutallab told CNN's "Larry King Live" that the security checks at Schiphol were not as stringent as those she is used to in the United States.
"We walked through and did not have to take our shoes off," said Wisconsin native Richelle Keepman. "Also, my mother had a water bottle in her bag that she'd completely forgotten about. And it went right through and we didn't realize it until we were on the plane."
2009.12.30 Dutch use full body scans, CNN.com
And this is why stupid policies, like forcing us to take off our shoes, will not go away. Because once it takes force, you can't be the one to do away with it because when something unrelated happens you get reamed out for not doing whatever ridiculousness your predecessor came up with. So there's that. I'll leave you with a link to something about Isreal's take on airport security Isrealification of Airports