Remember the twitter Robin Hood airport thing?

Discussion in 'Off Topic Area' started by Slindsay, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. John R. Gambit

    John R. Gambit The 'Rona Wrangler

    Many of those people were caught based on tips from regular citizens, or in some cases their bomb just failed to detonate. Hard to classify those instances as wins Slip. But I will play your game, and I will Google the heck outta those names when I have the endurance for that marathon of research, but you must swear to me that you will only use your powers for good. And you must also swear to hire me a lawyer when I get detained for typing "echelon" in a public forum a few times and then researching 40 terrorists names.

    Before we move into that pitfall though, I wanted to comment on how absurd it is that so many kids have called in fake terrorist threats. I can see 1-2 kids being dumb enough to pull such a stunt around the globe. I can even see someone younger than 16 doing something that dumb. What I couldn't have predicated was how damn many older teens would be so bold and stupid. Is this generation just dumber? Have the youth always been THAT dumb and I just didn't notice?
  2. Slindsay

    Slindsay All violence is necessary

    How many times do we need to point out that this is not even vaguely comparable to incident where people have made threats? The termis simple slang, it's exactly the same as stopping someone from entering the uk because they tweeted something like "sinners club - knockout" because they might be signalling to someone to attack sinners club or "going to smash it in London tonight" because they may be planning a riot or "time for the big bash in London".
  3. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    But if you are unaware of such parlance I can see why it needs investigating - the subsequent treatment is more puzzling
  4. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    Who knows... maybe it needs to be pointed out as many times as has been pointed out that the general climate towards any sort of joke or innuendo about bombing or destruction is taken rather seriously by the agencies that are tasked in dealing with such things? Nawww.... that'd be too easy.

    As had been stated soooo many times (I'd have to wonder if some of you are even in the same thread) that no one thinks that it is correct that they were pulled up and booted out on such terms... but at the same time no one is all that fussed because two self-described party people hit an anti-climax in their big night out plan.
  5. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    Not all 40 of them and it's very telling that there were that many radical muslims in the US who had become naturalized citizens who were willing to take up arms against a country that they'd been living in rather comfortably. Not just a handgun scare.... a properly planned bombing campaign. I don't think most people really give that much thought.

    However... I sacredly accept those conditions. Though we may be swapping messages between bars as I've also been detained. :p

    I think it ever was... only that now we have a much more efficient and widespread way to aggregate information... the internet. :(
  6. holyheadjch

    holyheadjch Valued Member

    If the guy who made this decision genuinely believed them to be a threat, then he is incompetent and you don't want incompetent people making these kinds of decisions. If he didn't believe them to be a threat, then he's an authoritarian scumbag.

    The thing is, you should be fussed and the fact that so many people are blasé about things like this is the reason why personal freedoms are slowly being eroded in America. There was a journalist arrested on Capitol Hill today, because he wanted to film a hearing (that was already being filmed by CSPAN). He was handcuffed and removed from the room. The Police have been restricting press access to Occupy demonstrations and arresting (and occasionally beating) journalists covering those demonstrations.

    People should not be OK with this stuff. It flies in the face of everything that America says it stands for. It actually makes me a little sad that the leaders of the free world are marching to the slaughterhouse so meekly. If it can happen in the US, what hope do the rest of us have?
  7. Kuma

    Kuma Lurking about

    Everyone's entitled to their own opinion. They're obligated to investigate specific things, and if you can't give a decent enough explanation, don't complain when you get punished.

    They were giving pat downs, and those pat downs were only given by those who refused to go through the body scanner. Men only pat down men, and women only pat down women. Hardly sexual assault. I'd also like to know where you got that last tidbit from, as the only thing that shows up on Google for "TSA sexual assault" is the fellow who got arrested a few months ago for sexually assaulting a woman near his home.

    US airport security is a joke. Visit Israel sometime if you think our system is unfair.
  8. John R. Gambit

    John R. Gambit The 'Rona Wrangler

    Sure. When the story first broke there were numerous major news sources reporting on this. It wasn't an isolated incident. I also ran into trouble finding sources on this easily, and I'm not sure why.

    [ame=""]DA Now Sending Deputies to SF Airport to Investigate Felony Groping - YouTube[/ame]
    [ame=""]Jesse Ventura Suing TSA, DHS For 'Warrantless Rubbing of the Genitals' - YouTube[/ame]
    [ame=""]POLICE STATE 2011: Miss America Sexually Molested by TSA - YouTube[/ame]

    Before you react by stating that people should opt to use the porno scanners instead, there is real concern regarding the radiation exposure for frequent fliers. While the radiation is the low penetration variety "believed" to be safe to frequent exposure, unlike the medical industry there is (or was when they first implemented it, not sure if this still applies) no maintenance/oversight requirements. A malfunctioning machine could easily leak dangerous levels of radiation and would go unnoticed for a long time without far stricter requirements.

    I agree, but probably for different reasons. Do the Israelis touch genitals during screening routinely?
  9. Kuma

    Kuma Lurking about

    Probably because most of it was greatly over-exaggerated most likely. It's more sensational that way. This is nothing your average police officer has not done to someone numerous times in their career. And again, except in exceptional circumstances, it's always men checking men and women checking women. If those areas were not the top shots to hide contraband as they know people are inherently uneasy about checking those areas, it would never happen. But because they're top hiding spots, that's what you get.

    Racial profiling, full bag searches, detainment, body cavity searches, you name it.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2012
  10. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    Ah yes - how lovely a world is in hi-def black and white - why with you at the helm all gov. organizations would be 110% efficient and every decision the epitome of justice. You really should run for office. I love the classic polarized view. If only reality worked that way. The irony is that exactly the position you are holding is not really far off from what the government numpties who didn't ascertain the context of the Brit couples comments on Twitter.

    Or perhaps they did and there are other issues at play here. Read on...

    I have no doubt it's a major gaffe. I've said as much prior this post. If you don't believe me then go back and read what I've posted so far. If you can't or aren't willing to do that then not really sure there is much conversation to be had.

    I reckon that the directive has come down that under no circumstances are the relevant federal departments to let anything resembling a threat or a joke go unchecked. I reckon they make decisions like this to set a precedent. If you look at the number of jokes or casually made comments where the people making them are pulled out of line, searched and kept off planes or refused service then I don't imagine it's to hard to believe that may be case set out by the Feds and Homeland security.

    Please come down off your hobby horse.
    I'm well aware of what is media hype and what is reality when it comes to the erosion of civil liberties in America.

    In 2009 I was subject to being detained for a lengthy amount of time upon arrival at LAX (not hours... try days)... under the Patriot Act and in conjunction with a long standing warrant by Interpol that was flagged by TSA. I was taken into custody by LAPD as when I attempted to disembark at LAX. My passport was seized and cancelled and I was out of circulation for the duration of the investigation. What would have been normal procedure upon being arrested (phone call to family/legal counsel etc.) is now not the same due to the Patriot Act. Subsequently I had to deal at length with the State Dept. both in Washington D.C. and at the Federal building in Los Angeles. Not only to prove my nationality... but also my actual identity. I'm well acquainted with what a nightmare it can be.

    Ultimately I was released and the majority of the issues were addressed by the State Department. All of which was a long standing case of mistaken identity and irregularities in documents and having been to many countries that are watch lists of one sort or another.

    So I'm well familiar with what happens in the modern climate of travel related issue upon arrival in the US. You are preaching to the choir.

    Ummm... ok. So start a thread - I'm more than happy to discuss the issues.

    So what do you suggest? Seriously. I mean above and beyond MAP.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2012
  11. LilBunnyRabbit

    LilBunnyRabbit Old One

    Stupidity should be a crime.

    If someone didn't know not to cross the street when there was a car coming, would you blame the driver?

    Very unlikely. I know there's a lot of paranoia about SIGINT operations but frankly the data processing requirements to monitor every single private communication mechanism are utterly ridiculous. Without pre-selection of certain individuals (even areas) the sheer amount of information would be overwhelming to even the best expert semantic systems.

    Yes. Most of them. Many are worse.

    I know how you feel

    Someone posting 'time for the big bash in London' may well have found themselves picked up a few months ago.
  12. Slindsay

    Slindsay All violence is necessary

    Not directed at me but personally I've written to my MP, signed online petitions and got a bit more involved in research around the social/political impact of stuff on twitter (nothing publishable but I work with a guy who's research is very twitter centric and he supervises student projects on meaning systems like the one the FBI wants).

    The point is very much that you either consider this to be NOT OK and figure that (along with dozens of other things) into how you vote/get involved in the world around you or you figure that this is NOT AN ISSUE so you in no way factor it into how you deal with the world around you.

    Personally I see it as something that's not ok and symptomatic of a wider acceptance of reduction in personal liberties because of a fear of terrorism. There's sadly very few people in politics that are prepared to stand up and say that actually, by the numbers, terrorism is a small but exciting, glamorous, headline grabbing issue that we expend a disproportionate amount of money and political focus on. As far as I'm concerned politicians will only change when people acknowledge this and, if it comes down to it, talking on MAP is one way to get that to happen.

    To put it another way, what else would you suggest people do other than discuss this with people and try to explain their point?
  13. Slindsay

    Slindsay All violence is necessary

    I disagree. Ask google, twitter, facebook about it. The barrier to this sort of monitoring is encryption which may/may not be circumventable/breakable.

    And the point I'm making is, should they be? Should we have to alter the language that we use at a pretty fundamental level because you can never be too safe?. I say no, that's nonsense, we perceive the threat of terrorism to us personally* to be much greater than it really is. Governments have a long history of being the only source of real atrocities and I think you need to be much more careful of them than you need to be of small, poorly funded, disorganized groups of crazy people and I think the things we really should worry about are neither of those.

    The things we really need to worry about are less glamorous so we erect mental blocks on them, things like dirty water kill people in numbers that our head simply breaks when it tries to process them so we stop trying. The real reason I argue against this sort of twitter nonsense is because it's (indirectly) about stopping people communicating and it's an example of how our normal approach to life/risk is broken in our heads so we waste energy on it.

    *UK/US citizens
  14. adouglasmhor

    adouglasmhor Not an Objectivist

    I think I can safely say the next time I go to the states I will not have this Album on my mp3 player.
  15. Slindsay

    Slindsay All violence is necessary

    A friend of mine who flies regularly between the UK and Canada got detained for two hours because she was wearing her "Who Killed Amanda Palmer" t-shirt. To be clear, that's the name of one of Amanda Palmers albums and the t-shrit has "Album release date: 19/03/2005" written on it as well. She had a hoody on but had unzipped it and they caught a glimpse of it. Questions asked included "Do you think that Amanda Palmer would be happy to see this t-shirt?" and "why do you feel it's ok to make threats like this". One google search...

    Another friends works for an IT consultancy and flies maybe 80-100 times a year around Europe. He's muslim and misses maybe 1 or 2 flights a year because of security checks (he's stopped and questioned "randomly" nearly half the time). Fortunately his company are pretty understanding about it and, to them, flight costs are trivial.

    On the other hand one of my other friends (also Muslim) went through Manchester airport security wearing this and didn't get stopped:
  16. adouglasmhor

    adouglasmhor Not an Objectivist

    A mate of mine joked with a customs official on his way into america,
    on a form being read out to him he answered this question on an imigration form
    Immigration form N-400 for naturalization which asks if you've ever been a member of:

    1. The communist party
    2. Any other totalitarian party
    3. A terrorist organization

    He answered just the "Animals fae NamBoomBoom" Scooter club.

    Back on the next available flight.
  17. Knight_Errant

    Knight_Errant Banned Banned

    You could have all sorts of funny answers to that one: "Oh man, I've been to so many parties, I don't know if I can even rememer..."
    A shame immigration officials have no sense of humour. Neither do policemen. They must have it surgically removed at some stage during their training.
  18. adouglasmhor

    adouglasmhor Not an Objectivist

    I don't know, back in 1979 at the charge bar in a Glasgow police station.

    Q Do you have a police record?
    A Yes
    Q What is it?
    A Walking on the moon.

    The desk Sergeant did laugh.
  19. Knight_Errant

    Knight_Errant Banned Banned

    Heh. Just don't try giving a false name to the police. They take a very dim view of that one.
  20. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    Yes we do - and it is usually punctuated with an extra charge

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