Essay Terrorism

They would have to be checked and put into the cargo hold. Read More → News that the Transportation Security Administration missed a whopping 95% of guns and bombs in recent airport security "red team" tests was justifiably shocking.

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Read More → On Monday, the TSA announced a peculiar new security measure to take effect within 96 hours.

Passengers flying into the US on foreign airlines from eight Muslim countries would be prohibited from carrying aboard any electronics larger than a smartphone.

As with the Patriot Act after 9/11, the debate over whether these new laws are helpful will be minimal, but the effects on civil liberties could be large.

Even though most people are skeptical about sacrificing personal freedoms for security, it's hard for politicians to say no to the FBI right now, and it's politically expedient to demand that something be done.

Our brains aren't very good at probability and risk analysis.

We tend to exaggerate spectacular, strange and rare events, and downplay ordinary, familiar and common ones.

We think rare risks are more common than they are, and we fear them more than probability indicates we should.

Read More → As part of the fallout of the Boston bombings, we're probably going to get some new laws that give the FBI additional investigative powers.

They're pure security theater: They look good without doing anything to make us safer.

We're stuck with them because of a combination of buck passing, CYA thinking and fear.


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