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1:15pm on Sunday, 20th September, 2009:

Some Security...


I'm back in England now.

When I got to my hotel in Geneva, they gave me a free ticket for Geneva's public transport (not that anyone ever checked it). I put it in the small tab pocket I have in my jacket, which, coincidentally, is where I keep my pocket tool set. This pocket tool set:

I had gone through the Heathrow airport security check with that in my pocket and it hadn't been picked up. Given that these things are such a security scare that they make security offers gasp when they see them, the fact it hadn't been noticed was a surprise.

I kept it in my pocket and it went through X-rays at Geneva, Athens, Iraklion, Athens and Geneva. All in all, it went through 6 checks and didn't raise an eyebrow. Meanwhile, I was made to take off my shoes and my belt, had to show my toothpaste wasn't explosive, and made to open my laptop. These petty little mindless checks slow down travel and enable minor functionaries to dispense autocratic and arbitrary authority, yet when I do actually have something on me that they ought by their own tiresome rules to confiscate, they don't even see it. They expect people to comply with their regulations, and are so persuaded of the extent of their own powers that they don't spot violations that are right under their noses.

OK, so it was only a little knife that no way could be used to hold up a plane anyway. That being the case, I should be allowed to take it with me, though, rather than find I've smuggled it through by accident and then brazenly take it through X-ray machines anyway.

If I were a terrorist, right now I'd be figuring out how to make a weapon that could be broken up into innocuous parts that can go through security individually to be reassembled airside...

Referenced by Some Security Revisited.

Referenced by Phone Use.

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Copyright © 2009 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).