Security maven Bruce Schneier wants you to know you probably shouldn’t feel very safe when it comes to airport
screening efforts. Even though you’re always taking off your shoes and removing your laptop from its case and shuffling
slowly and sheepishly through the security gate, a recent series of tests between November 2001 and February 2002
revealed that screeners missed 70 percent of knives, 30 percent of guns and 60 percent of (fake) bombs. Recently, he points out, testers were able to smuggle bomb-making
parts through airport security in 21 of 21 attempts. Doesn’t that make you feel just super?
Now, when it
comes to knives, it seems to be the folks at the gates have been a little sharper. I’ve lost about half a dozen
little Swiss Army knives (retail: $15) since they started disallowing anything with a blade, even if said blade is less
than two inches long and would make Crocodile Dundee fall on the floor in paroxysms of laughter. But the Schneier piece
here is worth a read just so you can get a taste for how inefficient and ineffective the current system seems to be. I
doubt you will come away feeling warm feelies the process in place.