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TSA Buffoonery: Security Chiefs Leave Image of Luggage Skeleton Key Online

21st Century Wire says…

Just how useless is the TSA?

It’s a simple lesson
: If you have master keys that can open locks which you’ve ordered that millions of Americans must use, then you’d be stupid to post pictures of those keys on the Internet.

Last week a group of lock-pickers found images of the TSA’s master keys on a TSA website (that was clever), and then posted a set of CAD files to the online forum Github which shows how anyone can use to 3-D printer to reproduce them.

Watch this recent RT report, featuring 21WIRE’s Patrick Henningsen here:


According to GAO reports, for fiscal year 2012, the TSA had a budget of roughly $7.6 billion. Since then, their budget has been ‘reorganized’ in order to make it appear lower. In 2014, the agency claims to have only spent $7.398 billion, an 8.63 percent decline from fiscal 2013, accounting for inflation.

The reality is that the projected expenditures are expected to rise sharply for this Department of Homeland Security gravy train-cum-pink elephant agency. More than anything, however, the TSA has become one of the biggest breeding grounds for theft and federal criminal behavior in the United States. According to official federal figures:

“Part of the TSA budget comes from a $2.50 per-passenger tax. The Obama administration has proposed tripling this fee by 2019, with most of the increase going to reduce the national debt.”

Through the creation of the Department of Homeland Security’s federal contract pyramid system, US government created the perfect conditions for a corporatized fascist system. In the case of luggage locks, the TSA destroyed the locks industry by creating a controlled dualopoly market where only two companies are allowed to manufacture “TSA Approved” luggage locks.

Elliott Erwitt
“The TSA has been criticized for an increase in baggage theft after its inception. Reported thefts include both valuable and dangerous goods, such as laptops, jewelry guns and knives. Such thefts have raised concerns that the same access might allow bombs to be placed aboard aircraft.

In 2004, over 17,000 claims of baggage theft were reported. As of 2004, 60 screeners had been arrested for baggage theft, a number which had grown to 200 screeners by 2008. 11,700 theft and damage claims were reported to the TSA in 2009, a drop from 26,500 in 2004, which was attributed to the installation of cameras and conveyor belts in airports. A total of 25,016 thefts were reported over the five-year period from 2010 to 2014.[118]

As of 2011, the TSA employs about 60,000 screeners in total (counting both baggage and passenger screening) and approximately 500 TSA agents have been fired or suspended for stealing from passenger luggage since the agency’s creation in November 2001. The airports with the most reported thefts from 2010 to 2014 were JFK, followed by LAX and ORL.

In 2008 an investigative report by WTAE in Pittsburgh discovered that despite over 400 reports of baggage theft, about half of which the TSA reimbursed passengers for, not a single arrest had been made.[120] The TSA does not, as a matter of policy, share baggage theft reports with local police departments.[120]

In September 2012, ABC News interviewed former TSA agent Pythias Brown, who has admitted to stealing more than $800,000 worth of items during his employment with the agency. Brown stated that it was “very convenient to steal” and poor morale within the agency is what causes agents to steal from passengers.[121]

The TSA has also been criticized for not responding properly to theft and failing to reimburse passengers for stolen goods. For example, between 2011 and 2012, passengers at Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport reported $300,000 in property lost or damaged by the TSA. The agency only reimbursed $35,000 of those claims.[122] Similar statistics were found at Jacksonville International Airport – passengers reported $22,000 worth of goods missing or damaged over the course of 15 months. The TSA only reimbursed $800.” (Source: Wikipedia)

EVEN MORE SHOCKING: Travelers left about half a million dollars behind at airport checkpoints in 2012 and 2013. TSA keeps the money for security operations.

In short, this is one of the worst failures in federal history, where millions of Americans pay imperial fortunes only to be harassed and screamed at by pedantic agency employees pretending to law enforcement.

More on the TSA master key gaff…


(Image: Tech Times)

Katherine Noyes
CIO


It’s a basic fact of life that once you publish something on the Internet, it’s pretty much impossible to get it back. Now illustrating that point with painful clarity, images of the TSA’s master luggage keys have been published online, meaning that anyone with a 3D printer can make their own.

It all started when The Washington Post published a story last November about “the secret life of baggage” that was reportedly accompanied — only briefly — by a photo of the master keys the Transportation Security Administration uses to open what it calls “TSA recognized” luggage locks.

The photo was hastily taken down, but — predictably — not before it was snagged and circulated. Reports about the leak began to appear last month, but it wasn’t until this week that detailed blueprints showed up on GitHub.

“Security researchers have long warned of the dangers of using master-keyed locks,” wrote Xyl2k, the GitHub user who posted the detailed plans.

Now, anyone with a 3D printer can create their own copies of the TSA master keys — and create them they have, according to reports from exuberant users.

“OMG, it’s actually working!!!” wrote Bernard Bolduc on Twitter, for example.

The TSA’s master keys are designed to enable security officers to inspect luggage without having to cut off any locks protecting it. They work on locks created specifically for that purpose through partnerships between the agency and lock manufacturers…

Continue this story at CIO

READ MORE TSA NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire TSA Files