Tag Archives: checkpoints

Update: Two Years Later the TSA is STILL Keeping You Safe Five Percent of the Time

Transportation Security Administration TSA Failed 95 Percent

Once again, TSA inspectors have failed to find 95% of the mock weapons sent through checkpoints by Homeland Security agents working undercover.

Just over two years ago, in June of 2015, I posted about tests Homeland Security had run at airports across the country. In those tests, undercover agents were sent through pre-boarding checkpoints run by the Transportation Security Administration. (Video from that original post is embedded below.)

Those agents carried realistic looking weapons and explosive devices past TSA screeners in order to determine how often the “weapons” would be detected. This included replicas of pistols, knives, nunchucks, tasers, ammunition, and even defused hand grenades.

Out of 70 items that should have been stopped, TSA screeners found a grand total of three of them. As I noted, at the time that translates to a failure rate of 95%. Not exactly a number that will make you feel happy as you stand in the giant line at the security checkpoint next time you fly somewhere.

Surely they’ve addressed those issues in those 2+ years and improved dramatically, though. After all, you could seemingly stumble into a higher level of success just by randomly guessing which passengers have some sort of contraband in their luggage. Right?

Not so much, according to the Washington Times:

Undercover federal agents successfully snuck drugs and explosives past security screeners at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport last week, according to the local Fox affiliate.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) conducted the test last Thursday by sending agents disguised as ordinary passengers into the airport in order to see if screeners were up to snuff, KMSP reported.

The TSA “red team” attempted to smuggle 18 different items past airport security that should easily be detected but prevailed almost every time, the Fox affiliate reported.

“In most cases, they succeeded in getting the banned items through. 17 out of 18 tries by the undercover federal agents saw explosive materials, fake weapons or drugs pass through TSA screening undetected,” KMSP reported, citing unnamed sources familiar with the operation.
In fact, it could have even been worse this time:

The security test was ultimately abandoned once the TSA’s failure rate reached 95 percent, the station reported.

So, before the Mercy Rule was invoked, the TSA screeners in Minneapolis had successfully found a weapon being smuggled onto a plane once. Which, like 2015, equates to just five percent of the time.

Basically, when you eliminate groping people; especially underage passengers, taking lewd photos of unsuspecting women, and stealing shit out of your luggage, they just aren’t very proficient at what they do. (To be fair, they do seem to be pretty good at finding spare change passengers being subjected to their ineffectual security theater leave behind.)

Truth be told, they actually couldn’t be much less useful (and would be quite a bit less annoying and exploitative) if they just slept through their shift, like the guy in the picture at the top of this post.

Minneapolis – St. Paul TSA Screeners Fail Yet Again

Successful Five Percent of the Time in 2015

Groping People to Keep You Safe Almost Never

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Avoid Speed Traps and Police Checkpoints with the “Waze” App

A screenshot from the Waze App showing reported locations of police within the downtown area of Las Vegas

A screenshot from the Waze App showing (user) reported locations of police within the downtown area of Las Vegas

Recently, I was contacted by one of Nevada Cop Block’s supporters here in Las Vegas concerning posting about the “Waze” GPS app on NVCopBlock.org because he feels it is a very good resource for avoiding government revenue generators, such as speed traps and DUI or other types of checkpoints, as well as for other Cop Block related activities.

In essence what Waze does is allow its users to post real-time alerts concerning traffic backups, accidents, and road hazards. Among those traffic hazards that can be reported by users are police activities and locations where they have been spotted. This enables people with the app to “crowdsource” such information and help their fellow users avoid wasteful and costly situations.

While in the process of researching it and double checking to see if it hadn’t already been posted on the Cop Block site, I came across a previous write up about the Waze app on “the Free Thought Project,” which is another accountability site that often shares Cop Block content (and vice-versa). Since it already does a pretty good job of detailing the app and why it’s useful, I’ve reposted that review below. Also, I’m including a Youtube video from the 405Show.com, which is a site that creates videos involving driving related subjects, at the bottom of this post. The video discusses methods to avoid speed traps and mentions the Waze apps as one of the options to do so. Unfortunately, but not particularly unexpectedly, one of the things I also came across was an article that discusses how Google has integrated the information from Waze into their Maps service, with the exception of the speed trap information.

Also, keep in mind this is a cell phone app. Therefore, driving isn’t the only option which this could potentially be useful. Conceivably, this could be utilized by someone walking around, as well. The obvious use for that would be by someone wanting to avoid being hassled/profiled by the police, who can use Waze to avoid potentially running into them. Because this is an app designed for driving, this could be somewhat less effective for people on foot, since people in cars aren’t as likely to report cops walking around. Of course, encouraging drivers and other pedestrians to do so would help offset that.

Additionally, another useful option, that would be even more relevant for Cop Block groups, would be to use this app as part of Cop Watch patrols. This could be done by either actively reporting speed traps and checkpoints or by using reports from other users to locate active stops and then recording the proceedings. Both of those potential uses for the Waze app would make Cop Block activities and the services that Cop Block chapters provide within their communities easier to implement.

*Note: the original post on the Free Thought Project mentions that Waze can be found on the CopBlock.org apps page, but when I checked it wasn’t currently listed there. Whether it needs to be added or was at one time listed, but isn’t now for some reason, is something I don’t actually know right now.*

If The Cops Can Track You, You Should Be Able To Track Them. Here’s How.

Be careful out there!

Be careful out there!

The limitless possibilities of new technology are allowing people to fight back against police abuse like never before.  Not only can people record occurrences of police brutality, but there are also dozens of apps that are designed to help you stay a few steps ahead of “the man”.

Out of the many helpful apps that can be found on Cop Block’s apps page, a GPS app called “Waze” is one of the most helpful for pinpointing the location of police and reporting police sightings to other drivers.  When someone sees a police car or a speed trap somewhere along their route, they can make a report alerting other drivers in the area about the police activity.

There is even an option that allows you to type in a message that gives a better description of where the police are and what they are doing.  This option also allows activists to send out witty messages to their fellow travelers, such as, “warning: state mercenaries extorting civilians near exit 7″.

There are a few different GPS apps out there that have similar features, but Waze has the most users, making the reporting more frequent and accurate.  Waze also awards points to people who make regular reports, encouraging everyone to stay active and warn other drivers of danger when they can.

A brief description on the app’s website explains how Waze works.

“After typing in their destination address, users just drive with the app open on their phone to passively contribute traffic and other road data, but they can also take a more active role by sharing road reports on accidents, police traps, or any other hazards along the way, helping to give other users in the area a ‘heads-up’ about what’s to come.  In addition to the local communities of drivers using the app, Waze is also home to an active community of online map editors who ensure that the data in their areas is as up-to-date as possible.”

Download Waze today by searching “Waze” on the app finder in your phone, or try visiting www.waze.com

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