Stupid Security Measures

Privacy International has come up with a list of the stupidest security measures all over the world. They have divided them into five categories:

Here are a few of the choice measures:

  • Last September 2002, I was flying through Heathrow Airport. Just ahead of me in the queue at the hand luggage X-Ray checkpoint was an elderly gentleman of Mediterranean appearance whose bag contained some items of interest to the security staff.

    Firstly they found about a dozen disposable butane gas cigarette lighters, which they confiscated on the grounds that these were not allowed as either hand or hold luggage. Why are these lighters sold at airports ?

    Then they found about 4 small screwdrivers of the sort used to fit plugs to electrical devices, still in their cardboard and plastic blister packs. These were allowed, provided that the gentleman went downstairs and checked his bag in as hold luggage. Are these small screwdrivers more of a risk than the cutlery and glassware and glass bottles available on any flight ?

    The third item was a dual quarter pound cellophane wrapped cardboard package of loose leaf Chinese tea. Unfortunately, it was of a well known variety known as Gunpowder Tea, and had this printed on the packaging.

    Obviously this was of such importance, that, despite already forcing the passenger to check his hand bag as hold luggage, it was decided that the tea was allowed, but that the evil word “Gunpowder” was not. Consequently the security staff then rummaged around (thereby delaying me and the rest of the queue) and found a plastic bag into which they decanted the fragrant tea leaves, and confiscated the cardboard packaging !

  • Briefly, commuters from the island of Bornholm (here for a map. … Bornholm is the island all the way to the right) are as of 7 February required a fingerprint scan to board the boat to mainland Denmark.

    When buying a 30-day card for the boat commuters will have their fingerprint scanned and stored in a memory chip on a personal card. On boarding commuters are then required to insert the card and place their finger on a scanner verify their identity. These measures are taken in order to make sure that the card is only used by one person.

    In the rest of Denmark we use a picture ID system.

    I find these biometric measures to identification quite worrying for something as simple as using public transportation.

    … something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

Via Winds of Change.

By Zack

Dad, gadget guy, bookworm, political animal, global nomad, cyclist, hiker, tennis player, photographer

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