Privacy International’s Stupid Security Competition is over, and the winners and runners-up have been announced for the Most Inexplicable, Most Intrusive, Most Counterproductive, Most Annoying, and Most Egregious Security Measures. None of them make anybody one whit safer. All of them are outrageous, exasperating, and stupid. This one is transcendent:
Shortly after Richard Reid’s attempt to light his shoes, I boarded a flight from San Francisco to London on British Airways.Travelling alone, I was singled out by the computer for further inspection. The polite inspector informed me that he had to check my shoes for explosives.I dutifully removed them and handed them to him. He picked them up one by one and slammed them down on the floor with full force.Brilliant. You can spot the terrorist because he’s the one who screams and dives for cover when he realizes you’re about to slam his shoes against the floor. And if that amount of force is enough to set off the explosives, he’ll also be the one who refuses to run when the velociraptors are gaining on him.
Apparently, as they hadn’t exploded, they were not dangerous, and he handed them back to me to put back on.Let this be a warning to future terrorists. Your explosive shoes may go off in the crowded departure lounge instead of on board the plane.
Update: It was bound to happen.