Improved Security Lost in 'Maze'

Post-9/11 promises haven't translated into better airport security systems

By Will McCahill,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 8, 2008 5:22 PM CST

(Newser) – Whiz-bang technology that would keep terrorists from destroying airplanes, promised after the 9/11 attacks, hasn't materialized, the Washington Post reports. The various players blame each other for bureaucratic, legal, and market failures. One security-industry exec calls the Transportation Security Administration "a maze"; TSA officials blame firms for not delivering what they've promised.

Also at issue: general lack of investment in updated security technology. Investigators have found holes to exploit, and newer machines have raised concerns about passenger privacy or longer, congestion-worsening scanning processes. "The snail's pace of deploying new technology is unacceptable," said one lawmaker. "We remain vulnerable because we have not kept up with technological innovation."

GE Security's CTX 9400 helps airport screeners detect explosives. The TSA has recently added 39 9400s to its 80 CTX order.   (Associated Press)
Travelers line up at a security checkpoint inside Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix Monday, Feb. 4, 2008 in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)   (Associated Press)
Sam Silverstein, a Transportation Security Administration screener, looks at a laptop computer on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2007, that was left behind by a passenger at Newark Liberty International Airport in...   (Associated Press)
Transportation Security Administration officer Renee Duncan, right, looks at an airline passenger's shoe at a security check point at Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, N.J., Thursday, Nov....   (Associated Press)
Shanyea Foster, left, a Transportation Security Administration screener, checks carry on luggage as an airline passenger loads his baggage at a security check point at Newark Liberty International Airport...   (Associated Press)
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