Friday, September 12, 2008

TSA: Still Major Security Lapses

More than six years after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the Transportation Security Administration has major security lapses, even in some areas that the agency has supposedly met its goals, according to a Consumer Reports investigation.

TSA was created in 2001 to secure all modes of transportation, including the nation's 400 commercial airports and all airlines. According to the report, from the February issue of Consumer Reports , the agency still falls short in seven out of the 24 critical performance benchmarks set for itself.

Consumer Reports found major security lapses, including the following:
Insecure cockpits -- Consumer Reports cited dozens of problems including cockpit doors popping open in flight, pilots being locked out and flight attendants breaking the doors by slamming them shut.

Screening failures -- TSA has an erratic record at checkpoint screening, including failures during undercover tests to identify weapons and explosives.

Questionable rules -- TSA has issued 25 versions of screening procedures over the years, and there's still confusion about bringing liquids and gels aboard. It also allows items such as lighters, tools, corkscrews and pointed scissors that could be used as weapons.

Thin security forces -- The government has tried to plug security holes in part by authorizing more flight crew members to carry guns. But the effort has lagged because of cumbersome training arrangements.

Read it all here.

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