In nearly three years on Twitter, rarely have I seen such widespread, rapid and uniform response to anything having to do with politics, security or terrorism. The complaints and jokes came on rapid fire this afternoon, filling my screen with everything TSA and terrorism. It was a slow Twitter day, but perhaps 10% of the tweets I saw over a few hours were on a single topic — that’s unprecedented.
After a failed terrorist attempt yesterday, the TSA has responded with the next escalation after their previous high-water mark of stupidity (no pun intended), the no-liquids rule. Now: no more electronics in flight, nothing in your lap, only one carry on, and no movement in the last hour of flight. Many of those I follow on Twitter are frequent travelers, most are highly intelligent. All who’ve commented seem pissed (and not just that they won’t be able to pee).
They know the real impact of what security expert Bruce Schneier calls Security Theater (if you don’t like that link to his blog, try this one to 60 Minutes, even if they haven’t read his latest reaction.
My first reaction was When I stop flying, it doesn’t mean the terrorists have won, it means the TSA has!
As it sank in fully and I realized fully how absurd the new rules are, I wondered if we might all protest with our bodily functions. What are the TSA regulations on peeing into a ziplock bag from your seat?
Robert Scoble had one of the mildest reactions. As a 100,000 annual mile flier on United, he’s looking to cut back his travel and fly less as a result of the new rules. Though he did retweet several people to let them say things in more pointed terms, by linking to an XKCD comic and boiling it down to “the dumbest load of crap I have ever seen.”
TechCrunch had two great reactions: MG Siegler’s thinking that perhaps the TSA is attempting to save print media and Paul Carr’s NSFW: The Physical Impossibility of the The Future in the Mind of Someone Trapped In Chicago.
Here are messages I retweeted, along with a few reactions to my comments on Facebook. Please add your thoughts to the comments in this blog post, but more importantly: