As the holiday travel season begins next week, the Transportation Security Administration is going on a PR blitz, both online and with old-school media outlets. Michael Irwin, TSA's Federal Security Director for Oregon, will be in the Hot Box to talk about what's changed and what's the same for travelers this year.
Some background: 13 months ago, the TSA said it would "likely" relax restrictions on carrying liquids on planes. That didn't happen — snow globes are still banned, a rule recently mocked on BoingBoing, which suggested the TSA read up on ancient Greek science:
"TSA, meet Archimedes. He lived over 2,000 years ago and figured out how to calculate the volume of a object by measuring its displacement. If you actually believe that 3 oz is a magical high-danger threshold, please consider adding a delightful, hallucinatory element of science to your pseudoscience by putting an Archimedes tank at the checkpoint."
The TSA has a new commitment to transparency -- witness its very fast response to a blogger who falsely claimed the TSA took her child. But critics like security expert Bruce Schneier say the TSA is still in the business of security theater, not protecting Americans.