Airport Security

An interesting commentary from the Volokh Conspiracy  about airport security:

I noticed two obvious differences between the US and Israeli systems. First, the Israelis forego the stupid TSA ritual of making all passengers remove their shoes. Most of the time, this is just an annoying indignity. In this case, avoiding it was a godsend, since I had a twisted ankle (I later learned that it was fractured) that turned taking my shoes on and off into a mild form of torture. Perhaps taking off shoes really does provide some important security benefit that I’m unaware of. But the fact that the Israelis don’t consider it necessary suggests to me that any such benefits of this practice are questionable, at best.

The second big noticeable difference between the two approaches is that the Israelis rely far more on profiling than the TSA does. Even though I doubt that the Israeli security officials singled me out for any special scrutiny, one of them nonetheless asked me 8-10 detailed questions about my background, my reasons for visiting Israel, where I had gone, and so on. The idea is, apparently, to look for inconsistencies and other red flags that might suggest the need for closer scrutiny. Every single passenger at Ben Gurion Airport undergoes similar screening.

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