Questions for Peter Pietra, TSA Chief Privacy Officer? Ask now!

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by Sunny Goth, Sep 26, 2011.

  1. RB

    RB Founding Member

    I would never expect any admission of fault from anyone associated with TSA.

    TSA is an organization of 60,000 criminals of one sort or another.
  2. KrazyKat

    KrazyKat Original Member

    Great play-by-play, Lisa.
    I guess that's how they maintain function, by such cognitive distancing. More Nazi parallels...
  3. Bungnoid

    Bungnoid Original Member

    I think we have to be careful about what is meant by the term "privacy software." Did Prof. Rosen mean ATR (i.e., no human viewer)? I assume that this is the case, but I believe that the TSA has used the term "privacy software" to describe the part of the pre/non-ATR algorithm that blurred the face as displayed on the monitor to the viewer in the perv booth.
  4. CelticWhisper

    CelticWhisper Founding Member

    At this point in time I'm strongly inclined to believe they're referring to ATR, due to their PR efforts last fall to promote the fact that ATR was being rolled out. They see it as their salvation from the wrath of public opinion so I'd bet money on Pietra trumpeting the virtues of ATR every chance he gets.
  5. Sunny Goth

    Sunny Goth Original Member Coach

    Was this thing moderated in any meaningfully way? Nothing like trying to run down the clock so that substantive concerns can't be discussed.

    Because people can't take notes that will 'get edited and end up on a blog somewhere'. (rolls eyes)

    Was the 4th Amendment and administrative search info biased as well? Just curious.

    Don't you just love 'just-out-of-law-school' lawyers? (I ask snarkily)

    Who was in the room? Was it a bunch of DHS supporters? I'm kind of surprised that a reasonable question about the comment period got that much push back.

    Well, that's kind of cool. What company was he from? And did he say anything about the way in which the scanners are ineffective?

    With friends like him and all......

    And no one was able to ask questions about this and the moderator was clearly not interested in bringing it up....

    Her quote was worth the price of admission (to me). That's a meme that should be propagated all over the net.

    Another potential attack point. Haven't I been hearing that the Israelis don't use the machines because they're unreliable? Yes, things still blow up, but the machines are not part of their security equation at all (if I'm remembering correctly).

    Did she talk about her sexual assault while she was on the panel? Just wondering. If not, was it a strategic decision on her part? No time? Didn't want to talk about it?

    Oh, I don't know. Seems like you got some good ammo to me.
  6. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    Sorry, Sunny, I completely forgot about this. Will try to answer all your questions.

    The whole thing was very loosey-goosey. The moderator wasn’t a moderator in the sense of timing people and nudging them along (and, in fact, there were no time constraints announced, other than for the whole program, which was supposed to be an hour but ended up being more like 45 mins). He merely asked the first question, then asked two more follow-up questions, one specifically soliciting an opinion from Sommer (about statistical analysis), because she had been so quiet throughout.

    I think she was too polite. Anyone could jump in at any time, which the guys all did, but she didn’t. She was more deferential. This isn’t because she’s a shrinking violet; I think she was just trying not to interrupt people, even those who droned on and on, which Pietra did.

    And no, I don’t think Pietra was trying to “run down the clock,” both because there was no clock and because I think he was just unaware of how long he was going on, and as I said, the moderator wasn’t checking him.

    The exclamations in the room at Sommer’s first zinger weren’t because they all disagreed with her. Who knows what individual people thought, of course, but it was because she had so nailed it. She had nailed the subject and nailed Pietra, sharply and succinctly. I think the hubbub was an acknowledgment of that.

    No, she didn’t talk about her sexual assault at all. Not on the panel. She only brought it up to Pietra in the after-program mingling. But as I said, he was having none of it. Again, I don’t think she deliberately avoided talking about it on the panel – she has written and spoken publicly about it all over the place – I think it was the way the conversation developed, the way the whole thing was constructed – again, very loose – and so much time was taken up by the scanner question alone – I mean, 12 minutes by Pietra just on that, then at least 5 each by the private security guy and Rosen. With Sommer’s 1 min response, that’s over half the time right there in a 45-minute session.

    And the final question, apparently by an audience member (though as I said up-thread, I didn’t see anyone collecting our questions in the audience), was that idiotic, dismissive one bringing up Jack Bauer – god, you can’t make this (expletive deleted) up – and that was presented at 8:27, whereupon the clueless ones in the room all just laughed, and that was the end of that. It was supposed to go to 8:30. But even that final 3 minutes was cut short. At least Sommer could’ve been given a chance to do a wrap-up, since she had taken the least time of anyone on the panel.

    Private guy was Rich Roth, CTI Consulting – see earlier up-thread. Scanners ineffective for all the reasons we’ve already talked about at TUG – too many false-positives; wouldn’t have detected Abdulmutallab’s crotch bomb; won’t detect “body-conscious” explosives, PETN, etc.

    4th Amendment and Admin Search info itself wasn’t biased; just the way the young lawyer ended her presentation on it was.

    Israeli stuff – nobody brought up the fact that bombs still go off there. And correct, the Israelis don’t use scanners. Rafi Sela (former security chief of Ben Gurion Airport) has called them “worthless.”
    KrazyKat likes this.

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