Morning Security Brief: Bank Crime Stats, Airport Security Wait Times, and Whole-Body Scanners

By Sherry Harowitz


►FBI releases 2009 bank crime statistics. The data show that Acts of violence resulted in 140 injuries, 21 deaths (all perpetrators), and 94 persons being taken hostage. But only 4 percent of the 6,062 total reported bank robberies, burglaries, and larcenies involved violence. Firearms were involved in only 1,619 incidents. Most incidents involved only oral demand or a written demand note.

►USA Today reports that the Transportation Security Administration is looking at installing devices in airports that could detect personal electronic equipment, thus tracking how long people are stuck in airport security lines. The idea would be to post data about airport wait times on Web sites, but civil libertarians are concerned the process would suffer mission creep into more nefarious uses of data. The system has already been tested by Purdue University researchers at Indianapolis International Airport. "Thumbnail-size receivers near checkpoints detected serial numbers emitted by some electronic devices being carried by passengers," reports USA Today.

►Computer World writes that whole-body-scanner use at airports will be more prominent than initially suggested--and perhaps compulsory. "Instead of deploying 878 units by the end of 2014, the TSA now plans to install as many as 1,800 scanners," according to Computer World's article on a new Government Accountability Office report. Further, "Rather than using them as an optional, secondary screening measure, the TSA's revised strategy calls for increasing the use of the devices as a compulsory," where feasible, it notes.


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