The TSA's Response to Its Master Key Scandal Is Priceless

Illustration for article titled The TSA's Response to Its Master Key Scandal Is Priceless

“Scandal” might be too strong a word. But you’d think the TSA would have been ashamed when hackers released 3D-printer files for its master keys, which can open any any TSA-recommended luggage lock. Does the TSA feel ashamed? Not even close.


In fact, the TSA seemingly gives zero fucks that anybody can now 3D-print master keys for luggage locks, despite the fact that the agency’s been encouraging people to buy these locks for years. (Many have argued that these locks give travelers nothing more than a false sense of security.) The Intercept got a TSA spokesman on the horn, and his response to the controversy is just incredible.

“The reported ability to create keys for TSA-approved suitcase locks from a digital image does not create a threat to aviation security,” explained Mike England, the TSA spokesman in question. “These consumer products are ‘peace of mind’ devices, not part of TSA’s aviation security regime.”

Wait what?! Suddenly, despite all those blog posts encouraging people to use these locks, the TSA suddenly decided that the locks are basically trinkets? So it seems.

“Carried and checked bags are subject to the TSA’s electronic screening and manual inspection,” Mike England added. “In addition, the reported availability of keys to unauthorized persons causes no loss of physical security to bags while they are under TSA control. In fact, the vast majority of bags are not locked when checked in prior to flight.”

Okay, Mike. Thanks for reminding America not to check luggage, ever.

[The Intercept]

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Public PGP key
PGP fingerprint: 91CF B387 7B38 148C DDD6 38D2 6CBC 1E46 1DBF 22A8



Entropy Is So Degrading

This is why I “lock” my bags with zip ties. If the TSA wants in they’ll get in no matter what, and I don’t care if I lose a zip tie. I just don’t want my bag(s) inadvertently opening up from being unceremoniously tossed around.