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TCU 360

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Technology cannot replace face-to-face security screening

Lines, luggage, lapsed time. We’ve all experienced the frustration of airport security. Yet with all the hassle that seems to build up year after year to provide for our safety, the shoe and underwear bombers seem to somehow slip through security easier than a can of hair spray.

As U.S. airline security grows more technologically advanced, so does the technological knowledge of terrorists. Prices are increasing, but safety is not. The answer may lie in face-to-face interaction instead of heavier technological bulk.

CNN interviewed Isaac Yeffet, the former head of security for the Israeli Airline El Al, about his experience with preventing bomb attempts on the airline because of Israel’s unique passenger screening technique of face-to-face interviews with well-trained security officials.

“It’s mandatory that every passenger.has to be interviewed by security people who are qualified and well-trained, and are being tested all year long,” Yeffet told CNN.

It has become obvious that security fails. Security failed Sept. 11 and could have permitted another tragedy if the Christmas Day bombing had succeeded. Yeffet concludes that although technology can assist humans, it will never be able to replace humans.

One of the biggest differences between Israeli and U.S. airlines, Yeffet said, is the incredibly high levels of education and qualifications Israeli security officials are required to possess. Security tests are run frequently throughout Israeli airport security to ensure the efficiency and quality of the security officials. If any failure occurs, the security staff involved are immediately fired.

“I wanted everyone to learn from any failure,” Yeffet said. “And if they were very successful, I wanted everyone to know why.”

Would security training be expensive? Yes. Would security interviews take more time? Yes. Would anyone affected by Sept. 11 be unwilling to give more time or money to save a loved one? Absolutely not.

There is no comparison between money and human lives. Our reactive procedures have yet to stop bombs hidden in shoes and underwear, and even stray shotgun shells floating around in suitcases. Yeffet explained that it is proactive procedures like his security interviews that prevent tragedies.

With the correct, most proactive security system available, terrorists would realize that the potential for security failure would be little to none.

Kerri Feczko is a sophomore broadcast journalism and political sience major from Flower Mound.

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