Are Photo IDs a Waste of Time?

Security expert Bruce Schneier argues that checking photo IDs at the airport is a waste of time. “If you think about it, everybody has a photo ID. All the 9/11 terrorists had a photo ID. The Unabomber had one. Timothy McVeigh had one… We pretend there’s this big master list of bad guys and if we look you up against the list, we’ll know if you’re a bad guy and we won’t let you on the plane. It’s completely absurd. We have no such list!”

“The no-fly list we have is full of innocent people. It catches nobody who’s guilty and everybody’s who’s innocent…”

He argues that except hardening the cockpit doors, nothing else done since September 11 has increased security. “Everything else is window dressing – security theater. It’s all been a waste of money and time….”

“The way to spend money on security – airport security, and security in general – is intelligence investigation and emergency response. These are the things that will be effective regardless of what the terrorists are planning.”