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You’ve probably heard this one today — British film director Mike Figgis detained for five hours for saying “I’m here to shoot a pilot” when asked for his purpose in visiting the US. There’s debate as to whether or not it’s a hoax, but it’s been reported in the Guardian, AOL and elsewhere.

Whether a hoax or not, it still highlights the frustration people feel with our ridiculous security systems.

I personally have experience with this — I accidently used an expired drivers license on a trip in January. This, of course, now has me on some terrorist watch list and flying is now hell and I avoid it at any opportunity. The idiocy of this is beyond comprehension — every terrorist that’s ever attacked in the US has had completely valid credentials. And if I was a terrorist, do you think I’d be stupid enough to use an expired driver’s license to board a plane?

And the liquid thing — putting aside the ludicrous and junk science behind this, what’s to stop five terrorists from each bringing on 3 ozs and sharing it to get to 15 ozs, as this SNL skit point outs?

The list of nonsense goes on (Schneier has a very good overview of the situation during a recent talk at Macalester College and if you haven’t watched it, I highly recommend it).

Alex Eckelberry