Airport security is NOT a waste of time. Sniffing for explosives is extremely important. Even a small explosive detonated along the fuselage in certain places will cripple the control system. What good are stronger cockpit doors then, or Sky Marshalls??? That plane is going down.
@Framecrash: Encrypting things will not make you safe. In a world where the government has a /right/ to see everything about you, you're just "proving" yourself guilty by encrypting things.
Some problem do not have a technological solution, I'm afraid.
Court cases, including many Supreme Court decisions, make this fact abundantly clear; the state has no legal responsibility for the security/safety/welfare of any individual citizen.
Check here to see the results of better thinking:
"I personally feel that this is a side effect of our society's increasing desire to absolve ourselves from the consequences of our own actions. An example of this is seen in the idea that whenever something negative happens we feel it MUST be someone else's fault and we are entitled to make them pay."
"Privacy is unique to humans, but it's a social need."
It is interesting that our constitution frames a right to privacy as security: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated..."
I wonder if private industry could do it more efficiently? Hmm....
We're giving up privacy whether we like it or not. With the advances in surveillance technology, even if we don't cede control of surveillance to the government, private parties will soon be able monitor us to the point we have no significant privacy. Pointing a set of fast cameras at roadways and hooking them up to text recognition software will be able to track us more effectively than chips in our cars. If just a few retailers put readable RFID chips in their valued customer cards, malls could track your trips through the entire mall experience. If a 4-ounce cell phone can read packages to the blind, what could a security camera learn in a subway? With the current telcom immunity issue, how far are we from making it a crime to destroy server logs that could potentially destroy evidence?
"The solution isn't less government. It's more democracy."
A Department of Privacy might help rectify the bureaucratic pathology, and if it had enough Congressional support it might even survive efforts to kill it by paranoid securocrats and politicians. It's a pipe dream, I know. However, I know who I'd propose to be the first Secretary of Privacy, Bruce...
Sorry. Thought my comments were pithy, not snarky.
Privacy the way we normally think of it will soon be gone, whether or not we explicity trade it for a promise of security or sell it for a 2% discount on crap. What we need to do is make sure we retain control of our rights.