TSA To Start Swabbing Travellers' Hands Looking For Explosives

And you thought taking your shoes off was annoying! In the TSA's never-ending quest to make travelling possibly safer and definitely more annoying, they're going to start randomly swabbing passengers' hands at airport checkpoints.

Really, this makes a hell of a lot more sense than the shoe-checking and liquid-limiting that makes travelling such a pain in the arse now. In fact, if they let me keep my shoes on and carry a cup of coffee through security, they could swab my hands to their heart's content. And the experts seem to think it's a smart idea:

Security experts consulted by CNN said swabbing hands is a good move, and privacy advocates said they support the new swabbing protocols, provided the agency tests only for security-related objects and does not discriminate when it selects people to be tested.

It's a "very good idea," said security expert Tony Fainberg. TSA screeners currently swab luggage handles and parts of bags that are likely be contaminated by human hands, he said, and swabbing a person's hands increases the chances of finding explosive materials. "Looking at the hands means you will probably get a better dose," he said.

So to sum up: more security, but smarter. It'll probably cause some more delays at airport security lines, but it's tough to argue with the logic of searching for people with explosive residues on their hands. [CNN]

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