Privacy and Security
By Tor Norbye on Feb 28, 2005
This story really struck a chord with me. A couple of months ago, I was going on a business trip from San Francisco airport. I had a million errands to get done before I left - so I brought my bills, envelopes and stamps to the airport. After checking in, I sat at the gate and filled out the payment slips. Then I figured I'd look for a mailbox. Surprise surprise - there are NO mailboxes ANYWHERE inside San Francisco airport. The only one is outside, on the curb! I thought this was unbelieavable - I have often mailed postcards to friends and family from airports while waiting for my flight. But when I talked to the security guards who were pointing me outside, they were telling me that this was for "security reasons".
That didn't make a lot of sense to me. I've brought the letters IN, THROUGH security. If there's a bomb, or anthrax or whatever in my letters, I've already got them with me, ready to take on board. How would having a mailbox for me to drop them in make for a security threat? What if I drop my letter in one of the thrashcans, or airport flower pots, instead?
Presented with this argument, the security guard just smiled and said knowingly "I wish I could tell you, sir, but this is classified and we don't want to give terrorists any ideas". So... I obviously don't have a mind made for terrorism because I can't figure it out.