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  • my response to :I-hacked article on hiding lockpicks from TSA...

    Picture this: You've got a flight to Vegas. Your craptastic airline just started charging cash for ALL checked luggage, and you planned on traveling light anyways. Your goal: participate in the lock-picking festivities at DefCon 16. The problem? Lockpicks are not only sharpened metal, but illegal to just carry around with you all over the place. They'd probably be okay in checked luggage, but as such, tucking them into a pocket of your carry-on bag and hoping for the best sounds like a good way to get a full cavity search by some under-paid TSA noobtard, if not arrested.
    from i-hacked.com

    Wow. I just saw this...and I'm sorry, just started laughing. I think taking apart your carry on luggage to sneak some lockpicks in would just like...immediately get your ejected from the plane and on the no fly list about as fast as it took you to put them there. It makes you look suspicious immediately and in my opinion, would be downright foolish. What intent are you really trying to hide?

    Your goal is not to look suspicious and not to give anyone reason for thinking you are up to malicious activities.

    I fly with one of the TOOOL emergency lockpick kits and one of the standard Southord kits from time to time, and the only time I've been stopped so far by TSA in the carry on line was this TSA guy saying "wow, those are lockpicks? Cool! You can go."

    I'm not saying that they aren't questionable, and aren't illegal to have in certain states, but as far as I could see on my search of the TSA banned list they aren't on there, either.

    If you really don't want to look suspicious and don't want to hide your stuff, there's always the US Post Office and Priority mail.

    My .02.
    ======================================
    DJ Jackalope
    dopest dj in the galaxy. *mwah!*

    send in the drop bears!
    ======================================

  • #2
    Re: my response to :I-hacked article on hiding lockpicks from TSA...

    Originally posted by DJ Jackalope View Post
    If you really don't want to look suspicious and don't want to hide your stuff, there's always the US Post Office and Priority mail.
    Agreed. Using UPS, USPS, or FedEx is undervalued for moving a lot of things to DC and other spots.
    Thorn
    "If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning." - Catherine Aird

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: my response to :I-hacked article on hiding lockpicks from TSA...

      Originally posted by DJ Jackalope View Post
      If you really don't want to look suspicious and don't want to hide your stuff, there's always the US Post Office and Priority mail.
      ...
      Originally posted by Thorn View Post
      Agreed. Using UPS, USPS, or FedEx is undervalued for moving a lot of things to DC and other spots.
      The voice of dissention! (me)

      When dealing with the USPS if sending lock picking tools to the US or from the US using a while domestic path, or an international path, there are laws that govern the shipment of locksmith supplies IF you are not "supposed" to "mail" such tools -- regardless of local state laws that say it is ok to possess such tools even if you are not a locksmith.

      If you are not a locksmith and purchasing from a locksmith supplier, use FedEx or UPS.

      CITATION1
      Originally posted by CITATION1
      ...
      11.10.4 Locksmithing Device—Definition
      A locksmithing device is:
      (a). A device or tool (other than a key) designed to manipulate the tumblers in a lock into the unlocked position through the keyway of such lock.
      (b). A device or tool (other than a key or a device or tool under 11.10.4a) designed for bypassing a lock or similar security device, or for opening it by a method normally not used by consumers to open such locks or security devices.
      (c). A device or tool designed for making an impression of a key or similar security device to duplicate such key or device.
      11.10.5 Nonmailable
      Any locksmithing device, as defined in 11.10.4, is nonmailable, unless sent to any of the following:
      (a). Lock manufacturer or distributor.
      (b). Bona fide locksmith.
      (c). Bona fide repossessor.
      (d). Motor vehicle manufacturer or dealer.
      (e). Bona fide automotive repair shops or businesses.
      Of course, in many states, to become a licensed locksmith you only need to pay a small fee every few years, and perhaps submit an application with fingerprint cards and pay for a background check. (Requirements vary from state to state, though many states don't even require a test of any sort.)

      If you are not a locksmith, and want to ship your tools, consider using UPS or FedEx.

      The above is not legal advice on how to bypass laws, but it is notice of some laws that exist. Additional laws may apply. The above is not a complete list of laws in your area, and you should research such laws on your own for your special circumstances. Contest is not open to friends of family members of employees. Actual results may vary. Objects in mirror are larger or smaller than they appear. Before starting any regiment, consult your physician. Not to be taken orally. Do not eat. This is not a step. Keep hands and arms away from moving blades. No parking. Tow away zone. The white zone is for loading and unloading of passengers, only. The usual disclaimer still exists: IANAL (I Am Not A Lawyer)
      Last edited by TheCotMan; August 13, 2008, 23:03.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: my response to :I-hacked article on hiding lockpicks from TSA...

        yeah, my email to hevnsnt read basically...
        Sorry to sound like a downer... but the individual who contributed the "How to Sneak Lockpicks into your Carry-On Bag" was wrong about a lot of their facts and gave some generally difficult advice.

        First of all, lockpicks are totally allowed on planes (at least domestically) as long as they are not part of a kit with a blade or other larger tool that could be considered a dangerous implement. Smaller "jacknife" style sets often LOOK like banned items on x-ray machines, but they aren't. You just have to open them and show that they are simply picks.

        Picks (even hard-tempered expert ones like a John Falle set or some high-end Peterson models) aren't stiff enough and thick enough to hurt anyone. You can't slash or jab with them. They aren't weapons and thus aren't banned.

        HOWEVER, encouraging someone to put ANYTHING in their bags in a "concealed" manner is just asking for them to have trouble at security. The method shown in the article is great if you wanna get drugs or something through security (where you're completely fucked anyway if they catch you at all) but is just stupid to do with lockpicks or other legal items.

        If security DOES see the item and wants to inspect it, you'll be hassled unnecessarily as they disassemble your bag, etc. Then you have to explain why you're hiding something at all, even if it's legal, possibly resulting in more searches or at the very least a stern talking-to and possibly a record in a security log somewhere.

        Overall, just fly with your shit like an adult or mail it ahead of time if you're that paranoid. Keep the hidden compartments for your reefer or $10K+ in financial instruments.
        "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
        - Trent Reznor

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: my response to :I-hacked article on hiding lockpicks from TSA...

          I've flown with many ridiculous objects in my day and I haven't had to conceal anything like I was a heroin mule. Hiding your picks like that only begs for TSA to then strip every single item you have down to its bare essentials to see if you are hiding something else as well.

          All in all, a generally dense thing to do for something that the TSA isn't going to hassle you over in the first place. I normally check my gear, but that's because it is with the rest of my locks, walls, and other crap. I've been known to split up picks in case a bag gets lost, but I'm not ready to make a hollow compartment in my shoe or anything.

          I walked through the checkpoint this time with a bag FULL of every lock you saw on the lock walls this year, along with various parts and pieces. One guy must have thought a doorknob looked like a gun, but I did enjoy the girl taking it over to him after looking in my bag and saying "Really? You were worried about THIS?"

          TSA and just about any other security group is much less likely to commit high crimes of asshattery if you say "those are my lockpicks and locks for some demonstrations I'm giving" other than playing James Bond. Though should you get your picks confiscated and still make it to an upcoming con, don't worry. Someone will sell you some more picks. I hear TOOOL has a nice set.
          ----------------------------------------
          Fraternal Order of Locksport

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: my response to :I-hacked article on hiding lockpicks from TSA...

            Only problem I had with TSA was flying out, the golden retrievers at MKE thought my SouthOrd kit was a metal mini-umbrella, they were cool about it after giving them a nice feel with their fingertips. Nice to see where the priorities are with TSA as bamboo or plastic knitting needles are OK to fly with. Defcon Knitting Group anyone?

            Flying back from LAS, I had more trouble with my laptop being on top of my wingtips than anything else.
            Nonnumquam cupido magnas partes Interretis vincendi me corripit

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: my response to :I-hacked article on hiding lockpicks from TSA...

              My SouthOrd set is shaped like a folding knife and I had forgotten that it was in my backpack. TSA at Dulles picked it up on their scanner and I underwent a bag search. The TSA dude was not able to figure out how to open it so I asked him if it was okay for me to show him. He was cool about it and let me open it, give it back to him and the he asked me to close it again and then he opened it for himself. He seemed to be please with himself that he was able to do it by himself the 2nd time.

              I am just happy that he was not very familiar with Virginia law which makes it illegal to carry a lockpick set unless you are a licensed locksmith.
              DaKahuna
              ___________________
              Will Hack for Bandwidth

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: my response to :I-hacked article on hiding lockpicks from TSA...

                If I have a competition the day or day after I arrive, I carry-on and have never had an issue, though curiosity abounds and the person checking usually has to ask someone for confirmation that I'm OK to fly. If I don't have to compete I check them with my luggage to avoid the hold-up in the line. In general I like to make people's jobs easier. Only reason I don't check every time is the obvious lost-luggage scenario, which did happen my first year in Holland, happily we had a couple of days before the Open and my luggage was delivered before it went down.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: my response to :I-hacked article on hiding lockpicks from TSA...

                  I bought my first set this Defcon and having traveled by bus and passing through every state from Nevada to Texas, Im sure I passed through some states where it wouldnt have been okay for me to get caught with them... so I really freaked out the first few times they searched the bus....but I thought about it and if I ever did get caught with them and asked what I use them for, I would have to say I use them more as a toothpick to get stuff out of my permanent retainer and to get stuff out from underneath my long acrylic nails. (not the same tool of course) They can usually tell when someone is lying or hiding something anyway, so I feel it wouldnt be a problem because its true....though I am on my second lock since I bought several locks the other day ; P

                  But Deviant Ollam's post and others seem to make me think that you'll only have trouble if you start it.
                  btw I've never flown before, so thanks for letting me know that I wont get molested at an airport just for having a lockpick set. ; )
                  Last edited by faye; August 28, 2008, 22:02. Reason: typo

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: my response to :I-hacked article on hiding lockpicks from TSA...

                    Originally posted by faye View Post
                    Im sure I passed through some states where it wouldnt have been okay for me to get caught with them.
                    the law seems to change a fair amount, sadly. back when i first put my presentation together there were only a few specific states that i called "states of concern" for relatively minor reasons. now it seems like people report to me more and more about places where lockpicks are allegedly not cool. i'll have to do some serious research to figure out what's what. ah well, i'm not going to stop carrying mine.

                    Originally posted by faye View Post
                    I really freaked out the first few times they searched the bus
                    do they routinely search buses in long, interstate journeys? i've never ridden on one like that so i have no experience there. that sounds creepy. what manner of search is performed and by what body of individuals, if i may ask? are we talking TSA-style bag scanners or local P.D. looking for "unsavory" people to hassle, etc?

                    Originally posted by faye View Post
                    I am on my second lock since I bought several locks the other day
                    good for you! keep it up and you may find yourself a new hobby that you get really into. maybe we'll see you at a TOOOL meeting sometime.

                    Originally posted by faye View Post
                    I've never flown before, so thanks for letting me know that I wont get molested at an airport just for having a lockpick set.
                    heh, nah... you don't have to worry so much about the picks in that scenario. the airport staff is always coming up with newer and more comical ways of molesting you so i'm sure that by the time you opt to fly, they'll have instituted some sort of "no hair care product" rule (or something equally asinine) and get in your face for not just using a scrunchy or hair clip.
                    "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
                    - Trent Reznor

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: my response to :I-hacked article on hiding lockpicks from TSA...

                      Originally posted by Deviant Ollam View Post
                      the law seems to change a fair amount, sadly. back when i first put my presentation together there were only a few specific states that i called "states of concern" for relatively minor reasons. now it seems like people report to me more and more about places where lockpicks are allegedly not cool. i'll have to do some serious research to figure out what's what. ah well, i'm not going to stop carrying mine.

                      Do you know what states to watch out for? all I know is that I carry my picks in a place where they're not likely to be found, and hopefully they never will.

                      Originally posted by Deviant Ollam View Post
                      do they routinely search buses in long, interstate journeys? i've never ridden on one like that so i have no experience there. that sounds creepy. what manner of search is performed and by what body of individuals, if i may ask? are we talking TSA-style bag scanners or local P.D. looking for "unsavory" people to hassle, etc?
                      Going to vegas I wasnt aware of any searches, but on the way back they did two. I dont really know who was searching our bags in whatever state it was we were in the first time we got searched, but they were waiting for us when we got there. The second time it was in dallas on our way to houston. We were stopped on the highway under an overpass by locals and idk maybe a state trooper, I was so tired I cant remember. It was so weird to be stopped on the highway to be searched while traffic zoomed by... They might have stopped that bus like that because we had three middle eastern people on the bus and I caught two of them doing something really suspicious at the bus station after we got to houston, so maybe they were on the alert for good reason.

                      Originally posted by Deviant Ollam View Post
                      good for you! keep it up and you may find yourself a new hobby that you get really into. maybe we'll see you at a TOOOL meeting sometime.
                      I'd love to go, just need to know when and where....


                      Originally posted by Deviant Ollam View Post
                      heh, nah... you don't have to worry so much about the picks in that scenario. the airport staff is always coming up with newer and more comical ways of molesting you so i'm sure that by the time you opt to fly, they'll have instituted some sort of "no hair care product" rule (or something equally asinine) and get in your face for not just using a scrunchy or hair clip.
                      Nah, I think underwire bras will be under fire next... cause you never know what a girl might be packing ; P

                      Oh that reminds me, I had to go into a federal building yesterday and I wasnt aware that you cant bring pocket knives in...The guy runs my purse through the machine and he's said "hey! you have a pocket knife in there!" and I'm like, "No, I have two in there." I explained that I use them to tear the tags off new clothes and dig stuff out from under my nails and I dont think of them as weapons and thats why I wasnt even thinking about it when they ran my purse... Now that was funny

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: my response to :I-hacked article on hiding lockpicks from TSA...

                        heh... here comes a fucking novel. go to the bathroom now, before you start reading.
                        Originally posted by faye View Post
                        Do you know what states to watch out for?
                        well... nearly all states have an "intent" clause written into their Burglary Tools statute, making it the burden of the prosecutor's office to demonstrate that you not only had these items, but intended to use them for criminal purposes. Delaware, however, has no such clause.

                        A number of other states do have intent written into their laws, but then go on to state that the mere act of possession of lockpicks by the average citizen is prima facie evidence that you had ill intent. (that doesn't guarantee a conviction, mind you... but puts the burden on you to prove some other legitimate purpose of ownership and possession.) States such as this include Kansas, Mississippi, Nevada, and Virginia.

                        The District of Columbia, while not technically a state, does have it's own laws concerning lockpicks and they tend to be very strict. D.C. cops pretty much frown upon anyone doing just about anything.

                        One last note that i will make concerns North Carolina, which is (by my limited and somewhat outdated knowledge) the only place whose laws explicitly require any parties who perform any sort of "locksmithing" be licensed by the state. Such broad language could be extended, at least in theory, to academic or hobbiest locksmithing. Other states mandate the licensing and/or bonding of locksmith businesses but North Carolina's language, as i say, is just atypically broad.

                        By the way... this is all just information i've culled from various sources including the lockpicking101.com forums. I make no solid claims on the authenticity or current applicability of these laws and I am not dispensing legal advice. I encourage people to consult their own sources, and to double-check on the LP101 forums via that link since there may be much newer info there now. I should do that, as well, actually.

                        Originally posted by faye View Post
                        all I know is that I carry my picks in a place where they're not likely to be found, and hopefully they never will.
                        Yes, the combined two-pronged tactic of both "try to follow the law" and "try to be as covert as possible, within reason" is the best method. While we all know that obscurity is not a method for obtaining security, it is often a fine compliment to other more proper means of covering one's ass. Just because you're 100% in the right legally doesn't mean that someone won't hassle you for no good reason. It's plenty sensible to take steps (again, within reason) to help prevent someone finding picks or other questionable items.

                        I often recommend the "emory board" trick and tell people to carry their picks in an alternating head/tail stack, secured with a rubber band, placing the whole affair in a sundry bag or among toiletries somehow. You're not breaking the law there... just hoping to avoid unnecessary questions from untrained bureaucrats.

                        Originally posted by faye View Post
                        Going to vegas I wasnt aware of any searches, but on the way back they did two. I dont really know who was searching our bags ... they were waiting for us when we got there. ...
                        see... this is the part of responding to a story when i worry that i'm going to sound like an asshole or something. so bear with me, and know that i'm not trying to give you a hard time.

                        my gut reaction would be to now ask the question "how can anyone search your bags without you knowing who they are?" My logic pertains to the fact that (at least in my, admittedly black and white view of the world) nobody gets to touch someone else's shit without showing ID and nobody gets into your bags without a warrant (unless you're flying somewhere and it's the TSA or crossing a border and it's the Customs Service)

                        the cops can stop all the vehicles on the road that they like. they can even start pulling out luggage from beneath the bus while keeping passengers on there (i'd kick up holy hell if they tried to, but i'm an assface like that) but what they can't do is start cracking open locked, hard-sided cases. what? you don't travel with a hard-sided case? hehe... then please, by all means come to my talk the next time i'm presenting "packing and the friendly skies" and you can learn how to give yourself bulletproof protection for little to no money.

                        let the fuckers drag out bags and huff and puff by the side of the road. without a warrant, they're not getting in my stuff. (again, a lot of this goes back to point #1 way up above... taking steps to not actively piss people off or look suspicious is likely a healthy addition to any batter that you're baking. those spoonfuls of sugar are usually what gets me through most situations as long as i remember them)

                        Originally posted by faye View Post
                        in dallas... We were stopped on the highway under an overpass by locals and idk maybe a state trooper, I was so tired I cant remember. It was so weird to be stopped on the highway to be searched while traffic zoomed by.
                        again... was this bags or just the passenger compartment? it is not uncommon for local PD or even staties to pull over a long-haul passenger bus when a fugitive situation is happening. they will board the bus armed with a description of the suspect(s) or sometimes even faxed details and try to spot specific persons of interest. you may have witnessed said individual's bags being searched pursuant to an arrest/custodial detaining situation.

                        or were they searching everyone's bag?

                        Originally posted by faye View Post
                        I had to go into a federal building yesterday and I wasn't aware that you cant bring pocket knives in
                        yeap, they'll bang you on that one. typically, they will not confiscate the knife or give you legal problems but will more often than not just deny you entry. (assuming the knife was legal on the street from which you just walked in*) i get nailed all the time for this when i hit up national monuments.

                        again, i've learned that the best option is to be polite, not look like a ruffian (hard for me to do often, but it's gotten easier since i switched the ratty plaid shirts for my Hawaiian theme a while back), and deal with the staff in a courteous manner. at facilities with metal detectors where there is no earthly reason for super high-end security (again, national monuments come to mind) i'll politely ask whomever appears to be in charge for a moment of his or her time and explain (quietly and off to one side) that i'm either carrying a knife or my pistol. i ask them if there are lock-up boxes or accommodations for such situations. many, many times i've been told that as long as i don't do anything foolish (i.e. brandish etc) that i'll be fine and to have a pleasant day.

                        i would not try this at a courthouse, however. and i'm even more cautious when visiting people in prisons... going so far as to even make sure i don't have any of my handcuff keys on me.

                        Originally posted by faye View Post
                        The guy runs my purse through the machine and he's said "hey! you have a pocket knife in there!" and I'm like, "No, I have two in there."
                        awesome quote.


                        * NOTE - for those who typically carry a utility/defense blade around with them and are interested in staying legal, i recommend Emerson's "Mini" Close Quarter Battle model. Designed to explicitly have a blade under 3" (but not under by much... it's 2.9" of edge) this folder is likely to be legal almost anywhere you'd need to go (both in the states and in places around the world) but it is constructed well enough to be both a utility tool or a defensive weapon should the need arise.

                        I don't hold stock in this company, i should note, i just really dig their hardware. Some other companies will also produce items that are specifically carry-legal. Google around and see what you come up with.

                        I will also note that "clip" knives can also help you with "concealed" vs. "open" carry status. Since part of the knife is clearly visible protruding from one's pocket if a clip is used (albeit, not much) this can often keep you cool with prohibitions against having a concealed weapon. Again, i'm not your lawyer so don't take this as outright legal advice, but rather offerings of some good foundation facts worthy of inspiring you to research matters more thoroughly on your own.
                        "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
                        - Trent Reznor

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: my response to :I-hacked article on hiding lockpicks from TSA...

                          Originally posted by faye View Post

                          But Deviant Ollam's post and others seem to make me think that you'll only have trouble if you start it.

                          Hi there...

                          This is so true in all sorts of contexts and a good rule to live by.

                          My question is: what bus company do you use? First off, so i never use it, and secondly...was curious if their policies for search are public on a website, etc.
                          ======================================
                          DJ Jackalope
                          dopest dj in the galaxy. *mwah!*

                          send in the drop bears!
                          ======================================

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: my response to :I-hacked article on hiding lockpicks from TSA...

                            All transportation providers are required by Federal regulations to post their policies regarding search of travelers. This policy has been in place for several years. Now. whether it is posted big enough in ports of exit/entry or posted obviously enough on their websites? I have not a clue. I trust others with more wisdom to school us... Or, Mr. Google is your friend.

                            Regards,
                            Valkyrie

                            Originally posted by DJ Jackalope View Post

                            Hi there...

                            This is so true in all sorts of contexts and a good rule to live by.

                            My question is: what bus company do you use? First off, so i never use it, and secondly...was curious if their policies for search are public on a website, etc.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: my response to :I-hacked article on hiding lockpicks from TSA...

                              Originally posted by valkyrie View Post
                              Or, Mr. Google is your friend.

                              1. I don't think Google has a search that can search "every bus company this Faye person has been on." Hence. why I was asking a specific company. If that was mentioned in this thread, earlier, I apologize for not apparently reading it well enough.

                              2. I was just wondering if Faye knew what she was getting into when she got on that bus.
                              ======================================
                              DJ Jackalope
                              dopest dj in the galaxy. *mwah!*

                              send in the drop bears!
                              ======================================

                              Comment

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