Roy Tang

Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart.

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Optical media and the MRT/LRT

I’m pretty sure what is described in the above blog post (confiscation of unlabelled optical media from LRT/MRT commuters) is obviously stupid, though probably not illegal. The rail authorities can probably refuse entry to anyone for any reason they consider valid.

It’s probably legal, but I doubt it’s enforceable though. Anyone who’s ridden the MRT during rush hours knows what I’m talking about. Security inspections last roughly half a second for every three passengers; the security personnel will simply make a quick pass through your bags with their stick. Any containers inside the one inspected are let through easily. In fact, even though I ride the MRT nearly everyday 1, I’ve never encountered anyone being turned away because of what they were carrying.

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve premeditated how easy it would be to sneak some sort of undesirable element into an MRT station. I ride the MRT every day knowing full well that any half-hearted troublemaker could easily put my life in peril. Riding the MRT is probably only marginally safer than duking it out with the buses on EDSA.

Mall security is even worse, those inspections done by security guards at mall entrances are a waste of time. At least the MRT guys have the excuse that they have to deal with droves of people at a time; There are mall entrances where they barely glance at your stuff in a routine manner; you could be sneaking in a decapitated human head in a plastic bag and they wouldn’t notice. The only criminals that would be stopped by these half-hearted measures are the stupid ones. The smart (hence dangerous) ones would easily breeze through.

Not that IΒ _wantΒ _the hassle of through security checks mind you. It’s just that the current practices seem pretty much a waste of time, when these inspections are just to show the public that MRTs/Malls are “safe.”

Edit 14/Feb: BoingBoing has picked up on this.

[1] except when I'm lazy and decide to take a cab
Posted by under post at #Philippines
Also on: blogger / 9 / 343 words

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btflpenguin on 2005-02-14 20:49:00: they’re looking for unlabelled CDs? di pa umaabot sa kanila ang flash drives? ahehehe. or bombs dressed up like flash drives? there’s an idea for you, roy.they should install metal detectors instead. those things at the airport will do for serious bad element detection.
btflpenguin on 2005-02-16 21:14:00: e kung yung pera na kinurakot nila (by non building all those escalators from the ground up) yung ipambili ng metal detector. ha? next thing you know bawal na ang pda (kasi pwede itong mp3 player/taguan ng bomba).eclair, pisay ka?
btflpenguin on 2005-02-17 10:40:00: hahaha! ako din! peng alyas sushie pisay ‘95. (roy pasensya ka na naging tagboard ang comment thingie mo)
Clair Ching on 2005-02-17 10:12:00: btflpenguin:Yup! Pisay ‘97 πŸ˜€-eclair
eClair on 2005-02-14 16:49:00: You know Beautiful Rookery?She is a friend of one of my friends:)Anyhow, it’s really easy to sneak optical media into the train stations. You could hide them in so many different ways…
eclair on 2005-02-15 09:56:00: Hmmm… I wonder who else we both know… =)I carry my flash drive with me all the time and it contains MP3s I got from the internet *laughs*
Roy on 2005-02-14 20:32:00: yup… you probably know a few other people I know as well. =)
Roy on 2005-02-14 21:01:00: no, I wouldn’t want them to start looking for flash drives. I carry one around in my wallet :pparang pag naglagay sila ng metal detectors tataas lang ang fare hehe
Roy on 2005-02-17 20:55:00: ok lang, I’m glad you made a friend hehe πŸ™‚