At 03:20 PM 2/26/2007, you wrote:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="US-ASCII"?> Hi,

has this been mentioned here before?

I just had my crypto mightmare experience.

I was in a (german!) outdoor shop to complete my equipment
for my next trip, when I came to the rack with luggage padlocks
(used to lock the zippers).

While the german brand locks were as usual, all the US brand locks
had a sticker

   "Can be opened and re-locked by US luggage inspectors".

Each of these (three digit code) locks had a small keyhole for the
master key to open. Obviously there are different key types
(different size, shape, brand) as the locks had numbers like "TSA005"
tell the officer which key to use to open that lock.

Never seen anything in real world which is such a precise analogon of
a crypto backdoor for governmental access.

Ironically, they advertise it as a big advantage and important feature,
since it allows to arrive with the lock intact and in place instead of
cut off.

This is the point where I decided to have nightmares from now on.

This is why I don't bother with padlocks until I get to the hotel room. It is a good idea to slow down the petty thief, but a "twist tie" from a plastic bag will work. I use the nylon straps used to hold cable bunches in place. I use many different colors, so it is most unlikely that a petty thief would have one handy (black or white are very common.

When last I flew they TSA had cut the cable ties. I took the suitcase directly to the baggage desk and we examined it together. (Do not pile up books in your suitcase. The TSA does not distinguish between books and Semtex: it considers both equally dangerous.)

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