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Steve Jobs Tries To Sneak Shurikens On a Plane 661

An anonymous reader writes "Steve Jobs, while on a family vacation to Japan in July, picked himself up some Shuriken, otherwise known as Ninja throwing stars, as a souvenir. In his wisdom he decided to put them in his carry on luggage for the return journey. As it was a private plane he probably thought there would be no issue, but he was wrong. Even private plane passengers have to have all their baggage scanned, and the throwing stars were detected and deemed a hazard. It's alleged that Jobs argued that he could take them on the plane as no one could steal them on his private jet and use them. Security at the airport disagreed and demanded he remove the stars. Jobs, clearly angry at losing his throwing weapons, stated he would not be returning to the country." Undoubtedly this is part of the iNinja project.
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Steve Jobs Tries To Sneak Shurikens On a Plane

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  • and... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by spiffydudex ( 1458363 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @01:19PM (#33576638)

    this makes the front page why? Its common knowledge...don't bring sharp objects into airports unless you are checking the bag.

  • Re:and... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Pharmboy ( 216950 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @01:21PM (#33576680) Journal

    But he is RICH! It is wrong to think that rich people should have to follow the same rules as the unwashed masses.

  • Re:and... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mark72005 ( 1233572 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @01:22PM (#33576718)
    The point is that even on a private plane, even on YOUR private plane, you are subjected to the same rules. I don't think most people would intuitively know that.
  • by BobMcD ( 601576 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @01:29PM (#33576876)

    The only possible reason that this particular item would have made it off the Firehose is the flame-inducing material within it. It makes me sad. While I'm no fan of Apple, per se, I feel sorry for the guy. He could have investigate the local laws and policy before challenging them, and will absolutely be returning to Japan at some point, but still this is genuinely trivial.

    Maybe 'Idle' material, but 'Apple'? Trolling, plain and simple.

  • Re:and... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 ( 1287218 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @01:34PM (#33576976)
    Its not because he's rich, its because its his own fucking plane and quite honestly he should be able to do whatever he wants to with his own property, just like there are rules in buses and taxis that don't apply to your own personal cars.
  • Re:and... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nine-times ( 778537 ) <> on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @01:36PM (#33577024) Homepage
    There are still rules about what you can do in your personal car.
  • by Darkness404 ( 1287218 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @01:38PM (#33577050)
    The idea of "Post-9/11" is bullshit. For one it is his own property he isn't endangering others. Secondly, the world isn't safer due to all this security theater and imperialistic wars. The thing that changed on 9/11 is now if someone tries to hijack a plane people are going to tackle them and pin them to the ground. People now associate hijackings with that they are going to die no matter what they do, and not the idea that they should comply with the hijackers, wind up in Cuba and be on a plane home in a day with a wild story to tell to the media. No, if someone even remotely tries to attack a plane the passengers will prevent that. -THAT- is why we haven't had another 9/11.
  • Re:and... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by oldhack ( 1037484 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @01:41PM (#33577118)

    But it's a good story.

    Once in a blue moon, assholes do good despite themselves.

  • Re:and... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sir_Sri ( 199544 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @01:47PM (#33577240)

    Well except that he's in japan. What you can, or cannot do on your private plane in any other country has nothing to do with what you can, or should be allowed to do in Japan. If you want to fly in japan, you follow japans rules. And really, aren't most american planes private? They're owned by either leasing companies(GE) or the airlines, they have one set of rules of what you can, or cannot do on their planes, and the government has others, and you have to follow them all.

    Also, I would think if you wanted to park a plane in your yard you can probably put whatever weapons on it you want, but if you want to be allowed to take off, well then the FAA might have a few things to say about it.

  • Re:and... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by zach_the_lizard ( 1317619 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @01:50PM (#33577300)
    He didn't say there were no rules; he said there were some rules that applied only for buses and other public forms of transportation that don't apply in your own vehicle. Maybe the bus won't let you bring an animal aboard, but you can bring it in your own personal vehicle. The bus company / city / etc. might have to worry about the animal attacking passengers, flaring up allergies, etc. that the private citizen has no need to worry about in his own vehicle. The same applies in this case: an airline has to worry about hijackers, bombers, etc., while the owner of a private jet doesn't need to be worried about whether he's going to bomb it, hijack it, etc. by virtue of the fact that it's his own plane.
  • Re:If only (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sjames ( 1099 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @01:55PM (#33577400) Homepage Journal

    Honestly, they took away his property while he was trying to board his personal plane for reasons that were plainly the result of deeply faulty logic. I can understand why he wouldn't be happy. Unfortunately, if you want to never meet a stupid government agency's representative goons, there's nowhere to go without giving up all contact with the rest of the world.

  • I just flew on a private jet, and they didn't scan shit of mine. In fact, they even talked about how people had smoked weed on their jets before. So I call bullshit -- something's wrong in the summary.
  • Re:and... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Volante3192 ( 953645 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @02:07PM (#33577654)

    Which results in the bigger question of... "So what?"

    So someone brings ninja stars on a 747 and goes on a bloody rampage (or...well...two, three people before everyone in the 5 rows above and behind tie him up with seat belt extenders...)

    How different is this from someone taking a tie and strangling the person in front of them? Or breaking off the tray table? Or using any one of a hundred other improvised weapons?

    Security theater is not security. There are more cases of passengers stopping lunatics on planes than there are of TSA stopping lunatics from getting on planes.

  • Re:and... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bberens ( 965711 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @02:10PM (#33577712)

    No tyranny is so irksome as petty tyranny: the officious demands of policemen, government clerks, and electromechanical gadgets.
    ~Edward Abbey

  • Re:and... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @02:14PM (#33577766)

    Some guy could drive an SUV or even a semi-truck into a building and cause a whole bunch of damage. Does that mean we have to go through security checkpoints every 100 miles on American highways?

    Seriously, at some point this insanity about being paranoid about what flies in the air has got to end. Yes, some nut jobs might do something dangerous with a machine. People some people need machines in order to prosper and certainly I don't want to see a general government ban on heavy machinery except to those who are especially licensed to use them.

    In terms of the nut job that flew into the IRS building..... that is one incident out of how many general aviation flights? Did keeping a Shuriken, a vial of gasoline, or even a handgun off of a private airplane ever going to prevent somebody from turning that airplane into a weapon?

  • Re:and... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bberens ( 965711 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @02:15PM (#33577784)
    Yes, let us all fear terrorists who bother to purchase their own private jets so that they can launch shurikens out of them at 30k feet.
  • Re:and... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hey! ( 33014 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @02:15PM (#33577798) Homepage Journal

    Yes, while you're driving. That has a rational purpose: to ensure that you conduct your vehicle with reasonable respect for the safety of others. If the car is sitting in my garage, it's nobody's business whether I sit in the driver's seat to drink a beer.

    If A has the right to make the rules for B, surely that right is contingent on such rules serving a rational purpose. Of course, such rules are often an injustice to others. For example, not being able to carry my pocket knife in my pocket is an injustice of a sort to me, since I'm not going to hijack the plane. However, it is rational for me to accept this rule, since I don't want planes (even ones that I'm not on) being hijacked. You could think of it this way: rule minimizes the *net* injustice to me, so it's in my interest to accept this rule.

    This particular argument doesn't apply to a private jet. Does that mean that the rule is irrational? Not necessarily.

    I suspect this may involve scenarios that people aren't taking into account. One such scenario might go like this. We're talking about security at the perimeter, right? So Steven Jobs points out to the security screener that this is a private plane. Why would he want to hijack it? The screener agrees and Steve takes his Ninja stars inside the security perimeter. Once there, he transfers them to a confederate who takes them aboard a commercial flight.

    But wait! Steve isn't a terrorist, and he would do no such thing. But neither am I, and *I* can't bring throwing stars inside the security perimeter.

    Now I should point out I have no idea whether this scenario is possible. I'm just saying that there is often more to a situation than what is "obvious".

  • by __aajfby9338 ( 725054 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @02:16PM (#33577806)

    The obvious absurdity of restricting shuriken (or any of the other weapons restricted by PC 12020, for that matter) doesn't make them any less illegal in California.

  • Re:and... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by LBArrettAnderson ( 655246 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @02:22PM (#33577940)

    I don't know how you're at +5 right now. Based on the /. summary it appears that this was a public airport. What's to stop him from giving the weapons to someone else who is getting on a public flight? No point in having the security check at that point.

  • Re:and... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spazdor ( 902907 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @02:22PM (#33577954)

    No, there are rules about what you can do on the public highways.

    And remind me, whose airways was Steve planning on running his private plane through?

  • Re:and... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Hooya ( 518216 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @02:34PM (#33578164) Homepage

    that's so retarded. It's called a D.U.I, as in DRIVING Under the Influence. That seriously needs to be challenged in court.

  • Re:and... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ScrewMaster ( 602015 ) * on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @02:35PM (#33578176)

    I do not, however, think Japan needed any lessons from the US on how to implement airport security measures.

    There are two kinds of security: there's the theatrical version, whose only function is to encourage a feeling of safety among the population, and then there's real security, which is less concerned about appearance and more concerned about results. I don't know about Japan, but I'm sure Israel could teach us a few things.

  • Re:and... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @02:40PM (#33578264)

    Gee, sounds kind of familiar. Even on a private iPhone, even on YOUR iPhone, you are subjected to Apple's rules.

    Taking your own medicine's a bitch, eh, Steve?

  • Re:uhh...what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mqduck ( 232646 ) <mqduck@m[ ] ['qdu' in gap]> on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @02:44PM (#33578340)

    Jobs was right to think that he could get on the plane with his stars because, usually, he would be able to.

    Well, technically, he was *wrong* to think that, because it was incorrect.

  • Re:and... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nine-times ( 778537 ) <> on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @02:47PM (#33578388) Homepage

    There was a case where a guy was arrested without the key being in the ignition. I think he may not have even been in the driver's seat. I'm not sure if it held up, though.

  • by yumyum ( 168683 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @02:54PM (#33578472)

    No, the problem is that the story is false. Incredible how much bloviated nonsense has accumulated in this thread for something that never happened.

  • Re:and... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Caerdwyn ( 829058 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @02:55PM (#33578502) Journal

    I can carry a gun in my private car, even onto an airport, even in Washington DC or New York City. I do not need a permit to do so. Federal law and legal precedent clearly state that you may transport a firearm from place A to place B as long as it is legal in the endpoints, and intermediate jurisdictions may not interfere as long as the firearm is secured. I can even take it INTO an airport, as long as it's unloaded and in my luggage and is declared at the counter for tagging so some TSA monkey can steal it.

    When I fly my own plane, I can carry a gun, not just in my baggage, but on my hip. For private aircraft, it's the pilot-in-command that makes that decision, and has full legal authority to do so. I can also choose to allow my passengers to do the same. I can also let them have as much alcohol as I, the pilot, think is prudent (though I can't have any. I don't work for Northwest, after all...) As long as the gun stays in the airplane, no local authority can gainsay me. That's the law too. Note the difference between "private plane" and "chartered plane".

    The above are US laws, applicable to US territory. Japanese laws are more restrictive. While the interior of an aircraft registered in a given country is technically the sovereign territory of that country (same laws as a ship), the fact is that local law enforcement does have considerable authority as to what happens on their airports. Not everybody is aware of this. Assuming this story is true-as-reported (and I am not assuming that, given the... bias which a lot of people have about Mr. Jobs, both against and for), it's likely that Jobs was thinking American laws apply on American planes regardless of location. That's true, but only to an extent. And there IS the possibility that the Japanese authorities overstepped their bounds. To know for sure would require a careful examination of AMerican law, international law, Japanese law, and any treaties which may be in effect. We don't have that information.

    It's also worth noting that other high-profile CEOs (Larry Ellison) have run into issues with the Japanese authorities regarding export and carrying of Japanese bladed weaponry, though in Ellison's case it has to do with laws regarding antiquities. Ellison is a well-known fan of Shogunate-era arms and armor, and has a substantial collection (one of the largest). However, Japan does not allow the export of antiquities without a permit, and Ellison has run afoul of this from time to time. Japan's export laws arose in response to the very large amount of antiquities which were claimed as war prizes following World War II, and as soon as Japan regained its sovereignty it passed those laws to stem the flow of its cultural heritage out of the country. It is possible that, if the shuriken in question were old and "real" (as opposed to cheap tourist-trap knockoffs), that Jobs ran afoul of the same law. Again, we don't know. The law might not differentiate between new and antique items in that category.

    Like most sensationalist stories which are relevant to nothing in particular except fueling dislike for someone famous and controversial, I'd take this one with a huge grain of salt.

  • Re:If only (Score:3, Insightful)

    by vlm ( 69642 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @02:55PM (#33578504)

    An adult would have realized the rules are there for public safety

    Only if they are a stupid adult, one dumb enough to fall for "good security is occasionally obnoxious, therefore anything obnoxious must be good security"

  • Re:Already denied (Score:2, Insightful)

    by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @03:05PM (#33578656) Journal

    >>>a report that Apple denies

    They also deny that iPods sometimes spuriously start smoking and then blow up (due to the Lithium battery short-circuiting), despite many many instances of it happening. So I don't know who's telling the truth - Apple or the Japanese security guards. It could go either way.

  • Re:and... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mister Whirly ( 964219 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @03:10PM (#33578716) Homepage
    Not necessarily. They can give you an "intent to drive" DUI if the keys are even in your possession. I know someone who got one passed out in a car with the keys in his pocket. He was deliberately not driving becasue he was intoxicated, but that didn't matter. Someone else recently in the news got one in their own driveway becasue he had a fight with his wife and went out to the car to sleep. Had not driven at any point after he started drinking, but again it didn't mater. When you start criminalizing someones intention, I think we are getting a little to close to Minority Report for my comfort.
  • Re:and... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by lgw ( 121541 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @03:27PM (#33579012) Journal

    One of the 9/11 flights was stopped by its passengers. The approach of hijacking a plan with iprovised weapons stopped working the same day.

    By contrast the TSA has never been of any use whatsoever in its long and sad history (we had the same metal detectors before, without the pointless security lines).

  • Re:and... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by panda ( 10044 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @03:39PM (#33579188) Homepage Journal

    Anecdotes are not data.

    Unfortunately, the TSA has impressive statistics for the number of bottles of water and shampoo, small knives, etc. that they confiscate every day.

    As far as I know, 0 terrorist attacks on air planes have truly been thwarted by passenger action. The United flight that crashed in Pennsylvania can't really be counted as a success because the plane still crashed and everyone on board was killed. The success was partial because the plane was stopped from hitting its ultimate target, which was likely the White House or the Capitol.--It likely would have been shot down by fighters that had already been scrambled for that purpose, however, had the passengers not "succeeded."

    The shoe bomber and the underpants bomber were not really stopped by passengers, either, though passengers did intervene. They were both thwarted ultimately by their own incompetence.

    That said, I do agree that much of what the TSA does is pointless. Note that I'm sarcastic above when I mention their "impressive" statistics.

  • Re:and... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jc42 ( 318812 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @03:45PM (#33579270) Homepage Journal

    [I]f you own the plane and there are no other passengers besides yourself and immediate friends and family then you should be able to take anything you want.

    Yeah, you'd think so, but there's no government in the world that would agree with you. Smuggling stuff into a country has been illegal as long as there are countries.

    We could equally well argue that if it's your plane, you have a right to take those large containers of drugs home with you. Do you think that argument would be accepted by the border guards anywhere (except maybe Netherlands ;-)?

    You're free to feel that you have such a right. But the border guards are free to do anything they like to you, regardless of your so-called "rights". Good luck trying to get restitution from the courts.

  • Re:and... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by IgnoramusMaximus ( 692000 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @04:42PM (#33580016)

    The United flight that crashed in Pennsylvania can't really be counted as a success because the plane still crashed and everyone on board was killed.

    Only because the second piece of the scheme that made 9/11 style attack pointless on 9/12 and onwards was not in place: reinforced cockpit doors.

    Should the idiots with box-cutters try this again, not only would they face enraged passengers but would be doing so while not in control of the plane.

    So GP is quite right, repetition of the exact 9/11 attack scheme was pretty much impossible right after the method became known and the whole neo-fascist exercise of the "fatherland se... " I mean "homeland security" is a result of various greedy authoritarians taking advantage of the panicked sheeple to shear them of their money and any vestiges of personal liberties not yet consumed by their "protectors".

  • by element-o.p. ( 939033 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @06:18PM (#33581194) Homepage

    Private tarmac.

    And there's the difference.

    If you are flying out of an FBO, even at a big airport like BWI, then you get to bypass airport security. However, TFS said Jobs was flying out of the public terminal. At Kenai Municipal Airport, in Kenai, Alaska (much smaller than BWI; I've been to both airports), some of the private, chartered flights board through the same gate as the passenger flights. In that case, yes, you would pass through airport security. If you are in a small, private airplane like I was, you go out a different door to a different ramp on the airport (if you go into the terminal at all), and you don't pass through security. So it all depends.

  • Re:Already denied (Score:2, Insightful)

    by CheerfulMacFanboy ( 1900788 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @06:45PM (#33581504) Journal

    So I don't know who's telling the truth - Apple or the Japanese security guards. It could go either way.

    Since when is Bloomberg quoting a story of an Japanese Tabloid a Japanes security guard? Next you are going to tell us that the last big Bloomberg story on Jobs, also wildly denied by Apple, was in fact true - you know, the one about his death in 1998.

  • by SteveWoz ( 152247 ) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @12:51AM (#33583382) Homepage

    Actually, we never had a 9l11 in 50 years preceding it, despite the fact that it was just as easy. 9/11 was a lucky fluke, a super ambitious prank-style act of terrorism that took a lot of planning but took the top prize ever in such acts. We had no reason to expect it to happen in another 50 years, especially since it relied on surprise. I agree with this post that hightened security has not played a significant role in stopping another 9/11. Nor have any of the costly wars. But some people have to say the opposite in order to hide their own guilt of taking the side which wasted so much money on nothing (gained). These people scream that such actions do buy us security in order to save their own faces.

  • 'Tries to sneak' (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dugeen ( 1224138 ) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @05:22AM (#33584322) Journal
    Observe how the headline places Jobs, who for once is the innocent victim, in the role of the malefactor.

Never buy from a rich salesman. -- Goldenstern