If it doesn't work all the time it just doesn't work: This week I was on a business trip to Romania and when I got home I found out that I had inadvertently made the entire trip carrying my swiss army knife. I have walked through 4 metal detectors without anyone noticing. At one of the detectors there was a huge container filled with all kinds of scissors and nail files that people forgot to take out of their hand luggage - but my knife has been with me in cabin luggage on all flights.
Control mechanisms are always abused when civil rights guards go out the window: What on earth does bittorrent have to do with Homeland Security? If this press report is correct that they were in fact involved, there are two possible explanations for the use of Homeland Security staff in taking down bittorrent trackers. Either "Homeland Security" is just a marketing exercise - and these are simply law enforcement professionals doing what they've been doing since before 911, or - the more chilling interpretation: Homeland Security is growing into a Ministerium für Staatssicherheit. Very 1984.
[UPDATE: Maybe the real story can be inferred from this report. Somethign along the lines of "We've built better surveilllance technology as part of the security effort and now we might as well use it for other purposes as well"]