Friday, May 7, 2010

TSA Has Zero Tolerance for Workplace Violence and Inappropriate Comments

This week there was an incident involving workplace violence at Miami International Airport. We take this type of incident very seriously. TSA has zero tolerance for violence in the workplace and we’re moving swiftly to take appropriate action with respect to the security officer who has been charged with assault.

We’re also looking into alleged harassment during and after a training session and will determine if any procedures were violated or if any officers committed professional misconduct. Inappropriate comments are not acceptable and are dealt with swiftly. The training was internal and did not involve passengers at any time.

When using imaging technology, the privacy of passengers is always protected by our strict procedures. An officer who views the image never sees the passenger and once cleared, images are deleted forever. This isolated incident in no way reflects on, nor did it ever compromise the procedures put in place to screen passengers.

Blogger Bob on Behalf of TSA Public Affairs
TSA Blog Team

131 comments:

Ayn R. Key said...

There are several aspects of this case you must look in to.

1. The AIT is much more revealing than you have admitted.
2. AIT is apparently acceptable for the public but the TSOs feel they should not be subjected to it.
3. The professionalism of the supervisor who kept making jokes about a subordinates genitalia.
4. The lack of screening of TSOs beyond a general background check.

I'm looking forward to a much more informative blog entry on this matter, above and beyond the "we are looking in to it" that you have just provided. Great, you're looking in to it. I'm eager to know what you actually do because of it.

bruce said...

Uh, obviously the one who was doing the screening knew he was looking at a TSO.

Will you please explain how the screener knew he was viewing a TSO if he is so far separated from the scan that he is allegedly unable to determine who he is looking at, as we have been told?

txrus said...

Now we know why Nico never came thru w/those 'family friendly' images...

'Workplace violence' aside, Bob, you DO get that the bigger issue here (no pun intended) is that it seems pretty clear that you/TSA have been less then truthful w/re: to just how graphic these images really are. That being the case, why on earth should we believe your claims that the images can't be stored or printed or that your screeners don't have other methods of passing these pictures around.

The Germans knew what they were doing when they banned these machines.

Tomas said...

Considering how far the "commenting" appears to have gotten out of hand, Bob, I suspect that may even be one of the reasons TSA wants the image screeners OUT of public view.

You just know they probably have some really choice facial expressions and comments viewing all of us naked, and having the viewed public able to see that just might be toxic to the whole idea.

(Besides, who wants to actually KNOW that their teenaged daughter is being viewed by some 50 year old male, panting in the back room?)

Anonymous said...

If TSO's are willing to commit assault and sexual harassment, why should we be confident they won't "compromise the procedures put in place to screen passengers"?

Anonymous said...

"Inappropriate comments are not acceptable and are dealt with swiftly."

I guess the TSA and I have different ideas of "swiftly".

Mike E said...

Yes, more training. That's clearly what's needed. A training session will solve this problem for good. Perhaps a memo too.

Well, I consider this matter closed.

/sarcasm

Anonymous said...

Mike - What are you talking about?

Anonymous said...

Yet another PR disaster for TSA. Clearly, TSOs can't be trusted with this technology. Storing these images forever is as easy as pointing an iPhone at the screen and snapping a picture.

I support AIT, but only if a computer analyzes the image and only shows the screener the result if a foreign object is alerted on. This makes sense and probably enhances security over a human analyst.

Anonymous said...

Full resolution unmodified images of TSA blog staff. If you won't do that, at least admit to your lies. The images are pornographic, and the screeners are hidden because you know that no matter what kind of training is given, you have an endemic problem with your ground level employees. They aren't professional. They break the rules. They're given too much power and not enough oversight.

Anonymous said...

Bob, is THIS why you've consistently refused to share examples of the images generated by these strip-search machines?

The problem is not training, the problem is that you are using these disgusting machines in the first place.

And let's not pretend the ONLY reason you care about the unprofessionalism this incident displays is because someone got caught.

Anonymous said...

I find it disturbing that someone like this supervisor was in a position where he would have access to images of passengers and their children.

Bob, you have admitted that every organization can have bad apples, and this is true. The problem with this technology is we don't know if there is a bad apple employee on the other side of the curtain or not. I sincerely doubt that even you were surprised that a story like this came out, Bob.

Andy said...

The TSA seems to be filled with some really classy people, Bob.

Anonymous said...

"When using imaging technology, the privacy of passengers is always protected by our strict procedures."

"We’re also looking into alleged harassment during and after a training session and will determine if any procedures were violated or if any officers committed professional misconduct."

___________________________________

Bob:

How hard is it for you to grasp that the mere existence of "strict procedures" does not "always" protect passenger privacy. Why? Because PROCEDURES CAN BE VIOLATED!!!

Sandra said...

You can rest assured that screeners who are viewing naked pictures of passengers ARE talking about what they have seen with their co-workers. Unfortunately, we passengers don't get the ability to fight back; we have to suck it up or be felt up.

Anonymous said...

Zero tolerance for inappropriate comments?????????????

This guy was getting ridiculed for a year!!!!!!!!!

Did this TSO report the abuse prior to the assault and TSA did nothing? Or is the TSA brass so out of touch with the day to day operations that they had no idea?

Regardless of the assault charge i hope this guy sues the pants off the TSA (no pun intended) for sexual harassment and hostile work environment.

Anonymous said...

I have just completed AIT training and it really is not as bad as everyone thinks. This is just the results of a poor judgement call in an isolated incident.

AngryMiller said...

Bob, how long do you suppose it will take before one of the AIT/WBI viewers makes a comment over the whisper radio about a certain passenger and the passenger over hears the TSO outside of the AIT making rude/inflammatory comments?

It that going to be just another isolated incident as well? What recourse do the passengers have when dealing with rude TSOs?

avxo said...

First off, let me say that I appreciate Bob's predicament. Any "mouthpiece" job is tough, especially when the organization you represent is taking heat.

Every time we're told it's an isolated incident. That the incident didn't affect the security of the sterile area, or the privacy of the flying public, or what have you. That more training is being mandated. That disciplinary measures have been taken.

There have been many posts itemizing legitimate concerns that some citizens have about these machines and their implications vis-à-vis privacy. We had the concerns of parents about whether it's appropriate for their children to be walking through the machines and virtually exposed to an adult in a back room.

But all the concerns were mostly whitewashed.

Whitewashed because, we were told, our privacy is protected, since the scan won't really show details such as genitals, the one doing the viewing can't see us, and the machines supposedly can't print or save the images while operationally deployed.

But the incident in question though raise the issue of just how detailed the pictures being displayed are. The comments by TSA employee on this blog who said that most people simply don't look that good anyways, and their on-screen representation isn't all that pleasing raised those issues too. I'm not sure if he expected an apology and a promise that we will, as a nation, shape up to make for better viewing.

And now, this incident, like others before it, is also being whitewashed. Same keywords: More training. Zero tolerance. No compromise in security. Strict procedures.

The American public deserves more than the TSA's boilerplate press release languae.

Anonymous said...

When are you guys going to close the shop and let real security professionals with some kind of accountability take over?

RB said...

Bob, I have no confidence that TSA will respect my privacy.

It does not matter if the Strip Search Porno Viewer Operator sees me directly or not they have seen my naked image. That is unacceptable.

You individually and TSA as an organization have not been truthful about the images these devices create from day one.

Using these devices to image children should be against the law and anyone viewing children with WBI STRIP SEARCH PORNO VIEWERS should be charge with Child Porn charges. I am encouraging my elected officials to pass legislation deeming such acts by TSA as Child Porn violations.

Oh, you TSA PAO types keep saying the actions of a few do not impact on the whole. Well guess what Bob, TSA, and TSA you employees, that just doesn't wash anymore.

TSA is a cesspool (thanks Bart) and seems quiet willing to prove it each and every week.

I think it is time for TSA to either publish full size/full resolution WBI images so the public can decide just how revealing these images are.

Either that or take them out of service until software is available to read the image removing the human component.

TSA=FAIL

JUST SAY NO TO TSA WBI STRIP SEARCHES

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you should admit your lies and show actual photos from your machines instead of edited down-sized fakes.

And explain why you issue ASP batons to your TSOs if they aren't law enforcement officers.

abelard said...

I am exceptionally thankful that this incident has come to light because it clearly shows the TSA has been completely dishonest about the professionalism of their corps as well as being completely dishonest about how "family friendly" the scanner images are.

Tell us, Bob, if the images are so "family friendly," how would anyone know the size of a person's genitalia?

Anonymous said...

Sandra, more like suck it up or get beat down and spend a few months in jail for mouthing of to a TSO.

Ronnie said...

Let me try to explain something to you all...I recently trained on the new AIT technologies and while in training we were in very small groups. Usually 10 TSOs at a time. While 5 were in the viewing room, the other 5 were entering the machines. Mind you we had to do this ourselves since the machines DO NOT STORE IMAGES. I suppose what happened was that several immature individuals were able to, by process of elimination, guess who was who in the imaging machine. And once they picked a target, they engaged in the most rude, juvenile and unprofessional behavior imaginable. Now remember, these TSOs knew each other BEFORE they were engaged in this training so they were able to pick out their target based on body 'type' ALREADY KNOWN TO THEM. THAT, my friends, in why the remote location is so critical to insure the privacy of our passengers. Does that make sense now?

That being said, I have talked to many TSOs and we are saddened and angry that our reputations are being sullied by the likes of these unprofessional individuals.
Please dont paint us all with the same brush as these clowns in Miami.

Hope this doesnt give up too much SSI BB. And thank you for your time.

Ronnie
TSO DEN

Anonymous said...

This is proof that the scans produce images which rise to the level of being pornographic. This is proof that however strict your procedures may be, they will be violated. Permanently recording the scans, and subsequently transmitting them to any number of people, is as simple as sneaking a picture with one's camera phone, and as proven by this incident, your procedures are obviously not followed loyally enough to protect privacy.

Given the evidence before us, please, please, please tell me why we should believe that our privacy will be preserved and why we should accept these scanners.

R. Skelton said...

This is an isolated incident and will be dealt with severly. TSA is committed to providing the best security in the world, and AIT Technology is absolutely essential for that process.

But the human factor always has to be taken into consideration, TSO's are not robots and apparently capable of making poor decisions.

All TSO's should not be judged by the actions of a couple poorly trained officers.

Founding Fathers said...

“Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”

Benjamin Franklin

Anonymous said...

"Zero tolerance" apparently meaning "a year of ceaseless harassment from one's supervisor."

And then you wonder why America hates you.

Mike E said...

Here's the thing. Front line TSA screeners are in an entry level position. Sugar coat it all you want, talk about how much training they get all you want, etc etc.

At the end of the day, it's an entry level job, staffed by entry level people.

So now you give these poorly paid, entry level people MASSIVE amounts of authority over the traveling public and you're constantly going to be reading about incidents.

Give these poorly paid, entry level people the technology to SEE THROUGH CLOTHES (every teenage boy's dream) and we are constantly going to be reading about problems.

Bob, you think these guys aren't going to figure out how to get images off those computers? They're going to be locked in a room with one other person who wants to get the images off just as badly.

In a year, we're going to be seeing half a dozen websites that are nothing but images taken from these screening machines.

You can talk about procedures, and memos, and training, and professionalism all you want, but these people are just people.

Scanners that see through clothes are a disaster in the making. I can't believe anyone thinks this is a good idea.

It's like the Lower Merion School District spying on students in their bedrooms. Who in the world thought that was a good idea?

In 10 years, these scanners are going to be nothing but a footnote in a Supreme Court case.

Anonymous said...

"This isolated incident in no way reflects on, nor did it ever compromise the procedures put in place to screen passengers."
-------------------------------------
1. What is the source for your claim that this incident had no effect on passenger screening? Has this incident been fully investigated or is this just your assumption that you're passing off as a fact?

2. How is it possible that having a screener who was on the verge of a mental breakdown due to the torture inflicted by his colleagues did not impact his performance and thus the effectiveness of passenger screening?

3. How could you possibly describe this as an "isolated incident." According to all the news reports I have read, the TSO who has been arrested was a victim of daily teasing for quite some time. So by "isolated incident" you must mean "a series of isolated incidents that followed one after the other until one particular isolated incident happened to make him snap."

There's a common thread in all of the recent TSA scandal stories (I'm referring here to incidents of misconduct on the job, not the numerous TSOs who have gotten into trouble in their private lives). In each case, from the screeners who kept a scoreboard with hideously offensive racial and sexual epithets, to the supervisor who decided to play a cruel "joke" with a bag of powder, to the heartless TSOs who forced a disabled child to remove his braces, we see evidence of systematic misconduct by certain employees and COMPLETE APATHY from their colleagues. How is it that a supervisor never stepped in to put a stop to this behavior? Why did it come to the point that this poor man just snapped? All the evidence suggests that many TSA outfits are completely dysfunctional, which contradicts your claim that your employees are well-trained professionals.

When one moron tries to blow up his shoe that an "isolated incident." This is a pervasive pattern of mismanagement.

Gunner said...

By the way, this might be a good place to provide some closure on one of the most frequently asked questions: who, besides the USA, runs a shoe carnival.

--Unfortunately, the Philippines run both a shoe and a belt carnival.

Perhaps they are simply not into leather. :)

Sanity prevails in Taipei, no sign of a carnival there. Even carried my open bottle of water through the screening.

Judy Lance said...

ya Sandra your right! and one thing rules or laws does not solve the problem.

Bubba said...

Now we have confirmed evidence that the images show too much and that TSOs cannot be trusted to behave appropriately.

Added to that, we still don't know why the TSA is using backscatter X-rays when passive MMW could be adopted. We also have no decent argument why automated detection is not being pursued. We also aren't allowed to see the person viewing us naked, nor the scans made of our own person. And we also don't know how personal items such as adult diapers, maxipads, breast prosthetics, colostomies, etc will be "resolved" (differentiated from underwear bombs).

Why, again, do you think we should accept this technology?

TSO Colyn said...

Howdy Folx!

Welcome to the TSA blog! While I'm glad to see you folx here, I'm saddened by this story. After reading some of your comments I discovered a common theme. Many of you are concerned that you may be the subject of jocularity and ridicule from an officer who's viewed your AIT image.

I must say that I feel your concern very deeply, and appreciate your willingness to share this concern. I am not clairvoyant nor omniscient and cannot speak for the entire workforce of officers. However, I myself have always respected the privacy of individuals who elect AIT screening. Furthermore, I would consider it grossly inappropriate and unprofessional to hear another officer make jokes at a passengers expense. Having built a rapport with many fellow officers locally, I believe them to hold the same principles as I do.

The supervisor involved in this story allegedly made comments about a fellow officers manhood. This does not infer that the image produced by the AIT made such a determination possible. Blogger Bob and the entire blog team staff have been very forthcoming with the information provided thru out the blog in reference to the AIT.

Once again I'd like to thank you all for coming to the TSA blog to share your thoughts and concerns. The partnership between TSA and the public can only strengthen our security initiatives.

Safe travels everyone!!! *wave*

Colyn

Frequent Flier said...

This pre-school level behavior by the TSA screeners (name-calling, hitting each other sticks), pretty much coincides with the maturity and intelligence level I've observed in these "professionals" every time I fly.

Thanks TSA for confirming that you hire incompetent people to keep us safe!

Rob Arpoch said...

Zero tolerance? Har! It had been going on for a YEAR! You sir, are hilarious! You don't serve yourself or the TSA well with such obviously non-credible statements.

If this is the same type of zero tolerance the TSA has for dangerous items carried on commercial aircraft we can all sleep terrified.

I guess it's just not security theater without drama.

Side note, I'd suggest a modification of your title for sake of accuracy:

"TSA Has Zero Tolerance for Workplace Violence and Inappropriate Comments"

should probably really read:

"TSA Has Zero Tolerance for Public Disclosure of All-Too-Common Workplace Violence and Inappropriate Comments"

BTW, glad to see the TSA taking violence out of the workplace and putting it where it belongs - in gas station parking lots after stealing pizza while drunk.

Anonymous said...

So wait, you've locked comments now because this is too embarrassing, or what? Since last night, on a topic this rough, the number of comments hasn't changed? seriously?

Anonymous said...

"An officer who views the image never sees the passenger and once cleared, images are deleted forever."

So, if a passenger doesn't clear, the images may not be deleted forever? I thought the machines couldn't keep the images? That's what we've been told.

Really hard to believe that you'd implement a technology that wouldn't allow you to use the image in prosecution or the "administrative penalty" process.

Jim Huggins said...

Bob,

I'm sure TSA has plenty of procedures in place to protect its employees from harassment in the workplace, as well as acts of physical violence. Obviously, those policies were not followed here.

TSA states that it has policies in place to ensure that the privacy of passengers subjected to AIT screening will be preserved. How do we know those policies will be followed? After all ... TSA couldn't follow those policies with its own employees. What confidence should the public have in TSA's ability to follow its policies dealing with the public?

Anonymous said...

Obviously the TSA has tolerance for this until violence erupts... you let it go on for SIX MONTHS. I think this incident speaks volumes about what a terrible organization the TSA is. You should be disbanded.

I don't fly because I fear the TSA. It isn't terrorsist that scare me, it is YOU.

Anonymous said...

What kind of procedures are you going to put in place to protect TSOs from workplace harassment? The problem seems widespread, tolerated or ignored by supervisors and management. In short it seems to be a systemic cultural structure, that is probably at the root of the high turn over rate and the disregard of SOP. You really need to enforce the zero tolerance policy, and rid yourselves of the people who are causing the problems. You must also provide a clear path for your employees to file complaints, so that violence doesn't become their only recourse.

Anonymous said...

Actually, nowhere does it say that the STSO made comments about the "image". He made comments about the other TSO's "equipment".

He may have just made a crack after the TSO left the machine w/o even having seen the image just to be a wise @@@ (and one who should have known better). That type of comment is no less acceptable and pucnishment should follow for both.
However, everyone here seems to be jumping on the "he commented about the image", "He saw the image and it was so revealing he made a comment", etc.

Read the article people and stop pushing your own agendas!!

MarkVII said...

What I find interesting here is that the inappropriate comments had been going on for a year. Check out this article: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-20004436-504083.html?tag=cbsnewsSectionContent.5

"The co-worker had reportedly mocked his genitalia for the past year after Negrin walked through a new, high-tech body scanner. Linger on that: this guy apparently got made fun of for a full year. [My emphasis]

All I can say at this point is -- we've heard so many times about the TSA having the "highest standards" of behavior. How then, does this go on for a year and no action is taken. Also, if this is how one TSA employee can treat another TSA employee, can you imagine how this individual could treat passengers?

Mark
qui custodiet ipsos custodes

Anonymous said...

I am appalled that all the alleged perpetrators of the comments were not immediately suspended pending the investigation. (That is what swiftly and appropriately would mean to me.) If they are making comments about a coworker, they certainly are not to be trusted. It is wrong and if a single comment was made by them, they should be terminated!

Rocco said...

If there was any chance I would allow this machine to scan me, it's over now. If the picture it creates is detailed enough for someone to comment on the size of my genitalia,it's a violation of my privacy.

Multiple times I've asked here and not gotten a straight answer to the question: how will TSA stop people from taking snapshots of the screen with hand-held cameras, phones, etc? Can some TSO explain this? And don't say "its against our policy" or "we won't do it". Explain to me the TECHNICAL REASON that it won't happen, because I don't trust you guys to do the right thing.

I *will not* put myself or my kids through this machine is the *chance* exists that someone could snap a pic. Please explain why I shouldn't be concerned, when now thanks to this poor guy in the news it's OBVIOUS it can?

Anonymous said...

"However, I myself have always respected the privacy of individuals who elect AIT screening. Furthermore, I would consider it grossly inappropriate and unprofessional to hear another officer make jokes at a passengers expense."

I don't believe you, and I certainly don't trust you, and neither does your agency, since it insists on putting the operator of the strip-search machine off in a private little area. The only way to ensure even minimal professionalism from the operators of these strip-search machines is to put the operator in full view of the public.

Trollkiller said...

Blogger Bob, are the Peep Show Booth TSOs still allowed to go in without being searched for recording devices?

Are the Peep Show Booth TSOs still allowed on the room alone so if they do have a recording device they can use it?

Are the Peep Show Booths still unmonitored by security cameras to allow the TSOs in there to operate any recording device with impunity?

Anonymous said...

Bob, how do you keep a straight face when telling us these things?

1) Apparently the image quality of the scanners is good enough to insult any passenger at will. Everyone working in this area knows that only a fraction of the stuff you do internally reaches the public. I'm mortified about what must go on amongst the TSOs if this lead to physical assault between colleagues.

2) Apart from your PR talk about 'procedures in place' - WHAT DO YOU DO to make sure your TSOs are professional? WHAT are the sanctions?

3) You know that your nude scanners are lawsuits waiting to happen - if the scanners cause these kinds of issues before they are even fully deploid. Why do you use them even though they are ineffective?

We are fighting the fight against water while you guys let amunition on board. Now you will crack jokes about passengers instead of keeping explosives (that can be traced by WBI) off planes. Why is it so hard for you guys to just do your job and stop harassing innocent people?

avxo said...

TSO Colyn wrote: "Many of you are concerned that you may be the subject of jocularity and ridicule from an officer who's viewed your AIT image."

No, many of us are concerned that (a) these machines have been proven capable of doing things that the TSA said they weren't able to do, such as having a test mode; (b) a number of the people sitting behind these machines are immature and poorly screened -- and I'm being extremely lenient; (c) the public is not adequately informed that they may choose to NOT go through these machines and (d) that the TSA seems unable to ensure that its front-line employees know the rules and regulations, let alone that they are able to enforce them.

TSO Colyn also said: "Furthermore, I would consider it grossly inappropriate and unprofessional to hear another officer make jokes at a passengers expense. Having built a rapport with many fellow officers locally, I believe them to hold the same principles as I do."

There's your beliefs and then there's the facts. Unless something is strange in the water in Miami, your fellow officers don't seem to hold the same principles that you claim to hold. If they do, why didn't any one of them file a report about the consistent harassment that led to this unfortunate incident? If they didn't notice, what does that say about their ability to spot "behavior" and "signs of stress"?

TSO Colyn then continued: "The supervisor involved in this story allegedly made comments about a fellow officers manhood. This does not infer that the image produced by the AIT made such a determination possible."

It doesn't infer that. However, this guy clearly believed that the machine was capable of rendering his genitals at a high enough resolution to enable his "fellow officers" to determine that his genitals qualified as a "little pee-pee." And it's reasonable for us to assume that he had been trained on the AIT machines, since this incident happened during a training session; so, he had to have seen the output produced by the AIT machines, which implies he knew the capabilities of the machine and just how detailed the images were. All of a sudden the inference you suggest isn't so far fetched, is it?

Anonymous said...

These PR posts are ridiculous. The claim that our privacy will always be respected after such an event is as credible as BP coming out telling us all that deep sea drilling is safe.

The damage is done. Admit that you can't handle your workforce. Admit that these events will happen and that there is nothing TSA management can do to prevent them.

Why keep lying? These nude scanner machines are ineffective and violate our privacy.

Anonymous said...

TSO Colyn said...

The supervisor involved in this story allegedly made comments about a fellow officers manhood. This does not infer that the image produced by the AIT made such a determination possible.

Really????
Did you even read the article? Because if you didn't read the article then you are making an uninformed statement. If you did read the article then you are just lying.

Follow this link:

According to the police report, during the training exercise the machines revealed that Negrin "had a small penis and [his] co-workers made fun of him on a daily basis."

http://abcnews.go.com/Travel/miami-airport-tsa-officer-charged-assault-manhood-jokes/story?id=10583691

So COLYN......are you lying or just uninformed?

RB said...

Anonymous said...
I have just completed AIT training and it really is not as bad as everyone thinks. This is just the results of a poor judgement call in an isolated incident.

May 7, 2010 9:06 PM
......................
So it's bad, just perhaps not as bad as we think.

Comforting.

Anonymous said...

Bob, you think these guys aren't going to figure out how to get images off those computers? They're going to be locked in a room with one other person who wants to get the images off just as badly.
-----------------------------------

You know, storing a picture of anything on a computer screen is pretty easy. Just hit the "Print Screen" button, then open the Paint application, then click on Edit, and then Paste. Finally, click on File, then Save. Simple as that!

RB said...

Ronnie said...
Let me try to explain something to you all...I recently trained on the new AIT technologies and while in training we were in very small groups. Usually 10 TSOs at a time. While 5 were in the viewing room, the other 5 were entering the machines. Mind you we had to do this ourselves since the machines DO NOT STORE IMAGES. I suppose what happened was that several immature individuals were able to, by process of elimination, guess who was who in the imaging machine. And once they picked a target, they engaged in the most rude, juvenile and unprofessional behavior imaginable. Now remember, these TSOs knew each other BEFORE they were engaged in this training so they were able to pick out their target based on body 'type' ALREADY KNOWN TO THEM. THAT, my friends, in why the remote location is so critical to insure the privacy of our passengers. Does that make sense now?

That being said, I have talked to many TSOs and we are saddened and angry that our reputations are being sullied by the likes of these unprofessional individuals.
Please dont paint us all with the same brush as these clowns in Miami.

Hope this doesnt give up too much SSI BB. And thank you for your time.

Ronnie
TSO DEN

May 7, 2010 11:18 PM
...................
What you posted just doesn't wash Ronnie.

Blogger Nico told us on this very blog that WBI "PORNO STRIP SEARCH MACHINE" images were safe for young children to view and as I recall safe for the cover of Readers Digest.

Now if what Blogger Nico posted was true there would be no way for anyone to know how big ones penis was when viewed by the operator of a TSA PORNO STRIP SEARCH MACHINE".

So tell us, who's not being truthful?

Anonymous said...

I wish others will post the same post on their blog,
Very interesting

Scott G. Lewis said...

Its not 'pornographic'. Ive seen many statues in museums, naked doesn't equate to pornography. But i guess thats a great word to be sensationalistic with.

Also: I'm not quite sure a group of TSA agents viewing each other during training quite equates to the process we would go throw in real life.

Finally: I expect the TSA to train better, try harder, work smarter, and constantly strive to improve. I don't ask them to hold off any new procedures until they achieve perfection. Whatever others would like to replace themm with, would also no doubt fall short of perfection.

Some of what they do is silly. Scanning for hidden objects really isn't one of those things.

MarkVII said...

RE R. Skelton's comment "This is an isolated incident and will be dealt with severly.[sic]"

Isolated incident? Read back through the old "gripes and grins" threads if you want to hear a litany of complaints about lack of professionalism.

My own experience has been laden with power happy, unaccountable, order-barking, rude personnel. I don't see this situation as anything different -- just a more egregious example.

Mark
qui custodiet ipsos custodes

AngryMiller said...

Hey Bob, I once had a TSO tell me to lose some weight when I was attempting to comply with a previous instruction while holding my pants up.

That doesn't sound like one of your agency's star employees, now does it? How do you deal with rude TSOs and have something actually done about the rude TSO?

FYI, there was a time that I was polite to TSA employees. Now, not so much.

Anonymous said...

Ronnie said...

Hope this doesnt give up too much SSI BB. And thank you for your time.

Ronnie
TSO DEN

May 7, 2010 11:18 PM
==================================

But TSO's treat every passenger as a potential terrorist without any indication of wrong doing. With all the stories of the TSA hiring a child pornographer (LAX), the sexual deviant (Orlando), The accused rapist (Logan) with these examples as a measuring stick why should I not treat all TSO's as potential scumbags?

I am just applying the TSA logic to their own workforce.

If you feel that this truly is an isolated incident then go on record now and state that you do not think an event like this will ever occur again, with passengers or employees. After all the TSA says the background check and vetting process is so thorough....surely this type of privacy violation will never happen again.

Anonymous said...

Since when has TSA bothered to respect anyone transitting the checkpoint? Rude and combative are the SOP of the day.

Bob, why don't a bunch of you guys go on a road trip and visit some of the airports without telling the TSOs you encounter who you are and then report back on the results.

Make sure you check luggage and have a couple carry-ons as well.

Dead Julius said...

Should I expect jokes about my penis size to be made the next time I go through a TSA checkpoint?

Does the TSA consider jokes about penis size as seen on the TSA imaging equipment to be sexual harassment?

What should I do if I notice TSA personnel making jokes about my penis size, or about the anatomical features of another passenger?

Isaac Newton said...

TSO Colyn said:

I must say that I feel your concern very deeply, and appreciate your willingness to share this concern. I am not clairvoyant nor omniscient and cannot speak for the entire workforce of officers. However, I myself have always respected the privacy of individuals who elect AIT screening. Furthermore, I would consider it grossly inappropriate and unprofessional to hear another officer make jokes at a passengers expense. Having built a rapport with many fellow officers locally, I believe them to hold the same principles as I do.
___________

TSO Colyn, I must say that I feel TSA's concern over the possibility of a passenger smuggling tiny packages of explosives that can only be seen by the WBI very deeply, and appreciate their willingness to share this concern. I am not clairvoyant nor omniscient and cannot speak for the all passengers. However, I myself have never considered harming an aircraft with such explosives or in any other way. Furthermore, I would consider it grossly inappropriate for my fellow passengers to attempt something so horrible. Having built a rapport with many fellow passengers, I believe them to hold the same principles as I do.

I guess you're upset that people might think you are a bad person because of what another screener did. It upsets me that you need to virtually strip search me because of what Reid or Abdulmutallab did.

If I trust you to be a good person while you're doing the screening, can't you trust me not to smuggle small packages of explosives through???

Isaac Newton said...

Bob, it seems that every incident, and there have been many of them, is in your opinion an "isolated" incident that in no way reflects on the TSA as a whole. At what point do "isolated" incidents become a pattern of incompetence and immaturity that, at the very least, reflects very poorly on the leadership of your organization?

Is TSA increasing staff numbers merely to keep the proportion of "bad apples" constant as these incidents come to light?

And as others have said, this incident only came to light when the screener being harassed resorted to violence and it became a police matter. What evidence, apart from your Boy Scout promise, do we as passengers have that similar jokes are not being made about passengers every day?

Anonymous said...

Didn't these machines have privacy filters for intimate areas? Why did you lie about this?

Sandra said...

From TS/S:

"It concluded with a statement that TSA is going to revise the image display so that the image will be a "stick figure" which will only show "abnormal" things...."

So, Bob, has TSA lied to us yet again?

RB said...

Based on a complaint that TSA responded to regarding WBI Pedophile Porno Strip Searches it seems that if a WTMD is available then a pat down is not required.

Would you confirm that this response was and is accurate.

Complaint posted"

"MsgID: 100100902520091231
CustName: •••••
CustAdd:
EmaIlAddres•s• : • ••••
Telephone:
Fax:
·1~·
· TSA ADHOC Query Results
HoldDateTI me:
ProcessedDateTlme:
TalismaDateTime: 12/31/2009 12:22:59 PM
FromDateTlme:
Flag:
Status: CLOSED
Consumer_Issue: Caller has concerns about Whole Body Imaging as he feels Its an intrusion of privacy.

ResolutlonSummary: Advised caller they have the ,option to choose a pat-down Inspectlon, or If available, walk-thru metal detector
at the airport screening checkpoint.·
.

ResolutionSummary_Extended: Advised caller they have the option to choose it pat-down Inspection; or If available, walk-thru metal
detector at the airport screening checkpoint.,
SubjectCategory: Whole Body Imaging I Backscatter / Millimeter Wave
SubjectCategory_Extended: Whole Body Imaging / Backscatter / Millimeter Wave,

RB said...

http://www.tsa.gov/assets/pdf/foia/tsa_foia_imagingtechnology_03162010.pdf
...................
Each complaint listed that answers with a statement offering alternative screening indicates that if a WTMD is available that would suffice.

So is a Pat Down mandatory as has been stated on this blog in past posts if a person opts out of WBI or has TSA been deceitful once again?

Seems like TSA and truth are like oil and water, always seperated.

Anonymous said...

"The training was internal and did not involve passengers at any time."

Not true.

Every passenger screened by your staff who took training from that supervisor is affected.

The supervisor doing the training was in a leadership role.

He communicated to those he trained that actions such as making fun of the people being scanned were appropriate.

Will the staff he trained be given remedial training to address damage he did?

Anonymous said...

"Inappropriate comments are not acceptable and are dealt with swiftly."

Not in Orlando.

That bigoted, racist board they used was up for a while.

These incidents reveal a sick culture that is implicitly accepted by many within your organization.

http://www.clickorlando.com/news/22397583/detail.html/

RB said...

A simple demonstration of TSA's belief in the security systems in place at the nations airports would be to install the exact same protocols to all entrances to TSA HQ. Each person entering the TSA HQ would be required to submit to WBI, WTMD, pat downs and inspection of their personal belongings using the same procedures that TSA expects the public to submit to at airports. No exceptions.

If the delays are OK at airports they surely would be OK at TSA HQ.

How better to demonstrate the importance of these procedures by subjecting your work force to the same requirements that the public is required to comply with.

Anonymous said...

"once cleared, images are deleted forever."

Thank you for admitting the strip-search machines store images. Why have you lied about this for so long, Curtis?

Anonymous said...

Uh, obviously the one who was doing the screening knew he was looking at a TSO.

Will you please explain how the screener knew he was viewing a TSO if he is so far separated from the scan that he is allegedly unable to determine who he is looking at, as we have been told?
___________________________________

Maybe you did not comprehend the blog. It said that officers were training. There were no passengers involved Bruce.

Chris Boyce said...

Ronnie said: Let me try to explain something to you all...I recently trained on the new AIT technologies and while in training we were in very small groups. Usually 10 TSOs at a time. While 5 were in the viewing room, the other 5 were entering the machines. Mind you we had to do this ourselves since the machines DO NOT STORE IMAGES. I suppose what happened was that several immature individuals were able to, by process of elimination, guess who was who in the imaging machine. And once they picked a target, they engaged in the most rude, juvenile and unprofessional behavior imaginable. Now remember, these TSOs knew each other BEFORE they were engaged in this training so they were able to pick out their target based on body 'type' ALREADY KNOWN TO THEM. THAT, my friends, in why the remote location is so critical to insure the privacy of our passengers. Does that make sense now?

That being said, I have talked to many TSOs and we are saddened and angry that our reputations are being sullied by the likes of these unprofessional individuals.
Please dont paint us all with the same brush as these clowns in Miami.

Hope this doesnt give up too much SSI BB. And thank you for your time.

*******************

Ronnie, you obviously haven't read the strip search machine performance or procurement specifications. Your machines CAN and DO store images in the training mode. Also read the part about how to set the machine in training mode and who, by position, has the authority to do so at your very airport.

If screeners talk like this in front of each other, prove to me that they don't talk about us between themselves on the wireless headsets. Convince us that they don't talk about our wives, sons, and daughters like this.

By wearing the same blue uniform and that Barney Fife badge, we WILl paint you and all 50,000 of your fellow employees from Gale on down until you give us a reason not to. Get it?

CCEMT-P said...

Bob

care to explain the following information on TSAs site, which is a FOIA PDF on complaints about the strip scanners.

http://www.tsa.gov/assets/pdf/foia/tsa_foia_imagingtechnology_03162010.pdf

You said there were only a handful of complaints, but the linked PDF has 451 pages of complaints and thats only since first of the year. Thats not a handful that's a significant number of complaints and thats only the recorded one. Then with this public incident it gives even more ammo that this technology is not "family Friendly" like nico claimed (and yet to deliver on a promise made a year ago") and shows much more detail then the very small images TSA tauts what its officers see.

Makes one wonder how many were before the start of this file, and weather they were round filed or just ignored in typical TSA fashion like so many questions in this blog.

Anonymous said...

Rocco said
I *will not* put myself or my kids through this machine is the *chance* exists that someone could snap a pic. Please explain why I shouldn't be concerned, when now thanks to this poor guy in the news it's OBVIOUS it can?
___________________________________
It's obvious it can what? I don't understand? No one took a picture. There was no picture circulating. I am not sure where your assumption came from. It was a training exercise and people looked at it on the screen. You people assume like its your job. Half of the things you people get mad at are assumptions.

Anonymous said...

Why does a TSA representative that the scanners may show more detail when in "training mode"?

What is this mode? Or is this TSA representative lying?

If this training mode really exists, why are you training TSOs with it turned on when it would be supposedly be turned off during regular screening.

http://www.abc15.com/content/news/phoenixmetro/central/story/TSA-arrest-sparks-privacy-debate-over-body/RqBYCdVSB0aRLVR6mAFOYw.cspx

RB said...

West, Blogger Bob, Nico, Gail or any other TSA official, I will volunteer to have be scanned by WBI'er with the stipulation that I see the raw image and if the image is in fact not revealing as claimed by TSA I will allow that image to be posted for public viewing in the same size and resolution as seen by TSA WBI operators.

However, if the image is revealing and not safe for school children as claimed by Nico then TSA will have to publicly admit it has been less than truthful with the public.

Now that's a fair offer!

I'm saying put up or shut up!

txrus said...

On May 10, 2010 CCEMT-P asked...
Bob

care to explain the following information on TSAs site, which is a FOIA PDF on complaints about the strip scanners.

http://www.tsa.gov/assets/pdf/foia/tsa_foia_imagingtechnology_03162010.pdf

You said there were only a handful of complaints, but the linked PDF has 451 pages of complaints and thats only since first of the year. Thats not a handful that's a significant number of complaints and thats only the recorded one. Then with this public incident it gives even more ammo that this technology is not "family Friendly" like nico claimed (and yet to deliver on a promise made a year ago") and shows much more detail then the very small images TSA tauts what its officers see.
***********************************
Bob-can you also explain why, when I went to the link provided, I got 'Sorry, the page you requested was not found'??

Anonymous said...

Ronnie sez: "the machines DO NOT STORE IMAGES."

This is obviously false. There are several sets of images out there, some right here on tsa.gov.:
http://www.tsa.gov/graphics/images/approach/mmw_large.jpg
and
http://www.tsa.gov/graphics/images/approach/backscatter_large.jpg

If these machines are incapable of recording images, where did these examples come from??

So, obviously these machines CAN store/record images. Perhaps they can only do so under certain conditions (training mode, demo mode, with a supervisors password, etc), but it's a LIE to say they "CANNOT" store images.

In any case, it's actually irrelevant, because it's trivial to slip a camera phone or digital camera into the monitoring room, and snap off a few shots.

Steve said...

If we MUST have body scanners, then this is a system most of us could live with. MMW scanner (no X-Rays)with automatic, computerized detection that uses no screener for the raw images. The raw images are never seen. It is in use in Amsterdam (where the crotch bomber came through - he wasn't scanned though). Smart people, these Dutch!

TSA thinks it's not good enough (yet), but it's pretty clear that eventually automatic detection without naked pictures will rule.

Politically correct and doesn't offend anyone. Also no chance for misuse and ridicule. Can't happen soon enough.
Watch here:
http://www.schipholtv.com/2010/01/07/de-security-scan/
and here:
http://www.sds.l-3com.com/advancedimaging/provision-at.htm

Until this comes about - OPT-OUT!

Pass this on to your representatives and PUSH them to do the correct thing!

What do you think, TSO's??

Anonymous said...

Wow, all I can say is wow! Right now I ma ashaned of EVERYONE on here!!!TSA and passengers alike. No one knows the true story so no one can really say anything. In fact its not really anyone's business either. Yes the ati shows male private parts. I don't mind doing what ever I need to in order to stay safe. But yes we should have been told but we werem't. Yes that's wrong. All I hear are TSOs from other airports bashing fellow TSOs calling them clowns and other names because of what a SELECT few individuals have done.If you DO NOT KNOW the entire story, again don't say anything!! That is how you look stupid. You are all TSOs you are all on the same team. Act like it!! Yes, TSA makes mistakes and yes they have rules that do not make sense, but ask all you pathetic whiny passengers, how many planes have gone down since TSA has been here? How many? Don't worry I'll wait! Exactly none! When are the professionals going to take over, someone put down. You mean the same profeesionals that were working when 9/11 happened? Yes I have faith in them. Sure maybe the will let another 9/11 happen. Everyone is so quick to attack the TSA but who defends the TSA from the attacks of you passengers? They spend their time making sure you board your plane safely with no bombs, guns, or items that can kill us. They risk their lives for us and all I see is disdain, disgust and anger!! Absolutely no gratitude. No "thank you for keeping us safe" but "why are you taking my water", "why do I need to take off my shoes?" Its disguisting. You are safe right? You are able to post these comments right? So they did their job and they did a damn good job protecting your lives. I have flown to many places around the world and TSA is by far the nicest and most understanding. Try saying this stuff to EL AL. You will be in jail so fast you wouldm't know what hit you! How dare the lot of you insult these people. You'd be surprised on how many of TSA employees are US MILITARY, some have been to Iraq. A lot of them have Bachelors and Masters degrees. TSA, thank you for keeping us safe. It is unfortunate that this happened but you still do keep us safe. No planes have gone down because of you and the seaports are safe. Because of you not because of passengers. Arrogant whiny passengers who get mad because of water in their bag. 9/11 people!!! Wake up!! Did you forget that?! The terrorists are trying new stuff everyday. Read the paper. Use google!! Edcuate yourselves. Such an embarrassment

Jack Doyle said...

I find it ironic that it was your security scanning equipment that actually caused someone to go off the deep end and shoot someone else. Especially when the equipment doesn't work the way it is supposed to to begin with.

You guys continue to make me laugh every day.

By the way, flying out of Roanoke, VA yesterday I watched as one of your "agents" missed a couple of pieces of contraband going through the security checkpoint. Clearly the guys was new and untrained.

Also, it was a bit of a disappointment after posted information leading up to the checkpoint indicated that shoes can now be left on, but then the "agents" require you to take them off.

Not surprised, though, as it seems that TSA's right hand never knows what the left hand is doing.

Anonymous said...

I find it funny that all the TSOs on here keep asking us to "not judge us all on the actions of a few." When that exact mentality is what the TSA thrives on. So is this a "do what I say and not what I do" mindset??? When the TSA treats us with respect and dignity then maybe the public will show them some respect...Just like everyother organization you have to earn the respect of the masses not just assume you will get because you have the "power!" Maybe the third time I post a comment it will get approved (doubtful)....

RB said...

Not surprised, though, as it seems that TSA's right hand never knows what the left hand is doing.

May 11, 2010 2:29 PM

Except when they are in the WBI Porno Peeper Booths.

RB said...

Anonymous said...
Wow, ...............
.............
Edcuate yourselves. Such an embarrassment

May 11, 2010 12:02 PM


What?

Al Ames said...

Anon, correlation doesn't equal causation. Without any evidence to back up your claim, you can't claim that a plane hasn't gone down BECAUSE of TSA. I can make the exact same claim about my magic rock. It keeps terrorists away. How do I know it's working? No planes have gone down! Prove me wrong!

Now, with red team tests, media reports, and GAO audits, there's plenty of evidence to show that TSA is a failure. It's not "planes haven't gone down BECAUSE of TSA" it's more like "planes haven't gone down DESPITE TSA."

Al

Anonymous said...

"Bob-can you also explain why, when I went to the link provided, I got 'Sorry, the page you requested was not found'??"

No Bob here. But the answer is simple.

The web address was too long and got cut off.

But I am SURE the TSA did it deliberately.

,>)

Anonymous said...

A long, ugly, pejorative ranter said:

"(TSOs)risk their lives for us"

Their lives are no more at risk than the SLFs (aka pax) or any other American.

Stop living in fear.

Stop spreading fear.

Anonymous said...

"Try saying this stuff to EL AL. You will be in jail so fast you wouldm't know what hit you!"

Are you saying that Israel is not the shining beacon of democracy in the middle east, like we are always being told?

Are you saying Israelis do not have free speech?

Do you read Harretz? The Jerusalem Post?

Do you actually know what you are talking about?

Anonymous said...

Chris Boyce said: "(Anonymity is) why the remote location is so critical to insure the privacy of our passengers. Does that make sense now?"

No. Because you will have continual voice communication going on between the check point and the "peep show booth" or whatever you call the room with the viewing screen.

An image of a PAX _will_ get out one day.

Anonymous said...

"Added to that, we still don't know why the TSA is using backscatter X-rays when passive MMW could be adopted."

Yes, we do.

Former TSA head Chertoff makes money off of clients who sell their backscatter X-ray equipment.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said..

...but ask all you pathetic whiny passengers, how many planes have gone down since TSA has been here? How many? Don't worry I'll wait! Exactly none!
----------------------------------

I will ask you something as well:

How many bombs or terrorists have been caught at TSA checkpoints since TSA has been here? How many? Don't worry I'll wait! Exactly none!

Anonymous said...

Ronnie said...

I suppose what happened was that several immature individuals were able to, by process of elimination, guess who was who in the imaging machine. And once they picked a target, they engaged in the most rude, juvenile and unprofessional behavior imaginable. Now remember, these TSOs knew each other BEFORE they were engaged in this training so they were able to pick out their target based on body 'type' ALREADY KNOWN TO THEM. THAT, my friends, in why the remote location is so critical to insure the privacy of our passengers. Does that make sense now?
--------------------------------

So you're saying your comment is all speculation and conjecture and quite possibly has absolutely no citing of fact regarding this event.

No, posting nothing factual about what happened does not make sense or address my concerns about the massive expansion and planned wide spread use of AIT. Nor does it lessen my feeling that the TSA is a magnet for immature children that care more about looking at naked passengers/co-workers than stopping another 9/11.<<<(look I can egregiously invoke 9/11 to make my point too...thanks TSA) Perhaps posting what disciplinary action the TSA has taken with all parties involved would do more to make your heartfelt post seem more genuine.

avxo said...

Anonymous wrote: "I don't mind doing what ever I need to in order to stay safe."

Really? Whatever it takes? You, Sir, are a fine American! I salute you!

Anonymous said...

One thing not mentioned recently:

The Rapiscan 1000, although it's radiation is low, is concentrated in the first 1/2 inch of tissue. Radiologists tell me because it doesn't penetrate trough the body, we must consider the dose 20X higher, representing the mass of the first 1/2 inch of tissue, compated to the whole body.
We can expect Cataracts, as well as additional cancers of the testicles and breasts.
There is a possibility of more deaths over the next 20 years from these scanners than from terrorists.
The L3 (MMW) scanners don't present this health risk.
The Presidential report on this matter states "Non-ionizing devices should be considered first"
OPT OUT OF THE XRAY SCANNERS !!

Anonymous said...

Quoted:
" Jack Doyle said...
I find it ironic that it was your security scanning equipment that actually caused someone to go off the deep end and shoot someone else. Especially when the equipment doesn't work the way it is supposed to to begin with.

You guys continue to make me laugh every day.

By the way, flying out of Roanoke, VA yesterday I watched as one of your "agents" missed a couple of pieces of contraband going through the security checkpoint. Clearly the guys was new and untrained.

Also, it was a bit of a disappointment after posted information leading up to the checkpoint indicated that shoes can now be left on, but then the "agents" require you to take them off.

Not surprised, though, as it seems that TSA's right hand never knows what the left hand is doing.

May 11, 2010 2:29 PM

--------------------------------
What the --- are you talking about? No one "got shot" and what are you talking about with the shoes? Shoes are required to come off. Period. At every airport in the U.S. Period>

Anonymous said...

They have 100% tolerance for TSOs to be rude to passengers, especially the elderly and infirm.

Anonymous said...

They have 100% tolerance for TSOs to be rude to passengers, especially the elderly and infirm.

Anonymous said...

"nowhere does it say that the STSO made comments about the "image"."

Not in the article Bob linked to.

That was reported by NBC Miami online.

"Read the article people"

Perhaps you would care to do the same?

Google: NBC Miami TSA Package

The first link will be their article on the incident.

"Negrin stepped into the machine during the training session and became embarrassed and angry when a supervisor started cracking jokes about his manhood, made visible by the new machine.

Anonymous said...

Bob,

Any update, or are you still moving too "swiftly"?

RB said...

What the --- are you talking about? No one "got shot" and what are you talking about with the shoes? Shoes are required to come off. Period. At every airport in the U.S. Period>

May 12, 2010 11:23 AM

Seeing how TSA employees can bring guns to work without punishment like Crabtree did it's lucky no one got shot.

Anonymous said...

Chris Boyce said:

By wearing the same blue uniform and that Barney Fife badge, we WILl paint you and all 50,000 of your fellow employees from Gale on down until you give us a reason not to. Get it?
---

Nice. The hardcore skeptics on this board pride themselves on being creatures of logic and The American Way. So 1), you want TSOs to prove a negative, which you know is impossible, and if they don't, 2) all of them are guilty in your eyes until proven individually innocent. Did I get that right?

Thanks for revealing everything we needed to know about where you're really coming from. And you say BB can't tell the truth?

Earl Pitts said...

So Bob, one has to wonder. We keep hearing out of the TSA PR machine that these are isolated incidents and don't reflect on TSA as a whole. Considering how often they happen, it's starting to look like that these incidents aren't isolated and limited to just a few bad apples.

Rather than just a few bad apples, it seems more like just the tip of the iceberg. It makes me wonder what we're not hearing about.

Earl

Rocco said...

Perhaps some other TSO can explain how it will be impossible to take a picture with your cell camera or iphone of the screen?

Actually technically impossible - not "we won't do it you can trust us" impossible.

Anonymous said...

TSO at O'Hare airport.

The AITs are a complete disaster.

Everyone from the BAOs to the managers to the supervisors to the BDOs have reached one clear, ringing consensus: these things are a monumental waste of money. They're slow, they take up a huge amount of space, they require a minimum of 3 additional people to operate, they're ineffective in covert testing, the list goes on.

So, the public is paying hundreds of millions of dollars for the implementation of a technology that provides a near-zero societal benefit. The public's opinion on this technology is either:
A. Apathy
B. Outrage

The real benefit of this technology to the public is:

Zero.

And the workforce who actually uses them considers the technology to be:

Useless.

The poster who wrote that "in 10 years these machines will be nothing more than a footnote in a Supreme Court case" hit it dead on. If there's any rationality in our society, this will indeed be the case.

-TSO

Former Airport Ops Admin said...

Anonymous blathered on about OMG, terrorists! OMG, be nice to TSA! OMG, whiny pax! OMG, 9/11, people 9 - freaking - 11!!!!!!!

Wow, seriously? I feel so sorry you live in such fear. Have you seen the reason for airline crashes in the past several years? You think those little Barney Fife's are going to keep your pitot tube from icing up and losing airspeed indicator? Are they going to be able to protect from volcanic ash clouds that cause engine failure? Are they going to protect you from wind shear and severe turbulance? Are they going to protect you from low time pilots without proper rest periods that fly into known icing?

9/11 happened 9 years ago. Yes it was tragic, yes it would totally suck to happen again, but the chances of it happening again are slim provided there's SOME screening at the airports. And, the screeners at the airports at the time are not to blame. The only thing that happened that day that could have been prevented was if the no-fly list was checked better. The idiots were not carrying prohibited items. Up until that point, pax were taught to give in to hijacker's demands. The cockpit doors were not reinforced.

9/11 changed all that. Try flying a low cost carrier when some yahoo gets drunk and unruly. See how other pax handle the situation. I can assure you, if anyone were trying to do harm to an aircraft, they'd be beaten to within an inch of their lives. It's been shown to happen again and again.

I'm tired of living in a country full of cowards. OMG, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11!!!! There are have been terrorist acts in other countries more current than that and the people in these countries brushed themselves off and moved the heck on, with more vigilance.

I'm tired of "arrogant" cowards running around thinking the terrorists are only after the US. We are not attacked nearly as much as other countries. And for those of you geniuses that claim the shoe carnival goes on in other countries: where it's going on, where are those flights departing to? Yep, the US. Fly domestically in EUR, Asia, AUS and you won't find such nonsense.

I have to ask you, Chicken Little Anonymous, do you run and hide from Ryder trucks? I mean, Timmy McVeigh was a terrorist. He did some crazy damage to a building in OKC. Did you forget about that? Oh wait, that's right. He was an American, so it couldn't be terrorism. Just a misunderstanding.

People that run around in fear and those that feed that fear (TSA) make me sick. I'm so angered that I have to charter a friend's aircraft to fly me to another country just to be able to fly overseas. I'm not going to be subjected to strip searches and no flying with my Diet Pepsi because you cowards think the government is going to save you from the bogeyman.

I hate to break it to you - while the government spends billions of our hard earned dollars on airport gadgets, those who wish us harm will just hit us somewhere else.

While you cowards run around with a "Sky Is Falling" attitude, I'll just keep giving my hard earned cash to General Aviation. So far our Congress critters have kept TSA's dirty little mitts out of GA. Let's hope they can keep it that way. I hardly see how my friend's Mooney is going to cause catastrophic damage, although LASP tried to tell us it would.

Bottom line is, you cowards shame us real Americans. Crap happens. Brush yourself off and move on. The government cannot protect you from the bogeyman. It's been 9 years. Time to put your 9/11 card away. Several of my closest friends lived through both WTC and Pentagon attacks and they've moved on - why can't you?

Anonymous said...

Does the TSA monitor the 2-way radio communication between the TSO operating the scanner and the TSO viewing the naked images of passengers?

If not how do they ensure the 2 are not discussing intimate anatomical details of unrelated to security?

Please don't respond with the same "they are trained professionals" jargon and it is "impossible for them to discuss anything but security" rhetoric. I want know if there is any communications monitoring done by the TSA regarding AIT.

Anonymous said...

Blogger Rocco said...

Perhaps some other TSO can explain how it will be impossible to take a picture with your cell camera or iphone of the screen?

Actually technically impossible - not "we won't do it you can trust us" impossible.

May 13, 2010 5:22 PM
================================

They don't need cell phone cameras. they can just export the images to a USB flash drive which is concealed easier. USB capability is not disabled in any mode.

Anonymous said...

I personally believe the machine to be better than ideal "Screening" procedures because of the flight on December 25th. Do you really believe that if we didn't have this TSA would be able to catch that??? it got through GERMANY!!! Now People think about it. You complain about screening yet has there been a flgith originating from the US that has gone down because of a weapon or bomb??? No because TSA does the job right. The only incidents that have happened are Stupid drunkards that have the audacity to create a problem on the flight and make false bomb-threats against the flight crew... People are so stupid that in front of TSA personell that they Jokingly (of course) make remarks of their bags containing explosives for what? Glory??? Come on and wake up. You should be thankful that TSA does it's Job. If they lied about the machine it's for your convenience... What if the whole thing became a primary deal? You would have to prove you're clear by going through with it anyway right??? Suck it up princesses. It is what it is and deal with it... be happy you can still fly!!!

RB said...

If they lied about the machine it's for your convenience... What if the whole thing became a primary deal? You would have to prove you're clear by going through with it anyway right??? Suck it up princesses. It is what it is and deal with it... be happy you can still fly!!!

May 15, 2010 1:01 AM
..................
Your're saying that it's ok for TSA to lie about its screening.

What a sad statement!

Former Airport Ops Admin said...

Since when is Amsterdam, Netherlands in Germany? And, how many flights NOT originating from the US have gone down as a result of bombs since 2002?

Whether you are with TSA or not, stop with the arrogance. That's part of the reason many in the rest of the world hate Americans. And, truth be told, I can't blame them.

Anonymous said...

Anon said
If they lied about the machine it's for your convenience... What if the whole thing became a primary deal? You would have to prove you're clear by going through with it anyway right??? Suck it up princesses. It is what it is and deal with it... be happy you can still fly!!!

May 15, 2010 1:01 AM
----------------------------------

Being that I am not a terrorist and have never been arrested can u explain how the TSA lying to me about an invasive screening method that i feel is vastly disproportionate to the threats faced is for my own good?

Being that i have never ever given any indication that i am a threat to aviation security.

The underwear bomber didn't have a passport and should have never been allowed to board the plane!!!

If the scanners become mandatory i will no longer fly leisurely and will only fly in an emergency when no other means of travel is available.

I am through with sacrificing my civil liberties to mask the failures of airline security worldwide.

See you at the airport princess!!

Anonymous said...

It's funny to see someone say...I am not a terrorist. Do you honestly think the real terrorist will just walk into the airport and say they are ? Anyone can be !

Sounds like the screeners in this training need the same right to privacy as the passengers. When you have 2000 passengers coming through the screener observing the images has no way of knowing who the image belongs too. However, when you have 10 screeners in a training class taking turns being the passenger, it's not to hard to figure out who is who.

No Matter What said...

Some people will NEVER be satisfied no matter what you do. It wouldn't matter if it were TSA, a private entity, or no security at all. Americans will ALWAYS find fault in SOMETHING!!You know the cliché, "You can't please everyone ALL the time"? Well it's true that you can't, so I'd like to tell my fellow TSO's to continue to do your job, stay focused, be respectful to yourself and others, and ignore the negative. At the end of the day go home & tell your family how much you love them.

I will continue to pray for those of you who just won't be happy no matter what.

Trollkiller said...

No Matter What said...

I will continue to pray for those of you who just won't be happy no matter what.


And I will continue to pray for the thieves and vipers that make up the TSA.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

It's funny to see someone say...I am not a terrorist. Do you honestly think the real terrorist will just walk into the airport and say they are ? Anyone can be !
--------------------------------

You're right they don't need to. As the Times Square bomber proved, even if you are a terrorist or are on the NFL you can can just walk into an airport and board a plane.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
When you have 2000 passengers coming through the screener observing the images has no way of knowing who the image belongs too.
---------------------------------
Until a terrorist beats the strip-search scan. then the TSA will say they need to associate names to each scan in case there is an incident in the air so they can review the scan to see if something was missed......but only until the plane lands....we promise.

Anonymous said...

No Matter What said...

Some people will NEVER be satisfied no matter what you do. It wouldn't matter if it were TSA, a private entity, or no security at all. Americans will ALWAYS find fault in SOMETHING!!You know the cliché, "You can't please everyone ALL the time"? Well it's true that you can't, so I'd like to tell my fellow TSO's to continue to do your job, stay focused, be respectful to yourself and others, and ignore the negative. At the end of the day go home & tell your family how much you love them.

I will continue to pray for those of you who just won't be happy no matter what.
______________________________

There's no logical consequences for a TSO being rude to a passenger. Scream at a passenger what happens? Nothing. Berate a passenger for not knowing TSA's secret SOPs. What happens? Nothing. TSOs can pretty much say or do anything to travlers with impunity.

Your agency earned the reputation it currently has, one outrage at a time. Got to admit though that it was hard work given the support the American people had for your agency after 9/11.

Anonymous said...

Hey Bob:

Any comment on this TSA hero?

http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local-beat/tsa-agents-accused-of-stealing-cash-from-elderly-woman-in-wheelchair-94179834.html

Anonymous said...

" the screener observing the images has no way of knowing who the image belongs too."

This is not true.

There is real time communication between the person in the secluded room and the people at the checkpoint.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said....." the screener observing the images has no way of knowing who the image belongs too."

This is not true.

There is real time communication between the person in the secluded room and the people at the checkpoint.

Question.

If the person in a SECLUDED room has communication with the people at the checkpoint, does the room now have windows?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Question.

If the person in a SECLUDED room has communication with the people at the checkpoint, does the room now have windows?

May 26, 2010 4:26 PM
=================================

NO.
It also doesn't mean his vocal cords stop working either. He/she is free to discuss anatomical details of the passenger unrelated to security without the passenger knowing.

Question:
Does turning the strip search scanner on automatically lock the entrance to the peep booth so the scanner operator can't enter the booth to look at the image?

As was the case in one of the EPIC FOIA complaints filled againt the TSA that I read. I would supply the link to the complaint but the blog moderator would probably not allow this post.

Anonymous said...

Ha! Ha! Ha! Not allow your post? Why not? The link would only take people to information that TSA cleared for release. Ha! Ha! Ha!

Priceless

Anonymous said...

During training, the officers use an image machine not open to the public at the time.

Anonymous said...

If any of the people who are whining about the use of the body scanning machines are DHS employees, such folks need to find another job. They're like a cop who whines about fellow cops being allowed to carry firearms.

I wonder what these bleeding-heart civil rights extremists would say if a terrorist managed to smuggle explosives underneath his clothes onto a plane and blew up the plane and killed hundreds of innocent people.

Anonymous said...

Let me get this right.

2 million passengers per day (in the US only) for the past 9 years (since 9/11) equals about 6.5 BILLION passengers.

One nut tries to blow up a plane with explosives in his underwear which failed. (BTW: You can’t put enough explosives in your underwear to down a plane) and now OUR GOVERNMENT want to strip search or physically pat down all AMERICAN travelers at a cost of billions of dollars.

Nobody has been killed by terrorists on an American aircraft since 9/11!

Odds: 1 in 6.5 billion ? or less? the bombs didn't work!
Powerball 1 in 40 million?
State lottery 1 in 14 million.

I'm 465 times more likely to win the state lottery, than to be killed by terrorists on a plane!

WHAT ARE OUR LEGISLATORS SMOKING?

What about the 300,000 killed in car crashes in the same period?

What's wrong with this picture?

George said...

Extensive training will solve the problem to a great extent

Anonymous said...

Innapropriate comments---I recently completed therapy in a hospital and my only restriction was NO XRAYS. I wear a film badge prescribed to me by my Doctor. When I opted for personal screening, I was told that I was not allowed to wear my film badge, and that it must be stored in my baggage, and not be carried on. THIS IS AN INAPPROPRIATE AND INACCURATE COMMENT. They told me it was because of radiation from the film badge. As you must know. it is only a sensitive X ray film. Do the TSO's know this? Or is this plastic film badge a terrorist device? Or are you trying to hide something from us? Does this explain why TSO's are not allowed to wear radiation monitors near XRAY MACHINES?

Ray said...

I agree that training is the key to solving these kinds of problems. Also a better background investigation in the hiring process would weed out some of the problems.

Automated Machines said...

This little post generated a lot of responses even as of last year. I agree that more training and issuing warnings, are NOT the answer.

The problems lie in the moral character of the people involved in the offenses and your solution as proposed in the original statement does not address or change that.