Friday, May 21, 2010

TSA SPOT Program: Still Going Strong

The Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques (SPOT) program has come a long way since I first blogged about it back in 2008. As of May 2010, about 3,000 Behavior Detection Officers (BDO) have been deployed at 161 airports nationwide.

For those of you not familiar with the SPOT program, BDOs are trained to detect behaviors that one exhibits in response to the fear of being discovered. In layman’s terms, BDOs look for behaviors that show you’re trying to get away with something you shouldn’t be doing. If you’re one of those travelers that gets frazzled easily (not hard to do at airports), you have no reason to worry. BDOs set a baseline based on the normal airport behavior and look for behaviors that go above that baseline. So if you’re stressing about missing a flight, that’s not a guaranteed visit from the BDOs.

Paul Ekman (PhD) is a Professor Emeritus at UC Davis and assisted in the development of the program. He’s been studying behavioral analysis for the past 40 years and has taught the TSA, Customs and Border Protection, CIA, FBI and other federal agencies to watch for suspicious facial expressions of tension, fear or deception. He has even taught animators at Disney-Pixar to create convincing faces for film characters. The SPOT program is a derivative of other behavioral analysis programs that have been successfully employed by law enforcement and security personnel both in the U.S. and around the world. TSA actually consulted and still regularly consults with several well respected behavior scientists when developing SPOT.

TSA deployed SPOT as an added layer of security to help deter and detect terrorists attempting to outsmart or circumvent the aviation security system. The program allows our officers to push security out in front and behind the checkpoint.

Our BDOs have identified illegal activities that have resulted in over 1,800 arrests at transportation systems across the country – most notably spotting an individual who was discovered to have explosive components at the Orlando airport in 2008.

We are aware of a new GAO report on our SPOT program. GAO’s recommendations are helpful as we continue to refine our procedures as the science and the program matures.

On a side note, I was a trained BDO in my airport days and personally feel the training I received was extremely valuable to security. Also, my wife, kids and used car salesmen are not able to get one over on me.

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

96 comments:

Anonymous said...

Now that you've put lipstick on the pig, time to kiss up to the GAO.

Anonymous said...

Over 1800 arrests, great, but how many convictions did those arrests lead to? If it's substantially lower (especially compared to the ratio of arrests to convictions for law enforcement in general), there's a reasonable assumption that this is a bad program.

Of course, this figure will not be released, and this comment will not be addressed. I'm familiar with how this blog works...

Sandra said...

You and TSA live in a dream world, don't you, Bob?

The program is a sham and nothing TSA says can change that.

Your last paragraph was totally inappropriate. This waste of our money by the TSA is nothing to joke about.

Anonymous said...

Are passengers required to answer inquiries from BDOs (or TSOs for that matter)?

Can a passenger's silence or refusal to answer questions from BDOs be used as justification to send them to retaliatory, uh, I mean secondary, secreening?

Can a passenger's slience or refusal to answer questions from BDOs be used as justification to refuse to allow them to exercise their liberty to fly without harassment or interference from the government?

Of the 1800 arrests resulting from BDO referral, how many involved passengers who intended to do harm to aviation? How many involved passengers who were carrying WEI (obviously at least one, the MCO case mentioned)?

Anonymous said...

Are you talking about the success of behavior detection? Is it true that more TSA personnel have been arrested than other threats?

Anonymous said...

Most of the BDO's that have crossed my path are arrogant and rude.

When I can be convinced that they do something more than drink coffee, glare at pax, and carry their oh so special clipboards around, then I'll think they are doing something worthwhile.

2 weeks classroom and 40 OJT does not make a profiler.

Bob Hanssen said...

"We are aware of a new GAO report on our SPOT program. GAO’s recommendations are helpful as we continue to refine our procedures as the science and the program matures."

Bob,

I'm aware of the GAO report because I have read it. Have you?

Here: I'll save you the "trouble": http://tiny.cc/w4dhv

Fellow citizens, read the TSA response very carefully and it is clear that the TSA intends to blow off the GAO. It's up to each one of us to stay in the faces of our Representatives and Senators, especially if you live in the district of one of the members of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

The members are: http://tiny.cc/3v5cw

And, I agree with Sandra. Your final paragraph was completely unprofessional. Enough said.

Anonymous said...

"most notably spotting an individual who was discovered to have explosive components at the Orlando airport in 2008."

Of course, those components were in a checked bag, and were not configured in a manner that could have exploded in flight. But you already know that, Bob, you're just incapable of honesty.

RB said...

What I don't understand is how BDO's can operate at all.

TSA is limited to administrative searches for WEI. Nothing more.

How does the BDO program comply with that requirement?

Anonymous said...

So if you’re stressing about missing a flight, that’s not a guaranteed visit from the BDOs.


Thanks; I feel much better now :-/

Anonymous said...

Can a passenger's slience or refusal to answer questions from BDOs be used as justification to refuse to allow them to exercise their liberty to fly without harassment or interference from the government?


No, there's no "liberty" to fly. Flying is a privilege.

Anonymous said...

How many of those 1800 arrests were terrorists?

How many known terrorists have slipped past TSA?

RB said...

This is how TSA protects people.

Harassment and the threat of bodily harm to a 93 year old lady.

Then TSA has the gall to issue a fine of $2500.

http://cbs2.com/video/?id=135273@kcbs.dayport.com

I thought TSA was on our side, not working for the terrorist!

Anonymous said...

So did the BDOs alert on the TSO guy who planted fake drugs in a girl's bag?

Anonymous said...

Bob said:

"Our BDOs have identified illegal activities ... most notably spotting an individual who was discovered to have explosive components at the Orlando airport in 2008. "

My interest piqued, I checked the story and found out there were no explosives and the suspicious items were in checked baggage.

Which confused me, because just a few days ago Bob said this in another post:


"...in checked baggage, our focus is on finding explosives. If you have a gun or knife in your checked bag, you’re not going to be able to go into the belly of the plane to get it..."


So why didn't the above apply to the incident in Orlando?

txrus said...

Anonymous asked of Blogger Bob on May 21, 2010 4:34 PM:

My interest piqued, I checked the story and found out there were no explosives and the suspicious items were in checked baggage.

Which confused me, because just a few days ago Bob said this in another post:


"...in checked baggage, our focus is on finding explosives. If you have a gun or knife in your checked bag, you’re not going to be able to go into the belly of the plane to get it..."


So why didn't the above apply to the incident in Orlando?
*****************************
If memory serves, this is also the case where the pax in question was actually identified initially by OTHER pax' waiting in line as acting strangely-the Spotniks missed him completely until it was literally pointed out to them.

On a related subject Bob, how is it none of the Spotniks have ever managed to find any of the sticky-fingered screeners who have stolen from passengers nationwide? Or those screeners who, it turned out, were smuggling drugs & guns thru airports?

Finally, how is it the Times Square Bomber managed to waltz right thru the checkpoint @ JFK & get into his seat on the plane w/o being apprehended by the BDO's? Wouldn't someone who had actually tried to blow up Times Square a mere 52+ hours earlier, was trying to get out of the country before being caught, & knew he was being sought by law enforcement, have been a easy pick up for one of these 'highly trained' people?

Seriously, Bob-how did this one get by you guys??

RB said...

Anonymous said...
Can a passenger's slience or refusal to answer questions from BDOs be used as justification to refuse to allow them to exercise their liberty to fly without harassment or interference from the government?


No, there's no "liberty" to fly. Flying is a privilege.

May 21, 2010 3:33 PM
.................
Government has no right to restrict a persons travel without warrant or arrest.

There is liberty to fly or travel by any means a person wishes to use to move about the country.

I take it your a TSA employee spouting party line propaganda.

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "Most of the BDO's that have crossed my path are arrogant and rude.

When I can be convinced that they do something more than drink coffee, glare at pax, and carry their oh so special clipboards around, then I'll think they are doing something worthwhile.

2 weeks classroom and 40 OJT does not make a profiler"

The BDOs that I have worked with have been professional, courteous, and in most cases downright nice. Glaring at passengers is not what we are doing, and we don't get to drink coffee at the checkpoint here, and I have never been on the checkpoint with a clipboard... Wait just a minute, which BDOs got clipboards? I didn't get a cool little clipboard... Man, I got ripped off.

Most of the time that I have seen a member of TSA with a clipboard, it usually involved schedules, or testing of the TSOs or some sort of information needing to be passed out to the workforce.

West
TSA Blog Team

HappyToHelp said...

Anonymous said...
"So why didn't the above apply to the incident in Orlando?"

Explosive components are prohibited in both carryon and checked baggage. According to the arrest affidavit, Kevin Brown planned to use a highly explosive liquid to build pipe bombs. However, he did not have a fully assembled bomb, and I have not read or seen anything that would lead me to believe he was targeting aviation. Despite him not targeting aviation, it is part of our mandate to stop him from bring bomb material in a checked bag.

You can check out our prohibited items list here.

Tim
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

Bob,

When I compare your post to the GAO report, I can come to only one conclusion.

The TSA can't be trusted to be honest and forthright when it presents information. We must therefore critically analyze all statements for spin, exaggeration and outright misleading statements. We simply cannot take anything the TSA publishes at face value.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous wrote:
No, there's no "liberty" to fly. Flying is a privilege.


Flying is a privilege granted by a (common-carrier) airline in exchange for purchasing a ticket in accordance with the contract of carriage.

Flying (domestically) is not a privilege that should be able to be revoked by the government without due process. Any system that does revoke it that way (e.g., no-fly list) is so blatantly un-constitutional that I have a hard time understanding how anyone who passed a junior-high civics class could tolerate it.

donnie said...

I'm really tired of the whole "well how many terrorists have you stopped!?" arguement. This is an impossible question to answer, because there's no way to measure it. How do you differentiate between an individual having a gun in their carry on bag by accident or because they planned to do harm to an aircraft?

How do you label a passenger trying to get through security with a peanut butter jar with home made electronic items wired inside but no explosive(and thus not illegal) and no explaination for why you did it?

How do you base BDO successes off of arrests when less than 14,000 of the 152,000 BDO referrals actually had any sort of background check run on them because only LEOs can run an NCIC (which isn't even a very good database when looking for TERRORISTS), and LEOs only get involved at very high behavioral thresholds (and even then, often are unwilling to get involved).

The MCO passenger was certainly one of the most notable SPOT referrals. Whether the pipe bombs were fully assembled or not doesn't change that. At the end of the day, he was a passenger who was trying to bring an explosive device on an aircraft. To debate this is just inane.

As far as the GAO report stating that 16 people "suspected" of terrorism who transversed multiple airport, this means very little. The BDO program is not designed to pinpoint an individual who has previously or will at some time in the future commit an act of terrorism.

The SPOT program pinpoints those WHO ARE IN THE ACT OF trying to commit an act of terrorism. These are the people who are going to display the types of behaviors the BDOs are looking for due to an intense fear of failing and/or being caught.

Joe Schmoe terrorist who is just traveling around the country for whatever reason has no reason to fear discovery because he is not in the act of committing terrorism.

Think about it. You're planning to rob a bank next year. You have to fly somewhere to visit some friends. Are you going to be a visible wreck when you go through the airport? No.

Now, change the scenario to a situation where you've just stolen a man's wallet up at the ticket counter and are proceeding through security. Are you going to be a visible wreck now? YES! Why? Because you're still in the act of a crime. Until you land on the other end and leave the airport, you're in danger. You have an intense fear of being discovered. This is how the SPOT program works.

There's been many references to El Al Airline security. This makes me laugh because Americans don't even want to take their shoes off. El Al security starts the minute you get to the curb. They assign an agent to "interview" you for 7 minutes before handing you off to another agent who continues the process and runs background checks on you. And if there is ANYTHING (including profiling) they don't like about you, YOU DON'T FLY! Effective security? YES. Would US travelers put up with it? NO.

It's insulting to be referred to as "morons" by the traveling public. The TSA workforce is just as diverse as any other. A significant portion is made up of previous law enforcement, current and previous members of all branches of the American military, business professionals, etc.

Many of us hold degrees as well as continue to develop our educations despite working for an agency that does not provide any tuition reimbursement whatsoever.

I gave up my previous career to serve my country after 9-11 as I felt it was my duty as an American, not because I was just "looking for an easy paycheck". I am extremely dedicated to protecting YOU, America, even if you don't appreciate it. Most of my co-workers that I work with every day are the same way.

It is a thankless job, but we will continue to do our best to prevent YOUR LIFE from being TAKEN as best we can, with what limited tools are provided to us.

Anonymous said...

I thought TSA mission is to protect the flying public, but wow it seems like the public hate them, so here's the big question "would you feel safe flying if airport screening were operated by private security firms"? that always seem to end in a horrific way. it's been 8+ years and TSA haven't lost a plane, I just think they need to professionalize their work force or merge it with CBP.

Anonymous said...

A TSO (probably TSORONNIE) spewed
No, there's no "liberty" to fly. Flying is a privilege.

Wrong. The Constitution does not enumerate the rights of the people. It, instead limits the authority of the government.

Anonymous said...

The BDO program has the potential to work wonders, BUT that is only if the BDO's are properly trained, and responsibly use those procedures. Should get people who were trained by the Israeli's to test BDO's. THOSE are real Behavior Detection officers.

Anonymous said...

Sandra said...
The program is a sham and nothing TSA says can change that.

Your last paragraph was totally inappropriate. This waste of our money by the TSA is nothing to joke about.
------------------------
So whats the point for you even reading this blog?

And you're right, that last paragraph was totally out of line. Doesnt Bob know he is to maintain a stern and serious tone at all times. This is the Gestapo, er I mean TSA Blog after all.
-------------------------
RB said....
http://cbs2.com/video/?id=135273@kcbs.dayport.com
-------------------------

Did you even watch that vid?
The elderly woman wasnt even involved in the altercation. The lady who did own the cooler was obviously out of control. Threat of bodily harm? get real, you can clearly see that the crazy lady throwing a temper tantrum hit the TSO who was maintaining control of the cooler full of prohibited items.

Then you see the lady throw a bunch of stuff in the trash... prohibs? Nope, she would not be allowed to have them to toss them out of they were. That stuff was fine, she was just tossing it out because she was too busy being a child instead of listening to the TSO who would most certainly have cleared what was medically necessary for the elderly woman, if this chick didnt go ballistic right away.

Anonymous said...

Anon said....
Can a passenger's silence or refusal to answer questions from BDOs be used as justification to send them to retaliatory, uh, I mean secondary, secreening?

Can a passenger's slience or refusal to answer questions from BDOs be used as justification to refuse to allow them to exercise their liberty to fly without harassment or interference from the government?
-------------------------

If a uniformed TSO comes up to you and asks you something (good morning, how are you today, where you flying to today, have a nice time out here?) and you ignore them, or look em in the eyes and don't respond at all... Yes that is going to seem out of place and you will probably be inviting extra scrutiny onto yourself by acting like that.

Also, flying is not a right or liberty.

Anonymous said...

TSA finishing the job terrorists started on 9/11, one outrage at a time.

Anonymous said...

So if you’re stressing about missing a flight, that’s not a guaranteed visit from the BDOs.

"not a guaranteed visit"??

Also, what if I'm stressing out about more than "missing my flight"? Like being seen naked? Or having my kids seen naked? Or the fact that some mouth-breather with a little training can declare that I am acting 'suspicious' and make my life hell?? What if I'm stressing about those things?

phil said...

most BDO's sometimes do not respect the passenger. Improvement is needed.

Anonymous said...

How many BDOs were on duty when the Times Square bomber boarded a plane? Looks like he strolled right past them. As is usual for the TSA -- FAIL!

Gunner said...

Again:

Can a passenger's silence or refusal to answer questions from BDOs be used as justification to send them to retaliatory, uh, I mean secondary, screening?

Can a passenger's silence or refusal to answer questions from BDOs be used as justification to refuse to allow them to fly without harassment or interference from the government?

Gunner said...

A TSA employee, posting as Anonymous said....

No, there's no "liberty" to fly. Flying is a privilege.

If you really believe that, then go back a re-read the Constitution that you are supposed to protect -- and the notes from the Founding Fathers.

It is crystal clear that their intention was that government could no restrict the travel of its citizens. And the use of retaliatory screenings designed to make people miss their flights is government interference -- nothing more, nothing less -- and the primary reason that TSA needs to be disbanded.

Anonymous said...

TSA SPOT Program: Still Going Wrong

Psychiatrists linked to the National Academy of Sciences say there is no scientific basis behind the program. Why should we believe the TSA knows better?

Anonymous said...

Gunner said...

A TSA employee, posting as Anonymous said....

No, there's no "liberty" to fly. Flying is a privilege.

If you really believe that, then go back a re-read the Constitution that you are supposed to protect -- and the notes from the Founding Fathers.

It is crystal clear that their intention was that government could no restrict the travel of its citizens. And the use of retaliatory screenings designed to make people miss their flights is government interference -- nothing more, nothing less -- and the primary reason that TSA needs to be disbanded.
----------------------

Just like driving right? I mean anyone is allowed to drive a car or a truck without restrictions. Well, if you don't count all the restrictions on driving, driving is a totally unrestricted way for people to travel.

You folks seem to forget that it is also the governments job to protect its citizens. Don't like that with the attacks of 9/11 the gov't has decided that in order to protect the nation from attacks like that again we now have the TSA? Great, write you congress person to have the TSA disbanded.

Anonymous said...

GSOLTSO/West....

I guess you've never been to LAX then. Clipboards are standard issue. Saw them up close and personal at T1 not long ago. And these BDO's were at the gate not at the checkpoint.

Once I clear the checkpoint there should be no reason for any TSO at the gates doing anything... if there is then your organization has admitted it didn't do it's job in the first place.

LTSO with Answers said...

Are passengers required to answer inquiries from BDOs (or TSOs for that matter)?

Can a passenger's silence or refusal to answer questions from BDOs be used as justification to send them to retaliatory, uh, I mean secondary, secreening?

Can a passenger's slience or refusal to answer questions from BDOs be used as justification to refuse to allow them to exercise their liberty to fly without harassment or interference from the government?


It is a good rule of thumb to always try and cooperate with the screening process. Cooperating can help us discover answers to our suspicions.

Of the 1800 arrests resulting from BDO referral, how many involved passengers who intended to do harm to aviation? How many involved passengers who were carrying WEI (obviously at least one, the MCO case mentioned)?

The program can not tell if you are hiding intent to harm the aviation environment or if you are just hiding because you are a drug smuggler. The program just picks out those that are hiding. The additional screening you will go through will help differentiate between the two.

Anonymous said...

Scene from an Airport:

http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2010/05/scene_from_an_a.html

K. A. Siley said...

Did you even watch that vid?
The elderly woman wasnt even involved in the altercation. The lady who did own the cooler was obviously out of control. Threat of bodily harm? get real, you can clearly see that the crazy lady throwing a temper tantrum hit the TSO who was maintaining control of the cooler full of prohibited items.

Then you see the lady throw a bunch of stuff in the trash... prohibs? Nope, she would not be allowed to have them to toss them out of they were. That stuff was fine, she was just tossing it out because she was too busy being a child instead of listening to the TSO who would most certainly have cleared what was medically necessary for the elderly woman, if this chick didnt go ballistic right away.


Dear Anonymous TSO,

I did watch it. And as a person who has medical needs and who has not flown in three years because of the TSA, my sympathies are all with a woman who had checked with the TSA in advance, was assured she could bring her mother's food, and then ran into TSAs who were practicing medicine without a license, and determining whether or not her mother "needed" the food.

I've also seen videos of TSOs who told two doctors that their child did not need as much food as they had.

I know people who follow my life style who have been forced to throw out their travel food.

TSA has no policy regarding food. TSA says that passengers may bring food -- and then makes them throw it out.

I've had my hands slapped for reaching to keep a TSO from handling my food with dirty gloves -- after the TSO was asked to put on clean ones.

I haven't flown in three years because the stress of getting through a TSA check point is so great that I don't want to travel.

My mother didn't fly for the last five years of her life because she was afraid of being treated the way these women were.

Be proud.

Anonymous said...

Your post did a poor job of explaining the basic conclusions of the GAO report in question. The GAO concluded that the TSA had implemented the SPOT program without properly considering the feasibility of applying such methods as "behavior detection" (a pseudoscience that the TSA tries to pass off as legitimate by citing the names of the snake oil salesmen who sold them the program in the first place) in an aiport environment.

I just thought I should make that clear, because Bob's post certainly didn't.

TSOWilliamReed said...

Gunner said...
A TSA employee, posting as Anonymous said....

No, there's no "liberty" to fly. Flying is a privilege.

If you really believe that, then go back a re-read the Constitution that you are supposed to protect -- and the notes from the Founding Fathers.

It is crystal clear that their intention was that government could no restrict the travel of its citizens. And the use of retaliatory screenings designed to make people miss their flights is government interference -- nothing more, nothing less -- and the primary reason that TSA needs to be disbanded.

May 23, 2010 5:18 PM
---------------

Your argument would be valid if you were flying your own private plane. Anon should have said that you have the liberty to fly on your own, however using an airline jet is a privelage that can be taken away if you don't meet the standards set by the airline/faa. One of those standards is passing security. Your in a contract agreement with the airline that they can back out on at any time, of course they would have to give you a refund but the fact is they can still do it. That isn't a right, its a privelage. This is also why TSA doesn't screen private jets....

TSOWilliamReed said...

Anonymous said...
How many BDOs were on duty when the Times Square bomber boarded a plane? Looks like he strolled right past them. As is usual for the TSA -- FAIL!

May 23, 2010 10:51 AM
-------------

Your argument is invalid, the bomber wouldn't have been showing the red flags normally associated with someone trying to sneak something onto a plane to hurt someone, because he wasn't trying to do so. This is why he wouldn't have alarmed BDO's, he was no threat to the plane.

Ayn R. Key said...

Anonymous TSO (probably Ron, but Bob does post anonymously) wrote...
Also, flying is not a right or liberty.

You continue to assert that, but that doesn't make it true.

The powers of the government are very clearly listed, most of them in Article One Section Eight. Then there are the restrictions on the government, listed in the bill of rights. True, travel by airplane is not explicitly listed, but then neither is posting on an internet forum. Everyone except a TSO would agree that posting on an internet forum is first amendment protected free speech.

Under the Articles of Confederation AND British Common Law, travel is a protected right. It was considered so basic when the constitution was written they felt it unnecessary to include it - and they added free speech because they felt it much more likely the government would attempt to abridge that right.

Moreover, even though travel isn't specifically listed, and you'd probably deny that the 9th and 10th amendments actually mean anything, one of the most basic jobs of the government is to guarantee the sanctity of the contract. And that's what an airline ticket is. It's a private contract between myself and the airline. They offered terms I found acceptable, and I offered terms they found acceptable, and we said "let's make a deal." No third party has the right to interfere with a private contract.

Now the TSA has the power to interfere with a private contract, but that doesn't contradict what I wrote about how the TSA doesn't have the right to interfere with a private contract. The bolded words are different. The TSA has neither a constitutional nor a moral basis for the job it does.

While I do not have the right to force any particular airline to carry me, if we come to an agreement on them doing so the TSA has no right to say otherwise.

Anonymous said...

re: The old ladies with the applesauce.

"Did you even watch that vid?"

Yes.

I see TSA agents trying to take something from the old woman by force. Repeatedly.

Are TSA agents authorized to use force to take a citizens property away from them?

Dunstan said...

"Psychiatrists linked to the National Academy of Sciences say there is no scientific basis behind the program. Why should we believe the TSA knows better?"

Who needs the expert opinion of a bunch of people with many years of training and both medical and psychiatric degrees? TSA can obviously compress that experience into a few days of training. At least that is what TSA would have the traveling public believe.

Anonymous said...

If you really believe that, then go back a re-read the Constitution that you are supposed to protect -- and the notes from the Founding Fathers.


Then we all have the right to hop on the space shuttle too then.

The people who wrote the constitution didn't know anything about commercial aviation, nor international terrorism either. Therefore, it's up to the courts to decide how to apply the document and related laws. So far, the courts have upheld the constitutionality of everything TSA does. That'll never change unless and until somebody brings a case before them.

Anonymous said...

I've been going through this stupid automated system for a long time. PLEASE PLEASE have an operator option, I need to talk with a person!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I wonder why the SPOTters didn't spot the Thief who stole this lady's $24,000 watch. http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2010-05-23/story/woman-sues-over-missing-24000-watch-after-airport-security-check

They forced her, against her objections, to put the watch into a bin and through the xray.

'Coincidentally', she was selected for an additional security check, and was refused her request to retrieve the watch first.

When she finally returned to the conveyor belt, the Rolex was gone.

She asked for police to be called, but security officers told her she was disrupting the area and had to leave.

Now the TSA is claiming she never had the watch, despite witnesses who confirm she did. Oh, and somehow, the Security cameras apparently weren’t working.

SO, what good is SPOT if it can't even detect thieves among your own?

Anonymous said...

i would like to re-post this question since it was not answered:

Psychiatrists linked to the National Academy of Sciences say there is no scientific basis behind the program. Why should we believe the TSA knows better?

May 23, 2010 6:24 PM

Anonymous said...

Any update on your officers who stole a woman's watch and threatened her with prison for "disruption" if she filed a police report? Funny how the security cameras are "broken" when you don't need them to prove a point.

http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2010-05-23/story/woman-sues-over-missing-24000-watch-after-airport-security-check

Dan S. said...

I'm not quite sure which issue is more concerning, given the implications:

* That the security/surveillance cameras at the passenger checkpoint at Norfolk International Airport were not working,

* That a passenger was moved to a secondary screening area but not allowed to maintain possession/sight of her personal property, despite repeated requests to retrieve it,

* When she requested assistance by law enforcement officers - necessary to file a report of stolen property - she was rebuffed, being told that she was disrupting the flow of passengers through the checkpoint, or

* That the TSA let someone walk off with this woman's $24,000 Rolex, then blames her for the theft and then accuses her of fraud, claiming that there never was a watch while stonewalling her, in the hopes that the statute of limitations expired before she could take legal action.

If you can't keep things from leaving the "secure" area unnoticed, how do you expect us to believe that you can keep things from entering the "secure" area unnoticed? And how is it possible that a key system like CCTV could be allowed to go offline during operational hours?

Source: Florida Times-Union: Baker County woman sues after Rolex goes missing at Norfolk airport (via Consumerist.com)

Anonymous said...

"The program just picks out those that are hiding."

It clearly picks out many, many more people than that given that in excess of 99% of those harassed by "BDOs" were hiding absolutely nothing ( except perhaps the contempt and laughter "BDOs" deserve).

avxo said...

I wonder if that woman made it on the "retaliatory screening" list yet.

http://www.usatoday.com/travel/flights/2010-05-24-TSA-threatening-fliers-watch-list_N.htm

Ayn R. Key said...

Anonymous TSO wrote...
Then we all have the right to hop on the space shuttle too then.

If you've a valid contract to do so, then yes. If the one selling the ride and you come to an agreement, then yes.

But nobody who is saying that we do have a right to fly is saying that we have a right to fly for free.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
re: The old ladies with the applesauce.

"Did you even watch that vid?"

Yes.

I see TSA agents trying to take something from the old woman by force. Repeatedly.

Are TSA agents authorized to use force to take a citizens property away from them?

May 25, 2010 11:21 AM

It's probably better for the TSO to try to handle the situation before the LEO's take care of business their way. Besides, TSA has jurisdiction over your property until the screening process is over. This isnt anything new folks.

Robert Johnson said...

Quote from Anonymous: "The people who wrote the constitution didn't know anything about commercial aviation, nor international terrorism either. Therefore, it's up to the courts to decide how to apply the document and related laws. So far, the courts have upheld the constitutionality of everything TSA does. That'll never change unless and until somebody brings a case before them."

You mean, like the found how the search in Fofana was found constitutional? Or how TSA dropped the suspicion for carrying large amounts of cash when faced with a legal challenge?

And it's constitutional until a court rules on a case that says it's not because the courts have upheld everything TSA does as constitutional? Say what? Do you read what you type?

Sure, EVERYTHING TSA does is illegal, huh? I have beach front property in Kansas I'd like to sell you.

Get real Anonymous.

Robert

Anonymous said...

TSOWilliamReed said...

Your argument is invalid, the bomber wouldn't have been showing the red flags normally associated with someone trying to sneak something onto a plane to hurt someone, because he wasn't trying to do so. This is why he wouldn't have alarmed BDO's, he was no threat to the plane.

May 25, 2010 11:00 AM
-----------------------------------

This blurb taken from the TSA's very own website:

http://www.tsa.gov/what_we_do/layers/bdo/index.shtm

"TSA's BDO-trained security officers are screening travelers for involuntary physical and physiological reactions that people exhibit in response to a fear of being discovered"......"BDOs add an element of unpredictability to the security screening process that is easy for passengers to navigate but difficult for terrorists to manipulate."

So your saying this poorly trained terrorist that does not know how to make a proper bomb showed no signs that "people exhibit in response to a fear of being discovered" while there was a state-wide manhunt for him. While that is technically possible it does not seem very probable.

Another possibility is that this program is an ineffective and complete waste or time and tax dollars as the GAO report suggests. I guess everyone will need to decide for themselves.

Can you please remove the "difficult for terrorists to manipulate." part, it just seems inaccurate. thanks.

Sandra said...

I don't believe you wrote this WilliamReed:

"Your argument is invalid, the bomber wouldn't have been showing the red flags normally associated with someone trying to sneak something onto a plane to hurt someone, because he wasn't trying to do so. This is why he wouldn't have alarmed BDO's, he was no threat to the plane."

Someone facing life in prison and trying to flee the country and he's not going to be showing "red flags?"

How many of the people who have been arrested as a result of stops by BDOs were planning on bringing down a plane?

ZERO.

WilliamReed, you really need to think before you type.

P.S. My captcha for this comment is "react" - which is about the only thing the TSA can do. :-)

Anonymous said...

If the TSA is going to have a BDO program, the use of people who have a few weeks training is nothing short of a joke. I'd trust college students going after a semester of Psych 101 before I'd trust a BDO.

If you had people who were actually sufficiently trained, the program might potentially, possibly, theoretically, work. At a minimum, potential BDOs should have a BA (preferably a Masters degree) in Psychology. Training shouldn't involve a few weeks in a classroom -- potential BDOs should go through criminal profiling training at Quantico with the FBI. If you did that, and had BDOs who were competent, you could probably get by with a quarter of the number of BDOs you have now. I'd still question the value of the program, but at least you'd have a leg to stand on when you claim it's worth something.

Anonymous said...

Serious question here:

If SPOTters are looking for signs of agitation, couldn't one of the many anti-anxiety drugs on the market be used by the bad guys?

Bubba said...

Nature Journal, one of the most reputable scientific journals around, published an article today stating there is no scientific support for the SPOT program.

Why should we believe the TSA when reputable scientists are going out of their way to question this program?

A few selected parts of their extensive article:

"Simply put, people (including professional lie-catchers with extensive experience of assessing veracity) would achieve similar hit rates if they flipped a coin," noted a 2007 report [Hontz, C. R., Hartwig, M., Kleinman, S. M. & Meissner, C. A. Credibility Assessment at Portals, Portals Committee Report (2009).] from a committee of credibility-assessment experts who reviewed research on portal screening.

"No scientific evidence exists to support the detection or inference of future behaviour, including intent," declares a 2008 report prepared by the JASON defence advisory group. And the TSA had no business deploying SPOT across the nation's airports "without first validating the scientific basis for identifying suspicious passengers in an airport environment", stated a two-year review of the programme released on 20 May by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the investigative arm of the US Congress.

Anonymous said...

"."BDOs add an element of unpredictability to the security screening process"

Someone perceived a need for more unpredictability?

More than TSA staff not knowing sop, not following sop and making up rules when they want?

Anonymous said...

In response to video of TSA staff trying to take an elderly woman's possessions by force, anon responded:

"It's probably better for the TSO to try to handle the situation"

That does not address the question.

Can the TSA take a citizen's property away from them by force?

If yes, how much force are they authorized to use?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous wrote:
Then we all have the right to hop on the space shuttle too then.

The people who wrote the constitution didn't know anything about commercial aviation, nor international terrorism either. Therefore, it's up to the courts to decide how to apply the document and related laws.


Why is it that TSA aplogists always confuse the right to do something with the right to do it for free (as in gratis, at no charge)?

Nobody thinks the 1st Amendment means the government has to fund their free speech or assemblies or that the 2nd Amendment requires the government to hand out free guns. Travel by (commercial) air is a contract between an individual and an airline; for the government to interfere with that contract with no due process is unacceptable.

And since when have courts upheld everything TSA does? Fofana? Bierfeldt? The house of cards that was allowed to stand due to post-9/11 hysteria is beginning to crumble.

And if you think the neither the writers of the Constitution nor the American Colonists knew anything about international terrorism, you need to read some history. Try starting with the Barbary Pirates and Barbary Wars. Then read about the Virginia massacre of March 22, 1622. If you're not done, then read about some of the tactics used by both sides in the French & Indian War and Revolutionary War. The framers knew all too much about terrorism; arguably more than we know today. And they were smart enough to explicitly state that protecting individual liberties and inalienable rights was critical, even if it meant letting a few bad guys get away.

RB said...

It's probably better for the TSO to try to handle the situation before the LEO's take care of business their way. Besides, TSA has jurisdiction over your property until the screening process is over. This isnt anything new folks.

May 26, 2010 4:29 PM

................
So that would mean that TSA is responsible for a persons property until it is returned to the owner.

Kind of sounds like the lady who had her Rolex stolen at a checkpoint will recover damages.

Thanks for clarifing TSA's position of who is responsible for property while being screened.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for clarifing TSA's position of who is responsible for property while being screened.

May 27, 2010 11:21 AM

My other advice would be to not be a complete idiot when you travel with expensive items. Zip it up in your bag at the very least. You lock your car when you park in a parking garage right? Dont just think that because you placed an item in a bowl that someone (tso/passenger) wont try to snatch it. Be smart, be safe.

Bubba said...

Seriously Bob, if you don´t respond to the article in Nature, you will prove to all you are in fact security theater. There is no way you can support the concept that SPOT is going strong when a top scientific journal publishes an extended article questioning the science behind this program.

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez -GSOLTSO/West....

I guess you've never been to LAX then. Clipboards are standard issue. Saw them up close and personal at T1 not long ago. And these BDO's were at the gate not at the checkpoint.

Once I clear the checkpoint there should be no reason for any TSO at the gates doing anything... if there is then your organization has admitted it didn't do it's job in the first place."

I must have gotten ripped off. I don't see how a clipboard would be considered part of the job. They may have something else going on, or there may be something I don't know about with LAX (this should come as no surprise as I am in NC!). I can think of another reason for the clipboards, they could have been doing survey work (seriously, how many people came through that area, any number of information gathering metrics could have been in play with the folks with clipboards), perehaps even doing safety assessments (I have seen that done as well). Sorry, long winded way of saying I don't know why they have clipboards....

West
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

How am I supposed to believe you properly train these "BDOs" when you can't even train a front line employee on what is and what isn't valid ID (i.e. NEXUS card being valid even though mine is always rejected).

Bubba said...

Bob,

Are you going to completely ignore the article in Nature saying that SPOT does not work?

Just as a reminder, Nature is the world's most highly cited interdisciplinary science journal.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous: how much force are they authorized to use?

TSOs are apparently issued ASP batons (and use them on their coworkers) so one could guess they're at least authorized to break a few skulls.

avxo said...

Robert Johnson wrote: "You mean, like the found how the search in Fofana was found constitutional?"

I think you're confused about Fofana. It didn't speak on the Constitutionality of administrative searches in general, although Judge Marbley addressed them in passing, noting that they have previously been deemed valid and Constitutional.

Fofana did not argue against administrative searches in general; he only argued that the particular hand search of his luggage went beyond the permissible scope of an airport screening search.

The Court agreed, stating: “Similarly, the evidence in this case shows that the extent of the search went beyond the permissible purpose of detecting weapons and explosives and was instead motivated by a desire to uncover contraband evidencing ordinary criminal wrongdoing.”

Judge Marbley concludes by writing: “The Court merely holds that where, as here, the evidence demonstrates that the intrusiveness of a passenger's search was ramped-up based on a desire to detect evidence of ordinary criminal wrongdoing, after the presence of weapons and explosives had been ruled out, the search can no longer be justified under the administrative search doctrine and suppression is appropriate.”

In other words, administrative searches are fine, but they are limited in scope and nature, must be part of a broader regulatory scheme and and don't constitute a carte blanche, giving the searchers unlimited authority.

TSM West said...

This keeps coming up by those who think they know it all....
Travel by (commercial) air is a contract between an individual and an airline; for the government to interfere with that contract with no due process is unacceptable.
-----------------------------------
To complete the contract you still have to go through the security. You know that when you enter into the contract. So as long as you fulfil your end of the contract you'll be allowed to continue with your flight.

TSM/West said...

ANON answer to RB
Thanks for clarifing TSA's position of who is responsible for property while being screened.

May 27, 2010 11:21 AM

My other advice would be to not be a complete idiot when you travel with expensive items. Zip it up in your bag at the very least. You lock your car when you park in a parking garage right? Dont just think that because you placed an item in a bowl that someone (tso/passenger) wont try to snatch it. Be smart, be safe.
-----------------------------------
You never have to remove jewelry. Especially if it costs $24000. Wear it through. If you alarm the WTMD take the handwanding. At least the watch will still be on your wrist and not in a bowl for anyone to pick up.

Edward Reynolds said...

The science underlying these methods is weak.
The success of these programs relies the experience of officers dealing with the public, not with the training programs underpinning them (Vrij, 2000)

What they achieve is having more bodies in the field out there looking for problems. Officers do not have some sort of psuedo mind reading powers.

If the science actually looked at what people DO in the places they do it, it may end up being able to more usefully improve security and help detection.

Automated methods of detecting at risk behaviours will be a waste of money until the science used to identify the behaviours actually has some relationship with the real world, rather than mock scenarios and lab-tests.

Perhaps they should spend some of the money just doing science on their own program.


references
Vrij, A. (2000) Detecting Lies and Deceit: Psychology of Lying and its implications for professional practice. Chichester :Wiley.

Adrian said...

"[T]he TSA had no business deploying SPOT across the nation's airports 'without first validating the scientific basis for identifying suspicious passengers in an airport environment', stated a two-year review of the programme released on 20 May by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the investigative arm of the US Congress."

http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100526/full/465412a.html

"The TSA does track statistics. From the SPOT programme's first phase, from January 2006 through to November 2009, according to the agency, behaviour-detection officers referred more than 232,000 people for secondary screening, which involves closer inspection of bags and testing for explosives. The agency notes that the vast majority of those subjected to that extra inspection continued on their travels with no further delays. But 1,710 were arrested, which the TSA cites as evidence for the programme's effectiveness. Critics, however, note that these statistics mean that fewer than 1% of the referrals actually lead to an arrest, and those arrests are overwhelmingly for criminal activities, such as outstanding warrants, completely unrelated to terrorism."

Anonymous said...

if youlook closely at your ticket the next time you buy one there is also a $15.00 secuirty fee tacked on and maybe read the fine print that states to get to the plane you have to go thru security and there is implied consent attached to the ticket if your in an airport then your bags can be searched at any time for any reason. ((always read the fine print)) :-)

Anonymous said...

"TSOs are apparently issued ASP batns (and use them on their coworkers)"

There are sooo many problems with the TSA there is no need to make stuff up.

Nothing has indicated that the weapon used in that assault was issued by the TSA anymore than that they issued Crabtree his weapon.

So I am not ready to "guess they're at least authorized to break a few skulls."

Anonymous said...

"To complete the contract you still have to go through the security. You know that when you enter into the contract."

Except that TSA's poorly trained unprofessional employees have enough latitude to make up procedures and security requirements at their whim, without recourse or accountability. Therefore no one can enter a contract knowing what security will entail at any given checkpoint at any given day.

RB said...

TSM/West said...
ANON answer to RB
Thanks for clarifing TSA's position of who is responsible for property while being screened.

May 27, 2010 11:21 AM

My other advice would be to not be a complete idiot when you travel with expensive items. Zip it up in your bag at the very least. You lock your car when you park in a parking garage right? Dont just think that because you placed an item in a bowl that someone (tso/passenger) wont try to snatch it. Be smart, be safe.
-----------------------------------
You never have to remove jewelry. Especially if it costs $24000. Wear it through. If you alarm the WTMD take the handwanding. At least the watch will still be on your wrist and not in a bowl for anyone to pick up.

May 29, 2010 6:10 PM
....................
So there is no need to remove watches and other jewelery when going through a AIT screening?

Anonymous said...

TSM/West said...

You never have to remove jewelry. Especially if it costs $24000. Wear it through. If you alarm the WTMD take the handwanding. At least the watch will still be on your wrist and not in a bowl for anyone to pick up.

May 29, 2010 6:10 PM

Thats true, but some airports have very sensitive WTMD's and passengers try to avoid alarming. So if you hide your valuables in your bag, it will be less likely that it will be grabbed by someone passing by.
I guess when you dont work at the checkpoint anymore you tend to forget other peoples perspectives. And that is that they just want to get through security without being held up.

RB said...

TSM West said...
This keeps coming up by those who think they know it all....
Travel by (commercial) air is a contract between an individual and an airline; for the government to interfere with that contract with no due process is unacceptable.
-----------------------------------
To complete the contract you still have to go through the security. You know that when you enter into the contract. So as long as you fulfil your end of the contract you'll be allowed to continue with your flight.

May 29, 2010 6:04 PM
...............
The contract you mention is between the passenger and the airline.

Government should not insert itself between these two parties and this is an excellent example why government should not be performing security for private businesses.

We need TSA out of America's Airports!!

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "TSOs are apparently issued ASP batons (and use them on their coworkers) so one could guess they're at least authorized to break a few skulls."

BZZZZZZ, that is the wrong answer, but thank you for playing, we have some lovely parting gifts for you as you exit stage left...

We are not authorized to use force to detain anyone, it is referred to LEO if there is a situation that requires something of that nature (say the person is a threat to the people in the checkpoint/airport area, dangerous items are discovered or are being used to threaten, stuff like that).

West
TSA Blog Team

TSM/West said...

FROM RB

TSM/West said...
ANON answer to RB
Thanks for clarifing TSA's position of who is responsible for property while being screened.

May 27, 2010 11:21 AM

My other advice would be to not be a complete idiot when you travel with expensive items. Zip it up in your bag at the very least. You lock your car when you park in a parking garage right? Dont just think that because you placed an item in a bowl that someone (tso/passenger) wont try to snatch it. Be smart, be safe.
-----------------------------------
You never have to remove jewelry. Especially if it costs $24000. Wear it through. If you alarm the WTMD take the handwanding. At least the watch will still be on your wrist and not in a bowl for anyone to pick up.

May 29, 2010 6:10 PM
....................
So there is no need to remove watches and other jewelery when going through a AIT screening?
-----------------------------------

If you read what I wrote it said WTMD not AIT. Nice try though.

TSM/West said...

ANONS Response

TSM/West said...

You never have to remove jewelry. Especially if it costs $24000. Wear it through. If you alarm the WTMD take the handwanding. At least the watch will still be on your wrist and not in a bowl for anyone to pick up.

May 29, 2010 6:10 PM

Thats true, but some airports have very sensitive WTMD's and passengers try to avoid alarming. So if you hide your valuables in your bag, it will be less likely that it will be grabbed by someone passing by.
I guess when you dont work at the checkpoint anymore you tend to forget other peoples perspectives. And that is that they just want to get through security without being held up.

June 3, 2010 10:20 PM
-----------------------------------
I understand that some people try to avoid alarming the Metal Detector. I haven't forgotten anyones perspective. The fact is, if someone wants to ensure their $24000 watch is secure it might be worth the handwanding.
I don't know if you're a TSO, but by the sound of your post you must be. If thats the case, you get paid to screen people and bags. It almost sounds that you just want people to get through without any interaction. The proper Customer Service for this person would be to ask them to leave it on and if they alarm (which they most likely would) at least they still have their $24000 watch.

Bubba said...

Bob,

it has now been a full TWO WEEKS since Nature, the leading scientific journal, published an extensive analysis of the SPOT program and questioned the lack of science behind it.

Until when do you plan to ignore this article?

RB said...

TSM/West said...
FROM RB

TSM/West said...
ANON answer to RB
Thanks for clarifing TSA's position of who is responsible for property while being screened.

May 27, 2010 11:21 AM

My other advice would be to not be a complete idiot when you travel with expensive items. Zip it up in your bag at the very least. You lock your car when you park in a parking garage right? Dont just think that because you placed an item in a bowl that someone (tso/passenger) wont try to snatch it. Be smart, be safe.
-----------------------------------
You never have to remove jewelry. Especially if it costs $24000. Wear it through. If you alarm the WTMD take the handwanding. At least the watch will still be on your wrist and not in a bowl for anyone to pick up.

May 29, 2010 6:10 PM
....................
So there is no need to remove watches and other jewelery when going through a AIT screening?
-----------------------------------

If you read what I wrote it said WTMD not AIT. Nice try though.

June 9, 2010 5:54 PM
...............
I read what you wrote very carefully.

Your said this: "You never have to remove jewelry. Especially if it costs $24000."

Bubba said...

Why is the TSA investing millions in a program that the major scientific publication in the world says is not justified? Why won´t they answer to this publication? Basically, because they can´t. The SPOT program is an unjustified spending of millions of dollars with absolutely no added security.

Bubba said...

It has now been a full month since Nature, the most respected scientific journal in the world, published an extensive analysis questioning the science (or lack of) behind the SPOT program.

The TSA has acknowledged awareness of this article, but offered no response whatsoever.

And the program goes on, wasting money.

Conclusion: The TSA ignores criticism it can't face. That is cowardice in my book.

Garrett Brown said...

That is surprising 1800 arrests.May we know how many convicted.Don't you think some amendments should be there in this programe

Anonymous said...

I sit here in utter amazement at the comments being made about the BDO program. Of course it is just normally a handfull of people that are already very disgruntled about wait lines, having to be checked, or airline schedules. Very easy to just lash out at something that you have absolutely no clue of what you are talking about anyway. I will say this though let some of these complainers be part of an actual problem in the air and they will be the first ones crying tears and begging for help. If you are so disatisfied with the program or the supposed treatment then I suggest you alleviate yorself from this problem and simply take a bus. PROBLEM SOLVED!

Greg said...

It would sure be nice if the policies were actually easier to understand than they currently are. While some people will always complain about the government, making clear documents, videos, etc.--making a solid effort to explain the process to the public---would probably go a long way in lowering the complaint noise and easing the process on everyone.

Even posting more videos or podcasts about the process-even if just once a month-would help. Such outreach demonstrates a desire to communicate. Unfortunately, TSA seems more hidden in mystery than appearing helpful to average travelers. Much of this could change with slight PR changes.

Anonymous said...

BDO is a fake job that costs taxpayers millions. BDOs have not caught one suspected terrorist. Enjoy your BDO approved ten minute coffee break for every hour of observation. You guys do a nice job of taking more time off from your jobs than that. It's on our dime and will not make us any safer! Be sure to watch for anyone who appears to be an illegal Mexican, you may need to boost your arrest stats!

Anonymous said...

For all the complainers about the TSA:

All you do is complain, I don't see you guys doing anything to change the situation. Instead of whining about TSA on a blog run by a person who has no control over the program, go out there and do something about it. Write to your senators, write to your congressman, get signatures and get organized. Most of the rules are made by a group of high government officials, so if you don't like them? LET them know.

And FOR all of you that knows about the YOUR CONSTITUTIONAL rights:

EXERCISE them! I am pretty sure you know about your right to vote and blah blah blah. So you should know what you should do to use your 1st Amendment rights more effectively and your many other rights that YOU ALREADY ARE SO KNOWLEDGEABLE about.

If you want TSA out, do it! If you want TSA to be more effective, do it! All you need to do is gather a bunch of people and protest in front of the white house!

MEANWHILE STOP BEING BABIES

Yes I am a ex-TSO, going to be a new BDO. I don't care if TSA stop existing, even better if they actually start hiring more people with higher degrees. Meanwhile I will just keep on doing my job in a friendly manner, even if i get insulted and disrespected daily by the fellow travelers that I am suppose to protect. And sure you pay taxes, I pay taxes too. Great! We all got something in common now, would you like a cookie?

Anonymous said...

Hi Bob,

I think the SPOT program is great.

I have many questions about this. Can you give me in EM address that I can write to directly?

That would be great and thank you,

Alexander

Anonymous said...

Whether you are for or against the TSA and the BDO officers is really of no consequence. They are there, and they have a job to do, and until someone with infinitely more power or sway than any of us making comments (seemingly to argue for arguments sake) decides otherwise the TSO and BDO's will remain in place. My thought as a airline traveler has always been to follow regulations for baggage (clearly identified on the TSA and airline websites) and to be cooperative with the TSA and airline employees I come into contact with. Honestly, I have witnessed some air travelers who have argued with these employees after being asked to do the same thing that the people in line behind them are expected to do. People...get over it....authority exists....just do what you asked, be polite, and 99% of the time everything will be smooth sailing. If you truly have nothing to hide then an extra search should not matter.