Friday, July 2, 2010

Please Post Off Topic Comments Here

I have long allowed off topic comments. However, after many complaints from folks who would understandably like to stay on the subject, I am providing this post as a place to comment things that are way off topic with the current post.

I’ve added a link to this post on our sidebar so people will know to post off topic comments here.

You now have the option of subscribing to posts, so you’ll be able to keep up with the comments here if you so choose. So it’s not as if your comment is being exiled to the land of forgotten comments. We’ll be paying attention, and you can stay up to date with an RSS feed.

As much as we’d like to hear about your synchronized swimming club, I ask that all comments posted here remain TSA focused and adhere to TSA’s comment policy.

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

1,491 comments:

«Oldest   ‹Older   201 – 400 of 1491   Newer›   Newest»
GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "gsoltso, I just have to say how amused I am with the irony of your tag line over at flyertalk.com.

"Fear profits a man nothing."

This from a member of an organization who so often defends their actions using fear. "We have to do things this way or people could die."

Thanks for the lulz."

You are quite welcome Anon, I am always happy to give someone something they remember. I don't like to use fear, I try my best to use facts - and when I find out what I thought were facts are wrong, I apologize and corret the information I give. Take care!

West
TSA Blog Team

Rich Allen said...

This is one of my favorite blogs ever, I didn't know where to leave my praise so I'm sticking it here. Great stuff, love the monkey head story!

Anonymous said...

its funny all the complaints about the full body scanners but at my airport everybody that comes through wants to know when we are getting them. It seems like people want to make a big deal about nothing. So how about everybody stop complaining and ask questions/ comments that are more relavent

Anonymous said...

i love the guilty until proven innocent menatality of this blog.

RB said...

Anonymous said...
its funny all the complaints about the full body scanners but at my airport everybody that comes through wants to know when we are getting them. It seems like people want to make a big deal about nothing. So how about everybody stop complaining and ask questions/ comments that are more relavent

August 7, 2010 1:13 PM
....................
Perhaps there would be fewer complaints if TSA had not stated that WBI Strip Search Machines could not store images (they can), had no network capability (it does) and showed the public the images as seen by machine operators (they haven't).

I have even offered to be screened, view the results and report the facts, good or bad.

TSA has not availed themselves of my offer.

RB said...

These were provided to TSA by the manufacturer of the technology, L-3. We asked L-3 to blur the facial features just like they are blurred when our officers see the images in Phoenix, Baltimore, LAX and JFK.

These are exactly what officers see

at airports today and will see in future deployments.

http://www.tsa.gov/blog/uploaded_images/TSA-Release-Images-2-050808-726403.jpg


Why did we decide to put them up now? Because you've asked for it... Hopefully the editors of Reader's Digest will consider these for their next cover.

What do you think?

- Bob
...................................
You guys are killing me (and others) with this. These pictures were provided to TSA by the vendor.

I have never claimed they are the exact size and resolution that our officers see.

I have provided video examples showing what our officers see. I have requested the resolution and size and was told it was proprietary information that I could not release. I'm still looking into being able to get that info for you, but I can't promise anything.

Thanks,

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

February 3, 2010 1:22 PM
...............
Bob, if the WBI Strip Search images you posted are exactly what TSA employees see then how could the not be exactly what TSA employees see?

Want to clarify your conflicting statements or just admit you have been dishonest?

Anonymous said...

RB said
Friends, this is not the America I spent a career in the military defending. It more resembles governments like the old USSR and Red China, certainly not free societies.

I call on all patriots to disengage association from TSA.
-----------------------------------
RB I spent 15 years in the military and consider myself a patriot. But I consider the garbage that you spew to be detrimental to everyone. This is a free country. You are free to fly and you're free to drive. For both you have rules to follow get used to it. A ruleless society will never last.

Anonymous said...

When are you going to post a response to the woman whose daughter in a wheelchair was allegedly taken away from her? Did it happen or did it not happen?

Jo Morris said...

Ok this is completely off topic so this is where it should be I guess, although it all seems very politically active here i hope i won't be trolled for asking a real question!

I am travelling into the US from the UK via the middle east - as if that wasn't problem enough i am an amputee with a prosthetic right arm and hand, i am always in the habit of wearing these leather gloves on that hand at least and I guess my question is, should I be worried about flying in from the middle east, will the gloves (they really aren't sinister) present a problem as i am always mortally embarrassed removing them (i know its pathetic, most phobia's are). Would i be better flying back to London first before flying to USA to avoid trouble of a UK citizen coming from the middle east, i have heard so many scary stories about US airport security i dread the thought of my dignity being shattered. What would be best?

RB said...

RB I spent 15 years in the military and consider myself a patriot. But I consider the garbage that you spew to be detrimental to everyone. This is a free country. You are free to fly and you're free to drive. For both you have rules to follow get used to it. A ruleless society will never last.

August 8, 2010 6:12 PM

.........
Anon, exactly how is it detrimental to everyone to require accountability from a government agency? One that seems willing to ride roughshod over citizens while violating everyones civil rights?

Seems like our Constitution provides means to hold in check the federal government.

Why do you object to holding TSA accountable for its actions?

Anonymous said...

"and when I find out what I thought were facts are wrong, I apologize and corret the information I give."

Really? How many countries require all passengers to remove their shoes, and what are those countries?

Anonymous said...

The people with the most security are in prison. That’s why it’s called ‘MAXIMUM security.’

The more security you have, the less freedom you have.

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "Really? How many countries require all passengers to remove their shoes, and what are those countries?"

If you are referring to my earlier discussion, I indicated that the only country that requires all passengers to remove footwear is the US. I also stated that at least Canada, and the UK require all passengers transitting to the US to remove them.

But to answer your question directly - to my knowledge the only country that requires all passengers to remove their footwear during the screening process is the US.

West
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

"But to answer your question directly - to my knowledge the only country that requires all passengers to remove their footwear during the screening process is the US."

Prior to admitting this, you claimed that multiple countries require passengers to remove their shoes. What information did you base this incorrect claim in your initial response on?

Anonymous said...

Sooo...several folks on the firearms thread asked the sensible questions of a) how many of the people carrying the 10 firearms Lynn talked about were arrested and charged with crimes, and b) how many people since TSA's inception have been arrested, charged, and convicted for having firearms at the checkpoint. Since you've decided to stop responding to questions on that post, are they now off-topic and appropriate for you to ignore on THIS thread as well as the earlier one?

RB said...

Doesn't that say something about
TSA's policy of requiring everyone to remove their shoes?

I think it does!

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "Prior to admitting this, you claimed that multiple countries require passengers to remove their shoes. What information did you base this incorrect claim in your initial response on?"

Actually I admitted I had erroneous information in a previous set of comments. I misread something and corrected myself, isn't that what you are supposed to do when you make a mistake?

West
TSA Blog Team

BlogGuy said...

blog troll said...
"Anon, exactly how is it detrimental to everyone to require accountability from a government agency? One that seems willing to ride roughshod over citizens while violating everyones civil rights?

Seems like our Constitution provides means to hold in check the federal government.

Why do you object to holding TSA accountable for its actions?"

Is that what your are doing? I think the rest of the world calls it trolling.

Bubba said...

Bob,

How is the response to the detailed analysis in the top scientific journal Nature saying there is no science behind the SPOT program, printed May 26th, coming along? Despite what you said in the past, it still seems to me like you are ignoring that article. Or is it just that you can´t justify the unjustifiable?

RB said...

http://www.denverpost.com/headlines/ci_15723115

NO: They are both an intrusion and a health risk
By Becky Akers

"Currently, the TSA pretends that submitting to the scan is voluntary. But the agency threatens those who refuse to pose naked with a groping. And even this charade of a choice may disappear in 2013: the Senate introduced legislation in June requiring the TSA to replace metal detectors with these contraptions at all checkpoints by then.

Fortunately, there's a third option: abolish the TSA. Let airlines provide their own security, as other industries do. Why should aviation alone stick taxpayers with its costs? For eight years, the TSA has bullied, abused, humiliated and delayed passengers. What it hasn't done is find a single terrorist."

Ayn R. Key said...

RB wrote:
Friends, this is not the America I spent a career in the military defending. It more resembles governments like the old USSR and Red China, certainly not free societies.

I call on all patriots to disengage association from TSA.


Anonymous wrote:
RB I spent 15 years in the military and consider myself a patriot. But I consider the garbage that you spew to be detrimental to everyone. This is a free country. You are free to fly and you're free to drive. For both you have rules to follow get used to it. A ruleless society will never last.

Anonymous TSO, I spent 10 years in the military and consider myself a patriot. And I consider dissent to be the highest form of patriotism, and therefore RB to be a true patriot. When those who enforce the law are unaccountable we have the exact ruleless society you claim to want to avoid. As long as the TSA is an unaccountable rogue agency, then we have a ruleless society that cannot last. If you want the country to be a free as you say it is, then you will join RB and myself in opposing the TSA.

Blogger Bob said...

We take situations like the one described by INCIID Mom very seriously. Our Customer Support Manager at DCA has reached out to INCIID Mom and spoken with her personally. As a parent I can completely understand how emotionally charged we can get when a child is upset. It’s human nature.

If anything can be learned from this event, it’s that we all need to communicate a little better. When it comes to screening any passenger, it is imperative that TSA inform the passenger regarding what the screening process will entail. By the same token if the passenger has a disability, it is equally important that they or their family or travel companion, clearly inform the officers about their needs. The more informed everybody is, the smoother it will go.

Did you know if you have a disability or if you’re traveling with someone with a disability that involves special screening, you can contact one of our Customer Support Managers at the airport with Talk to TSA and coordinate your screening? The Customer Support Manager can let the checkpoint know you’re coming and what to expect along with any special instructions our officers might need to complete the screening. We’re very sorry that INCIID Mom and her family had a bad experience and we’re committed to working with her as well as others to make sure screening goes more smoothly in the future.

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

So Bob has responded regarding the child who was allegedly abused by the TSA at DCA.

While I don't supposed, this question will get me an answer, I'll ask anyway:

Are you saying, Bob, that both the TSA and the parents were at fault? If so, what mistakes did the TSA make and what mistakes did the parents make?

Your response was so nebulous that only a mindreader could determine exactly what the issues were.

Anonymous said...

P.S.

Bob, what were the results of the meeting TSA had with ACA regarding screening of amputees. We never heard anything about that either.

Anonymous said...

"Actually I admitted I had erroneous information in a previous set of comments. I misread something and corrected myself, isn't that what you are supposed to do when you make a mistake?"

You did, but you continue to ignore this question: What information did you base the incorrect claim in your initial response on?

RB said...

Did you know if you have a disability or if you’re traveling with someone with a disability that involves special screening, you can contact one of our Customer Support Managers at the airport with Talk to TSA and coordinate your screening? The Customer Support Manager can let the checkpoint know you’re coming and what to expect along with any special instructions our officers might need to complete the screening. We’re very sorry that INCIID Mom and her family had a bad experience and we’re committed to working with her as well as others to make sure screening goes more smoothly in the future.

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

August 11, 2010 1:30 PM

...........
I contacted TSA's Talk to TSA asking about the reports of TSA not honoring Opt Outs at ESP.

Haven't heard anything from anyone at TSA.

Apparently TSA's "Talk to TSA" is as ineffective as the rest of TSA!

Blogger Bob said...

I've looked into the ELP issue through their regional public affairs manager and have found what I suspected. Everybody has the option to opt out of the screening at ELP just as they do at any other airport.

Help me out a little. I was on vacation for a while. Where did all of this come? Are there links you can provide me from people who have had this happen to them at ELP?

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

Blogger Bob said:

"If anything can be learned from this event, it’s that we all need to communicate a little better."

What the TSA needs to learn from this is that they do not have a highly trained nor professional workforce and they need to take immediate steps to start the process.

The first step is holding people accountable for the actions and to stop blaming blaming the victim.

Anonymous said...

Bob--
Please update us on TSA's response to the Nature article.

Anonymous said...

"The first step is holding people accountable for the actions and to stop blaming blaming the victim."

And you have seen the video? You know this how? Thought so.

Anonymous said...

"And you have seen the video? "

I'd love to see the video.

When will the TSA release it?

What do they have to hide?

It would be a step to accountability.

RB said...

Blogger Bob said...
We take situations like the one described by INCIID Mom very seriously. Our Customer Support Manager at DCA has reached out to INCIID Mom and spoken with her personally. As a parent I can completely understand how emotionally charged we can get when a child is upset. It’s human nature.

If anything can be learned from this event, it’s that we all need to communicate a little better. When it comes to screening any passenger, it is imperative that TSA inform the passenger regarding what the screening process will entail. By the same token if the passenger has a disability, it is equally important that they or their family or travel companion, clearly inform the officers about their needs. The more informed everybody is, the smoother it will go.

Did you know if you have a disability or if you’re traveling with someone with a disability that involves special screening, you can contact one of our Customer Support Managers at the airport with Talk to TSA and coordinate your screening? The Customer Support Manager can let the checkpoint know you’re coming and what to expect along with any special instructions our officers might need to complete the screening. We’re very sorry that INCIID Mom and her family had a bad experience and we’re committed to working with her as well as others to make sure screening goes more smoothly in the future.

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

August 11, 2010 1:30 PM
.......................
When will TSA post the video of this screening?

TSA seems happy to do so when it fills a need to make TSA appear not at fault.

Bubba said...

Bob,

I hope you had a nice vacation. Now that you are back, how about an answer to that Nature article debunking the SPOT program? Or are you going to continue to ignore the World´s most respected scientific journal?

Anonymous said...

" you can contact one of our Customer Support Managers at the airport with Talk to TSA and coordinate your screening? The Customer Support Manager can let the checkpoint know you’re coming and what to expect along with any special instructions our officers might need"

If only someone had thought to do this for Nadine Hays.

It now seems like it was not enough to drag Nadine Hays through the courts. The judge is dismissing the charges if she stays out of trouble for a while.

Nadine Hays is now facing a $2,500 fine from the TSA.

"In the letter, dated May 12, 2010, the TSA accuses Hays of reaching into a cooler that had been confiscated by a screener at the airport and grabbing a can of soda. TSA officials claim Hays "attempted to drink a beverage in a sterile area."

They had the authority to confiscate her possessions?

And someone at TSA is merciless enough to keep going after her after the crap you have already put her through?

Anonymous said...

Hi there,

I am participating in a study for hair growth. I need to apply the foam daily.

I need to know if I could take a 2 oz foam container with the medication as a carry on?

Do I need a prescription for it?

If so please let me know, so I can call the doctor and get a prescription for it.

Thanks,

Cristina

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "Hi there,

I am participating in a study for hair growth. I need to apply the foam daily.

I need to know if I could take a 2 oz foam container with the medication as a carry on?

Do I need a prescription for it?

If so please let me know, so I can call the doctor and get a prescription for it.

Thanks,

Cristina"

The 2 oz container should present no problem as long as it is clearly marked "2 oz". Please place it and other liquids, gels, aerosols in a 1 quart zip top styled baggie, and present it separate from your carry on when you enter the checkpoint. Have a nice trip!

West
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

"Please place it and other liquids, gels, aerosols in a 1 quart zip top styled baggie, and present it separate from your carry on when you enter the checkpoint. Have a nice trip!"

And remember, liquids pose zero threat to aircraft! TSA is lying to you!

Anonymous said...

We know liquids are a threat.
We know ceramic knives are a threat.
We know pat-downs are a pain and don't save lives.
We know Nude-O-Scopes invade privacy and give us unnecessary radiation.
I give up - The terrorists win!
What TSA is succeeding in keeping off of airplanes is the most dangerous item - people.
More and more of us are refusing to fly. Short hauls are all but dead - down 40%.
They will succeed in putting marginal airlines out of business, and pretty soon we will have Government Airlines.

Anonymous said...

The pat-down option to a naked body scan will soon be removed:
see 'Body Scanners Q&A - With An Alternate Solution', July 16th 2010
One of the questions to TSA spokesman, Joe Allen was:
Q. Can you decline a full body scan?
A. Yes, FOR NOW, but you must submit to a full body pat-down.
That could not be clearer - a TSA spokesman is clearly stating that the pat-down option is soon to be removed.
Proof of what most of us already knew.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that you turn over to contractors confiscated items to dispose of them except alcohol. They collect it and take it to their office and say that they empty the bottles. As in any company you have acholitics and since TSA doesn't check their personal when they leave including managers they can take out anything they want. and since a lot of airports are open 24 hours the employees could take any confiscated itens they want. At night there are no managers there so there isno control over the confiscated items. The keys to the lock boxes are on thr checkpoint so because they have background checks they must be honest.Since they are not checked when they enter or leave and since there have been many cases of TSA employees stealing and convicted so why do we trust them. The managers are just as bad. And if the managers have a lot of complaints against them they move
them to different locations unless
what they have done isso bad that they let them resign instead of firing them. Many have been accused of sexual improprities where they whould be labled sexoffenders if they resign they are not labled sex offenders.
Since our congessmen and senators don't want to deal with this so it isanother reason to vote out members that have spent their life in Washington. They don't care what the voters of their states that they know what isbest for us.
I know people don't want to hear this but we are worse off now after spending billions of dollars than when the airlines ran security because they had a finational reason to do it right. The goverent has never done anything right except spend our childrens money.
And refering to the rules of passengers going thru the checkpoint or baggage unless passengers know what the rules of going thru the checkpoint or what should be in chrcked baggage you can never do it right. Most of what will cause you to be pulled over by TSAor the police could be prevented by information. If you yhink the bad guys already know the rule and how to get around them but not the passengers. But this causes the Govt. to hire more officers than are really nrrded. Beside having more officers than we need but they have no control on overtime. There are officers that make over 50+ dollars a year and thatsnot what the managers make.
Anyway sorry to go all over the place but I believe the public needs to know.Many good employees have left TSA because of the way the TSA operates.

Ayn R. Key said...

Anonymous wrote:
The pat-down option to a naked body scan will soon be removed:
see 'Body Scanners Q&A - With An Alternate Solution', July 16th 2010


So very soon everyone will be able to play the "charge the TSO with being a sex offender" game. I hope the front line agents like handcuffs and not being able to live near parks and schools.

HappyToHelp said...

Ayn R. Key said...
"So very soon everyone will be able to play the "charge the TSO with being a sex offender" game. I hope the front line agents like handcuffs and not being able to live near parks and schools."

I’m not going to lie, but it is really hard to take you seriously sometimes. Your scare tactic is not going to work. Shame on you. :(

Tim
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

Just saw this in the morning's news.

Former TSA supervisor admits stealing luggage

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38730685/ns/travel-news/

The latest "isolated incident"?

Parkylondon said...

Interesting news from the UK.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-10996471

Looks like the TSA were sleeping on the job?

Anonymous said...

Blogger Bob
Hi, I'm Bob, and I started with the TSA in September 2002. I worked at the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) for 5 years and am currently residing at TSA headquarters. I started as a Transportation Security Officer (TSO), and have since been promoted to a Management Analyst with the Office of Strategic Communications and Public
I noticed you didn't have the where with all to post the mailing address or a e mail address so people can write to you.
This blog is a waste of time because you won't answer any questions that would help passengers, you just hide behind the SOP and I am willing to bet the enemy already has the latest version because after listening to reports hacking into our systems that are much safer than TSA by other govts. seem to happen all the time.You act like working
in the office makes you something special.You seem to dimiss uslittle people. you seem to think we are safer since TSA took over but why do the officers at TSA fail the Red team test at a very high percentage.If they can't catch items that we test them with, why would you think the bad guys can't and won't at some future time attack us again. Just an obsevation because I do hope it never happens again but it won't be TSA who stops it. The security theater will end when the smoke clears and the mirrors break so the flying plublic see TSA as just another jobs program that is worthless.

Ayn R. Key said...

You should take it seriously, West. My goal is to publicize to many people that the TSA plans to strip search children.

That should scare every TSO. All that is needed is a few people who still love the constitution to make a cell phone call from the other side of the screening booth.

Everyone knows your signage is inadequate. It will be entirely believable if a few dozen people say "I thought it was a metal detector, I would never have sent my kid through it." It will be up to the TSA to prove they knew ahead of time that it was a peep show booth.

Anonymous said...

The TSA never answers the questions that are asked here, and they never address the concerns that passengers have. They could not care less. Pure and simple.

Anonymous said...

Comments?

"An airline passenger claims he was allowed to take more than 200 fireworks on two flights in the US."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-10996471

Anonymous said...

"The pat-down option to a naked body scan will soon be removed:
see 'Body Scanners Q&A - With An Alternate Solution', July 16th 2010
One of the questions to TSA spokesman, Joe Allen was:
Q. Can you decline a full body scan?
A. Yes, FOR NOW, but you must submit to a full body pat-down."

Will never happen because there are people who CANNOT go through WBI due to physical issues.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said "Will never happen because there are people who CANNOT go through WBI due to physical issues."

I predict that there will be an increase in passengers with physical issues in the not-too-distant future. ;-)

max said...

what is the ebay account name, where you sell the stolen notebooks and mobile phones? i need new cheap stuff!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
'There are people who CANNOT go through WBI due to physical issues'.
What physical issues are these?
I know for a fact that this does NOT apply in the UK. EVERYONE - NO EXCEPTIONS - who is randomly chosen for scanning is forced to go through a naked body scanner - refusal to be scanned = no flight. If it happens in the UK then it WILL be forced on all US passengers very soon too. Mark my word.

Anonymous said...

The UK forces everyone who is chosen through the naked body scanners - no exceptions. Their is no option of a metal detector/thorough pat-down. What this means in practice is of course that not only is privacy totally ignored, but people with serious disabilities are actually discriminated against in a most appalling way. If someone is paralysed and in a wheelchair then they will be unable to stand in a body scanner. Because there is no option of a pat-down in the UK, then that unfortunate passenger will NOT BE ALLOWED TO FLY, through no fault of their own. This is clear discrimination. It is happening NOW in the UK, and it may well be about to happen in the US if the TSA remove the pat-down option and also force everybody through the naked scanners.

Sandra said...

To the two anonymous people who wrote about the UK making no exceptions to WBI, you need to know the following:

In the UK individuals are selected for WBI, unlike the US where the TSA is trying to force everyone through WBI. It is presumed that if you are in a wheelchair, walk with a cane or have some other visible physical disability, you will not be selected in the UK. Unfortunately, if you have no outward signs of a disability, i.e., range of motion issues, and are selected for WBI in the UK, you are apparently out of luck unless you have a doctor's note.

A question for the first anonymous poster: Have you seen with your own eyes an individual with a visible disability denied passage because they cannot go through WBI?

RB said...

Blogger Bob said...
We take situations like the one described by INCIID Mom very seriously. Our Customer Support Manager at DCA has reached out to INCIID Mom and spoken with her personally. As a parent I can completely understand how emotionally charged we can get when a child is upset. It’s human nature.

If anything can be learned from this event, it’s that we all need to communicate a little better.
...........................

If anything can be learned from this event, it's that TSA is incompetent!

GSOLTSO said...

Ayn sez - "You should take it seriously, West. My goal is to publicize to many people that the TSA plans to strip search children."

I am not certain exactly what you are referring to. What do I need to take seriously and what are you responding to? Do you have me confused with H2H?

West
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

please post on why verifying if a woman is guilty of embezzlement has ANYTHING to do with the safety of an airplane....and why the TSA has any business checking into it..

Anonymous said...

"I am not certain exactly what you are referring to."

It's pretty clear he's referring to TSA screeners taking naked pictures of children at airports, West.

Ayn R. Key said...

Yes, West, I erred and responded to Tim using your name.

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "It's pretty clear he's referring to TSA screeners taking naked pictures of children at airports, West."

Ayn sez - "Yes, West, I erred and responded to Tim using your name."

No problemo at all Ayn, I make mistakes from time to time as well. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something I was supposed to respond to! Take care.

West
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

To Sandra

UK individuals are SELECTED for naked scans, but the criteria for selection is security classified. You state that you presume that 'if you are in a wheelchair, walk with a cane or have some other visible physical disability, you will not be selected'. I do not know whether people with physical disabilities are excluded from selection. There is no information that states that this is the case. I do not believe that disabled people are exempt, because it goes against what the government have stated, namely that to offer a pat-down would be to undermine security. What is someone was feigning disability to avoid a naked scan. Also, if disabled people were given special exemption from naked scanners, this would raise issues about discriminating against able-bodied people, or people with religious concerns. They could rightly argue that it was unfair for disabled people to be exempted from naked scanning, but for others with say religious issues to be virtually stripped naked. The important point is that either EVERYONE should have a choice of a pat-down to a naked scan, or NO-ONE should. It is a question of fairness. A policy of scanning apartheid would be very difficult to maintain, both morally and legally. Everyone should be treated equally and fairly.

Anonymous said...

It appears that the TSA has still not trained their TSO's to understand what they can and cannot due follwoing the Bierfeldt incident. Philaldephia is becoming a real problem when is the TSA going to do something about its employees.

http://www.philly.com/inquirer/columnists/daniel_rubin/20100818_Daniel_Rubin__An_infuriating_search_at_Philadelphia_International_Airport.html?viewAll=y

Sandra said...

Anonymous wrote:

"UK individuals are SELECTED for naked scans, but the criteria for selection is security classified. You state that you presume that 'if you are in a wheelchair, walk with a cane or have some other visible physical disability, you will not be selected'. I do not know whether people with physical disabilities are excluded from selection...."

How, pray tell, are the disabled then to be scanned if they cannot stand up or hold their arms up?

If the UK is going to deny passengers travel on aircraft due to physical inability to stand in a cancer machine, then I urge all to avoid travel to and through the UK.

Ayn R. Key said...

An infuriating search at Philadelphia International Airport

So the TSOs actually looked at the checks she was carrying, and said she was probably a forger because they were nearly sequential?

She said "that's my money" and the officer replied "it's not your money."

When she wouldn't explain the checks the TSOs told her she could tell a DA instead?

Interesting. I wonder if it will be commented on.

Anonymous said...

I agree Sandra, the UK government is totally out of order here.
With regard to how people are selected, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) state that 'it is by automated numerical random selection,or in response to evidence-based concerns about a passenger'. Disabled people would therefore be likely to be selected at some stage, and those that could not use the scanner would be prevented from flying and would lose the money they had paid for the flight.
I am aware that the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC) has sent a detailed representation to the government with its concerns about this policy. The policy has not been changed, and the government is unlikely to change it.
The DPTAC state,'There will from time to time be situations where an individual passenger with a specific disability may be physically or intellectually unable to use the scanner...this non-optional approach to the use of scanners will inevitably prevent some disabled passengers from travelling. This policy is discriminatory as it fails to provide for reasonable alternative means of carying out the necessary security checks'.
If the UK can behave like this, then the TSA will soon be following suit. Peoples legitimate concerns are being comletely ignored purely for scanner company profits.

GSOLTSO said...

Ayn sez - "So the TSOs actually looked at the checks she was carrying, and said she was probably a forger because they were nearly sequential?

She said "that's my money" and the officer replied "it's not your money."

When she wouldn't explain the checks the TSOs told her she could tell a DA instead?

Interesting. I wonder if it will be commented on."

In the interest of clarity, the person (according to the linked story)stated the Police Officers made those statements.

West
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

Anon said:
"What TSA is succeeding in keeping off of airplanes is the most dangerous item - people.
More and more of us are refusing to fly. Short hauls are all but dead - down 40%."
yes this is a great point im sure that its all TSA and has NOTHING to do with rising ticket prices and a bad economy.

Anonymous said...

I'm still waiting for a response to an incient I reported at Sea-tac - that after getting yelled at that my laptop needed to be in its own bin the TSA, the TSA officer proceeded to dump another passenger's sweater and fleece pullover on top of it - proving that 1) laptops do not have to be in a bin by themselves, 2) he was too lazy to get another bin 3) he was too lazy to ask who's laptop (there was nothing to indicate I and the other pax were together - another failure of spot, and 4) he has no concern for the security of paxs' belongings.

Anonymous said...

West, in the interest of clarity would you care to comment on why the TSO's were looking at her checks. I thought a new policy was implemented after Bierfedlt?

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "West, in the interest of clarity would you care to comment on why the TSO's were looking at her checks. I thought a new policy was implemented after Bierfedlt?"

I can not speak on what happened, why it happened or what the TSOs were doing. I was not there, do not know the full story and will not speculate on anything because of that. I merely pointed out that based on the article linked, the TSOs did not say what was being attributed to them.

West
TSA Blog Team

Pair-a-Docs said...

Sigh...

"Anonymous Kat said...

Good enough. I'll post here. The TSA has signs at airports and announcements in airports about no amounts of liquids or gels over three ounces, when the actual, legal, authorized amount is 100 milliliters,or 3.4 ounces. The TSA, as stated on this blog, has no intention of correcting these signs which provide misinformation.

So, I asked before, and I'll ask again. What am I supposed to do when I show up at a TSA security check point with my food in LEGAL 3.4 ounce / 100 milliliter containers, and some ill-trained or officious TSO points to these incorrect signs and tells me I have to throw my food out?

Call the supervisor? Yes, and then what do I do when the supervisor points to those same signs and tells me to throw my food out?

Call the air port manager? Right, and when S/HE points to the signs and tells me to throw my food out?

My food is medically required. It cannot be replaced in the secure area.

I intend to follow the CORRECT INFORMATION AS POSTED on both this blog and the TSA web site.

But tell me, why do I have to print out half your web site and carry it with me, and jump through hoops because the TSA will not provide the correct information to the public and its own officers?

And, once again, how do I keep a TSO from endangering my health and endangering my freedom to travel because they don't know the rules and the TSA won't post the correct rules in the airports?"

Simple, Kat... tell them it's medically required. If they give you trouble, ask for a Supervisor. If the Supervisor gives you trouble, ask for a Manager and tell him to refer to the SOP, your medically required liquids are permitted. However, if they're over the 3.4 ounce quantity, there will be additional screening. That's just how it is, if you comply and go through the screening, you'll be allowed to keep your medically necessary liquid and/or food items. If any anomalies are unable to be resolved via this screening process, you won't be taking the items with you. If you visited the tsa.gov website and looked at what can and can't go, you'd know this already. I can't excuse people whining about things when answers are readily available... so... do your research and quit whining.

Anonymous said...

There is one issue having to do with the full body scanners that TSA seems to be unreasonably coy about.
While I don't have any especially strong privacy/modesty problems with the procedure, I HATE HATE HATE the idea that my wallet, my cash, and, above all, my passport are to be separated from my person and out of my line of sight for the duration of the scan. What if my docs and/or bag have been picked up by another traveler by the time I get there to retrieve them? I would then instantly become an unidentified, penniless, and stateless person. I could not board my international flight. If this occurred in one forthcoming trip, my ultimate financial loss would approach $10,000. Would TSA reimburse me for this? I DON'T THINK SO.

When the NY Times Travel Columnist Joe Sharkey first described the full body scan procedure he said that people could carry wallet and passport with them, hold them above their heads, and submit them for physical appraisal by TSA personnel afterwards. However, I have never seen this confirmed anywhere. What is the official TSA line on this question? How do you respond to folks like me who find this a pernicious practice? Separating a person from his/her passport strikes me as beyond the pale.

Anonymous said...

GSOLTSO said...

I can not speak on what happened, why it happened or what the TSOs were doing. I was not there, do not know the full story and will not speculate on anything because of that.

------------------------------------

Yet in regards to another recent incident that you did not witness, you did decide to comment by saying:

"There is no excuse for a diatribe of that nature, much less the attitude that generates that type of speech. I certainly hope that some changes can be made to prevent things like this from happening to anyone else."

Why the two different stances?

Anonymous said...

I can not speak on what happened, why it happened or what the TSOs were doing. I was not there, do not know the full story and will not speculate on anything because of that.
******
But you will use the article to defend a TSO. So if the quote about what the police said is accurate that means the entire article is accurate. Next time West maybe it would be better if you didn't say anything until the investigation report is issued.

Anonymous said...

In relation to disabilities and body scanners, there is an interesting article in the Homeland Security Newswire, 22 March 2010 entitled 'TSA: Full-body scanners safe for prostheses'.
In the article Jim Fotenos of the TSA states that 'prosthetic devices, artificial limbs, and surgically replaced body parts will not show up on the body scan image'.
If this is true (if it is not then why is Mr Fotenos lying?)then:

it completely contradicts the official line of the TSA;
and if the scans do not show up very obvious things like artificial limbs, then how can they possibly detect much less obvious and real threat items like liquid explosives?

This deliberate peddling of misinformation does nothing to engender trust in the truthfulness and the integrity of the TSA.

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "But you will use the article to defend a TSO. So if the quote about what the police said is accurate that means the entire article is accurate. Next time West maybe it would be better if you didn't say anything until the investigation report is issued."

Actually, I used the article to correct a misquote. Comments were atrributed to the TSOs when the article indicated the comments were made by the LEO. I will refrain from commenting on other things that happened for my previously stated reasons.

West
TSA blog Team

Anonymous said...

"I will refrain from commenting on other things that happened for my previously stated reasons."

West
TSA blog Team

-----------------------------------
West,

This is obviously a new position you are taking. Back in January you had this to say about a different incident you did not witness

Things like this are completely unacceptable. Most of us enjoy a good joke, or laugh with coworkers or friends, this was not even remotely in that realm. This person should be charged under applicable laws (if the victim is willing to press charges). I really like that the agency published the info on this in a timely fashion, and that the local office took quick action to remedy this. Nice job TSA.

West
TSA Blog Team

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "West,

This is obviously a new position you are taking. Back in January you had this to say about a different incident you did not witness"

Ahhhh, you must be referring to this thread:

http://blog.tsa.gov/2010/01/what-happened-in-philadelphia.html

Where the agency made a statement that essentially this is unacceptable behavior, and I commented much the same. What is your point? That I did say this is unacceptable behavior, and that the agency was denouncing the incident as unacceptable? I hate it when passengers have bad experiences, which is why I ask many people to submit comments to Talk To TSA, or at the least a comment card at the checkpoint. This helps us as an organization to gather more feedback from more sources and try to foster positive change for the agency.

West
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

GSOLTSO said:

i>that essentially this is unacceptable behavior, and I commented much the same. What is your point? That I did say this is unacceptable behavior/i>

What is my point?

Why won't you say the recent situation is also an example of unacceptable behavior by the TSO's?

Why in this case are you saying you won't comment because you weren't there?

Anonymous said...

"I hate it when passengers have bad experiences . . ."

But it's what we've all generally come to expect dealing with TSOs, particularly at major airports. The one exception I can think of was at PHL in February when everyone was trying to get out ahead of a snowstorm - the TSOs were very good about trying to get us all through efficiently (even if they were still enforcing their arbitary, ridiculous rules).

BTW, I was in line at PHL in June 2009 when a braindead TSO (almost an oxymoron) made an announcement that those of us wearing sneakers had to go to Terminal B - "Just kidding!"

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "GSOLTSO said:

i>that essentially this is unacceptable behavior, and I commented much the same. What is your point? That I did say this is unacceptable behavior/i>

What is my point?

Why won't you say the recent situation is also an example of unacceptable behavior by the TSO's?

Why in this case are you saying you won't comment because you weren't there?"

Because I do not have nearly as much information in this case. I am sorry that the person mentioned in this case had a bad experience, but I do not have enough information to comment about what has happened. It is as simple as that.

West
TSA Blog Team

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "But it's what we've all generally come to expect dealing with TSOs, particularly at major airports. The one exception I can think of was at PHL in February when everyone was trying to get out ahead of a snowstorm - the TSOs were very good about trying to get us all through efficiently (even if they were still enforcing their arbitary, ridiculous rules).

BTW, I was in line at PHL in June 2009 when a braindead TSO (almost an oxymoron) made an announcement that those of us wearing sneakers had to go to Terminal B - "Just kidding!"


I hate that passengers have bad experiences, I always give them the same advice - file commentary with Talk To TSA, fill out a comment card at the airport when something happens. Any time we as an organization can recieve more feedback from passengers, it can be used to foster positive change for the agency. By submitting the commentary through TTT, it also moves the conversation from the passenger and the folks at the checkpoint, to another venue (namely to a customer feedback person). I hope that in your future travels you have good experiences, of failing that, at leat neutral experiences. Take care.

West
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

GSOLTSO said

"Because I do not have nearly as much information in this case...It is as simple as that.

But that is not the reasoning you originally used.

What additional information do you need? What additional information did you have in the other cases?

Anonymous said...

Can you tell me how TSA would deal with my bring baggies of flour mix through security. My daughter is Celiac and we have to make all our own flour mixes for things like breads , pancakes, etc. I've been afraid to bring them on my carry-on luggage for fear they will mistake them for drugs or something.

Anonymous said...

Question, can I bring a bag of tobacco and a smoking pipe (like the ones used by some grandpas) in a flight from FL to Puerto Rico? It would be a sealed store-purchased bag bought at one of the big pharmacy chains. I am asking because I know that it tobacco products are not allowed to be shipped through the U.S. mail. Thank you

feelingelephants said...

Wow, Bob, you are way calmer than I would be--thanks for doing a thankless communications job.

I had a quick question about etiquette, though it may be out of date. Who does a traveler go to to report unprofessional conduct from a PrimeFlight employee at SFO?

I describe the late August 2007 SFO incident in full here: http://ow.ly/2tamX (and why I didn't report it at the time).

I know I was being a bit of a teenaged dork but, as I note in that post, I was unable to report the incident at the time because I was told by the TSA supervisor to talk to my airline representative about filing a complaint, and my airline representative told me they had no way for me to do that.

So, who should I have gone to?

Thanks again for your work,

Jessica Dickinson Goodman

RB said...

http://janeproject.blogspot.com/2010/08/homeland-security-tsa-and-police-state.html


"The Department of Homeland Security's Transportation Safety Administration (a/k/a "TSA") has reached a new low. Kathy Parker, 43, alleges that TSA personnel illegally invaded her privacy during a preflight security screening at Philadelphia International (PHI) on August 8.

Parker says the TSA screener/s removed retail receipts and other papers from her wallet and read them (while telling her they were looking for razor blades), needlessly embarrassed her by removing and openly displaying prescription medications from her handbag, and then, after "inspecting" negotiable instruments (i.e. checks) that were also in her wallet, conferred with on-hand Philadelphia police. One of the officers then attempted to confiscate said checks without process or paperwork, telling her that he suspected her of embezzlement. When she protested, she says he told her "It's not your money." *

According to Parker, she was only allowed to collect her belongings and board the plane after half an hour of humiliation and interrogation because she eventually handed over her husband of 20 years' cell number and authorities called him regarding the possibility of Parker attempting to "empty their bank account" due to "a divorce situation." * "

..........................

Can anyone at TSA explain just why TSA employees are searching peoples personal papers and under what authority they are doing so?

RB said...

http://www.consumertraveler.com/today/tsa-admits-to-punishing-travelers/

TSA admits to punishing travelers
by Charlie Leocha on August 23, 2010


However, when meeting with privacy officials at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and TSA later that month, I was told unofficially that there were two standards of pat-downs. One for the normal situation where passengers are going through metal detectors and a different pat-down for those who refuse to go through the whole-body scanners.

With this latest announcement, TSA admits that it has been clandestinely punishing passengers for refusing to go through the invasive whole-body scans with an even more intrusive aggressive pat-down and that soon those more invasive pat-down will creep from airport to airport.

...............
Using the word "Integrity" and "TSA" in the same sentence just became impossible.

It seems that if TSA can't look at naked little children with their Porno Machines they will just feel 'em up with open hands.

This improves aviation security how?

Who's in charge at TSA a bunch of PERVERTS?

Anonymous said...

I find it almost funny that everyone here blames the TSA staff for are their flight hardships. They don't make the policies, they make a living. The staff are doing their job. I don't agree with a lot of these policies of liquids, nail clippers, and the like, but the TSA are the last people to blame. Most of the TSA's at my local airport are perfectly civilized, friendly, and professional, making an effort to move the line along while making sure the public is stays safe. It's a difficult job, but someone has to do it.

RB said...

I'm a little confused why TSA has instituted new pat down procedures using the palm of the hand to fondle breats, penises and such.

I thought that was sexual assualt!

You TSA employees should really be proud of yourselves.

First using Strip Search Machines to look at little kids naked and now you are just feeling them up.

Anonymous said...

Why do you think people who buy airline tickets deserve to be sexually assaulted?

Ayn R. Key said...

Anonymous wrote:
I find it almost funny that everyone here blames the TSA staff for are their flight hardships. They don't make the policies, they make a living. The staff are doing their job.

That's called the "Nuremberg defense", in which a person tries to excuse any violation of another person by pleading "I was just doing my job."

When I was in the military, they instructed us on the topic of "unlawful orders". We are theoretically encouraged to disobey and report all unlawful orders. If my commander ordered me to rob a bank, I not only could refuse but should report him to his commander.

Yes, the TSOs are just doing their job, and that is no excuse for what they are doing. They, as the front line enforcement, have the power to say "that rule is unjust and unlawful, therefore I will not do it." TSOs are not hired based on a capacity for rational thought and respect for other people but instead on the willingness to blindly follow any order no matter how insane.

Yes, there are plenty of friendly TSOs who, with a smile, say "sorry but you cannot bring that water bottle through here". That doesn't change that they are implementing a senseless rule and confiscating your property in violation of the 5th amendment to the constitution.

Yes, I said "confiscating". It's the right word. Too bad.

More TSOs should check out Oath Keepers where soldiers and police have taken an oath to obey their oath to the constitution and never enforce an unconstitutional order. So far I think that there are no TSOs who are members, which is unfortunate for the public.

TL:DR version - "just following orders" is no excuse.

Ayn R. Key said...

RB wrote:
I'm a little confused why TSA has instituted new pat down procedures using the palm of the hand to fondle breats, penises and such.

It was the only way they could think of to make the pat down worse than it already was, in order to "encourage" everyone to go to the pervert strip search machine.

Anonymous said...

Bob -- were is the post about the two recent incidents about TSAs harassment of photographers at two separate airports here recently?

Or do I need to add that content to a new website and blog launching this week to highlight the egregious and as some deem illegal actions by tsa toward it's customers?

George said...

@RB: I'm a little confused why TSA has instituted new pat down procedures using the palm of the hand to fondle breats, penises and such.

Not to worry. Blogger Bob is probably at a classified meeting with the TSA Propaganda Department right now, expertly crafting just the right spin to neutralize this latest embarrassing revelation.

I'd bet on a post about how the secret SOP explicitly prohibits both the touching of sensitive areas and retaliatory abuse. So the allegations of abusive or retaliatory pat-downs are merely the unfounded complaints overly-critical people who want to make the TSA look bad. And, of course, a reminder that the easiest way to avoid this kind of incident is simply to step into the safe, family-friendly Advanced Imaging Technology machine that protects privacy while it protects aviation.

Or could we be overdue for a puppy post?

RB said...

More TSOs should check out Oath Keepers where soldiers and police have taken an oath to obey their oath to the constitution and never enforce an unconstitutional order. So far I think that there are no TSOs who are members, which is unfortunate for the public.

TL:DR version - "just following orders" is no excuse.

August 24, 2010 1:16 PM
...............
I doubt any TSA employee has the morals to join Oath Keepers.

Bubba said...

Bob,

I´m still waiting for an answer to that article in Nature, the top scientific journal, saying SPOT has no scientific basis.

Anonymous said...

Admittedly I'm a bit behind the times, since I have a question about the blog entry from January that discussed the whole-body imaging systems. That article states that "the procurement specifications require these machines be capable of functioning in both a screening operation environment at the airport, and in a test mode environment... As you can imagine, the ability to store, export and print are crucial in a testing environment."

My imagination must not be all that good, as I would imagine that the imaging systems used in testing and training would be done in exactly the same manner as they would be in real-world operation. You don't test and train one way and expect complete proficiency if you operate in another way. What possible need could you have in a testing environment to export and/or print images when you would have people believe there would never be such a need in real-world production? Furthermore, those capabilities can't be completely free, so why would you pay for a feature set you admit you will never need in the real world?

The same blog entry also states "[t]here is no way for Transportation Security Officers in the airport environment to place the machines into test mode." How do you guarantee that? Is the portion of the machine which performs export, storage, and/or printing physically removed from the unit? If you're disabling it in some other way, e.g., by some software-based control like requiring administrator privileges, then you can't possibly guarantee control.

The blog entry has one blatant error. It says "these machines are not networked, so they cannot be hacked." This is untrue if any human being has access to the hardware. This is why I state above that physical removal of the hardware responsible for unnecessary functionality should not even be present. Sealing all equipment cases, putting epoxy in USB ports, and other forms of hardware isolation should be performed, and regular, unscheduled audits of any mitigating controls like these should be performed by a third party.

In the meantime, until you correct these problems, I think I'll continue to fly without ID and opt for a more traditional search.

RB said...

http://www.ktla.com/news/landing/ktla-new-tsa-pat-down,0,5189028.story


LOS ANGELES -- Travelers could soon face an unpleasant choice at the airport -- an invasive full-body scan, or being groped by security screeners.

Full-body scanners have been criticized because they essentially reveal a naked image of the passenger.

So the TSA is testing a more complete manual pat down as an alternative to the scans at some airports.

The pat-down involves a front-of-the-hand body search. Typically, pat-downs are done with the back of the hand.

The initial response from some passengers who have experienced the new pat-down is shocking.

One flier said his entire genital area was probed. He remarked that, "If anybody ever groped me like that in real life, I would have punched them in the nose."
...........................
Good job TSA workers, now your sexually assualting people.

Anonymous said...

Quoted:
" Anonymous said...
I am writing this blog regarding the hiring practices of the TSA with hope the issues I have faced will be corrected and no individual will have to go through the unfortunate and unfair course of events I have faced seeking employment with this agency. ........

.........In a leadership position, such as the Director of the Transportation Security Administration, one would hope an individual’s effort to correct what has been done and protect their rights for equal opportunity would be valued not condemned.

July 21, 2010 9:22 PM
______________________________
So what the heck are you even talking about and why should we care?

Ponter said...

LOS ANGELES -- Travelers could soon face an unpleasant choice at the airport -- an invasive full-body scan, or being groped by security screeners.

Another biased media story that serves no purpose other than to denigrate the TSA. It seems to be more important to reel in the "eyeballs" for advertisers with lurid sensational fiction than to help unite the public behind the TSA's fight to protect us from people who seek to kill Americans.

The biased media and the handful of ignorant complainers are ignoring the facts. The TSA has assessed the current threat environment and concluded that a more thorough search of all passengers was necessary. They carefully studied the available technology and decided that AIT scanners were the best approach.

The TSA is strongly committed protecting the privacy and civil liberties of all passengers. They carefully developed screening procedures that take every possible measure to protect privacy. The officers who view the scans are located away from the checkpoint, and the AIT software blurs passengers' faces so that their identity can never be discerned. And contrary to the biased media accounts, the operating procedures include stringent measures to guarantee that no officer is able to record images of the scans in any way. National Security concerns preclude the public from reviewing those procedures for themselves, but the fact that they exist should provide all the confidence anyone needs that the TSA is absolutely committed to protecting the privacy of every passenger.

The TSA is also aware that some passengers may have concerns about AIT, especially since it has been so unfairly misrepresented in the biased media and by ignorant bloggers. So the operating procedure gives passengers the option of a pat down search on request. But that pat down needed to be enhanced to make it as effective as AIT. Otherwise, it would just provide a way for people who seek to kill Americans to avoid detection. That seems to be what people are complaining about. It's not "sexual harassment." It's not retaliation. It's merely a NECESSARY AND EFFECTIVE ENHANCEMENT to make the pat down equivalent to AIT. The TSA's operating procedure explicitly prohibits harassment, retaliation, or any mistreatment of passengers, so that is never tolerated. The important thing is that you have choices, so if you find the pat down unacceptable you can simply walk through the AIT scanner.

Anonymous said...

Ponter said...
'The TSA is strongly committed protecting the privacy and civil liberties of all passengers'.
No they are not.
You have a 'choice' - either be stripped naked in a scanner or be sexually assaulted by a grope-down.
If privacy REALLY mattered to the TSA you would be using Advanced Target Recognition(ATR)NOW. You may say it has not been fully evaluated yet - no because the TSA is spending all its time and money rushing in hundreds of naked body scanners at a cost of tens of millions of dollars.
You could ensure security AND protect privacy, but the TSA has clearly shown it does not want to protect privacy.

Ponter said...

Anonymous on August 26, 2010 4:18 PM wrote: "You have a 'choice' - either be stripped naked in a scanner or be sexually assaulted by a grope-down.... You could ensure security AND protect privacy, but the TSA has clearly shown it does not want to protect privacy."

I'm very sorry you feel that way. That's what happens when you have biased media that believe it's in their best interest to slander the TSA.

The FACT is that the new Enhanced Pat Down is not a "sexual assault" or a "grope-down." The FACT is that enemies who are determined to kill Americans have become much more devious about hiding weapons. The FACT is that in this threat environment, the TSA needs enhanced methods of inspection that can detect dangerous items artfully concealed under clothing to protect the aviation system from people who seek to kill Americans. The FACT is that AIT indisputably provides this capability. The FACT is that the TSA's operating procedures ensure that our privacy is protected. And if you are uncomfortable with the Enhanced Pat Down you have the choice of AIT, which is not only much more comfortable, but GUARANTEES your privacy.

We can have complete confidence that AIT is a highly effective technology that protects both aviation AND privacy! You can believe the lies and distortions in the biased media, or you can believe the TSA. I believe the TSA, because unlike the media and ignorant bloggers, they have no reason to lie to anyone.

As September 11 approaches, it's time to remember and reflect on the consequences of inadequate security. In this time of War, we cannot afford skepticism and doubt about our government's efforts to prevent the tragedy of that awful day that forever changed America. Instead of spreading the slander perpetrated against the heroic officials and officers who daily do battle at the front lines of the Global War on Terror, how about putting aside our selfish mistrust and UNITING behind the TSA instead of impeding them!

RB said...

Ponter said...
Anonymous on August 26, 2010 4:18 PM wrote: "You have a 'choice' - either be stripped naked in a scanner or be sexually assaulted by a grope-down.... You could ensure security AND protect privacy, but the TSA has clearly shown it does not want to protect privacy."

I'm very sorry you feel that way. That's what happens when you have biased media that believe it's in their best interest to slander the TSA.

The FACT is that the new Enhanced Pat Down is not a "sexual assault" or a "grope-down." The FACT is that enemies who are determined to kill Americans have become much more devious about hiding weapons. The FACT is that in this threat environment, the TSA needs enhanced methods of inspection that can detect dangerous items artfully concealed under clothing to protect the aviation system from people who seek to kill Americans. The FACT is that AIT indisputably provides this capability. The FACT is that the TSA's operating procedures ensure that our privacy is protected. And if you are uncomfortable with the Enhanced Pat Down you have the choice of AIT, which is not only much more comfortable, but GUARANTEES your privacy.

..............
Well that was all of that stuff (BB won't let me use the appropriate words) I could stand.

The FACT is TSA has done more to damage American freedoms than all terrorist attacks against this country that have ever occurred.

Open handedly feeling up a person is a sexual assualt. If you don't believe so then go out on the street and do one of these "Enhanced TSA Grope Downs" and see what happens, mate.

Earl Pitts said...

@George: "I'd bet on a post about how the secret SOP explicitly prohibits both the touching of sensitive areas and retaliatory abuse. So the allegations of abusive or retaliatory pat-downs are merely the unfounded complaints overly-critical people who want to make the TSA look bad. And, of course, a reminder that the easiest way to avoid this kind of incident is simply to step into the safe, family-friendly Advanced Imaging Technology machine that protects privacy while it protects aviation."

Cavuto on Fox talked about this the other day on his show. He didn't buy that there wasn't an informal and unwritten policy that TSA was using enhanced patdowns to punish and retaliate against people that opted out of the screening.

Of course, the TSA apologist denied that, but he still wasn't buying it.

If you lose Fox, you lose Middle America.

Earl

Troubled Flyer said...

I see several messages here stating that the TSA doesn't believe an Enhanced Patdown constitutes sexual assault. I had a TSO place his hand on my genitals during a rubdown performed on me after an opt-out. He's not my medical practitioner and it was unwanted contact. TSA can try to claim it was legal because I "consented" somehow, but that simply doesn't hold water. Even if I was a willing participant (which I wasn't), it's no different than a back-alley massage parlor claiming they are engaged in consensual sexual contact with their customers. It's simply not legal. My previous encounters at airport checkpoints have always gone smoothly until AIT was implemented. Now I'm encountering delays everywhere AIT has appeared and I'm receiving unwanted and inappropriate physical contact. This has to stop.

Kat said...

Dear Pair-a-Docs,

Funny thing. I have done my research. I have contacted the TSA multiple times. Takes them (on average) three months to get back to me, and what they send me is boiler-plate which doesn't answer the question.

Also, didja know that you can't buy 100 milliliter containers in the US that are food-safe? I do. I've ordered a batch from Canada. Lock-n-lock brand. Cost me a pretty penny, too, with the shipping.

But see, Doc, the TSA has these signs. They don't say 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters. They say 3.0 ounces. And I'm concerned that some ill-trained jerk is going to tell me to throw out my medically required food AND my expensive containers.

Moreover, given that Nadine Hayes was arrested when she tried to bring medically required food through for her mother AFTER she notified the TSA about the needs, I'm concerned, and justifiably so.

If I could leave it all at home, I would. But I can't. And I just happen to be tired of the hassle, so I'm trying to get something concrete settled before I fly so that maybe, just maybe, I can get on a plane and not feel like throwing up from the stress of getting medically required food and equipment through the check point.

Anonymous said...

"The FACT is that the new Enhanced Pat Down is not a "sexual assault" or a "grope-down."

It's just the TSA's way of saying, 'We love you.'

Ponter said...

@RB: The FACT is TSA has done more to damage American freedoms than all terrorist attacks against this country that have ever occurred.

It's good to talk about the various freedoms we have in the United States. But none of them mean anything when lax security lets terrorists turn an airplane into a weapon of mass destruction. The TSA has protected our most important freedom, the freedom from terrorism, by keeping people who seek to kill Americans off of airplanes. As you probably are aware, there hasn't been a repetition of 9/11 since the TSA began protecting the air transportation system. There is NO possible argument against that track record of proven success!

I'm willing to accept a little inconvenience to be protected from people who seek to kill Americans. I'm willing to let the security experts decide what I can and cannot carry on an airplane to be protected from people who seek to kill Americans. I'm willing to let the TSA use the most advanced technology to provide proven enhanced detection of weapons carried by people who seek to kill Americans. And I'm grateful that the TSA has thoughtfully provided an effective alternative in the form of an Enhanced Pat down for those who are are needlessly afraid of AIT.

The TSA is protecting our freedom, day in and day out! It's unfortunate that some people see the necessary responses to the current threat environment as "damaging" to freedom. It is perhaps causing a small amount of inconvenience and restriction, but that's a price we should be willing to pay for protecting our most important freedom, the freedom from terrorist attack! If it's causing you inconvenience, it's surely making things much more difficult for terrorists who seek to kill Americans!

Open handedly feeling up a person is a sexual assualt. If you don't believe so then go out on the street and do one of these "Enhanced TSA Grope Downs" and see what happens, mate.

Just because you and any number of biased media and ignorant bloggers consider the Enhanced Pat Down "sexual assault" doesn't make it so. The FACT is that the TSA has determined that this Enhanced Pat Down is a necessary response to the current threat environment. Remember that it is merely an alternative search, thoughtfully provided for people who have been spooked by all the lies about AIT. If you indeed consider this alternative a "sexual assault," you can simply choose AIT. It's more comfortable, and the TSA's operating procedures GUARANTEE your privacy!

Rather than aiding the enemy by continuing to repeat the lies and slander about AIT, why not help the TSA protect our freedom by spreading the truth: AIT is a new level of proven enhanced protection against terrorist threats, and the TSA's operating procedures ensure enhanced protection of our privacy!

RB said...

Ponter said...

August 27, 2010 11:37 AM

.................................
Ponter, TSA is turning this country into a police state.

That is damaging to our way of life.

That is Un-american!

Al Ames said...

TSA is protecting our freedom? We have to give up our freedom to protect it?

Reminds me of the old addage "We had to burn down the village to save it."

You can't give up something in order to protect it. Once you give up something, it's gone, and never gonna come back without a huge fight.

Please show me where freedom from terrorism is our most prized and protected freedom. Funny, the Founding Fathers didn't seem to think so and put the freedom of speech, religion and press as the number one recognized right. Terrorism existed then, yet they didn't think that protection from it was necessary to be enumerated.

No, Ponter, you can't preserve freedom by giving it up. That line has been tried in every repressive regime and look what it's gotten them. And you can't preserve freedom by willingly selling everyone else's for them. If you want to, that's your right. It's not your right to sell mine though just so you can be "safe."

If you want to live in a safe place, try moving to North Korea. They have very little terrorism there and the people are well "protected" by the government there. Is that how you really want to live?

Al

Anonymous said...

"The FACT is that the new Enhanced Pat Down is not a "sexual assault" or a "grope-down."

It's just the TSA's way of saying, 'We love you.'
-------------------------------------
Put a couple of pet toy squeakers in your shorts. You'll not only feel the love, but have sound effects as well.

Anonymous said...

As you probably are aware, there hasn't been a repetition of 9/11 since the TSA began protecting the air transportation system. There is NO possible argument against that track record of proven success!

Lisa: “By your logic, I could claim that this rock keeps tigers away.”
Homer “Hmm; how does it work?”
Lisa: “It doesn’t work; it’s just a stupid rock!”
Homer: “Uh-huh.”
Lisa: “… but I don’t see any tigers around, do you?”
Homer,: “Lisa, I want to buy your rock…”

There was no '9/11' in all the recorded years of flight BEFORE 9/11 either. So the fact that it hasn't happened in the last 9 years is... unimpressive.

Bubba said...

The off topic posts are almost disappearing from the screen!!

And we are still waiting for an answer to that Nature article criticizing the SPOT program. Remember Nature is the most respected scientific journal in the World.

omars said...

Why have we heard nothing about the very major incident at PHL, as reported by the Inquirer?

As reported, TSA's behavior is beyond outrageous; it's also illegal. And your screeners seem to forget they're not law enforcement. If it doesn't threaten the aircraft and its passengers, it's none of their business, period.

Has every TSA person on duty at that checkpoint been summarily fired for cause for violations of law and policy? Or does ACLU as usual have to sue TSA to get you people to do the right thing?

This is a complete failure of public trust and a complete lack of understanding of the agency's mission. Increasingly it seems the only way to fix TSA is to get rid of it. The $7 baggage handlers pre 9/11/2001 did just as good a job and cost taxpayers a lot less, and all without the jackbooted-thugs mentality.

http://consumerist.com/2010/08/tsa-screeners-check-luggage-call-your-husband-to-discuss-your-personal-finances.html

http://www.philly.com/inquirer/columnists/20100818_Daniel_Rubin__An_infuriating_search_at_Philadelphia_International_Airport.html?viewAll=y

Anonymous said...

" The TSA has protected our most important freedom, the freedom from terrorism, by keeping people who seek to kill Americans off of airplanes. As you probably are aware, there hasn't been a repetition of 9/11 since the TSA began protecting the air transportation system. There is NO possible argument against that track record of proven success! "

Of course there is, starting with the fact that terrorism is an incredibly rare event regardless of what sorts of passenger screening occurs. TSA's campaign of sexual assault against Americans has little, if anything, to do with air travel's safety record.

Anonymous said...

"I'm willing to accept a little inconvenience to be protected from people who seek to kill Americans."


Sexual assault is not "a little inconvenience."

"I'm willing to let the security experts decide what I can and cannot carry on an airplane to be protected from people who seek to kill Americans."

TSA is not staffed by security experts.

"I'm willing to let the TSA use the most advanced technology to provide proven enhanced detection of weapons carried by people who seek to kill Americans."

What does that have to do with TSA's invasive and ineffective strip-search technology?

"And I'm grateful that the TSA has thoughtfully provided an effective alternative in the form of an Enhanced Pat down for those who are are needlessly afraid of AIT."

Big fan of sexually assaulting children, are you?

Anonymous said...

i love this waittime feature! yesterday while in line i was asked politely by a woman who was late for her flight to let her through because she was late. it became my problem that she chose to show up 10min before her flight. the tsa said that she couldnt go to the front unless people allowed her to which was the correct desicion. however, the people in front of me allowed her to cut in line. since when is it my problem that someone is going to miss there plane? i applaud the tsa for not escorting her to the front.

Anonymous said...

before any new technoloy or procedures are implemented by the tsa i think that they should be posted on here for the bloggers to see them and let us give our opinions on them before we let the tsa impliment them as we know what is best.

Anonymous said...

i wonder how many non-americans go on this blog and laugh about how the american citizens are talking about the tsa a governmental agency and see how 90% of the comments are negative and not constructive.

Anonymous said...

i think that security should go back to the airlines and private firms where they can stop me from flying for any reason that they want to, as they are a private company that is working for the airlines. im sure that they will keep my safety at the top of the list and not their profit margin.

Anonymous said...

With regard to the naked body scanners, there were TWO Whole Body Imaging Privacy Impact Statements in 2008, ONE in 2009, and guess what - NONE in 2010.
What does this tell us about the TSA's attitude to privacy? Yeah, that's right they increasingly couldn't care less.

Anonymous said...

Is the TSA disproportionately under-representative of women and minorities?
Does anyone have any figures about the ethnic and gender diversity of the TSA?

Anonymous said...

Finally EPIC are soon to have their day in court in early November when they will show what the TSA are REALLY up to. Will the TSA lie under oath? I wonder!

RB said...

Anonymous said...
Finally EPIC are soon to have their day in court in early November when they will show what the TSA are REALLY up to. Will the TSA lie under oath? I wonder!

September 2, 2010 7:53 PM
...............
DHS/TSA Representatives have lied to the Congress and to the public.

Even Blogger Bob has issues of being truthful on a regular basis.

Nico is the TSA employee who said Whole Body Imager images were safe for young school children to view and suitable for the cover of Reader's Digest.

Why on earth would you expect a different outcome from the most dishonest agency ever invented by the United States government?

TSA can't function without lies.

RB said...

Full-body scans of passengers to start at Sea-Tac in September

So let me get this straight. I am a Federal Law Enforcement Agent who spent months at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center learning the exact laws that regulate my powers to reasonable search and seizure.

My Agency has Body Scanners in select locations and very strict rules for using them (even though we have the broadest authority by law to search people). In fact we can only legally use them when a suspect consents to the machine.

Yet here we have an Agency that is not Federal Law Enforcement, does not have nearly the training or search authority that I have and they get to use it on any person they see and basically hassle people if they opt out (A pat down with no articuable reason why you are doing it is hassling. And NO, the person not wanting to be photographed essentially naked is not an articuable fact).

I have seen these machines in use and while not photo quality, I would hardly call the images grainy as TSA is saying.

Furthermore, what about my young daughters?

Are we going to have adults looking at their essentially nude images? Illegal last time I checked, and I should know, I have arrested child molestors.

Or are my daughters going to be subjected to a pat down every time they fly until they are 18?

This policy is ridiculous and TSA has it backwards. The bodyscans should be an option for people who consent to it in order to not have to wait in the metal detector line or for people who set off the metal detector but don't want to be patted down they can select a body scan.

Posted on August 18, 2010 at 10:29 PM.

Anonymous said...

"So if the quote about what the police said is accurate that means the entire article is accurate."

?!?

lol wot?

learn2logic

Anonymous said...

Can you wear a bullet proof vest as a TSO? I don't mean part of the uniform supplied but if you had one yourself and just wanted to wear it can you? Under your uniform of course lol

Anonymous said...

So now we have a police officer telling us, clearly on good authority, that the naked scan images are much more graphic than the TSA admits.
Who do you believe: the police or the TSA? Yeah me too!

Anonymous said...

With regard to privacy and the naked scanners EPIC in their litigation documents against the TSA tell us exactly how little privacy these scanners may give:

Procurement specifications -

3.1.1.1.2 Privacy
'The WBI shall (10) provide image filters to protect the IDENTITY, MODESTY and PRIVACY of the passenger.
Enabling and DISABLING of image filtering shall be MODIFIABLE by users'. That is clear enough. TSA operators can switch off privacy filters whenever they like.

3.1.1.4.2.1 IOCP

(ii) 'Zoom from 1x to 4x.'The detail and clarity of genitals will be extremely clear at x4. Which zoom do we think the scanner operator will choose to use?

TSA Operating Requirements -

'The WBI shall provide ten (10) selectable levels of privacy'. Level one is some privacy, level ten is no privacy at all. Which privacy level do we think the scanner operative will choose?

Don't take my word for the above, it is all there in the litigation documents. This is not security sensitive information as it has been released to EPIC. No wonder the TSA are worried.

Anonymous said...

I think you all need to address this in a blog post. It is very concerning to me, since it appears you are equating photography with terrorism.

http://carlosmiller.com/2010/09/07/tsa-publishes-new-posters-depicting-photographers-as-terrorists/

Bubba said...

Bob,

Just another reminder that we are STILL waiting for an answer to that Nature article questioning the science behind SPOT.

Anonymous said...

"I have long allowed off topic comments."

Good thing. Otherwise, those little round stickers at the TSA security areas soliciting our "feedback" at www.tsa.gov/blog would be frustratingly meaningless. (Tho' as it stands, the stickers are out of date now that the blog has moved.)

But even so, I'm wondering if https://contact.tsa.dhs.gov/talktotsa/talktotsa.aspx isn't more appropriate for passenger feedback?

lest we forget said...

First, employees need a way to report behavior, policies or practices that are not criminal, just wrong. The Internal Affairs folks do not deal with anything but criminal offenses. TSA supposedly has an office called Management Inquiry Board to address such issues. It doesn't work. I sent a detailed letter outlining various problems at my airport nearly a year ago. Nothing has ever been done and I've never been contacted regarding my letter.

Second, each airport should have a customer service/standardization liaison who will address problematic workers at that airport. They will work at the airport so they will be able to know the employees and investigate complaints in a timely manner. They should not be selected by or report to the local Airport FSD or his staff. This will ensure they are not part of the good ole boy network and will remain unbiased in their efforts. It will also force accountability and consequences.

Third, TSA headquarters should mandate a certain amount of training on a monthly basis. Too many times I see people not following SOP because of ignorance, not always from laziness or apathy.

I've worked at two different airports in the 5 years I've been with TSA. One was a great environment with quality leadership. The other fails miserably due to poor leadership from the very top. Some means of reporting leadership failure is required for any meaningful change.

Please, please remember that most of the officers you encounter are doing the job because they want to do something positive for their country. Remember that they do not write the rules or have any input to the rules they must enforce.

And finally remember that we deal with negativity and disdain on a daily basis - take a close look at the ranting on this website and get a snapshot of what I deal with ever day. Then, when you encounter those of us who treat your with respect and courtesy, make a point to acknowledge us. How about a few comments about those types of interactions???

Anonymous said...

RB muttered...
"I am a Federal Law Enforcement Agent"

No way. I don’t believe you. If you are a federal law enforcement officer, I must be the queen of England.

-AJ

Anonymous said...

Lest we forget ranted...
'When you encounter those of us who treat you with respect and courtesy, make sure make a point to acknowlede us'.
That would be like trying to find a needle in a million haystacks. NO ONE who works for the TSA has any respect or courtesy. Fact.

Sandra said...

Lest we forget, you should know that those in the upper reaches of the TSA really are not interested in airport security and could give a flyin' fig about you screeners. The only thing they are interested in is themselves and protecting their own jobs.

And now on to another topic, Bob, which I am sure you will ignore as you have ignored so many other comments:

We are reading a great deal about
TSA screeners watching travelers undergoing "enhanced" pat downs, leering and snickering as they do so.

Please address this, how it will be remedied and what we should do if we encounter such behavior on the part of screeners.

And while you are at it, please address the article in Nature about the voodoo practice of your BDOs.

lest we forget said...

Anonymous Said...
"Lest we forget ranted...
'When you encounter those of us who treat you with respect and courtesy, make sure you make a point to acknowlede us'.
That would be like trying to find a needle in a million haystacks. NO ONE who works for the TSA has any respect or courtesy. Fact."

My original post was in two parts, and part one did not make it on the board.

Misguided rants such as yours were the reason I wrote in the first place. If you've not encountered a TSO who has respect or courtesy there are two possible reasons: one, you've not met me; two, your attitude elicits such a response in return.

No matter how rude you'd be to me at my job, I'd still treat you with respect and courtesy. It's just how I do things - I wouldn't let someone like you ruin my day or attitude. I'd never give you that much control over my emotions.

But you should really take a long hard look at your attitude and see if it's possible that much of what you get is based on what you give.

GSOLTSO said...

RB sez - "So let me get this straight. I am a Federal Law Enforcement Agent who spent months at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center learning the exact laws that regulate my powers to reasonable search and seizure."

Could you post a link to this story? You have never indicated that you are an FLEO before and I would like some info on where this statement came from. Thanks for the info RB!

Anon sez - "So now we have a police officer telling us, clearly on good authority, that the naked scan images are much more graphic than the TSA admits.
Who do you believe: the police or the TSA? Yeah me too!"

I am trying to get the link to this information. I don't think that RB is claiming they are an FLEO, I think they just missed putting the link in the comment.

West
TSA Blog Team

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "That would be like trying to find a needle in a million haystacks. NO ONE who works for the TSA has any respect or courtesy. Fact."

Your numbers are a bit unrealistic, as there are only about 50,000 (give or take) TSOs nationwide. Many of us are polite, professional and efficient. Many others are courteous, professional and efficient. The vast majority of employees are, at a minimum, courteous and professional, so your analogy would probably be a bit better if it read "Finding a "bad TSO" would be like finding a needle in a haystack.

West
TSA BLog Team

RB said...

GSOLTSO said...
RB sez - "So let me get this straight. I am a Federal Law Enforcement Agent who spent months at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center learning the exact laws that regulate my powers to reasonable search and seizure."

Could you post a link to this story? You have never indicated that you are an FLEO before and I would like some info on where this statement came from. Thanks for the info RB!

Anon sez - "So now we have a police officer telling us, clearly on good authority, that the naked scan images are much more graphic than the TSA admits.
Who do you believe: the police or the TSA? Yeah me too!"

I am trying to get the link to this information. I don't think that RB is claiming they are an FLEO, I think they just missed putting the link in the comment.

West
TSA Blog Team

September 10, 2010 9:43 AM
.............
What I posted was from the comments of a news article.

I messed up by leaving out the cite and link.

I am not and never have been a FLEO. What I posted was verbatim what the person posted.

If I can recover the original story I will.

Suffice it to say though, TSA has lied about Whole Body Imagers from day one. The images are sexually graphic and border on pornography.

I would say that these images when taken of children would meet any definition of Child Pornography and the WBI machine operators as purveyors of child porn.

The alternative is to have yourself or children sexually assaulted by TSA employees for nothing more than enforcing the right to travel freely.

Tomorrow is the anniversary of September 11, 2001 and sure as the sun will rise we will see TSA employees commemorating the day like they are the saviors of the century.

The truth of the matter is that TSA has caused more damage to this country by their abuse of the Constitution than the terrorist caused on 9/11.

TSA employees who took an oath to defend the Constitution border on being traitors to their country by their actions as public servants.

TSA as now formed is an abomination that must be done away with.

RB said...

GSOLTSO said...
RB sez - "So let me get this straight. I am a Federal Law Enforcement Agent who spent months at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center learning the exact laws that regulate my powers to reasonable search and seizure."

Could you post a link to this story? You have never indicated that you are an FLEO before and I would like some info on where this statement came from. Thanks for the info RB!

Anon sez - "So now we have a police officer telling us, clearly on good authority, that the naked scan images are much more graphic than the TSA admits.
Who do you believe: the police or the TSA? Yeah me too!"

I am trying to get the link to this information. I don't think that RB is claiming they are an FLEO, I think they just missed putting the link in the comment.

West
TSA Blog Team

September 10, 2010 9:43 AM
..................
Just to clear up the confusion here is the original story with comments.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/travel/2012663519_bodyscanners19.html


Story Title

Full-body scans of passengers to start at Sea-Tac in September

story body...........

By Carol Pucci

Seattle Times travel writer....

Sea-Tac International Airport passengers will soon begin undergoing full-body scans as the federal government installs equipment that will help identify terrorist threats but poses concerns about privacy, health risks and longer waits in security lines.........

referenced comment: Comments are after the story. Referenced comment in snippet form is first.
...............

Sorry about the confusion.

Anonymous said...

lest we forget said...


No matter how rude you'd be to me at my job, I'd still treat you with respect and courtesy.

....................................

Unfortunately, due to the lack of effective management, training, and accountability, many TSOs on daily basis are rude, condescending, and frequently know less about their job responsibilities than the passengers they are screening.

As a traveler, I can only be disrespected so many times before I give up on the entire lot of you. I have no desire to enter your screening lines with a smile any more.

You are sleeping in the bed your coworkers made for you.

Anonymous said...

Hey Ponter --

Even Paris Hilton was allegedly smart enough to figure out a way around a WBI scanner.

Tell me again how this state of the art piece of security theater equipment is going to "keep us safe?"

Or do you think Paris is way ahead of the "bad guys" we are truly targeting in the cleverness department?

CNN Article

George said...

@West: Many of us are polite, professional and efficient. Many others are courteous, professional and efficient. The vast majority of employees are, at a minimum, courteous and professional, so your analogy would probably be a bit better if it read "Finding a "bad TSO" would be like finding a needle in a haystack.

While your statement about the majority of TSOs is probably true, the reality is that enough TSOs are neither polite nor courteous nor professional to give a large (and continually growing) number of people a very negative view of the TSA. The fact that the "bad TSOs" continue to screen passengers daily only reinforces that negative view. It shows that your bosses either don't care, or worse they consider having bullies among the screeners beneficial.

And even the polite, professional, and efficient TSOs have to enforce rules that make no sense to many passengers. Even though they're enforcing those rules conscientiously, they do it inconsistently because even the people who train them can't seem to agree on the details. And they now have to subject passengers to humiliating, extremely intrusive, and possibly even painful "pat downs," possibly because their bosses have decided that passengers need to be "actively encouraged" to accept the strip search scanners.

In a way I very much pity the "courteous, professional and efficient" TSOs, which I'll assume describes you. You have an inherently thankless job that involves inflicting intrusive and seemingly pointless hassles on people who have ample reason to despise and distrust you and your agency, and who have ample reason to expect a negative experience. That environment can't be good, either for TSOs or for effective security. But your bosses apparently don't want to change anything.

Finding needles in a haystack is very easy if you have a magnet. I guess some of us are magnets for "bad TSOs."

Anonymous said...

How about commenting on the fact that the latest New York Times article on the full body scans has almost all comments with negative content? Many comments include descriptions of being coerced into the machines even after opting out. Others correctly point out that the scanners don't work for what they are supposed to work for.

Anonymous said...

For those on a "No Fly List" there is some accountability
.

Sandra said...

Anonymous wrote: "....Others correctly point out that the scanners don't work for what they are supposed to work for."

As evidenced by this:

http://www.avionews.com/index.php?corpo=see_news_home.php&news_id=1120683&pagina_chiamante=index.php

"...In particular, beyond a lack of accuracy and a certain ease in going haywire, as detected by the operators,..."

Looks to me as if we have another FAIL on our hands.

Anonymous said...

Dear TSA,
It is not enough that you have taken three TSA-approved locks off my luggage. Now my phone charger has disappeared out of my bag, and in its place is a "Notice of Baggage Inspection" paper. It is not worth my time to fill out the claims paperwork and wait 2 years for the government (using taxpayer money) to reimburse me $8 for a new charger.

Anonymous said...

A month later, and still no meaningful comment on the woman you arrested and wrongfully accused of embezzling money from her husband for flying with checks?

How about a statement on how much in money and checks we can expect to fly with before you imprison us and steal it?

Air travel is getting unbelievably expensive, but you take our money away when we try to fly with it?

Bubba said...

Back in May, the foremost scientific journal in the World, Nature, published an extensive article about the lack of science behind SPOT. We still have heard no response from the TSA. They are sure trying to push it under the rug!

Unfortunately for them, I didn't forget, and will continue to remind everyone periodically.

Sandra said...

Bob, why was a woman forced to take off her shirt in front of two of your screeners?

Anonymous said...

Bob,

The story of the woman forced to take off her shirt is very serious.

You have been informed of a potential sexual assault. You are morally and likely legally obligated to follow up and advance this up the chain of command.

You also have an obligation to the traveling public to make a public statement on this situation.

Anonymous said...

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-20004436-504083.html

A TSA worker was mocked mercilessly by his co-workers for OVER A YEAR after having to go through one of the "naked machines" as a part of training. And not just any co-workers -- his *supervisor* was doing it too.

Can someone explain why those of us who are passengers should feel comfortable about this? Has the supervisor been fired?

Anonymous said...

X-Ray dosage is measured relative to total body mass.
As AIT X-Rays are low voltage 25-30KvP, they only penetrate about 1/4" of skin. Because all the x-rays are absorbed in this 1/4", the ACTUAL dose may be 100 times or more than advertised.

Read this letter from renowned scientists in the field:

http://www.npr.org/assets/news/2010/05/17/concern.pdf

Wait for the lawsuits for breast and testicular cancers as well as cataracts.
TSA won't have any legal defense, and will pay pay pay to quiet it down.

Meanwhile - Don't forget to OPT-OUT of the Nude-O-Scopes!
Take the pat-down. Ask for a private room. Make the TSO's work for a living.

Anonymous said...

Just another indication that we lost the war on terror. The Taliban was successful in forcing us to change our way of life. The airport experience has gotten absurdly awful and the erosion of rights in general has been devastating. They did what Hitler couldn't do: they struck our shores and forced a change of life.

Anonymous said...

The irony of the 3D scanners is that Muslims are going to opt to get pat down by a same-gender TSA agent. That means that the only people getting scanned are non-Muslims. Of course, once the non-Muslims see that Muslims aren't going through the scanners and are opting for the pat-down method, you may see some non-Muslims opting for this method. If, eventually, everyone opts for this method, it would render the scanners obsolete.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

'Meanwhile -Don't forget to OPT-OUT of the Nude-o-Scopes!'

I completely agree.

'Take the pat-down. Ask for a private room. Make the TSO work for a living'.

I think it would be better to have the grope-down in public. Lots of witnesses would make taking legal action for sexual assault much easier. If a grope-down is done in private, then any sexual assault is your word against the TSO's.
Insist that the grope-down is publicly witnessed.

Anonymous said...

There is no real way to validate what level of scanning is being done by the TSA. Example images on placards at the airport only show what the government want normal people and potential terrorists to see. If terrorists knew exactly how much scanning was occurring, they could adapt likewise. Therefore, it is implausible to expect the TSA to be honest about how high the scanning level is set. In effect, the TSA will feed the general public propaganda to stop the enemy from being more diligent in their stealth.

Anonymous said...

Regarding this incident:

http://www.tampabay.com/news/transportation/airport-body-scanners-reveal-all-but-what-about-when-its-your-kid/1109659#tpcccf

Because people are new to this technology and unaware of its implications, I recommend the following changes to SOP, effective immediately. Otherwise, serious opposition overall will mount.

1. Scanning children under 18 is forbidden without specific PERMISSION of the parent or accompanying adult. Unaccompanied minors would need WRITTEN PERMISSION.

2. SHOW EACH PASSENGER the sample images and TELL EACH PASSENGER that it will show them naked, like the picture. Also TELL EACH PASSENGER "USE OF THIS TECHNOLOGY IS OPTIONAL". Make sure you get their consent, head nod or verbal.

3. Make adequate provision for OPT-OUTS.

Anonymous said...

George said:
"And even the polite, professional, and efficient TSOs have to enforce rules that make no sense to many passengers. Even though they're enforcing those rules conscientiously, they do it inconsistently because even the people who train them can't seem to agree on the details. And they now have to subject passengers to humiliating, extremely intrusive, and possibly even painful "pat downs," possibly because their bosses have decided that passengers need to be "actively encouraged" to accept the strip search scanners"

so even when professional tsa agents take your items away you are going to be happy about it? it is a thankless job and no matter how they perform it you are going to be upset with your items being taken so they will seem rude to you. how do you determine who is pprofessional and who is rude when the person is doing there job and you are angry about it? its a no win for the passenger or the tsa agent. cut them some slack.

RB said...

Anonymous said...
Anonymous said...

'Meanwhile -Don't forget to OPT-OUT of the Nude-o-Scopes!'

I completely agree.

'Take the pat-down. Ask for a private room. Make the TSO work for a living'.

I think it would be better to have the grope-down in public. Lots of witnesses would make taking legal action for sexual assault much easier. If a grope-down is done in private, then any sexual assault is your word against the TSO's.
Insist that the grope-down is publicly witnessed.

September 17, 2010 7:04 PM
.................
Opt Out yes.

Pat Down yes

Private room, NO.

Make TSA assault you in public.

Let others see what disgusting things TSA employees are forcing on the citizens of the United States.

GSOLTSO said...

The enhanced pat down, is not an assault of any kind. It is simply a method used to clear an individual for threat items. This is not the same type of pat down used when you enter a prison system (trust me, it isn't even close to the pat down done by Johnny Law when they arrest someone). Any other commentary stating otherwise is simply wrong. We have to screen all passengers before we can allow them to enter the secured area, and this is simply the method used when someone opts out of screening with AIT. We will always have some people (for whatever reason) that will be unable/unwilling to complete the process in the AIT. The enhanced pat down is simply the method used to clear those folks that opt out. It is not punitive, or used to coerce (unlike many have said here), it is simply used to prevent folks from carrying threat items on their person.

West
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

GSOLTSO said...

The enhanced pat down, is not an assault of any kind.
________________

So, West, you are saying:

A) The many reports of genital contact being reported is not assault

or

B) IF a TSO conducts an inappropriate pat down they are merely not complying with the SOP and what happened was not an “enhanced pat down?"

Which is it?
________________

GSOLTSO said...
The enhanced pat down is simply the method used to clear those folks that opt out. It is not punitive, or used to coerce (unlike many have said here), it is simply used to prevent folks from carrying threat items on their person.
________________

That’s an awful big statement, West.

Anyone who works in an organization should realize that variation occurs, people screw up, and bad apples exist.

Some passengers are claiming they are treated harshly by TSOs who are not familiar with the right of passengers to opt out, or are harassed and significantly delayed when they do so.

Instead of acknowledging that there may be problems out there on the checkpoints and that your organization will continue to fix issues as they occur -- you take the low road and call out honest folk who complain about how they felt they were treated as liars.

How does your blanket statement generate public trust in your organization, specifically from those who travel through TSA checkpoints and realize all isn't rosy?

Anonymous said...

West,

Just because you say it, doesn't make it true.

Anonymous said...

The TSA describes the grabbing and squeezing of passengers testicles as 'simply a method of clearing passengers'. The rest of us would describe it as sexual assault.

RB said...

GSOLTSO said...
The enhanced pat down, is not an assault of any kind. It is simply a method used to clear an individual for threat items. This is not the same type of pat down used when you enter a prison system (trust me, it isn't even close to the pat down done by Johnny Law when they arrest someone). Any other commentary stating otherwise is simply wrong. We have to screen all passengers before we can allow them to enter the secured area, and this is simply the method used when someone opts out of screening with AIT. We will always have some people (for whatever reason) that will be unable/unwilling to complete the process in the AIT. The enhanced pat down is simply the method used to clear those folks that opt out. It is not punitive, or used to coerce (unlike many have said here), it is simply used to prevent folks from carrying threat items on their person.

West
TSA Blog Team
................
Are you claiming that TSA is not using an open hand, palm forward to feel the genital areas of people?

That my friend is sexual assault.

Anonymous said...

"The enhanced pat down, is not an assault of any kind."

West, you don't hesitate to tell us what the pat down is not.

Please tell us what the enhanced pat down IS.

So far TSA has refused to do that.

We have no way of knowing when TSA is exceeding the legal limits of the manhandling and groping we are subject to.

We have no way of knowing when you are committing the crime of sexually assaulting us under the cover of authority.

This is unconscionable.

Anonymous said...

"It is not punitive, or used to coerce (unlike many have said here), it is simply used to prevent folks from carrying threat items on their person."

BY fondling their genitals, which makes it sexual assault.

The truth said...

Shame on you all for forgetting why TSA is here. What they need is a video playing above all checkpoints from that day so all of you smart mouths will remember.

AK said...

I would like to know why there are no signs at the airport security checkpoint telling passengers to take off their shoes, despite this being perhaps the most bothersome action they are required to perform. In my experience the officer has to convey this information orally slowing down the queue. Furthermore the English word "shoe" is ambiguous, meaning either footwear with a sole or all footwear (the TSA means the latter, but the officer will react impatiently if you interpret the former). Surely a sign would solve these problems?

George said...

@The truth: Shame on you all for forgetting why TSA is here.

We haven't forgotten why TSA is here. The "intelligence community" failed catastrophically on 9/11. So the Bush administration created a secretive, unaccountable bureaucracy to bamboozle us into believing that the Government was now doing something about it. That's its visible function, but its primary, largely invisible Mission is to make sure that nobody ever gets held accountable for these failures in the future. Costly and aggressive bottom-covering is more politically expedient than holding the bureaucracts accountable for working effectively.

Because that bureaucracy is secretive and unaccountable, they have unlimited power to erode freedom and privacy when it gets in their way. Their latest secretive and unaccountable decision was giving TSOs license to "pat down" passengers in a fashion that anywhere else would be considered sexual assault. But TSA checkpoints are an Alice in Wonderland world where rules that apply elsewhere in the universe are turned topsy-turvy, and vary considerably with the whims of TSOs. So at checkpoints, touching passengers' genitals is not a sexual assault and it's not punitive. It's just a "method," and it's necessary and justified for reasons that, for the usual National Security reasons, we must never know. Anyone who claims they've been treated punitively is therefore lying.

What they need is a video playing above all checkpoints from that day so all of you smart mouths will remember.

I'm surprised TSA management hasn't installed video monitors above the checkpoints playing a loop of the falling Towers and burning victims. There's nothing more effective than FEAR to make people willing, even eager, to surrender their freedom, privacy, and (now) even bodily integrity in exchange for sweetly whispered assurances that "We need to squeeze your testicles to keep you safe. Trust us."

Sandra said...

West, the problem with your response is that not every single traveler who does not go through WBI gets the full-on grope.

If the grope is nothing but punishment for refusing NoS, then all passengers not going through the NoS would be subjected to it.

Further, passengers deserve to be told what to expect in the grope: is squeezing of the genitals SOP or not? If we don't know that, when we don't know if the person who screens us is going beyond the SOP for the "enhanced" grope.

Since TSA will not tell us what to expect in such a grope, my advice to all passengers who experience such is to file a complaint against the screener for sexual assault. Once the TSA has been faced with enough of these complaints, perhaps they will set a standard and advise passengers what that standard is.

Anonymous said...

You stole my theme-park purchased SNOW GLOBE today. Why would I check the 'banned' list to see if theme park souvenirs are banned? I don't check to make sure theme park souvenir hats are banned either.

The agent really got off on making me cry while he was stealing one of my husband's birthday presents.

Well, no more flying for me - I'm done. I didn't know that the terrorists had taken control of the snow globe manufacturers. It's really dangerous out there! Flying is dumb, given all the danger!

Anonymous said...

GSOLTSO said...
The enhanced pat down, is not an assault of any kind. It is simply a method used to clear an individual for threat items.
------------------------------------------

I think it's time that someone explained to you the concept of mutual exclusivity. You see, "an assault" and "a method used to clear an individual for threat items" are not mutually exclusive. It's a bit like a cannibalistic serial killer telling you, "This isn't murder in any sense. It is simply a method used to secure my dinner."

Also, I'd like to echo other commenters who have pointed out the absurdity of debating a procedure that you have announced and defended but refused to define.

TSM West said...

George said
We haven't forgotten why TSA is here. The "intelligence community" failed catastrophically on 9/11. So the Bush administration created a secretive, unaccountable bureaucracy to bamboozle us into believing that the Government was now doing something about it. That's its visible function, but its primary, largely invisible Mission is to make sure that nobody ever gets held accountable for these failures in the future. Costly and aggressive bottom-covering is more politically expedient than holding the bureaucracts accountable for working effectively.
-----------------------------------
You may be partially right about the intellegence community. But if you look at the time line for the creation of TSA you will see a second attempt on aviation that very possibly the intellegence community may not have known about. Plus the screening processes in place at the time weren't working.

09/11/2001 No need to tell you what that day was

12/22/2001 Richard Reid. Old screening processes were used at that time. As much as you want to say Reids attempt failed, the fact still remains that he got explosives on an airplane under the old screening processes.

02/17/2002 TSA Assumed responsibility for Airport Screening

09/19/2002 TSA met the deadline to federalize 429 commercial airports with 59000 screeners.

TSA Screening isn't just to protect lives from another terrorist attack, it's also there to help protect the economy. After 9/11 we all watched the stock market crash. Another similar attack could possibly create a worse crash in the economy that may or may not rebound. If another attempt is ever successful on aviation you could quite possibly see the airline industry completely go out of business. Personnaly I work for the Government, so I don't get paid enough to invest in the stock market. With this country's economy I don't think we could survive another but thats just my opinion.

HappyToHelp said...

@ George
It didn’t take a government conspiracy to make TSA. Congress constructed title 49 and that’s what TSA is doing. If you don’t agree with the applicable laws, you will need to get them changed. Saying that TSA is busy work is far from true, and is a failed illogical statement. If you think HQ, TSOC, and over 400 airports are run in this manner, you are sadly mistaken. Don’t let a few bad screening experiences cloud your judgment.
What is this about fear? The government is trying to control me!!! Who is using fear hear? TSA talks about terrorism because it directly relates to what we do. You talk about government control because….?? Sounds like something right out of a book about the New World Order (NWO).

Tim
TSA Blog Team

HappyToHelp said...

@ "RB", "Anonymous"
So now the voluntary enhanced pat down is sexual assault? Is this just like the claim that family lanes are going to cost TSA millions in discrimination lawsuits? (looking at you Sandra)

This reminds me of the progression of Advanced Imaging Machines. They started out as whole body imagers, then virtual strip searches, and then they were called actual strip searches, now RB calls them child-porn machines.

If you guys ever want to go through the pat-down, both AIT and Walk-Through Metal Detectors are optional. Just opt-out and receive your pat-down. Your experience will vary.

Happy travels,

Tim
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

It has now been 14 months since the last Whole Body Imaging Privacy Impact Assessment ( July 23 2009). The TSA refuses to publish a new up-dated version because it knows that their continuing erosion of passengers civil liberties and privacy will be exposed. If they just stick to the old 2009 PIA then they can continue to erode privacy and civil libertities without much challenge. How very democratic.

Anonymous said...

Tim, TSA Blog Team said...
'If you guys want to go through the pat-down, both AIT and Walk-Through Metal Detectors are optional. Just opt-out and receive your pat-down. YOUR EXPERIENCE WILL VARY'.
Now that sounds ominous. Why will the screening experience you are subjected to vary? You are clearly saying some people will be treated sensitively and fairly, while others will be punitively assaulted. The screening EXPERIENCE, not the actual screening method, should be the SAME for every law abiding passenger. Why are some people treated differently?

Anonymous said...

Tim said, "now the voluntary enhanced pat down is sexual assault?"

Tim, the problem is that you will not provide us with the information to know if what you are doing to any one of us crosses the line to sexual assault or not.

You will not tell us what the 'enhanced' pat down is.

We do not know what your limits are. If any.

You will be having very intimate physical contact with us that most people would not allow from a stranger.

We have no way of knowing if you are carrying out your job, or using your authority as cover to improperly touch us.

George said...

@HappyToHelp: Don’t let a few bad screening experiences cloud your judgment.

If I shouldn't judge the TSA based on my personal experience with representatives of your agency, on what basis should I judge it? Would it be better to rely on a more objective source, such as the GAO? The GAO consistently shows that the TSA gives us little if any actual security in exchange for what it costs us (in taxpayer dollars as well as in freedom and privacy). The GAO also shows that there has been little if any improvement in the TSA's effectiveness and cost-effectiveness in the years it has been operating, possibly because TSA management consistently exercises their sacred prerogative to ignore the GAO.

As for the "applicable laws," do you mean that Congress has legislated all the requirements about shoes and liquids that are (arbitrarily and inconsistently) enforced on us at checkpoints? And does a law of Congress give TSOs authority to "pat down" passengers in a fashion that would constitute sexual assault anywhere else? Has Congress mandated the secrecy of your procedures, to ensure that we can never know either the rules or when TSOs violate them?

You may indeed be happy to help, by reiterating the official TSA position. But being constrained your agency's obsessive secrecy, the only response you can offer to any substantive concerns is "That's classified/SSI." I'm afraid that won't change my opinion of the TSA formed by "bad screening experiences" (which TSA management clearly tolerates and possibly encourages), along with the GAO reports. And even the good screening experiences raise questions about whether the absurd rules are either necessary or effective, which you can answer only with "trust us."

No "conspiracy theories" are needed. The TSA is merely doing what any bureaucracy naturally does when it's granted secrecy and exemption from independent oversight and accountability.

Sandra said...

Tim, fear is the nectar of the gods to the TSA and without it, your agency would shrivel up and die.

Jen said...

My birthday is coming up this weekend and my driver's license expires on my birthday. I went to renew my license today and they gave me a temporary paper license and affixed it to my old one, and also cut off the end of the expiration date. I am flying on business on Saturday and I don't have a passport. Will I be able to fly?

TSM West said...

Bob, why are my comments not being posted.

Over the last couple of weeks i posted comments and they were never posted.

On 9/20 I responded to George and you did not post it. It wasn't off topic, especially since the comments were for the off topic post. None of what I cemmented is SSI or offensive. It pretty much discussed the time line of TSA's creation.

RB said...

The screening EXPERIENCE, not the actual screening method, should be the SAME for every law abiding passenger. Why are some people treated differently?

September 21, 2010 3:19 PM
.......................
If a person Opt Outs of E-Strip they receive a retalitory screening. There is no other explanation and proves TSA is operating outside of the law.

RB said...

HappyToHelp said...
@ "RB", "Anonymous"
So now the voluntary enhanced pat down is sexual assault? Is this just like the claim that family lanes are going to cost TSA millions in discrimination lawsuits? (looking at you Sandra)

This reminds me of the progression of Advanced Imaging Machines. They started out as whole body imagers, then virtual strip searches, and then they were called actual strip searches, now RB calls them child-porn machines.

If you guys ever want to go through the pat-down, both AIT and Walk-Through Metal Detectors are optional. Just opt-out and receive your pat-down. Your experience will vary.

Happy travels,

Tim
TSA Blog Team

September 21, 2010 7:22 AM
...................
Does the name Negrin come to mind Tim?

IF the images are as tame as TSA claims then why the refusal to post actual images?

Prove to the public that Strip Search Machines are the same as child porn images.

Ball is in your court Tim.

RB said...

HappyToHelp said...
@ George
It didn’t take a government conspiracy to make TSA. Congress constructed title 49 and that’s what TSA is doing.
................

Tim it's ashame that you have lost all perspective.

What congress authorized was for TSA to screen for WEI using an administrative search no more in extensive than required for that purpose.

TSA has exceeded that by miles.

Also, every other government agency has to comply with rule making that allows public comments and discussion before some new rule is made, but not TSA. TSA doens't even comply with standing Administrative Act rule making provisions as it is.

TSA is out of control and at this point little is left except to disband the agency, return screening oversight to the FAA where it belongs and start over fresh.

TSA senior employees belong in prison not drawing a paycheck from the government.

Anonymous said...

Question to the TSA blog team:

Why are sniffer dogs not used to search passengers for concealed explosive substances? Surely if they can easily be trained to detect drugs, then why are they not trained to detect explosive substances, such as PETN?
If sniffer dogs were used you would not need the naked scanners, just an ordinary pat-down and metal detectors.

Blogger Bob said...

TSM West - We haven't deleted any of your comments. Not sure what's going on...

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

Tim said: "[saying] TSA is busy work is far from true, and is a failed illogical statement."

I see what you did there. Clever!

A failed illogical statement would would be a logical statement.

So you agree with the comment! :)

George said...

@RB: If a person Opt Outs of E-Strip they receive a retalitory screening.

But Bob and West say that the pat down is not retaliatory. It's merely a "method." It's also not sexual assault. That's the official TSA position, authorized for public distribution.

Of course, stating this official position doesn't mean that, when implemented by TSOs whose training, competence, and attitude toward the public are inconsistent and variable, the pat down won't become retaliatory sexual abuse. There is very often a disconnect between what official "should" or "should not" happen, as stated here by the TSA's Propaganda Department, and what actually occurs at the checkpoint.

While we can't know what actually goes on behind the TSA's thick curtain of secrecy, by all appearances TSA management doesn't care about that disconnect. Alternatively, as the Propaganda Department makes a point of letting us know that "unpredictability" is a vitally important layer of TSA security, it's possible that they actually encourage this disconnect because it somehow benefits security.

Regardless of what the real (secret) intent and procedures say, some people perceive the pat down as retaliatory and/or a sexual assault. We may see this perception as a problem that can't be good for security. But it's conceivable that the bosses behind the curtain (with access to the Latest Robust Intelligence) believe that the perception benefits security.

The idea that encouraging the public to hate the TSA somehow benefits security makes no sense to me, but much of what the TSA does makes no sense. It presumably does make sense to the people behind the curtain, for reasons we must never know. Either that or they're just making lame excuses for systematic incompetence. When everything is behind a curtain of secrecy, it's difficult to tell the difference.

Anonymous said...

Tim has us reaching for our tinfoil hats talking about "New World Order" and other boogie men.

Tim could you please leave your straw men* out in left field where they belong?

Many of your recent posts have gone on about things that the commenter quite simply did not say.

Why do you exaggerate and make things up?

It only adds to the noise and is not helpful in moving the discussion forward. Please stop it.

Thanks.

*The Straw Man fallacy is committed when a person simply ignores a person's actual position and substitutes a distorted, exaggerated or misrepresented version of that position.

Anonymous said...

Sandra said...
"Tim, fear is the nectar of the gods to the TSA and without it, your agency would shrivel up and die."

That is why West's signature over at Flyertalk is so amusing.

"Fear profits a man nothing."

Now there is a man with a wicked sense of humor!

Ayn R. Key said...

West wrote:
The enhanced pat down, is not an assault of any kind. It is simply a method used to clear an individual

for threat items. ... The enhanced pat down is simply the method used to clear those folks that opt out. It

is not punitive, or used to coerce (unlike many have said here), it is simply used to prevent folks from

carrying threat items on their person.


I know that you are required to say that. And if I ask

you if you are required to say that, you are required to answer that you are not. So I won't bother with

that question.

But I do wonder if you feel any pangs of conscience when you repeat the company line.

Anonymous said...

This language is from the instructions for black diamond lane travelers on the TSA website:

"DO: put your shoes and coat in the first bin and any carry-on bags in other bins. Then after your bins go through the x-ray, you can slip your shoes and coat on while waiting for your other items to come out."

There are at least two things in these instructions that will get a passenger reprimanded by the bag monitor!

HappyToHelp said...

@ Anonymous September 21, 2010 3:19 PM
Transportation Security Officers explain what they are going to do before we perform secondary screenings. The individual in secondary screening is informed before any procedures take place. The individual is also informed they have an option to have their screening done in a private area/room. If you feel the officer has done anything inappropriate, you can talk to their supervisor. As far as reading the manual to insure your officer followed the book, not going to happen. Sorry :(

Tim
TSA Blog Team

HappyToHelp said...

@ Anonymous September 22, 2010 8:43 AM
TSA does use canine explosive teams nationally. You can read all about them on our website.

Explosive Detection canine teams are not substitutes for AIT.

Tim
TSA Blog Team

HappyToHelp said...

@ RB
I think you have been hanging out with Spiff too much. TSA works closely with Congress. The Behavior Detection Officer (BDO) program is an example of this. DHS also works closely with Congress, and got us funds for more AIT machines. TSA cannot do what it does without Congress.

I can’t really answer your false accusations RB. According to you TSA is a lawless scheming super agency, but is somehow incompetent. Which is it?

I know you advocate for the end of TSA. Just to let you know. TSA isn’t going anywhere.

Tim
TSA Blog Team

HappyToHelp said...

@ Sandra
TSA is not the boogeyman. I also checked my Federal Security Director for tubes, and he does not run off of nectar.

Tim
TSA Blog Team

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