Friday, July 16, 2010

Talk to TSA: I Want To Hear From You

Talk to TSA BannerWhat better way to start my first blog post than to let you know I am very interested in what the public has to say. My top priorities include improving TSA's counterterrorism focus through intelligence and cutting edge technology, supporting the workforce, and strengthening our relationships with stakeholders and the traveling public.

I've seen firsthand that strong counterterrorism efforts include an engaged and informed public and it’s imperative that we listen.

Talk to TSA StickerBecause I think the public’s voice is so important, I am launching “Talk to TSA.” It works the same as “Got Feedback?” did. You go to the web page and you can leave detailed feedback for a specific airport’s Customer Support Manager. The new and improved part of this process is that I will also be regularly reviewing your input along with the comments that are made here on the blog.

I commit to you that I will utilize “Talk to TSA” to address some of the more commonly asked questions and themes. I’ll be addressing those concerns right here on the blog. So send us your ideas, suggestions, and feedback. I’m listening.

John S. Pistole
TSA Administrator

262 comments:

1 – 200 of 262   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

Mr. Pistole,
Do you consider flying on commercial aviation a "right" or a "privilege"?

-US Citizen

Anonymous said...

Why does TSA refuse to publish sample images from its strip-search technology that are the same size and resolution as those seen by the operator of these machines?

Anonymous said...

How many countries require all air passengers to remove their footwear? Please answer with a number.

Anonymous said...

What independent, peer-reviewed research supports TSA's 3.4-1-1 liquid policy?

Anonymous said...

What is the relationship between ID and security?

Anonymous said...

What is the name and contact information for Curtis "Blogger 'Bob'" Burns' direct supervisor?

Anonymous said...

Why is TSA continuing its "Behavior Detection" program when that program has been eviscerated by leading science journal Nature as being unscientific hogwash?

Anonymous said...

Why can't you put the right numbers on the signs about the 3.4-1-1 rules? It's bad enough you have this pointless policy, do you have to lie to us about what the policy IS, too?

Anonymous said...

Will you be covering TSA cargo topics here too?

Anonymous said...

Why aren't TSA employees subject to the same level of screening as passengers? Every single TSA screener should get the full treatment each and every time they enter the screening area. I would feel better about the screenings you put us through if I knew that the same level of inconvenience was being visited on the screeners.

Chris said...

Thank you for this link, I think it will be useful. Beyond the local sites, I am concerned about international privacy--I understand TSA technology is harmonized with sites outside the U.S. Even if they take privacy seriously, do other countries have the laws to back their privacy policies?

Arun Krishnamurthy said...

Sorry for asking, but what's the difference between "Talk to TSA" and "Got Feedback"? Looks more like a name change? If so, why?

Just curious. :)

Thanks!

Earl Pitts said...

Administrator Pistole,

When you mentioned in your statement to Congress that you felt TSA needed to educate the public, what did you mean? I'm really hoping it wasn't the Soviet style of "education" on what TSA is about and how it's going to "protect" us.

I was under the impression that this blog's purpose was for the public to talk to TSA. In addition to the things that are brought up on the new website, do you intend to answer the questions that have been asked here repeatedly and TSA has refused to answer?

Earl

Anonymous said...

Body scanners might improve our odds from 1/16,000,000 to maybe 1/20,000,000, maybe not. Checkpoints will continue to miss things as they always have. Federal Red teams get 60% of their contraband through the checkpoints as it is. I think we are safe enough (2009 levels), that they need to concentrate on things like baggage screening (only 40-60% as of now). Like Rep Chaffitz (UT) said: Does strip-searching my mother or 8 year old daughter make flying safer?

It’s so important to keep reminding people that the government’s most important priority is to protect our freedoms, not Keep Us Safe(tm). Over the years many thousands of Americans have given their lives to secure those freedoms, and to simply hand them over now in exchange for a dubious promise to Keep Us Safe(tm) is a disgusting insult to their sacrifice.

Anonymous said...

When will TSA employees be held accountable for their on the job actions that aren't covered under the SOP (i.e. screaming at passengers, threatening passengers with a 'do you want to fly today?', abusing the passengers)?

Anonymous said...

When will TSO's begin following the SOP and not make up fantasy rules and regulations on the spot?

Bob Hanssen said...

Mr. Administrator,

I am obligated to fill you in on a few hard facts that I have no doubt were omitted by your transition team during your preparations for your confirmation hearing and which Secretary Napolitano either intentionally omitted or was ignorant of during your interviews. If you had discussions with any of your predecessors, I am confident, based on their track records while in office, that were not discussed.

I invite you to review, in detail, the previous history here on the TSA Blog. You will find evidence of:

1. Your General Counsel who conducts legal research on Google.com (I suggest, within the next 120 days, you examine her conduct during the Zacarias Moussaoui. I submit you already may be familiar with her conduct in your previous job.);

2. TSA employees who have no concept of the Constitution or the Bill of Rights, especially regarding the scope and limitations of Administrative Searches;

3. Refusal by the TSA employees responsible for this blog to address numerous legitimate questions about:

a. Credibility of threats leading to extraordinarily invasive searches of person and property;

b. Evidence of peer-reviewed research supporting the SPOT program;

c. Justification for intrusive identification examinations other than that given by one of your predecessors: "ID matters."

d. Numerous uninvestigated instances of screener abuse of passengers, threats directed at passengers such as, "Do you want to fly today?", retaliatory secondary searches, interrogations of passengers which violate attorney-client privilege and the HIPPA, screeners making medical judgments such as the amount of medicines which are needed for a flight; screeners forcing passengers to remove prostheses, screeners forcing passengers to remove or expose body piercings in genital areas;

e. The refusal to publish honest and "transparent" actual naked images of the exact quality as seen by screeners; and,

f. Justification for a screener in Denver, CO, who brought a firearm to work and who is still working as a TSA screener.

Beyond these few examples, I invite you to read through the Travel Safety and Security forum on Flyertalk.com, which is one of the oldest and most reputable internet sites pertaining to air travel. The examples are many, as related by some of the country's most experienced and frequent flyers. Policies and priorities of your agency frequently just don't pass the "giggle test."

Regretfully, your first post here sounds as if you simply repeated the posts of your predecessors, except for the sentences lifted verbatim from your oral testimony. That is very unfortunate. Everyone of your precedessors, with the exception of John McGaw, who, frankly, has little regard for the public he served, has said exactly what you have written and gone on to either ignore or insult the taxpayers they swore to serve. Everyone of them has promised to "listen" and then summarily blown us off or sent their public affairs directors out to insult us.

Your agency has no credibility nor respect with the public and the damage you agency has caused is irreversible. There is ample evidence to support my assertion.

We are expecting a lot out of you, Mr. Administrator. We demand you uphold, support, and defend the Constitution you swore to support and defend -- not rub our noses in it.

GSOLTSO said...

Arun sez - "Sorry for asking, but what's the difference between "Talk to TSA" and "Got Feedback"? Looks more like a name change? If so, why?

Just curious. :)

Thanks!"

Based on his statement in the post, I would venture that Administrator Pistole will be taking a more active part in this information process. Also, renaming and increasing the focus on the program can allow the specific airports to get more feedback on their individual workforce. By using "Talk to TSA", not only will it give local Customer Support Managers info about their workforce, it will give HQ a chance to see information about what is going right/wrong by identifying trends nationwide. I can't claim to speak for the Administrator, but that is kind of what I got out of this post.

West
TSA Blog Team

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "How many countries require all air passengers to remove their footwear? Please answer with a number."

I know of at least two, but I don't have a list of all countries that do it.

West
TSA Blog Team

Sandra said...

Whenever there is an article regarding the TSA on the internet, you yourself need to read the comments accompanying that article. From those comments, you will learn that the TSA is much despised by travelers. You might want to think about what you can do as administrator to change the abysmal light in which TSA is seen.

Beyond that, my questions to you are:

How do you justify use of WBI when it is well-known that it would not have caught the underwear bomber and that there are many places on and in the human body where a dedicated terrorist could secret a prohibited item or items?

Does TSA profile potential and current employees for signs of sexual perversions? It is incumbent on the TSA to do so if it is planning, as I believe it is, to force all travelers through WBI.

Thank you and I truly hope that you will be more forthcoming than what we have seen so far on this blog.

Hal Nicholson said...

West,

I believe Anonymous was asking Administrator Pistole the question about countries that require shoe removal. It's in your best interests, if you desire a continued career in the TSA, to allow your boss to answer the question directed at him.

Anonymous said...

Really, West? Care to name them?

Anonymous said...

West, Mr. Pistole is a big boy and can answer questions for himself.

RB said...

GSOLTSO said...
Anon sez - "How many countries require all air passengers to remove their footwear? Please answer with a number."

I know of at least two, but I don't have a list of all countries that do it.

West
TSA Blog Team

July 16, 2010 9:02 PM
.................
Two, the United States plus one other out of every other country in the world. And amazingly not a single shoe bomb has been deployed yet TSA waste extradinary amounts of time screening shoes.

How about the math on this TSA, what is the threat of a shoe bomb expressed as a percentage of # of passengers:bombs found?

Bueller......Bueller.......

RB said...

Administrator Pistole, I would suggest to you that the "Got Feedback" or this renamed "Talk to TSA" will likely be worthless unless some accountability is brought down on TSA leadership.

I reported a suspected attempted theft at a TSA checkpoint at FLL. My concerns were met with indifference and basically the FLL FSD told me to just accept this as part of today's screening. I find this attitude of unaccountability to be unacceptable but that is how many see TSA.

Another minor incident, I reported to the DFW FSD about watching two TSA employees using an in terminal transport to have themselves chauffeured from check point to checkpoint. This electric transport was reserved for the handicapped and I can assure you that neither of these employees showed any form of impairment other than being very overweight. I find it extremely poor head work for TSA employees to deprive those people of transportation systems who really need such assistance.

The answer from the DFW FSD was that they had an agreement with the airport to use these transport systems intended for the disabled. Impressive TSA!

Also, why can't the public get a list of rules that must be complied with to transit a TSA checkpoint? How can one know what is required when such information is kept secret?

Additionally, why has TSA classified certain amounts of United States currency as contraband. When did our nations money become the same as illegal drugs and what concern of TSA's is it to even question why a person may have substantial funds on their person? TSA's mandate is to keep dangerous items such as WEI off of airplanes, currency is not one of the items that TSA has any responsibility to monitor.

Sir, you have taken on the most distrusted, non-functional agency ever created in this countries history. I see TSA as more of a danger to myself, not as a benefit that adds security to my travels.

I recognize that your time is valuable but I would hope you could find time to read through the discussions on this blog.

TSA needs help, I hope you are up to the task!

Anonymous said...

These questions were addressed to the TSA Administrator, not to you, West, nor any of the other mouthpieces here.

txrus said...

I will tell you the same thing we all told Poster Boy when he turned up as a new member of the Blog team & said essentially the same thing-read the blog. Then go over to Flyertalk.com & read the Travel Safety & Security Forum. Then come back & provide some concrete answers to the many, many, many unanswered questions that have been raised over the years.

We, the traveling public, HAVE been trying to talk to the TSA for years-the problem is that the TSA refuses to listen.

I challenge you to prove me wrong.

Anonymous said...

West, thank you for trying to help.

But posts from TSA staff who are uninformed on the matter they are posting on, or that do not factually address the subject/questions at hand are far too common here.

Instead of your interpretation of "kind of what [you] got out of [the] post" maybe someone will provide some straight, honest facts to the questions:

"What's the difference between "Talk to TSA" and "Got Feedback"? Looks more like a name change? If so, why?"

Jim Huggins said...

It's probably too late for this ... but might I suggest that "Talk with TSA" might be a better name for this program than "Talk to TSA"?

Plenty of folks here at the blog have been talking to TSA for years now. Unfortunately, the general feeling here is that TSA doesn't respond. We don't merely want to talk to TSA; we want to know that TSA will respond substantively.

GSOLTSO said...

Hal sez - "West,

I believe Anonymous was asking Administrator Pistole the question about countries that require shoe removal. It's in your best interests, if you desire a continued career in the TSA, to allow your boss to answer the question directed at him."

I was not speaking for Administrator Pistole, only myself. I was unaware that I was not able to put my two cents worht in anymore... I am going to continue posting and giving my opinions on this page.

Anon sez - "Really, West? Care to name them?"

I was wrong Anon, I was under the mistaken impression that Canada required all flights, but I now have other information (that came to light after my last post). I can only say that several countries require passengers to remove their shoes for travel to the US. I apologize for being wrong.

Anon sez - "West, Mr. Pistole is a big boy and can answer questions for himself."

I am quite certain of that anon, I was only speaking for myself and will continue to do so.

RB sez - "Two, the United States plus one other out of every other country in the world. And amazingly not a single shoe bomb has been deployed yet TSA waste extradinary amounts of time screening shoes.

How about the math on this TSA, what is the threat of a shoe bomb expressed as a percentage of # of passengers:bombs found?

Bueller......Bueller......."

Nice Ferris reference! The fact that shoes haven't been used as a delivery device does not diminish the fact that they are a threat. It has been used before and is a fairly easy way to get things on the plane if the shoes are not screened.

West
TSA Blog Team

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "These questions were addressed to the TSA Administrator, not to you, West, nor any of the other mouthpieces here."

I am not a mouthpiece, most of those that I have seen are made of rubber or polyurethane and are used to correct an orthodontic condition, or to protect the user from tooth damage dring sproting events.

But seriously, I am going to continue posting my opinions here, just like you will anon.

West
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

"I am not a mouthpiece, most of those that I have seen are made of rubber or polyurethane..."

There are other mouthpieces besides those.

Mouthpiece:
Used figuratively and with negative connotations to indicate the role of a spokesperson or mass media venue that is used to perpetuate the views or agenda of another.

Anonymous said...

"I am going to continue posting and giving my opinions on this page."

Good!

And people will continue to offer their opinion when responses do not offer factual information when it is requested.

I was surprised at the number of posts about your postings.

You could learn something from this.

It could help improve the quality of your posts and make them more meaningful and welcome. Or you can take an adversarial position and reinforce negative stereotypes.

Annoyed Canadian said...

Dear Mr. Pistole,

Welcome to the job, and thank you for the opportunity to provide you with direct questions.

As a Canadian, I am very concerned that the US is pressuring my government to provide full passenger manifests for all flights that traverse any US Airspace. This, oddly enough, would include some flights between two Canadian cities, as well as many international flights.

This seems entirely too invasive for the minimal payback. As I'm sure you are aware, the type of attacks perpetuated by the Saudi's during 2001 would have a ridiculously small chance of success now.

Far better, I think, for all nations to focus more on securing the craft on the ground by actually checking airport workers with the same vigour that we, the unfortunate flying public, have to endure. And please, teach your front-line staff some manners. Far too many of them seem to think they are prison guards.

Enjoy your thankless job,

Signed,
An annoyed Canadian

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "Good!

And people will continue to offer their opinion when responses do not offer factual information when it is requested.

I was surprised at the number of posts about your postings.

You could learn something from this.

It could help improve the quality of your posts and make them more meaningful and welcome. Or you can take an adversarial position and reinforce negative stereotypes."

I agree 100%, I learn quite a bit from the folks that post here. I welcome other people to post their opinions, as a matter of fact I encourage it.

If I disagree with what someone is saying, and comment about it, I am (by definition) being adversarial. I post here because I want to further communication and learn. I am not certain what stereotypes I am perpetuating, but if you would do me a favor and post a omment in the "Off topic" thread located here at the blog, I will address them directly for you. Thank you for your input Anon!

West
TSA BLog Team

Gunner said...

Mr Pistole:

Can you describe the circumstances in which it is approprite in YOUR OPINION for TSA to require that a local airport hire a conficted felon and place them in a position of responsibility with regards to airport operations/security?

Thank you.

Earl Pitts said...

West, employees carrying guns on the job have caused problems at work and are a vector for violence. TSA has had at least one incident (Alvin Crabtree at DEN) brought a loaded weapon to work. Ironically, he faced no charges and continues to work at DEN.

When asked about this and why screeners themselves aren't screened every time they entered the sterile area, we were given (I believe by you) the answer is "that it's too hard to do" and "it's not worth the time." Yet when it comes to pax, TSA continues to foist hard things on us that aren't worth the time and we're expected to accept it "for our safety."

I want to know why there's a double standard. If shoes are a vector and you insist on screening every shoe that comes thru a checkpoint, I want to know WHY, given Alvin Crabtree, that screeners aren't screened EVERY TIME they enter the sterile area.

You can't have it both ways.

Earl

RB said...

Nice Ferris reference! The fact that shoes haven't been used as a delivery device does not diminish the fact that they are a threat. It has been used before and is a fairly easy way to get things on the plane if the shoes are not screened.

West
TSA Blog Team

July 17, 2010 9:57 AM

West, an anus bomb was used to get an explosive on an aircraft.

When will TSA start screening anuses for a "used before and fairly easy way to get things on an airplane?

Oh, the anus bomb actually exploded so it must be a far larger danger than the shoe bomb.

Anonymous said...

Annoyed Canadian I understand your concerns.

Beyond any other issues I am sure no Canadian, or any one of any other nationality, wants to be the next Maher Arar.

Anonymous said...

The blog recently has stated the intention of trying to keep threads more on topic.

Good.

However there are so many questions that arise again and again. ) Whether or not they have been answered is another subject.

But there is something called a FAQ.

Stick FAQ in google and hit the Feel Lucky button.

Maybe along with the other changes to the blog your administration brings it will get a FAQ.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

[*After attempting numerous times to Email the following to TSA and encountering nothing but system failures and a TSA personnel runaround, I've decided to just post my Email below.*]

To Whom It May Concern At The TSA:

Here in Phoenix, Arizona, at Sky Harbor Airport, the TSA has now installed full body scanners at Terminal 4.

I have taken the time to inform all of the airlines that operate out of Terminal 4 that I will no longer consider flying with them until TSA's scanners have been removed from their Terminal.

Yes, I understand that the full body scans are currently optional and are not involuntarily forced upon any customers. But at fifty years of age and having been around the block a few times, I am also fully aware that unless We The People oppose this invasion of our privacy, the full body scanning will become a requirement for flying in the not too distant future. Government, under the guise of promoting security and convenience, will always attempt to gather as much power over the people as possible, and only a "push back" from the citizens will clue the government in that it has finally gone too far. The most effective "push back" is usually one that hurts another's pocketbook - that's the sort of reaction that really gets one's attention.

For this reason, I am now boycotting all airlines that permit the TSA to utilize this new (and soon to be involuntary) form of personal invasion. The United States of America is being transformed into a virtual prison camp and I, for one, am voicing my disapproval.

With each passing year "the land of the free and the home of the brave" is becoming increasingly more cowardly and less free. If a protest of TSA's over-the-top (and through the clothing) invasion of privacy and assault on individual rights must begin with my own personal boycott, then so be it.

I will be encouraging everyone I know to join me in my boycott until the TSA has removed its full body scanners from every airport in this country and some sense of reason and restraint has been restored in our quest to find a balance between security and privacy.

Sincerely,
Stephen T. McCarthy
"D-FensDogg"

TSO Tom said...

Okay, yesterday when this forum went up, I posted what I perceived to be a legitimate comment, but it appears to have not been approved? So i will ask again, as I believe my orginal post was "on topic" and contained no sensitive security information.

Mr. Pistole, when(if at all) will we see the magshoe machine in US airports? This machine is being used in countries like Isreal with amazing results in finding weapons in shoes. Also, what is your take on the whole body imagers, and complaints by the traveling public of privacy concerns, as well as health issues, including the fact that many countries including Isreal have stated they will not use these machines because of health and privacy concerns?

Anonymous said...

"Do you consider flying on commercial aviation a "right" or a "privilege"?"

Airlines are for-profit corporations despite whatever happens to their shareholders. They have the right to refuse service to anyone.

They grant us a temporary privilege to fly if we meet certain criteria. Paying for the trip, not doing certain things, or carrying prohibited items, or not having been a "bad actor" in the past. The TSA fulfills some of this requirement by their screening process.

GSOLTSO said...

RB sez - "West, an anus bomb was used to get an explosive on an aircraft.

When will TSA start screening anuses for a "used before and fairly easy way to get things on an airplane?

Oh, the anus bomb actually exploded so it must be a far larger danger than the shoe bomb."

RB I just can't recall anyone detonating an explosive secreted in this manner on a commercial airplane. If you have that info, could you please give me a link to it?

As for screening for something contained inside the body - we simply do not have the technological capability to screen for these items in a checkpoint setting. I would love for us to have a detection system that you step into, and the system tests for any and all threats and we only have to clear items that are identified as threat items - but that is not a realistic possibility at this time.

West
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

West, since TSA gets many of their threat scenarios from Hollywood, why doesn't TSA employ the special effects designers to come up with a screening device that does everything? After all much of what TSA does is nothing but security theater.

RB said...

GSOLTSO said...

RB I just can't recall anyone detonating an explosive secreted in this manner on a commercial airplane. If you have that info, could you please give me a link to it?

West
TSA Blog Team

July 17, 2010 4:12 PM

Ok, West I thought it was on an airplane, and I thought it was a private jet, looks like that part was wrong but the device was detonated.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/09/28/eveningnews/main5347847.shtml

Body cavity scanners seem to be in the open market, so the only excuse left is that its to hard or TSA knows such action would be rejected like many have rejected the WBI Child Porn Machines TSA has deployed.


http://www.nationalterroralert.com/updates/2010/01/10/new-scanner-sees-explosives-inside-body-cavities/

GSOLTSO said...

RB sez - "Body cavity scanners seem to be in the open market, so the only excuse left is that its to hard or TSA knows such action would be rejected like many have rejected the WBI Child Porn Machines TSA has deployed."

It may have to do with the ability to scale up to acceptable performance levels. It may have to do with many other reasons, cost, size, timely process - I do not know enough about these to comment intelligently. That is the main reason I stay away from this issue. I still want the scanner from Total Recall -

Walk through and never stop - check
Keep shoes on - check
Detect threat items - check

Until we have something like that, the workforce will use the tools that HQ puts at their disposal.

West
TSA Blog Team

TSO Tom said...

West, while most of us appreciate your input, when will our new administrator comment on some of the items in this forum?

Anonymous said...

In the 21st century, if you want to terrorize a society, you just have to make improbable

threats, press the anxiety buttons and watch them protect themselves to death.

Your adversary will spend billions to your hundreds - The best ROI ever!

Do it several times and the billions will amount to more than the GNP of many countries - How's that for effective?

Why does are government buy into this, when what they REALLY need is good old-fashion police work to find these bad actors before they get to the Plane or Bus or Subway or Public Building. They can't protect them all.

Why the PARANOID security at the airports? It hasn't worked in the past. Nobody has been caught before an event, and we've had a few slip by. What makes people think we will be able to catch serious bad actors now? Besides, chances are bad actors will just go somewhere else, equally dramatic.


It's impossible to discover a one in a several billion event by screening people!

What's it cost for all this nonsense in REAL TERMS?

My guess (last 9 years)

$50 Billion for the 55,000 gov't workers that keep unemployment under 15%
$200 Billion or more in lost productivity for millions of Americans.
This is real money even by government standards, but it has resulted in NOTHING!

We could colonize Mars for this kind of money, but TSA would probably put some of the Astronauts on the NFL.

TSA Needs a complete overhaul, starting first by lopping off the bottom. Privatization would be even better. This would restore our 4th amendment.

Anonymous said...

"I can only say that several countries require passengers to remove their shoes for travel to the US. I apologize for being wrong."

Several? Okay, that's not the number which was requested, but anyway. If it is indeed several, will you please name two specific, individual countries besides the US with that requirement?

Please?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Pistole:

I trust you fully understand that you have undertaken a near-sysyphean task in accepting your new position.

If you wish to 'fix' the TSA, instead of prolonging the agony, might I suggest the following ideas be considered?

1. Train the ones that need training. Fire, peter-pan, or marginalize the ones that are untrainable. I personally like the "relocate to accept a promotion" tactic.
2. Secure the airport. Test your security and improve upon it based on those tests. Fix broken processes by fixing them, not by adding new processes. The TSA is not 'begging' to provide security to the airports, they are providing security to the airports. Dictate to the airports how you want things laid out. Do not let the airports dictate how the checkpoints are arranged. Weaknesses will be exploited.
3. Establish and enforce 100% screening of every airport worker at every sterile area access point. Defense in depth. Everybody.
4. Screen everyone entering, not just transiting, the TSA checkpoint for WEI. Every time, with the exact same procedures and protocols. No free passes or shortcuts for anyone. Ever. I don't care if the POTUS, the Pope, or Jay Leno himself goes through the checkpoint in front of me. He should get screened just like anyone else, no difference.
5. Screen the cargo for WEI. Lockerbie. AirTrans. Need I list more?
6. Implement a chain-of-control from checked baggage acceptance to baggage delivery. If someone can remove something surreptitiously from baggage during or after screening, something can be added in the same manner.

On the management side of the house:

First: Read and comprehend Sun Tzu's Art of War.

Then:
1. Audit. If you don't know what is being done, you can't manage it.
2. Try to break a process or procedure that 'works'. If it truly 'works', it can't be broken. If it can be broken, even slightly, it does not 'work'.
3. Fix broken processes and procedures in logical increments instead of incoherent leaps.
4. Learn who is worth listening to amongst your people. Some will help you fix things if they are asked what is broken. Know which of your people can be ignored, for they speak just loud enough to hear their own voices and to secure their own positions.
5. Learn from the mistakes of others without making those same mistakes yourself.

Simple security works, complex and fragile security does not. Smoke, mirrors, baling wire and bubble gum does not a security system make. Give a guess what currently we have.

avxo said...

Well, this is a good start. Hopefully the dialog will be productive.

My questions are this:

What will you do to ensure that the actual rules are applied correctly and uniformly applied in all checkpoints, instead of the imagined rules that TSOs sometimes apply?

Will you implement a "secret shopper" program so that TSA personnel travel through checkpoints without disclosing their TSA affiliation, and will you (or, more likely, someone directly under you) read these reports and ensure that any issues are dealt with?

Finally, for a more legalistic question:

Do you feel that those going through a checkpoint are legally required to answer questions from the TSOs? If so, what questions do you feel the public can be compelled to answer? What are the implications vis-a-vis clearly established Constitutional rights?

avxo said...

And a quick follow-up if I may, which I already asked in another thread:

Can you comment on Alyssa Thomas, and all the other Alyssa Thomases, who still get the runaround despite SecureFlight?

And please, if you are going to answer, at least provide us with a decent answer. I'm highlighting this because we have heard so many bad answers about this very question.

We have heard we can't comment because of privacy answer. We have heard the we can't confirm or deny anything about the list. What list?! I said nothing about a list! answer. We have heard the there are no children on the list answer. We have heard the there are redress procedures answer.

And after all those "answers", we still don't really have an answer.

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.

RB said...

GSOLTSO said...
RB sez - "Body cavity scanners seem to be in the open market, so the only excuse left is that its to hard or TSA knows such action would be rejected like many have rejected the WBI Child Porn Machines TSA has deployed."

It may have to do with the ability to scale up to acceptable performance levels. It may have to do with many other reasons, cost, size, timely process - I do not know enough about these to comment intelligently. That is the main reason I stay away from this issue. I still want the scanner from Total Recall -

Walk through and never stop - check
Keep shoes on - check
Detect threat items - check

Until we have something like that, the workforce will use the tools that HQ puts at their disposal.

West
TSA Blog Team

July 17, 2010 7:56 PM
.......................
So TSA HQ gives TSA workers a tool that enables you to look at children just as if they are naked, and reported to leave nothing to the imagination, and these same TSA employees seem to have no objections doing something that should result in going to prison.

Mr. Pistole, West and the rest of TSA employyes citizens and visitors to this country have more to fear from TSA than terrorist.

That is a simple truth!

RB said...

I'm all for talking to TSA, the question is when will TSA start listening?

Anonymous said...

RB,
You have expressed concern over the amount of money that the TSA is spending on technology and now you want them to put in body cavity screening devices? There isnt any extra money spent on screening shoes, its just a requiremnt that the passengers face when going through a checkpoint. Richard Reid showed that shoes can be used to make a bomb, it his inemptitude and sweaty feet that stopped a bad thing from happening, thankfully.

Anonymous said...

MODERATOR: I submitted a longer version of this earlier, but do not know if it made it to the queue. If the comment containing the line suggesting "Read Sun Tzu's Art of War" made it, please delete this one. If not, please remove this header before posting.

Thank you.

Mr. Pistole:

- Train your people.
- Marginalize/Fire the untrainable.
- Secure the airports on TSA's terms, not the airport's whining about space. See Las Vegas for how not to do it. See O'Hare for something that almost works. SEA is a little better.
- Screen everyone ENTERING the checkpoint for WEI. No exceptions. No free passes. No 'nod and wink' theater. Everybody.
- After 9 years the TSA is FINALLY starting to screen the cargo. Some of it. Screen it all.
- TPI baggage control from check-in to taxi, arrival to baggage-claim. If something can be removed or 'lost' during handling, something can be added or 'delivered' during handling.
- Fix things in incremental ways, don't replace a broken wheel with a flat tire.
- Try to break things. If things can be broken, they don't work. At all.

Anonymous said...

PLEASE ADD TSA in Facebook.

Thanks

Jen

GSOLTSO said...

TSOTom sez - "West, while most of us appreciate your input, when will our new administrator comment on some of the items in this forum?"

Tom, I do not know. Most likely it will take a bit for him to get things in order to give valid responses to some of the questions posted here.

West
TSA Blog Team

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - Several? Okay, that's not the number which was requested, but anyway. If it is indeed several, will you please name two specific, individual countries besides the US with that requirement?

Please?"

I can tell you Canada, and England to the best of my knowledge. I can not find a comprehensive list of what requirements are in other countries.

West
TSA Blog Team

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "MODERATOR: I submitted a longer version of this earlier, but do not know if it made it to the queue. If the comment containing the line suggesting "Read Sun Tzu's Art of War" made it, please delete this one. If not, please remove this header before posting.

Thank you."

Sorry anon, just to let you know the Blogger moderation system does not allow you to modify comments, only approve or reject.

West
TSA Blog Team

RB said...

Anonymous said...
RB,
You have expressed concern over the amount of money that the TSA is spending on technology and now you want them to put in body cavity screening devices? There isnt any extra money spent on screening shoes, its just a requiremnt that the passengers face when going through a checkpoint. Richard Reid showed that shoes can be used to make a bomb, it his inemptitude and sweaty feet that stopped a bad thing from happening, thankfully.

July 18, 2010 12:03 PM
..................
I think you misunderstand, I am demonstrating the lunacy that TSA is engaged in. The current screening process does not make anyone safer.

Shoes, for an example, are such a low threat item yet the time spent at checkpoints screening them takes away from the time available to screen for real threat items.

My use of the rectum bomb helps illustrate the lunacy that TSA is consumed with.

You say the screening of shoes is a requirement that we all have to face. I say why? How many flights have been flown in the world without any shoe bombs? What is the real risk of a shoe bomb? Is it greater than an Anus bomb? I suggest that shoe bombs are such a low risk that any effort to screen for them is a waste of manpower and resources.

Treating everyone who will board an airplane as a common criminal but not screening airport workers (TSA, Airline, Vendors, etc.) who have more access to aircraft and more time to place a weapon on an airplane further demonstrates how dysfunctional TSA is.

Using technology to Strip Search children, abusing the handicapped and elderly, and other acts of aggression against the public by TSA employees demonstrates TSA's complete lack of regard for the civil rights of citizens and others in this country.

I will state it again: We have more to fear from TSA than we do from terrorist!

Anonymous said...

"I can tell you Canada, and England to the best of my knowledge."

Just to be clear, you're claiming that Canada and England require EVERY AIR PASSENGER to remove their shoes to get on an airplane?

Are you SURE about that, West?

Anonymous said...

I'll just add that Heathrow does not make all passengers remove shoes - at least that's the way it was last Feb. when I flew through London. Apparently it is decided on a case by case basis and I, as a petite female was able to keep my Doc Marten boots on.

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "Just to be clear, you're claiming that Canada and England require EVERY AIR PASSENGER to remove their shoes to get on an airplane?

Are you SURE about that, West?"

Technically speaking, no country requires EVERY AIR PASSENGER to remove their footwear. There are just too many medical exemptions for folks that need them to claim that.

However, from what I have read, I am fairly certain that Canada and England require all passengers transitting TO the US to remove their footwear. I missed the middle part of that sentence earlier, so you nailed me down. (Be gentle with me Anon, I have had a long weekend and I have made some errors!). I now have to apologize for the second time this weekend (Sorry I didn't finish that phrase the way I thought it)!

West
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

"Canada and England require all passengers transitting TO the US to remove their footwear."

------------------------------------
Key words being "transitting TO the US"

Why don't they care about domestic passengers or passengers going to other countries?

Is the US the only country susceptible to shoe bombs?

Anonymous said...

So, West, you're saying that England and Canada DO NOT REQUIRE every passenger to remove their shoes at airports.

Why did you believe that they did, in fact, require this?

And can you name a single ill effect either country has had as a result of not implementing a full-blown TSA-style shoe carnival?

Anonymous said...

You know, West, maybe you should just WAIT FOR MR. PISTOLE TO ANSWER THE QUESTIONS instead of trying to do it yourself.

Anonymous said...

Does this mean that my unanswered submissions to Got Feedback have to be re-asked? I am now two weeks after I submitted a complaint with request for comment, how long do I need to wait.

TSO Tom said...

GSOLTSO said...
Anon sez - "Just to be clear, you're claiming that Canada and England require EVERY AIR PASSENGER to remove their shoes to get on an airplane?

Are you SURE about that, West?"

Technically speaking, no country requires EVERY AIR PASSENGER to remove their footwear. There are just too many medical exemptions for folks that need them to claim that.

However, from what I have read, I am fairly certain that Canada and England require all passengers transitting TO the US to remove their footwear. I missed the middle part of that sentence earlier, so you nailed me down. (Be gentle with me Anon, I have had a long weekend and I have made some errors!). I now have to apologize for the second time this weekend (Sorry I didn't finish that phrase the way I thought it)!

West
TSA Blog Team

July 18, 2010 5:29 PM
***********************************
LOL West, sounds like you're getting baked by the posters in this forum this weekend. West do you have any knowledge of the shoemag machine and when/if it will be utilized in the US?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
You know, West, maybe you should just WAIT FOR MR. PISTOLE TO ANSWER THE QUESTIONS instead of trying to do it yourself.

July 18, 2010 6:23 PM
..................
Do you really think any substantial answers will be forthcoming from anyone associated with TSA?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Pistole

Words are just that, words.

Got Feedback didn't work because of the lack of action.

There is no need to change the name, or tell us you are making a commitment to "address the more commonly asked questions.

As the saying says "Just do it"

Let your actions speak for themselves. Don't tell us what you are going to do in respect to addressing concerns, just get on with actually addressing the concerns.

No offense, but your first blog post should have started by actually answering some of the questions and telling us what you have done, not what you will do.

Ayn R. Key said...

There are currently two competing AIT systems: MMW and BXR (millimeter wave and backscatter x-ray). Although there are many assurances that BXR "falls within safe limits" a fuller description shows that no amount of x-ray radiation is truly safe due to the cumulative nature of the radiation. A completely safe alternative, mmw, is available and being used by the TSA. All the experts who vouch for the BXR do so under the impression that it is the only way to do AIT and that there is no safer alternative. Why is the TSA expanding the use of both technologies when one is actually dangerous and the other is completely safe?

Anonymous said...

TSA does not require every passenger to remove their shoes, however all shoes are screened.

RB said:
I will state it again: We have more to fear from TSA than we do from terrorist!

I believe that before 9/11 and TSA people believed that we did not have to fear a terrorist attack in the US. The terrorists of the 9/11 plot and Richard Ried used the loopholes in the existing screening procedures against the US. By eliminating current screening procedures the TSA would be opening more areas for the terriorist to take advantage of. Even though shoes have not been used since Richard Reid, as far as we know, it would be wrong to let it go away because it hasnt happened since. There havent been any instances of terriorists that have taken over commercial planes and flying them into buildings since 9/11 in the US so does that mean that we should stop the other sreening processes as well? Its not logical.

Anonymous said...

all i have to say is why is body scanning children not child porn? these body scanners CAN reveal EVERYTHING!! google it up and youll see what these wonderful machines can do, oh and they can record and keep the images for these wonderful tsa workers. do some research

Anonymous said...

Can Mr Pistole answer two questions:
If the body scan images are not graphic naked images then why had Dubai airport banned them?
When is the next Whole Body Imaging Privacy Impact Assessment due to be published?

Anonymous said...

"By eliminating current screening procedures the TSA would be opening more areas for the terriorist to take advantage of."

Then why have no terrorists attempted a shoe-bombing of an aircraft in the many, many other countries that do not have a TSA-style shoe carnival?

Lynn said...

@Anonymous:

When is the next Whole Body Imaging Privacy Impact Assessment due to be published?

Here's the link to the most recent Privacy Impact Assessment:

http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/privacy/privacy_pia_tsa_wbiupdate.pdf

Anonymous said...

"Then why have no terrorists attempted a shoe-bombing of an aircraft in the many, many other countries that do not have a TSA-style shoe carnival?"

TSA cannot worry about other nations and what they are doing. They have to worry about what is the best way to keep the people flyin in, out, and around the US safe as best as possible. Look at the way security is in Isreal, they do things their way, the US does things their way. Just because it hasnt happened since doesnt mean it wont happen again as it has here.
Im all for the "shoe Carnival" if taking my shoes off at a checkpoint means that i am that much safer. Even if there is a 1 in a trillion chance that someone would use a shoe bomb then to me it is worth it to take them off and it should be to all Americans. What would would you say if the TSA took the shoe screening away and a shoe bomb went off on an airport. How do you think the American public would view the TSA then? The US is still a target, even if we are not attacked every day. The Times Square incident is a good example.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Lynn,
I think your link takes you to the 2009 PIA statement. I would like to know when the 2010 version will be published.

Gerry said...

Welcome aboard.

I am writing from Travel Sentry, one of the companies that license manufacturers and distributors for TSA-accepted locks for bag security. I wrote a blog today discussing some confusion that remains for travelers with firearms. Several of our distributors have asked for our help in clarifying for travelers and TSA officers, the guidelines for locking firearm cases and that the locks that are accessible by TSA officers are acceptable.

The confusion comes in the interpretation by TSA employees of the following TSA specification and whether the lock requirement includes TSA accepted locks like those locks in use from Travel Sentry approved manufacturers and distributors: “ A locked container is defined as one that completely secures the firearm from access by anyone other than you. Cases that can be pulled open with little effort do not meet this criterion.”

Travel Sentry received email confirmation per the TSA Office of Chief Council , that the TSA approved locks - like the locks carrying the Travel Sentry identification - can be used to secure a firearm case.

The problem is that there continues to be anecdotal accounts of confusion at the airport such as … “It seems that some airports are directing passengers with gun cases to use a standard non-TSA lock and they guide them to a special area where the screener will inspect the case with the passenger present before it is checked. However, not all airports have this space available in the ticketing area.” Other reports point to various “takes” on exactly how to handle firearm transport.

Can you consider clarifying the acceptance of the TSA-accepted locks on your website guidelines? Many Thanks.

P.S. I tried to respond to TalkToTSA but because this was not about a specific airport location I was unable to "talk." Gerry, Blogger for Travel Sentry

Anonymous said...

Mr. Pistole,

Your first post would have been far more effective had you actually done some of the things you are promising to do.

Let your actions speak, not your promises.

RB said...

Anonymous said...
TSA does not require every passenger to remove their shoes, however all shoes are screened.

RB said:
I will state it again: We have more to fear from TSA than we do from terrorist!

I believe that before 9/11 and TSA people believed that we did not have to fear a terrorist attack in the US. The terrorists of the 9/11 plot and Richard Ried used the loopholes in the existing screening procedures against the US. By eliminating current screening procedures the TSA would be opening more areas for the terriorist to take advantage of. Even though shoes have not been used since Richard Reid, as far as we know, it would be wrong to let it go away because it hasnt happened since. There havent been any instances of terriorists that have taken over commercial planes and flying them into buildings since 9/11 in the US so does that mean that we should stop the other sreening processes as well? Its not logical.

July 19, 2010 2:19 PM
........................
Prior to 9/11 airlines instructed their crews to not resist hijacking attempts.

Prior to 9/11 aircraft cockpit doors were not secure.

Prior to 9/11 there was no restriction on taking box cutters on the airplane.

Those things have all been changed.

The job of protecting aircraft from terrorist certainly requires some precautions but those precautions should be balanced against the current risk.

DHS/TSA has had airports in the next to highest security conditon for years now. I submit that staying at that high level is not sustainable and when the Threat Level is classifed as High by DHS for years on end then High becomes meaningless.

I further suggest that TSA is screening for very low threat risks which takes manpower away from real risk objects, like cargo and airport workers who are largely not screened by TSA at all.

Do we need screening? Absolutely, just not the screening that TSA is doing!

Anonymous said...

Why do TSA employees act so rude (head-shaking, eyes rolling) toward those individuals who exercise their legal right to decline a full body scan and opt instead for a pat down screening?

TSO Tom said...

Anonymous stated in part....
I believe that before 9/11 and TSA people believed that we did not have to fear a terrorist attack in the US. The terrorists of the 9/11 plot and Richard Ried used the loopholes in the existing screening procedures against the US. By eliminating current screening procedures the TSA would be opening more areas for the terriorist to take advantage of. Even though shoes have not been used since Richard Reid, as far as we know, it would be wrong to let it go away because it hasnt happened since. There havent been any instances of terriorists that have taken over commercial planes and flying them into buildings since 9/11 in the US so does that mean that we should stop the other sreening processes as well? Its not logical.
***********************************
You are correct, there have been no instances of shoe related terrorism since Ried's miserable attempt. The reason Reid failed, save his stupidity in trying to detonate his device is that he was questioned so long that he missed his flight and had to be rebooked for the next day. He never took off his shoes, which degraded the explosives that he was attempting to use, top that off with alert airline employees and brave passengers, and Reid failed miserably. You're also correct in that no planes have been taken over and flown into buildings or any other structures for that matter. I also agree with you that it makes no sense to cease the current screening procedures, which would expose more areas of aviation system to terrorism. However, the current procedures need to be revised to maintain flexibility for the average flying joe/jane, and maintain inconsistency that keeps terrorist guessing. Yes, I said...inconsistency is necessary in ANY security program in order to keep the bad guys guessing. It makes sense that airport A does not do everything the same way that airport B does, but the baseline SOP must be followed at both airports, and the procedures must be consistent, even if the implentation of those procedures is different. The only way TSA is going to advance as an organization that "provides world class security" is by gaining the overall support of the American traveling public, which I hate to say it, we currently do NOT have. Has anybody in TSA figured out yet that we are widely hated by those we are protecting? How the heck are we supposed to do what we are charged with doing if the public doesn't trust us? Mr. Administrator?

Anonymous said...

We need a new privacy assessment - The current one states
"TSA will update this PIA as needed if there is a decision to utilize one or both of these WBI technologies beyond pilot operations in several airports."

Anonymous said...

Lynn said...
@Anonymous:

When is the next Whole Body Imaging Privacy Impact Assessment due to be published?

Here's the link to the most recent Privacy Impact Assessment:

http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/privacy/privacy_pia_tsa_wbiupdate.pdf

July 19, 2010 5:00 PM
.................
Received a 404, page not found error from your link.

avxo said...

Anonymous wrote: "Even though shoes have not been used since Richard Reid, as far as we know, it would be wrong to let it go away because it hasnt happened since."

You know, you might be on to something. I, for one, agree with you and am going to take it one step further:

Even though velociraptors haven't roamed the earth for, oh, around 75 million years either as far as we know, it would be wrong to let the fear go and stop being aware of the dangers posed by velociraptors because they haven't been seen in so many years.

That's a very sensible approach to security, and I am glad that we will increase our efforts to protect our society against velociraptors and help ensure a velociraptor-free lifestyle!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous above said, "Airlines are for-profit corporations despite whatever happens to their shareholders. They have the right to refuse service to anyone."

Actually, under the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 (as under previous laws), airlines are licensed as "common carriers". As such, they are *not* allowed to refuse service to anyone willing to pay the fare and comply with the rules in their published tariff. Moreover, those rules and those of the TSA must be adopted with consideration for "the public right of freedom of transit" by air. And the US is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 12 of which guarantees the right of freedom of movement. All Federal agencies have been directed by Executive Order 13107 to maintain an awareness of the ICCPR and other human rights treaties, to act in accordance with them, and to respond to complaints of violations of human rights treaties.

Mr. Pistole, what training has been provided to TSA staff, pursuant to Executive Order 13107, in their obligations under Article 12 of the ICCPR? And who have you designated, pursuant to Executive Order 13107, as the TSA point of contact for complaints of violations of human rights treaties (such as Article 12 of the ICCPR)?

Gunner said...

This has become a very interesting discussion thread – even without a single response from TSA’s new leader.
Several trends are becoming clear (at least to this reader)
There is a great degree of dissatisfaction as to the quality and veracity of previous answer to long-standing questions.
• Few seem to believe that the images posted by the blog moderators truly reflect the size and resolution that is seen by the TSA agents.
• Standard Answer 101 for the shoe carnival question does not pass the giggle test.
• While credibility of the blogger team is minimal at best, a look at the responses to some of the bloggers suggests that perhaps a review of who posts might be appropriate. If this were baseball, a lineup change would be in order.
• While this blog is always exceptionally fast to commend on TSA stories in the general media, TSA’s silence on the article that shreds the lack of science behind its behavior detection program suggests that TSA has been caught flat-footed, and is hoping that one of their spin-masters can come up with response (the longer it takes, the better its response) or that the memory of the article will fade (not likely).
• That there is a long-standing issue of TSA employee accountability that is either ignored, or ignored, or ignored.
Bottom line: even if we never get a response from Director Pistole, this thread is a screaming indictment of TSA

Anonymous said...

GSOLTSO said...
I can tell you Canada, and England to the best of my knowledge. I can not find a comprehensive list of what requirements are in other countries.
---------
This is a typical TSO response, they can't find anything in writing and they invent an answer that best suits their interests.

Perhaps you should let Mr. Pistole answer the questions and stop trying to speak on his behalf.

Sandra said...

Lynn, perhaps you did not understand that the poster asked when the NEXT WBI PIA was going to be issued. He/she did not ask for the current PIA.

Close but no cigar.

mrflight said...

-----Can Mr Pistole answer two questions:
If the body scan images are not graphic naked images then why had Dubai airport banned them?
When is the next Whole Body Imaging Privacy Impact Assessment due to be published?----

TO ANON: THE MACHINES USED IN OTHER COUNTRIES ARE MORE GRAPHIC THAN THE ONES USED IN STATES BECAUSE OF OUR PRIVACY LAWS. THE ONES TSA CURRENTLY USES ARE DUMB DOWN VERSION BECAUSE OF OUR LAWS, MACHINES USED IN THE NETHERLANDS AND OTHER PARTS OF EUROPE ARE EXTREMELY GRAPHIC AND ARE NOTHING COMPARED TO THE ONES USED IN THE UNITED STATES

John said...

I have been dealing with TSA since Feb 2010 when they brike my laptop. spoke to Phylis Davis this morning and it was a joke as she changed her story seveal times as I questioned her. She then said I would receive a form letter not a full descripyion of what happened, I guess a changein leadership does not matter to the TSA.
I will not let this matter drop an I will get answers to all of my uestions - the sad part is that as a taxpayer I am wasting tax dollars doing this, but if the administration can throw away money so can I.

Ranger11 said...

The EU (European Union) does not post the rules and regulations that are required in order to transit their checkpoints, similar to the US. I can tell you that after having worked in Europe, they have rules, for intercontinental travel and domestic travel, that require passengers to remove their shoes as well as for travelers that are traveling to the US. The rules that are in place currently do have similar requirements as the US when it comes to shoes, there is just more flexibility in those rules in some instances.

RB said...

mrflight said...
-----Can Mr Pistole answer two questions:
If the body scan images are not graphic naked images then why had Dubai airport banned them?
When is the next Whole Body Imaging Privacy Impact Assessment due to be published?----

TO ANON: THE MACHINES USED IN OTHER COUNTRIES ARE MORE GRAPHIC THAN THE ONES USED IN STATES BECAUSE OF OUR PRIVACY LAWS. THE ONES TSA CURRENTLY USES ARE DUMB DOWN VERSION BECAUSE OF OUR LAWS, MACHINES USED IN THE NETHERLANDS AND OTHER PARTS OF EUROPE ARE EXTREMELY GRAPHIC AND ARE NOTHING COMPARED TO THE ONES USED IN THE UNITED STATES

July 20, 2010 10:56 AM

..................
Prove it!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Pistole,

Might I suggest you monitor other discussion boards for additional information.

One such board would be the Travel/Security board on Flyertalk.com

Anonymous said...

Ok, West I thought it was on an airplane, and I thought it was a private jet, looks like that part was wrong but the device was detonated.

lol. RB with incorrect facts? Why am I not suprised? Swing and a miss RB.
I hope you dont try to mislead the new Administrator with your "facts."
I also think its funny that you all think that Mr. Pistole is going to respond to each question personally. Must be nice to be kings in your reality...

Anonymous said...

How many times have your new strip-search machines alarmed, requiring additional passenger screening?

How many of these alarms have been because of a dangerous item hidden on a passenger's body?

How many of these alarms were the result of harmless items like private medical devices that pose no threat to anyone?

TSO Tom said...

Anonymous said...
Ok, West I thought it was on an airplane, and I thought it was a private jet, looks like that part was wrong but the device was detonated.

lol. RB with incorrect facts? Why am I not suprised? Swing and a miss RB.
I hope you dont try to mislead the new Administrator with your "facts."
I also think its funny that you all think that Mr. Pistole is going to respond to each question personally. Must be nice to be kings in your reality...

July 20, 2010 1:50 PM
***********************************
No anon, we do not think that Aministrator Pistole will personally respond to EVERY single question that is posted here, but we should be able to reasonably expect that he will read the questions, and decipher which ones are the most pressing and draft an answer to those questions. After all the topic is "I want to hear from you", so it is reasonable to expect an answer of some sort from the administrator. What kills me is all the anons that get on here and rant with nothing really behind their rant, and this includes TSA employees and passengers. I'm a TSA employee, I put my name on my post so people, including the blog staff know who I am and who they are answering, I don't insult people behind the guise of anonymity. I've called out posters on this forum, and I've been called out by posters on this forum, that's what it's all about. OPEN DIALOGUE, right?

Anonymous said...

Wonder if (not when) any of these questions will be answered by yet another (un)responsive public servant running TSA?

Bubba said...

Why won't you answer the extensive article in the top scientific journal Nature saying there is no Science behind SPOT?

Why is the liquid state of matter considered dangerous by the TSA unless contained by ziplock baggies?

What does the TSA define as a liquid? Why is canned pie filling a liquid, but not filling on a pie?

Why do you want to see us naked when everyone knows (including terrorists) that these machines cannot see within the body, therefore rendering them useless?

Why can't I see my own image generated by whole body imagining machines?

If the images generated are not graphic, why are they hidden from the public?

Why isn't the person visualizing whole body images visible to the person being screened?

Anonymous said...

"Incomplete, mediocre risk assessments, inadequate work force planning and training, poor coordination with stakeholders, and ineffective assessments of security programs and technologies are hallmarks of TSA's performance, not just in the aviation sector but in the other modes as well. . . . Given TSA's troubled history and multiple failures in aviation security, I remain concerned that we are not as prepared as we should be to assess, prevent, and respond to terrorist threats to our nation's other transportation systems. . . . It is essential that we improve the performance of this out-of-control bureaucracy and strengthen the nation's transportation security. I look forward to working with the next TSA Administrator to do so."

--Rep. John Mica (R-FL), ranking member, House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure, Politico, June 28, 2010.

mrflight said...

RB said...
mrflight said...
-----Can Mr Pistole answer two questions:
If the body scan images are not graphic naked images then why had Dubai airport banned them?
When is the next Whole Body Imaging Privacy Impact Assessment due to be published?----

TO ANON: THE MACHINES USED IN OTHER COUNTRIES ARE MORE GRAPHIC THAN THE ONES USED IN STATES BECAUSE OF OUR PRIVACY LAWS. THE ONES TSA CURRENTLY USES ARE DUMB DOWN VERSION BECAUSE OF OUR LAWS, MACHINES USED IN THE NETHERLANDS AND OTHER PARTS OF EUROPE ARE EXTREMELY GRAPHIC AND ARE NOTHING COMPARED TO THE ONES USED IN THE UNITED STATES

July 20, 2010 10:56 AM

..................
Prove it!

TO RB:
RB THE IM GOING TO GIVE YOU A LINK BUT YOUR JUST GOING TO SEE ITS NOT TRUE ANYWAYS. http://tsagov.edgesuite.net/graphics/images/approach/backscatter_large.jpg

THOSE ARE THE ACTUAL IMAGES TAKEN FROM ONE OF THE 2 TYPES OF MACHINES THAT TSA USES. THAT IS WHAT AN OFFICER SEES. I DO NOT HAVE PICTURES OF THE BACKSCATTER BECAUSE MY AIRPORT DOES NOT USE THEM. BUT IM SURE YOU CAN LOOK IT UP ON THE INTERNET. ALOT OF THE PICTURES PEOPLE ARE SEARCHING OUR NOT FROM TSA IN THE UNITED STATES BUT OTHER AGENCIES USING IT IN OTHER COUNTRIES. BUT RB YOUR NOT GOING ACCEPT THE ANSWER ANYWAYS

Anonymous said...

Indeed a new 2010 PIA statement is needed ASAP. There have been significant, controversial and rapid changes over the last year. Passengers need to know whether privacy will be maintained or eroded.This of course assumes that any PIA statement will be both accurate and complete.
With regard to mrflights's post statement, that body scanners in Europe are 'extremely graphic'. How do you know this? Is this based on fact, or blind supposition? Surely all body scanners should be standardised so as to not 'fragment'( EU Commission term) international security and impede international travel

Ayn R. Key said...

I've argued with the TSA over liquid explosives and the lack of scientific basis for the 3-1-1 rule. The following qualities are provided by TSA spokespersons and assembled dutifully by me.

The qualities of an unmixed liquid explosive are assembled from answers given by spokespersons when I ask about pre-mixed liquid explosives. The qualities of an pre-mixed liquid explosive are assembled from answers given by spokespersons when I ask about unmixed liquid explosives. Every time I asked about one, I would get discussion about the other for reasons I am not clear on.

According to Curtis (Blogger Bob) and other TSA spokespersons, we need the 3-1-1 rule because of one of two possible bombs.

1. The bomb is unmixed, it can be mixed in an airport terminal, and every single one of the components can pass through a TSA checkpoint without triggering any alarms.
2. The bomb is pre-mixed, is safe to transport, and can pass through a TSA checkpoint without triggering alarms.

If 3-1-1 has a scientific basis, then one of those two bombs must exist. I assert that 3-1-1 has no scientific basis. What is the scientific basis of 3-1-1?

And I want to remind everyone who is answering for you that the answer to either bomb must satisfy EVERY requirement of that bomb. No picking and choosing. No saying that detectable pre-mixed nitro-glycerin is a safe-to-transport liquid, leaving out the "undetectable" requirement. All the requirements of either of those two bombs must be present for my question to be answered. If you leave anything out, then you have not answered the question.

What is the scientific basis of 3-1-1?

Anonymous said...

What's the wait? Getting ISP information so the malcontents get put on the no fly list?

Your #1 supplier of OIL - Canada said...

I'd like to see a blanket ban of all TSA employees from posting on this blog.

While a number of them are pleasant and attempt to be helpful, they are at odds against a bureaucracy that can't even ensure consistent enforcement of their own rules.
By posting here, the often well-meaning, but occasionally surly and idiotic, TSA employees are not always helping.

In a similar vein, Blogger Bob needs to lay off the shtick and act like a professional PR person.

We do not come here to hang out, have a coffee and talk about whatever. This is not the company water cooler.

If you want a valid, useful and honest attempt to communicate with the American AND Canadian public (and believe me, almost every decision on air travel that DHS/TSA makes gets implemented in Canada, and the more you make US follow your idiotic, ill-thought out rules (thanks for the shoe shuffle and the child-porn strip machines) the more WE will push OUR government to tell YOURS to bugger off on this file.)
But I digress... here's how you do it.

1. Get a professional platform to host your blog. Blogger.com is for your teenage kids.

2. Categorize the questions. We have 200 people asking the same thing because if an answer is provided, it is usually PR BS.

3. Prohibit your staff, other than those responsible for the blog, from posting. This is the PUBLIC forum to ask questions, and we want AUTHORITATIVE answers, not speculation, maybe-kinda, or outright wrong and insulting responses from whoever is on break.

That's how it works in the adult world. I challenge to you step up to the plate.

Al Ames said...

Ranger, I've flown within the EU and have only ever had to remove my shoes on US bound flights.

Isaac Newton said...

mrflight screamed:
TO ANON: THE MACHINES USED IN OTHER COUNTRIES ARE MORE GRAPHIC THAN THE ONES USED IN STATES BECAUSE OF OUR PRIVACY LAWS. THE ONES TSA CURRENTLY USES ARE DUMB DOWN VERSION BECAUSE OF OUR LAWS, MACHINES USED IN THE NETHERLANDS AND OTHER PARTS OF EUROPE ARE EXTREMELY GRAPHIC AND ARE NOTHING COMPARED TO THE ONES USED IN THE UNITED STATES
____
First, the question was addressed to Mr Pistole, not you.

Second, typing in all capital letters doesn't make a lie true.

Third, the WBI in the Netherlands uses a cartoon image, which is the opposite extreme of "extremely graphic." There is no proof that the WBI used elsewhere in Europe is any more graphic than the ones used in the US.

Fourth, the question was about Dubai. Dubai is not in Europe, therefore any conclusions drawn from your (wrong) information about Europe is meaningless.

But thanks for playing.
________
Ranger11 said:
The EU (European Union) does not post the rules and regulations that are required in order to transit their checkpoints, similar to the US. I can tell you that after having worked in Europe, they have rules, for intercontinental travel and domestic travel, that require passengers to remove their shoes as well as for travelers that are traveling to the US. The rules that are in place currently do have similar requirements as the US when it comes to shoes, there is just more flexibility in those rules in some instances.
_____
I have been through several European airports in the last few months flying within Europe or from Europe to Asia. Passengers are not required to remove their shoes unless they alarm the WTMD. Unless by "more flexibility in [the European] rules", you mean that they don't require people to remove shoes on a regular basis.

Only passengers flying to the US are uniformly required to remove shoes, and only because the US gov't pressured those countries into doing it for US-bound flights.

Do you guys think you can make up stuff about what happens in Europe and no one will know the difference???

Rusty said...

Here in Canada (a free country), the *only* time that we have to take our shoes off is for flights to, or over, the USA.

Luckily, enforcement is spotty, likely because every other government on the planet knows better.

With all due respect, you are far from the only country to experience terrorist attacks. Try dealing with it in an adult manor, instead of running around like a bunch of chicken-littles. Really, you're looking like bigger morons to the rest of the world every day.

Lynn said...

@Canada

Get a professional platform to host your blog. Blogger.com is for your teenage kids.

When we built the blog in 2008, one of our primary goals was to protect the privacy of people who read and comment on the blog. Using Blogger ensures we do that. At some point, we might upgrade, but only if it continues to ensure the privacy of the people who use the blog.

Thanks for writing.

Lynn, TSA Blog Team

Lynn said...

@ Canada:

Prohibit your staff, other than those responsible for the blog, from posting. This is the PUBLIC forum to ask questions, and we want AUTHORITATIVE answers, not speculation, maybe-kinda, or outright wrong and insulting responses from whoever is on break.

We appreciate your suggestion. Each of us on the blog team - and throughout TSA - has something to contribute to the blog based on our experience and skill. Admittedly, some of us might have a better answer than others depending on what the topic is, and I understand your point of ensuring the right answers are shared on the blog.

Thanks for the feedback and we'll try to do better.

Lynn, TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

Mr. Pistole,

Might I suggest you look at comments from the public your blog team are choosing not to post.

Canada said...

@Lynn,

Thank you for your responses.

- Canada

RB said...

Would . Pistole care to comment on EPIC v. DHS,10-1157?

http://epic.org/2010/07/epic-pursues-lawsuit-against-h.html

pdf warning.....

http://epic.org/privacy/backscatter/EPIC_reply_final.pdf

Jim Huggins said...

Mr. Pistole: care to respond to the reports that a twelve-year-old girl was forced to undergo WBI screening, over the objections of her mother?

RB said...

We appreciate your suggestion. Each of us on the blog team - and throughout TSA - has something to contribute to the blog based on our experience and skill. Admittedly, some of us might have a better answer than others depending on what the topic is, and I understand your point of ensuring the right answers are shared on the blog.

Thanks for the feedback and we'll try to do better.

Lynn, TSA Blog Team

July 21, 2010 11:56 AM

......Lynn I think the persons point is very valid.

Anyone can answer a question but it should be clear the question is being answered from either a personal viewpoint or an official TSA viewpoint.

I would suggest that TSA employees make it known they are offering their personal opinions unless they are speaking for TSA.

Global Traveler said...

I just traveled all over Europe and did have to remove my shoes two of four trips that were taken by commercial aircraft, none of them was bound for the US.I think it depends on the threat level and the country because I also noticed that not all of the EU countries follow the same protocols when it comes to security. Not that I care, it just seemed to be a point of contention and I thought I would share.

TSO Tom said...

Prohibit your staff, other than those responsible for the blog, from posting. This is the PUBLIC forum to ask questions, and we want AUTHORITATIVE answers, not speculation, maybe-kinda, or outright wrong and insulting responses from whoever is on break.
***********************************
Sure Canada, that should work....stifle the TSA employees so they can't fight back when they are arbitrarily attacked in this forum....what happens then? They come on as anonymous posters which many do already because they're tired of being called out, and they sound off at the posters on this blog. It makes no sense to make a rule or directive telling TSA employees, "you can not post on the blog because it's for the public only". Alot of us, myself included come on here to find out what the latest news is and to contribute what they can, whether you consider it "authoritative" or not.

Anonymous said...

Mr Pistole, or anyone else 'in the know' at the TSA.
Any further info on my two previous questions:
When is the 2010 PIA assessment on body scanners due to be published?
Why are body scanners considered too graphic for Dubai, but not too graphic for the US?
One further question, which I think is also legitimate and fully deserves an answer:
Why will the DHS and TSA NOT allow a public consultation on body scanners, as EPIC as so frequently been asking for. Denying legitimate public discussion of privacy and health concerns is simply not only undemocratic - it is un-American.

Anonymous said...

There is no such thing as 100% security. You secure one place. Terrorist attack another such as buses, trains, malls, etc.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps TSA employees who post here should have to do so under their full names and identify which airport they work at.

Anonymous said...

Several TSA clerks have claimed on this blog that the only reason for the mandatory shoe carnival is the terror alert, which has been at orange for airports since an aspirational plot whose members did not possess air tickets, passports, or explosives was discovered in London.

Is this in fact the case?

Why is the shoe carnival tied to a terror alert system that former DHS head Tom Ridge has admitted was manipulated for political ends, that no one pays attention to, and that most national security experts have recommended abolishing?

How often is the color-coded alert level reviewed, by whom, and using what evidence?

Rusty said...

@TSO TOM - Thank you for so elegantly proving Canada's point.

Anonymous said...

Mr Pistole,
Still no answers to my previous questions:
(1) When is the next WBI PIA due, or expected, to be published?
(2) Why are body scanners too graphic for Dubai, but not too graphic for the US?
(3) Why will the TSA not allow a public consultation on body scanners?
One further question:
(4) Mr Pistole states that the railway system is now under considerable threat from terrorists. Does the TSA intend to install body scanners at railways stations, as Italy has already done?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Pistole
Why are TSA Officers only paid $12.67/hr. on average. In a large city this is an extremely low wage to get top quality personal to do a professional job. Why not raise the salary for TSA personal to encourage higher level professionals to do this extremely important job.

RB said...

Mr. Pistole, reports are coming in from around the country that TSA employees are requiring people to remove belts, wallets, jewelery and all other items from their person before entering the Strip Search Machine.

What is the requirement for a person wearing a medical ID bracelet or necklace in this situation? Is TSA willing to take responsibility for that persons health and safety should they have an issue while undergoing screening and they have been forcibly separated from the medical ID?

Where is the requirement printed for public consumption that requires compliance with these orders?

RB said...

Anonymous said...
Several TSA clerks have claimed on this blog that the only reason for the mandatory shoe carnival is the terror alert, which has been at orange for airports since an aspirational plot whose members did not possess air tickets, passports, or explosives was discovered in London.

Is this in fact the case?

Why is the shoe carnival tied to a terror alert system that former DHS head Tom Ridge has admitted was manipulated for political ends, that no one pays attention to, and that most national security experts have recommended abolishing?

How often is the color-coded alert level reviewed, by whom, and using what evidence?

July 22, 2010 8:02 AM
//////////////
Fair questions. Airports have been at "ORANGE" meaning we are under "HIGH RISK OF TERRORIST ATTACKS" and have been for years. In fact far longer than World War II lasted.

I suggest that this kind of warning has no meaning and trying to keep the public stirred up about almost non-existent threats is nothing more than politics and a means for DHS/TSA to justify their existence.

Anyone with any intelligence at all knows that maintaining a very high readiness level for years on end is near impossible. I guess that leaves out DHS/TSA!

TSO Tom said...

Anonymous said...
Perhaps TSA employees who post here should have to do so under their full names and identify which airport they work at.

July 21, 2010 7:02 PM
***********************************
Perhaps you should be required to do the same. Full name, address and phone number for verification.

Anonymous said...

This is not a very good start Mr Pistole. You state time and time again that you and the TSA are listening. Really? You are certainly NOT responding. If you are serious about engaging with the public and their genuine concerns then why are people's questions repeatedly going unanswered, or any answers that are proferred are simply WRONG? This certainly applies to the questions I have repeatedly asked. Why have you, Mr Pistole, not responded personally to some of the questions asked? This 'initiative' of yours is simply hollow rhetoric. I suspect that this comment will not be posted because it is not want you want to hear. Please, for everyone's sake, START ACTING ON YOUR PROMISES. A public that is on your side, because it is treated with respect, honesty and decency, is more than half the battle won in your continued efforts to make flying safe for everybody.

mbattery said...

With all the requests for information, I cannot understand why I never see answers to ANY of the questions. Reading through them I see many repeated, many that I have seen since I first started visiting. I'm not a regular. Just curious.
Now I understand why so many are anonymous. Most likely they have continuously asked the same question. Simple questions such as "how many countries require footwear removal? I just Googled that question. Guess what I found! I found the questions from all the anonymous people from this blog. NO answers there either. Is this a matter of Top Level Security? Please Mr. Pistole, give us something. I cannot imagine you have begun this new blog just to give everyone the same run-around. Would you?
I know, give out the name of Blogger Bob's supervisor. That I feel, would make everyone quite happy.

Ayn R. Key said...

Anonymous said...
Perhaps TSA employees who post here should have to do so under their full names and identify which airport they work at.

I know that Curtis (Blogger Bob) has posted anonymously at least once. If he can't obey that rule, I'm sure other TSOs won't.

TSO Tom said...

Rusty said...
@TSO TOM - Thank you for so elegantly proving Canada's point.

July 22, 2010 10:08 AM
***********************************
@Rusty...you mean Canada had a point? Actually what I read was, "tell your employees to stay off the blog". Where's the point in that statement?

GSOLTSO said...

TSO Tom sez - "LOL West, sounds like you're getting baked by the posters in this forum this weekend. West do you have any knowledge of the shoemag machine and when/if it will be utilized in the US?"

Naw man, this is not that bad, and I don't take it personally. Most of the folks that post questions here want an answer yesterday, and sometimes the wheels just don't turn that fast.

I had not heard much about the shoemag until a couple of months ago, and I am still not a big time expert on it. I would love to see how the tech translates to the checkpoints here, the costs (maintenance, etc) and the effectiveness on it. I have not heard anything about it coming to TSA airports as of this moment.

West
TSA Blog Team

TSO Tom said...

West said in part....
I had not heard much about the shoemag until a couple of months ago, and I am still not a big time expert on it. I would love to see how the tech translates to the checkpoints here, the costs (maintenance, etc) and the effectiveness on it. I have not heard anything about it coming to TSA airports as of this moment.
***********************************
I heard almost a year ago about a "machine" that would enable us to screen shoes while on the passenger's feet. No mention of the name of the machine, but it was said to be under testing. It wasn't until just a week or two ago, when I checked further that I found out it was called the "magshoe" and was being used regularly in other countries, including Isreal and Prague. The funny thing is, a passenger asked me today, "when are you getting the machine to scan our shoes on our feet?", interesting how things coincide like that. Thanks for your reply West, it is appreciated.

Anonymous said...

"Most of the folks that post questions here want an answer yesterday, and sometimes the wheels just don't turn that fast."

And sometimes the answer we get is a series of increasingly ridiculous and inaccurate nonanswers, like your own posts in this thread about countries requiring all passengers to remove their shoes (you STILL haven't managed to answer that one correctly, and by the by can you tell us how you arrived at your initial inaccurate responses?).

And sometimes we've been wanting an answer to a perfectly legitimate question for a year or longer. What IS the name and contact info of Curtis' direct supervisor, anyway?

TSO Tom said...

Here is some information from IDO security regarding the magshoe device that is currently in operation at airports in other countries, including Isreal and Prague. However there is no indication whether or not this machine detects explosive compounds.
***********************************
ABOUT MAGSHOE
Just step in and go for total security

MagShoe is an innovative "shoes-on" weapons metal detection system that instantly and accurately detects metal items concealed in footwear and up to four centimeters above the ankle. Thanks to its patented, step-in design, MagShoe offers clear, immediate results without requiring the removal of shoes. This reduces wait times and increases comfort and convenience - while ensuring extremely thorough, completely accurate security scanning.

How it Works
Simply step into the MagShoe and go – the scan is complete in less than two seconds. A red light/green light indicator offers visual confirmation of the scan’s results, moving from red to yellow to green instantaneously. Upon detecting a security concern, the light flashes red, and MagShoe sounds its built-in alarm, displaying the results on its control console. This multi-sensory alert system ensures immediate response times, even in loud and crowded screening areas such as busy airports or noisy stadiums.

MagShoe meets international standards for quality assurance (link to Certifications page). It has also undergone stringent testing by the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA), UK Department of Transport, German BKA (Federal Criminal Police Office) and others.

•Seamless integration with existing metal detectors and procedures for a complete security solution
•Lightning fast - clear, accurate results in seconds
•Highly accurate - ignores metal noramally found inside shoes to reduce false alarms
•Fully automatic and easty-to-use; no training required•Extremely cost-efficient and affordable
•Compact and portable for use anywhere
•Thorough detection of all metals, both ferrous and non-ferrous
•Convenient, sanitary, quick alternative to manually removing shoes

TSO Tom said...

Here is a link to the machine that I heard about a year or so ago, it's an article in USA today:

http://www.usatoday.com/travel/flights/2010-03-02-shoe-scanner_N.htm

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Mr. Pistole
Why are TSA Officers only paid $12.67/hr. on average. In a large city this is an extremely low wage to get top quality personal to do a professional job. Why not raise the salary for TSA personal to encourage higher level professionals to do this extremely important job.

July 22, 2010 11:59 AM
......................
Federal Minimum wage is $7.25. #12.67 is well above that and seems excessive in my opinion.

I would ask why is TSA over paying new hires?

One of HIS Sheep said...

"Perhaps TSA employees who post here should have to do so under their full names and identify which airport they work at."

EVERYBODY who posts should be required to submit their SSNs, DOB and mother's maiden name and have a background check run on them.

Otherwise extremists could use this web site to promote extremism.

RB said...

One of HIS Sheep said...
"Perhaps TSA employees who post here should have to do so under their full names and identify which airport they work at."

EVERYBODY who posts should be required to submit their SSNs, DOB and mother's maiden name and have a background check run on them.

Otherwise extremists could use this web site to promote extremism.

July 23, 2010 8:29 AM
............
You think they will be any better than the background checks TSA currently does on its employees?

TSA forces Richmond airport to issue access badge to convicted felon

http://www.gadling.com/2010/02/04/tsa-forces-richmond-airport-to-issue-access-badge-to-convicted-f/

TSA airport screener arrested for child porn also worked at Catholic school; Questions remain

http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-27692-LA-County-Libertarian-Examiner~y2010m2d5-TSA-airport-screener-arrested-for-child-porn-also-worked-at-Catholic-school-Questions-remain


TSA AND DELTA EMPLOYEES PLEAD GUILTY IN DRUG SMUGGLING
STING AT HARTSFIELD JACKSON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

http://www.dhs.gov/xoig/assets/press/OIGpr_061808.pdf

just a few for starters.

RB said...

TSO Tom said...
Here is a link to the machine that I heard about a year or so ago, it's an article in USA today:

http://www.usatoday.com/travel/flights/2010-03-02-shoe-scanner_N.htm

July 22, 2010 9:59 PM



"The new machines range in size from a step stool to a turnstile. Some use electromagnetic fields to detect metal. Others use chemical sensors to detect explosives. The TSA said it wants a machine that finds metal weapons and explosives.

That could be difficult, Goldberg said. IDO's machine uses metal-detection technology that finds powdered explosives containing metal but not plastic explosives. "There is no technology today that can test for all explosives," Goldberg said.

Morpho Detection of California told TSA about its scanner that has both metal detection and explosives detection, spokesman Steve Hill said.

Another California company, Syagen, told TSA about a prototype that shoots air jets at passengers' feet and lower legs to dislodge explosives particles, company sales director Chris McBee said."

Doesn't sound hopeful. One type uses puffer like technology which TSA has already determined they cannot maintain.

Others detect metals and metal based explosives but not plastic based chemicals.

Seems like a lot of wasted effort for an almost nil probability event.

Anonymous said...

Anon says:
Federal Minimum wage is $7.25. #12.67 is well above that and seems excessive in my opinion.

I would ask why is TSA over paying new hires?

I agree the TSA screeners should be paid less as their jobs are not very important and obviously from this blog, the bloggers are very happy with the professionalism of the TSA screeners. I feel that if the TSA lowers the wage for screeners then it will be very effective in gettting quality up at our airports.

Anonymous said...

Are you ever going to answer any of the very legitimate questions posted here?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Anon says:
Federal Minimum wage is $7.25. #12.67 is well above that and seems excessive in my opinion.

I would ask why is TSA over paying new hires?
***********************************
Overpaid? You think TSA employees are overpaid because the Federal minimum wage is 7.25 an hour, but the average Federal employee is making upwards of 17 an hour, with starting wages around 14 or 15. Private sector security guards working in the Federal buildings are averaging about 20 an hour for armed and roughly 15 to 16 unarmed. Other private sector security jobs are starting from 10 to 12 an hour, but you believe that TSA employees are overpaid? Let me ask you this, how much do you make an hour for the work that you do, and why are you being overpaid? $12.67 seems excessive in your opinion, how do you qualify your opinion? What makes you an expert on how much a particular employee in a particular work group should be paid? What is your HR experience? Are you a Federal employee? If so you are most likely in the GS pay scale which would more than likely put you well above Federal minimum wage as well, again why are you being overpaid and how do you qualify your opinion on how much TSA employees should be paid?

GSOLTSO said...

RB sez - "Doesn't sound hopeful. One type uses puffer like technology which TSA has already determined they cannot maintain.

Others detect metals and metal based explosives but not plastic based chemicals.

Seems like a lot of wasted effort for an almost nil probability event."

It does sound like the tech has some possibilities and promise, but at the current stage it doesn't seem to fit what TSA wants. If I hear anymore on this I will try and post something to the Off-Topic thread for you guys.

West
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

i like how all of these new technologies are being discussed here. i am hoping that the bloggers that want to get the new technology can get together with the bloggers that say that the TSA is spending too much money and figure out how to be cost effective and provide the latest technology. I think that maybe arm wrestling or rock, paper, scissors will work nicely.

RB said...

Anonymous said...
Anonymous said...
Anon says:
Federal Minimum wage is $7.25. #12.67 is well above that and seems excessive in my opinion.

I would ask why is TSA over paying new hires?
***********************************
Overpaid? You think TSA employees are overpaid because the Federal minimum wage is 7.25 an hour, but the average Federal employee is making upwards of 17 an hour, with starting wages around 14 or 15. Private sector security guards working in the Federal buildings are averaging about 20 an hour for armed and roughly 15 to 16 unarmed. Other private sector security jobs are starting from 10 to 12 an hour, but you believe that TSA employees are overpaid? Let me ask you this, how much do you make an hour for the work that you do, and why are you being overpaid? $12.67 seems excessive
July 23, 2010 5:35 PM

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

I work in the private sector and if I don't produce I don't get paid, I would get fired.

Entry level TSA employees receive a generous compensation package. A regular paycheck, vacation and sick time accrual, and a decent medical benefits package.

I also don't think anyone forced you to take a TSA job so if the pay isn't good enough then get a real job that pays better.

The taxpayers of this country are being bled dry and TSA keeps holding its hand out for more and more money but we don't get anything of value in return. I see checkpoints with TSA employees just standing around. TSA employees wasting everyone's time with gate checks, which is nothing more than doing the same task twice and then we have the extremely expensive BDO program which is based on voodoo science and gives absolutely nothing in return.

Not to mention how TSA seems to waste more money for items that offer no benefit to screening like these new child porn machines and especially the Backscatter versions that emit deadly X-Rays.

Oh, and let us not forget how TSA tossed in the rubish pile how many puffer machines instead of requiring the manufacturer to make them work. More waste of taxpayer monies.

So yeah, I think TSA employees are overpaid for the hassle they bring to our airports.

LTSO with Answers said...

Bubba said...

Why is the liquid state of matter considered dangerous by the TSA unless contained by ziplock baggies?


The liquid state of matter is considered dangerous because of the risk of the liquid being explosives. The liquids being in a ziploc bag is a security measure but the ziploc is only one small piece of the security measure. There is more to 3-1-1 than a ziploc.

What does the TSA define as a liquid? Why is canned pie filling a liquid, but not filling on a pie?

A liquid is anything that is not a solid or gas. To easily define it when your in doubt, think if it needs a container to hold its shape or be reasonably transported then it is a liquid. For example, most passengers I encounter with peanut butter do not think of it as a liquid but you can certainly push your finger into it. If it was solid your finger would not do that. Peanut butter also needs the container to stay the way it is or gravity would take its toll. With a pie or cake we are more able to see anomalies of the substances.

Why do you want to see us naked when everyone knows (including terrorists) that these machines cannot see within the body, therefore rendering them useless?

We can't see with in the body but we have other measures for this type of smuggling. Smuggling explosives in body cavities is not natural and there is risk of being discovered. We have BDOs as well to deter this type of risk.

Why can't I see my own image generated by whole body imagining machines?

The image is seperated because we, as officers, are not going to view the image and compare it to the person being screened for privacy reasons. You seeing the image is not why we seperate the two.

If the images generated are not graphic, why are they hidden from the public?

The images are not hidden from the public. Images have been shown on the internet and on news stations. At the airport environment the images are out of view for privacy reasons.

Why isn't the person visualizing whole body images visible to the person being screened?

Check above answers. It is to protect passenger privacy.

LTSO with Answers said...

Ayn R. Key said...

According to Curtis (Blogger Bob) and other TSA spokespersons, we need the 3-1-1 rule because of one of two possible bombs.

1. The bomb is unmixed, it can be mixed in an airport terminal, and every single one of the components can pass through a TSA checkpoint without triggering any alarms.
2. The bomb is pre-mixed, is safe to transport, and can pass through a TSA checkpoint without triggering alarms.

If 3-1-1 has a scientific basis, then one of those two bombs must exist. I assert that 3-1-1 has no scientific basis. What is the scientific basis of 3-1-1?


One of those IEDs exist. You still haven't accepted it Ayn.

Anonymous said...

So RB, it's your opinion that since TSA in your opinion is wasting money, that TSA employees should be paid less for the work we do? "I see TSA employees standing around doing nothing", is it busy when you see this going on? Because yea we do have down time, and slow periods, but for the most part it's jumping most of the day, and we're working as hard as anyone else. Sure we receive decent benefits, the same benefits other Federal workers receive, so why not pay us an equal salary to other Federal workers? Do you know that IRS employees do less work in 8 hours than TSA employees do? Oh I guess TSA is taking over for the most hated Federal agency in US history, so let's not pay them a decent salary, but give it to the other Federal workers instead. RB, I'm not arguing that TSA needs to improve drastically on many of its processes, and I'm not arguing that there has been some failures within the organization, but I work my tail off for 8 hours a day, and I feel I should be compensated appropriately, just as any other employees is, private or public sector. And for the record, during the busiest times of the day, at most we might have 16 people, about 12 of whom are part timers and will leave 4 hours before the shift ends, leaving us short on people if we get hit again, hence LONG LINES. TSA has taken to hiring only part time employees to SAVE money, but they also cut back on full time staffing which most times leaves the checkpoints short on staff, forcing us to either work ten times harder during a rush, or borrow other TSOs from other checkpoints, which most times is a futile attempt, so RB, in MY opinion we should be paid considerably more for what we do.

LTSO with Answers said...

Canada said...

3. Prohibit your staff, other than those responsible for the blog, from posting. This is the PUBLIC forum to ask questions, and we want AUTHORITATIVE answers, not speculation, maybe-kinda, or outright wrong and insulting responses from whoever is on break.


I agree with Lynn input from everyone. Different TSA employees bring different knowledge and ways of reasoning to the table. What one tries to explain may be better explained by someone else. I do agree that it is frustrating to the public to know who knows what they are talking about. It is hard for me sometimes too when I read the blog and read responses from other TSA employees. I do want all TSA employees to realize though, that when they use anything TSA in their handle/name that they are then representing their agency. We do want to bring some personality to our words.

JB said...

John said...
I have been dealing with TSA since Feb 2010 when they brike my laptop. spoke to Phylis Davis this morning and it was a joke as she changed her story seveal times as I questioned her. She then said I would receive a form letter not a full descripyion of what happened, I guess a changein leadership does not matter to the TSA.
I will not let this matter drop an I will get answers to all of my uestions - the sad part is that as a taxpayer I am wasting tax dollars doing this, but if the administration can throw away money so can I.

July 20, 2010 11:28 AM

John, exactly how did TSA break your laptop?

Anonymous said...

I have to say that RB is right. He is one of the biggest supporters of the TSA and says that the TSA employees are doing a great for an unreal job. Then lets throw in the waste on machinary for that has nothing to do with the TSA employees themselves. So lets hold the screeners responsible for the equipment that they have to run that shows up. It doesnt matter that they have no say in if they want it or not. Maybe the govt should invest in the people instead of the machines.

Anonymous said...

I have repeatedly asked the same questions time and time and time again on here:
(1) When is the 2010 WBI PIA due, or expected, to be published? It has been more than year since the last PIA.
(2) Why are body scanners considered too graphic for Dubai, but not too graphic for the US?
(3)Why will the TSA not allow a public consultation on body scanners? This is surely undemocratic.
(4) Does the TSA plan to install body scanners in railway stations and other public transport areas, as Italy have already done?
The only answers I have had so far have been to point me towards last years PIA, and to state that US body scanners are 'dumbed-down' versions of others used throughout the world.
This is not good enough. Please will someone from the TSA answer the above questions.

Anonymous said...

"We have BDOs as well to deter this type of risk."

The BDO program is a miserable failure.

"The images are not hidden from the public."

Then why has TSA refused to share sample images that are the same size and resolution as those seen by the operator of the strip-search machines?

Anonymous said...

"I see TSA employees standing around doing nothing", is it busy when you see this going on? Because yea we do have down time, and slow periods, but for the most part it's jumping most of the day, and we're working as hard as anyone else."

Maybe at YOUR airport, but when I was a part-time TSO at PIT, we always received 1 hour of break time in a 5-hour shift, and sometimes as much as 2 hours. It was a disgusting waste of taxpayer dollars -- one of the reasons why I quit!

Sandra said...

We're waiting, Administrator Pistole.

Ayn R. Key said...

LTSO without answers wrote:
One of those IEDs exist. You still haven't accepted it Ayn.

All we have on that is the word of an agency that has a record of lying to the public. I want proof. Your agency still hasn't given it.

By the way, this thread is about questions we are asking Mr. Pistole, not asking LTSO without Answers, or even asking Curtis aka Blogger Bob. Your non-answer isn't really that relevant.

Bubba said...

LTSO with answers,

You have answered none of my points made above, unless of course you actually believe that ziplock baggies can contain explosions (as a part of your "layers of security"), or that bread miraculously transforms evil peanut butter the liquid into good peanut butter.

As for whole body imaging, it is very easy to make the screener and image visible to the scanned person, but not allow that person to see the passenger.

Anonymous said...

Sandra, don't hold your breath waiting for a response. So far this new bureaucrat looks just like the others.

Anonymous said...

Its been 10 days since the original posting. As a new administrator in an extremely important position I think that it is realistic to think that it will take a month or two to get any answers. I realize that we live in an instant gratification society but lets look at the big picture. As weird as this sounds I dont think that Mr. Pistole knows what goes on in airports, he deals with larger ideas. He will have to speak to people that know what is going on to get answers. It will take time, i would think that some patience is rquired. Before anyone says that if its that important it he will be on top of things, but lets be realistic.

Buzzraid Travel said...

I think this is a much needed platform for those to voice their opinions on the TSA as well as the TSA have a chance to respond and correct some policies that are more of an inconvenience to travelers and do nothing to gain safety. Utilizing something like Facebook and Twitter for discussion as well could be a much added plus especially if someone on the account could respond from time to time on questions they receive numerous times.

Arbee said...

GSOLTSO said...
TSOTom sez - "West, while most of us appreciate your input, when will our new administrator comment on some of the items in this forum?"

Tom, I do not know. Most likely it will take a bit for him to get things in order to give valid responses to some of the questions posted here.

West
TSA Blog Team

July 18, 2010 2:31 PM

West

The administrator was confirmed about a month ago. He had significant briefings before his confirmation hearings and he spoke to many of the issues brought up here during those hearings.

If he really wants to hear from flyers, he needs to get back into the discussion.

Now, about TSA employees posting on this board. The blog team needs to vet the "facts" that are posted. Speculation labelled as such is one thing, but when they post something that is either incorrect or not an accurate representation of TSA policy, you on the team need to either not approve the post, or ppoint out that it is factually incorrect or not TSA policy.

RB2 said...

Do comments/complaits made on "Talk to TSA" get read by anyone higher up the ladder than airport TSA staff?

Anonymous said...

Does the TSA, or the elusive Mr Pistole, ever intend to reply to the questions on here? I think sadly we already know the answer to that by now. But here's hoping, and for the fifth time:

(1) When is the 2010 WBI PIA due, or expected, to be published?
(2)Why are body scanners considered too graphic for Dubai, but not too graphic for the US?
(3) Why will the TSA not allow a public consultation on airport body scanners?
(4) Does the TSA intend to install body scanners in railway and bus stations, as Italy as already done?

Isaac Newton said...

Mr Pistole, you said "I'll be addressing those concerns right here on the blog."

When?

Phil said...

Mr. Pistole:

The Identity Project posed the following list of questions to nominees for your position. Could you please answer them?

1. Do you believe that individuals should have a right to travel in the USA? Why or why not?

2. What substantive (e.g probable cause) and procedural (e.g. due process and judicial review) standards do you believe should apply to actions by or directed by your agency, or other government agencies, that would restrict that right?

3. Should individuals in the USA be required to have or display government ID in order to travel by common carrier or on public rights-of-way by plane? By train? By bus? By ship or ferry? By private car? On foot? Why or why not?

4. Should individuals in the USA be required to obtain government permission in order to travel by common carrier or on public rights-of-way by plane? By train? By bus? By ship or ferry? By private car? On foot? Why or why not?

5. Should US citizens be required to have a passport and/or obtain government permission in order to leave the USA? Why or why

6. Should US citizens be required to have a passport and/or obtain government permission in order to return to the USA from abroad? Why or why not?

7. Should the government maintain records of the travel or movement of people who are not suspected of a crime or subject to a court order authorizing surveillance and logging of their movements? Why or why not?

8. Should the government mandate the collection or maintenance by travel companies of records of the travel or movement of people who are not suspected of a crime or subject to a court order authorizing surveillance and logging of their movements? Why or why not?

9. Should travel companies or other third parties to whom individuals are required by the government to provide personal information be free to use, sell, or “share” that information, or should it be protected by laws? Why or why not?

10. What do you think should be done with existing government files of travel records about innocent people?

-- 
Phil
Showing ID only affects honest people.
What if the people with the power to secretly put your name on a "no-fly" list didn't like the reason for which you want to fly?

Phil said...

Mr. Pistole:

Will you publish a list of all the rules and regulations that your agency will subject someone to if that person wishes to cross a U.S. Government checkpoint at an airport en route to the gate from which his domestic flight will depart, not including laws that the person is required to abide by outside of the airport checkpoint (i.e., just those rules and regulations that apply only at the checkpoint)?

I'm not asking for tips for travelers, suggestions on how to pack our bags, hints, clues, guidelines, or press releases. I'm not asking to see TSA's super-secret procedures (those that thousands of lowest-level-of-TSA airport security guards who turn over at a rate of somewhere around 25% per year, are allowed to see), not a pointer to the entire TSA "guidelines for travelers" page, the entire TSA Web site (filled, as noted on this blog and acknowledged by TSA Blog staff staff with inconsistencies and inaccuracies), the entire U.S. Government Web, or the whole Internet -- just a list of the rules TSA imposes on travelers at a U.S. Government airport checkpoint.

Note that on November 12, 2008, in the "Family/Special Needs Lanes Coming to All Airports in Time for Thanksgiving Travel" post, Paul at TSA wrote, "Still working on the comprehensive list of regulations both definite and situational," but that despite repeated requests for an update on his progress, we've heard nothing more about it.

-- 
Phil
Showing ID only affects honest people.
What if the people with the power to secretly put your name on a "no-fly" list didn't like the reason for which you want to fly?

Anonymous said...

I love this.

Its been 12 day folks, and this blog is about half a step above whale flop on the directors priority list at what is a very busy beginning to his tenure with the TSA. Yet the posters here are already demanding answers from him. It may be months before he gets the time to get back to the blog, your demands are honestly not all that important.

Ayn R. Key said...

LTSO without answers wrote...
One of those IEDs exist. You still haven't accepted it Ayn.

The only evidence of that is an agency with a record of lying to the public. Chemists have not corroborated the claim.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Pistole,

You have heard from us.

When will we have the courtesy of a response from you?

Thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

Why no comments on the Americans your body scanners are killing from Cancer?

RB said...

Mr Pistole, TSA has published a Privacy Impact Statement for Whole Body Imaging dated July 23, 2009.

Privacy Impact Assessment Update for TSA Whole Body Imaging
July 23, 2009
Contact Point
Robin Kane
Assistant Administrator
Operational Process & Technology

"Abstract
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will conduct pilot operations to
evaluate the use of various Whole Body Imaging (WBI) technologies, including backscatter xray
and millimeter wave devices, to detect threat objects carried on persons entering airport
sterile areas 1."


This document indicates that WBI is in a pilot phase but TSA has publicly announced roll-out of WBI machines to the nations airports and use of these machines as primary means of airport screening even while the American public objects to the virtual Strip Search conducted by TSA.

This certainly does not sound like a pilot program and TSA is currently in violation of federal law by not having a current PIA on file.

When will TSA provide the public with a correct and current PIA for WBI?

If such document cannot be provided immediately will TSA suspend WBI?

Antonio said...

There are a couple of items that shows the legend "TSA compliant" printed in the right top corner,this item is a OPTI FREE , it contains 4 FL OZ ( 118 mL), trade mark is ALCON. Are these items are permitted to travel?

Mexican citizen at MEX airport

Anonymous said...

My name in the passport is First Middle Last. But it is printed as Firstmiddle Last in the airline ticket. Will I be able to board. A new ticket will set me back by $300. It is for international travel.

RB said...

"Went through BOS terminal C on 7/26. They were forcing everyone through the nude-o-scope. A woman in front of me tried to opt out and was told she didn't have a choice. She capitulated. On the other side I told her to talk to the supervisor. So I'm not quite sure what this thread id about unless they changed things on 7/27."

This report from another blog says TSA is requiring all people to be screened with the TSA WBI Child Porno Viewers.

What happened to "Opt Out"?

Anonymous said...

could you please tell us why you are blocking legitimate comment on here?

RB said...

Anonymous said...
could you please tell us why you are blocking legitimate comment on here?

July 30, 2010 5:46 PM
......................
TSA thinks they are above the law.

The United States Supreme Court has ruled that political speech is protected and any discussion here on a website funded by taxpayers monies is certainly political speech.

I suggest you file civil rights complaints against all named members of the blog team.

They are the ones in violation of the law.

RB said...

Airline Pilot: Everybody Forced Through Naked Body Scanners in El Paso


Kurt Nimmo
Infowars.com
July 30, 2010


"Infowars.com received an email today from a pilot for a major airline who claims all passengers are now forced through naked body scanners in El Paso, Texas. “‘I’m a pilot for a major airline and overnighted in El Paso. Came to the airport the next day and everyone except for crew and airport employees were sent through the scanners. Stood there for a while and did not see anyone sent through the metal detectors,” the pilot writes."

http://www.infowars.com/airline-pilot-everybody-forced-through-naked-body-scanners-in-el-paso/

for the rest of the story.


So what's up TSA. That Optional line you've been feeding the public, was that just another lie?

Seems to be TSA's modus operandi.

Anonymous said...

Mr Pistole,
For the sixth time:

(1) When is the 2010 WBI PIA due, or expected, to be published?
(2) Why are body scanners considered too graphic for Dubai, but not too graphic for the US?
(3) Why will the TSA not allow a public consultation on airport body scanners?
(4) Does the TSA intend to install body scanners in railway and bus stations, like Italy has already done?

Anonymous said...

Bob, is TSA really not allowing people to opt out of body scanning in some areas? Please answer. This might even be the type of issue that warrants a new blog post. This is an important issue to me because I am morally against the machines.

RB said...

Anonymous said...
Bob, is TSA really not allowing people to opt out of body scanning in some areas? Please answer. This might even be the type of issue that warrants a new blog post. This is an important issue to me because I am morally against the machines.

July 31, 2010 6:25 PM
.....................................................................
You would think this question would have been given a prompt answer, unless TSA has been intentionally misleading the public about the ability to Opt Out.

Welcome to Soviet States of America brought to you by TSA.

TSA?

RB said...

Anonymous said...
Bob, is TSA really not allowing people to opt out of body scanning in some areas? Please answer. This might even be the type of issue that warrants a new blog post. This is an important issue to me because I am morally against the machines.

July 31, 2010 6:25 PM
........
This question needs an answer TSA!

Anonymous said...

RB,
i think it says that the pilot claims that that was going on. Did it say how long the pilot was actually standing there? Do you believe everything you read on the internet? If this was major news Im surprised it wasnt picked up by other news sorces because as you say "So what's up TSA. That Optional line you've been feeding the public, was that just another lie?" obviously you have an open mind.

Sandra said...

We're STILL waiting, Mr. Administrator.

Anonymous said...

"Bob, is TSA really not allowing people to opt out of body scanning in some areas? Please answer"

Yes, please.

I have to fly next week. Pax are reporting major delays and issues with opt out.

Getting info out on this matter seems like a good use for this blog. How about it?

kim said...

So, you want to hear from me? OK! I went on a trip last week, and was pulled out SIMPLY because I wear an ankle brace that I could not take off (as my foot does not work in the mornings). Really? And it was ONLY because of the brace. I asked point blank.

I felt like a fool and totally humiliated. Fortunatly the TSA person there was nice and she also thought it was ridiculous and appoligized left and right.

Then...you're damed swab gave me a large rash around my leg, above my brace that itched and sometimes burned....for 4 DAYS! My trip was 7 days. How enjoyable. Thank You!

On my way home, I didn't even wear my brace. I didn't want to go through the humiliation and another rash. Fortunatly my return was in the afternoon, when I could go without my brace with some safety.

So, now you've heard. My trip was ruined, and I thank you! And so sorry I wear a brace. I didn't realize it was a criminal act! And please don't say terrorists are using the handicapped. When was the last time that scenario happened here?

BTW, I will be putting in a complaint. The rash was the last straw!

hannah said...

I do not understand it all the complaints about having to take off your shoes and going through wbi and that the other countries don't do this etc. First of all this is america not another country they migh not make you take 10 seconds to remove your shoes but we do and that probably won't change. Secondly you should appreciate the wbi for making your flight safer. And lastly have you forgotten that you do not have to fly? There are other ways to travel and you don't have to reomove your shoes so I'm sure you will be happy with that. Stop whining and be thankful everyone has flown safely.

Anonymous said...

"i think it says that the pilot claims that that was going on."

More than one person is reporting troubles.

For close to real time info go and read the security forum over at flyertalk.com.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/travel-safety-security-222/

Decide for your self if they are all spewing bs or if their posts represent what is actually happening.

Anonymous said...

Someone said: "So what's up TSA. That Optional line you've been feeding the public, was that just another lie?"

Someone else replied: "obviously you have an open mind."

Open minded or not, obvious or not, reports are coming in from travelers that there are no optional lines at some airports.

Their stories seem credible and others are substantiating them.

Until there is some evidence that people are fabricating these stories I will believe there is truth in them.

So blog staff, what about those optional lines?

Anonymous said...

"I do not understand it all the complaints about having to take off your shoes and going through wbi and that the other countries don't do this etc."

It's very simple. The shoe carnival and virtual strip-searches do nothing to make anyone safer, and make traveling more unpleasant than it already is.

Anonymous said...

Why does the TSA agent tell me that my laptop has to be in a bin by itself yet he dumps the sweater and jacket from the person ahead of me (whom the agent has decided needs to remove said items) in the bin on top of my laptop obscuring it from my view.

Anonymous said...

hannah said...
I do not understand it all the complaints about having to take off your shoes and going through wbi and that the other countries don't do this etc. First of all this is america not another country they migh not make you take 10 seconds to remove your shoes but we do and that probably won't change. Secondly you should appreciate the wbi for making your flight safer. And lastly have you forgotten that you do not have to fly? There are other ways to travel and you don't have to reomove your shoes so I'm sure you will be happy with that. Stop whining and be thankful everyone has flown safely.

August 2, 2010 8:38 PM
***********************************
Hannah, the complaints will NEVER stop...some people just have nothing better to do.

RB said...

Anonymous said...
RB,
i think it says that the pilot claims that that was going on. Did it say how long the pilot was actually standing there? Do you believe everything you read on the internet? If this was major news Im surprised it wasnt picked up by other news sorces because as you say "So what's up TSA. That Optional line you've been feeding the public, was that just another lie?" obviously you have an open mind.

August 1, 2010 7:56 PM

.........
I asked this question here on the blog and also submitted to TSA's Talk to TSA.

So far no answer from either, so I have to believe there is some truth in the report.

WE already know that TSA has lied to the public, I have nothing showing that that pilot has ever done so!

Anonymous said...

Kim, I would see a doctor about that rash. The swab used is only a plain piece of fabric. There aren't any chemicals on it, so if you ended up with a rash then you must be alergic to certain fabrics.

RB said...

Still nothing from TSA about ELP not honoring Opt Outs.

TSA?

Anonymous said...

Why has the US Marshall Service violated the promise TSA made regarding not keeping, storing, saving, the pornographic and privacy violating full body scans?

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