Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Opting-out of Advanced Imaging Technology and the Pat-down Doesn’t Fly

TSO in AIT Resolution Room
A recent incident in San Diego where a passenger opted out of Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) and also refused a pat-down has been raising some questions, so I wanted to help clarify a few things with this blog post.

AIT is optional for everybody. However, if you decide to opt-out of AIT screening, you must undergo alternative screening, which will include a pat-down. As I’ve said before, there is nothing punitive about it- it just makes good security sense. Obviously a passenger can’t completely opt out of all screening if they opt out of AIT. That would not make good security sense. AIT is deployed to help us find non-metallic threats, so if you’re selected for AIT and choose to opt-out, we still need to check you for non-metallic threats. That’s why a pat-down is required. If you refuse both, you can’t fly. It is important that all screening procedures are completed.  This ensures that terrorists do not have an opportunity to probe TSA’s procedures by electing not to fly just as TSA’s screening procedures are on the verge of detecting that the passenger is a terrorist. Also, it’s important to remember that TSA screens nearly 2 million passengers daily and that very few passengers are required to receive a pat-down.

Some have asked why we just don’t use the handwand. Good question. Threats can be both metallic and non-metallic. Pat-downs, like AIT, allow us to screen for nonmetallic threats that handwands would not find.

And finally, the $10,000.00 question of the day… Will you receive a $10,000.00 fine if you opt out of screening all together and leave the checkpoint? While TSA has the legal authority to levy a civil penalty of up to $11,000.00 for cases such as this, each case is determined on the individual circumstances of the situation. 

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

515 comments:

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Anonymous said...

i hope people read this...

http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/2IbnvD/www.ourlittlechatterboxes.com/2010/11/tsa-sexual-assault.html/r:f

justmyopinion said...

I have a medical implant in/on my right upper chest area. If I elect to go through the ATI and the implant shows up do I get a full body pat down or a pat down of just my right upper chest area? It would appear the me that the pat down would be limited to the area in question.

TexStan said...

Has anyone in the TSA read the 4th Amendment to the Constitution? It reads:
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." It mentions person specifically. Why is this so difficult to understand and apply? Ignoring this puts us well on our way toward a totalitarian state.

Jeffrey Robert Necciai said...

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
-Benjamin Franklin

Abolish this nonsense NOW!

Jeffrey Robert Necciai said...

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
- Benjamin Franklin

Abolish this nonsense NOW! It's wrong, ineffective, wasteful, and completely un-American!

TSA workers: please go back to doing whatever it is you were doing before you found government work. (I wonder what that was...)

Anonymous said...

It is my opinion that if a person does not want to conform to your ridiculous and overzealous procedures and chooses to turn around and peacefully leave the airport, you have absolutely no right to fine them, restrain them or otherwise make an example of them. The last time I checked this was America and we are supposed to be free from tyranny and oppression.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

That is our fourth amendment right and you are openly engaging in activities that violate that right. Just because you are the government gives you no authority to rob us of our rights just for purchasing a plane ticket.

I have written and will continue to write to my elected officials and I will not fly on a commercial airline as long as these violations of our constitution continue.

Anonymous said...

When The TSA says that the AIT machines don't have the ability to save or print images, why should that put us at ease. What stops any TSA employee from pulling out his phone and snapping a high resolution pic of my wife and teenage daughters and sharing them with his buddies or the world over the internet?
Blogger Bob, you guys have finally gone too far. Take that poll today and see what people think about the AIT machines I bet you this poll was taken before the current backlash and people actually knew what will be done to them and their family. I theory 81% of the public might have thought it was a good idea in practice I am sure not so much.

like2try said...

You say "If you refuse both, you can’t fly.". On the other, you say the TSA can levy a civil penalty of upto $11,000 if you decide to leave. Hypocrisy? I think so.

Since there are now some suits in progress, we'll have to see what happens. But I really hope this goes to the Supreme Court and not only do these civil claims get thrown out, but the TSA is forced to change procedures.

First off, on what basis is the civil claim going to be made? Pain and suffering? Lost time? Ten officers don't need to waste 2 hours of a person's time to communicate what they want to do, so lost time is ridiculous.

Procedures: just because you require a pat-down doesn't mean it has to be done in public view. There should be more than one officer, along with a person of the travelers choosing if they elect, allowed to be present in a private area for the pat-down.

Also, the argument of "we only do it to a small number of people" doesn't fly (no pun intended), for two reasons: 1. there have been complaints that the "random" selection process is not really random (if they want to prove otherwise, make a computer choose!), and 2. randomly taking away civil liberties for few is no different from taking away civil liberties for all.

Wayne said...

Why not address the public's concern by using thermal imaging, which has been proven to detect anything placed on the body which is not at body temperature? It is less invasive. It does not display genitals and breasts. Far fewer people would feel uncomfortable with thermal imagining. And those who currently opt out of AIT due to concerns over the *cumulative* effects of "low-level" x-rays need not have any concerns since thermal imaging produces no harmful radition.

Is it possible that the heavy lobbying that Michael Chertoff made for AIT machines had an effect on the choice of technology chosen for airports by DHS? If so, should we not be concerned about his conflict of interest in the matter since he is deeply involved financially with the AIT companies?

Anonymous said...

Absurd. This anything goes mentality has to stop. The threat of a fine for not liking the situation is basically bullying. What if we don't like how we are treated by the TSA employees, we have to go broke or be abused? Nice choice. I will do everything I can to get this ridiculous situation reversed.

Anonymous said...

The TSA needs to publish specific information about what happens when the scanners pick up someone wearing a sanitary napkin or an incontinence product. A passenger finding out in the security line that they need to undergo the type of search that would prove this is what they say it is under the threat of an $11,000 fine is unacceptable.

Anonymous said...

In reading your guidelines, it states people wearing full lenght loose fitting religious clothing will be subject to a wand waving and/OR pat down. If I understand correctly, the pat down everyone is REQUIRED (if they refuse the scanner) does not apply to muslim women wearing full religious clothing. Is that correct?

Anonymous said...

I would appreciate knowing which scanners emit how much radiation at which wavelengths, so I can decide where I can safely go through a scanner and where not. This info should be available on your website and at each scanner and your personnel should be knowledgeable enough to answer questions concerning this - and judging from the coverage in the media, though not from personal experience preferably without insulting the passenger who asks a perfectly legitimate question.

Anonymous said...

You claim the pat-down for those who opt-out isn't punitive. Our experience says otherwise. When I told the woman at the ID-check table that I would opt-out, she said, (direct quote), "They're not going to like you." And indeed, they started shouting "opt-out!" as if I'd done something wrong, they stalled as long as possible to waste my time, and the pat-down was as aggressive as possible.
Shame on you, TSA.

Anonymous said...

The TSA has NO authority to dismiss the 4th amendment. If you do have such authority, please show me your CONSTITUTIONAL authority to dismiss the 4th amendment.

By purchasing a plane ticket I have given up NO rights as an American Citizen.

Anonymous said...

What part of "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." was unclear to you?

markeugene said...

What is the criteria for selecting passengers for AIT screening/scanning?

Anonymous said...

Most parents protect their children by educating them against child predators by telling them not to tolerate ANYBODY to touch them anywhere or to start a PLAYFUL act in order for them to loosen their guard so that the "playful" person/uncle/aunt/other can touch them.
They teach them to scream instantly if that might happen.
So, now the family will go through the TSA "pat down"
because they are afraid of the scanner machine and radiation. They now have to instruct the children that it is OK for a total stranger to touch them ANYWHERE this stranger wants them to touch. Do the parents have to tell them that in some cases it is OK, such as in airports and maybe later at bus and train station etc.?

Anonymous said...

My question is this. How safe do I feel about a scanner that requires me to get a pat down afterward? And, if I have to get a pat down anyway, then what is the point? I dont' necssarily feel any safer from a machine that can't tell the difference between an underwire and, oh say, a bomb. I am all for security - but this system really does nothing more than the previous system did with the ban on liquids. The next logical step is to have a cavily search to get on the plane. As some point you cannot mitigate all risks. There is a cost benefit that must be undertaken, and I'm sure the cost way outweights the risk by 3 artfully hidden liguids. This doesn't even begin to address the risk posed by overseas travels, where I woudl say the biggest risk originates.

Anonymous said...

If the AIT equipment is capable of finding metal and non-metal threats, I wonder why the magnetometer is still a part of the process.

The confidence you have in the TSA staff's ability to identify threats either via AIT or the pat-down would suggest that the metal detection aspect of the screening process is entirely superfluous.

Anonymous said...

Bob; the new pat-dwon procedures implemented this fall, as I have seen them reported on CNN/news video, crosses far over the line from respectful to invasive and obscene. The hundreds of millions of fliers (I am one) should not be subjected to this as the only alternative to advanced imaging scanners.

I've had the "old-style" pat down, why did you change the procedure?

I'm male, middle aged, and 220 pounds. As part of one of the old-style pat-downs a few years ago, a TSA agent patted my upper chest with a flattened palm to make my breasts move. My weight issues aside, it was a most humiliating and unpleasant human contact. Now it seems you have formalized it and made it worse. I suspect that the first pat-down I receive under the new 2010 procedures will be the last flight I'll want to take.

I'm retired with an RV; airline industry take note!! I may avoid flying and just drive or take a train instead, if the new pat-down is not discontinued.

Anonymous said...

If you guys go after the San Diego dude, I will donate money to help pay his fine. He isn't going to pay one dime after having dealt with your Orwellian tactics. Long live a FREE America!

Anonymous said...

when you get in line you are accepting an administrative search. You are consenting to the porcedures that are chosen for you. If you do not want to go through then do not get in line. Its probably going to come to the point where all passengers have to go through the machines. Right now its random. If most of the "good looking" women, "random", or "theyre singling me out" complaints will go away then have EVERYONE go through it. The reason that I can see for them making it random is because it takes longer to screen each passenger so they are doing it to keep passenger flow. They are trying to keep it to a minimum but again if thats not good enough then have everyone go through. Look for lanes to get much much longer and be prepared to show up 4-5 hours before your flight to get to the gate on time. It looks like the tsa is trying to compromise and make it random. Again you are consenting to the search when you get in line so it is your choice.

Anonymous said...

Hey Nick: If you or a potential bomber are getting a $10,000 fine, it means you're not flying. Who cares if he "doesn't care"? Let him get the fine, leave the airport and go blow himself up in the parking lot. At least he didn't get on a plane and everyone else who DID follow the rules is safe. And yes people....terrorists CAN put things in their body cavities, but not as easily as you might think and still blow up a plane. Look up different types of explosives on the internet.... how volatile they are (with most...one hiccup and you're dead!), what kinds of containers they need to be kept in, how much of each explosive you need in order to kill more than yourself (much less rip through the human body then the fusalage of a plane), and finally, how long you can live with the right amounts of explosives shoved in your body (or even surgically implanted) and you'll see it's highly unlikely that hiding bombs in body cavities is actually a feasible way to do anything more than simply commit suicide.

Anonymous said...

WDBO news also has an online poll asking about whether airports should opt of using TSA personnel to perform security. As of this writing, 79% of poll takers state: "Yes, anything is better than TSA."

Anonymous said...

After this holiday season I will no longer be flying. Not for funerals, weddings or births. I live on the west coast, most of my family lives on the east coast. Congratulations TSA, you have done superb work helping terrorist infringe on our freedoms and way of life.

Anonymous said...

The next terrorist is going to insert their weapon in a body cavity. I shudder to think what "enhanced screening" the TSA will come up with then.

Abaddon said...

Nice work !!!! you've successfully turned the public against you . Keep wiping the constitution with your behind I'm sure that will win you more fans !!! YOU people make me sick...

Anonymous said...

So government officials threatening someone with a $10000 fine (excuse me $11,000) when the rules and procedures around the issue are inconsistent and unclear (and he decides to leave rather than have his privacy violated) isn't "punitive?" Then what is?

Reminds me of a true story. Drunk guy gets angry at his girlfriend, shoves a loaded gun point blank in her face and pulls the trigger. The gun misfires and doesn't go off.

He is arrested and after saying he is going to kill himself ends up in the psychiatric hospital. While is is there, he continually states that he doesn't understand "what's the big deal? The gun didn't go off."

That's the TSA, gun in our face, pulling the trigger. Telling us 'what's the big deal, the gun didn't go off.'

We're supposed to think threats of arrest and $10,000 fines aren't punitive because they 'probably' won't carry out their threat. Apparently if the TSA only threatens people and doesn't carry out their threats, their actions don't count as "punitive."

It's nonsense when a sociopath says it, and it's nonsense when the TSA says it.

Anonymous said...

If means an increase in the safety for myself, my family and others I am for it. If your not hiding anything then you don't have anything to worry about during a pat down.

Anonymous said...

I don't mind body scans. I just wish TSA would quit taking my equipment or at least put it back together when they're done. My GradeMaster 600 is ruined! Thanks for nothing.

Anonymous said...

Complete and utter garbage policy. If a terrorist puts something inside their body are we going to have to go through cavity searches?

Why would you fine anybody for not going through the procedure? They have a right to choose not to fly when they see other passangers being humiliated.

Lori said...

Constitutional rights violation, poor use of tax dollars, don’t touch my junk, REALLY! Come on people. If you are offended by the new TSA screening procedures, then you don’t have to fly. I’m sure this new screening procedure is no picnic for the security personal or people waiting in a long line to be next. As for the people who refuse be searched, then turn around to leave; what are they afraid of? Shouldn’t you be afraid?
What if people in a car speed off to avoid a roadblock setup by police to catch a murderous fugitive. I would bet that the public would object harshly if the police didn’t track down that car to find out why. What would the public say if the police just let the car go on it’s way and ten more people are killed by morning because the fugitive was in that car. That would be irresponsible and unforgivable.
Why is it a violation of your civil rights to be safe? The fourth amendment states that the people have the right to be secure in their persons (I know this is out of context). Isn’t that what the TSA is trying to do? To keep you secure enough to make it to your destination. Would any of the people making uproar like to sit on a plane next to the underwear bomber? How about a lottery? Pick ten numbers and those people don’t have to get searched. Would you like your child or friend to gamble with their safety like that? I’m sure that if you ask any of the cry babies for a better solution they would come up blank!
People are cunning and vicious. We must be protected; we must protect ourselves and our families. If you have a better idea, by all means share it. But until then, you should thank the TSA for doing the best job they can do against the underwear / shoe bombers of the world. Be reasonable people. Be safe!

Anonymous said...

"It's not punitive, it just makes good sense." That is probably one of the worst public policy statements that has ever been made. People want GOOD explanations of why TSA feels these are necessary, and decided against something like the passenger screenings that take place in places like Israel. If you didn't know this, not explaining why it makes sense only makes people trust you less. A lot of people ARE angry at the prospect of being treated like criminals in order to be able to move about freely, and TSA should listen to them and respond with sensical answers, and not with sound bites.

I am sure that TSA really thinks this method makes good security sense, but have they considered the cost? I am not talking economic cost (the machines themselves, the maintenance, the additional staff, the lawsuits that will arise, etc.). I am talking about the cost in trust to all of government; the cost in human potential suffering, stress and frustration; the cost to the personal privacy of American citizens; the cost in additional man hours; the additional stress to their own employees who have to deal with these irate passengers...and this list goes on. This is totally reactive. It's not anticipatory of other methods that terror groups may employ. What we need are methods that stay out in front of those who intend to harm us; not a "nuclear bomb" option to address methods that have already been tried by a once by single individual (who went undetected AND failed, I might add). TSA should be talking to security agencies throughout the world to ensure that there are not other, more anticipatory methods that will address both known AND unknown risks and could, in fact, be less invasive to personal privacy.

What is probably the most troubling to people such as myself who work in the area of ensuring privacy protection for our citizenry is the fact that there is n opt-out, even if the person decides not to travel. To be subject to a lawsuit because they refuse to have their privacy invaded or to be subject to a search (without any probable cause, I might add) is setting a terrible precedent for search and seizure and is contrary to the well-settled protections of the Fourth Amendment. Speaking of cost, I hope that TSA has a lot of money in the coffers for the upcoming legal actions. You had better believe that they are coming by the hundreds.

Anonymous said...

"It's not punitive, it just makes good sense." That is probably one of the worst public policy statements that has ever been made. People want GOOD explanations of why TSA feels these are necessary, and decided against something like the passenger screenings that take place in places like Israel. If you didn't know this, not explaining why it makes sense only makes people trust you less. A lot of people ARE angry at the prospect of being treated like criminals in order to be able to move about freely, and TSA should listen to them and respond with sensical answers, and not with sound bites.

I am sure that TSA really thinks this method makes good security sense, but have they considered the cost? I am not talking economic cost (the machines themselves, the maintenance, the additional staff, the lawsuits that will arise, etc.). I am talking about the cost in trust to all of government; the cost in human potential suffering, stress and frustration; the cost to the personal privacy of American citizens; the cost in additional man hours; the additional stress to their own employees who have to deal with these irate passengers...and this list goes on. This is totally reactive. It's not anticipatory of other methods that terror groups may employ. What we need are methods that stay out in front of those who intend to harm us; not a "nuclear bomb" option to address methods that have already been tried by a once by single individual (who went undetected AND failed, I might add). TSA should be talking to security agencies throughout the world to ensure that there are not other, more anticipatory methods that will address both known AND unknown risks and could, in fact, be less invasive to personal privacy.

Anonymous said...

What is probably the most troubling to people such as myself who work in the area of ensuring privacy protection for our citizenry is the fact that there is no opt-out, even if the person decides not to travel. The capital tenet of privacy is the ability to choose. Here, the citizenry has no such right. TSA is saying that if someone bought an airline ticket and want to travel, they now have no right to privacy, lest they subject to a law suit. To be subject to a lawsuit because they refuse to have their "person" invaded or to be subject to a strip search (albeit virtual) without any probable cause, is setting a terrible precedent for search and seizure and is contrary to the well-settled protections of the Fourth Amendment. It smacks of the most over-reaching components of totalitarianism.

What is the basis for a civil action against someone who refuses to be subject to these searches? On what recognized legal principle are they based, or did Congress pass a law that allows this?

I hope that TSA has a lot of money in the coffers for the upcoming legal actions. You had better believe that they will be coming by the hundreds.

Ayn R. Key said...

Will you please tell us how the $11,000 fine is authorized under the Administrative Procedures Act?

Anonymous said...

There's a little thing called the 4th Amendment which prohibits searches of persons without issuance of a warrant (or, as interpreted by the courts, articulable suspicion of illegal activity). The mere act of wanting to catch a flight does not justify such intrusive searches and violations of individuals' dignity by electronic means or groping hands. Any time the government tells you something is "for your own good", watch out!

So, until this nation wakes up, dusts off the Constitution and turns these ghastly machines into plowshares, no more flying for me.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 5:01, how can you say it's anyone's choice when TSA has never posted an accurate example of the images generated by strip-search technology, and refuses to say what its "enhanced pat-down" consists of?

Ranger11 said...

Just for those who asked, this is just for informational purposes, I don't want to get stuck in this fray, not now anyway. I only give facts when I submit, here are the facts that anyone can look up and read to get a better understanding of the laws behind the rules. Keep in mind, the CFR required that there be programs, and within the programs are the rules that TSA follows. They are also the rules that the carriers follow, and the screening workforce follow. Those, as we all know, are not made public. I work with the laws and regulations, not rules, so here are the regulations behind the rules.

Title 49 Chapter 449 grants TSA the authority to screen passengers and their property and cargo on all US Commercial Air Carriers and Non US Foreign Aircraft Operators operating in, or transiting through the US. Then, Title 49 CFR Part 1503 gives the authority to TSA for Civil Penalties, Administrative Actions, Legal Enforcement Actions, and Investigation and Enforcement authority.

Anonymous said...

Have they decided if they will allow females who are menstruating fly? What will they do if the scanner indicates presence of a tampon or sanitary napkin? If flying weren't stressful enough, I am now completely terrified of the next time I have to fly.

Anonymous said...

Seriously if we were all naked there would not be issues. If the TSA is so worried about our safety they should start by all going naked themselves.

Anonymous said...

Opting out for a pat down is a lie. My wife tried to opt out because she is pregnant and the tsa told her should would either go through the scanner or not fly. Those were the options they gave her.

Anonymous said...

Repeal the invasive pat-downs and full body scanners NOW or the TSA will face a backlash so complete we will not rest until our representatives completely dismantle and dissolve the agency. This is your first and ONLY warning.

Anonymous said...

The "War on Terror" in general and its Orwellian institutions like "Homeland Security", "Patriot" Acts, and "TSA" comprise the biggest scam since anthropogenic global warming. Why doesn't anyone ask how the terrorists got here in the first place? The federal govt treats all Americans as terror suspects while at the same time subverting our borders & immigration laws such that countless tens of thousands of Jihadis have waltzed into the USA and set up shop to plot, recruit "homegrown" jihadis, even breed anchor baby Jihadis who can't be deported. The govt uses the vulnerability created by its own subversion and gross dereliction to justify a police state agenda, pointlessly track and grope 85-year-old native born grandmothers and WWII Congressional Medal of Honor recipients, and destroy the dignity, liberty, and privacy of all Americans, rather than do the right thing, secure our borders and enforce sane immigration and travel policy toward foreign nationals to keep the terrorists out in the first place. That's what borders are for. Benjamin Franklin said those who trade liberty for security deserve neither and lose both. The gullible masses of the American people did this to themselves and the rest of us by rolling over for all these new Orwellian institutions without a peep, and never asking for any accountability for those who let the terrorists get here in the first place. Where did they think this was going to end up? Unfortunately those of us who saw this coming have to live with the government the idiots deserve.
-George Orwell

Anonymous said...

Blogger Bob, regarding the $11,000 fine, doesn't the TSA's website state case law that contradicts this? Specifically, that a person has to be able to avoid the administrative search by electing not to fly?

I'm looking at http://www.tsa.gov/what_we_do/optout/spp_faqs.shtm

Direct quote: Such a warrantless search, also known as an administrative search, is valid under the Fourth Amendment if it is "no more intrusive or intensive than necessary, in light of current technology, to detect weapons or explosives, " confined in good faith to that purpose," and passengers may avoid the search by electing not to fly. [See United States v. Davis, 482 F.2d 893, 908 (9th Cir. 1973)].

Anonymous said...

It is only reasonable to assume that "same gender" searches are in place to help travelers feel less violated, correct?

I have questions about this policy:

"Has there been ANY incidents of male TSA agents conducting "enhanced searches" on female passengers, either adult or minor?"

"Have there been ANY incidents of female TSA agents conducting "enhanced searches" on male passengers, either adult or minor?"

"Have there been ANY incidents of homosexual, either male or female, TSA agents conducting "enhanced searches" on passengers of the same sex, either adult or minor?"

"If a passenger would PREFER to be searched by a TSA agent of the opposite sex rather than be searched by a potentially homosexual agent, either male or female, does the passenger have that choice?"

kdt said...

"As I’ve said before, there is nothing punitive about it- it just makes good security sense." Really, Bob? Are you locked in a sealed room and fed nothing but propaganda by your handlers? Have you not read report after report about how your TSA agents react when a passenger exercises his or her "right" to opt out? And have you experienced what you're so casually calling a 'pat down?'

That smell in the air - it's the coffee, Bob. Time to wake up and smell it.

racing157 said...

All I have to say to the people who refuse the Pat down or any other measure of safety before getting on the plane is to DRIVE YOUR OWN CAR because then you arent putting other peoples lives in your hands because you are such a pervert that you might get excited if they patted you down in front of 50000 people. Get a life and don't ride the plane with me. If they wanted a strip search I would do it because I remember 9/11 very well maybe you should bring it up and look at it 4 or 5 times a day.

Anonymous said...

I seriously use to be a sincere fan of your folks' work... Now? You have turned yourselves into a laughing stock, time to shut it down and start over. I like the Israeli model, ACTUAL security not protection against 4oz's of hair conditioner being carried by a 4 year old.

Anonymous said...

I would like Bob to address 2 observations I have made as a frequent flier.

1) When I am standing in security lines at any airport, I have observed TSA agents walk from a secured area to an unsecured area and then back to the secured area, sometimes by walking through the metal detector setting off alarms. The reasons for crossing back and forth are many; helping a disabled passenger, replenishing screened article tubs, and relieving another TSA agent checking ID & boarding passes are a few examples. Another example is TSA agents coming on duty or to or from breaks. Why aren't TSA agents screened? Pilots and flight attendants are screened and a pilot does not need to bring explosives onto a plane to bring it down.


1a) In relation to observation #1, the enhanced screening is, according to TSA spokesmen, due to the knicker bomber's attempt to detonate explosives hidden in his underwear last Christmas. Common sense would seem to indicate that Israeli style criminal profiling would be the most effective method of focusing screening tactics on the travelers who would be most likely to attempt some type of terrorist act and allowing travelers least likely to carry out some type of act to be subjected to minimal screening. The argument made by TSA spoke persons is that terrorist groups would recruit or by some other method, have people who were not brown skinned Muslim males, carry contraband through security for them. While this is a remote possibility, it could happen. If TSA stands by this reasoning then why couldn't a TSA agent also be recruited to carry contraband through security? There is a wide security and credibility gap here if one takes TSA press releases at face value.

2) The last observation I would like Bob to respond to and my fellow travelers to make note of is that TSA screeners who conduct enhanced pat down searches of passengers do not change their latex gloves between passengers they pat down. These screeners are a walking health hazard. If TSA policy says they are to change gloves after each passenger pat down I have yet to ever see that happen; not once. They wear latex gloves to protect themselves from diseases carried by passengers they search. Clearly most TSA agents would have the good sense and courtesy for the passengers whose safety they are supposedly protecting to know that by not changing gloves between passengers, that they are spreading disease. I would wager that if there were a way to conclusively determine where people who recently were patted down by a TSA agent and later got sick or contracted some other communicable disease got that disease, it would be from the TSA agent. It is a fact that a small percentage of a population who contract influenza will die from it. TSA screens millions of people each year. It is likely that TSA screeners have been responsible for the deaths of more people than any terrorist could claim from bringing down an airplane.

I realize that this comment has a snowballs chance in hell to ever be read by anyone but me and the TSA censor. So to you my TSA censor audience, are you proud to work for such a great organization? The Brown Shirts were very proud of their role helping the government protect their homeland too. Think about that when you are laying in bed tonight trying to get to sleep my friend.

Anonymous said...

I don't even live in the US, but am fortunate enough to have a LOT of money. I promise you, if you fine that guy from San Diego I will pay the fine for him, and then give him a gift of 10x what ever the fine was. No one I know will fly to or within the US again becuase of the TSA. We are more than happy to do business via video conference and holiday in South East Asia or South America, where we are not treated like criminals. So if your plan has been to bankrupt the US airline, hotel and tourism industry, you really are doing a great job. After all, the US economy is in such a great shape that you don't really need foreign visitors actually coming and spending money there do you??

Anonymous said...

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

--Benjamin Franklin

Anonymous said...

Question
By the way, we agree with you that getting a pat-down for opting out is not punitive in and of itself. It is the extreme intimacy of the pat-down, above and beyond a regular pat-down, that is punitive.
*************** ***************
Response
There have been some changes and now the pat down we do is the ONLY pat down we have so what people get when opt out is the regular pat down.
*******************************
Question
At what point in the security process does a person pass the point of no return?
********************
Response
When your stuff goes into the xray.
*********************************
Question
Please tell me; do women with berkas have the right to opt out of the pat downs and AIT and only have their heads and neck checked? Please give a definitive answer on this.
*********
Response
If they are selected for AIT screening and they are called clear then no touching is needed. If they opt out of the AIT then they will be screened just like everyone else with a patdown.
*********************************
I dont get you people, i work for TSA and I have metal inplants and I fly once a week so I know how this works in many airports. The AIT is a god send for people like me when I dont feel like being pated down. Sometimes ill take the patdown somtimes i go thru the AIT machine neither are all that bad. And from experience with passengers on the checkpoint almost every person who has gone through when im working the AIT says to me "thats it? thats what everyones complaining about? but that was easy" so maybe you people should try the pat down and try going through the machine before you complain.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Question
By the way, we agree with you that getting a pat-down for opting out is not punitive in and of itself. It is the extreme intimacy of the pat-down, above and beyond a regular pat-down, that is punitive.
*************** ***************
Response
There have been some changes and now the pat down we do is the ONLY pat down we have so what people get when opt out is the regular pat down.
*******************************
November 20, 2010 8:28 AM

...........................
I question this statement.

You are claiming there is only one pat down and you call it the "regular" pat down.

Is it your claim that there is no "Resolution" pat down?

If there is the regular "ENHANCED" pat down and the "RESOLUTION" pat down then you are either misinformed or intentionally passing bad information.

Anonymous said...

TSA has no legal right to give an $11,000 fine someone refusing to allow their constitutional rights to be violated. Try to fine someone, you will get sued -- I promise you that.

Anonymous said...

I would be happy to have my taxes raised in order to build prisons and incarcerate all TSA employees.

We don't even need a trial.

Anonymous said...

you are sick!!!!!!!!

Ronnie said...

I think it is a HUGE mistake that we allow pilots to opt-out now. Pilot uniforms are cheap to put together and IDs often look worse than my sons school ID and can be easily faked. Seems to me we just handed the bad-guys and easy way in. When we exempt the pilots, we exempt the pilot impersonators.

Ronnie
TSO DEN

Anonymous said...

Dear TSA;

I am writing to voice my concern about the security rules you are putting in place that effect all citizens.

As a US citizen, I am extremely concerned and angered about the new Homeland Security rules on airport screening that are utilizing X-ray full body scanning and/or aggressive pat downs.

This is a direct challenge to our constitutional rights that protect against unlawful search. This agency has clearly placed their own objectives above my rights as a citizen.

I most strongly urge you to change these rules and only allow them to be used if there is just cause such as individuals acting suspiciously, or on a known list of suspects.

As a personal choice, I am refusing to allow full body scanning and am loudly protesting at each security screening that attempts to use aggressive pat downs on me when I fly. I feel this is the only means I have to protest these rules you have put in place.

I am shocked that as a country that holds so dearly its personal freedoms, we are so willing to give them up in the name of being protected!

It is easy for you to say "well, you don't have to fly", but what is next on the agenda? Will we expand this erosion of our freedoms when we ride trains, buses, or driving our cars on the public streets?

I am hopeful other concerned Americans will stand up for their freedoms as well and you will re-evaluate your position.

This is my country and I reject your assumption that YOU can make us all safe!

I remain anonymous based on my concern YOU will target me on my next trip.

Anonymous said...

What about a third option?

Why don't you give us the option to strip down to our underwear and undergo a visual inspection? This should provide a level of screening equivalent to the machines. This solves both of the problems of people that are hesitant about the technology as well as those than are uncomfortable with a touching of a pat down.

Anonymous said...

anon said:
"I remain anonymous based on my concern YOU will target me on my next trip."

makes perfect sense, the tsa has nothing better to do than find you. come on get real!

Anonymous said...

Whew! Busy busy Saturday for me! My company has suspended all flight for employees until the TSA figures this mess out. My company won't be put in the position of being liable for a sexual harassment law suit because they forced us to fly.

Business travelers.. tell your HR department if they force you to fly you'll sue them for sexual harassment and assault.

Pretty sure TSA Bob won't post this because it makes PERFECT sense.

TSA Wrong... American people RIGHT. We don't want this.. we're more afraid of the TSA than terrorists.

Matt said...

Can you please cite the regulation or statute that provides for fines of up to $11,000? Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Of course the TSA will target anyone they can who calls them out on their lies and propaganda. I know at least 3 people who, within a few weeks of sending in letters expressing their disapproval of TSA policies, began getting pulled out for extra screening EACH AND EVERY TIME THEY FLEW! Not sometimes. EVERYTIME! As if that was a coincidence.

There is a name for this behavior Bob: retaliation.

Walt said...

markeugene asked - "What is the criteria for selecting passengers for AIT screening/scanning?"

I can't answer that completely, but I'm sure the TSA employees give each other professional courtesy. Do you think an off-duty TSA agent taking a flight goes through that scanner? HA! Since it's a "random" selection, they no doubt get "randomly" assigned to a normal metal detector lane.

Bob and TSA Team - give us a statement to the contrary. Tell us that TSA agents don't each other professional duty when they're off-duty. I won't believe you, but at least it will be on record.

Not holding my breath ...

Walt said...

Sure, the TSO is afraid of letting pilots opt-out of the screening. But don't you dare make the TSO go through screening. They've been checked! Yeah, they'd never carry a gun or do anything stupid or bad. And it's 100% impossible to for the "background check" to fail.

New slogans for the TSA:

TSA - "Working to keep you safe, as long as we're exempt."

TSA - "Us? Get screened? Don't you understand how we do that?"

Anonymous said...

Regarding the argument that flying is a privilege, not a right.

Of course, flying is a privilege. Not everyone can afford to fly, for one, and there are alternative forms of transportation available to everyone. If flying were a right, then everyone would have to have access to it, including those who can't afford it, and so the government woud have to subsidise airfares to make this form of travel available to all. Like food stamps.

That doesn't happen, obviously, and so that's a clue that air travel is not a basic right that we hold as Americans.

So, flying is a privilege, not a right, just as driving is a privilege for those who can afford cars.

Our rights come into play in the course of exercising these privileges, and every other thing we do as citizens.

We have the right to privacy, for example, and the right to due process.

We are protected from being searched and having our property seized without a warrant based on reasonable cause. We have the right not to be arbitrarily detained, even at airports.

These rights flow from our unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

So, agreed, flying is not a right, it's a privilege. How we go about our day-to-day lives, including when we travel, is protected by the Bill of Rights and the Constitution, and we should hold these rights very dear to our hearts.

Anonymous said...

Blogger Bob,

Where is the probable cause for these searches? People are being chosen at random. Where are the warrants? You say that when a citizen purchases a ticket, there's an implied consent to being searched. How far can this go? At some point will buying a ticket imply consent to being imprisoned, if the government so chooses?

The detection capability of the scannimg technology is so broad that even an artifical knee or hip can trigger the alarm. Isn't being searched under these circumstances essentially arbitrary?

Being pulled out of line at random for a more intensive search: Isn't that arbitrary, too?

Where's the probable cause?

Does the TSA have some kind of universal warrant to search anyone at airports? Where is this warrant? What does it say?

When a ticket is purchased, where does it say that a person, in purchasing the ticket, gives their consent to being searched? What's the contractual basis for this?

Anonymous said...

Way to go again TSA:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40291856/ns/travel-news

I wish you were treated the say as you are treating the American public. Maybe businesses, should give you a pat down when entering their business.

Anonymous said...

You are like a ridiculous student who just got their security team badge and feel overpowerful. Not flying any time soon because of you thanks. You are not the FBI. Look how many people are anonymous, I for one don't feel safe even complaining! Where are our rights?

Anonymous said...

As for the "majority" of people who support the enhanced security measures... HOW MANY OF THEM FLY?

A minority (40%) of Americans fly. What do THEY think?

Anonymous said...

what if airport security finds that someone attempted to hide something in one of their body cavities? As far as I know, AIT cannot penetrate more than a few milliliters of clothes.

Will everyone be selected for cavity search?

Where does this madness stop?

Rick Caird said...

Claiming legal authority and actually having it are two different things. TSA is using the threat of fines as a threat. However, we are getting stories of people who go through the x-ray machines and are then selected for a more invasive pat down. Many of those people are handicapped.

Acceding to the x-ray machine is NOT the same thing as acceding to the invasive pat down. In fact, the pat down is as invasive as it is because the TSA is trying to make the machine the better option.

It is time to disband TSA and start all over. It has not worked and only annoyed the passengers. TSA is right up there with teaching a pig to sing.

Anonymous said...

TSA will not fine you for opting out. They could but they won't. Such an action would elicit bad press and TSA can't afford anymore dings to their reputation. It's just a scare tactic used by the screeners.

Susan said...

Having a 14 year old daughter, I will think twice about how we travel and subjecting her to this invasive screening procedure. As far as I'm concerned, what's wrong with profiling? How many American women and teenagers, for that matter, have tried to blow up planes lately? There's got to be another way to solve this problem. As for children under
12, what's to keep a crazy suicide bomber from exploding a child in the name of their "cause"? For me and my family, we'll be taking more road trips in the future.

Anonymous said...

The TSA blog:

Blah, blah, blah, nonsense, blah, blah, blah, stupidity, blah, blah, blah, idiocy, blah, blah, blah, more nonsense, stupidity, and idiocy, blah, blah, blah......

This is government for the people?????

Meggie said...

This type of search is illegal. I don't know what authority you think you guys have, to search everyone.. without probable cause. It's against the constitution. this is a complete violation of the 4th amendment. I hope you guys are prepared for some serious lawsuits.

Anonymous said...

If it is unlawful for a police officer to do a pat down without just cause then why are you TSA officers aloud to grope the genitals of people. I don't mean to be disrespectful this is just what I've read in the news. According to the Constitution it's illegal to search someone in a way that violates there privacy. From what I've seen and read in the news I'd say you crossed that line a long time ago. Saying its okay and making excuses for your people to touch people in sensitive areas is not okay. Your blog just further urges me to never fly again. Thank you for confirming my feelings.

vk@nyte said...

I'm a bit confused-if the machine works why would i need to be patted down afterward?? seems a bit redundant.also if i paid for a ticket to fly-i should be able to fly, regardless. Obviously if i don't want the screening and i don't want to be patted down like an animal-common sense should come into play..Does that make me a terrorist??Of course not.

Fining someone because they don't want to go thru your obviously "expensive" process is a scam of the highest order and what person out there can afford that??

It just seems to me that not a whole lot of thought went into the processes of providing an easier and conscientious screening.

Because of your neglect, most people will be turned off from ever going on a plane or flying anywhere-which is their human right.Less passengers means less flights means higher rates.

Thanks TSA. Hopefully the next administration takes the Fed out of the Airports.

GSP said...

Here is what I don't understand. I go through a metal detector and it alerts because I have a knee replacement. Why not do a follow up with the wand which detects the metal. If there is an alert because of metal - why do we have to have a pat down which looks for the other substances. It just doesn't seem logical and it must take an awful lot of time to do pat downs on all of us with knee and hip replacements

Sommer Gentry said...

How can it possibly be fair to fine someone for walking into a checkpoint and refusing to consent to a search that wasn't completely described in advance? It's the most basic element of consent that someone should know what he or she is consenting to.

John Pistole has said that he deliberately lied to the public by selective omission about what the searches entail:

At the same time, Pistole acknowledged that travelers received little warning of the enhanced screening procedures, and therefore those who faced the more thorough pat-down were likely caught by surprise.

"That's my responsibility, because I did not advertise this, if you will, and say we are going to do this new type of pat-down, because I did not want to provide a blueprint or a road map to the terrorists to say, 'here's our new security procedure, so here's all you have to do to,' " Pistole said.

________
So, to sum up, TSA says: you don't get to know what we're going to do to you, but we can do anything we want because you already consented.

Counsel said...

My concern is that US v Davis stated "[an administrative search is allowed if] no more intrusive or intensive than necessary, in light of current technology, to detect weapons or explosives, confined in good faith to that purpose, and passengers may avoid the search by electing not to fly.”

Yet there IS a penalty if you elect not to fly. The additional penalty seem excessive to me. You MIGHT argue, big might, that the refusal may give you reasonable suspicion to conduct a Terry Stop and give the person a LIMITED pat-down in accordance with a Terry Stop. However, I don't see how the fine reduced terrorism, facilitates travel, or works, in any way, to improve air travel or safety. Seems to me that your Public Relations office should have been contacted before adding this into the mix.

Second, is the TSA Security Directive SD-1544-09-06 a policy, a "directive," or a regulation? I'd LOVE to get a response.

Thanks.

Keith said...

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anonymous November 16, 2010 6:00 PM...

If you're worried about explosives actually inside of someone's body, I guess you will be the first to endorse TSA doing cavity searches, as the AIT machines cannot determine if someone has something actually shoved into their rectum or vagina.

I think you should volunteer for the cavity search first.

Anonymous said...

If I understand this correctly...there are actually people that prefer the prospect of being blown up by a bomb rather than be subjected to a pat down and a machine at airports??? GIVE ME A BREAK!!!

Anonymous said...

I see youve stopped updating the blog. Little overwhelmed huh. GOOD.

Ertdfg said...

Right, the application of the rules isn't standardized or known. It will be applied on a "case by case" manner to be as punitive as possible.

Silence, do not dissent from the government or you will be found guilty of a crime others can be found innocent of. But you crime isn't dissent, it's... whatever crime they choose.

A great way to use fines. Not for rule-breaking, but punishment for people who you truly want to punish.

Anonymous said...

Justmyopinion, you are correct you would just get a patdown of the area in question

Anonymous said...

Phones are not permitted while working AIT, they are put in a locked box before hand

Anonymous said...

The AIT's Produce 3 microREMS of radiation so small that it will cause absolutely no harm to humans, You get more radiation in just 5mins on your flight

Anonymous said...

For all the unlikely chances that a terrorist will actually board a plane, your random searches statistically make it almost a zero chance of discovering a well-hidden device of any kind. However, you will anger and distress the entire populace of your country, and you just might (out of spite) fine them for questioning your methods.

Bravo, TSA. In a rather fierce competition, you are now the government agency which is the most useless, counterproductive, and heinous. Congratulations to all of you. I'm sure that your families are proud.

Anonymous said...

Why in the world would we trust anything the TSA blog has to say? Whoever is writing it is a government hack being paid to shill the line that breaking our constitutional rights is necessary.

Anonymous said...

As a frequent traveller within the USA, I would feel more comfortable for the TSA to agree to compromise. If the TSA blurs out each person's facial features via the body scanner, then why not blur each person's private areas as well? Obviously, the TSA has not considered all of the psychological effects upon all adults, minors, war veterans, etc., who are subjected to their invasive policies. Ironically, how can the scanned images be considered "non-transferable" or non-transmitted if they are easily demonstrated on TSA's website?

Anonymous said...

No, No, No.

I am an American Citizen,and as such I am allowed to move freely about my country.

You are not allowed to touch me, you have no right to touch me.
Am I under arrest, or suspiscion of a crime? Simply being at an airport trying to get to my family does not constitute, illegal, suspicious, unwarranted behaviour.
and as such your scanner or pat down procedures are against my rights.

Keep falling for it people, it's going to get worse. allow them to touch you, your children or wives, grandmothers.

In the name of "security"

Anonymous said...

I would like to know what the exact statute is that grants the TSA the legal authority to levy a $10,000 civil fine to a passenger who declines to be scanned and patted down, but offers to abandon the security process and leave the airport rather than insist on boarding the plane.

I am not being contrary, I'm generally interested in the legal basis. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

This is total Garbage!

TSA needs to be disbanded and we need to return to pre 911 procedures.

There should be NO body scans and NO pat downs.

You are using my tax money for this garbage??? I say NO. TSA needs to go away NOW....

Anonymous said...

I certainly hope that the TSA reconsiders its current stance on airport screening. As I understand it, your country is struggling with a recession, and all this is doing is ensuring that people from other countries will no longer come to the United States. Not just terrorists, but also tourists, investors, business people, artists. I planned a visit to Hawaii this year, but I will not be going anywhere near the US until this changes, and everyone I know (all avid travelers) says the same. This will end up having huge economic reprecussions.

Walt said...

The people here who are so happy to give up rights in exchange for a false sense of security are alarming.

If you're truly OK with giving up rights to be safe, you need to fight to put scanners and aggressive pat-downs into place for the following:

- All government buildings, for protection from those crazy Constitutional rights people

- Post Office, to guard against potential violence. It takes a while to get through security, but you'll be safe when mailing your packages.

- Schools, because of all those school shootings. I can't believe you people aren't up in arms because your seventh grader didn't get checked for weapons!

- Shopping areas, malls, etc., are high-target areas for terrorists. Pat-downs for everyone on the way in.

- Tourist locations (amusement parks, monuments, etc) are also high-target areas

- And, of course, all rail, buses, and subways.

And you guys can keep the big smile on your face and tell everyone how "safe" you are.

If you think I'm exaggerating and it will never happen, you really need to brush up on your history.

Anonymous said...

I don't have a problem with the pat down. I will opt out not as any king of protest, but due to recurring moles/skin cancers and the Dr recommended it unless I was totally adverse to the pat down. (Evidently the ATI radiation is concentrated at the skin level or just below). So, I will taks his recommendation since I have a new changing mole that's yet to be biopsed or removed

I WILL ask for a private area for the screening. I wouldn't have before the past couple weeks, but while I don't mind the pat down, I DO mind becoming someone's cell phone video to be placed on the internet or some newspaper slapping me on the front page. I have a feeling the agents would also prefer not to be subjected to the same either. (I made that decision after seeing the Denver pic of some agent with the pic taken off angle. I really felt sorry for that guy.)

Anonymous said...

All i can say as a canadian is all these checks is ridiculous. An they wonder why your tourism is down to the states. Who wants to get raped an molested because of someone giving you the power to do so.. Gotta love your I can do whatever we want agency.. oh ya that is called Homeland "violate anything we want" security

spoyzer said...

By what Constitutional authority or clause does the Transportation Security Authority claim its power to arbitrarily nullify the 4th Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seize, or levy fines against those persons who refuse to surrender their 4th Amendment rights and their right to move freely within these 50 United States. Please cite the exact Constitutional Article, Section and clause.

Anonymous said...

Why not just solve this problem by having 2 planes and 2 lines. 1)line leading to the plane for people that want to be iradiated and or fondled/molested in the name of political correctness.
While line 2 and plane 2 would be for those of us that want to take our chances and fly with the congress/senate people that are exempt from security screenings.
The ridiculous part of all this is none of it will stop a terrorist with a home made bazooka/rocket launcher that will fire at a plane. Why don't you admit that the real reason for having to finish the screening without any other options that your department is using these methods to detect people carrying large currencies and drugs which really is not the primary concern of your department because we have IRS+banks, DEA, and local law enforcement to deal with that. If you really were interested in making air travel safe there are much more productive ways to do this.

Anonymous said...

As far as radiation issue which has been ignored. Waiting in line to get to the scanners or to the pat down everyone is exposed every time one of those machines goes off.
Unless you have 2 5/8 thick drywall between the xray equipment and the rest of the public you can be sure you are getting more that the specified dose.
The THertz or Millimetre scanners are not save either. It has been should that the Electromagnetic radiation released by these machines causes DNA to unwind and be subjected to mutation.
Your chances from getting cancer from 1 exposure of the xray machine is 1 in 30 million your chances of being on a plane with a terrorist with a plot is 1 in 30 million. on your return trip its 1 in 15 million for getting cancer. this does not account all other radiation you will pick up waiting in line. On some trips one may be exposed up to 4 times for example if you fly from los angeles to germany and have 1 stop. On your return trip you stop in Miami collect your stuff go through customs since Miami is the initial port of entry, then you get rescanned again so that you get back home. Ever see a loved one die of cancer???? I can tell you its a lot worse then to be blown up in a plane.

Anonymous said...

Title 49 Chapter 449 grants TSA the authority to screen passengers and their property and cargo on all US Commercial Air Carriers and Non US Foreign Aircraft Operators operating in, or transiting through the US. Then, Title 49 CFR Part 1503 gives the authority to TSA for Civil Penalties, Administrative Actions, Legal Enforcement Actions, and Investigation and Enforcement authority.

The above talks about having authority to screen passengers Lets look at that statement for a moment. In The case of John Tyner once his ticket was refunded by the airline he was no longer a passenger and hence TSA no longer has authority to screen him.
Second, there is a huge difference in being granted authority to screen a passenger and prescribing radiation treatment and or conducting a physical exam without a medical licence.

Anonymous said...

RE:" Title 49 Chapter 449 grants TSA the authority to screen passengers and their property and cargo on all US Commercial Air Carriers and Non US Foreign Aircraft Operators operating in, or transiting through the US. Then, Title 49 CFR Part 1503 gives the authority to TSA for Civil Penalties, Administrative Actions, Legal Enforcement Actions, and Investigation and Enforcement authority."

I would beg to differ as the the very essence of these warrantless searches are in direct violation of our 4th Amendment protections against a tyrannical oppressive government. Our liberty is not without risk, however I would rather live with the dangers of liberty rather than the slavery that comes with governmental security.

Teri W said...

OK - I just don't understand. I have a pacemaker/defibrillator. I have no problem with the pat down - it is what I have gone through since receiving my ICD. This time, though, they told me I could go through the full body scanner without problem, so I did. Big surprise - I still have to be patted down. But, instead of doing the pat down in the open area of the airport, I was marched between two TSA guards to a "private" screening area - through the width of the security area. The pat down I received there was not much different than any other I have received. When I asked why I had to come all the way to this little room, I was told it was to keep me from being embarrassed. Nothing embarrassing about the pat down - just TSA personnel doing their job. But being "ESCORTED" between two personnel like a criminal - NOW THAT IS EMBARRASSING! If I'm not embarrassed, and I don't want to go, why did I have to go?

David said...

The $11,000 fine for refusing to be sexually assaulted under the guise of a warrantless search is not ridiculous and crazy. It is unconstitutional and an obscene attack against freedom. It's not only obscene, it is a terrorist act against law abiding Americans.

I realize you are not the one that enacted this law, but I can't find any citation of it either. Please state the specific law authorizing this fine so that we may write our Congressmen about having it repealed.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

According to Jeff Goldberg, the TSA is trying to "coerce" people through the scanners by sexually assaulting them.

They are treating innocent human beings like cattle.

The exact quote "We're trying to get everyone into the machine."

SOURCE:
http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2010/10/for-the-first-time-the-tsa-meets-resistance/65390/

I had a feeling this was all this stuff was about ... forcing people to be irradiated but it's kind of disgusting to see it spelled out so clearly.

I thought this coercive/humiliation oriented crap was the kind of stuff the TERRORISTS supposedly did?

I'm flying on Friday and have a heavily documented case with TSA IDs and Airline IDs documenting that I do not consent to being either irradiated or sexually assaulted by government employees. I consider this a reasonable position.

The TSA Obudsman told me that I have to ask them about the "point at which I can decline certain procedures".

There isn't any chance I will ever tolerate being irradiated or sexually assaulted to board an airplane, ever, so this will be amusing. My airline recognizes how absurd the TSA is being and has already offered a credit.

The villains and militant totalitarians here clearly are the TSA. I wouldn't mind things if I thought this would improve security at all but I don't. It's clear the TSA has many, much bigger holes to secure than being so obsessed with sexually assaulting people or irradiating them (which doesn't pick up powdered exposives or anything else of that nature).

Neopalitano will be gone soon enough, elections are coming and that's the bottom line.

Anonymous said...

the tsa is a joke and its one thats gone horribly wrong this is a sad state of affairs the real terroist have won

Anonymous said...

Blogger Bob,
Why not employ passive imaging technology that identifies the concealed anomalies (metallic or non-metallic), while not having to expose the passenger to either microwave or x-ray radiation and without revealing the anatomical detail of that passenger. US Government reports show that this technology had a 97% correct detection rate at stand-off distances. Passive reception is always better than active transmission.

ThousandsStandingAround said...

"TSA has the legal authority to levy a civil penalty"

Please reference the federal statute that allegedly allows for this civil penalty.

Anonymous said...

I'm 13 and they don't make me do the pornoscanner they let me just go through the metal detector and either my mom or dad get to go with me but one has to go through the nasty scanner. I don't get a pat down but if they want me to go through to pornoscanner I'm gonna get a pat down and just start crying. Hope I helped.

Anonymous said...

No, it doesn't make good security sense to allow passengers to bypass all security checks - but it makes great freedom sense and great human rights sense too.

Anonymous said...

What's the recourse if a passenger is denied an opt-out request due to TSA staffing?

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