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:

1 – 200 of 515   Newer›   Newest»
Seth Long said...

What are the rules for minors who need to opt-out of AIT?

Anonymous said...

Oohh, What a clever use of words there TSA Bob. YOur agency is perverted!

Mike E. said...

At what point in the security process does a person pass the point of no return?

Is it when they get to the ID checker?

Is it when they put their things on the xray conveyor belt?

If I'm about to go through the metal detector and I'm told to "please step over here" to go through the scanner, can I opt out of flying and depart the airport at that point?

If you're going to fine someone $11,000 if they leave after they cross some line, then the location of that line needs to be very clear to everyone.

RB said...

In this case your writing about TSA required the person to leave the screening area. That is recorded information. The individual had no choice at that point to not leave.

If TSA pursues charges against this person then no one anywhere will trust anyone or anything associated with TSA.

If TSA wants to be the enemy of all of America then go ahead with this action.

Anonymous said...

The passenger in question was escorted from the check point by a LEO and a TSA manager, and refunded his ticket. How can TSA then fine him for not undergoing a screening after he had been removed from the screening process?

Jeremy said...

So, when the question "Do you want to fly today?" is asked, should it really be, "Do you want to pay $10k?" I know you've tiptoed around the concept that fliers "Abandon" items when really they may not have recourse otherwise, but how do you possibly defend this position?

Secondly, I just want to say that I carry valuables with me in my carry-on, because I don't want them in checked baggage. If they're taken out of my sight, am I allowed to say "Stop", and keep them within sight at all times? I say this only because instictively I will do whatever necessary to keep eyes on them, and if you're taking them into an area I can't go, I will follow anyway, yelling for police as I go. Until such time as TSA will take responsibility for my camera equipment etc, what are my options for keeping them from being stolen, both by TSA employees and other passengers?

Anonymous said...

Blogger Bob,

Does it make good security sense that a majority of the cargo in the cargo hold of passenger carrying aircraft has not been screened? Does it make good security sense that thousands of airport workers don't receive any sort of screening? Does it make good security sense that pilots are put through these screenings but TSA workers are not? Why is the TSA suddenly hung up on what makes good security sense? It doesn't seem to have mattered much thus far.

Anonymous said...

"Aguilar said that once a passenger enters the security area, there is a legal obligation to follow through with the process.

While a passenger can, like Tyner, ask to opt-out of the full body scan, they must walk through the traditional metal scanner and then, at the discretion of the TSA, undergo a pat-down search."

So, what is it Bob? Nobody here seems to know what the policy really is. Tyner clearly asked to be screened like all the other passengers and was singled out for enhanced pat down.

Anonymous said...

really curtis????? more veiled threats.


Time to put your money where it counts. start citing chapter and verse to back up your claims, because beyond that its petty bullying with terroristic threats because your dirty laundry is getting aired out all over the nation.


I dont expect this to be posted but then again its okay you can answer to the OIG, as well as a full senate hearing tomorrow

Anonymous said...

Two posts in one day and not one comment released. whats wrong curtis did the cue get jammed with people who dont see your view of the world/point of view?

interesting catpta word is nonsafe

Ayn R. Key said...

Bob, you completely missed the problem. Yes, if you want to get past the TSA and you are unlucky and pulled out of the WTMD line, your choices are nude scan or aggressive groping. But he opted to not get to the plane. He said it wasn't worth it.

The TSA said "do you want to fly today" and he said "no."

And he's getting a fine for THAT???

Anonymous said...

Do you have a pointer to the regulation for that $10,000 civil infraction? Thanks.

Ayn R. Key said...

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.

Anonymous said...

you're not clear about the circumstances. What is the circumstances that a traveler would be fined by deciding to not be screened and not travel?

Anonymous said...

This is just silly. If a terrorist had a bomb/weapon/whatever and was on the verge of being caught, why wouldn't he just take it out and use it then and there? Hell, he could just do it at the back of the line and still do some damage. The lines at the TSA checkpoints are long and populous; seems like a pretty good target to me. Probably more effective and fear-inducing than taking out a single plane.

Anonymous said...

With all due respect, having your genitals probed and fondled is punitive. TSA agents who perform this procedure should be arrested, convicted and registered as sex offenders.

Anonymous said...

This is every definition of a catch 22.

Anonymous said...

TSA has no legal right to give an $11,000 fine someone refusing to allow their constitutional rights to be violated. You post someone who has paid this $11,000 fine to TSA. You are a liar.

Anonymous said...

Piss off TSA. No AIT, no touchy-feelie pat-down for a retired Navy Chief Petty Officer with a TS clearance unless your warthog boss wants to figure out how to screen someone wearing a kilt with no skivvies that will INSIST on the inspection in full view of fellow travelers.

Anonymous said...

Take a lesson from the Israelis. You guys are disgusting.

Anonymous said...

If two TSA supervisors and a police officer direct a person to leave the security area, can that person be fined $10,000 for leaving the security area?

Anonymous said...

Bob, why have you consistently refused to post a sample image that's the same size and resolution as that seen by the operators of these strip-search machines?

Why do pat-downs for those choosing not to be irradiated now involve groping and fondling of the genitals?

Now that your agency's leadership is claiming that those under 12 will not be given the same abusive, retaliatory pat-down grope as those over 12, haven't you just announced a massive hole in your security -- one almost as large as the thousands of screening clerks who go in and out of airports without being screened each and every day?

Anonymous said...

TSA *asserts* the legal authority to levy up to a $11,000 civil penalty in cases such as this. There's no actual basis for that assertion in TSA's own published regulations.

The investigation of the San Diego traveller is petty, punitive garbage by a petty, punitive agency that would better serve the country by closing its doors after delivering a heartfelt apology to the millions of travellers you've inconvenienced and abused, and to the millions of taxpayers whose money you've wasted.

Anonymous said...

Bob, you keep claiming that pat-downs are done by persons of the same sex as the person you're sexually assaulting. Are you claiming that every checkpoint at every airport has both men and women screeners working every shift in sufficient numbers to accommodate those choosing not to be photographed nude by a government agency?

Anonymous said...

Are you seriously claiming the citizen who declined to be assaulted by you in San Diego is a terrorist? Bob, there are terrorists in airports. They wear blue smurf shirts and phony badges and grope little children. Look in a mirror; you'll find one.

Dean said...

"Obviously a passenger can’t completely opt out of all screening if they opt out of AIT. That would not make good security sense."

Hey blogger Bob you know what "would not make good security sense" is backing hundreds of Americans in massive crowded Groups as they wait to get through "Security". Kind fits into every major headline "Hundreds were killed when a bomb went off in a CROWDED _______________(fill in the blank with: market, rail station, subway, Airport.....)

Anonymous said...

Really? Have Americans become that stupid? Obviously security of the aviation system is no longer THE issue. The next time I am sitting on a plane, I'll be wondering (hoping) that TSA made certain the person sitting next to me doesn't have explosives shoved up his butt. I support TSA and everything they do to keep me safe while traveling!

Anonymous said...

Bob said: "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."

We have always been at war with Eastasia.

LD said...

Why can't the TSA follow a more effective process like used in Israel?

I also notice you neglect to mention the pat-downs are the far more invasive type, that AIT doesn't detect any non-metallic objects hidden under skin (body cavity, for example), and that UCSF doubts the safety of AIT using backscatter technology. Why do you ignore those topics?

Why is this current process the best option when compared to how it's done elsewhere in the world?

And if a terrorist doesn't get on a plane because of some process, isn't that the whole point? Why is it a bad thing if you foil their plans to blow up a plane and they go home?

Likewise, why would you pursue a law abiding American who opted out entirely of the screening process and chose not to fly that day? There is no way for someone to know if they will have a regular metal detector or a nude scan or violating pat down. So why shouldn't they have the choice once they are informed of the particular procedure that will be used? Isn't that what we allow Americans, choice?

Is the TSA this tone deaf?

Anonymous said...

Can you please specifically cite the Law that prohibits leaving the airport after the initiation of the screening process? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I purchased my air travel tickets prior to the new pat down procedures. I will not allow you to xray through my daughters clothes or touch her in a sensitive area. Since we no longer live in a free society I would like to know if the airlines are obligated to give me my money back.

Anonymous said...

A small but important correction to your characterization of the SAN incident.

The passenger in question did NOT refuse a pat-down. What he did do was calmly inform the screener that "if you touch my junk, I'll have you arrested." In other words, he was willing to take the pat-down but would file a criminal complaint once the pat-down progressed from a reasonable search to a sexual assualt.

A TSA manager threatened him with a fine for leaving even though the passenger was escorted out of the screening area by TSA and LEO personnel!

Bob, reasonable people can disagree about the policies and procedures TSA uses. Everyone is entitled to his own opinion. However; you are not entitled to your own facts. Mischaracterizing Mr. Tyner's actions as refusing a pat-down is dishonest, as anyone can ascertain by listening to the recording of the encounter. If TSA has a legimitate rationale for the "enhanced pat-downs" make your case. Please don't distort the facts.

T-the-B at FlyerTalk

Walt said...

Perhaps you can elaborate on this topic. In cases where girls are singled out for screening because they are cute, or when a female agent finishes an enhanced pat down on a young woman by telling her she is very pretty ... in those cases, will the TSA agents be held accountable? At the very lest, they should be required buy the passenger dinner first.

Which brings up another point. Why do TSA agents get to skip the screening process? I mean, I understand why you want to skip it, but it's an incredible security risk. As you know, in this day and age, we ALL have to make sacrifices.

I'd be curious how many TSA agents are comfortable sending their spouses and children through that machine or enhanced pat down. I'm SURE there isn't a good ol' boy network where family members conveniently get the normal metal detector. Yes, that's sarcasm.

The day President Obama allows his daughters to take part of this invasive process is the day in OK with it.

Anonymous said...

How does randomly selecting a small sample of people to do AIT help you find non-metal threats? It seems like it would only work on the randomly selected people. So, you're hoping that the terrorists just happen to be in the 2% you scan?

Anonymous said...

Dear Bob,

Your post didn't say anything we haven't heard before and you still haven't addressed the fact that many Americans object to being forced to decide between having naked pictures taken or being sexual assaulted in order to get on an airplane.

Plenty of other countries, such as Israel, have managed to find ways of securing air transportation without forcing travelers to make this choice.

It is important the TSA balance traveler's needs to fly with dignity with airport security. With the deployment of naked scanners and invasive gropings the TSA has crossed this line.

Anonymous said...

I am begging for someone to please tell me this isn’t Kafkaesque. If you refuse a pat-down, you are not allowed to fly. OK so far. But you can’t leave the security area until you receive the same pat-down that you refused to begin with. So once you endure the pat-down in order to leave the airport, why not just go to the gate and board the plane? Or am I so stupid, I’m missing something here?

Ponter said...

Thank you Bob, for your powerful and inspiring post that should put an end to all the harmful controversy about Advanced Imaging Technology!

It's very simple. If you choose to fly, you agree to a full body scan. Just as you agree to all the other measures TSA uses to protect us from people who seek to kill Americans. Advanced Imaging Technology is the latest addition to the TSA's protective arsenal, in response to the latest robust intelligence. The Department of Homeland Security has thoroughly tested the scanners and determined that they are absolutely safe, which should put to rest any unwarranted concerns. Trust the DHS, not the bloggers and journalists. The DHS has the world's most qualified experts, who have access to the latest classified data that irrefutably proves the safety and efficacy of Advanced Imaging Technology! The whiners and complainers who deny it have no idea what they're talking about.

But the TSA recognizes that a few people may have unfounded concerns about the scanners. The TSA generously accommodates them with an alternative pat down, equivalent in efficacy to the scanner. A handful of disgruntled hateful people, who clearly have no respect for authority and would complain about any inconvenience, have been spreading all sorts of vicious and disgusting lies about the pat downs. But by now we should all know that those false claims have been conclusively debunked. The truth is exactly what Bob says it is: The pat downs are necessary and effective security. They're not punitive. And they're always performed with the utmost respect and courtesy by highly trained professional officers. Anyone who claims otherwise is simply wrong.

It's really great to see the latest CBS News poll confirming that the public overwhelmingly supports the use of AIT! The most important thing the poll proves is that it's only a very small number of people who are making a lot of noise. They just don't understand that AIT is the most advanced and effective technology that the TSA has deployed to protect us from people who seek to kill Americans.

So it's clear that the vast majority of us, who express our love for America through our unquestioning support for the TSA, should just ignore those very few sick individuals who derive their twisted satisfaction from trying to discredit the TSA with lies and slander. They can rant and rave all they want in comments on this blog and elsewhere. But if we follow Bob's excellent example and pay no attention to them, they will go away in frustration and never bother us again! Let them ride their Greyhound buses with the derelicts and criminals, while the rest of us enjoy our freedom to fly around the world with the confidence that the TSA is working round the clock to keep aviation safe and secure!

Kevin Murray said...

So Bob, let me ask this questions, because I feel it is one that I am not clear on.

Once you enter the security area (say past the TSA agents checking boarding passes & ID's), you are not able to turn around or leave the security area until complete some form of check?

To be clear, what I mean is someone, at least in theory, can not opt-out of all security and then leave the area (even to go back to the uncleared side) once you have entered the security screening area. So, once you enter, you have to have some form of screening?

Anonymous said...

"If you refuse both, you can’t fly."

He didn't fly, but the TSA's local director at the San Diego airport still announced that Tyner will be the subject of an investigation. You've all forgotten your agency's mandate, and you've taken leave of your senses.

Anonymous said...

If enhanced groping was so necessary why is it a new procedure? The enhanced groping is new and designed to scare people into getting strip searched. The TSA is the most hated government agency in America. Apparently Americans don't agree with the notion that you all are protecting us.

Anonymous said...

Bob,

So do you agree that at the checkpoint, a passenger who is chosen for the strip search machine has only 3 choices: 1) go through the nude-o-scope, 2) submit to having their genitalia touched, 3) face a $10K+ fine?

If that is the case, shouldn't passengers be advised of the extent of the possible search--including the genitalia touching--prior to "giving" "consent?"

To force a passenger to submit to a sexual assault to avoid facing a huge fine is beyond reprehensible Bob. Not letting them fly is one thing; but your employer has created a situation where there is no acceptable outcome. Not letting passengers walk away from this assault is going to get you people in serious trouble.

Adrian said...

Bob,
Since you don't publish the patdown procedures, and you have said that the screening changes from airport to airport, how can someone be be fined $11,000 for refusing screening when they don't know they will have to endure each time they enter the checkpoint?

Anonymous said...

virtual strip search versus whole body grope = Sophie's choice.

Anonymous said...

Good to see the TSA respond to the incident in San Diego. Unfortunately that incident can not be undone by a simple blog post.

The fact that airports can OPT OUT of the TSA is now making the headlines. I hope the TSA will now take this opportunity to look at airline travelers as their customers FIRST instead of criminals. Otherwise the TSA may be out of a job. Taking all our rights away is in direct contradiction of our nations constitution.

Mariana said...

I hope TSA actually allows comments on this blog.

I'm disappointed in the TSA's decision to require passengers to choose between a nude photo or an invasive groping of one's genetalia.

If this measure was truly necessary for security, I would be more supportive, but a nude photo and groping of my vulva (or penis) does not provide much additional protection because as we've seen with the shoe bomber (and underwear bomber), threats evolve. The next perpetrator will insert the weapon in one or more body cavities, and no amount of nude photos or pat downs (save for a prostrate exam?) will prevent it.

I hope that Americans will continue to vigorously oppose this invasion of privacy.

As for myself, when travel screening procedures became much more onerous after 9/11, I was patient because I appreciated that this screening was necessary, even if inconvenient. When procedures inevitably became more severe (remove the shoes, remove the sweater, remove the laptop, remove the liquids), it could be annoying, but if it stopped terrorism, I could tolerate it with good humor.

But requiring me to "choose" between a naked picture or genital groping is the final straw. I will no longer fly unless its
absolutely required.

I'm also extremely disappointed that the Secretary and TSA have wasted so much capital and energy implemented what is best called "security theater". These scans and pat downs will not reveal contraband in body cavities or hidden in packed luggage.

I seriously hope that TSA will reconsider these policies, or at the very least, engage America in a conversation that truly addresses the valid complaints citizens have about the new protocols.

Best Regards,
Mariana

Daniel said...

It is an interesting position that the TSA is finding itself in. I happen to agree with the person who refused to be searched in sensitive areas during an invasive pat down. I am not sure when I voted nor agreed to give up certain basic rights like this. I do not agree with the TSA in saying that because they post a notice on their website, I have somehow implicitly agreed to an invasive search. The shoes was one thing, this is another. What is the next, full body cavity searches as if I am going to prison? Last time I checked, buying a ticket to fly somewhere does not make me a criminal. I am not sure why I would be treated as such.
The other point that is consistently raised is one of "flying is a privilege, not a right". I am going to disagree on this point with two counter arguments:
1. The US constitution does not "grant" us all of our rights but instead gives us guidelines on how to "limit" the right of government. One of these limitations is for un-lawful search. This seems to fit the situation.
2. Flying is a privilege. I would argue that this is not true. In fact, it my right to earn an honest living by working in my chosen profession, that requires me to travel via airplanes. If this is true, then flying on an airplane, for me, is not a privilege but it is as needed as driving walking across the street.
Of course the TSA will use the terrorist word at least three to four times to scare and intimidate the American public. While I absolutely believe in protecting our citizens from the evil doers, I do not believe in protecting us at what I consider the cost of basic human rights.
This practice invasive practice should be stopped and the imaging machines should be discontinued until they are deemed safe for use. The TSA needs to hear from the flying public. If the TSA believes that there is truly a 4 to 5 majority in favor of such practices, then let us put this issue on the ballot. We can decide this with a democratic process and vote. I suspect that we will be able to start working on the mounting deficit with the reductions in power and spending that would result in such a vote.

Anonymous said...

So 9 years without any non-metallic weapons and suddenly it's a huge threat?

Pull the other leg TSA! Wait, you already are.

I fly 2,000 miles each way every month. I will be driving from now on. Terrorists don't scare me. The TSA does.

Anonymous said...

So what is the option if you decide, once you encounter the security screening area, that you are not willing to go through the process, and want to leave instead of entering the secure zone?

Anonymous said...

This scanning technology and pat downs makes no sense to me. It may be more thorough, but it is slower, much more expensive, invasive and untrustworthy. In particular I don't trust the TSA not to keep images and have some or all find their way out onto the internet. I also don't trust the TSA to train their frontline staff to do most of these actions correctly and non-punitively when people object. I think this scanning technology is foolish and unnecessary and I've been through it.

I got scanned coming back from Cleveland a few weeks ago and they made me take everything metal and non-metal out of all my pockets and off my person (old metal detectors you take out/off only ferrous metals). Then they made me stand perfectly still in the booth for about 90 seconds and then I had to stand in another little booth/cell and be wanded and patted down/thoroughly touched. It was humiliating (though the staff was very polite - I just don't think when it is rolled out everywhere that politeness will be the average) took at least 5 minutes total and took me another two or three minutes to put myself back together after stripping to only my clothes (no belt, shoes, wallet or anything in any pockets at all).

This does not make sense to implement a slower and more expensive technology when no real threats that I know of have been stopped by the security screening (most come from overseas and were found on the plance) On top of that it is invasive and insulting to boot.

Jay said...

"As I’ve said before, there is nothing punitive about it- it just makes good security sense."

I'm sorry, but this is a bad argument. You are saying it is good procedure because you think it is good procedure. In practice, even if alternative procedures are not intended to be punitive, unless the TSA agents conduct themselves in a professional manner while conducting searches, it still creates that effect.

Your argument about not being able to probe would only make sense if the conditions were constantly changing. Given that changes are less common, unless all travelers are kept in full quarantine, you can not stop information from getting out. After all, 2 million people go through screening daily.

Chris O'Rourke said...

So since you're taking a generalist yet overall condescneding tone I suppose you probably won't take the time to explain (precisely) why actual qualified nations (say Israel a country that has dealt with terrorist attacks the last 40 years) keep saying that the TSA is a useless, heavyhanded organization doing things the wrong way.

To put it a bit more bluntly: The people with more experience at doing your job are telling you you're wrong and the TSA is stubbornly insisting "our way is best" in spite of constant gaffe's, violations of the law and inappropriate behavior.

Stop the nonsense, listen to the people that actually have a GOOD reputation for protecting travelers and maybe, just maybe the TSA won't be such a massive embarrassment to the American people.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the $10,000 fine for leaving the checkpoint. Mr. Tyner didn;t leave the checkpoint, he was escorted from the checkpoint by Law enforcement and told that he could leave the airport. Please address this...

Dan said...

This post is very confusing.

Compare:

"That’s why a pat-down is required. If you refuse both, you can’t fly."

With:

"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."

The first quote implies that you can indeed just leave the checkpoint and elect to not fly. The second quote makes it sound like you're going to be fined $11,000 if you choose to do that. If you meant to say, "If you refuse both, you'll be fined $11,000 and be unable to fly," you should have said that. No wonder people are confused!

Anonymous said...

Funny how Israel doesn't have any of the push back the TSA is getting. Could it be a fake show vs. real solutions? As a business traveler I do and will continue to, opt out twice a week. When opt out is gone, Amtrak and I will be come friends again.

Anonymous said...

TSA, I am asking respectfully that you offer us religious people an option. Please hire one of our own religion, for us Jewish, we would like a Rabbi and some type of Mikvah lady, and a private room for the pat down. Why can't you give us that option?

Anonymous said...

After reading some of the different evaluations of the full body image scanner, I must say there are some valid points to not want to subject a person to this type of screening. However I also feel that the enhanced pat down procedure is a bit excessive. I would not feel comfortable allowing another person to rub my private areas, but that pails in comparison to how I would feel in having it done to my 10 year old daughter. For years my wife and I have taught her that it's wrong for any one (except a doctor) to touch her in her private areas. How am I suppose to explain that now it's being done to her as a condition of being able to fly on a plain. I realise that everyone may not be subject to this type of treatment, but I think the TSA should consider this. Could a person be charged with a crime for touching some one in this manner in a public park? If the answer is yes, then you shouldn't be doing it.

Anonymous said...

Bob, what about those that opt out and are sexual assault survivors? The invasive pat down (grope) could highly traumatic to them.

radicalgod said...

This is just horrible.....id much rather be blown up by a terrorist that be reduced to this crap

Frank, Business traveler said...

"As I’ve said before, there is nothing punitive about it- it just makes good security sense."

Both false, the screening do not like doing it either, and they are being punitive to teach a lesson to those who opt out. I have opt'ed out 8 times now. (weekly ATL-BWI). Each time the pat down has take over 10 min. (at least 3 times slower than even a slow person could do). On top of that, the test wand has then been down on every single last little compartment on both my carry-on and laptop bags. Seriously one guy test 25 times. This is deliberate.

Secondly, it makes no security sense, and pretty much anyone with an IQ knows it stops nothing. Any committed individual could walk through either the scanner or the pat down with an anus or vagina full of explosive.

Anonymous said...

I sincerely hope there is a large settlement for every person subjected to this infringement on our 4th amendment rights.

What you're doing is wrong and the only thing you're proving is that the terrorists can take our freedoms away. Good job, you defeated America.

Anonymous said...

Why has the TSA chosen such an ineffective security system that created large, densely packed groups of people at airports? Why couldn't a system similar to the one used in Israel have been implemented? It is more efficient and exponentially safer than the one currently in place in the US.

"Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither." - Benjamin Franklin

Just some food for thought.

Ludovico said...

Keep up the good work Bob, but be prepared for the extremely vocal minority. All you guys do a great job. I fly twice a week, and have been for over 7 years, I've received only two pat downs because I followed the officers instructions.

Gadfly said...

I'm confused. If TSA escorts someone away from the security area AND clearly and multiple times states that they can not detain someone, how could civil action be taken? "You're free to leave, but if you do we may fine you?"

Anonymous said...

The TSA is violating the 4th amendment. Since they are a government organization they should respect the highest law of the land. Every individual working for the TSA should quit their job or refuse to follow these procedures which are clearly illegal. I'm glad New Jersey has balls to stand up against this outrage. The molestation of children is abominable. Every person should refuse this and send a clear message to the TSA that what they are doing is illegal, immoral, and outrageous on every level imaginable.

Anonymous said...

That still does not give you the right to touch anyone in their private areas without consent, correct?

Marq 2.0 said...

This is probably the single most disappointing post on the TSA blog yet. I have been looking forward to the TSA's stance on this incident since reading about it and, instead, it feels like there's a lot of vague information here.

It is clear to me that the TSA is well aware of their infringement on peoples' privacy by inflicting the AIT on them. This is why the TSA allows us to opt out at all, where they never have had to allow us to opt out of any other screening.

What I'd like to know is what the TSA plans to replace the AIT with. At the very least, there is an expense involved with training TSA agents on a second screening technique in case the first is opted out of.

As for the $10,000 question - how about a real answer here. We get it - you can level a suit against us if we don't follow your directions. But this guy was escorted out by the TSA and police and then threatened with a suit for cooperating. That's called entrapment.

Anonymous said...

The TSA is what happens when our government hands out no bid contracts.

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't TSA focus on security, instead of security theater?

Anonymous said...

We have a right to fly. You can't violate whichever legal codes you wish with your statements. US citizens aren't stupid.

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/49/usc_sec_49_00040103----000-.html

The Government Accountability Office has discovered that 17 known terrorists have boarded flights despite the your latest profiling technique and of course the security check points. Even the Time's Square bomber.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics/Amid-airport-anger_-GOP-takes-aim-at-screening-1576602-108259869.html

"It is difficult to see how the need to prevent weapons and explosives from being carried aboard the plane could justify the search of a person who had elected not to board."
http://openjurist.org/482/f2d/893/united-states-v-davis

Anonymous said...

Your remarks are complete idiocy. TSA's new search policies are a gross violation of the 4th amendment.

The new searches are nothing more than state sponsored terrorism. TSA scares the crap out of citizens by exaggerating the true risk of terrorism, withdraws constitutional rights, then states it is for 'your safety'.

Anonymous said...

So your telling me that if I were offered the ATI or a pat down and did not want either and choose to leave I could be fined? If I did not complete one of them? Am I reading your post correctly? This seems very scary!

Crystal @ The Thrifty Mama said...

I just love how well you are describing these pat downs. Why not go ahead and describe in detail what you plan to do to us?

Oh wait, someone already did: http://www.ourlittlechatterboxes.com/

Anonymous said...

So at what point in the TSA's opinion have I proceeded far enough in the checkpoint process that my consent for either invasive search is considered to be given? And will the TSA mark that point as the point of no return so ALL passengers can be informed?

Anonymous said...

"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. "

In my case, I was not allowed to exercise AIT as an OPTION. I was instructed by the TSA agent to get out of that line and get into the metal detector line. I then had the new pat down procedure explained to me. I told the TSA agent 3 times that I did not want to be patted down that I wanted the body scan and she said that I could not go back and have it. I told her that the OPTION of having the body scan was taken from me and that it was not fair that I was forced to have a pat down. Please commment on this. I am so upset about this, I don't ever want to fly knowing that I don't have the OPTION of not being touched.

Anonymous said...

Naked body scanners may be dangerous: scientists

WASHINGTON — US scientists warned Friday that the full-body, graphic-image X-ray scanners that are being used to screen passengers and airline crews at airports around the country may be unsafe.

"They say the risk is minimal, but statistically someone is going to get skin cancer from these X-rays," Dr Michael Love, who runs an X-ray lab at the department of biophysics and biophysical chemistry at Johns Hopkins University school of medicine, told AFP.

"No exposure to X-ray is considered beneficial. We know X-rays are hazardous but we have a situation at the airports where people are so eager to fly that they will risk their lives in this manner," he said

Continued here: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/11/body-scanners-dangerous-scientists/

Anonymous said...

It is completely clear in this situation that the TSA has been embarrassed. How in the world could you not claim that levying the $11,000 fine is not punitive and is security focused? Do you seriously think a civil fine is going to stop a terrorist? It will just make a normal person think twice about not allowing a sub par government employee to do things that one should only be able to do with a warrant.

Anonymous said...

I respectfully decline your expensive and intrusive "security". Your "security" is not worth the obvious desecration of my constitutional rights. This virtual strip search and hands-on molestation, as described by numerous citizens, is both outrageous and ineffective. Witness that Israel (which has vast experience compared to the TSA) has flatly rejected these machines. I, for one, fear the TSA's stripping my rights more than any terrorist anywhere. In fact, this "security" can easily be extended to any place the TSA claims might contain terrorists: trains, taxis, boats, even homes. Shall I thank the TSA when they strip or grope my grandchildren in their homes? The TSA is overdone and should be done over. Here's an idea, train some dogs to sniff. Cheap, reliable, low-tech, and non-intrusive. As this virtual strip search and groping are "rolled out," it appears that I have to enemies against my constitutional rights, terrorists and the TSA. Please reconsider the insults we are suffering at your arbitrary decisions in this matter. Finally, as administrative agencies must make rules in public to allow comment and debate, could you identify how these practices were promulgated? Or is the TSA immune from that general regulation designed to control the behavior of federal agencies?

Anonymous said...

So, if I go to the airport to fly to my dying mother's deathbed, I must submit my family to radiation hazard or patdowns that would get a citizen perpetrator sent to prison for years or opt out and get fined $11,000/per person for not being violated? Sounds like the bad guys won.

Anonymous said...

How was he supposed to know about a groin check ahead of time? TSA has never publicly mentioned ANYTHING about a groin check. There is no way he could have consented to that just by buying a ticket.

Anonymous said...

What we are currently seeing here is that the TSA has been given the authority from somewhere maybe even from President Obama himself to bully the average citizen. This is just part of the widening crack between freedom and tyranny. I ask you my fellow citizens and the government as well with hopes that those in Congress regardless of political party. What is now separating us between the old USSR and the USA? I quote the great Mr. Benjamin Franklin arguably one of our finest statesmen in our Sovereign State's "people willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both". Please Congress, please Mr. President right this wrong. Please see reason. If you are a congressmen or senator reading this, would you want to be put through a machine that can give you cancer? Would you want this for your family let alone your children? Furthermore, would you allow your child or yourself to be patted down having their genitalia touched?

Anonymous said...

If you don't want to be gropped, and that is what it is, then adding a 10k fine is another slap in the face on the way out. Whats wrong with you?

Ron said...

You say that it is important 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. ".

But then you have passengers like in this example who refuse the screening and are then escorted OUT of the airport? How do you know he wasn't a terrorist probing the security limits and you just let him go??? A possible fine after the event is not going to bother a terrorist at all.

Once someone is being screened you cannot just let them opt out without completing the screening - they must be forced if necessary. Letting them walk out is just nuts.

eve11 said...

Please link me to the training manual/documentation that explains EXPLICITLY what to expect from an "enhanced pat-down." I am apparently one of the twenty percent of Americans who disagree with AIT scanners and if I am selected I will opt out immediately. I want to know what to expect in a pat-down, what is allowed and what the limits are for these enhanced pat-downs. I will do my best to avoid AIT when at all possible but sometimes I need to travel for work. I want to know the rule book so I can decide whether or not it has been followed. Where is the documentation?

Speaking of work, I work in security, and I know that one of the biggest problems with monitoring is false positives. How are AIT screeners going to be trained to detect real threats from "normal" yet extremely PRIVATE circumstances, for example breast implants, incontinence or sanitary napkins/pants, etc? Can terrorists learn to disguise their explosives as such?

Anonymous said...

From the TSA site, "Additionally, passengers with joint replacements or other medical devices that would regularly alarm a metal detector often prefer this technology because it is quicker and less invasive than a pat down."

Sure we prefer it until you DENY us the body scan and force us to have a pat down instead. Is this a common practice to have TSA DENY someone the option of having the body scan? It happened to me on Saturday November 13th. Your TSA agent would not allow me to have it and forced me out of the body scan line to have the pat down instead. I was given NO OTHER OPTION. I can't get any answers from TSA regarding this. Is this your policy?

Anonymous said...

Well, as long as you have the legal authority, it must be right. You are a shame to every principle of freedom this country stands for.

Anonymous said...

"While TSA has the legal authority to levy a civil penalty of up to $11,000.00 for cases such as this..."

For cases like what, for deciding to walk away from a screening, for deciding not to be subjected to a feel up or radiation?

Read this over to yourself. You cannot be serious.

Ed said...

Please invest in screening techniques that do not involve potential physical health or mental health risks.

Anonymous said...

Is there a way to find out which airports and terminals have the strip search machine? Because I just won't fly from any terminal where I have to choose between the nude photographs with my arms in the surrender position, or getting felt-up by a complete stranger.

Because if you are going to fine people $10,000 for deciding to leave, you should have to provide the information about where the strip search machines are.


Once again, the terrorists have already won by getting the herd to give up their rights.

Anonymous said...

Can you verify whether wealthy and famous passengers are exempt from your screening procedures as suggested by these claims by Jillette Penn, noted on his website here: http://www.pennandteller.com/03/coolstuff/penniphile/roadpennfederalvip.html

a public statement on this matter would be illuminating to many people.

Rock said...

(Not expecting to see this given how many posts of mine have not been approved, but anyway):

If you must get screened for metallic threats, why can't someone just opt for the metal detector and regular non-obtrusive patdown?

it's as simple as this: I don't want my children dosed with radiation, I don't want their naked bodies looked at, and I don't want their genitals touched. How do I avoid this if for some reason they get put in the body scan line? What are my options?

Oh, and before any apologists bark baa about my rights - I *do* have a right to fly.

Anonymous said...

So it's either Softcore Porn or Hardcore Porn, otherwise no flight? That would be nice IF APPLIED in Lindbergh Field this past Saturday, but common sense was thrown down the drain in favor of your anal probes!

Kim Bell said...

I have severe allergies to latex. Do TSA agents wear latex gloves or non latex gloves? please answer me I need to know..Even one touch on my Cpap machine or on my skin has caused near death reactions in the past and I have not flown in a while due to not being able to get an answer....Also do to immune compromise can I demand that agents wash hands and have fresh gloves before they pat me down as Hep b can survive on gloves for as much as 72 hours? Aren't your agents fearful of spread disease and germs by touching people and how often do they change gloves and wash hands?

Anonymous said...

It is unreasonable search for me to be required to have a naked photograph taken, or, the alternative, a vigorous pat down when there is no reasonable suspicion of illicit activity other than happening to enter an airport.

Under the Terry Stop laws, individuals detained for questioning can't be compelled to undergo more than a cursory pat-down to be assured the detainee doesn't have any weapons on them. Under your process, everyone, including infants, is exposed to this indignity regardless of their having committed a crime or even civil violation.

If this were being done by a private company, there would be not only civil but criminal liability. And the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution does not extend the Federal government's immunity to these procedures as there is no Federal law that allows agents of the government to molest or photograph my naked child.

MarkVII said...

Bob --

You keep saying that the new style pat down isn't punitive. However, we keep hearing about checkpoint workers being patronizing and sometimes rude to people that opt out. We also hear about checkpoint histrionics. OPT OUT! WE HAVE AN OPT OUT!

How does the TSA reconcile the claims of "not punitive" with the reports of the passengers? Sure sounds like "we may not be able to make you go through the AIT machine, but we'll make you wish you had".

Mark
qui custodiet ipsos custodes

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your explanation Blogger Bob, but I believe AIT and pat downs are a gross invasion of privacy, make no difference in security and are an abuse of government power. I encourage all your readers to think carefully about how invasive this is without a single proven security benefit. I would also encourage all concerned to sign a petition demanding congress make this unlawful. There is a petition at http://action.firedoglake.com/page/s/tsa?source=JanePost. Porno scanners and punitive pat downs should be protested as a further encroachment of our police state.

Anonymous said...

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

-Benjamin Franklin

Anonymous said...

Bob,

May be it is enough nonsense about terrorists.
We are not criminals nor animals to treat us in a such way.
Where is your old blog? It seams you do not like feed back that you have received from people regarding TSA evil intent.

Anonymous said...

Obviously a passenger can’t completely opt out of all screening if they opt out of AIT. That would not make good security sense.
===============================

You have to be kidding.

An agency that continues to invest millions of dollars in completely discredited "behavior detection" training wants to lecture me on "good security sense"?

An agency that believes that touching my wife's face and running their fingers through her hair (this was before the new pat downs) somehow improves aviation safety wants to lecture me on good security sense?

A few additional points:
1) Your fear of terrorist "probes" is completely unfounded, and even if there were reasons to fear the use of this technique, your response would in no way prevent it. According to your hypothetical situation, a terrorist who is concealing a weapon refuses to complete screening because he/she fears detection.

This is a real problem, if we accept the obviously false premise that there are a significant number of terrorists who frequently attempt sophisticated attacks on American aviation. But even accepting such a clearly counterfactual assumption, the imposition of large fines in no way resolves the problem of "probes." Do you really believe that our hypothetical terrorist would really just allow himself to be exposed instead of accepting the possibility that a far more lenient civil penalty may be imposed at some unspecified later date?

Is there such a thing as "good security sense" that completely flies in the face of common sense?

Cont'd...

bartleyh said...

Here's my problem with this policy. Like many people, I find both AIT and a pat-down which involves touching my genitals overly invasive, so I choose not to be subjected to these procedures. Mr. Tyner checked the list on your site which (he says) at the time did not contain the San Diego International Airport as an AIT site. Note also that until this story broke, the new pat-down rules (which you consistently whitewash in this blog) were not widely known. When he arrived and realized that he had to submit to a search which he considered unreasonable, he chose to leave. I fail to understand why he should be subjected to the harassment he received, or potentially a fine, when there was no way for him to know the extent to which his privacy would be invaded by choosing to fly.

Brady J. Frey said...

While I understand your concern for security (it is, after all, part of your acronym), you can understand the concern that most Americans have. You've essentially set an inappropriate trap.

If a person doesn't want to be scanned, they will be pat down. If they don't want to be pat down, they cannot leave the premise.

That leaves little options for law abiding citizens who feel they maybe sexual violated or physically harassed. They have no choice, you will touch them- it's a thought process that goes against much of what we've grown up believing, and being forced into a passive decision I consider anti-American.

I believe in safe values, I believe in American values, but I also can see when sound issues require re-evaluation. Maybe you should spend less time flexing your position and openly addressing the principle of people's concerns?

Anonymous said...

The failure in logic here is astonishing. "AIT is deployed to help us find non-metallic threats" (on the small percentage of people who are randomly chosen or who unwittingly chose that line) "so if you’re selected for AIT and choose to opt-out, we still need to check you for non-metallic threats" (but the method we used for the people in the OTHER line isn't good enough).

There's a quote floating around from Pistole or Napolitano about how each traveler needs to be confident that "all passengers" have been screened. Unless EVERYONE does the AIT / enhanced pat-down, a good portion of people who have gone through security checkpoints have been poorly screened, according to their own definitions of what constitutes good screening.

The failure in logic is both astonishing and infuriating.

If the metal detector is good enough for most of the people going through security, why on earth does the person who opts out suddenly have to be subject to massively more invasive screening?

The only argument I can imagine would be that by refusing the AIT, you've somehow implied your own guilt, but that argument is so patently absurd and so patently in violation of the fifth amendment (refusing to turn over evidence against yourself does not constitute an implication or admission of guilt, thus choosing to actually turn over evidence against yourself through a different method cannot possibly be an implication of guilt) that TSA would be out of its collective mind to use it.

Either say that the metal detectors are insufficient and make everyone use the AIT, or let people who object to AIT go through metal detectors.

This kind of propaganda that attempts to misdirect people with legitimate concerns is deeply offensive. Like they think we just won't notice that Pistole answered a completely different question than he was asked.

copiesofcopies said...

"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."

And for decent, concerned people who learn at the last minute that they will be required to endure dangerous doses of radiation or sexual assault by poorly trained workers? Your policies ensure that they'll get one or the other.

You should be ashamed of yourselves.

Anonymous said...

You can keep repeating your side of the discussion all you want. This does not change the fact that both Advanced Imaging Technology and enhanced pat-downs are unconstitutional. We are supposedly protected against such unreasonable searches, yet this is completely disregarded. For now.

It also needs to be thoroughly demonstrated to the American public that these machines are completely safe. We will not take your word for it, and we will not accept being ridiculed for not taking your word for it.

Getting strip searched (virtual or othewise) should not be acceptable by any American, in airports or otherwise. How long will it be before we are subjected to these invasive procedures to get on a train? Or a bus? Or maybe to enter the local DMV? The grocery store?

I implore you to show a little more respect for those that have legitimate reasons for objecting to these procedures (The list of reasonable objections goes on and on.) We do pay your salary, regardless of how much we'd like to see the entire organization disbanded.

Alan Barton said...

In my honest and educated opinion, security has become far too invasive that it obscures the actual point it is attempting to make. The American people, or more correctly, the average citizen, should not be subjected to such scrutiny when the evidence to the threat is both vague and unsettling in the first place. We have enemies, what's new; but the point that outrages people is not this fact - it is the fact that the citizen is subject to the doubt that comes with the territory of being in question. We were united once, under the guise of freedom, and now it seems that the greater has rejected this and placed us in question amidst our 'foes' in the Middle East.

At this point, I would suggest wholeheartedly that this is an utterly superfluous and unnecessary gesture on behalf of all Americans who covet the Fourth Amendment seriously. It is an invasion of privacy, and in compliance, we have afforded enough of our liberties to 'protecting the nation' and optimizing 'national security'.

LET US BREATHE WITHOUT BEING MOLESTED TSA.

Anonymous said...

How much radiation do the new scanners actually emit? Can you compare it to something we are familiar with? Like a tanning bed? Or a banana?

Anonymous said...

I just watched Pistole's performance on PBS News Hour. It is amazing how evasive a politician can be. Embarrassing as well.
Way to go, TSA. Thank you for letting the terrorists achieve the goals they wanted.

Rob T Firefly said...

What will you do to stop terrorists from being able to "probe TSA's procedures" by simply going through them normally, and remembering things afterward?

chris bray said...

The next time Janet Napolitano shows up at CNN to do an interview, I want studio security to bend her over and probe her crotch. "Just keeping the studio safe, ma'am."

John Pistole goes to speak to an airline industry trade group: security guards outside the event spread his legs and carefully run pat down his penis and testicles. "These are the procedures, sir. It's irresponsible to resist."

Anyone in a TSA uniform tries to enter a grocery store: store security prones them out and massages their genitals. "Once you enter the security checkpoint, you no longer have the option to resist."

Americans, let's do to this scum what they're doing to other people.

Jud said...

Why does this gentleman in the news deserve such an ongoing investigation?

I would be curious to hear you address the policy regarding "leaving security areas". Since he did not board the plane, he does not seem to have violated the screening policy.

Anonymous said...

I find this distressing. I fly every week!! I just heard that only 44% of Americans fly each year. Most people only fly a few times a year. I am concerned and am outraged by the notion of people seeing my naked image or, worse yet, touching my body in private places. This is America... why are we subjecting our citizens to this! WHY can't we scan fingerprints and compare against FBI databases. Please help protect our dignity!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

What a joke of an explanation.

Anonymous said...

As a traveller I want to feel that TSA officials are on my side. I no longer feel that way. The AIT technology treats the public as criminals. A fact confirmed by this blog post.

TSA *must have* the trust and respect of the travelling public to be effective. By compromising passenger dignity, public trust and confidence is lost and has put the entire TSA program in jeopardy.

So in the bigger picture, has AIT really made travelling safer?

Anonymous said...

It should be affirmed that I respect the Transit Safety Administration for their admirable attempts to subvert acts of terror. The contents of this comment, disclosed herein, are in no light an attempt to slander the TSA.

The TSA in the years following 9/11 has been enforcing rigorous airport screening. I've had no problem with the implementation of their polices for 8 years, until now. Back-scatter imaging is a gross invasion of the Constitutional right to privacy, in addition to being scientifically harmful. The alternative to the machine has long been the Metal Detector, however when recently flying out of BWI to DTW, I opted out of the Backscatter for the Metal Detector. A day later, I got an email reminding me that the next time I flew (after Nov. 1st, 2010) I would be subject to new TSA regulations, including a feeling of the chest, buttocks, groin, and thighs. No Government agency has any power to give me a pat search or a virtual strip search without a warrant issued by a Federal Judge.

Terrorism on planes has caused horrible things to happen to this country, like 9/11, the Patriot Act, and several attempts since. However all of the attempts (with exception to the recent UPS/Yemen Toner Cartridge Fiasco occurring on Freight Transit)have been thwarted not by the TSA, but by American Citizens on the plane. Like the ones that stood up to the underwear bomber at DTW, or the ones that foiled the attempt in Pennsylvania, sacrificing their lives in the process.

The security theatre that has spawned in the years since has become to me a hallow promise of safety with regulations and bloated budget that has done nothing concrete to catch terrorists in the airport, only cause massive scares that make American's think they need them. The best aviation safety improvements have come from aware passengers, and reinforced cockpit doors...Not the disgrace and downright intolerable nude images of Americans or groping by the Agency's employees.

It has been proven that there are holes in the "identification triangle" of the system. If these aren't filled, with respect to every American's fundamental right to privacy, the Agency needs to be abolished, and airports return to former levels of security.

Anonymous said...

i love how you guys conveniently leave out that he asked if he could go and was granted permission.. only later did an agent tell him he had to go back.
Personal I think any judge worth his salt will tell you you lost your shot. and I think this may be the one that finally bites the agency due to over reach.

theres a balance between security and what the public will put up with. and you guys are getting out of line.

Anonymous said...

Start looking for new jobs TSA. The American people, who you openly accuse of being terrorists, are not going to put up with this chronic harrassment. You say:

""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""

Yet you post videos of the screening on Youtube for real terrorists to see. Your security procedures are neither secret nor cloaked, making your statement about "probing" laughable.

Anonymous said...

Why is there any civil penalty at all for leaving the security screening process? Surely terrorists will not be dissuaded by the threat of a fine.

Jonathan Byrne said...

Bob,

What exactly are the TSA officers authorized to do? Can they spread my buttocks to see if something is concealed? Can they move my penis and testicles aside to check around them?

TSA has still not published the procedures for the extended pat-down. How can I consent to the security check if I don't know what it will include? How do I know if a TSA officer is exceeding what they are authorized to do?

Anonymous said...

The change in recent days, and the primary complaint of Mr. Tyner, was with the "pat-down" technique. Until recently, TSA agents patted down a passenger's clothes in a manner to which we had all become accustomed. Now, TSA agents feel up the inside of passengers' legs. The agents touch passengers' breasts and genitals. I've seen nothing in the blog posts addressing this change in procedure.

It appears, to anyone who's paying even slight attention, that this procedure has been changed simply to try and get more people to go through the body scanners without making it "mandatory." The Napolitano-Pistole PR blitz of the last two days also carefully avoids mention of the testicle-grabbing and breast-touching. When will TSA explain this change in policy?

Anonymous said...

A person deciding not to go through a checkpoint and deciding to leave the airport has broken no laws. Checks are required to *pass through* the checkpoint. A person deciding they don't want to go and leaving has the right to do so. You cannot lawfully detain a person unless you have resaonable suspicion to believe that criminal activity is or may be afoot. A person changing their mind is not evidence of criminal activity.

T. P. said...

Refusing a search and then declining to fly does not appear to be an offense of any sort under 49 CFR 1540. Since you've now stated that the TSA has a "legal authority" to "levy civil fines" in "cases such as this", it is incumbent on you to be specific about that authority.

You blog representing a government agency, and you claim that someone's actions --- lawful in virtually any other circumstance --- might cause your agency to levy an enormous fine. Please be as specific as possible about the authority and circumstances that would allow TSA to do this.

Anonymous said...

Well now that you've explained it very clearly it DEFINITELY sounds like a violation of the 4th Amendment.

And this is why I give money to the ACLU. Can't wait for this one to get to court.

Matt Hurley said...

You might want to inform your readers that their airport's participation with TSA is purely OPTIONAL and that they should pressure their airports to DUMP TSA... http://massdiscussion.blogspot.com/2010/11/tsathe-sexual-assault-squad-update-gop.html

Anonymous said...

So now you felons? Is that what you are saying? Because consent under duress isn't consent. You are now groping people against their will.

That's sexual assault. 100%

If a TSA agent tries to touch my junk I am filing criminal charges against him. Do your agents know that they can be held criminally liable for following your mentally handicapped procedure?

Pandaemoni said...

It seems very clear by your treatment of John Tyner, that if you opt out of the AIT and refuse the pat down, the result is not merely "you can't fly." Rather the result is up to $11,000 in fines, plus the threat of investigation by the TSA (though I personally suspect, perhaps unfairly, that this investigation of Tyner is a message to other "trouble-makers" who take their disputes so public) the investigations are only for those who make a world-wide spectacle of your harassing them). Way to discourage those "troublemakers". Clearly, if you want to avoid legal troubles and massive fines, once you enter the area, you are either getting a naked scan taken, or getting touched by strangers.

Tyner's assertion that touching his private parts during a patdown would get the TSA agent arrested seems reasonable to me. I would add for completeness that that should apply only to a voluntary touching, not an incidental slip.

As I see it, there is no conflict between regulations authorizing legitimate patdowns and local laws prohibiting assault or sexual assault, so I don't see that the supremacy clause saves you.

Indeed, as the TSA describes Tyner's plight, he should not have expected to have his privates touched during the patdown. As such, his threat should not have troubled the local TSA agents, they should have reassured him that no such touching would occur. That they did not so reassure him makes me think the TSA is either lying about the nature of the patdown Tyner would have received or that (unbeknownst to the TSA) the TSA agents were about to depart from policy and give Tyner the "enhanced" patdown, complete with sexual touching.

The truth of the matter is that the TSa reduces the odds of dying in a terrorist attack. You take a terrible event with a 1 in 30 million probability, and you reduce the odds to about 1 in 50 million.

Taking naked pictures of us reduced that to perhaps 1 in 60 million, being generous. Being less generous, when you count in all the driving people will do to preserve their dignity, and the relatively high risk of driving, AIT likely will kill more people than it saves.

Please don't rape me said...

What if AIT detects an anomaly? Are you subject to an "enhanced" patdown then?

If that's the case, the TSA is effectively saying: once you enter the "sterile" area of the airport -- and we won't tell you where that area begins or ends -- we have the right to either (1) grope your genitals or (2) subject you to an $11k fine.

Seriously. Is this the agency's stance? From where I sit, as a passenger, I can never know for certain whether any of my clothes will look "anomalous" on AIT. Is there NO way for me to go to the airport secure in the knowledge that I'll be allowed to leave without my genitalia being touched? Please clarify, ASAP. Thx.

Benson said...

How do you justify using extremely expensive technology and (by many reports) an intensely invasive pat down technique when you only apply it to a small number of flyers? I haven't yet heard a good explanation of how this technique effectively interdicts threats.

Also, how are individuals selected for this more in-depth screening? Many bloggers, pilots, and media personnel have alleged that attractive women (and men) are selected for the "naked scanner"; how is the TSA handling these allegations? What procedures do you have in place to avoid exploiting travellers for the sexual entertainment of TSA screeners?

Anonymous said...

God Bless you for keeping us safe. I've got nothing to hide. You can feel "my junk" anytime you wish. This agitator should be imprisoned. Why is the TSA so soft on dissenters who only wish to provide aid and comfort to terrorists? Its time to get tough.

Anonymous said...

Since 9-11, the TSA has not stopped ONE SINGLE TERRORIST THREAT! Not one. None of these searches would have stopped the Underwear Bomber,being as he was led AROUND the security gate. All the TSA has accomplished is being able to mass a group of people who are willing to and enjoy invaded peoples privacy, and having power over others. The job description itself only attracts unsavory types, who in my opinion, are the lowest common denominator of society. What next TSA? Is the government now going to stage another bombing attempt where they find some unstable "terrorist" to have a bomb in his rectum, as has already happened in the middle east? Then the TSA could put those unsanitary gloves they where to even more invasive use. I had a better chance of getting hit by lightning twice in one year, than to be a victim of a terror attack. Now if I go to the airport, there is a 100% chance I will be terrorized, but it will be by the hands of the TSA. I will not be flying this holiday season. I will not be molested or radiated by the likes of the goose steppers at the TSA.

Anonymous said...

giving up liberty for security means the terrorists won.

Anonymous said...

How can you claim, in the same article, that we're allowed to opt out of your cancer machines and get a pat-down instead, but threaten us with prison and $11,000 in fines if we even ask for a pat-down.

Ana said...

What if someone asks if they can do the groin pat-down themselves (perhaps inside and/or outside clothing) in front of an officer, then offered their hands up for a swab test to check for traces of suspicious material? I have heard that something similar may be done for headscarves....

Anonymous said...

Would you seriously be OK with your daughter or granddaughter going through the pat down?

Anonymous said...

I have to fly for work in Dec and my husband and I are trying to get pregnant. The last time I was pregnant, I had to go in for a dental x-ray and was REQUIRED to have a full body lead covering to protect the baby form the X-Rays. What are the precautions in place for pregnant women to protect the fetus? Also, since baggy pants will be worn while flying should I expect to have someone sticking there hand down my pants if I decide to not put an unborn baby at risk? These are not addressed in the new procedures. Not to mention the people that have been sexually abused before and have to fly. How are their emotional needs going to be met? Will TSA pay for psycological therapy if needed for the violation of the said person's body?

Anonymous said...

So someone has to pay you $11K so you won't sexually assault their 13-year-old daughter?

The 4th amendment ain't what it used to be.

Anonymous said...

Why are you not using infrared scanners which so hidden items but not human organs? They are cheaper and about as effective as your clumsy attempts to look like you are making things safer. Pretty soon no body will be flying when it comes to cavity searches. Good riddance.

Anonymous said...

You're saying that you have the right to touch my genitals - and those of my family - at gunpoint, under threat of arrest and/or fine. (Otherwise known as "sexual assault under color of authority".)

I say that if you do, I'll dedicate my considerable resources to making sure you end up having to register as a sex offender.

Anonymous said...

This subject has been the topic of discussion among myself and many of my coworkers in recent weeks as we prepare to fly for the holidays. I can safely say that not one person I have discussed this with has been in favor of the Advanced Imaging Technology.
In theory it sounds fine and dandy, however how hard would it be for a TSA agent to be bribed to store some of the data from a machine or a hacker to take some images and have them wind up on a pornography sight? Ideally this would never happen, but it most likely will.
Someone I know flew out of an airport that used the Advanced Imaging Technology, they were not comfortable utilizing the machine. The 'pat-down' as it were was better described as a groping session, the 'pat-down' was performed by a male TSA agent.
I am personally not flying home this Thanksgiving one of the main reasons being that I do not want to have to go through the Advanced Imaging Technology machine. I have flown through the city airport many times, and seen the way TSA agents act. I would not want 90% of the ones I have interacted with to get anywhere near my body, especially in order to give me a 'pat-down'. Another method should be come up with, I am guessing that the government officials, inventors and possibly normal TSA agents who put into place and carry out the specifics do not often have experience these procedures in person.

dave bug said...

Terrorists have an opportunity to probe TSA’s procedures by getting scanned as many times as they want without explosives. The idea is that a terrorist reaches that point in the security line and then chickens out and wants to leave, but…then won't leave because they don't want to be fined?

Ryan Ginstrom said...

There are reports in the media that the "enhanced" pat-downs (groping of genitalia and breasts) are for the purpose of discouraging opt-outs, rather than true security (because they can still be thwarted quite easily without a cavity search).

Under those circumstances, I could definitely see a reluctance to undergo a security pat-down.

Anonymous said...

Bob,

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. Please don't side step. Yes or No.

Dan S. said...

If the 'opt-out' alternative screening is not punitive, then why does the TSA have two different alternative screening methodologies. Passengers who elicit two alarms when passing through a metal detector are given one form of physical search; passengers who opt-out of a randomly selected AIT screening, regardless of reasoning, are given a much more 'aggressive' physical search.

TSA officials have publicly stated that there are two separate procedures, depending on whether or not the passenger complies with TSA strictures. TSOs have told reporters that they have been instructed to 'squeeze' genitals and breasts until the point of causing discomfort, when performing an 'opt-out' screening.

Furthermore, numerous travelers report that TSOs dramatically announce that a traveler has chosen to 'opt-out,' frequently at the top of their lungs. How is such a procedure intended to do anything other than intimidate and punish passengers who choose not to subject themselves to AIT screening. (Myself, I've experienced two TSOs go into near hysterics when I tried to explain to them that a wooden toddler toy was composed entirely of wood and a single elastic band, and that the "magnetic anomaly" in our diaper bag was likely the magnetic doodle toy that they repeatedly assured me was not magnetic.)

There are still relevant questions about the effect of the directed energy produced by AIT scanners, on potential skin cancer rates and rates of cancers in soft tissues close to the skin (testicles, eyes and mammary glands, not name a few). Sure the FDA has ascertained that the overall energy exposure is lower than a medical X-ray or cosmic radiation exposure at altitude, which is true; however, AIT uses non-penetrating radiation, which affects a small lower portion of your mass than X-rays or cosmic radiation, making the comparison meaningless.

Until the TSA produces repeatable, peer-reviewed data that illustrates that exposure to either WBI and AIT scanners does not elevate the risk of cancer in a statistically-relevant manner, neither I, my wife, nor our son will be exposed to either technology. Nor will I allow a TSO to examine, squeeze, brush, grope or otherwise physically contact my son's genitals (or mine, for that matter). I will accede to the useless strictures to remove shoes, belts and jackets and will walk through a standard magnetometer.

If, after opting out of AIT exposure and the punitive pat-down, the TSA or the Department of Homeland Security feels the need to test how a 9th Circuit Court ruling will hold-up by bringing a civil suit against an experienced national security analyst and counter-terrorism professional, then so be it.

[This is the 1st attempt at posting this on-topic comment.]

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't the TSA reveal that this is really just a ruse to buy billions of dollars (funded with "stimulus" money - stolen from our grandchildren) from Chertoff's RapiScan company. Chertoff was the Department of Homeland Security secretary just before Nepolitano. I suspect there's a ton of cash being made by these Washington Insiders at the expense of our constitutional rights and personal dignity.

Cleveland said...

Radiation or sexual assault? What a world.

Steven St Jean said...

So you are saying that fining a terrorist that opts out of the AIT and pat downs $11,000 is a deterrent to terrorism? It sounds more like a way to keep honest people in fear.

Anonymous said...

Up to an $11,000 fine for choosing to not fly rather than be groped by your inept employees? The large number of people disagreeing with your policies should indicate that maybe you should reconsider the best options. We are your customers. So long a your customers are unhappy, we will continue to take it out on you and make a fuss until your rectify your wrongdoing. You can't keep raking away more and more rights of passengers in the name of national security. Terrorists don't give you a free pass to do whatever you please and claim it's for everybody's benefit. When you stop misbehaving, so will we.

Tomas said...

Hi, Bob!

Can you explain the logic of the TSA demanding that a person leave the security checkpoint, has local law enforcement escort them away, then before they leave the airport threaten to fine him up to $11,000 if he doesn't return to the checkpoint to be groped?

At the point where he is about to leave and the government "officer" is demanding further information and that he return to be groped or face a fine, the person is no longer even an airline customer or potential immediate passenger, having already returned his ticket for a refund.

What legal authority does the TSA have to demand that a person submit to a security inspection if they are not attempting to access a secure area?

Tom

Anonymous said...

Why can't the TSA use sniffers beit dogs or some technological sniffers?

Why does the TSA seek to dominate the public via virtual strip searches and genital touching?

IF you are concerned about safety then why would you adjust your policies to not include children under 12 in the imaging screening process?

Anonymous said...

So if a "terrorist" refuses to go through all the security and decides to leave, then obviously they are NOT on the plane. Isn't that your job? Keep terrorists off the plane?
End of story and job well done!

Anonymous said...

The $11,000 fine is to put the citizenry in its place and to force it to take the police-state and hand over their liberty happily or you'll be bankrupted.

Nah, "not punitive" at all.

As long as the TSA is tasked with violating the 4th Amendment, the TSA will alienate the people of this country more and more.

Bob and his TSA are putting themselves at odds with the citizenry and with liberty, and digging in their heels. This will end badly.

Peter J said...

"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."

You are not winning many hearts and minds by pursuing civil action against John Tyner. Quite the opposite: you are making it clear to Americans everywhere that objecting to TSA's invasive, embarrassing, and largely ineffective screening procedures will be dealt with harshly.

I_Fly_World_Wide said...

I find it hard to understand how the TSA organization can be so blind to the teachings of the world and those countries which have much greater knowledge and far more experience than the USA has on this subject. We (the USA) is very late to this game while other countries have been dealing with these problems for decades yet we seem to have a “must be invented here” approach to solving the problem. As a tax payer and a Frequent-flying customer, I feel insulted by our poor & uneducated implementation of airport security; yea it is that much of a joke in comparison to the implementation of other countries around the world. As far as I can see the TSA is there to put up a front saying “LOOK AT ALL WE ARE DOING TO MAKE YOUR FLYING TRAVEL SAFE.” When in fact all of the technology and practices being implemented within the USA are not as good as the simple “tried and true” human practices utilized in other countries around the world – Israel is an example of what works, parts of India can provide lessons of what works but I bet none of those countries are sending people to the US to learn how to improve airport security! I feel like we are so concerned with not being politically incorrect that we cannot do the job needed to address the problem. TSA, if you truly want to provide security I would say to cut down the number of TSA agents and focus on quality of skill not just having a large number of agents making a show for the public. Those of us which travel around the world and see how it is really done can tell you guys are just going through the motions and truly do not have any way to accomplish the job which needs to be done. Random selection and Pat-Downs are not in the game and I’m guessing that real TSA agents know it, yet that seems to be the best you guys can do…. Why is that, why do you guys not use the knowledge of others to really get the job accomplished?

Anonymous said...

So, entering security is consenting to a possible pat-down due to various scenarios. Leaving security is punishable up to 11,000 dollars. Pretty simple, if you can't deal with the possibility of a pat-down on your body, don't fly.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the heads-up. Until the TSA is abolished I will not be flying.

Anonymous said...

May your kith and kin someday be groped by uniformed strangers for purposes of national security.

Anonymous said...

Why in God's name would you require screening to leave without ever entering the secure area? And for what reason would that ever warrant any fine, let alone one that represents several months' of the average worker's salary?

Anonymous said...

I refuse to fly at all now, I love driving my car.

Anonymous said...

The pat downs are invasive, medical experts are questioning the safety of the AIT. The predictable TSA response is to simply deny that the medical experts have any knowledge of the health implications of the AIT and deny that people have any valid complaints about the pat downs regardless of how profoundly disturbed some are. In other words, what we say doesn't matter in the least in the face of the all-knowing TSA bureaucrats. I am simply fed up and am flying less and less. This hurts everyone including the TSA employees who need the public travelling to have jobs. Of course my feelings will be dismissed with patronizing statements suggesting that I am ignorant on security and the TSA knows best.

Milehimama @ Mama Says said...

That’s why a pat-down is required. If you refuse both, you can’t fly.

Hmm, but the passenger wasn't trying to get on a plane and fly. In fact, he had returned his ticket for a refund and was attempting to NOT FLY by leaving the airport. He didn't refuse the pat down either, he simply refused to allow his genitals to be groped.

Anonymous said...

Bob,

Are you saying that by entering the checkpoint, a customer is obligated to complete either an AIT scan, an enhanced pat-down, or be liable to pay a civil fine of $11,000, except for certain individual circumstances? Is there any language to this effect in the customer's contract with the airlines?

Some Guy said...

So what, then, are the criteria for the fine?

And how do you deal with things that are thick enough to stop the scanning, but look like a natural part of your body? Say, those strap on beer bellies that you can buy (which, naturally, hold beer) for example.

Was the study on the effects of the scanning peer reviewed? I can remember reading about a "perfectly harmless" x-ray of your feet that you could get in the 1920s when shopping for shoes (to verify fit), and, 10-15 years later, they realized "hey, this is REALLY bad for you"

What's the timeline for not physically checking people under a certain age? Isn't that just opening up a window to a terrorist flying with a child, and using them to mule explosives?

Were alternative solutions, such as those employed by El Al, investigated?

woodsja said...

I think you made a typo in your second paragraph.

Lee C. Rogers said...

So once you enter the airport you have 3 choices? 1. Submit to a radiation emitting device. 2. Submit to an intrusive search without probable cause or reasonable suspicion. 3. Pay a $10,000 fine? Is this a free country? Nice that the TSA posts the poll from USA Today from 1/11/2010 showing most are okay with the scanners. How about a more recent poll?

Anonymous said...

If the terrorists just wanted to probe security wouldn't they go through without any weapons or explosives or other threats until they felt they understood the system well enough to beat it. Your scanners and gropings can't protect against that.
Now maybe someone who is carrying an explosive would want to turn back rather than get caught when selected for the x-ray ("millimeter wave" sound so much more innocent, doesn't it?) scan or enhanced pat down. But not for probing security. And if these people are smart these new "security" procedures still won't catch them. You would need a full body cavity search. Let's see how that one flies (pun intended) with the already pissed off passengers

John said...

I will not be flying anymore because of these policies.

Anonymous said...

I will not be flying because of this policy.

Anonymous said...

So if you're selected for the AIT, you have the choice of a) letting a complete stranger view naked photos of you or b) letting a complete stranger aggressively pat down your genitals. This applies for children as well. No thanks.

mamaforhim said...

The enhanced pat-down (sexual molestaion) does not "fly" either.

If you were in an airport restroom in plain clothes and did this to a child, you'd be arrested and put on the sexual predator list!!!

But you hide behind your gov't badges and claim it's for safety sake!

You know perfectly well that if your child was at the park and someone did the same thing (but without a TSA badge) you'd have their heads chopped off it were allowed!!

The $$ truth is that people are going to refuse to fly and airlines/airports could shut down due to this and then your security agents would be out of a job in an already horrid economy and then come after you, so you are just shooting yourselves through this.

Time to give it up.

Anonymous said...

And now you're censoring all comments on your blog? This is rich. Not sure you could be any more underhanded.

On a related note, how have the TSA hiring practices now changed to ensure that pedophiles and perverts are being excluded from employment?

Anonymous said...

You give us something offensive and offer something even more offensive as the alternative.

Anonymous said...

This is truly ridiculous. I don't see how this makes anybody safer. Is there even proof that these machines are as effective as the government purports?
So everyone should be digitally strip searched or sexually assaulted to fly on a plane? I think not! I mean where does it end? Equating any of this to making the flying public safer, is the same as making something idiot proof. Which will never happen, because there will just be a bigger idiot to come along.
How about banning clothes entirely from the airport? That way we are all on equal footing.

Anonymous said...

Sure go ahead and fine the guy 10k for saying what people think about your institutionalized sexual harassment and assault. See where that gets America's most popular government agency.

I've experienced sexual harassment, sexual assault, and a TSA grope. The power dynamic, the intent to belittle & humiliate, the denials are the same in all three. Unless you've been through it, you just don't know.

Anonymous said...

This is your policy now, and you obliged to promulgate it, of course. But your policies very well might change after Congress gets back, right?

Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work!

Dave said...

You say that travelers must be screened, even if they choose not to fly, in order to keep would-be terrorists from probing the airline's security procedures, then leaving when they are "on the verge" of being detected.

This makes no sense. A pat-down does not reveal whether a person is a terrorist; it only reveals if they are concealing a weapon. A terrorist, unarmed, could fly any number of times, probing the airline's defenses at their leisure, and only bring their weapon after they have learned that they may conceal it without detection in a body cavity.

Anonymous said...

I hate the TSA.

Joe R. said...

So when the TSA stops me for the fourth time in 15 days for a pat down when I've not set off the metal detector nor is there an AIT machine in operation - is that when it's considered sexual harassment?

I think we all understand you cannot opt out of the metal detector and having our carry-ons, shoes, and jackets x-rayed. But recurring not so random intrusive pat downs without explanation before AITs go live in my local airport mean I'll be taking the extra 30 minutes to file a complaint each time. And since I'm in a skin and testicular cancer risk group, and no one can tell if TSA has legitimately done the science or just paid off labs, when it becomes mandatory pat downs I know I'll also be filing that complaint every time I fly.

Passengers may not be able to opt out - but I hope there are a lot more TSA supervisors with complaint forms on hand at every major airport.

Anonymous said...

Since I see zero comments here, I'm assuming mine will not be posted either, as obviously TSA could care less how citizens feel about this invasion of privacy! This kind of pat down, done in the middle of an airport, IS rape of the human spirit, and should be battled in court as such!

Wicked said...

Your new security standards are ridiculous. To bypass them only requires originating a flight from a smaller airport that has yet to invest in the xray/grope technology yet.

I travel 2 to 3 times per week and to imagine myself going through this on a weekly basis has me tuning up my resume. Try to remember - if our way of life is significantly changed in response to a terrorist threat then the terrorists have won.

Kathy S. said...

So are you saying that once a person is chosen for AIT, or is at an airport where everyone must go through AIT, that person must submit to a pat down? They can't just leave the airport, and choose not to fly if they are uncomfortable with both?

Anonymous said...

So instead of a pat down, how about allowing the passenger to strip to their underwear in the private area.
Will that be sufficient to pass the security test?

Mike Bowman said...

This looks incredibly tacky on a blogger website. Surely you can create something that carries a little more sense of being a carrier of official-ness. Just 'cause it's a 'blog' doesn't mean it needs to be carried by a free host site.

Anyway, I agree. But what kind of "non-metallic" threats are you looking for? I believe the 'things' that find the bomb residue are just like the hand wands. So what exactly are you looking for as a threat? Excuse my ignorance of such things but given the lock-down of the cock-pit exactly what sort of item are you looking for?

TJ said...

If a parent does not want her child to either be imaged into child porn, nor have her child's private parts touched by a TSO, does that parent get stuck with a fine?

Karl said...

"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."

What terrorist would be deterred by a fine?

Also, just out of curiosity, what law allows the TSA to bring civil proceedings against someone who does not complete the screening?

Thomas said...

The TSA is a faux security organization. They have not caught one single terrorist, EVER, and they don't care either. They are all about making you feel safe, rather than actually making you safe. Wake up people! We need more effective and less invasive security measures.

Cavin said...

I so agree with everything stated here.

Fred said...

I think this is a sensible policy and a perfect explanation. I look forward to flying under these new regulations. Thank you TSA.

Anonymous said...

What in the hell gives you the "legal authority" to levy a fine on somebody who does not consent to either of these procedures and simply wants to leave the airport.

This would seem to be subverting the 4th amendment.

Anonymous said...

Our only hope is with the proles.

Slavery is freedom.

Anonymous said...

What in the hell gives you the "legal authority" to levy a fine on somebody who does not consent to either of these procedures and simply wants to leave the airport.

This is not in line with the 4th amendment.

Anonymous said...

Fourth Amendment baby. Fourth Amendment. Where's your search warrant for my scrotum?

Anonymous said...

I sincerely hope TSA will demand that passenger John Tyler who refused the screening of his person at San Diego Airport be placed on the No Fly List or at the very least SSSS status. A fine is NOT enough. There are plenty of travelers who would risk getting fined in order to be all over the media like this individual. Point being, to avoid a repeat of what this person did TSA must place a sign at the entrance of every checkpoint stating "Individuals who refuse to complete the screening of their person/property beyond this point will be arrested by Airport Police".

Anonymous said...

Blogger Bob,

I think you should re-read your own blog and consider how disconnected you sound from what's actually happening out there. That there are scattered problems - from stolen passenger articles to pranks and TSA officers with inaccurate knowledge - points to a breakdown between the top and bottom of a vertical hierarchy.

When people point to a lack of distrust and a violation of privacy, it is not because of unfounded fears, but of a built-up base of growing incidences across the nation over the years since 9/11. Trust is earned, and so far TSA has, at best, been uneven.

On any given day, would I trust the TSA? Sure. But after having seen my father lose many items over the years from his checked in boxes, there is no way I would ever place valuable items in a checked luggage; the thing is, many other people already know and follow this protocol.

Now, you're asking us to trust you with naked images.

Do you really think we should trust you with naked images of young boys and girls? What sort of training and screening has the TSA implemented of its officers, to prevent pedophiles from working around backscatter x-ray machines and surreptitiously capturing naked images of children? What prevents anyone from doing the same of celebrities?

To any cynic, your blog is nothing more than simplistic public relations. The TSA will enact whatever rules it sees fit, with or without the cooperation of Americans, so long as it has the power to circumvent the minority.

truthfully,

the minority

Anonymous said...

It makes no security sense. You people need to learn from Israel. They dont have these stupid things there, nor do they have incompetent, underpaid workers in the airports..

Bob said...

Why is there not a single approved comment? This is obviously an issue that people care about.

This comment has not violated any portion of your comment policy.

skinnies_eats said...

Reddit has linked to a topic showing that the TSA is censoring all comments being posted to this blog.

Do you think a government agency has a right to complete censor citizens such as myself?

Anonymous said...

You said "probe." Freudian?

kak said...

WE WILL NOT SUBMIT! PLEASE STOP THE SEXUAL ABUSE. WE WOULD LIKE AIR TRAVEL BUT PEOPLE HAVE ALREADY BEEN BOYCOTTING AIR TRAVEL FOR YEARS ...SO YOU CAN PUT THE INDUSTRY OUT OF BUSINESS BUT THAT IS ALL YOU WILL DO!

I bet there are not comments ... I bet people are absolutely angry about this!

Susan West said...

Lets say I have no problems with AIT and I'm STILL selected for a secondary search.

I have objections to a stranger touching my genitals with coerced approval. (A non-US resident is required to leave the country at some stage, so I have to submit to the TSA process.)

The fact that I have no problems with AIT means that I have no problems with nudity.

I am quite happy to go into a screened area and to remove all my clothes in front of 2 TSA agents of the same (my) gender, obviating the need for a pat-down.

I can't imagine any TSA objection to this.

In fact, let's ALL do it.

Anonymous said...

I am severely disturbed by the new TSA policy of x-ray machines vs. pat downs vs. jail time/ fines. I will not sunject my self and my two daughters to harmful x-ray machine where even FDA is re-evaluating the safety of the device, or to a pat down where my body is fondled and my genitalia are "whacked" as described by many travelers on CNN, MSNBC, and FOX news. Please make this stop! I will not be spending any christmas with my family in north east due to practices that violate my 4rth ammendment rights, break all child pornography laws, and defined as sexual assault under our California criminal code. Child pat downs? of little girls and asking to remove their diapers?! while I am teaching them about bad touches and stranger danger? How can you subject my children to that? Please put a stop to this!

Anonymous said...

You have inspired me to drive this holiday season.

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