Wednesday, July 20, 2011

TSA Takes Further Steps to Enhance Passenger Privacy on Millimeter Wave Machines Nationwide

Back in February, I posted about how we had begun testing Automated Target Recognition (ATR) software for millimeter wave Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT).  The testing started at the Transportation Security Lab (TSL) back in the fall of 2010, and after piloting the software in the field (ATL, DCA, and LAS) we’re ready to start rolling it out!

Over the next few months, the software will be installed on every millimeter wave imaging technology unit in the field.  Future millimeter wave units will come with the new software already installed.  There are currently nearly 500 AIT units in the field (both backscatter and millimeter wave), and there are plans to roll out even more later this year. As far as backscatter units, there are plans to test similar software in the fall.

If you’re not familiar with ATR, it works with our imaging technology (Body Scanners) and eliminates passenger-specific images and replaces them with the generic outline of a person.  Here’s how it works: You step into the AIT machine and the new software will auto-detect potential threats and show their location. The image is on a monitor that is attached to the AIT unit in public view. Because this eliminates privacy concerns, we no longer have to place an officer in a separate room to view the images. 

Alarm image:


Non Alarm image
















If there is no alarm, the following is displayed:

















We are always looking for new technology and procedures that will both enhance security while strengthening privacy protections. That’s why we worked with the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Science & Technology Directorate (S&T) and private industry to develop the software. For more information about TSA and advanced imaging technology, visit www.tsa.gov/ait.

TSA Blog Team

If you’d like to comment on an unrelated topic you can do so in our Off Topic Comments post. You can also view our blog post archives or search our blog to find a related topic to comment in. If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact a Customer Support Manager at the airport you traveled, or will be traveling through by using Talk to TSA.
 

128 comments:

RB said...

It's still an Electronic Strip Search conducted without cause.

The Backscatter Strip Search Machines will still radiate dangerous x-rays causing harm to an ever increasing number of people.

The only reasonable solution is to disband TSA and return these security functions to the owners of the equipment.

Show me in the Constitution that the government can set up illegal federal checkpoints just anywhere it likes.

Anonymous said...

While I appreciate the TSA's efforts to make millimeter wave scanning slightly less awful, why can't this new software be used on the cancer-inducing x-ray machines?

In fact, Bob, please tell me why you are using x-rays at all. My husband is an engineer whose expertise is in x-ray technology, and he says there is NO WAY these machines are using soft x-rays as the TSA claims. Please get out of bed with Michael Chertoff! You don't need these x-ray scanners to do your job. The TSA needs to get rid of them immediately. I would like to see the body scanners eliminated completely, but if you absolutely must have them, please stop buying from Rapiscan, and replace the existing x-ray machines with radio wave machines.

Anonymous said...

If I submit to AIT screening (MMW only - no backscatter), will I only be required to submit to a patdown of the area that is noted as the anomoly on the ATR screen?

Anonymous said...

Interesting - how does it know if you're male or female? I'm a long-haired male, that would be pretty embarrassing if the wrong gender came up.

I'll still opt out. It'll be my small way of letting the government know that they've wasted their money.

Anonymous said...

ATR is over 24 years old and the technology (as used by the US military) is cited in journal articles dating back to at least 1997. TSA could have used ATR a long time ago.

txrus said...

2 quick questions which you will no doubt ignore anyway, BB:

1. How will we know when the new software has been installed in a particular airport?

2. What are you doing to enhance privacy w/the backscatter machines?

Anonymous said...

The TSA wasted billions of tax dollars by implementing technology that initially disregarded passenger privacy. After much outrage, the TSA is addressing some passenger concerns, but not all. The TSA has given no timeline for addressing the balance of the remaining AIT machines with revealing images (testing in the fall is not an answer). The TSA's disgraced and tarnished reputation is well deserved.

ktl said...

To travel within my own country I am required to be irradiated and/or sexually assaulted, but heh, at least you won't see me naked....Gee, thanks. Doesn't actually matter since I will not fly until the TSA is eliminated.

Anonymous said...

I will not assume that position (hands up) for a government agent unless he or she has probable cause to believe I've committed a crime.

Wanting to fly in a plane does not constitute probable cause.

JustSayin said...

The great news keeps coming for passengers!

First, the news about speedier screening processes for passengers, and now, more added privacy for passengers!

The TSA is constantly looking for ways to boost both security and privacy of passengers.

Thanks, TSA!!!

Chip and Andy said...

This is an improvement, but only slightly....

This does not address the safety of the machines for the passengers or the for the TSA Agents that work in close proximity to the machines.

This does not address the gross violations of the Constitution these machines represent.

Thank you for trying, but this is still going down as FAIL in my books.

Anonymous said...

I satisfied. They did the right thing. The guy who came up with the AIT proof underwear will be going out of business but at least he made some money in the meantime.

DJ said...

more questions than answers, i'm afraid......

can you "promise" us that a millimeter wave machine with ATR is not backed up by a TSO in the back room looking at the raw image?

what's the timeline for full rollout? will TSO's answer honestly when i ask if the MMW machine has the ATR software?

f2000 said...

Great. Now display the scans to the scanned individual so that they can assist the TSA in resolving the alarm and be certain that the TSO isn't exceeding what is necessary in order to do so. (No need for a cup check when there is an alarm at my ankle, for instance.)

Heck, make them visible to everyone in the area so that we can be certain that the TSA is actually policing all alarms.

Anonymous said...

I find it funny how people don't complain about getting radiation from any of the devices in their homes, what they carry on them daily, or from flying period... but as soon as the government comes out with something that emits any type of radiation its outrageous!
Guess what people, that metal detector you walk through gives off non-ionizing radiation as well, your cell phone, ipad, kindle, personal computer, laptop, television, bluetooth, every other piece of modern technology gives off the same radiation that comes from that machine, except you carry those items with you 24/7.
If you say it's different because it focuses radiation on the skin, well I hope you don't go out during the day, because that evil sun will give you cancer before that machine does. Numerous tech gurus will tell you the same thing, the only thing they are concerned about is the privacy of image issue.

RB said...

http://www.aviationplanning.com/HotFlash.htm#Tuesday,_July_5,_2011


TSA: Our Security Has "Layers." Just Like A Roll of Charmin

Erin said...

I gave this program a qualified thanks when the pilot was announced, and now that you've followed through, I will thank you again. I'm not ok with the device as a matter of principle, but I'm glad the agency is willing to acknowledge public feedback at times.

I would just note that, had the TSA and DHS followed the Administrative Procedures Act and held a notice-and-comment period before rolling out the scanners--an omission DHS was ordered to correct by the DC Circuit last week--it might have saved everybody a great deal of trouble.

Anonymous said...

ive posted several times on this blog about how angry i am with the tsa. well....it may take awhile before i start trusting the tsa again but i have to give credit when its due. if these new scanners work like you say they do then this is a big improvement. bravo tsa.

Chris Boyce said...

Question: How many of the "nearly 500" machines are the millimeter wave type? My personal observation is that the percentage is very low. If you do not provide us this answer, tell us why you are concealing it.

While you are deflecting our attention to this "breakthrough" in privacy protection, we will make sure that the public understands that a vast majority of the scanners out there are, in fact, the cancer-causing ionizing radiation types.

Speaking for myself, I will still self-direct opt out when possible, fly out of an airport not infested by either of these machines, or opt out and make the frisking as unpleasant and as stressful for the screener as possible.

(Screen capture made.)

Anonymous said...

rb said:
" RB said...
It's still an Electronic Strip Search conducted without cause.

The Backscatter Strip Search Machines will still radiate dangerous x-rays causing harm to an ever increasing number of people.

The only reasonable solution is to disband TSA and return these security functions to the owners of the equipment.

Show me in the Constitution that the government can set up illegal federal checkpoints just anywhere it likes."

another case where the tsa can do nothing right. they are making amends to actually listen to the public and yet again its not good enough. Rb why not just admit that the tsa will never do anything right in your world. its great to see that you are such a realistic individual.

Anonymous said...

I'm also wondering about the gender thing like the above commenter - are those blue and pink "scan" buttons supposed to differentiate between men and women somehow? How does this help look for "threat objects"?

Anonymous said...

About time TSA did something that made sense. I just wonder why it took so long. I would submit that the delay just demonstrates the utter disregard TSA has for the flying public. However, I will continue to use other modes of transportation until TSA employees learn some manners and courtesies and become intellegent enough to be given the latitude to use common sense when screening passengers. I haven't flown in more than 3 years and I'm still fuming over the rude, disrespectful attitude of the TSA employees I had to deal with during my travels.

Anonymous said...

But, Bob, if the images you've never been willing to show us are so family-friendly, why is this necessary at all?

Anonymous said...

What does the pink and blue images mean? Please tell me they aren't crude depictions of gender. Why would gender matter with the new software?

George said...

It's good to see that the TSA has finally responded to one significant concern about the scanners. This at least gives some hope that sufficient public outrage can persuade the intransigent TSA leadership to compromise, even though spent too many months ignoring, dismissing, or denying that concern before they gave in. It probably helped that they could address the problem with a simple software update that did not involve any change to the infallible secret procedures.

But what about concerns that can't be patched with a simple software update? Radiation safety is one of them, which the TSA continues to address by dismissing it and insisting that we trust their "unbiased" testing. Until that's addressed, I will follow my doctor's advice and opt out of the scanner.

A more significant concern is the security of passengers' belongings. The screening procedure includes no provision for passengers to maintain sight and control of their belongings while being scanned and/or patted down. It also requires passengers to be separated from their wallets, passports, credit cards, and other valuable documents. That increases the risk of not only theft, but of identity theft.

The TSA has thus far ignored or dismissed this concern. The only thing they've offered is a suggestion that a (paranoid) passenger who is (unreasonably) worried about it could politely request that TSO keep the belongings in sight during screening. The TSO might grant the request if they feel like it and they're not too busy, but they're under no obligation to do that.

That's not sufficient. The security vulnerability created by this flaw in the screening procedure is more obvious and real than the theoretical, unknown risk of radiation. It needs to be addressed rather than ignored, even if it requires a change to those infallible secret procedures.

Anonymous said...

Does the ATR software stop the machine itself from generating the image previously screened by a TSA employee in a private room? If so, are we to continue to take your word for it that the images are not stored or transmitted?

As usual I will ask. How many lives per year are saved by the use of AIT and "enhanced" pat downs? Until the DHS and TSA are willing to answer this, then I will assume the answer is zip, zero, zilch, goose egg... and never support the governments unwarented and suspicionless invasive searches of its citizens.

Not Scared of Terrorists

Anonymous said...

Will passengers with "alarms" be patted down only in the area of the alarm, or will they receive the full patdown?

Will passengers be required to remove as many or more articles of clothing as they are now, empty pockets, etc.? When you first touted the NoS, TSA claimed that it would eliminate shoe removal, jacket removal, etc. What it really led to is pocket-emptying and belt removal.

We already know the machine is capable of creating and storing detailed naked images of passengers, so unless you allow independent unannounced 3rd-party audits of deployed strip-search machines, how can we believe that the new software isn't still storing a naked image for use in a potential prosecution or perhaps for more nefarious purposes.

Is this PR effort a step toward trying to eliminate the option to opt-out of the nude-o-scope?

It is still a strip search without probable cause.

(wondering if this post will get in. You've censored my last few posts even though they did nothing to violate the ToS. I guess there's a limit to how much tough analysis of TSA's shortcomings you can take.)

Karl said...

I'm glad to see the TSA taking this step. If anything, this will make the MMW machines safer for primary screening since we no longer have to rely on humans to spot threats (which is a known problem, partially solved by Threat Image Projection in baggage screening systems).

However, this further raises an interesting point: why did the TSA purchase the backscatter machines? I believe L-3 had this technology available when the TSA received ARRA funding for more AIT machines. Given the radiation concerns of the backscatter machines and the more advanced software of the MMW machines, why were the backscatter machines purchased? The MMW machines are probably more advanced enough to justify a sole-source supplier for AIT machines.

Karl said...

To address some comments:

1. I believe the operator selects the gender. See the pink and blue SCAN buttons?

2. NPR is reporting that 241 of 488 AIT machines are being upgraded. Presumably, this means that a little over 49% of the AIT machines deployed are MMWs.

Anonymous said...

How about some information on the accuracy of this software.

How many extra false positives will it generate compared to a human looking at the images? How many extra people will get pat-downs as a result?

Anonymous said...

You state that 'ATR eliminates privacy concerns'. It doesn't. What about passengers with intimate medical conditions that alarm AIT and then require an invasive grope-down?

Scott said...

Hey RB, show me in the constitution where it says that I have to be screened at a court....oh wait, it doesn't say that, oh wait you aren't complaining about that. Get a life.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said at 9:17 AM on July 21, 2011:

another case where the tsa can do nothing right. they are making amends to actually listen to the public and yet again its not good enough. Rb why not just admit that the tsa will never do anything right in your world. its great to see that you are such a realistic individual.

Lessening of a wrong still does not justify it as being right. Should a thief get a lesser penalty for only taking half your money instead of all of it? Or would you thank him and not call law enforcement to report it?

This is a perfect example of political compromise. Go three steps too far, and then "compromise" by backing up one and attempt to claim everyone sacrificed. It's a bogus claim as even the first step (of the three) shouldn't have even been taken in the first place.

TSA is an unneeded governmental organization. Put airline security back into the hands of the airlines themselves. That's when we will start to see real security.

Scott said...

Unreal, the TSA listens to whining idiots, and it is still criticized for continually developing relationships and technology to serve us the travelling public. You people sometimes irk me, but seriously, don't you have something better to do than bitch about something you know barely anything about. I'm sick of seeing constitution this and civil liberties that. Go take a law class. God, stop acting like "experts" and using out of context terms like, sexually harassed, groped, et al.

Just because there are two scan buttons doesn't mean anything. Stop making assumptions.

Thanks for listening TSA.

Al Ames said...

Anon: "another case where the tsa can do nothing right. they are making amends to actually listen to the public and yet again its not good enough. Rb why not just admit that the tsa will never do anything right in your world. its great to see that you are such a realistic individual."

When TSA has been screwing up for so long, you'll have to pardon people's skepticism about doing anything right. Especially considering things for "our benefit" have turned out to be just as bad as what it was supposed to fix.

Better? Maybe. It still ignores the fact that these things have a lot of false positives and miss a lot of things they should be picking up.

Al

RB said...

Scott said...
Hey RB, show me in the constitution where it says that I have to be screened at a court....oh wait, it doesn't say that, oh wait you aren't complaining about that. Get a life.

July 21, 2011 4:03 PM
......................

I suggest to you TSA Scott that a Courthouse has very different security issues than a public airport.

First off, a courthouse is a government facility, local, state, or federal, and usually has courtrooms inside where criminals might be in attendance. But you know that don't you.

An airport on the other hand is not a government facility and there is no reason for outrageous security methods that TSA has forced on the public, like electronic strip searches, real strip searches in private rooms, feeling up 6 year old children and so forth.

I honestly don't understand how anyone can work for TSA and show their face in public.

Anonymous said...

I am a woman. Let us say I happen to have my period and wearing a maxipad. Whole body imaging, with ATR or not, should alarm with it, correct (because if not, it would not detect the underwear bomb)?

So what do you do to resolve this alarm? Pat down my groin (disgusting and not helpful)? Ask me (also invasive and useless)?

And if I were a real terrorist, I know I can carry whatever I want, undetected, by placing it inside me.

You are approaching this incorrectly - you can´t detect bombs with images of body surfaces. Bottom line is that body scans are invasive, slow, problem causing and useless in terms of security.

Anonymous said...

I think Macy's may need to look into this software. http://bit.ly/rqRUIz They are seeing far more than TSA, and their customers were not even aware. Where is all the outrage over this?

http://bit.ly/rqRUIz

Anonymous said...

And if I were a real terrorist, I know I can carry whatever I want, undetected, by placing it inside me.

You are approaching this incorrectly - you can´t detect bombs with images of body surfaces. Bottom line is that body scans are invasive, slow, problem causing and useless in terms of security.
____________________
I've given myself a few days to digest this latest announcement by the TSA and ultimately it is the above opinion that I agree with.

While I believe this is an improvement, I'm just not for the scanners. If the latest post by TSA is correct, the terrorists are moving onto bombs placed within the body and these scanners do nothing to detect that. So we're spending a lot of money on scanners and are still one step behind the latest terrorist threat.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous wrote: another case where the tsa can do nothing right. they are making amends to actually listen to the public and yet again its not good enough.

True. It's because the TSA is overfond of promising that they're listening to the public and putting on a good show while changing absolutely nothing about their organization. For example, Tom Sawyer was given an apology from Pistole himself over the ostomy "pat-down" experience. And yet the TSA failed to learn from it, and it happened again (as noted in that link.)

Is this because Pistole lied, or is it that the TSA as an organization is simply untrainable?

Anonymous said...

Please explain the pink and blue person icons on the left of the display.

Anonymous said...

Oh My God you people will harp on literally ANYTHING!! "whats the pink and blue alarm?" "i hope the pink and blue alarm isn't for female/male identification"
WHO CARES!?!? It probably is for female/ male identification because (and this is really just my guess) they need to have it separated because depending on where on the body the anomaly is it would have to be cleared differently if it were on a female or a male (like the breast.
You people finally get what you were asking for (in terms of privacy) and all you can do is moan and question why the machine would generate a different color if the passenger is male or female?
Ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Great job, TSA! You've thrown us a little bone and now you think you've eliminated all our privacy concerns in one fell swoop.

Too bad you're still busy grabbing our crotches.

Apparently you don't understand what people's concerns are, despite having had them spelled out to you a thousand times. These machines, and the accompanying pat-downs, are unconstitutional breaches of our fourth-amendment right not to be subjected to unreasonable search and seizure. They are illegal whether or not DHS and TSA are capable of reading the Constitution. So... they've got to go. Period.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
If I submit to AIT screening (MMW only - no backscatter), will I only be required to submit to a patdown of the area that is noted as the anomoly on the ATR screen?

*** YES***

Anonymous said...
Interesting - how does it know if you're male or female? I'm a long-haired male, that would be pretty embarrassing if the wrong gender came up.

*** The officer scanning you has a male and female option on the screen... a male walks up they hit the make button a female walks up ...same thing female button...

Anonymous said...

rb said:
"An airport on the other hand is not a government facility and there is no reason for outrageous security methods that TSA has forced on the public, like electronic strip searches, real strip searches in private rooms, feeling up 6 year old children and so forth."

the screening area set up by the tsa at airports is federal property, so they are securing federal property. plus if you commit a crime on an airplane it is a federal crime.

Anonymous said...

Quoted:
"Anonymous said...
Please explain the pink and blue person icons on the left of the display.

July 22, 2011 3:21 PM"
---------------
As others have said "ARE YOU SERIOUS?!?" THIS is what you are worried about??? My god - get a life!

Anonymous said...

I really like what Ron Paul said recently - I think this applies to the Department of Homeland Security and TSA:

"Freedom is a young idea and we're throwing it away."

Anonymous said...

deep cuts should be made in to the DHS and TSA as part of fixing the national debt. DHS and TSA are bloated organizations and TSA workers are over payed and non professional law enforcement

Anonymous said...

by no means is any of the items or anything done at a checkpoint is illegal rb its to ensure everyones safety if you do not like it do not fly backscatter is a great machine as is the millimeter wave and by no means does the constitution state of anything resulting in public safety is illegal

Anonymous said...

if people have nothing to hide, then they shouldn't worry about tsa intrusions.

Anonymous said...

But but but...... I thought all terrorists were from the middle east?

Anders Behring Breivik kind of defeats all of you people who say profiling is the answer.

Anonymous said...

if people have nothing to hide, then they shouldn't worry about tsa intrusions.

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

The above posted by "Anonymous"

I guess he/she is hiding something because they chose not to use their real name.

Anonymous said...

>>
*** The officer scanning you has a male and female option on the screen... a male walks up they hit the make button a female walks up ...same thing female button...

July 23, 2011 8:03 AM<
<<

So what happens for a trans woman goes through AIT, perhaps after BA, but without other surgery? Is she going to be felt up? Pink button, and alarm on the genital area. Blue button (after disclosing something that should not be required to be disclosed in order to simply fly from one state to another) and alarm on the chest?

The anonymous remote viewing option doesn't seem so bad now…

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
by no means is any of the items or anything done at a checkpoint is illegal rb its to ensure everyones safety if you do not like it do not fly backscatter is a great machine as is the millimeter wave and by no means does the constitution state of anything resulting in public safety is illegal

July 23, 2011 5:24 PM


Grammar can be a friend. It helps others to understand what you mean a little more coherently (even if used incorrectly - which I am guilty of). With that, please correct me if I misinterpret your statements.

Are "any of the items or anything done at a checkpoint illegal"? That's actually a good question. Most items that passengers bring to the check point are not unlawful to possess, yet they are forced to voluntarily surrender said items. At the same time, I do not believe that TSA has any items at the check point that would beunlawful any moreso than passengers. But, the real question comes in with the activity aspect. It can be argued both ways - I tend to default towards, in my opinion, the do the least harm aspect. In other words, if TSA has probable cause, they can state it and have the warrant issued for the search stating the items to be searched for, etc. I do acknolwedge that the courts apparently have a different version of the constitution that I do - as I have yet to find one that has an exception in the fourth amendment for "administrative" searches. But, these are arguments for another day / another thread.

Is it done to "ensure everyone's safety". Questionable. There are many items never searched, people are not screened to the same degree. Items are still making it on the planes, etc. I do give a little bit of credit to you though. You did not say, as the TSA has said at the check point, that it's for my own safety. I do not need anyone to search me for my own safety. When that day comes, there are some great institutions out there that will be happy to provide me that service and keep me locked away until I can provide for myself again.

"If I don't like it, do not fly." First, I don't fly anymore unless there is no other realistic way of getting to my destination. But, there are people and places where not flying is not a choice. As well, TSA is also doing searches of train stations, bus stations, and highways. Let me guess, if I don't like it, don't leave the house?

Backscatter is not great, unless you enjoy being irradiated with x-rays. On the other hand, I do not have a good feel for MMW and cannot offer a comment about it other than I would prefer to avoid it as an unknown at this time.

And lastly, "does the consitution state of anything resulting in public safety is illegal"? Well, it doesn't state that the government is allowed to do these activities. Additionally, as a charter of "negative liberties" for the government, it tends to spell out exactly what the government is allowed to do. i.e. If it's not explicitly stated, the government is not allowed to do it. So, if it's not mentioned in the constitution, and with an explicit statement to the contrary (4th amendment), it would then appear to me to be unconstitutional, unlawful, and oppressive. (See note above about the courts and their version of the constitution.) I can also think of actions that are unlawful that can be taken in the interest of public safety; however, that does not make them legal. The ends do not justify the means.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
if people have nothing to hide, then they shouldn't worry about tsa intrusions.

July 23, 2011 11:04 PM


So, can I presume that you are okay with all law enforcment agencies stopping by your house tonight and searching every inch of your property? And then just random times after that. I mean, if you have nothing to hide, you shouldn't worry about their intrusion, right?

Since the TSA is already expanding to train stations, subway stations, bus stations, and highways, why not just go to the end and search everyone and their house and have the people voluntarily surrender all items that can be deemed a threat to the public's safety? I mean, it is just for everyone's safety, right? You don't have anything to hide, so it's not a problem, right? Right? Should we request to see if a TSA agent can be posted at your door to search everyone entering and leaving? It is for your and the general public's safety afterall.

I know, you should let them put cameras in every room in your house. That way, if they see something that may be a concern to your or the general public's safety, they can act even faster. So what if they happen to catch you doing something unlawful and need to report it law enforcement. I mean, you shouldn't mind the intrusion since you have nothing to hide, right?

At what point will you change your mind, even though you have nothing to hide?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said..

'If people have nothing to hide, then they shouldn't worry about tsa intrusions'.

This is a selfish and narrow-minded view. What about people with embarrassing medical conditions, which are no fault of their own? They might want to hide these because it is no one else's business.
A true measure of a civilised nation is how it treats, not MISTREATS, its most vulnerable citizen's.

This is a valid post, so please do not delete it.

Anonymous said...

anon said:
"So, can I presume that you are okay with all law enforcment agencies stopping by your house tonight and searching every inch of your property? And then just random times after that. I mean, if you have nothing to hide, you shouldn't worry about their intrusion, right?"

theres a huge difference between them coming to your house and you coming to them correct? you have the option of not being screened, however that also means that you will not be provided access to the airplane. when the tsa starts to come to you then you have an issue.

Anonymous said...

anon said:
"Most items that passengers bring to the check point are not unlawful to possess, yet they are forced to voluntarily surrender said items"

COMPLETELY false. everyone is given a list of options if you have a prohibitted item, voluntarily surrender is just one choice. the passenger may not like the other options, however they are offered, so using the term FORCED is a complete lie.

Anonymous said...

anon said:
" guess he/she is hiding something because they chose not to use their real name."

just like you? you have the anon option so just like me they chose it, doesnt mean they have nothing to hide.

Anonymous said...

anon said:
"Anders Behring Breivik kind of defeats all of you people who say profiling is the answer."

100% agreement, and so does his US counterparts, Timothy Mcvay and Terry Nichols

RB said...

Anonymous said...
rb said:
"An airport on the other hand is not a government facility and there is no reason for outrageous security methods that TSA has forced on the public, like electronic strip searches, real strip searches in private rooms, feeling up 6 year old children and so forth."

the screening area set up by the tsa at airports is federal property, so they are securing federal property. plus if you commit a crime on an airplane it is a federal crime.

July 23, 2011 8:33 AM
....................
Wrong on every count. The checkpoint may be leased by TSA from the airport authority but it is not a federal reservation.

The property being secured by TSA is not federal property but private property owned by the airlines and the stockholders of the airlines.

You may want to investigate that key on your keyboard labeled "Shift".

RB said...

Anonymous said...
if people have nothing to hide, then they shouldn't worry about tsa intrusions.

July 23, 2011 11:04 PM
..................
If you have nothing to hide then you wouldn't mind police entering your home at any hour to check on things will you?

It is the concept of our form of government that you are free from interference of government unless a stated cause is presented and a warrant issued that you fail to understand.

Treating everyone like a criminal without reason is TSA's mode of operation and is wrong.

At least you acknowledge that what TSA is doing is and intrusion.

Ayn R. Key said...

So you admit the previous images, the ones that could be shown in elementary schools and on the cover of Reader's Digest, were actually inappropriate?

And isn't there a more pressing news story you should cover?

Anonymous said...

Is a hands on body check done just at the point of the alarm or is it still the whole body search that is now being used?

Anonymous said...

I saw something on TV yesterday that made me think of TSA and the Dept. of Homeland Security and it really got me down.

Someone did a documentary in which immigrants were asked what they liked about living in the United States. Some said they liked the customer service here, some liked our 911 system, one guy said he liked the women.

And then one guy said he'd moved here from a country in the Middle East where the government had checkpoints set up all over the country. You were routinely stopped and asked by government officials to show identification and provide information on your activities. They asked you where you were going, what you were doing, and why you were going from point A to point B.

This man said that he loved living in the United States because he had the freedom to go where he wanted without being hassled by the government. He could walk where he wanted, drive where he wanted. He said what he loved about the United States was the FREEDOM we have here.

And then I thought about what DHS and the TSA are trying to do. They want to set up checkpoints and stop citizens at airports, in train stations, bus terminals, on ferries and on highways. They want to do VIPR raids in all of these places. The very thing this man loved about the United States -- the FREEDOM from being hassled by the government -- is the very thing the DHS and TSA want to take away from us.

If I wanted to live in a country where these kinds of things happen, I'd move to the Middle East. VIPR raids, government checkpoints, routine patdowns and body scans, etc. do NOT belong in the United States of America.

What kind of a country do we want to leave to our children? Do we want to leave them "the land of the free and the home of the brave" -- or a police state?

It's up to us, today, to make this decision. And to make the right decision. It's our legacy we're leaving behind.

Anonymous said...

Over the weekend there was another incident of TSA agents damaging a medical device--the second time for a man who ended up covered in his own unine.

Today, the first thing I read is that a TSA agent has been arrested for stealing $15,000 worth of watches. He was caught by the owner who saw the watches listed on Ebay.

When a TSA agent searches luggage is this done in private? If not, it is very clear that TSA agents are covering up crimes of their fellow employees. This isn't a "few bad apples." TSA has created an environment where agents feel entitled to do/take anything they wish.

Chip and Andy said...

Anonymous said..."if people have nothing to hide, then they shouldn't worry about tsa intrusions.

And Anonymous replied..."At what point will you change your mind, even though you have nothing to hide?"

They will change their mind when it is too late to do so.

This has gone on long enough. You can stop what is happening. Write your elected officials today. Tell them enough is enough.

kimmm said...

So is my leg plate now going to show up as a potential risk? I already have to remove my brace even though I can hardly walk without it many times, are they going to want me to prove I have a plate as well? NOT IMPRESSED!

I HAVE to fly, as my leg does not allow me to drive long distances...especially if I'm driving, and I feel that my rights and dignity are being trampled on each time because we have people who don't want to profile anyone but the handicapped and elderly!

Anonymous said...

So what are you going to do to me when your software detects the "anomaly" in my left breast - my post-mastectomy prosthesis? Are you going to rub it down? Have me remove it? This is still invasive and ineffective!

Anonymous said...

...and if you're a cancer survivor with prosthetics, you're still not allowed to fly without groping and getting screamed at. Since this is undoubtedly a prelude to removing opting-out, we're really in trouble when that happens.

So, really, "progress" is no progress at all for some of us.

Anonymous said...

And seeing the picture, you STILL have to stand like a criminal under arrest. Still guilty untill proven innocent.

TSA will NEVER get it.

avxo said...

Nice, enhanced privacy. That's great.

But don't tell that to Thomas Sawyer who had another run-in with a TSO at Detroit on July 14.

In response to his request for a private screening, the TSO began the patdown anyways.

When he protested that he has a medical condition, the TSO replied "I know" and continued the patdown anyways.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said:
"the screening area set up by the tsa at airports is federal property, so they are securing federal property. plus if you commit a crime on an airplane it is a federal crime."

Not correct. The property used by the TSA is not Federal property. Why would you think such a thing?

JustSayin said...

Anonymous said...
if people have nothing to hide, then they shouldn't worry about tsa intrusions.


JustSayin likes this.

Anonymous said...

I know, you should let them put cameras in every room in your house. That way, if they see something that may be a concern to your or the general public's safety, they can act even faster. So what if they happen to catch you doing something unlawful and need to report it law enforcement. I mean, you shouldn't mind the intrusion since you have nothing to hide, right?

At what point will you change your mind, even though you have nothing to hide?

July 24, 2011 12:08 PM

I like how people have to resort to the most extreme circumstances to support their opinions. Do you really think the TSA is going to knock on you door and help themselves in? It will never come to that.

Of course TSA is expanding to other forms of transportation screening. Its in the name, Transportation Security Administration. Though if they start screening NASA flights i might scratch my head...

mrflight said...

TO RB

RB the checkpoint is in FACT federal property, and in that instance even though you are in an airport, once you step onto the federal checkpoint,federal regulations apply. Just like if I go into a federal building, I have to follow those regulations.

Anonymous said...

DJ wrote: can you "promise" us that a millimeter wave machine with ATR is not backed up by a TSO in the back room looking at the raw image?

Anything Bob or any other TSA employee says is suspect - after all, the TSA is still lying to people about things as simple as taking video/pictures at the checkpoint.

If the TSA can't train their employees on one simple fact that Bob has posted repeatedly on his blog (namely, that the TSA does not forbid photography or videography at the checkpoint) then the general public cannot trust a single word they say.

Anonymous said...

Still think that using a passive AIT system (mmw-Thz)instead of an active one (backscatter) would have been a much smarter way of doing things. No concerns about radation. No TSA cancer clusters that could be blamed on the technology. Just privacy issues. But then, using ATR with a passive AIT system would fix that. Unfortunately, it has been proven time and time again that the TSA more interest in padding Chertoff's bank account than they do in fixing problems.

Anonymous said...

theres a huge difference between them coming to your house and you coming to them correct? you have the option of not being screened,

So you would be OK with the TSA setting up on your street? After all, if you are using the street or sidewalk, it would fall under "transportation"

Anonymous said...

The current TSA organization was developed by the same failed leadership in Washington DC that can't seem to develop a debt solution. The TSA is another example of failed policy and practice by disconnected bureaucrats.

By the way, the TSA is not totally doing away with their AIT scanners that reveal naked outlines as has been reported in the press, only a portion of the AIT technology is being upgraded (at taxpayer expense).

The TSA should begin to post how many of their employees they have to fire for "inappropriate" conduct each week on their web site. Let's see some transparency for how our precious tax dollars are spent on maintaining a workforce who seems to be constantly under a cloud of suspicion.

Anonymous said...

What is to stop the screener switching off the ATR software so that they can view BOTH the naked image AND the person standing a short distance from them in the scanner? When the person exits the scanner can the screener then just switch the screen back to ATR mode?
If Blogger Bob refuses to answer this concern then we can all make our own minds up about this.

Anonymous said...

mrflight said:
"RB the checkpoint is in FACT federal property, and in that instance even though you are in an airport, once you step onto the federal checkpoint,federal regulations apply. Just like if I go into a federal building, I have to follow those regulations."

Nope, nope, nope. The airports have not ceded title to these locations nor has the Federal government seized them.

Anonymous said...

mrflight said...
TO RB

RB the checkpoint is in FACT federal property, and in that instance even though you are in an airport, once you step onto the federal checkpoint,federal regulations apply. Just like if I go into a federal building, I have to follow those regulations.

July 26, 2011 8:29 PM
............

That would explain why Federal LEO's respond to legal issues at a checkpoint wouldn't it?

Anonymous said...

The current TSA organization was developed by the same failed leadership in Washington DC that can't seem to develop a debt solution. The TSA is another example of failed policy and practice by disconnected bureaucrats.
_____________
Winner, winner, chicken dinner. We have a winner.

I think what's going on with TSA is ineptitude, at best. Security shouldn't be tied in with politics -- and with the TSA, that's exactly what we've got.

Take airline security AWAY FROM THE GOVERNMENT -- go to private security run by security experts, (not political appointees.)

Anonymous said...

"I like how people have to resort to the most extreme circumstances to support their opinions. "

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

Are you talking about how the TSA uses extreme circumstances to support their opinions?

Anonymous said...

What is to stop the screener switching off the ATR software so that they can view BOTH the naked image AND the person standing a short distance from them in the scanner? When the person exits the scanner can the screener then just switch the screen back to ATR mode?
If Blogger Bob refuses to answer this concern then we can all make our own minds up about this.

Because the passenger whose image is being analyzed is standing there looking at the same thing the officer sees. So, if they switched anything you would be able to see it also.

another RB said...

Come on Bob - there are a lot of real questions about the procedure to be followed with the new software and you haven't responded to one of them.

Anonymous said...

The passenger being scanned CANNOT see the screen whilst they are inside the scanner.
What is to stop the scanner viewer looking at the naked image whilst the person is INSIDE the scanner, then switching it back to 'stick-figure' image when they step outside?

Anonymous said...

Quoted:
" Anonymous said...
mrflight said:
"RB the checkpoint is in FACT federal property, and in that instance even though you are in an airport, once you step onto the federal checkpoint,federal regulations apply. Just like if I go into a federal building, I have to follow those regulations."

Nope, nope, nope. The airports have not ceded title to these locations nor has the Federal government seized them.

July 27, 2011 2:47 PM
------------------------
Uh, yep, yep, yep. The airports may own the actual property (hence no need to "cede title") yet they have agreed that the checkpoints are considered federal property. That's why TSA can issue fines to people for things like prohibited items, causing a screening point shutdown, etc. and the airports have no say in the matter. Nice try with the legaleese though.

Anonymous said...

So what are you going to do when you detect "an anomaly" in the inguinal area?

And what about those objects you will miss because they are inside the body, or under folds?

Chip and Andy said...

Anonymous said...
Quoted:
" Anonymous said...
mrflight said:
"RB the checkpoint is in FACT federal property, and in that instance even though you are in an airport, once you step onto the federal checkpoint,federal regulations apply. Just like if I go into a federal building, I have to follow those regulations."

Nope, nope, nope. The airports have not ceded title to these locations nor has the Federal government seized them.

July 27, 2011 2:47 PM
------------------------
Uh, yep, yep, yep. The airports may own the actual property (hence no need to "cede title") yet they have agreed that the checkpoints are considered federal property.



Nope. Not quite.

The airports have agreed (allowed is more appropriate) to give up certain areas to the control of the TSA. This does not make those areas "Federally Property." It is simply an area where Federal Workers are working and NOT Federal Property. The area is still owned by the Airports.

To use a rather silly analogy, If a Federal Worker takes a work related phone call while standing in line at the Donut Shop, the Donut Shop does not become Federal Property simply because the Federal worker is working in that area.

Anonymous said...

July 27, 2011 2:47 PM
------------------------
Uh, yep, yep, yep. The airports may own the actual property (hence no need to "cede title") yet they have agreed that the checkpoints are considered federal property. That's why TSA can issue fines to people for things like prohibited items, causing a screening point shutdown, etc. and the airports have no say in the matter. Nice try with the legaleese though.

July 29, 2011 6:13 PM


Please provide credible source stating this.

Anonymous said...

And then one guy said he'd moved here from a country in the Middle East where the government had checkpoints set up all over the country. You were routinely stopped and asked by government officials to show identification and provide information on your activities. They asked you where you were going, what you were doing, and why you were going from point A to point B.
This man said that he loved living in the United States because he had the freedom to go where he wanted without being hassled by the government. He could walk where he wanted, drive where he wanted. He said what he loved about the United States was the FREEDOM we have here.

******************************
yeah and im sure he dosnt complain when he's going through security at an airport... i would definately feel free if the only time i was screened or bothered was going through an airport.
ok so doesnt that make you feel
like your whining a little or maybe make you feel like a spoiled brat when TSA takes away your water??


***********************************
So is my leg plate now going to show up as a potential risk? I already have to remove my brace even though I can hardly walk without it many times, are they going to want me to prove I have a plate as well?

ok...seriously.... the machine dosnt penetrate skin....enough said ... but just in case i need to say more... no your leg plate will not show up on the machine the machine is not strong enough to penetrate skin and also keep your leg brace on.... if the TSO's are telling you that you have to take your brace off and you cant walk without it and it HAS NOT alarmed any kind of explosive screening then have them call a supervisor cuz the TSO's are wrong

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said:
"Uh, yep, yep, yep. The airports may own the actual property (hence no need to "cede title") yet they have agreed that the checkpoints are considered federal property. That's why TSA can issue fines to people for things like prohibited items, causing a screening point shutdown, etc. and the airports have no say in the matter. Nice try with the legaleese though."

Sorry but nope. What makes you think a Federal crime can only occur on Federal property? Robbing a bank can be (and usually is, for a variety of factors) a federal crime. Are banks then Federal property?

You're welcome for the legalese, thank *you* for the nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Wrong on every count. The checkpoint may be leased by TSA from the airport authority but it is not a federal reservation.

The property being secured by TSA is not federal property but private property owned by the airlines and the stockholders of the airlines."

Actually, RB, YOU may be wrong. MSP is quasi-government, kinda overseen by the state but it's own entity. FMN is totally city owned. BRW is city owned, but Alaska Airlines owns their own terminal. Most commercial avaition airports I've been through ARE governemnt enities. Anyone know of one that isn't?

Anonymous said...

yeah and im sure he dosnt complain when he's going through security at an airport... i would definately feel free if the only time i was screened or bothered was going through an airport.
ok so doesnt that make you feel
like your whining a little or maybe make you feel like a spoiled brat when TSA takes away your water??
_________________
My concern is that TSA has no plan to stop at airports. Just recently we had a VIPR drill in a Greyhound bus station in my home state of Iowa. We've had VIPR drills carried out, (incorrectly and inappropriately, I may add), in train stations. There's talk of TSA security being implemented on highways, on ferries, etc.

My question to you, my friend, is where does it end? What kind of a country do you want to live in? Is it one where the government does VIPR raids, body scans, patdowns, etc., on random citizens without just cause in any number of locations? Because it seems like that's where we're heading. Or perhaps we're already there.

I've found some wisdom lately in the works of Milton Friedman, a Nobel Prize winner in Economics. He had some interesting things to say about freedom, government intervention, etc. I would highly recommend you Google him. I think he has made some good points that should be taken into consideration in this discussion over the TSA and its tactics.

TSORon said...

txrus said...
2 quick questions which you will no doubt ignore anyway, BB:

1. How will we know when the new software has been installed in a particular airport?
2. What are you doing to enhance privacy w/the backscatter machines?
--------------
I don’t know if BB will answer, but I can help
1. You can see the monitor at the screening station, so if you are paying attention then you can tell which AIT is and which is not equipped with the new ATR system.
2.The same type of software is in development for the backscatter systems. These things take time, but I am hearing rumors that it might go into testing before the end of this year.
I hope that helps!
----------------------
Another Anonymous poster asked…
So what happens for a trans woman goes through AIT, perhaps after BA, but without other surgery? Is she going to be felt up? Pink button, and alarm on the genital area. Blue button (after disclosing something that should not be required to be disclosed in order to simply fly from one state to another) and alarm on the chest?
--------------
We screen passenger according to which gender the passenger presents. I hope that helps.
--------------------
kimmm said...
So is my leg plate now going to show up as a potential risk? I already have to remove my brace even though I can hardly walk without it many times, are they going to want me to prove I have a plate as well? NOT IMPRESSED!

I HAVE to fly, as my leg does not allow me to drive long distances...especially if I'm driving, and I feel that my rights and dignity are being trampled on each time because we have people who don't want to profile anyone but the handicapped and elderly!
-------------------------
If the plate is inside of your skin then it should present no problems. AIT is not a WTMD, it does not use a magnetic field to detect metal objects.
The “I have to fly” is an error in thinking. No one, absolutely no one, “Has” to fly. You are choosing to fly, it’s just that simple. Not even the pilots “have” to fly, they have chosen a form of employment that requires it as a part of their duties, but they could have chosen another form of employment. And there are other options for folks like yourself with what information you present here, and with a little effort on your part you should be able to find them.
----------------------
Another Anonymous poster said…
If the TSA can't train their employees on one simple fact that Bob has posted repeatedly on his blog (namely, that the TSA does not forbid photography or videography at the checkpoint) then the general public cannot trust a single word they say.
---------------------
Fact is there Anon, that state laws and/or local laws “may” prohibit filming at the checkpoints. TSA certainly does not, but then again we are not a state agency but federal. If you have questions about your particular area I suggest you contact a local attorney and ask them to research it for you.
------------------------
Another Anonymous poster asked…
What is to stop the screener switching off the ATR software so that they can view BOTH the naked image AND the person standing a short distance from them in the scanner? When the person exits the scanner can the screener then just switch the screen back to ATR mode?
-------------------
The screeners have a limited number of controls, and they do not include controls to “turn off” the ATR software. Besides, the screen they are looking at is the same one you are looking at, so if an image of you naked shows up its going to be quite obvious.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said..
'Ok...seriously... the machine doesn't penetrate skin'.
Really?
Perhaps you could explain why bones are clearly visible on airport body scans?
Why the TSA admits in its latest AIT PIA (January 2011) that x-ray backscatter does penetrate the skin?
The clue is in the name - x-ray - x-rays PENETRATE things, including the skin. Simple.

Anonymous said...

TSORon said...
The “I have to fly” is an error in thinking. No one, absolutely no one, “Has” to fly. You are choosing to fly, it’s just that simple.

Technically, you are correct. However, realistically, people "have" to fly. They "have" to fly in order to keep their job, so they can pay the mortgage, so they have a place to live and food to eat.

Yes, theoretically, they could quit their job, find another one (in this economy?) that probably pays less, sell their house (assuming the mortgage isn't underwater), move into a small apartment, and eat ramen noodles 7 days a week, etc. Are you seriously proposing people do this kind of thing? Because that is just what not 'having' to fly means for some people.

For other people it means not going on that dream vacation to Hawaii. They only have a week or two of vacation, not enough time to travel by boat. So, if they are to go to Hawaii, they 'have' to fly.

Sure, they can cancel their (non-refundable?) reservations, maybe take a train (whoops, no- the TSA is there, too), or... stay within walking distance of their house? Oh, wait- you got that covered, too: http://tiny.cc/uthob .
I guess they could stay home, cowering under the covers.
Are you seriously proposing people do this kind of thing? Because that is just what not 'having' to fly means for some people.

Anonymous said...

As to whether disagreeing with TSA makes me a "whiner," so be it. I'll own it.

I think one of the biggest mistakes we've made over and over as a country is our misguided, knee-jerk reactions when there is a perception of threat. We seem to be willing to throw out the Constitution on a moment's notice under the guise that it is being done to "protect us."

Let me pull just one example from the not-so-distant past: the Japanese-American internment camps created after Pearl Harbor. In 1942, 110,000 American citizens were removed from their homes and put in detention centers in order to "keep us safe." This was done at the request of two military leaders, via Executive Order 9066 -- an order that directly violated the 5th Amendment of the Constitution -- but the courts at the time -- all the way up to the Supreme Court -- ruled in favor of the government and against these citizens whose Constitutional rights were being so blatantly violated.

And in hindsight are we proud of that? No, we are ashamed of the images of those camps. Just like I think we will someday be ashamed of the photos of TSA abuses in our airports. It makes me sick to look at innocent civilians assuming the position for a full-body patdown -- being searched by the government and having their body irradiated without just cause. Each of these images represents a violation of our Constitution whether our court system currently chooses to acknowledge it or not.

In 1988 President Reagan issued a formal apology to the victims of the Japanese internment camps and admitted that the government's actions were based on "war hysteria and a failure of political leadership."

Sadly, I think that's the same trap we've fallen into today. Our rights are being violated due to hysteria and the failure of political leadership -- and once again the courts are not standing up for us, but rather enabling government abuse.

I think former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Tom Clark said it best when he summed up what happened after Pearl Harbor:

"The truth is—as this deplorable experience proves—that constitutions and laws are not sufficient of themselves...Despite the unequivocal language of the Constitution of the United States that the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, and despite the Fifth Amendment's command that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, both of these constitutional safeguards were denied by military action under Executive Order 9066."

It's happened before and it's happening again. My question is, DO WE NEVER LEARN FROM OUR MISTAKES?

Anonymous said...

I do have one compliment to pay to the TSA. I appreciate you maintaining this blog and keeping it up regardless of which way the feedback goes. I really appreciate the debate and I appreciate the ideas and points of view expressed by all.

I wish more government agencies maintained this type of service. Or perhaps they do and I'm not aware of it?

Anonymous said...

Executive Order 9066 -- an order that directly violated the 5th Amendment of the Constitution -- but the courts at the time -- all the way up to the Supreme Court -- ruled in favor of the government and against these citizens whose Constitutional rights were being so blatantly violated.
----------------------
The irony of that Supreme Court decision is that it was overturned in 1983. About 40 years too late to help any of those people.

It just goes to show you, the court aren't always right. The constitution...always right.

Anonymous said...

It is rather interesting how older comments get "disappeared" every so often. Dissension in the ranks?

Captcha was "Unien". Funny.

Anonymous said...

[[the screening area set up by the tsa at airports is federal property, so they are securing federal property.]]

In the same way that the IRS office in a strip mall is federal property: it's being leased by the government.

The feds do not own the airport; they do not own any space within the airport. It ain't their property anymore than your apartment is your own.

...And for what it's worth, courthouses are public buildings, requiring public access. Placing impediments to that public access - regardless of the justification - is limiting freedom. And when the impediments are of such a nature that a person is assumed guilty until he proves himself innocent, then it is violative of the Constitution.

And I, for one, have consistently complained about that. For years. We are supposed to be a free people living in a free country under a presumption of innocence unless there is a *** good reason to not be so considered. And "we're scared" isn't a good reason.

Anonymous said...

[[Most commercial avaition airports I've been through ARE governemnt enities. Anyone know of one that isn't?]]

Wait a minute here ... Are you seriously going to propose that there is no substantive difference between a city or state government and the federal government?

...a nation that was founded because of the tyranies inherent in centralized, rigid, self-superior authority?

...Whose defining document **specifically** limits that central control and cedes huge swaths of authority to others? including to the citizens themselves?

You don't know the difference between your city's mayor and the Prez? Seriously?

Anonymous said...

Putting makeup on a cancerous growth to make it look pretty doesn't solve the problem. Get rid of the searches altogether. If you can't do that, then the TSA should be disbanded.

Anonymous said...

anon said:

"TSORon said...
The “I have to fly” is an error in thinking. No one, absolutely no one, “Has” to fly. You are choosing to fly, it’s just that simple.

Technically, you are correct. However, realistically, people "have" to fly. They "have" to fly in order to keep their job, so they can pay the mortgage, so they have a place to live and food to eat.

Yes, theoretically, they could quit their job, find another one (in this economy?) that probably pays less, sell their house (assuming the mortgage isn't underwater), move into a small apartment, and eat ramen noodles 7 days a week, etc. Are you seriously proposing people do this kind of thing? Because that is just what not 'having' to fly means for some people.

For other people it means not going on that dream vacation to Hawaii. They only have a week or two of vacation, not enough time to travel by boat. So, if they are to go to Hawaii, they 'have' to fly.

Sure, they can cancel their (non-refundable?) reservations, maybe take a train (whoops, no- the TSA is there, too), or... stay within walking distance of their house? Oh, wait- you got that covered, too: http://tiny.cc/uthob .
I guess they could stay home, cowering under the covers."

these are some of the same reasons why Americans work for the tsa YET many bloggers say that if your are "truly American" then you will quite the tsa. you cant have it both ways.

Anonymous said...

"The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government, lest it come to dominate our lives and interests."
- Patrick Henry (1736 - 1799)

Anonymous said...

TSORon, while you reiterate what BB says about video recording of checkpoints, evidence of TSO's insisting that people stop taping is widely available. And since the TSO is not a law enforcement officer, he cannot be attempting to enforce some local ordinance in insisting that recording stop, since he has no such enforcement authority.

The reality is that whatever TSA policy may be, individual TSO's often make it up as they go, and do so with some arrogant sense of entitlement.

RB said...

When will TSA comply with the recent Court Order to provide for public comment regarding the Whole Body Imagers?

Anonymous said...

Still waiting for an answer on what will be done when an "anomaly" is located in private areas.

Anonymous said...

RB said...
When will TSA comply with the recent Court Order to provide for public comment regarding the Whole Body Imagers?

August 4, 2011 9:50 AM

------------------------------
RB,

I'm sure they'll let you know the minute they close the comment period.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Still waiting for an answer on what will be done when an "anomaly" is located in private areas.

August 4, 2011 12:30 PM

RPD...final answer

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
[some people need to fly to keep their jobs, others need to fly because of time constraints]
these are some of the same reasons why Americans work for the tsa YET many bloggers say that if your are "truly American" then you will quite the tsa. you cant have it both ways.

People choosing (under duress of losing their job) to allow their Rights to be violated is somewhat different than people choosing to take a job where they violate other people's Rights.

Anonymous said...

Wow! I'm gonna be totally private while continuing to be irradiated like a glowing hunk of uranium! Way to go TSA! /snark.

avxo said...

Anonymous wrote: "Wow! I'm gonna be totally private while continuing to be irradiated like a glowing hunk of uranium! Way to go TSA!"

Uranium? Come again? I think you need to go sign up for a Science 101 course at your local community college.

Anonymous said...

Always looking for new technology??? I was in Amsterdam last month and they were already using this "new" technology. Yeah another "new" idea you can get from Amsterdam is that the security scanners were at every gate just before the boarding area so there wasn't thousands of people trying to get through the same checkpoint. Homeland Insecurity likes us all to think that the US has top of the line security but after going overseas I was shocked to see how sucky ours really is, at least when compared to Amsterdam.

Anonymous said...

When will the TSA stop performing medical imagining without a licence? These scanners run afoul of state imagining licensure requirements for radiology personnel.

avxo said...

Anonymous wrote: "Yeah another "new" idea you can get from Amsterdam is that the security scanners were at every gate just before the boarding area so there wasn't thousands of people trying to get through the same checkpoint. "

While I understand the sentiment -- the lines sometimes are very long -- you must really be joking...

AMS is the only international airport in Amsterdam and has approximately 150 gates.

The United States has at least once in every State, often more than one, and many easily have over 100 gates... LAS by itself almost has more gates than AMS. Add JFK, LGA, LAX, MSP, ATL, STL, MCO, SJC, SFO, PHX, SAN, BOS, EWR, DCA...

I can see having more modular screening - per group of gates perhaps - on some airports that have a very large number of gates and exceedingly heavy traffic. But realistically speaking per-gate checkpoints in the U.S. are simply neither practical nor economically efficient.

As to your other arguments, that some places overseas have better security solutions (whether technology or people) it's an interesting but exceedingly broad question that doesn't really have a "true" or "false" answer in the general case.

Anonymous said...

Relinquer omne iurum, ii quis intra hic

Anonymous said...

An excessive government can tolerate all public reaction except mockery:

TSA: safeguarding America from shampoo and snowglobes since September 12th.

Anonymous said...

Both the naked body scanners and the intrusive searches are violations of the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution:

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

There is no way the TSA outrages live up to this standard.

1. You have no probable cause. Refusing to submit to a naked body scan is NOT probable cause.

2. You have no warrant.

3. You have no supporting oath or affirmation.

Therefore, these searches are illegal and by law must you must desist from carrying them out immediately.

kimm said...

And this is better how? We're all still being treated like criminals, we're all still having to stand like we're being arrested for a yet undetermined crime, and those of us with handicaps are still being humiliated and some even abused.

So now what? Will I get even more harassment now because my plate will show up? Will I need proof that I'm not hiding something?

I wish I didn't have to fly, but I do, due to my leg not allowing me to drive long distances. It would be great if TSA and Homeland Insecurity would stop trampling our rights in the name of "safety".

I think Homeland Security needs to remember they are in America.

Anonymous said...

"This machine along with the invasive pat-downs is a violation of the constitution and qualifies as illegal search and seizure." - Insert Name Here... May I remind you all that anyone going through checkpoint screening is doing so VOLUNTARILY and in doing so is CONSENTING to the possibility of being searched.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how fast the public will blame TSA for not being thorough enough if another plane is hijacked.

tom@file server said...

All these new amendments claiming to make things safer for us passengers are starting to wear on me philosophically. That was the whole point of the years following 9/11; they wanted us to succumb to a state of fear. None of these little things ever seem to matter anyway, other than make it more uncomfortable for TSA's customers. If they want to get to a plane; they will unless you stop them at our borders.

sarah menuonos said...

Sometimes I think people just live to complain. This is a good thing that TSA is doing; guys; do any of you know how much background radiation we receive from other sources!? This is negligible anyway.

vivarium said...

Sorry to say this, and I know it may offend some sensibilities, but that doesn't mean it isn't true: the real problem our airlines face is an unwillingness to do what is necessary. Look at Israel's El Al airline, for example: they dont have any problems, because they identify the type of people who would commit heinous crimes beforehand.