Monday, November 19, 2012

Opting Out of AIT (Body Scanners)



Millimeter Wave technology signage. "Use of this technology is optional."
Since the holidays often bring out the infrequent and first-time travelers, I felt it important to address this on the blog.
TSA has given passengers the option of opting out of imaging technology. If you choose to opt out, simply let the officer know you would like to opt out of the body scanner, and you will receive a pat-down instead.
If you’ve never been screened with this technology and aren’t sure whether you want to opt out or not, here are some helpful links that might help inform your decision.

AIT: Safety
AIT: Frequently Asked Questions
AIT: Privacy
Backscatter technology signage. "Use of this technology is optional."
We’re also aware of the Opt Out and Film week, where some are planning on opting out of the body scanner and then filming their experience. TSA respects passengers rights to exercise freedom of speech as well as the rights of fellow travelers trying to get to their destination safely and without unnecessary delay. While the TSA does not prohibit photographs at screening locations, local laws, state statutes, or local ordinances may.
TSA takes its mission to protect the safety of the traveling public seriously and our officers will continue to uphold our high standards of professionalism during the busy holiday season and every day throughout the year. We are reminded of the need for constant vigilance with instances such as the 2009 suicide bomb attempt.

If you’re traveling via commercial airliner this holiday season, be sure to check out the new post on holiday travel tips!



If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact us by clicking here. 



51 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey Bob, your boss, Johnny (Pistole) is meddling with your job security as TSA's Blogger. He's writing letters to the editor in the Washington Post trying to fend off criticisms of your agency. Criticism which is, by the way, not only found on the Washington Post, but all over the internet and other media.

The opinion page? Yes. I don't understand why he doesn't just address everyone's huge concern about the TSA on the six o'clock news or through an interview on some other prime time show. Obama got his messages out to the people that way in everything from 60 Minutes to David Letterman. But he went to an opinion page just like the commentors here on your blog would do. Why not just scribble his message on a pizza box?

TSA.......you guys are so funny LOL!!!!!!!

You'll probably put this comment on the "No Post List." It's about your boss.

CJ said...

What if I opt out of both because you are violating my 4th and 5th amendment rights? Without probably cause and a warrant the government cannot touch me. Or, is the TSA an extra-constitutional entity?

Emery Olexa said...

I was recently at the dentist and had xrays done.I didnt want a scan immediatley. But,there I was in the scanner not knowing what it was.(I have never seen one before.)Then they sent me back in again.It turned out to be body sweat. (I did not know it would pick THAT up.) How do you refer to the rays and the dosage you get from one scan?

Anonymous said...

"TSA takes its mission to protect the safety of the traveling public seriously"

Then why do you endanger the public with dangerous, untested technology you have lied about from day one?

"and our officers will continue to uphold our high standards of professionalism during the busy holiday season and every day throughout the year. "

Your screeners are neither professional nor officers. Shame on each and every one of you for disgracing our country.

Mia said...

what annoys me is that several times on recent flight checkins, I've gone through the big xray machine and THEN one of the TSA personnages says they have to do a pat down. I wasn't wearing a jacket or a big sweater -- and jeggings with NO pockets.
Plus I'm obviously a grandmother!
Ridiculous!

Anonymous said...

what gets me is that on several recent flight checkins, I went through the x ray machine, but had to submit to patdowns in addition. I was not wearing a jacket or a heavy sweater, and my jeggings have no pockets!
Ridiculous. typical of the power-trips most TSA agents are on.

Susan Richart said...

"If you chose to opt out, simply let the officer know you would like to opt out of the body scanner,..."

"Chose" is the past tense of the verb "choose." Get your grammar correct, Bob.

Screen shot

Wintermute said...

"While the TSA does not prohibit photographs at screening locations, local laws, state statutes, or local ordinances may."

Ummm... No, they don't... I believe you intentionally leave this ambiguous so that your "agents" can intimidate their victims. There are no local or state laws which would prevent photography at a checkpoint.

Anonymous said...

> Why not just scribble his message on a pizza box?

Why not use a pizza box? Well, because pizza boxes are reserved for TSA recruiting purposes!

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/federal-eye/2010/07/tsa_using_pizza_boxes_to_recru.html

Anonymous said...

probable warrant,

Intelligence = 0

Anonymous said...

Show us the steampunk watch!

Anonymous said...

These opt-outs cause the lines to slow. Opt-outs should be lowest priority. If they don't fly the same day they'll learn not to rock the boat.

RB said...

People should Opt Out of TSA Naked Body Scanners because they haven't been tested.

They should Opt Out because the Backscatter Xray Machine displays a near naked image of the person being scanned and no verifiable testing of just how dangerous to humans these machines really are.

People should Opt Out of TSA Strip Search Machines if for no other reason it makes TSA employees work! There is no reason to have 5 or 10 TSA employees standing around doing nothing.

People should Opt Out of TSA Whole Body scanners because TSA can't handle doing passenger screening using reasonable methods.

Opt Out and Film Week!

Anonymous said...

How many illegal and dangerous items have you discovered and seized from the little children that you thoroughly pat down? How many weapons have you found when you thoroughly pat down women travelers who have been victims of rape?

Anonymous said...

"TSA respects passengers rights to exercise freedom of speech..."

What about the rest of the Bill of Rights?

Anonymous said...

The misinformation presented here by "Bob" is just amazing. There are no state or local laws or ordinances that prohibit taking pictures at a checkpoint. And you're jobs program employees are not "officers" in any sense of the word.

Fed Up Diabetic said...

What is the policy on involuntary medical related opt-outs? I've heard that the metal detector is supposed to be used for them. That has not been my experience at any airport. I have to opt-out due to my insulin pump and I always get an invasive patdown. I'm tired of being treated as a criminal because I'm diabetic.

My choices are to not fly, go through the scanner and risk damage to my pump, or have my genitals touched. That's not much of a choice.

Anonymous said...

Blogger Bob said, "While the TSA does not prohibit photographs at screening locations, local laws, state statutes, or local ordinances may."

Easy enough to check your airport's website. If it's OK by them, then it's OK! (I checked my local airport and since it's publicly owned, I can photograph or film at will (except for TSA's magic screens).

Anonymous said...

Blogger Bob,

So, according to this post, the TSA continues to use backscatter scanners even though they do NOT have the much-ballyhooed privacy software?

You have been looking at nude pictures of men, women, and children for two years and hid that fact from the American public.

Shame!

Anonymous said...

You are fully aware that the "local ordinances prohibition" of photography is a lie, right? Courts have ruled, repeatedly, that photography of police officers while they are carrying out official duty (and if the photographer does not directly interfere) is protected under the First Amendment. Check out the Glik V Cunniffe case, and stop spreading the falsehood that photography/video recording is prohibited in any way.

Anonymous said...

Bob,

Will you be reminding your employess that filming is allowed at the checkpoint? Even though it is permitted by the TSA, it seems like a lot of your employees are unaware of this.

Bill said...

I keep hearing this "local regulations may prohibit photography in public spaces."

Since each checkpoint obviously has a coordination with local law enforcement, THEY must know which SPECIFIC locations have photography and recording restrictions.

So why not poll each checkpoint location, and instead of a general warning leaving it up to the traveler to do the research, simply publish a VERY SHORT list of those locations, and the rest (I predict 99%) of the checkpoints will be in jurisdictions with photography and recording allowed.

The additional benefit of this is then the checkpoints where there are no restrictions can have ALL THE STAFF educated on the status of their workplace, and then they won't make rules up and claim photography is prohibited where it is not. Benefits the travelers, and can benefit the TSA's image to have one fewer issue not up for grabs and for the staff to show their pack of training.

Anonymous said...

TSA fails to mention the ability to medically refuse the scanner, and instead receive the walk through metal detector.

Please add, for those infrequent & first-time travelers, the information regarding refusal of body-scanner technology based on medical reasons.

Adrian said...

I've found it interesting that the last four times I've flown, I haven't had to opt out. In each case, the whole-body imagers had been turned off and passengers were simply being sent through the walk-through metal detectors. It was fast and efficient.

In one case, there were four security lines, only one of which included a whole-body imaging scanner, so it was trivial to opt out by selecting one of the other three lines.

If these devices are so important for security, why are they commonly turned off or easy to bypass?

Anonymous said...

Always remember that you can choose to leave the screening process AT ANY TIME. While you will not be allowed to fly, you can leave the screening process at any time without arrest.

Anonymous said...

Always remember that you can choose to leave the screening process AT ANY TIME. While you will not be allowed to fly, TSA has no authority to detain or arrest anyone for doing so.

Anonymous said...

>>>FedUpDiabetic<<<

I believe that medical exceptions to the body scanners are only due to physical injuries.

Mainly related to the inability to lift one's arms over their head.

RB said...

Anonymous said...
>>>FedUpDiabetic<<<

I believe that medical exceptions to the body scanners are only due to physical injuries.

Mainly related to the inability to lift one's arms over their head.

November 20, 2012 12:15 PM
.......

Most insulin pump manufacturers direct patients to not be screened with WBI as they can damage the pump and other components fo an Insulin Pump.

Perhaps if TSA would listen to all of the disability groups it claims to work with this wouldn't continue being a problem other than it seems impossible to train TSA screeners.

I know TSA would much prefer to electronically strip search travelers even if it does harm the person.

TSA Full-Body Scans Can Cause Insulin Pump, CGM Malfunctions


"A report in the October 2012 issue of Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics says that airport full-body scans can cause malfunctions in insulin pumps or continuous glucose monitors."



Anonymous said...

Please provide us with the location of at least ONE airport where filming would be cause for arrest and conviction or retract the statement about local laws.

Nicky Yates said...

Why does opting out lead to my being forced to stand right next to the machine that I have very serious (and validated by the EU's decision to ban these devices) health concerns? Opting out should allow me to wait patiently in a safe space and not be ridiculed by standing in the middle of the line and for more than 15 minutes consistently.

Anonymous said...

Please also note that a patdown includes pulling down a dress and exposing the breasts of a 17 year old girl. Were you looking for explosives between her breasts and just had to get a really good look? Shame on you.

Anonymous said...

Liar! You do NOT respect anybody's Rights. You violate them by the minute.
Find a new job. One that you can respect yourself at.

Anonymous said...

I am extremely offended by everything the revolting TSA agency of criminals and perverts does.

Anonymous said...

I imagine that you may not respond to, or even read, many of the comments on this blog.

I understand the need for airport security. In fact, I encourage it. What I don't understand is why TSA chooses to "pat down" customers, particularly as the "pat down" has been proven not as effective as alternatively having security professionals screen each passenger with a short interview as we do at our borders and upon arrival into our country.

Furthermore, for someone like me, a victim of sexual assault, the notion of someone touching me - even another woman - causes severe PTSD. I work in the child sexual abuse prevention field as well, and in viewing several different videos, the "pat down" of children would be grounds for a report of child abuse and criminal charges in New York State.

I travel extensively in Europe, and generally travel home through Canada. Never have I been "pat down" or had to walk through a full body scanner other than in the US. It baffles me that my uncle, who worked in military intelligence for over twenty years, thinks the screening process for the US is far more dangerous than the EU. And with the safest airport in the world in Tel Aviv not doing "pat downs" or subjecting customers to full body scanners, I have to question the integrity and intelligence of TSA.

I would choose never to fly within the US if possible, but my husband is in the military and we are frequently stationed in locations that can only be accessed by air travel. I hope that someday TSA learns that "patting down" the genitals of young children is no way to prevent violence on planes.

Anonymous said...

"TSA respects passengers rights to exercise freedom of speech as well as the rights of fellow travelers trying to get to their destination safely and without unnecessary delay." What??!? You have absolutely GOT to be kidding me! TSA is the worst case of collective human rights abuses that this country has seen in over half a century - theft, sexual assault, intimidation, harassment, public humiliation: I am shocked and appalled that the TSA would even try to claim that they respect passengers' rights. TSA does not PROTECT citizens from terrorism...it SUBJECTS them to it.

Anonymous said...

That's the problem.

TSA allows some medical exceptions to body scanners, but others they force through pat downs.

Contrary Mary said...

All of this TSA crap has resulted in my decision to never fly again and to let my passport lapse after 30 years of having one. I had only flown for pleasure in the past but I don't want to be subjected to a body scan or a pat down. Humiliating to be forced to do have this done just to get on an airplane. I really wonder just how many people have decided to never fly again and how much that has cost the airlines. Hmmmm?

@SkyWayManAz said...

I have posted numerous times that I opt out because the AIT will alarm anyway. That is not something I can control, my body refuses to meet the expectation of the machine. Travelling over the holidays when I opted out I had not one, not two, but three different screeners attempt to lecture me on how safe the machine is. I appreciate that they believe that and they do have a job to do. As of now which this blog post confirms I do have the right to opt out. Maybe that will change tomorrow but as of now it is something we can ask of TSA. I made it clear I was submitting to the pat down. The small airport I was at had a new AIT machine and they were clearly unprepared for me opting out. Even with three male screeners standing around it took 5-10 minutes to locate another male screener to perform my pat down. Something they would have had to do if I went thru the AIT anyway since I'll alarm it. That response from multiple screeners, even after I explain how and where I'll alarm the machine, comes off like we'll find him faster if you cooperate. That is not me being belligerent or rude and I cooperated fully with the pat down. Perhaps the agents at this small airport with their new machine need some better training. I filed a complaint on this incident but only because of one screeners personal hygiene being completely unacceptable. Sadly he was otherwise the most polite of the screeners and actually seemed to know how to do his job professionaly without any attitude or lecturing. Not sure what the the personal problem is there but it was offensive and needs to be addressed.

Anonymous said...

'QUESTION About Scanners...*

I recently went through one of the scanners in DEN and the view screen did not show "OK" on green or "NO" on red like at EWR, rather is showed a cartoon body shape with squares on my legs. I was pulled aside for extra screening but there was absolutely no items ON my legs.. however, IN my legs (front of my thighs) are subcutaneous lipomas, a tumor.

*** Is this scanner powerful enough to penetrate the skin?
*** If so is this by design?
*** My lipomas are non explosive or sharp and don't even show through the skin.

Anonymous said...

When I asked the operator of the backscatter X-ray to tell me how much radiation I was being exposed to, his response was, "There's no radiation," I challenged this incorrect statement, and he said again that there was no radiation, that it was safe, and that if I wanted to make trouble, I could opt for a pat-down instead.

Your so-called "officers" are either 1) ill-informed, or 2) lying. Both are unacceptable.

Anonymous said...

Quit your crying and forget about flying. If you don't want to be safe in the air, then take a Greyhound Bus. Screening is not that much of a big deal and only inexperienced travelers are complaining.

Wintermute said...

Anonymous said...
"Quit your crying and forget about flying."

Umm... It's a right...

"If you don't want to be safe in the air, then take a Greyhound Bus."

Two items... TSA is expanding to other forms of transportation. Plus you're no safer than pre-9/11.

"Screening is not that much of a big deal..."

Violations of civil rights on a massive scal is "not that much of a big deal?!?!"

"...and only inexperienced travelers are complaining."

Check your facts on that one ;)

Anonymous said...

I'm irritated by the misuse of "your" and "you're". YOUR is possessive, meaning "belonging to you"(or the person you are speaking to). YOU'RE is a contraction of YOU ARE, as in "you're in good health today" NOT "your in good health", you would have to rearrange the sentence for it to be accurate, such as: your health is good. Please!! Put grammar BACK in the curriculum! Yes I realize this is "off topic" but spelling and grammar are things ADULTS should know.

Wintermute said...

Anonymous said...
"I'm irritated by the misuse of "your" and "you're". YOUR is possessive, meaning "belonging to you"(or the person you are speaking to). YOU'RE is a contraction of YOU ARE, as in "you're in good health today" NOT "your in good health", you would have to rearrange the sentence for it to be accurate, such as: your health is good. Please!! Put grammar BACK in the curriculum! Yes I realize this is "off topic" but spelling and grammar are things ADULTS should know."

Give us some context of who you're speaking to. I believe my post (the one immediately preceding yours) was grammatically correct :)

Anonymous said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

Border search exception
Main article: Border search exception

Searches conducted at the United States border or the equivalent of the border (such as an international airport) may be conducted without a warrant or probable cause subject to the "border-search" exception.[73] Most border searches may be conducted entirely at random, without any level of suspicion, pursuant to U.S. Customs and Border Protection plenary search authority. However, searches that intrude upon a traveler's personal dignity and privacy interests, such as strip and body cavity searches, must be supported by "reasonable suspicion."[74] The U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fourth and Ninth circuits have ruled that information on a traveler's electronic materials, including personal files on a laptop computer, may be searched at random, without suspicion.[75]

Fred Smith said...

Does anyone know how well the body imaging scanners are protecting us? I just don't know if it is worth the risk to have them. Thanks for allowing use to opt-out!

freedom said...

Opt-out, opposed as TSA stated and BOB tried to explain here, simply doesn't exist.
Despite is a right guaranteed for those people want keep safe their privacy TSA officers refused to allow me the opt-out choice obligating to a body scan even I clearly and firmly request the opt-out.
Just happened in West Palm Beach international airport at Concourse C, today March, 24th at 4:40pm.

As European citizen I felt violated in my privacy and in my freedom.

Anonymous said...

At 62 years old with history of
ccancer, radiation and chemo I'm
sure that my body doesn't need anymore radiation. I'll be asking
my oncologist at the next visit for her take on this. I find it interesting that after my last two airport scans the attendant then had to search my left ankle area.
This wouldn't seem so far out if it were my right ankle that has two screws in it but both times my leaft ankle. I'm a little concerned with how the attendants are trained and if they actually get their rights and lefts accurate.

Anonymous said...

Someone posted a question about how well TSA screening protects travelers. The truth of the matter is that it doesn't protect anyone at all. It's a placebo to make people feel like they're safe. The TSA is a huge boondoggle that drains us of tax dollars, and provides employment to people who are otherwise without any job skills or qualifications. Wake up Americans, because you are giving up your freedoms in the hopes of obtaining security. The founding fathers of this nation recognized that those who give up liberty so that they can have security will have neither liberty nor security.

Anonymous said...

I just found this blog. I thought it was a joke.

Then I realized that the joke is that we put up with a farce like the TSA and that you people writing this blog can type this stuff with a straight face. Get your unconstitutional scanners and pat-downs out of our domestic travel.

Anonymous said...

True Americans Opt Out.