Friday, January 18, 2013

Rapiscan Backscatter Contract Terminated – Units to be Removed



You may remember us blogging about new privacy software we rolled out for the L3 Millimeter Wave body scanners. It’s called Automated Target Recognition (ATR), and with the use of this software, our officers no longer see an image of the person being screened. This is what our officers see if the passenger alarms:

ATR Monitor
ATR Monitor After Alarm
 You can read more about the ATR software here.

Congress mandated as a part of the The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 that all TSA body scanners should be equipped with ATR by June 1, 2012 (There has since been an extension to June 1, 2013).

At this point, all Millimeter wave units have been equipped with ATR, but even with the extension to 2013, Rapiscan was unable to fulfill their end of the contract and create the ATR software that would work with backscatter units. As a result, TSA terminated the contract with Rapiscan in order to comply with the congressional mandate.

All Rapiscan AIT units currently operational at checkpoints around the country, as well as those stored at the TSA Logistics Center, will be removed by Rapiscan at their expense and stored until they can be redeployed to other mission priorities within the government. Most of the backscatter units being removed will be replaced with millimeter wave units. The millimeter units will be moved from the inventory currently deployed at other airports and from an upcoming purchase of additional millimeter wave units. 

By June 1, 2013 travelers will only see machines which have ATR that allow for faster throughput.  This means faster lanes for the traveler and enhanced security. 

As always, use of this technology is optional.



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

71 comments:

Anonymous said...

How many new backscatter scanners has TSA contracted to buy?

Anonymous said...

So when do we the taxpayers get a refund of the tens of millions of dollars spent on these units, which a mere two years after purchase are being scrapped?

Anonymous said...

GREAT! DOWN THE TSA AND ALL THE PORNO TYPE SCANNERS!

Anonymous said...

It is unfair to all travelers to condemn us to five and a half more months of the backscatter units. They should all be disconnected immediately and replaced by regular scanners until better non-intrusive scanners are available. Nobody should be subject to the invasion of privacy inherent in the backscatter units for one more day.

Anonymous said...

How could we know for sure that is the image TSA would see and not another nude picture? When the body scan machines first came out, they showed those blurred, headless pictures on every news station trying to convince us that is what they would see. Then as the months went on, more pictures and the truth started coming out that they were seeing naked pictures. How is this particular machine any different?

Anonymous said...

U don't see naked body the image is in front of u with a YELLOW box telling u what area to pat down.

Anonymous said...

Obviously by the comments here, some of these people are basing thier opinions on what they have "heard" instead of seen or verified. These machines have the picture directly outside the machine so that the screener and the passenger see the same image - the "Gumby" image. There is no other screen.
"Disconnected immediately and replaced by other scanners" - Um, I dont believe there is a company in the world that is equipped to replace these immediately - at any type of negotiable cost - to meet the specifications of TSA, Congress and the traveling public, now people may be subjected to the longer lines and wait times with more pat downs because the company that supplied them could not meet the requirements. BUT I am sure that TSA will get blamed for this - somehow.
Personally, glad to know that my family is safe when they get on a plane because the other passengers traveling with them are screened.
Keep your chin up TSA - some of us appreciate your efforts!

Susan Richart said...

Your very own words from 4/15/08, Bob:

"These images are friendly enough to post in a preschool. Heck, it could even make the cover of Reader’s Digest and not offend anybody."

Ready to eat those words yet? Ready to admit that you were not being honest?

screen shot

Anonymous said...

The very fact that the backscatter machines were ever deployed is a national disgrace that no American should soon forget. I suggest that you keep these machines and use it to scan TSA employees at the end of their shift.

Susan Richart said...

You're telling us that "most" of these vile machines will be replaced with MMW. What about the remainder of them?

Will they be replaced by backscatter machines produced by American Science?

Backscatter, even with ATR, is unacceptable.

You left a good deal out of this thread, Bob.

screen shot

Adrian said...

You said most of the Rapiscan backscatter machines will be replaced with MMW units (presumably from L3). Some news articles say they will be replaced with x-ray backscatter machines from American Science and Engineering, which already has software that blurs/fades the anatomical detail. Since backscatter x-ray devices in genreal still have health and privacy concerns, require more people to operation, require remote viewing room, are more expensive to procure, are more expensive to maintain, aren't any better than MMW in terms of false positives and false negatives, then why not stick with MMW (and WTMD)?

Will new machines be purchased and put into service before or after the TSA complies with the court order to comply with the law the TSA started violating in 2009 when they put whole-body imaging into use as a primary screening method without an appropriate hearing and public comment period?

Anonymous said...

Re: the 2 anonymous posts (1-18; 9:10 PM & 1-19; 12:54 AM)

Everyone knows (EVEN BLOGGER BOB) our government is far from perfect and makes many, many mistakes. Well, the same holds true for some of the folks posting on this forum.

Mistake 1:
Nobody is "subject to the invasion of privacy inherent in backscatter units" if they don't want to.
Everyone has the right to opt out.

Mistake 2:
The machines never displayed "nude or naked pictures." They are NOT pictures - not even close!

Some people that do not know anything about these machines will read these misleading posts and believe them.

Misinformation is just as bad when it comes from citizens as it is when it comes from the government.

Anonymous said...

Bob, here's your blog post in case you've forgotten.

http://blog.tsa.gov/2008/04/first-significant-deployment-of.html

Laura Monteros said...

Though I have a concern about these units, I want to state another concern first: all the anonymous comments. Please sign your comments.

My concern is about the units being redeployed, as stated in paragraph 5. Where? What "other mission priorities"? Will we be notified when we go through one that the images are graphic?

Bob, I know you are the target of a lot of anger, but sometimes this could be dispelled if you would respond to the kinds of questions people post.

SSSS for some reason said...

"...As always, use of this technology is optional."

Then why is is the *first* option used in many airports? Why are so many people directed to these machines when the Walk-Through-Metal Detectors are more efficient, more effective, and cheaper to own and operate?

Anonymous said...

I thought these didn't produce a naked image Bob? Looks like a puffer scandal all over again.

How long before we find out that the L3 scanners have a big problem. Or are you going to insist these are fine despite your 0-2 record?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Mistake 1:
Nobody is "subject to the invasion of privacy inherent in backscatter units" if they don't want to.
Everyone has the right to opt out.


Firstly, passengers who opt out often are made to go through a lot of hassle. Pulled out of line, made to wait in a glass box, etc. Of course, there is also the issue of the time involved.

Mistake 2:
The machines never displayed "nude or naked pictures." They are NOT pictures - not even close!


Not true at all. See for yourself: http://www.tsa.gov/sites/default/files/images/backscatter_large.jpg

Wintermute said...

Anonymous said...

"Mistake 1:
Nobody is "subject to the invasion of privacy inherent in backscatter units" if they don't want to.
Everyone has the right to opt out."

Except then they get the full grope... A false choice is NOT a choice at all.

"Mistake 2:
The machines never displayed "nude or naked pictures." They are NOT pictures - not even close! "

Not pictures? The dictionary begs to differ:

pic·ture
/ˈpikCHər/
Noun
A painting or drawing.

"Some people that do not know anything about these machines will read these misleading posts and believe them."

And some TSApologists will claim facts as mistakes and then have them easily debunked.

Anonymous said...

It's nice to see the backscatter machines with the health risks and naked images are being removed. It's too bad the MMW ones aren't being scrapped with them. How much money has been wasted on the unsafe and invasive scanners? Look at this week's found item roundup. None of those items were found by the scanners.

This doesn't help me much. I wear an insulin pump and they can be damaged by the MMW scanners. Everytime I fly and get selected for the scanners, I have to involuntarily opt-out. That results in the full body "enhanced" patdown. It doesn't seem right that I have to be touched in very sensitive areas that only a doctor or my wife should be touching, just because I'm diabetic. It feels like the TSA has declared war on diabetics.

Anonymous said...

Are you actually going to obey the law this time and give the public the opportunity to comment on this switch? And give us info about the machines replacing the Rapiscan machines?

And I assume those who are talking about the right to "opt out" are referring to the "right to be assaulted by a government employee." In other words, something that doesn't solve the controversy at all, really.

Anonymous said...

So all of the times that you said the rapiscan images being safe for preschoolers was not true?

Anonymous said...

I based my opinion on what Blogger Bob wrote. The images could be happily viewed by innocent preschoolers.

Anonymous wrote: Obviously by the comments here, some of these people are basing thier opinions on what they have "heard" instead of seen or verified.

Anonymous said...

Once Rapiscan machines are gone I and my family will be back to flying again. My friend who has his Ph.D in Physics and works with x-ray technology told us of the dangers of the Rapiscan machines when they came out. Haven't flown since.

@SkyWayManAz said...

"Most of the backscatter units being removed will be replaced with millimeter wave units."

Why will any be replaced with unsafe backscatter units? I feel safer about millimeter wave then back scatter but opt out of both as I'll alarm it anyway. That’s no different than when I worked airport security in the 80’s fresh out of high school and someone opted out of the metal detector. Some people had to due to metal in their body. I was never rude to anyone opting out of the metal detector and don’t understand why screeners are frequently rude to me when I opt of AIT. The AIT does not like scarring and odd body shape. That’s not something I can help about myself.


"Nobody is "subject to the invasion of privacy inherent in backscatter units" if they don't want to.
Everyone has the right to opt out."

Australia as I found out does not allow anyone to opt out of AIT but they only use millimeter wave. They’re stated rationale on this is it is safer then backscatter and they don’t want to subject people to the invasive pat down TSA does. TSA by using backscatter as the primary screening method puts it up to the public to figure out which is which if they have legitimate concerns about the safety of backscatter. Have you tried opting out? TSA insists several different ways that AIT is optional but when you try it frequently you get a screener making that an intimidating experience before they lay a hand on you. Possibly they don't like doing pat downs. I wouldn't want to do the enhanced pat down on someone either. If I had the job now that is something that would make me tender my resignation. Then again maybe I’d have been fired for trying to give correct and dignified screening to special needs passengers. (Didn’t swab the feeding tube. Didn’t burst the saline bag. Didn’t burst the colostomy bag. Didn’t strip search the old man. Didn’t threaten a child to make them be quiet. What is wrong with this guy?) I bet TSA has lost a lot of good people over this. I hope you are keeping a record of people mentioning this in their exit interview.

"These images are friendly enough to post in a preschool. Heck, it could even make the cover of Reader’s Digest and not offend anybody."

I am not at all shocked Bob said that although I did follow the link to confirm it is true. I think most screeners would pull their kids out of that preschool.

Anonymous said...

The scanners are optional, but here are your options after opting out. One option is to not fly. The other option is to endure a degrading, invavsive, humiliating, full body patdown with repeated genital contact. Those alternatives are terrible.

Opting out of the scanners is worse when you have to involuntarily opt out due to medical reasons. Not only do I have to submit to the enhanced patdown, I usually get a lecture about how great the scanners are and that I'm a fool for opting out.

Anonymous said...

Another satisfied TSA customer.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/21/opinion/airport-behavior-screening.html

Anonymous said...

Who at TSA is going to take responsibility for this spectacular waste of tax payer resources and invasion of privacy for innocent American citizens? When you make a mistake that costs millions of dollars, someone needs to lose their job.

Tracy said...

So Bob does this mean that when I go through security at airports where the Rapiscan backscatter machines are installed, I will find them all roped off and only the walk through metal detectors in use?

Anonymous said...

It's funny how people think that flying is a "Right" when it's actually a privilege. You do have the "Right to Travel" but the method you use is your choice and is a privilege (unless you choose to walk). If you don't like airport security then use your right to travel and choose another method!

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't the TSA have thought about the privacy issues before installing all of these scanners? This seems like a huge waste of money, even if they are reused elsewhere. There are costs involved with removing these scanners, reinstalling new scanners, transporting the old scanners to their new location and installing them.

It seems like the TSA overreacts to any incident or threat and that is why these scanners are being removed. It's such a waste of money.

Anonymous said...

The privacy issues didn't bother me as much as the health issues with the backscatter scanners. I felt like I'm punishing whomever is looking at my naked image.

The fact that these machines used x-rays scares me. I don't care how many times I'm told about the low levels of radiation. The fact is that x-ray exposure is cumulative. I don't trust that the machines are calibrated properly or that the TSA worker operating the scanner would know if the radiation power is exceeding specified levels.

Anonymous said...

I am extremely confused. Congress stopped the old machines because they showed naked images? yet, your blog said the images could be shown to preschoolers who subscribed to Readers Digest? Which is it?

GSOLTSO said...

Laura Monteros sez - "Though I have a concern about these units, I want to state another concern first: all the anonymous comments. Please sign your comments."

We allow people that wish to comment anonymously to do so without any problems. Not all people are comfortable posting their information, and we respect that - hence the anon posting capability. If you chose to post under the Anon handle, we would welcome your comments as well.

To all Anon, please continue to post as you feel most comfortable. If you wish to sign your posts like some of our regulars, please feel free to do so. If you feel more comfortable with the Anon handle, there is no pressure to change that process. Thank you all for your commentary.

West
TSA Blog Team

@SkyWayManAz said...

Anonymous said:

"Another satisfied TSA customer."

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/21/opinion/airport-behavior-screening.html

Following the link on the article to TSA Expermints with Behavior Screening part of me wants to cheer that maybe TSA has woken up to the fact that 99.999% of travelers pose no risk. The part that makes me want to scream is why this isn't it the norm except for a few randoms and people that raise some concern. The cynic in me says not enough people ponied up the dough to use Pre Check so like the friendly neighborhood dealer TSA is giving you a free taste hoping you'll be hooked and pay.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
You do have the "Right to Travel" but the method you use is your choice and is a privilege (unless you choose to walk). If you don't like airport security then use your right to travel and choose another method!

Firstly, the DHS (parent organization of the TSA) already has backscatter x-ray vans that can scan pedestrians as they drive by. So even walking is not safe.

Second, what 'other method' can I use to get from, say, New York to Los Angeles for a meeting tomorrow? What 'other method' can I use to get from the USA to Europe, or Asia??

Yes, I can take a boat, but that adds days or weeks to my trip. The only practical way to travel over long distances is flying. Saying that it's theoretically possible to walk/swim somewhere is technically true, but practically worthless- it'd be like saying "You can say anything you want... in a whisper in bed with the covers pulled over your head... so you technically have freedom of speech, so shut up!"

Anonymous said...

West, then when the TDC at SFO demands that I say my name after handing over my ID, can I say that I am not comfortable saying my name in a public space?

What security value is added by the "name game"? What is the security value of showing ID in the first place? If you and your bags are screened, who cares who you are? Why should the federal government be doing the revenue-protection work of private airlines?

Wintermute said...

Anonymous said...
It's funny how people think that flying is a "Right" when it's actually a privilege. You do have the "Right to Travel" but the method you use is your choice and is a privilege (unless you choose to walk). If you don't like airport security then use your right to travel and choose another method!

Actually, the right to travel by air is codified in law. I can look it up and site the exact law if you'd like, but it's a quick google away...

RB said...

Anonymous said...
Shouldn't the TSA have thought about the privacy issues before installing all of these scanners?

It's such a waste of money.

January 21, 2013 at 4:55 PM
................
TSA did think about the privacy issues.

TSA's solution was to lie to the public both here and in every other media available to TSA.

TSA is more competent in wasting our tax dollars than any other function TSA should be doing.

Susan Richart said...

For all those who believe travel is a privilege and not a right, you might wish to read this:

http://tsanewsblog.com/8853/news/the-tsa-and-people-of-privilege/

screen shot

RB said...

Does TSA have a comment on the

Hebshi v. United States

lawsuit since TSA employees are being individually named in the suit?



Toby Crane said...

You have to realize that the security companies are trying to compete with all the other ones and it makes things a little more difficult. Thanks for sharing this information.

Anonymous said...

Wintermute said...
Actually, the right to travel by air is codified in law. I can look it up and site the exact law if you'd like, but it's a quick google away...


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_movement_under_United_States_law#Transportation_Security_Administration
"Regardless of the constitutionality of laws passed post-9/11 with respect to freedom of movement being a privilege, all U.S. citizens have the right to travel or move within and between the 50 states without the requirement of submitting to a search of one's person or property prior to travel or movement.[26][27]"

[26] Lindquist, DiAnn, Esq. "The Constitutional Right To Travel." The Liz Library.
[27] Vieira, Dr. Edwin Jr., Ph.d, J.D. "Tripping Up The TSA." http://www.newswithviews.com June 28th, 2011.

Matt Bille said...

"Use of this technology is optional..." Doesn't it bother you at all that this statement is false? When flying is the only way to do business, and the only alternative offered is repulsive, how again is it optional?

RB said...

Did TSA, any of its employees, or other TSA representatives officially misstate anything about the quality of the images produced by Backscatter Whole Body Imagers?

Bob?

Anonymous said...

The people that bash the TSA are the same ones after 9/11 complained that the govt didn't do enough to prevent it.

Anonymous said...

Use of the technology is optional. Here are my options as a diabetic:

1. Don't Fly (not really an option)

2. Use the scanner (backscatter or MMW) and risk damaging my insulin pump, a life sustaining device that costs $5,000+ (again, not really an option, plus the pump will be detected by the scanners leading to a patdown)

3. Involuntarily opt out of the scanners and get subjected to an invasive and degrading patdown, where I get touched in areas that only a doctor or my wife should touch. (Sadly, this is the only option)

I have no problem using the metal detector and having my pump swabbed for explosives. I didn't have a problem going through security between 9/11 and when the scanners were installed. No planes fell from the sky during that time either. Whatever happened to the hand held metal detectors? They seemed to work just fine and were not invasive.

Anonymous said...

Why were TSOs screening inauguration attendees?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAVZgozTIuA

Why is the TSA so over-staffed that it can send its employees to non-transportation venues? The last I checked, the Washington Monument did not have wheels.

RB said...

Anonymous said...
The people that bash the TSA are the same ones after 9/11 complained that the govt didn't do enough to prevent it.

January 22, 2013 at 7:56 PM
....................

Evidence to support your statement?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said: "Will new machines be purchased and put into service before or after the TSA complies with the court order to comply with the law the TSA started violating in 2009 when they put whole-body imaging into use as a primary screening method without an appropriate hearing and public comment period?"

This is exactly what I want to know. Why is TSA compounding their failure to conduct the required formal public comment process by spending millions on more scanners?

Anonymous said: "It's funny how people think that flying is a "Right" when it's actually a privilege. You do have the "Right to Travel" but the method you use is your choice and is a privilege (unless you choose to walk). If you don't like airport security then use your right to travel and choose another method!"

Why do people keep asserting this as a defense of TSA's airport procedures? TSA shows up at bus and train stations and highway checkpoints, too. You might even see TSA at a major sports or cultural event! Examples of TSA's non-airport presence can be found in these articles:

http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/06/opinion/don-phillips-tsa-vipr-teams/index.html
http://articles.latimes.com/2011/dec/20/nation/la-na-terror-checkpoints-20111220
http://blog.tsa.gov/2011/02/screening-of-passengers-at-savannah.html
http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2011/06/tsa-swarms-8000-bus-stations-public-transit-systems-yearly
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/02/04/tsa-trains-super-bowl-vendors-to-spot-terror-threats/
http://www.cnn.com/2012/01/28/travel/tsa-vipr-passenger-train-searches/index.html
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2012/apr/18/tsa-mission-creep-us-police-state

The LA Times article includes an interesting quote: "Department of Homeland Security officials have asked Congress for funding to add 12 more [VIPR] teams [in 2012]." This expenditure only exacerbates TSA's failure to conduct the required formal public comment process.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
The people that bash the TSA are the same ones after 9/11 complained that the govt didn't do enough to prevent it.
January 22, 2013 at 7:56 PM


Wrong. That's a logical fallacy you're trying to use to say anyone who is critical of the TSA shouldn't be taken seriously. It's a ridiculous statement I've seen over and over by people who just can't handle anyone being critical or commenting about government policies, procedures, or laws.

Anonymous said...

Most of the backscatter units being removed will be replaced with millimeter wave units.

"Most". What will the remaining machines be replaced by? The machines made by another company that a big-wig in the TSA/DHS owns stock in??

SSSS for some reason said...

"...The people that bash the TSA are the same ones after 9/11 complained that the govt didn't do enough to prevent it.'

Nope. I never complained about the governments lack of doing something to prevent September 11. Nothing the government did before September 11 would have made a difference, and nothing the government has done since would prevent it from happening again.

So, may I continue to bash the TSA since, by your standards, I did't blame the government for 9/11?

Anonymous said...

On October 25, 2012, the Boy Scouts of America celebrated the 100th anniversay of the Eagle award about the decommissioned USS Iowa. In the invitation, was a notice not to bring inappropriate items, as that all guests would be screened by TSA prior to boarding.

What, someone is going to hijack a decommissioned ship and fly it into a building?

Anonymous said...

Bob, you have repeatedly assured us that the TSA does not explicitly look for drugs.

Well, why was there a narcotics dog with the VIPR team at Austin Amtrak yesterday?

http://www.kxan.com/dpp/news/local/austin/tsa-does-surprise-check-at-lamar-amtrak

This was a blatantly illegal search.

@SkyWayManAz said...

"Bob, you have repeatedly assured us that the TSA does not explicitly look for drugs.

Well, why was there a narcotics dog with the VIPR team at Austin Amtrak yesterday?"


I've always been convinced that TSA is looking for drugs. The reason being is if they can make a big deal about catching them it sends a subtle message that if we can find drugs we can find a bomb or weapon. I suppose it's possible that KXAN got their reporting wrong but I don't think so :)


I like how the report said the inspection was voluntary. Really? And what exactly happened if you refused the inspection? Odd that wasn't explained. Then again I'm sure TSA insists it's screening is voluntary. Just don't try to opt out because it's a long walk to your destination.

RB said...

I would like TSA to respond to the issue that TSA and its employees repeatedly told the public that the Whole body Imager images were just chalky outlines, suitable for young children to view, not explicit in detail, and other such claims yet TSA is removing all non-ATR machines due to privacy issues.

So what is the consequence of TSA and its employees misleading, using deceit, lying, and other such tactics to gain acceptance of Whole Body Imagers.

Is this the way that TSA demonstrates the integrity of the agency and its employees?

Is this how TSA and its employees demonstrate trustworthiness?

Either TSA and its employees carried out one massive misinformation effort worthy of the old Soviet Russia or perhaps the real reason the deadly Xray Whole Body Strip Search Machines are being removed is for another reason.

If not privacy then why are these devices being scrapped?

Anonymous said...

Blogger Bob, did you lie about the WBI image quality?

TSORon said...

Anonymous said...
[[Bob, you have repeatedly assured us that the TSA does not explicitly look for drugs.

Well, why was there a narcotics dog with the VIPR team at Austin Amtrak yesterday?

http://www.kxan.com/dpp/news/local/austin/tsa-does-surprise-check-at-lamar-amtrak

This was a blatantly illegal search.]]

Well Anon, VIPR teams are made up of many agencies, some are very interested in drug trafficking. The TSA does not have the capability to determine if someone is transporting illicit substances, which is why we call a trained law enforcement officer when we even suspect such a thing is happening in our areas of control. Our canine’s are trained for explosives detection, other agencies have canines that are trained to detect illegal drugs. If a search was being conducted, as you claim, for drugs then it’s only a short mental exercise that leads one to the conclusion that another agency was using one of their dogs in the search.

By the way, administrative searches are not illegal as long as they comply with the restrictions of the most current case law. Try “http://openjurist.org/482/f2d/893/united-states-v-davis” as a start.

Wintermute said...

TSORon said...

"By the way, administrative searches are not illegal as long as they comply with the restrictions of the most current case law. Try “http://openjurist.org/482/f2d/893/united-states-v-davis” as a start."

While factually correct, that the TSA does goes beyond what has been allowed by the courts. The cases you've sited in the past have all shown this when examined closely.

Anonymous said...

TSORon,

Your insulting answer still doesn't address the fact that there was no suspicion, no cause, no reason to think drugs were on that particular train on that particular day. Even though the drug dogs weren't being handled by TSA employees themselves, they were there at the TSA's behest.

This wasn't an Austin PD or Texas Rangers search. Nor was it a DEA search.

This was a search run by the TSA, which specifically is ONLY supposed to look for weapons, explosives, and incendiaries in an "administrative search" according to the courts. The TSA spokesman specifically said they were randomly looking for drugs and other stuff because "bad guys" were riding on trains and buses. Note how EXTREMELY vague his official comment was.

I won't suggest you go back and read the case laws you cite. There's obviously no point.

Wintermute said...

TSORon said...

By the way, administrative searches are not illegal as long as they comply with the restrictions of the most current case law. Try “http://openjurist.org/482/f2d/893/united-states-v-davis” as a start.

And the court's reply, in part was
"...there was no governmental involvement."

So, this case does not support what you think it does.

TSORon said...

Anonymous said...
[[TSORon,

Your insulting answer still doesn't address the fact that there was no suspicion, no cause, no reason to think drugs were on that particular train on that particular day. Even though the drug dogs weren't being handled by TSA employees themselves, they were there at the TSA's behest.]]

I get it Anon, you don’t like me and take everything I say as a personal insult. OK. Then please avoid my posts from this point forward.

Wintermute said...
[[And the court's reply, in part was
"...there was no governmental involvement."

So, this case does not support what you think it does.]]

Try reading the entire decision and not cherry picking the part you think supports your opinion. It is but one of many cases on the subject, and I have listed most of them in the past. All support what I think they do, and most attorneys would agree. The courts certainly seem to since USvDavis is a commonly cited case.

Anonymous said...

TSORon said...
Well Anon, VIPR teams are made up of many agencies, some are very interested in drug trafficking.

"A Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response team, sometimes Visible Intermodal Protection and Response (VIPR, or VIPER) is a Transportation Security Administration program."- wikipedia. is this not true? If it indeed is a TSA program, is it not bound by the TSA's mission?

By the way, administrative searches are not illegal as long as they comply with the restrictions of the most current case law. Try “http://openjurist.org/482/f2d/893/united-states-v-davis” as a start.

"Appellant was convicted of attempting to board an aircraft while carrying a concealed weapon", "this airport screening search", "The search of appellant's briefcase was not an isolated event. It was part of a nationwide anti-hijacking program"

- nothing there about trains, buses, or ball games. Just airports and hijackers.

" It follows that airport screening searches are valid only if they recognize the right of a person to avoid search by electing not to board the aircraft", "In sum, airport screening searches of the persons and immediate possessions of potential passengers for weapons and explosives are reasonable under the Fourth Amendment provided each prospective boarder retains the right to leave rather than submit to the search."

...but you guys threaten people with a $11,000 fine if they try to leave, so....

There's also this: "There is an obvious danger, nonetheless, that the screening of passengers and their carry-on luggage for weapons and explosives will be subverted into a general search for evidence of crime. If this occurs, the courts will exclude the evidence obtained"

Wintermute said...

TSORon said...

"I get it Anon, you don’t like me and take everything I say as a personal insult. OK. Then please avoid my posts from this point forward. "

No, TSAgentRon, you are condescending on a regular basis, and you've insulted me countless times. Something which is violation of posted TSA Blog guidelines.

"Try reading the entire decision and not cherry picking the part you think supports your opinion."

Pot, meet kettle. (see your recent argument about the 9/11 commission report... which again didn't say anything you thought it did...)

"It is but one of many cases on the subject, and I have listed most of them in the past. All support what I think they do..."

See those previous posts for why those cases do not support what you think they do. This is but one example of where you are wrong (just to be clear, IN MY OPINION). It is YOUR OPINION that *I* am the one who is wrong. As none of the current cases have made it to the Supreme Court, then that's all we have. We can argue about how the Court will rule all we want, but all we have at this point is OUR OPINIONS. You stating yours as if it is fact does not change this. THAT is a FACT.

Anonymous said...

TSORon said, "I get it Anon, you don’t like me and take everything I say as a personal insult. OK. Then please avoid my posts from this point forward. "

Ron, I don't know you, so neither of us know whether we'd like each other or not. Plus, "liking you" has nothing to do with your TSA approved comments on an official TSA blog.

I do not take everything (or anything) you say as a personal insult. In fact, the person you were insulting in the previous post was not me, so no possibility of me taking it personally.

As for avoiding your comments, I see what you are saying in general. If you were just some random guy posting on some random private blog, I would ignore your comments, as I find them to be often filled with wrong facts, bullying, and insults.

I have chosen to occasionally address your comments here because you are a TSA employee posting on an official TSA website (during work hours?), and I find your conduct to be unprofessional and your "facts" to be outright wrong or inartfully spun to distort facts or laws.

Am I wasting my time addressing you? Not really. I don't expect you to change your mind or your actions. Instead, my comments are for the rest of this blog's community and the overall online archive of the TSA.

A government employee who bullies and bowls over the public with bluff, bluster, and misinformation should be addressed and corrected so the American public has a chance to learn some facts, or at least know there is another point of view.

I sincerely hope you have a good day.

TSORon said...

Wintermute said...
[[No, TSAgentRon, you are condescending on a regular basis, and you've insulted me countless times. Something which is violation of posted TSA Blog guidelines.]]

You assume insults where they are not intended, but then on the other hand you insult TSO’s here as often as possible. Don’t take it personally, its not personal, and I wont either. As for the guidelines, I get posts bounced occasionally as well. Its all part of the fun!

[[Pot, meet kettle. (see your recent argument about the 9/11 commission report... which again didn't say anything you thought it did...)]]

If you had read it you “might” have seen the glaring errors made by the screeners mentioned in the report. To me they were pretty clear, but then again I know quite a bit about the subject and you may not.

[[We can argue about how the Court will rule all we want, but all we have at this point is OUR OPINIONS. You stating yours as if it is fact does not change this. THAT is a FACT.]]

I was not stating it as a fact but as an opinion. I believe, given the information in the cases I have cited, that if the AIT court cases ever make to the SCOTUS that they will rule in the TSA’s favor. You believe otherwise. Feel free, have a good time. We have quite a while to wait until any of the cases reach that position, so kick back and have a cold one.

Anonymous said…
{Ron, I don't know you, so neither of us know whether we'd like each other or not. Plus, "liking you" has nothing to do with your TSA approved comments on an official TSA blog.}

Sorry, you are one of a plethora of “Anonymous” posters to this blog. Since I cant tell which one you are from my keyboard I just lump you all in the same pot. Enter a screen name and we can discuss things with a common reference, otherwise you remain among the herd.

I do not insult the folks who post here, only their inaccurate or incorrect conclusions or positions. Even then I’m pretty nice about it. If they take that personal then it’s not my problem and I refuse to be concerned by it.

[[A government employee who bullies and bowls over the public with bluff, bluster, and misinformation should be addressed and corrected so the American public has a chance to learn some facts, or at least know there is another point of view.]]

Misinformation. Yeah, OK. There is a great deal of “misinformation” being posted to this blog, but it’s not me doing it. Have you ever thought about talking to the one’s who actually are providing the misinformation and pointing out their intellectual dishonesty? I have, many times, and usually that’s when my posts hit the delete-o-meter. That does not happen when I provide facts and information. I don’t wonder why, I figure that the mods can tell the difference and would prefer the latter of the two different types of posts.

Wintermute said...

TSORon said...

"You assume insults where they are not intended..."

Whether you intend insults or not, you toss them out almost every time you post.

"...but then on the other hand you insult TSO’s here as often as possible."

First, I would claim otherwise, and second, even if I do, I am a private citizen. You are an agent of the government. One of us has a duty to remain professional, or to remove "TSO" from their handle and post as a private citizen as well.

"Don’t take it personally, its not personal, and I wont either."

If I did, I would not last long here. But facts is facts.

"As for the guidelines, I get posts bounced occasionally as well."

Irrelevant.

"Its all part of the fun!"

I do not consider my time on this blog "fun." I took an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States of America. That oath did not end just because I no longer actively serve. Commenting on this blog is the least I can do to defend our nation against the propaganda machine that is TSA.

"I was not stating it as a fact but as an opinion..."

Funny, that's not what you said in a previous post.

"and I refuse to be concerned by it."

Typical TSA response.

Anonymous said...

After just getting pulled aside for giving the scanner "sass" and not because of anything unusual on he result here at PHX I am so happy to see these go!

Anonymous said...

Nice!
http://epic.org/privacy/body_scanners/Body_Scan_Pic.pdf

Ayn R. Key said...

It is good that the dangerous BXR are being scrapped in favor of the unverified MMW. Too bad it took privacy measures to do it and not the fact that you were subjecting people to dangerous ionizing radiation.

Anonymous said...

I do not think scanners are effective and it would be far better to use cheaper less invasive forms and screening. The old way of metal detectors and common sense vigilance worked far better at catching terrorists than the current security theater ever could.