Groping Toward Security

A growing collection of links to stories regarding TSA’s enhanced security techniques. Enjoy!

10/20/10 | Pilot Refuses Full-Body Scan: “I’m just not comfortable being physically manhandled by a federal security agent every time I go to work.” – pilot Michael Roberts, as reported by CBS

10/29/10 | For The First Time, the TSA Meets Resistance: “I was the very first passenger to ask to opt-out of back-scatter imaging. Several TSA officers heard me choose the pat-down, and they reacted in a way meant to make the ordinary passenger feel very badly about his decision. One officer said to a colleague who was obviously going to be assigned to me, ‘Get new gloves, man, you’re going to need them where you’re going.'” – journalist Jeffrey Goldberg, writing in The Atlantic

11/1/10 | Opt Out of a Body Scan? Then Brace Yourself: “I was marched from the metal detector lane to one of those nearby whole-body imagers, ordered to take everything out of my pockets, remove my belt and hold my possessions up high. Then I was required to stand still while I received a rough pat-down by a man whose resume, I suspected, included experience at a state prison.” – journalist Joe Sharkey, writing in The New York Times

11/4/10 | The Airport Security Grope: “As a working photographer and lecturer, I fly a lot. The escalating levels of airport security and luggage (read camera gear, not clothing!) restrictions became just another annoying aspect of air travel, a necessary trade-off for rapid access to remote destinations. But this week TSA tightened the screws a little more, and now they’ve gone too far.” – photographer George Lepp, writing in Pixiq

11/4/10 | American Airlines Pilots in Revolt Against the TSA: “There is absolutely no denying that the enhanced pat-down is a demeaning experience. In my view, it is unacceptable to submit to one in public while wearing the uniform of a professional airline pilot.” – pilot David Bates, president of the Allied Pilots Association, in a letter to members

11/12/10 | Protests Mount Over Safety and Privacy of Airport Scanners: “I don’t think anybody would argue the point that the individual risk is small. Whether it’s one in 10 million or one in 100 million, it’s very small,” [Dr. David Brenner] said in an interview. “But multiply that times 700 million people – the number of people getting on planes currently – and that’s the public health risk.” – Shots, the NPR Health Blog

11/13/10 | TSA Encounter at SAN: “If you touch my junk, I’ll have you arrested.” – John Tyner, writing in his blog Insert title here

11/20/10 | TSA forces cancer survivor to show prosthetic breast: Cathy Bossi, who works for U.S. Airways, said she received the pat-down after declining to do the full-body scan because of radiation concerns. The TSA screener “put her full hand on my breast and said, ‘What is this?’ ” Bossi told the station. “And I said, ‘It’s my prosthesis because I’ve had breast cancer.’ And she said, ‘Well, you’ll need to show me that.’ ” – Suzanne Choney, writing for MSNBC

11/22/10 | TSA Pat-Down Leaves Mich. Man Covered in Urine: Once he and his wife were finished with security, Sawyer changed his bag, but had no time to change clothes so as not to miss his flight to Orlando. He had to board the plane soaked in urine. – CBS News

11/22/10 | My TSA Encounter: “We shouldn’t be required to do this simply to get into our own country.” – Matt Kernan, writing in his blog No Blasters!

11/23/10 | Next step for body scanners could be trains, boats, metro: “I think the tighter we get on aviation, we have to also be thinking now about going on to mass transit or to trains or maritime. So, what do we need to be doing to strengthen our protections there?” – Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, quoted in The Hill

11/24/10 | TSA Groin Searches Menstruating Woman: I was subjected to search so invasive that I was left crying and dealing with memories that I thought had been dealt with years ago of prior sexual assualts. Why? Because of my flannel panty-liner. – anonymous woman posting to Glad Rags blog

11/25/10 | TSA Glass Box Mother Over Stored Breast Milk: “TSA wants me to play along with their horse and pony show and if I don’t then TSA can have the Phoenix PD arrest me! Well, I wanted to get home to my baby and my flight was 30 minutes from departure so I ‘played along.’” – Stacey Armato, writing in the blog Men With Foil Hats

11/26/10 | Pat-Downs: Enhanced but Hardly Thorough: A spokesman for the T.S.A. informed me, afterward, the officers’ job was … to assess whether I posed a threat to aviation. – Ariel Kaminer, writing in The New York Times

12/6/10 | A nude awakening – TSA and privacy: TSA employees must independently evaluate hundreds of images a day, of people with different body shapes, garments, hairstyles, and physical eccentricities, on a government-issued chair, displayed on a 17-inch monitor, and without much monetary incentive, and we expect them, in less than five minutes, to competently delineate good people from bad people. It’s nonsense to believe that this technology will save us from terrorism, yet we’re sacrificing privacy and our dignity in the name of a goal that isn’t achievable. – Evan DiFillipis, writing in The Oklahoma Daily

12/18/10 | The TSA let a loaded gun get on an airplane: A man accidentally brought his loaded .40 caliber gun onto an airplane. He didn’t know he had it. Neither did the TSA, who completely missed it during its scan and allowed that plane to fly. Apparently, this happens a lot. – Casey Chan, posting in Gizmodo

1/22/11 | Seattle man vs. TSA: ‘You do not have to show ID’: A 30-something software developer, Mocek was on trial in Albuquerque after refusing to show ID to TSA officers at an airport checkpoint in that city in 2009. – Vanessa Ho, writing in the Seattle Intelligencer

4/6/11 | I don’t feel safe. I feel violated, humiliated, and angry.: Wil Wheaton blogs about a pat-down that got a little too personal

5/30/11 | “While the new TSA enhanced pat downs may violate the Fourth Amendment on the surface, what most people are not aware of is that the 9th Circuit Court of the United States ruled on the search of passengers in airports back in 1973.” : How the TSA legally Circumvents the Fourth Amendment, from the blog Flying With Fish

6/25/11 “It’s something I couldn’t imagine happening on American soil,” Weber said Friday. “Here is my mother, 95 years old, 105 pounds, barely able to stand, and then this.” : Elderly woman asked to remove adult diaper during TSA search, from NorthWest Florida Daily News

7/6/11 “Bombs-in-the body is not a brand new idea, but recent intelligence indicates a fresh interest in using this method … there is no current information that points to a specific plot involving surgically implanted explosives, a U.S. security official said.” : U.S. Warns Of Terrorist Bombs Implanted In Humans, the Associated Press

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010 at 6:46 pm CDT
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