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Female Passengers Say They Were Targeted For TSA Body Scanners 572

Posted by Soulskill
from the when-there's-something-to-abuse-somebody-will-abuse-it dept.
wiedzmin writes "TSA agents in Dallas singled out female passengers to undergo screening in a body scanner, according to complaints filed by several women who said they felt the screeners intentionally targeted them to view their bodies. Allegedly, women with 'cute bodies' were directed through the body scanners up to three times over by female agents, who appeared to be acting on a request from male agents viewing the scans in a separate room. Apparently this was done because the scans were 'blurry,' possibly due to autofocus problems with agents' smartphone cameras." After hearing the claims, Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) announced plans to introduce legislation that would require the presence of "passenger advocates" at airports to deal with complaints like these.
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Female Passengers Say They Were Targeted For TSA Body Scanners

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  • by 3seas (184403) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @09:14AM (#39043343) Journal

    it is humans who can be dishonest which hold positions in Politics, Military, Religion and of course the Tits Sex & Ass authority.

  • And yet (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MikeRT (947531) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @09:15AM (#39043349) Homepage

    People are surprised that when you take marginally skilled, semi-officious private sector workers and give them civil service protection behavior that was an instant firable offense becomes something you have to endure with a smile...

    • Re:And yet (Score:5, Interesting)

      by twotailakitsune (1229480) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @09:30AM (#39043483)
      Ben and Teller bullshit had a show that talked about this. They had random people on the street sit in a van and keep a eye on a car. They had to video recorded when the car left.

      Next door some people was having fake sex. What to guess where the random people pointed the cam?

    • Re:And yet (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @10:36AM (#39044149)

      Remove the people in the "back room", and have the back of the person doing the scanning visible to the people waiting in line to be scanned...AND have the display from the scan visible to those waiting. (We say the scan doesn't show anything indecent, so this will demonstrate that fact to the general public.) With this solution, the person won't get to see the person entering the scanner. And don't have the output display visible to anyone who is selecting who goes through the scanner. (although when I've flown, everyone was automatically directed to the scans, unless they opted out of the scan and for the full body feel up.)

      I'd also recommend that all baggage handling/inspecting areas have windows that the general flying public can watch...that should eliminate theft by baggage scanners and handlers. And with minimal cost.

      • Re:And yet (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Mitreya (579078) <mitreya&gmail,com> on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @03:10PM (#39048119)

        Remove the people in the "back room", and have the back of the person doing the scanning visible to the people waiting in line to be scanned...AND have the display from the scan visible to those waiting.

        Remove the damn scanners instead! They are not solving any problems (has even one person been apprehended as a result of this?). Germany had concluded that the number of false negatives is too high for these machines to be of any use. The health studies are still lacking (probably safe, maybe not. some were _definitely_ unsafe and are currently being phased out). And the contractors already got their 250K/pop for most airports. So can we just scrap them now and go back to metal detectors??
        I think everyone agrees that one type of the machines that are now being phased out was not safe. Why isn't that fact alone enough to end the program and jail everyone responsible for not doing extensive health studies before forcing hundred of thousands of people through unsafe machines? How is "replace it with new, certainly more safe, but still not evaluated machine" an appropriate response?

  • Absolutely (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Overzeetop (214511) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @09:16AM (#39043355) Journal

    Because what we need is not less invasive and less humiliating scanners, but additional people on the payroll so that all this useless technology can continue to have nearly zero impact on actual flight safety.

    • OPT OUT (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Peter Simpson (112887) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @09:20AM (#39043397)
      Folks, you can ask not to go through the scanners. Just say "OPT OUT". You get the pat down, of course, but from my experience, it seems to bother them more than it bothers me. And it sends a message.

      I've never trusted TSA to verify the safety of those machines. I'll take the grope rather than trust an unregulated scanner that bombards my body with who knows what power and type of radio or ionizing radiation.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @09:24AM (#39043435)

        Nice try, unless you are flying out of Australia to the United States. More to follow, I'm sure.

      • Re:OPT OUT (Score:5, Insightful)

        by sjames (1099) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @09:25AM (#39043447) Homepage

        You realize the patdown (which is considered more invasive than a police pat-down) isn't really an acceptable answer for a lot of people either. You don't get to say a punch in the nose isn't an assault just because you offered to substitute a kick in the crotch.

        • Re:OPT OUT (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @09:42AM (#39043587)

          Ultimate opt-out: Learn to fly, buy a plane, and use airfields that don't have the TSA. There are at least 4000 airports in the US. Chances are, you'll find one closer to where you wanted to go. Added bonus - go where you want to whenever you feel like it. Day trip to the beach? Done!

          If you say flying is too expensive, consider that you can get an airworthy 2-seater for about $15,000. Some airports even have free parking for both your car and the plane. Hangar space can be found for $200/mo similar to urban car garages.

        • Why isn't it acceptable? I opted out on every recent flight I took and felt not the slightest bit ill of the experience compared to the scanner machines.

          • Re:OPT OUT (Score:5, Interesting)

            by lorenlal (164133) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @09:57AM (#39043703)

            It's not acceptable because my wife was directed to a scanner, and opted for the pat down. She said it ended up being horrible, and she felt quite violated. Like other posters said, this is a case where *neither* option actually increases security. I honestly believe that the pat down is designed to be so intrusive that the scanner ends up being no so bad in comparison.

          • Re:OPT OUT (Score:4, Insightful)

            by sjames (1099) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @10:54AM (#39044385) Homepage

            Good for you. Some people are a bit more sensitive to that sort of thing. People who have been assaulted in the past can actually suffer a flashback.

        • Re:OPT OUT (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Fluffeh (1273756) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @09:50AM (#39043647)

          You realize the patdown (which is considered more invasive than a police pat-down) isn't really an acceptable answer for a lot of people either.

          This is a non-violence approach as best as Ghandi himself would have come up with. If the everyone opted for a pat down, then there would be massive queues as the TSA sods could not keep up with the folks in line, that gives them bad press - which is the last thing they want coming up to an election. Therefore, they put more and more and more staff on to keep up with the growing queues refusing the body scanner. Their budget blows out significantly and their methods are seen by the pollies as more and more asinine. Going into an election, the more noise and bad press that can be generated, the less politicians will want to touch it.

          I live in outsde the US, but I can only implore you folks in the US to fight tooth and nail for all you can. Beat them at their own game - you have the numbers and you have the media there more than ready to take any hot load that will make the masses agitated. Use it to your (and by that defnition, everybody's) best advatage.

          Take the invasive pat-down and blog about how violated you felt. If you are interviewed by someone else, be sure to portray the raw emotion, this will find a bond with all the voters out there who haven't personally experienced it. Contact your senator and write a lengthy letter outlining your outrage. Contact the airport directly and voice your objections - if they have enough complaints, they will (if they are not already) turn to be on the side of reason and common sense - make it bad business to support his TSA guideline and bring them to your side. Make yourself the martyr, and be proud, for you will be serving the betterment of your peers.

          The only thing in a capitalist world that will serve your freedoms and personal liberty is bad business through bad press for those that seek to make money by taking it away from you.

          • Re:OPT OUT (Score:5, Interesting)

            by dkleinsc (563838) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @09:58AM (#39043707) Homepage

            This is a non-violence approach as best as Ghandi himself would have come up with. If the everyone opted for a pat down, then there would be massive queues as the TSA sods could not keep up with the folks in line, that gives them bad press - which is the last thing they want coming up to an election.

            A possibly more effective solution: Refuse to fly. Take a bus, take a train, drive, or forgo travel, but don't pay into the system by buying a plane ticket.

            • Re:OPT OUT (Score:5, Insightful)

              by Fluffeh (1273756) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @10:02AM (#39043753)

              A possibly more effective solution: Refuse to fly. Take a bus, take a train, drive, or forgo travel, but don't pay into the system by buying a plane ticket.

              I totally agree, but this isn't always an option - and it doesn't send a direct message. Lower numbers of passengers can be spun as a downturn due to the economy, it can be spun as more people who are scared to fly due to the terrorist attacks. A long queue of people unwilling to accept an invasive body scanner is much harder to sell as a positive if you are trying to sell body scanners.

            • Re:OPT OUT (Score:5, Interesting)

              by Tsingi (870990) <graham.rick@g m a il.com> on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @10:08AM (#39043799)

              A possibly more effective solution: Refuse to fly. Take a bus, take a train, drive, or forgo travel, but don't pay into the system by buying a plane ticket.

              Or, don't fly to the US. They don't like us foreigners there anyway.

              • Re:OPT OUT (Score:4, Insightful)

                by b0bby (201198) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @10:59AM (#39044445) Homepage

                Despite all the anti-immigrant rhetoric flying around right now, I think the US still is pretty open to foreigners. There are 40 million foreign-born residents in the US right now, and most are assimilating well. I say come on over, you might like it!

            • The downside of that, other than no other mode of transportation being able to compete with air travel in terms of speed, is that it could shut down the airlines altogether. I haven't been on a flight since the scanners were installed, but once you're past security, I found the entire experience fairly enjoyable, if a little dull. By shifting the hardship to just the TSA rather than the entire airline industry, we can hopefully force the TSA to back off without giving up the conveniences of air travel.

            • Re:OPT OUT (Score:5, Informative)

              by CFBMoo1 (157453) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @10:12AM (#39043879) Homepage

              This is a non-violence approach as best as Ghandi himself would have come up with. If the everyone opted for a pat down, then there would be massive queues as the TSA sods could not keep up with the folks in line, that gives them bad press - which is the last thing they want coming up to an election.

              A possibly more effective solution: Refuse to fly. Take a bus, take a train, drive, or forgo travel, but don't pay into the system by buying a plane ticket.

              Good luck with that. https://www.google.com/search?client=ubuntu&channel=fs&q=TSA+Vipr&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8 [google.com] They're coming to your bus and train stations as well as check points on the road with the highway patrol.

          • Re:OPT OUT (Score:4, Insightful)

            by maple_shaft (1046302) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @10:31AM (#39044077)

            Their budget blows out significantly and their methods are seen by the pollies as more and more asinine. Going into an election, the more noise and bad press that can be generated, the less politicians will want to touch it.

            A great idea but it won't work in the United States because all outlets of media are tightly controlled by a few enormous conglomerates.

            What will happen in the US:

            • Everybody will bitch about the body scanners
            • A small percentage will do something about it (probably only young people who can afford the inconvenience) causing chaos and missed flights at the airport.
            • Republicans will thwart any attempt to increase TSA budget to handle it because they are too focused on deficit reduction.
            • Fox news will somehow find a way to tie it to a covert leftist conspiracy to ruin the airlines for normal hard working tax paying Americans all as part of the overall global liberal agenda of one world government.
            • The 30% of the population who is brainwashed will troll Internet forums and other media, and form counter protest movements against the idea
            • The other media outlets instead of doing real journalism will pretend to be neutral by acknowledging both sides even though one side does not have a legitimate factual point.
            • The rest of the population will stop paying attention because it is now too politicized to be worth talking about and because they are working two or three jobs just to feed their kids.
          • Re:OPT OUT (Score:5, Interesting)

            by dfm3 (830843) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @10:58AM (#39044429) Journal

            I live in outsde the US, but I can only implore you folks in the US to fight tooth and nail for all you can. Beat them at their own game - you have the numbers and you have the media there more than ready to take any hot load that will make the masses agitated. Use it to your (and by that defnition, everybody's) best advatage.

            If only I had a mod point. As someone who lives in the US but travels abroad, I understand where you're coming from. We in the states have a habit of exporting the worst of our bad practices (McDonalds, anyone?) and privacy intrusions to countries who are all too happy to adopt them minus the fleeting oversight and alternatives that we still get to enjoy here. For example, I've heard that more than a few countries (though I don't recall which) are in the process of implementing the scanners minus the option of a pat down - either you get scanned or you don't fly. I guarantee that TSA would strip away our options in a heartbeat if there weren't a significant percentage of people who would raise a fuss too loud to be ignored (I'm not talking about Joe Passenger, but people with more clout such as airline employees and a few politicians). Even now we have limited options - opt out, write to our representatives - but rest assured there are still those of us who are doing what we can to stand up for our privacy. Hopefully if enough stories like this one get publicized, public opinion will swing in the direction of respecting the privacy and dignity of those of us who just want to exercise our right to travel.

      • Re:OPT OUT (Score:5, Funny)

        by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @09:38AM (#39043555) Journal
        Always remember to give the officer doing the pat-down your best sex-offender-smirk and remark that you "always stand at attention for a man in uniform"...

        The situation is not actually winnable in any useful way; but if the rentacop goes home feeling as though their soul is soiled, you've done your part.
        • Re:OPT OUT (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @10:00AM (#39043733)

          I always ask the groper, "how do you feel about your mother being treated this way"

        • Re:OPT OUT (Score:5, Funny)

          by Salgak1 (20136) <salgak@speak[ ]y.net ['eas' in gap]> on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @10:15AM (#39043907) Homepage

          Always remember to give the officer doing the pat-down your best sex-offender-smirk and remark that you "always stand at attention for a man in uniform"... The situation is not actually winnable in any useful way; but if the rentacop goes home feeling as though their soul is soiled, you've done your part.

          Anyone remember the Movie "When Harry Met Sally" ??? Specifically, the cafeteria scene where Meg Ryan fakes an orgasm ?? Several of us did that to the TSA Goons on our most recent flight. One guy even offered a tip for getting felt up "so well". . . . Needless to say, the TSA goons were more than a little discomfitted, and the people in line behind each of us were basically LMFAO. . . . Laughter IS the best weapon against officious busybodies. . .

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Not much of a problem if you're male. But if you're female, they must have a female TSA agent to pat you down. This woman [msn.com] found out that if a female TSA agent isn't available, then you miss your flight.
        • Re:OPT OUT (Score:5, Insightful)

          by SJHillman (1966756) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @10:10AM (#39043831)

          Is it possible to request someone of the opposite gender? I'm a guy and I'm a lot more comfortable with the idea of a woman doing the pat down - even if she's old and/or ugly for the much the same reason I prefer female doctors.

        • by Rich0 (548339)

          Well, per the story you linked, the final call had already been given for the flight, and then the final call for anybody who wished to be screened to present themselves. She wasn't at the security checkpoint in time, and they sent the female worker home. That didn't seem unreasonable - if they didn't have any future flights to check security on, then there was no need to operate a checkpoint. The fact that somebody showed up after the final boarding call doesn't obligate security to let her through. Th

    • Re:Absolutely (Score:5, Interesting)

      by PlatyPaul (690601) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @09:23AM (#39043415) Homepage Journal
      Agreed 100%. Statistically speaking, the best approach is to only scan men, as the vast majority of (current) terrorists are male, and the available pool of potential future women recruits is (currently) smaller.

      Is it too crazy to expect that sampling for security should match the actual observed distribution (with a uniform prior)?
      • If you're going to play the statistics game, then why scan everybody? After all, worldwide, there's only been, what, a thousand or two actual terrorist issues on airplanes in all of history. How many people fly each year? One million? Two? 800 million+? [bts.gov]. So why not just scan half a dozen people and be done with it? Or better yet, just put a serious lock on the door to the flight deck.
  • by Adult film producer (866485) <van@i2pmail.org> on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @09:17AM (#39043361)
    when you hire the unemployable and give them a badge. Tough nuts people. Bend over and take it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @09:18AM (#39043371)

    After hearing the claims, Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) announced plans to introduce legislation that would require the presence of "passenger advocates" at airports to deal with complaints like these.

    Passenger advocates, eh? How about plain removing the scanners. That'd be some Passenger advocacy right there.

    • by Riventree (693212) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @09:57AM (#39043701)
      The problem: A hugely expensive and virtually value-free arm of the government is causing trouble.

      The solution: Grow the government by forming a new department to look after the old one.

      Somehow "Fire the bastards and shut down the TSA" doesn't seem to occur to people in congress. (D- or R- types)

  • by StoutFiles (2471680) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @09:19AM (#39043383)
    Pictures don't need to be so shapely to determine if they're carrying something deadly.
  • by montyzooooma (853414) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @09:22AM (#39043413)
    ... by throwing more money and resources at it, right?

    Who is going to keep an eye on the passenger advocates?

    "So nat'ralists observe, a flea Hath smaller fleas that on him prey, And these have smaller fleas that bite 'em, And so proceed ad infinitum."
  • Not a surprise... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mashiki (184564) <mashiki AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @09:25AM (#39043443) Homepage

    There were reports in europe about airport screeners doing the same thing not only to women, but to religious minorities. In turn people are corrupt, and when you take people who get 4 hours of training(give or take a little bit), and give them any type of authority. Bad things happen, like abuse of power.

  • by netwarerip (2221204) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @09:25AM (#39043449)
    Since you'd have a better chance of seeing some foreign object on a chick with a slim body. Fat chicks might have layers that hide the contraband, so they may as well scan the hot ones and increase their chances of catching something.
    Plus you have to figure it's more likely that a slim, hot chick is a drug mule than a fat chick, because if the fat chick was a cokehead she wouldn't be fat.
    Damn, I have been underestimating the TSA guys all along, they got it all figured out!
  • Enough is enough (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zebedeu (739988) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @09:27AM (#39043471)

    After hearing the claims, Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) announced plans to introduce legislation that would require the presence of "passenger advocates" at airports to deal with complaints like these.

    No, no, no!
    Just stop with the scans!

    The correct solution to this problem isn't to add more and more layers of complexity on top. It's to simply accept that this whole thing was a bad idea and drop it.
    It's like some bizarro world where the obvious answer is starting everybody in the face but nobody wants to reach for it, so they try to find ways around it.

  • by dmgxmichael (1219692) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @09:31AM (#39043499) Homepage

    "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."

    How is the TSA screening [i]not[/i] in violation of this. Being forced to go through machines that essentially strip you naked is well outside the bounds of 'reasonable' by the definition of anyone but a politician it seems.

  • by awjr (1248008) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @09:31AM (#39043503)

    I love going to the USA, but your government really isn't making this a pleasant experience.

  • Get a pat down. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Karmashock (2415832) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @09:31AM (#39043505)

    What we need is to make sure the pat down remains an option. I get that every time they want to send me through the scanner. I just go through the opt out line that lets me get patted down. A guy with blue gloves on lightly touches me to see if I have a suicide vest on or whatever and then lets me go through. I assure you he enjoys the process no more then me. Which is how it should be.

    I'd rather not get bombarded by radiation in their scanner or have nude photos or whatever in their storage system.

    What are the women afraid of here? They get patted down by a women. Think she's going to enjoy touching you any more then the guy that pats me down? Think again. The pat down is the solution to this...

    And if enough people opt out of the stupid scanner then they'll stop doing it. And I don't think the pat downs are sustainable if everyone opts out which means they should start only doing it for some but not everyone. They can say they do it "randomly" if that makes the PC people happy but they're fools if they don't make a point of patting people down on watch lists.

    We don't need advocates. We just need to make as annoying for the government to be annoying as it is for everyone else. If a TSA guy has to stand there and pat down every person that gets on the plane personally... then they'll be forced to adopt irritating practices.

    In the meantime, it doesn't bother me. Any one man or women that has a problem with someone of the same sex doing a pat down has issues. And frankly, as a man, I really wouldn't care if a women did it. I grasp it's different for women and maybe they need someone special... I'm just over it. So long as it's isn't a chimp that rips my sack off I'll be fine.

    • I wish more people would do this. I agree, it would be completely untenable to maintain the machines' usage when most people opt out of it. I think this is the only way forward to ejecting these machines from our lives.

    • Re:Get a pat down. (Score:4, Informative)

      by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @11:55AM (#39045157) Journal

      What are the women afraid of here? They get patted down by a women. Think she's going to enjoy touching you any more then the guy that pats me down? Think again. The pat down is the solution to this...

      Why do you think that the agent enjoying it is the problem? The problem is that the subject doesn't want to be touched. I don't care what the agent thinks, I'm not flying as long as that's a requirement.

      Any one man or women that has a problem with someone of the same sex doing a pat down has issues

      Anyone who thinks that giving up essential liberty for the illusion of temporary safety isn't a problem has issues. Your line of thinking is how ever greater breaches of our freedom become business as usual. This is creeping fascism happening on *your* watch, and you're going to let it happen.

  • Good job Schumer (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gimmebeer (1648629) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @09:38AM (#39043549)
    Way to take the typical govt stance that the answer to any complaint about too much govt is... more government! He just took a complaint about the TSA's overwhelming presense and turned it into an arguement to hire more TSA workers.
    • Speaking as a citizen of the Empire State, Schumer is a moron. Has always been a moron. The only thing that makes him look like less of a moron is having people like Clinton and Gillibrand as the other senator from NY. One more reason I think NYC should be politically separated from the rest of the state.

  • by necro81 (917438) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @09:39AM (#39043567) Journal
    Pics or it didn't happen.

    [ducks under table]

    Which could be a more serious and useful statement than just a crude one-off remark. We are talking about TSA agents abusing their image-taking capabilities. I've been told that the machines have been modified to not store images, but is that verified? On the other hand, annecdotes and allegations are, well, just that, at least until more solid information is available.
  • by assertation (1255714) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @09:44AM (#39043605)

    A few Middle Eastern men show up at a Florida flight school with one blurting out that he didn't need to know how to land. All sorts of information about them makes it to the FBI, but the FBI does nothing. Later they fly a plane into a building.

    Instead of removing the incompetent people and practices at the FBI you go against the goals of your party for small, cheap government by creating the white elephant of the Department Of Homeland security......and.....you screw over the freedoms of your fellow Americans by forcing them to be groped or nuked to get on a plan.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @09:53AM (#39043669) Homepage

    As a former screener, I have always been candid about what is wrong with the TSA, its policies, practices and personnel. I know the people at the TSA and most of them are pretty much exactly as most people assume/presume. However, there is one thing that female screeners don't do and that's "act at the request of male screeners." That pure paranoia here. There is simply NO WAY it is happening at the request of male screeners. That said, I also know there is a large portion of homosexuals (both male and female) working for the TSA. They are largely the same demographic that occupy the pedestrian ranks of other "security professional organizations." So if the rate of "targeting cute bodied females" is unusually higher than other groups, then it is likely done for their own reasons, not at the request of others.

  • by evil_aaronm (671521) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @10:07AM (#39043797)

    To the tune of Pink Floyd's "Another Brick In The Wall"

    We don't need no radiation
    We don't need no forced control
    No blatant fascists in the airport
    Agent leave those tits alone
    Hey Agent! Leave those tits alone
    All in all you're just another brick in the wall
    All in all you're just another brick in the wall

    If you don't show us your tits, you can't get on the airplane!
    How can you get on the airplane if you don't show us your tits?!

  • Suggestions: (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tastecicles (1153671) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @10:24AM (#39044011)

    For those who view low resolution body profile scanning as an invasion of personal space (I know I do and it's nothing to do with paranoia, it's just me wanting to maintain my personal space. If someone wants to take a blurry image of me home to masturbate over, that's their issue not mine): stop flying. There are other ways to get around.

    For those who have a problem with staff members of the opposite gender viewing their scan images: demand that someone of the same gender processes you through (or simply refuse to be scanned, as is your right; however you may not be able to fly if nobody is available to pat you down because they're too busy drooling over the size 0 who just went through...)

    Lastly, I would suggest that gate guards be prohibited from carrying their mobile phones on the floor. Period. There are company phone switchboards they can be reached through should the need arise; leave your mobiles at home and you'll find that you closed an avenue for getting sued, right there!

  • by blind biker (1066130) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @10:25AM (#39044031) Journal

    ...but I'll give it a pass, like I did since 2009, the last time I visited the USA. Please do not get me wrong: I enjoyed my time in Washington DC a lot! It was great, but getting there and getting back home involved truly unpleasant encounters with TSA officers. And I am not too easily frightened of security checks, because I had no issues with the security procedures at Ben Gurion Airport. But there I had the impression I was talking with (not just interrogated by) intelligent humans, and not morons with too much power.

    BTW, the same conference was held in Seoul last year, and it was a blast.

  • by davek (18465) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @10:44AM (#39044257) Homepage Journal

    After hearing the claims, Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) announced plans to introduce legislation that would require the presence of "passenger advocates" at airports to deal with complaints like these.

    Typical Chuck U. response: the cure for problems in a power-drunk federal bureaucracy is... MORE FEDERAL BUREAUCRACY!

    Sometimes I'm really ashamed to be a New Yorker.

  • by Theovon (109752) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @10:52AM (#39044369)

    If you were doing profiling, you'd never pick me. I'm a white guy who doesn't get enough sun, and I sound like I'm from central Ohio. Yet absolutely every time I depart through the Columbus airport, I'm asked to be scanned. I don't get it. No other airport has done this to me. Only Columbus. Also, my wife gets asked every time too. Same place. Do they have some kind of quota for locals so they can balance out the profiling?

    Anyhow, I always politely ask to opt out, "I'm sorry; I would like to opt out, please," and when I'm being patted down, I chit-chat with the TSA agent. Since I'm not especially body-conscious, the pat-down doesn't bother me. I'm also pretty good at behaving in a compliant manner when I want to. There's a trick to acting slightly confused but quick to follow explicit orders that makes authority figures feel they have control, and that mollifies them. The pat-down always goes smoothly and efficiently. I suspect when they get belligerent patrons, they drag their feet.

  • by mrxak (727974) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @11:10AM (#39044593)

    How about letting the airlines themselves be the passenger advocates? They're the ones with the financial incentive to get security under control, not some new federal agency, or worse yet, some new division of TSA with the same bosses. Plant some airline employees next to the radiation machines all day long for a while, and maybe some of them will talk to their superiors in the airlines and get the industry to start lobbying to end the TSA.

    My security theater strategy is to just chat up the initial intake guy who looks at my ID. I'm friendly, polite, and they just wave me through with no extra security check needed. If they ever do pick me for the scanner, I plan to take the pat down, and talk about cancer clusters already detected, and radiation levels being higher than advertised from the scanners.

    I think the pat down is just as atrocious as the scanner, and I fly a lot less now than I did before these new procedures got implemented, but the reality is you really can't drive everywhere. I'm not going to refuse both the scanner and the pat down, but I'm definitely not going to willingly take on more radiation exposure than I absolutely have to.

"If a computer can't directly address all the RAM you can use, it's just a toy." -- anonymous comp.sys.amiga posting, non-sequitir

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