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Fighting TSA Harassment of Disabled Travelers 525

Posted by Soulskill
from the protecting-you-from-yourselves dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A man with a neurological disorder is currently pushing the TSA to release a full list of its policies and procedures after a series of incidents in which he was harassed while trying to fly. His condition requires medical liquids and causes episodic muteness, and the TSA makes his encounters very difficult. From January: 'Boston Logan TSA conducted an illegal search of my xray-cleared documents (probably motivated either by my opting out or by my use of sign language to communicate). They refused to give me access to the pen and paper that I needed to communicate. Eventually they gave it to me, but then they took it away in direct retaliation for my using it to quote US v Davis and protest their illegal search (thereby literally depriving me of speech). They illegally detained me for about an hour on spurious, law enforcement motivated grounds (illegal under Davis, Aukai, Fofana, Bierfeldt, etc). ... TSA has refused to comply with the ADA grievance process; they are over a month beyond the statutory mandate for issuing a written determination.'"
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Fighting TSA Harassment of Disabled Travelers

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  • My answer (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ozmanjusri (601766) <aussie_bob@[ ]mail.com ['hot' in gap]> on Sunday March 31, 2013 @05:29AM (#43323041) Journal

    I haven't traveled to the USA.

    The exchange rate makes it a reasonable destination, but I don't want to be treated like dirt.

    • Re:My answer (Score:4, Insightful)

      by thephydes (727739) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @05:38AM (#43323055)
      Agreed, there are places in the US that I'd like to visit, but frankly I'd prefer to wait for hours in Nairobi (yes I've done that) than have some officious asshole abuse me or my family. Thanks TSA you have really enhanced the world view of your cuntry oops ..... country.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Same here - my family actually used to own property in the US but we all sold up and left due to the actions and policies of the TSA and DHS.

        One thing though: I find it very tricky to search for flights between Europe and America while excluding all hits that require a transfer in the US. Currently, I have to do it "old-school" (ie: visit a human travel agent who does the search for me) but it would be a lot easier if there was a search engine that allowed this kind of filtering.
        Does anyone know of a flight

        • Re:My answer (Score:4, Informative)

          by theshowmecanuck (703852) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @06:05AM (#43323135) Journal
          The U.S. is America.
          • Re:My answer (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Ultra64 (318705) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @06:21AM (#43323191)

            Then what are Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Bolivia,
            Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela, Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama?

          • by gomiam (587421)
            Not anymore, it seems :)
        • Re:My answer (Score:4, Interesting)

          by umghhh (965931) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @06:20AM (#43323179)
          tricky this.

          Indeed a friend of mine traveling from NL to Mexico with transfer in US was asked to produce transit visa in US (this was in 1998 I believe so even before TSA). He is Polish so the traditional friendship between the great nations of Poland and US cost him hours of stress and missed flight to Mexico. He also needed to buy a new ticket to Mexico and arrange for a new no-US transfer flight back to Europe because he was put on some sort of special list for terrorists and other persona non grata. This was as said before TSA and I see the situation 'improved' a lot since then.

          Not sure what does it do except proves that US authorities behave like assholes towards anybody because they can - it certainly does not improve security. I guess US is a federation i.e. there are really progressive states nice to visit and maybe even work but I would never know because at this time even if I personally do not have to have a visa to travel there I would only go if they really pay well say with the rates used when you travel to war zone which is unlikely. Even if they paid well I would consider twice before going. I am considered conservative and pro-US by majority of my friends so go figure.

          • Re:My answer (Score:4, Interesting)

            by blind biker (1066130) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @07:17AM (#43323353) Journal

            The exact same thing happened to me, just replace Poland with Croatia, Mexico with Finland and USA with Belgium. The asshole border police at the Bruxelles airport let me fly to Finland finally, but admonished me that "I am not allowed to come to Belgium for the next 10 years". This was 15 years ago and I now have a Finnish citizenship and have traveled all around the world, visited four different continents. But funnily enough, by pure chance I never went to Belgium again. Maybe it wasn't chance, maybe the bad experience made me put Belgium in the "fuck that country"-category.

            • by PopeRatzo (965947)

              Finland is a great place. And I agree about Belgium.

              But I wonder how much of the mess that happens at borders is caused by cultural misunderstanding. Years ago, traveling in South Asia, I had a problem at a border and I realized later that it was not because there was something about the country that was inhospitable, but there were aspects of my behavior that were giving unintended insult.

              Of course, you want the people at borders (including airports) to be trained to be a little thick-skinned when dealin

              • by Joe Decker (3806)

                ...But I wonder how much of the mess that happens at borders is caused by cultural misunderstanding....I have great sympathy for the traveler described in the article, but I've never had a single problem traveling in the US and my only frustration with TSA is that they slow things down.

                I'm sure some problems do happen because of cultural misunderstandings, but speaking as someone who grew up in the USA: the problems with the TSA are far more than cultural misunderstandings. I've had good experiences, to be sure, but some pretty horrible ones as well. I'll now drive half way across the country to avoid flying when it's possible, sadly that won't get me to many of the other places I need to get to.

              • by Lumpy (12016) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @09:52AM (#43323957) Homepage

                In the USA they hire morons and idiots to work for thew TSA. none of them have any Law enforcement background and are nothing more than minimum wage private store cops that have been given far more power than they should have.

                • In the USA they hire morons and idiots to work for thew TSA.

                  Considering the pay, who else would take the job? The nature of it requires a certain amount of idiocy and arrogance to be able to abuse people and still sleep comfortably at night.

            • Re:My answer (Score:4, Informative)

              by Teun (17872) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @10:23AM (#43324143) Homepage
              Yet there is a difference.
              All European international airports have an area behind customs declared 'neutral', you don't (need to) enter the state of Belgium to just transfer flights at Brussels.

              As far as I know the US does not have such facilities, during an international transfer at any airport in the USofA you have to enter and exit the US = pass the TSA probe.

              I have personal experience flying from Paris, London and Amsterdam to places like Mexico and Trinidad. When changing planes in Miami, Atlanta, Houston and Detroit I had to cross the US border, totally unnecessary and a real plight for those with passports of non-EU countries.

          • Re:My answer (Score:4, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 31, 2013 @07:29AM (#43323379)

            Direct flight to canada, preferably avoiding British Airways and Air Canada, you should be ok with Swish, KLM or Air France (if you come "close" to the US border the Canadian accepted to submit to US flight conditions, so you'd prefer an airline that takes the flights as north as possible.

            If you go to South america you will find direct flight to brazil, and for any other south american country use the Argentinian LAN, Buenos aires is quite a good hub, and LAN tries do be cheap (not always the most reliable in timing though, but then ... it's kind of a regional thing).

            For Central America you can use Mexico city as an hub, and AeroMexico goes direct from europe to Mexico.

            And finaly you can use www.amadeus.net and filter out: all american airlines, and prefer direct flights, this should enable you to find your flight quite easely and even if you might see now and then a share code flight that goes through some US hub, it will be clearly marked, and you'll be able to compare the price difference, and decide if in the faster/cheaper/less hassle criteria one or two trumps three ...

              Cheers, and happy flights

        • Does anyone know of a flight search engine that allows you to do this ?

          While it will not specifically filter out transfers through a particular country it lets you manually select individual flight legs and you can filter via airline (there are a lot of other options too) so just do not use a US airline and you should be good. I use it regularly to get from Canada to CERN avoiding the US and the multi-transfer, large lay over option via Montreal that the Air Canada site will invariably pick out purely for their benefit so you fly on an Air Canada flight all the way to Geneva

      • by murdocj (543661) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @08:06AM (#43323467)

        Having spent 3 hours in 4 lines in Caracas getting documents stamped, checked, restamped, rechecked, etc I'd much rather travel in the USA.

        • Re:My answer (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Svartormr (692822) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @05:59PM (#43326825)

          Having spent 3 hours in 4 lines in Caracas getting documents stamped, checked, restamped, rechecked, etc I'd much rather travel in the USA.

          Thanks to the TSA, in 'Merica you can spend 6 hours in 4 windowless little rooms getting your arse stamped, checked, restamped, rechecked. Be careful what you ask for.

      • by skegg (666571)

        Giddy-yup !

        I've said it here before:
        I would absolutely LOVE to go to the U.S. ... but I refuse to go while such conditions exist.

        The Australian / US exchange rate makes Hawaii a particularly attractive destination for me, but it ain't happening. I'll instead go to another, if slightly less desirable, destination.

    • Re:My answer (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Aethedor (973725) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @05:56AM (#43323113)
      I totally agree. The TSA consists of a bunch of mindless idiots following stupid rules. There is nothing that those TSA idiots did that ever stopped a terrorist attack. The only thing the TSA is good for is wasting money and pissing of Americans and foreigners.
      • Re:My answer (Score:5, Interesting)

        by _KiTA_ (241027) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @06:01AM (#43323127) Homepage

        I totally agree. The TSA consists of a bunch of mindless idiots following stupid rules. There is nothing that those TSA idiots did that ever stopped a terrorist attack. The only thing the TSA is good for is wasting money and pissing of Americans and foreigners.

        Wrong.

        The modern TSA is a way to legally funnel government funds to contractors in the United States.

        In addition, it gives the airlines and government a shield in case anything DOES happen. "Well, we at least TRIED to stop it."

        The combination of the two means that it will never stop, and it will never get better.

        • It's not the contractors. It's the bureacrats who manage them. I've known several people in the job: they're underpaid, overworked, given stacks of conflicting policies and procedures, and practices change from particular site manager to site manager with every shift. There are places that do it very well, politely, helpfully, respecting the passengers and the needs of the elderly and children and frightened, tired people. But those careful agents and agencies tend to be at smaller airports.

    • Re:My answer (Score:5, Insightful)

      by zequav (2700007) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @06:10AM (#43323153)
      Yep. I'm a university professor and have visited USA before (conferences), but I'm not doing it again. Several years ago I decided not to send papers to any conference there.
      • Re:My answer (Score:5, Interesting)

        by purnima (243606) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @08:07AM (#43323473)

        I'm an Arab professor. I look like an Arab and have an accent. I travel to the US all the time. Aside from my experiences in 2002, I have never had a problem getting into the US for conferences. The TSA/border control people are always very nice and polite. Maybe I've been lucky.

    • Re:My answer (Score:5, Interesting)

      by longk (2637033) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @06:40AM (#43323261)

      I did travel to the USA last year and experienced no unfriendliness by TSA officers. Near the end of my trip my visa was extended without hassle so I could complete medical treatment after I had an emergency hospital visit. I was quite impressed and pleased with the US authorities really.

      Regardless, do you really make a trip decision based on the few minutes of interaction you may have with the border authorities? I've been traveling extensively the last 7 years and most problems I encounter occur once I'm inside the country, not at the border. I'd rather have someone ask me the purpose of my visit and send me on my way than deal with hotel staff about a broken airco or having to return a rental because they gave me a car where one of the tires needs inflating every 3 days.

      • Re:My answer (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @06:57AM (#43323311) Homepage Journal

        You had a good experience. Either that, or you're more tolerant of invasive scanning, searching, and questioning.

        I'm terribly intolerant of being questioned, felt up, irradiated, or justifying my presence and/or my travel plans. Meeting just one asshole who thinks it his right to grope me, or to push me around, or even to be overly disrespectful could cost much, much more than the trip is worth.

        I've not flown since before 9/11/01, and probably won't again.

        • by isorox (205688) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @09:37AM (#43323881) Homepage Journal

          You had a good experience. Either that, or you're more tolerant of invasive scanning, searching, and questioning.

          I'm terribly intolerant of being questioned, felt up, irradiated, or justifying my presence and/or my travel plans. Meeting just one asshole who thinks it his right to grope me, or to push me around, or even to be overly disrespectful could cost much, much more than the trip is worth.

          I've not flown since before 9/11/01, and probably won't again.

          If you haven't flown in 12 years, how do you know what really happens at airports?

          I've never had a TSA person ask where I'm going, let alone why I'm going. Tel Aviv on the other hand often involves a 60 minute conversation.

          The process is security theatre, after hitting a WTMD there's no reason not you have a quick wipe over with a hand held detector and a second pass, which used to happen in the UK pre 2001. The U.S. policy of removing shoes is silly too, but ultimately there's bigger things to worry about.

          • Re:My answer (Score:4, Informative)

            by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @09:49AM (#43323935) Homepage Journal

            How would I know about airport security? I read. I listen. There are stories of travelers being held and questioned because the TSA thought they were carrying to much money. They may only be abusive SOB's to one in a thousand passengers, but from what I read, it seems to be more like one in a couple hundred. Even if it were only one in ten thousand, why put yourself through it?

            I disapprove of everything the TSA does. What they seem to do, more than anything, is to indoctrinate people into being docile toward people in uniform. I'm not a docile individual. Security theater is revolting, and I refuse to participate in any way.

            • Re:My answer (Score:5, Interesting)

              by LVSlushdat (854194) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @10:52AM (#43324295)

              HERE! HERE!! I was gonna mod you up but I decided to comment instead...

              I disapprove of everything the TSA does. What they seem to do, more than anything, is to indoctrinate people into being docile toward people in uniform. I'm not a docile individual. Security theater is revolting, and I refuse to participate in any way.

              ANYbody who puts up with being groped by the TSA is either a sheep, or is so desperate to get somewhere in a hurry that they ignore the fact that an abortion like the TSA (or the IRS also, for that matter) has NO business in an .. allegedly free .. country like the United States. The tactics these organizations (and MANY others in todays "government") use have NO basis in the Constitution and are sickening to anyone who loves this country and detests where it is headed.. I'm a 63 y/o Vietnam veteran and the last time I flew was in Sept 2003, and based on that experience, I've clearly concluded I'm done with flying on commercial airlines.. My experience was, admittedly, not as bad as the horror stories I've read since then, but it was enough to show me that I'm not going to tolerate ANY abuse from people who have no business in a police-like uniforn, and rather should be peddling hamburgers at McDonalds.. Everytime I hear of someone standing up to these thugs, I feel there may still be *some* hope for America.

              Runaway1956, I salute you!!!

        • Re:My answer (Score:4, Informative)

          by schnell (163007) <me@schnellCOBOL.net minus language> on Sunday March 31, 2013 @02:18PM (#43325643) Homepage

          I'm terribly intolerant of being questioned, felt up, irradiated, or justifying my presence and/or my travel plans ... I've not flown since before 9/11/01, and probably won't again.

          So you haven't actually been through airport security, but you have avoided air travel for the last 12 years based on the horror stories you read online or second hand reports?

          I fly 20 or 30 times a year, domestically in the US and internationally. Never once have I been questioned about my travel plans when flying domestically, and EVERY country in the world asks you about your travel plans when you go through customs internationally. (Try flying to/from Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv sometime for the ultimate "please justify your presence here" experience.) I have never been groped in hundreds of trips through airport security, nor have I considered myself to be "irradiated" any worse than I was going to get from spending several hours at 40,000 feet.

          Look, I don't like the TSA security procedures... trust me, frequent flyers who have to put up with them all the time hate them more than anyone else. It's certainly your right not to fly. But ... seriously ... it's really not as bad as you (and apparently a lot of other Slashdotters who avoid the US or air travel all together) seem to think.

          • by chrismcb (983081)

            Look, I don't like the TSA security procedures... trust me, frequent flyers who have to put up with them all the time hate them more than anyone else. It's certainly your right not to fly. But ... seriously ... it's really not as bad as you (and apparently a lot of other Slashdotters who avoid the US or air travel all together) seem to think.

            Yes, it is. Just because TSA employees can be nice, and the procedures "aren't that bad" doesn't mean they are good. It is unconstitutional. An invasion of our privacy, a waste of time, and a waste of money. And that is the point.
            I only fly a few times a year, customs is a hit or miss. Sometimes they ask where you are going, what you are doing, many times they don't. I've had TSA ask me my destination a few times.
            And every time I've opted out of the machines, I've had a hand stuck down my pants... Is that

    • Re:My answer (Score:5, Interesting)

      by radio4fan (304271) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @08:57AM (#43323671)

      I love visiting the US, but almost every time I've been put off by the unpleasant and agressive attitude of the people on the immigration desk. In my view they're much worse than the TSA on departure.

      I'll put up with being photographed and fingerprinted (though I think it's downright daft), but my experience at immigration last time just took the piss.

      I had made some trivial omission on my visa waiver form — I probably forgot to tick the box to say that I wasn't a spy, saboteur or Nazi war criminal (yes, this tick box really exists) — and I amended the form right there in two seconds, but the officious drone showed great pleasure in sending me to the back of the long queue like a naughty schoolboy.

      Then when I got to the front of the queue again — this time to a different drone — I was accused of "abusing the visa waiver" because I had the temerity to visit the US twice in one year (once to San Francisco, that time to NYC, both fairly long visits). It was insinuated that I wasn't welcome back for some — unspecified — period of time. The visa waiver FAQ specifically states that there are no limits to the number of visits in any given period of time.

      I guess the government is only interested in promoting tourism when it means handing out billions of dollars to the airlines.

      I decided at the time that I would never go back to the US, but time heals all wounds and I'm starting to think I can put up with the necessary humiliation again.

      As absolutely everybody else I've met in person in the US has been smart, funny and friendly I can only assume that all your assholes work in airports.

    • by belthize (990217) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @09:32AM (#43323857)

      I haven't traveled to the USA.

      The exchange rate makes it a reasonable destination, but I don't want to be treated like dirt.

      We treat you like 'Earth'. You'll be strip mined, bombarded with high energy particles and lower life forms will crawl over your surface.

  • It's the TSA. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Security guards that the government for some reason decided were federal agents. If this were any kind of public servant (apart from police of any kind), you could expect adherence to some kind of professional standard, but you're looking at the mall cops of the state security apparatus. A joke from top to bottom.

  • An important lesson (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 31, 2013 @05:45AM (#43323079)

    The importance of stories such as these, are that they open peoples eyes to a fundamental truth: The protections you think you have as an American, are only in force so long as it is convenient to those who are in power. In reality, we live in a state every bit as totalitarian as the USSR or North Korea...only that totalitarianism is selectively, and irratically enforced.

    • by Paleolibertarian (930578) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @12:01PM (#43324711) Journal

      The first and last time I encountered the TSA (Toadlike Stupid Assholes) was a bad experience which I won't detail, so I no longer fly commercial. I drive wherever I go which could be a 3,200 mile round-trip to visit relatives. It takes about 2.5 days both ways out of my vacation time but I do get to see a lot of pretty country on the trip. I no longer need to put up with Toadlike Stupid Assholes wanting to question me and look in my luggage and feel my junk. I also miss out on the travel time to-from airports (at LAX it's very stressful) and I don't have to eat airport/jet plane food or listen to kids crying etc... etc...

      The TSA is just one of the many violations of my god-given rights some of which are enumerated in the Bill of Rights. What really saddens me however is the sheep-like response of the majority of the public in putting up with these violations. Every time some government jack-booted thug violates a citizens rights the citizen should protest loudly to whoever will listen. But instead most of the sheeple will either knuckle under and go along to get along and be thankful he wasn't beaten or shot to death. When it happens to somebody else the sheeple sometimes laugh and make fun of the poor soul who is now in the hospital or morgue because he dared to open his mouth and protest or resisted (in the mind of the thug anyway) even slightly.

      Yes. In many ways we live in a totalitarian police state. The fact that sheeple deny it is because they were mostly educated in a government school and raised by their parent sheeples. Few are the scholars who know what life would be like if the Bill of Rights were strictly enforced by placing every government thug on trial for rights violations and the agency he works for to be civilly liable for monetary damages.

      http://www.ncc-1776.org/ [ncc-1776.org]

    • If you cannot see the difference you need some schooling. See, the United States has the power to be as authoritarian as the government decides, but can hardly be called totalitarian. The fact that you're posting that without the threat of hanging from a rope or fifteen years in a labor camp in Siberia says something.

      Read "A Day in the Life of Ivan Denosovich," he spends 15 years in a prison camp for moving past the front lines in "the great patriotic war" (WWII) and was shot at and imprisoned for desertio

  • by caspy7 (117545) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @06:21AM (#43323193)

    The TSA has had almost free range to infringe on US citizen's rights without consequence (increasingly so since the terror-pocalypse).
    Publicizing these type of stories is good, but how can we best see their powers reigned in and actually enforce respecting our rights?

    • by AthanasiusKircher (1333179) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @03:38PM (#43326137)

      Publicizing these type of stories is good, but how can we best see their powers reigned in and actually enforce respecting our rights?

      One thing to consider: just in the past few days, the TSA has finally complied with a court ruling from July 2011 that said they had illegally implemented new scanning policies without requesting public comment. EPIC has finally managed to get the TSA to set up the comment system [epic.org].

      Some people might consider submitting comments. The TSA probably won't listen directly. But they will become part of public record, and if a court case ever does manage to really challenge some of the TSA policies, it will be harder for courts to say, "Well, nobody seems bothered very much by all the enhanced scanning and patdowns."

      By the way, from the summary:

      they are over a month beyond the statutory mandate for issuing a written determination

      That's NOTHING. After illegally failing to take public comments before implementing a massive change to the accepted norms for searches, federal courts directly ordered the TSA to comply with taking comments. You can still read all the news stories from July 2011, when people thought we finally had some sort of victory for privacy -- maybe the TSA would finally listen. But they did NOTHING. Presumably, they were just waiting, hoping that Americans would get used to the new searches, and they wouldn't have to deal with the problem. After a full year had passed, EPIC finally got a hearing to consider a writ of mandamus to force the order to be adhered to. (Seriously -- a federal agency refusing to implement a simple court order?? After a year of dragging their feet, the courts, if they were at all honest, should have implemented an emergency stay right then and there and shut down the scanners until the TSA complied... at a minimum. If your average citizen did something like this, they'd be tossed in jail for contempt of court.)

      Months more passed, and finally the writ of mandamus was denied, because the TSA said it would finally get around to dealing with this issue by Feb.-Mar. 2013. And it seems they waited until the last few days possible to finally implement the comment system.

      If you have something serious to say about this, here's your chance [regulations.gov]. It may or may not make a difference, but I think it's certainly more likely to be effective than complaining on Slashdot every week or two when a new TSA story comes along.

  • It's the TSA. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Dog-Cow (21281) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @06:26AM (#43323205)

    What do you expect from the Terrorist State Agency?

    9/11 was the final battle against the terrorists. The terrorists won.

  • by Aethedor (973725) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @06:28AM (#43323211)
    Good security is not about making clever rules. It's about dealing properly with the exceptions of those rules. Banishing liquids from airplanes is nothing more than a rule. Its level of security depends on how you deal with the situations in which you must, or at least should, allow a bottle of liquid on an airplane. If you don't have rules for that, if your personel is not trained and aware for those situations, your whole security setup is vulnerable for social engineering and it becomes nothing more than security theater.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 31, 2013 @06:31AM (#43323229)

    This is what I don't get about people these days.

    None of you are willing to sacrifice ANYTHING or inflict ANY kind of inconvenience upon yourself to deal with the issues that need to be dealt with. You just sit there and whine and complain about everything, you make up excuses from thin air and say you've got no choice. Well, news flash, you do.

    You want to get rid of the TSA?

    Don't fly.

    It's that simple. No, don't tell me you have to. You don't. You get enough people together and you all refuse to fly until the TSA is dismantled, and you know what'll happen? The airlines will get things changed in a hurry and the TSA will evaporate in a puff of invalid logic. It's that simple!

    "Oh but it isn't and I have no choice and I need to fly and-"...

    Yeah, that right there, that's the reason why the TSA still exists. You're unwilling to inconvenience yourself. None of you are. So the TSA will continue to inconvenience you instead, because they've got you by the balls (sometimes literally) and they know it. They'll continue to squeeze and squeeze, they'll expand out into the rest of the world like a cancerous tumour and then, when you find yourself in a police state and the TSA controls all major forms of travel- you'll wonder why you didn't do something sooner.

    The fact that you think you have no choice is precisely what they want you to think, because that is what gives them control over you.

    Cue the endless stream of "I have to fly, you're wrong, if I wish really hard I'm sure the TSA will go away all the same" replies.

    • by skiminki (1546281) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @06:39AM (#43323259)

      You want to get rid of the TSA?

      Don't fly.

      It's that simple.

      No it's not. TSA is expanding to provide its services outside airports. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christopher-elliott/the-tsa-wants-to-be-every_b_2393332.html [huffingtonpost.com]

      • by FuzzNugget (2840687) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @12:42PM (#43325039)

        At this point, they're still proliferated mostly just at airports; all other modes of transportation are minimally infiltrated.

        So, yes, at this point, if everyone or the vast majority refused to fly, I'm sure the airlines would use their political connections and lobbying power to dissolve the TSA with haste.

        I took a trip from the Midwest to the east coast a few weeks ago. Normally, this is about 4-5 hours of flying time and consumes 3/4 of a day with hurry-up-and-wait. But I decided I'd enough with the TSA's bullshit and took the train instead.

        Not once was I stopped, groped or searched. I didn't need to go through any checkpoints or scanners. I didn't need to remove my shoes and strip half way down. I didn't have to take half the stuff out of my bag and then feverishly reassemble everything while a queue of annoyed people piled up behind me. I just bought my ticket and hopped on (what a concept, eh?) ... and it's not like I was just hopping over from one podunk hick town to another, I went through Chicago and DC, not exactly calm places with lax security protocols.

        But, on the other hand, the trip took two full days and two nights of travel each way, the coach seats were good, but useless for sleeping and the sleeper car I opted for on the subsequent nights were quite expensive.

        So, yes, I've sacrificed convenience, money, time and comfort to defy the TSA and their bullshit. What have you done?

  • War on Diginity (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @06:58AM (#43323315)

    The TSA says they are all about the war on terror.
    But their actions prove they are only interested in conducting a War on Diginity.

    Groping children [techdirt.com]
    soaking a man in his own urine [nbcnews.com]
    Arresting people for wearing watches with exposed gears [tsanewsblog.com]
    Arbitrary strip-searches [foxnews.com]
    Detaining people armed with flash cards [forbes.com]
    Forcing mothers to drink their own breast milk [usatoday.com]
    Forcing a woman to remove her nipple ring with pliers [cnn.com]
    Requiring women to remove their bras [sfgate.com]
    Requiring a woman to remove the brace on her sprained ankle and then making her walk on it to prove it was sprained [gadling.com]

    The list of abuses [travelunderground.org] is into the thousands. Every once in a while they get a taste of their stupidity. [nypost.com] But it isn't anywhere near enough.

    • by Livius (318358) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @08:53AM (#43323647)

      Dignity is only the start. It's security theatre, nothing else. Their function is to manufacture fear the same as a factory manufactures auto parts.

      This is not an error or a misjudgement; causing people the maximum of harassment with the most egregious violations of legal rights and doing so with the minimum of justification is the goal. In IT terms, it's a feature, not a bug.

      Anyone thinking the TSA will be reined in because of a public outcry or legal challenges is completely missing the point.

  • by WaffleMonster (969671) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @08:13AM (#43323489)

    It certainly sounds like this guy found himself quite a loophole to effectivly circumvent the 3oz liquid restriction.

    If the TSA has no way of disambiguating a "tropical energy drink" from medicine and there are no medical documentation requirements plus other laws provide privacy and accessibility protections for medical conditions then anyone can use these constraints to get any soft drinks they want thru in any amounts.

    I say don't be hatin on the loophole finder for expliotin. Loopholes are fair game. Certainly less morally objectional than expliots of the cherckoff group and others who have directly profited from TSA "security theatre" egrgiously wasting US taxpayer dollars.

  • by A10Mechanic (1056868) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @09:06AM (#43323705)
    I just love the TSA. They sent my CAC card back through the X-ray machine, all alone, in the little tray. It was in my wallet and had set off a wand. For those of you unfamiliar with the CAC, it's a MILITARY I.D. Card that tells people you're in the Armed Services. It has a little 'not-so-smart' metal chip and card-reader plate. Seeing my I.D. card take it's lonely journey through the x-ray machine brought tears to my eyes. Tears of laughter. And that laughter hurt them more than any indignation I might have shown.
  • OP here. (Score:5, Informative)

    by saizai (1178155) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @09:30AM (#43323837) Homepage
    I've tried to address some of the questions people raised @ http://saizai.com/tsa#FAQ [saizai.com] If you have more, please add them as responses to this. I don't guarantee I'll answer 'em all individually, but I'll try to make sure the FAQ addresses all substantive issues raised. Cheers, Sai
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by protest_boy (305632)

      Good luck with your FOIA. I have a TSA issued TWIC card and just for fun I decided to get access to the information they have on file related to that card (finger prints, background check results, etc.) by issuing a FOIA request. It took them 11 months to produce a laughably incomplete response which consisted of: a scan of my passport photo and a photocopy of the standard application for the TWIC. The appeal process took about another 4 months but I did eventually get (mostly) what I was looking for.

      Your

  • by coats (1068) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @10:29AM (#43324171) Homepage
    See He ought to sue the persons responsible, as individualspour encourager les autres.
  • by coats (1068) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @10:35AM (#43324199) Homepage
    See [wikipedia.org]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bivens [wikipedia.org] . Basically, in cases of denial of Constitutional rights, the doctrine of sovereign immunity does not apply, and the individual bureaucrats can be held individually responsible. You might think of it as the "Nuremberg War Crimes" clause in US law...

    He ought to sue those persons responsible, as individuals. Going all the way to the top. IMNHO, there is more than cause for him to do so. And he certainly has standing...

    A few multi-million-dollar judgements against individual TSA agents and managers would do a lot pour encourager les autres.

  • by Mr. Freeman (933986) on Monday April 01, 2013 @03:29PM (#43332715)
    Oh look another one of these posts. "Slashdot, I was wronged. The party that wronged me broke several laws and treated me in a degrading way. What should I do?"

    The answer is ALWAYS to HIRE A LAWYER!

    HIRE A FUCKING LAWYER! Someone broke the law, you need a lawyer if you want to take any action against them. If they're violating deadlines and laws regarding interactions with people with disabilities then you probably have a good legal case lined up. However, if you sit on your ass then your opportunity is going to disappear. You need to hire a lawyer and act fast.

All the evidence concerning the universe has not yet been collected, so there's still hope.

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