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Thread: Airport body scans, pat-downs draw more complaints

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    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
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    Default Airport body scans, pat-downs draw more complaints

    Airport body scans, pat-downs draw more complaints - Yahoo! News


    In this photo released by Rebekah Butler on Monday Nov.15,2010 showing John Tyner a software engineer who posted an Internet blog item saying he had been ejected after being threatened with a fine and lawsuit for refusing a groin check after turning down a full-body scan at San Diego International Airport. Across the country, passengers have to choose scans by full-body image detectors or probing pat-downs. Top federal security officials said that the procedures were safe and necessary sacrifices to ward off terror attacks. (AP Photo/Rebekah Butler)

    CHICAGO – An airport traveler who famously resisted a full-body scan and groin check with the words "If you touch my junk, I'll have you arrested" has become an Internet sensation, tapping into rising frustration over increasingly invasive searches.

    John Tyner's online account — complete with cell-phone video of the encounter — has helped fuel a campaign urging travelers to decline the body scans next week during the busiest travel day of the year.

    It also raised questions about the complaints: Are Americans standing up to government overreach or simply whining about the inconvenience of air travel while insisting on full protection from terrorists?

    "I think Americans, in their hearts, still feel airport security is just a big show — form over substance," said Joseph Schwieterman, a Chicago-based transportation expert. "So they're impatient with strategies they feel are just there to placate political demands rather the genuine security threats."

    Many of the people who have little tolerance for airport security are the same ones who want the government to work aggressively to prevent terrorist attacks, Schwieterman said.

    Long-simmering annoyance among passengers and even plane crews has recently risen to new heights with wider use of full-body scanners, which show a traveler's physical contours on a computer in a private room removed from security checkpoints. Faces are never shown, and the person's identity is supposedly not known to the screener reviewing the images.

    About 300 of the scanners are in use at 60 U.S. airports. The Transportation Security Administration hopes to deploy approximately 500 units by the end of the year.

    Not all travelers are selected to go through the scanners, but the TSA requires people who decline to submit to pat-downs that include checks of the inside of their thighs and buttocks. Top federal officials insist the procedures are safe and necessary to ward off terror attacks.

    "It's all about security," Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said. "It's all about everybody recognizing their role."

    Tyner, a 31-year-old software engineer from Oceanside, Calif., insisted he was not looking for notoriety when he confronted TSA agents last weekend at the San Diego airport.

    "I don't think I did anything heroic," he said in a telephone interview Tuesday. "I stood up for what I thought was right."

    After Tyner declined to go through the full-body scanner, he refused to submit to a groin check as part of a pat-down. He was thrown out of the airport Saturday after being threatened with a fine and lawsuit.

    His confrontation spawned online sales of T-shirts, bumper stickers, hats and even underwear emblazoned with the words, "Don't Touch My Junk!"

    But he does not advocate travelers following his lead, saying he appreciates that most people cannot afford to put expensive trips at risk.

    "But people ought to do what their consciences say they should do," he said. "If civil disobedience is a way they think would work, I think they should do it."

    Tyner's one-man protest has inspired other efforts, including an online campaign urging air travelers to refuse body scans in a "National Opt-Out Day" the day before Thanksgiving, one of the year's busiest travel days.

    Brian Sodergren, 33, of Ashburn, Va., said he put up the site a week ago. Interest spiked after Tyner's video went viral.

    "This issue has picked up steam more than I ever would have imagined," said Sodergren, who works in the health care industry. "The outpouring has been huge."

    Sodergren stops short of urging people to refuse both the scanner and pat-down.

    "The proper reaction isn't walking away and subjecting yourself to penalties," he said Tuesday. "The proper response is to write to your lawmakers and get the law changed."

    But compared to security in some other countries, Schwieterman argued, procedures in the U.S. are far from intrusive.

    In Israel, where Palestinians attacked planes in the 1970s, passengers face tough questioning and multiple inspections. Single women who are not Israeli citizens are sometimes inspected more intensely because militants have tried to use them as couriers.

    "Americans have yet to make any really major sacrifices for their security," said Schwieterman, a professor at DePaul University in Chicago. "Pat-downs and scanners are minimally evasive — and there's even resistance to this, just 15 seconds of awkwardness."

    A woman whose flight was targeted by a Nigerian man suspected of carrying explosives in his underwear said she believes all security measures, including full-body scanners, should be considered to curb threats.

    "People shouldn't be too much concerned about their privacy because this is a life-and-death matter," said 55-year-old Shama Chopra of Montreal, who was traveling from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day of last year. "We should be discussing all security."

    But it's not just passengers putting up resistance. Some airline pilots are pushing back, too.

    "I would say that pilots are beyond fed up," said Tom Walsh, a pilot and sometime aviation security consultant. "The TSA is wasting valuable time and money searching the crew, who are not a threat."

    One of the nation's most celebrated pilots, Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, has also detected the growing unease.

    "The fundamental reason is that airline pilots are already the last line of defense for anyone who poses a threat to the airplane," said the soft-spoken Sullenberger, who successfully ditched his US Airways plane in the Hudson River last year after it struck birds during takeoff. "We are — and would like to be considered — trusted partners in that important security mission."

    At least one pilots union, the U.S. Airline Pilots Association, has issued new instructions to members to call in sick and not board flights if, after a pat-down, they are too upset to fly.

    "If the pilot feels the groping is too much and they are stressed out — they are obliged not to fly," union spokesman James Ray said. He insisted the new instruction is not meant as a protest, saying it complies with rules that pilots don't fly if they feel they are not fit.

    Despite the concerns about pat-downs, Ray said, the union recommends pilots avoid going through scanners out of concern that cumulative effects of low radiation could be harmful.

    But Ray agreed that if enough pilots and travelers opt out of body scans, delays could result, especially if there aren't enough TSA screeners to conduct the more time-consuming pat-downs.

    From now on, Tyner said, his protest of choice will be more straightforward: Whenever he can, he simply won't fly. He said that should be practical option because most of the friends and relatives he visits are in the California area.

    "I would suggest other people also take the train, bus or car instead of a plane," he said. "Take a trip and enjoy the countryside."

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    Elite Member Cali's Avatar
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    This weekend on CSPAN, a bunch of people called in saying that the full-body scanners use a massive, dangerous amount of radiation. Some guy called in who had health complications from them.

    Anyone know if there's any truth to this? I've been meaning to look into it.

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    Elite Member darksithbunny's Avatar
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    My doctor told me that anyone who has had any type of radiation cancer therapy should not go through them.

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    Elite Member greysfang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cali View Post
    This weekend on CSPAN, a bunch of people called in saying that the full-body scanners use a massive, dangerous amount of radiation. Some guy called in who had health complications from them.

    Anyone know if there's any truth to this? I've been meaning to look into it.

    I don't know much about the airport scanners per se, but medically speaking anyone who has had chemo/radiation therapy and anyone who travels frequently for business or whatever should probably avoid them as much as possible. Actually, not even medically-speaking that's just common sense. Also don't do it if you could be pregnant.
    FUCK YOU AND GIVE ME MY GODDAMN VENTI TWO PUMP LIGHT WHIP MOCHA YOU COCKSUCKING WHORE BEFORE I PUNCH YOU IN THE MOUTH. I just get unpleasant in my car. - Deej

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    Elite Member VenusInFauxFurs's Avatar
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    If you even suspect you're preggers you should avoid them. Plus if you've had chemo/radiation therapy they're a no-no, my dr says.
    When your daughter plays "House," she pretends to be an annoying doctor with a pill-addiction and a limp.

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Default Investigate the TSA, Not Tyner

    The TSA is opening an investigation targeting John Tyner, the man who earned himself an aggressive “pat down” at the airport when he refused to go through the TSA’s new AIT “porno scanners.”

    But it’s the TSA that should be investigated, not Tyner.

    Tyner was not permitted to board his flight after he refused to be groped, and now he could face both prosecution and a fine of $11,000.

    But his real crime was making the “don’t touch my junk” video showing exactly what happened during his encounter with the TSA, which sparked a public backlash.

    The new pat-down policy for refuseniks, which started on November 1, has been described by the Airline Pilots Association as “sexual molestation” — and it’s nothing more than a way to punish people who might boycott the Department of Homeland Security’s expensive new boondoggle scanners. And prosecuting Tyner is blatant and very public way to intimidate anyone who might follow his lead.

    This goes to show just how how constant threats of “terror” are used to create new markets for products nobody needs. The public is then intimidated into compliance in the name of “national security,” when in reality they’re sacrificing their dignity, their civil liberties and their tax dollars for the sake of enormous profits:
    • 2005: Michael Chertoff, as head of Homeland Security, orders the first batch of porno scanners from a company called Rapiscan Systems. After his departure, Chertoff gave dozens of interviews using his government credentials to promote the device. What he didn’t tell people was that Rapiscan was one of the clients of his consulting company, The Chertoff group.
    • December 2009: Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz inserted language into the Homeland Security appropriations bill barring the use of full-body image scans as “primary” screening tools at airports, and it passed the House on a bipartisan vote of 310-118. Both the ACLU and the NRA backed it. The amendment also made it illegal to store and copy these images. It died in the Senate.
    • December 25, 2009: The “Christmas bomber” attempts to detonate plastic explosives hidden in his underwear while on board a flight to Detroit.
    • December 29, 2009: Joe Lieberman calls for “more widespread use of the full-body scanners after the aborted attack.”
    • January 2010: Since they couldn’t get money for the porno scanners from Congress, TSA uses the “Christmas bomber” scare to appropriate $25 million they had received in stimulus money to buy the “backscatter” scanners — from Rapiscan, Chertoff’s client. Rapiscan said the contract “helped create” 25 jobs. The government gives the TSA the green light to spend a total of $173 million on the scanners. TSA spokesperson Sarah Horowitz said “the agency has enough funds that would come from the stimulus program and other federal sources” to purchase 300 more porno scanners, per CNN. Total jobs created, per the government’s own website: 1.
    • April 2010: The GAO reports that “it remains unclear whether the AIT would have detected the weapon used in the December 2009 incident based on the preliminary information GAO has received.”
    • November 8, 2010: US Airline Pilots Association tells its members “NOT to submit to AIT screenings.”
    The last thing the TSA needs is a pile of crappy technology that isn’t even effective, that people refuse to use, right?

    So the “groping” technique was developed as a way to punish people into using the scanners — because there are $148 million more on the way. And just so nobody gets the idea to follow Tyner’s lead, the TSA is using threats and intimidation to guarantee the market for the porno scanners. Whether Tyner is prosecuted or not, people will hear about what happened to him and think twice before refusing to become fodder for their new machines.

    This is a full-on outrage.

    It’s time to investigate the TSA, not Tyner. Sign the petition demanding Congress investigate the TSA’s porno scanners, aggressive groping, and abuses of power


    Investigate the TSA, Not Tyner | FDL Action



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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    I have to go read up on it, but I don't believe that these machines function like a traditional x-ray. The wave that hits you goes through clothes and then bounces off the skin, which is why you don't see bones or other tissue.

    It could still be ionizing, which would be a problem (I think) for pilots and stewardesses who would have to go through them all the time as part of their daily routine.

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    Elite Member greysfang's Avatar
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    I can just see the lawsuits 10 years from now. Uh, sorry you grew a third eye, our bad.
    FUCK YOU AND GIVE ME MY GODDAMN VENTI TWO PUMP LIGHT WHIP MOCHA YOU COCKSUCKING WHORE BEFORE I PUNCH YOU IN THE MOUTH. I just get unpleasant in my car. - Deej

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    Default Claire McCaskill: Pat Downs Are 'Love Pats'

    CBS) Transportation Safety Administration chief John Pistole and several senators from both parties defended the new, enhanced airport security screening procedures as necessary in the face of a persistent and evolving terrorist threat in a hearing Wednesday on Capitol Hill.

    Pistole, calm and confident in the face of an increasing public outcry against the procedures, talked extensively about the repercussions of last year's attempted Christmas Day bombing being the impetus for the enhanced screenings before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, TSA's oversight committee.

    "We know the terrorists' intent is still there," Pistole testified. "We are using technology and protocols to stay ahead of the threat and keep you safe. (Several near-misses by terrorists on airplane bombings) got through security because we were not being thorough enough in our pat-downs."

    Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri said prior to Pistole's testimony that she believed TSA was in a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation, because people would be hopping mad at TSA if Christmas bomber Umar Farouk Adbulmutallab had succeeded. She went on to say the new advanced imaging technology--which has caused uproar because of its leave-no-secrets imaging and potential health risks--is more of a blessing than a curse.

    "I'm wildly excited that I can walk through a machine instead of getting my dose of love pats," Sen. McCaskill said.


    Both senators and Pistole acknowledged the public concern that has made mini-celebrities out of some passengers who have opposed the new imaging scans and enhanced pat-downs. Pistole, a former FBI agent, went so far as to say he submitted himself to the pat-downs and found them to be "more invasive than what I was used to."

    Senator George LeMieux of Florida agreed they were invasive, saying they had gone too far and that he "wouldn't want (his) wife to go through these pat-downs." He even suggested looking more at the Israeli model of behavioral profiling in airport screenings, which has been largely successful but also criticized as racist.

    However, Pistole defended the pat-downs because of the next generation of "non-metallic" explosives currently being used by terrorists.

    In an effort to address privacy and health concerns from travelers, Pistole said TSA is working on developing next-generation imaging equipment that will only show screening agents "anomalies" on top of stick figures, rather than detailed naked figures.

    Currently, all passengers going through airport security are asked to submit to a full body image scan when it is available, Pistole said. The body scan images are seen by a single agent in a closed room who cannot see the face of the person in the machine and who cannot bring any cellphones or cameras into the image viewing room. If passengers refuse the body scan, they are offered a private pat-down, which is based on a thorough--some say invasive--technique used by police nationwide. Pistole emphasized that children under the age of 12 are excused from the enhanced pat-downs.

    "We are on the last line of defense of the U.S. government," Pistole said. "I hope (these screening techniques) are a deterrence."

    Senators and TSA Defend "Love Pats" at Airports - CBS News



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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    It appears that the dosage of radiation is very low:

    The UK Health Protection Agency has completed an analysis of the X-ray dose from Backscatter scanners and has written that the dose is extremely low and "about the same as people receive from background radiation in an hour".
    I think that "background radiation" is ionizing radiation that you receive just sitting at your desk or in your living room.

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    Gold Member BigBen's Avatar
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    Bullshit. They say that now, and then just like greys said, ten years from now third eyes poppin' up on everybody. Good thing I didn't like flying anyway.
    "Not only do we embrace it, we take it out for drinks, get it absolutely steaming drunk, leg hump it and then leave it covered in shaving foam and a stolen Chuck E Cheese outfit in its own bath with no recollection of how it got there." -Kittylady on the sad and pathetic and strange.

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    Lucky, I don't mind getting felt up.
    When your daughter plays "House," she pretends to be an annoying doctor with a pill-addiction and a limp.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VenusInFauxFurs View Post
    Lucky, I don't mind getting felt up.
    My thoughts exactly. It'd be really great if they make a policy of assigning me the extra cute "friskers".
    Did you know that every time a parent gives in to their kid's whines and buys them candy at the checkout lane, a kitten gets diabetes?-Dlisted
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    The TSA has to justify its ruinously expensive existance with these ridiculous and completely unnecessary "security" proceedures. If a turrist wants to bring down a plane there are much more efficient and completely non-detectable ways of doing it than stuffing semtex down his jocks. In any event, crashing planes is very 2001 these days. I'd be more concerned about dirty nuclear or biological devices in shipping containers, the vast majority of which enter and leave countries without any screening whatsoever.
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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    I love how they're scared of one plane going down, but every day millions of shipping containers arrive in the US containing god knows what because they aren't checked.

    The ones they DO check still contain poisonous, toxic shit from China and that's waved right in.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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