"Don't Touch My Junk!"

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by soxxy, Nov 16, 2010.

  1. Capella

    Capella Guest

    I will always opt for a pat-down over the full-body scan because I have zero trust that the photos will not be saved and permanently associated with my name. At least with the pat down, once it's over, only the memories haunt you.

    I had one aggressive female TSA woman search. The airport didn't have the nekkid scanners yet. She ran her hand up my legs and then ... how to put this... gave me a camel toe. :yikes:

    One of the videos linked in this thread had a TSA official saying they wouldn't be groping children under a certain age (9?). So what's to stop a terrorist from sneaking weapon/bomb-making material on a kid?

    The TSA gives me the impression that they are very much about closing the barn door after the animals have escaped.

    What does Tel Aviv do in their airport? It's supposed to be the safest in the world.
  2. susan6

    susan6 Well-Known Member

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    El Al (flag carrier airline of Israel) interviews all passengers (all passengers have to be at the airport THREE hours before takeoff). Racial profiling apparently plays a blatant role in the extent of security checking. They have special baggage screening techniques to test for explosives that may be triggered at low pressure. Armed marshalls on all flights. They don't mention pat-downs, but, dang, that airline is NOT messing around. But the fact is, no US carrier could afford to put these measures in place.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Al
  3. Avid Lurker

    Avid Lurker New Member

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    Thank you, WindSpirit, for explaining more eloquently than I ever could why it is shocking that so many people accept being strip-searched and photographed naked (or else receive a GGG - good governmental groping) just to fly in an airplane. Especially when the commercial cargo flying in the belly of the plane has not been checked nearly as thoroughly.
  4. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    Also, El Al's employees are highly qualified and trained individuals as opposed to your run of the mill TSA worker education requirements. I remember hearing that at El Al they are all college grads, at least.
  5. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Pink Bitch

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    Probably not. But I'm not the one arguing (nor are you) that any moron can circumvent the process.

    Is this happening with all TSA employees? Or is it some bad apples?

    And sorry, I'm not going to get all upset about a weird image of me "naked" getting broadcast all over the internet. I am more concerned about the health effects than that someone might get a bit excited by an outline of my bod.
  6. kedrin

    kedrin Active Member

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    I'm not upset at the thought of some stranger seeing me naked. I'm upset about being forced to 'undress' by my government as a condition of air-travel. this is not a reasonable search (a metal detector is). buying a ticket is not probable cause.
  7. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Well-Known Member

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    From today's NYTimes article about the new pat-down procedures:
    I certainly hope Ms. McLaren is a little unclear about the correct name for her external genitalia, otherwise she got a lot worse than a camel toe! :scream: The article concludes with a quote from Ms. McLaren (which seems supported by comments in this thread),
    And in the meantime, make sure that your pockets are empty before going through the airport scanners. :slinkaway
  8. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. Anywhere else, it would constitute sexual assault. That's the problem I have with it. Why should the TSA be exempt from the law? Once they're allowed to do something that's normally illegal if even your spouse did it to you, that is crossing a line.

    And many adults have been sexually assaulted for real before, and I don't want them to relive that every time they want to travel on a plane. Just because you're okay with being touched in the crotch doesn't mean everyone else is. Not to mention young children who have been recently taught that being touched in those areas is wrong. I mean WTF.
    WindSpirit and (deleted member) like this.
  9. WindSpirit

    WindSpirit OmnipresentAdmeanistrator

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    Not all, not yet at least. But with something most people compare to a sexual assault one incident is more than enough, don't you think?

    But it's not the point anyway. The point is there are no clear rules what can or cannot be done during the pat-down. I mentioned two men who went through a pat-down where a TSA agent put their hand in their underwear. There's been another case of a woman (and I'm pretty sure there's more, that's three I know of) who went through the same experience. She complained to the TSA supervisor and on the ACLU website. The TSA responded that "their officers' first priority is safety." What does mean exactly? Can they do anything to you as long as they think it's for the safety? Maybe they already can stick their finger into your vagina when they already have their hand in your pants, and you're going to find out when they do it. And they're going to defend it it's for the safety.

    Bullocks, I say. There need to be clear rules and we need to know them before they put their hand on us. And of course, I'm absolutely against them putting their hands in my pants.

    I'm not asking you to get upset about anyone watching your naked image. You might as well love it, and I'm pretty sure there's going to be other people who would love having someone touching their genitals or watching their naked body. I'm just surprised that you see nothing wrong with all those things I listed, because in spite of your own preference, there's quite a few things that are wrong with the whole situation objectively. And I mentioned most, if not all of them.

    And btw that bit about someone getting excited about your body? :huh: Here I'm talking about those pesky things called our rights and you're going about some possible weirdo getting excited about your body? If your students came to you with all those concerns that's what you'd say? "So what if they take a pic of your genitals or feel you up a little bit? It's for the safety, you know. Just gel with it, girl." Because you've been absolutely dismissive of any concerns I mentioned about the whole situation (and a weirdo getting their kicks off in the screening room would be my last).

    Ta-da! We have a winner.
  10. El Rey

    El Rey Well-Known Member

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    I had to go through one about three weeks ago when I flew out of Houston to NYC. They weren't really that big of news yet so I had no idea what they were. But I had to be patted down because there was one post it sheet in my back pocket that I had forgotten about. I stepped out of the scanner, walked forward and was searched. Uncomfortable!
  11. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    Right. The TSA rules depend on the individual who's doing the searching. So you could have some pedophile feeling up children because he can and then say it's for everyone's safety. :shuffle:

    BoingBoing just linked to a story about a flight attendant who was asked to remove her prosthetic breast. She's a breast cancer survivor, and obviously just wants to do her job and now she'll be asked to do that for the rest of her career?

    http://www.wbtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=13534628
  12. WindSpirit

    WindSpirit OmnipresentAdmeanistrator

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    I read about it. TSA said she shouldn't have been asked to remove it. There are also written rules about prostheses/medical devices/etc. on their website. Still no word about what constitutes the pat-down and whether they're supposed to put their hands in our underwear. Or anywhere else.
  13. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Well-Known Member

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    From the NYTimes article I linked to in my previous post:
    So it is perhaps OK for the agents to put their hands inside a passenger's underwear, as long as you don't look? :confused: And possibly wearing a skirt (or a kilt for guys) rather than pants will help ... since they aren't supposed to reach inside a skirt -- but nothing is said about reaching inside the waistband of someone's pants. :rolleyes: If I seem to be posting ridiculous guesses, it's because we can't really know what the specific guidelines are, because of those oft-cited "security reasons."
  14. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    IIRC, security personnel at Ben-Gurion work for Israel Airports Authority, and there are other security forces present. I think in other countries, the security is handled by El-Al. You do not have to be at the airport three hours early, either, but it is recommended during busy periods (e.g. summer vacation).

    It is true that Arab people often undergo more rigorous screening procedures than Jewish-Israelis, though AFAIK it still nowhere near what's being reported from the US these days. There is no ban on liquids and no shoe removal, and we don't have to get naked pictures taken. I'm sure there's lots of behind the scenes stuff going on, but I wouldn't know what exactly... it does seem to run fairly smoothly and rather fast compared to other airports I've been in. I've never been able to spot security people on the flights, but I know they're there.

    The main issue that make this impossible to implement in the US is the differences in scale. Ben-Gurion is Israel's only major airport and has fewer flights than many US airports. Also, I suspect some of the profiling techniques would be challenged in the US, though how anyone could think that it's better to grope random 3 year olds is beyond me.

    No, that's incorrect. It is highly selective, and the security personnel are very well-trained, but it's usually post-army people, for whom it's considered quite an attractive job while they save up for their obligatory trip to South America/the far east.
  15. zippy

    zippy Active Member

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    I assume you mean me here, and if you read what I wrote I said 5th grader, not moron, and I don't happen to think 5th graders are morons. However, I am sure most fifth graders would be delighted to tell you where one might stick an object where it would elude both scanners and pat-downs. Probably most morons would be able to figure that one out too, though. Unfortunately I suspect most Al Qaeda terrorists are not morons and would be able to think of many ways to get around the system. Meanwhile the several most recent threats all involve cargo, and we sit here with our thumbs up our a**es groping three year olds and virtually stripsearching granny, so let's see who qualifies as the moron in this scenario...
    WindSpirit and (deleted member) like this.
  16. PRlady

    PRlady aspiring tri-national

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    The profiling at B-G is much worse than you are aware of. (Or than I would be aware of, since as a middle-aged Jewish woman with an American passport I scoot right through the security line.) South Asians and Europeans are often asked much more searching questions than Americans, especially young Euros who might have been volunteering in the territories. And they have gotten stuck for hours if something doesn't seem right to security, missing flights and with no help getting onto the next ones.

    And that doesn't even begin to describe what happens to Arabs, either with Israeli citizenship or from the territories. Our board members have had their laptops trashed, their suitcases upended in public and spilled out onto the floor, humiliating and loud questions posed publicly, been flatly forbidden to get on planes -- and these are academics with credentials, imagine what happens to Muhammed Sixpack.

    The young women who ask the preliminary questions are polite but thorough and are obviously well-trained. Yes, I can bring water through and don't have to take my shoes off (or have my shampoo chemically tested as happens at Dulles from time to time :rolleyes:) but that's because of who I am. The profiling at Ben-Gurion has been the subject of lawsuits and there are now human rights observers from time to time there, as there are at the checkpoints...

    I'm so torn on this subject. Profiling makes sense, but it can also lure security into a false sense of let-the-blond-grandmom-through when she's actually an Al Qaeda agent. It's so unfair to the millions of innocent Muslims and/or South Asians who fly. I don't like the full-body scan either, especially when cargo isn't being x-rayed, but I guess at the end of the day I prefer it to blatant and selective violation of civil rights that goes with profiling.
  17. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Pink Bitch

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    We agree on this. The invasive pat-downs would bother me a lot (key word: invasive). But the full body scanner just isn't an issue for me. I realize it is for other people. (at least the picture part; again, the health issue is much more troublesome for me.)

    That's also what I'd tell my students, btw.
  18. kedrin

    kedrin Active Member

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    See, I don't like profiling, either, I but consider the strip-search or be molested choice also to be a blatant (and selective, if some of the stories I've heard are true about more young attractive women selected than men, for example) violation of civil rights.
  19. Tessa

    Tessa New Member

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    When coming home from Vegas this week they did an EXTRA security screening at the gate. I got patted down -- yes, the full monty. The only thing good about it was that I got to jump the line and board with the elite mileage peeps. :confused:

    I hate the plastic baggie more than the pat down I think. I can't cram all my liquids and creams into that quart-size baggie.

    eta the weirdest thing was that after the lady patted me down, she wiped her gloves with what looked like a little cotton circle then tested it in a machine. What are they looking for? Drugs, explosives? Both?
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2010
  20. Jodi

    Jodi Caulkhead forever

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    Quite. You can't say that anything that makes us safer is acceptable and then just dismiss the question of whether an internal search would be OK as too ridiculous to even consider. If there is in fact something that you regard as too much of an intrusion then it's only about where you're drawing the line and you need to explain why you believe these scans/searches specifically fall within the bounds of what is reasonable.

    (Not aimed at anyone specifically so much as a general frustration at the way this stuff always goes. It's usually me asking people who think any amount of CCTV is OK "if it makes us safer" (without addressing whether it actually does) whether they'd be OK with it in their homes to make the same point that it's all a matter of where you draw the line to get the right balance between security and privacy.)
  21. PAskate

    PAskate New Member

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    I'm also a breast cancer survivor. At my local airport (where i know all of the screeners), they confirm that there are procedures against this type of behavior. However, I have been subjected to special searches by male TSA screeners at LAX due to the compression sleeve that I must wear due to lymphadema risks. The female screener that had to do special search is telling him the whole time that it's not right and that anyone can see that there is no way that I am smuggling anything inside my compression sleeve. There are idiots everywhere. The problem is that the US has become so enamoured with security that they are forgetting that people have fundemental rights.

    And before someone says that I don't have to fly, that's not a valid statement. When you work for a company that requires cross-country (or international for that matter) travel, flying is your only option. I can decide to just drive it.
  22. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    I'm well aware that my experience at Ben-Gurion is not the one my Arab friends usually have. My understanding, however, is that the extremes are far less common than just a generally unpleasant, suspicious attitude toward those who are not Jewish-Israeli. Personally - I don't think destruction of property without an extremely good reason is okay, or that humiliating searches are appropriate. I don't have an issue with more thorough questioning for some people, though - e.g. those who've come from the territories can expect to arouse some suspicion.

    What I was trying to get at in my first post (and I had a hard time deciding how to phrase parts of it) is that the Ben-Gurion security model works in Israel, that it is probably not going to work in other countries, but that some things can be taken from it (e.g. the stupidity of the liquids ban being one). I wanted to avoid getting into matters that would be more appropriate in PI.
  23. deltask8er

    deltask8er New Member

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