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  1. #81

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    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.

    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Capella View Post
    What does Tel Aviv do in their airport? It's supposed to be the safest in the world.
    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

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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. #84
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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.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

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    Quote Originally Posted by WindSpirit View Post
    So because no one has tried to blow up a plane in the time we had the scanners/pat down that means they are working so well in preventing it from happening?
    Probably not. But I'm not the one arguing (nor are you) that any moron can circumvent the process.

    I mentioned in one of my posts that in January this year (and probably even two months ago) no one even dreamed of TSA agents touching your private parts, let alone groping/twisting/lifting them; exposing someone's breasts and putting their hands in their underwear. Especially by someone of a different gender. Or to your underage kids. But it's happening. I posted some of the links earlier, I can find those with two different men (two unrelated incidents) who were searched by someone who put their hand in their underwear and grabbed/lifted their bare testicles/penis.
    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. #86

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    And sorry, I'm not going to get all upset about a weird image of me "naked" getting broadcast all over the internet.
    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. #87

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    Empty your pockets!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Capella View Post
    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.
    From today's NYTimes article about the new pat-down procedures:
    “I didn’t really expect her to touch my vagina through my pants,” said Kaya McLaren, an elementary schoolteacher from Cle Elum, Wash., who was patted down at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport last Saturday because the body scanner detected a tissue and a hair band in her pocket.
    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! The article concludes with a quote from Ms. McLaren (which seems supported by comments in this thread),
    “There are many people who are in favor of this level of screening and there are many people who are terrified by it,” said Ms. McLaren, the teacher. “But I don’t think we as an American people have reached a consensus on what it is we want.
    And in the meantime, make sure that your pockets are empty before going through the airport scanners.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WindSpirit View Post
    I didn't dismiss the solution. I said the gain was too small for the sacrifice. I refuse to be groped and photographed naked because it makes flying a little safer. Especially since they don't have any clear rules for it. I'm OK with a thorough pat down that does touch the crotch/breasts but groping/twisting/lifting your genitals, especially underneath the clothes and by a different gender? I don't think so. And yes, it's happening. And if I refuse, they'll threaten to sue me?
    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.

  9. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by PrincessLeppard View Post
    Is this happening with all TSA employees? Or is it some bad apples?
    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.

    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.
    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? 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).

    Quote Originally Posted by kedrin View Post
    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.
    Ta-da! We have a winner.

  10. #90
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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!
    Smoke a ciggy and have some fun!!!

  11. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by WindSpirit View Post
    Not all, not yet at least. But it's not the point. 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.
    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.

    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. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anita18 View Post
    BoingBoing just linked to a story about a flight attendant who was asked to remove her prosthetic breast.
    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. #93

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    Quote Originally Posted by WindSpirit View Post
    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.
    From the NYTimes article I linked to in my previous post:
    For passengers, one frustration is that the agency, citing security reasons, has declined to release specific guidelines about how the pat-downs are conducted or what agents are permitted to touch. Law-enforcement officials, on the other hand, conduct searches subject to state laws and long-established guidelines after extensive training on what is, and is not, allowed. They are also generally searching only for weapons in a stop-and-frisk encounter.

    According to information the T.S.A. has shared or published, the airport pat-downs are supposed to be conducted by officers the same sex as the traveler, and passengers can request a private screening and have a traveling companion present during the search. Agents are not permitted to look inside passengers’ underwear or reach inside a skirt, and children 12 and younger are supposed to receive a modified pat-down.
    So it is perhaps OK for the agents to put their hands inside a passenger's underwear, as long as you don't look? 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. 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. #94

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    Quote Originally Posted by susan6 View Post
    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.
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    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.
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PrincessLeppard View Post
    Probably not. But I'm not the one arguing (nor are you) that any moron can circumvent the process.
    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...

  16. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zemgirl View Post
    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.
    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 ) 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.
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  17. #97

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    Quote Originally Posted by WindSpirit View Post

    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.
    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. #98

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    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.
    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.

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    At the Gate!

    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.

    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 by Tessa; 11-19-2010 at 11:31 PM. Reason: it's a weird

  20. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by WindSpirit View Post
    Sticking their fingers into every body cavity doesn't seem so far-fetched after all. It seems more like a logical progression. After all, why not? People can very easily hide stuff in their anus/vagina. If it makes us safer we should just deal with it, right?
    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.)
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