TSA, Yea or Nay?

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TSA, Yea or Nay?

Postby Dr. Mobius » Tue Nov 23, 2010 8:24 pm

(Mods, could you split the posts from the other threads to over here before we derail them further?)
Really? Do you think it's fair to say that if you don't agree with these measures, you should just quit your job?
I do. Finding a job, even this economy, - and particularly if you already have a job, even if it's one you hate - is a hell of a lot easier than being shot by your superior officer for refusing to gas Jews. On the WTF meter, this is a relatively minor atrocity, however that doesn't make it any less wrong.

The pat downs and the people who perform them aren't the issue here, they're just the face of it. The issue is the paranoid policies and procedures that lead to a woman with metallic hairpins, regardless of her history, being pat down instead of simply asked to remove the hairpins and pass through the arch again.
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Postby Luet » Tue Nov 23, 2010 8:43 pm

I just want to point out that what happened to Kelly is, I believe, the case of a TSA employee violating the rules of their job. So, before we go further in saying that a person should quit because the job is morally wrong, maybe we should specify what the actual TSA regulations are and separate that from what a few rogue outliers are doing (who hopefully will be reprimanded and/or fired).

Here are some details of what the pat down is supposed to entail from this article:
TSA rules require a same-gender agent to conduct the search, and all touching is supposed to take place outside of clothing. Yet even TSA acknowledges that pat-downs can be off-putting... Pat-downs are likely to occur in front of other passengers, and they can be time-consuming, since it's a labor-intensive process and agents might be scarce. TSA says the inspection itself should take two to four minutes.
Bold added to highlight the two obvious areas the were violated in Kelly's case. She was searched under her shirt and the waistband of her pants/underwear. Her search took 15-20 minutes. I hope that the vast majority of TSA agents are following protocol, which while uncomfortable, if practice properly, wouldn't be violating to a person. It doesn't minimize Kelly's experience which is still horrible and hopefully will be addressed in a complaint and any other possible channels.

I realize that much of the country and many pwebbers disagree with me. Please don't be too harsh with your judgments of my opinions. :)
Last edited by Luet on Tue Nov 23, 2010 8:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby mr_thebrain » Tue Nov 23, 2010 8:47 pm

i think like everything else we see on the news this has been blown out of proportion. however i do agree that it's stupid.

it's sad that we have become so terrorized that we're going to these lengths to feel safer-although i think it's more likely to keep the fear alive.

we're terrorizing ourselves. yay.
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Postby Petrie » Tue Nov 23, 2010 8:53 pm

I realize that much of the country and many pwebbers disagree with me
Not me. Surprise, surprise.

I believe Brian when he says the biggest difference in them is the quantity performed, not the procedures. That being the case, my brother, mother, and I were given a pat-down in Chicago when we had to switch airports because we'd miss a connection and the airline paid for the switch to happen.

It was a few minutes, slightly uncomfortable because it was a stranger touching -not groping- but they never made me feel so uncomfortable by it that I was reliving real horrors from my past. They talked to me as it happened and I stayed out in public view. It was as decent an experience as I think a person can have under the circumstances.


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Postby neo-dragon » Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:04 pm

I received a quick pat down from a doorman at a club once...

Did I mention that the doorman was a young woman?

Just thought I'd share.
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Postby daPyr0x » Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:13 pm

Government mandated pat-downs, yay or nay?

How many terrorists have been caught using these procedures? Of the biggest terrorist incidences in history, how many of them *would* have been caught? ((Yes, the people that did 9/11 had boxcutters, which were legal to carry on board at the time, and are far less dangerous than Adam Savage's 12" razorblades)) They don't do s***. You know what did work? Locking the freaking cabin. Arming the cockpit. Air marshals on flights.

Really though, when thinking about how to secure an international hub like an airport, one doesn't need to think long to question how does a country like Israel do it?
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Postby Dr. Mobius » Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:41 pm

I just want to point out that what happened to Kelly is, I believe, the case of a TSA employee violating the rules of their job.
You miss my point. That it was done incorrectly and she was violated is beside the point. The point is that the TSA agents felt that a woman with metallic hairpins needed to be pat down in the first place, or that a three three old child should be put on a no fly list, or that anyone who wants on the plane should take their shoes off. And heaven forbid should you try to take more than the allowed amount of [insert random liquid here] on the plane or have your laptop mistaken for a bomb.
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Postby steph » Tue Nov 23, 2010 11:32 pm

Did you ever stop to consider that procedures are put in place for a reason? Do you think that all of this is just for fun? There are actual threats being made on this country. Let's stop placing the blame on TSA and start putting where it belongs: ON THE TERRORISTS!

Procedures are put in place to combat threats, and the government doesn't broadcast all of the latest intelligence on CNN just to boost their public approval rating. They also don't broadcast every time they stop a practice run.

Some idiots suck at their job. Some idiots suck at their job in every field. Most people that work for TSA (and I know a lot of them personally) are good, honest people trying to do their very best to protect the people of this country. Lines have to be drawn somewhere and unfortunately, right now, they are more limiting. Sometimes restrictions are lessened because threats are lower, but you never hear about that on the news.

Did you know that the metal detector was put into place in the 1960's? I don't want 50 year old technology being the one thing that protects me from 2010 terrorists. TSA is working with the best they have right now. Soon, there will be better technology available. New technologies are being developed all the time. The technology isn't quite ready for the "paper doll image" body scanner, but it's on the way. I have a friend whose company has been working on a facial recognition software that will also be able to recognize unusual nervousness. These aren't ready yet, but they will be. So don't tell me that Brian should quit his job just because the technology isn't there yet. That's just ridiculous.

By the way, if you're wondering, do these procedures work? I've got an award sitting on my computer desk right now for the discovery of an explosive device. It's not just about catching, it's about preventing.
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Postby Dr. Mobius » Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:29 am

Lines have to be drawn somewhere and unfortunately, right now, they are more limiting.
I agree that lines must be drawn somewhere, however I'm not convinced that new technology to further complicate the process is where we should be investing our resources. We should be trying to make the process less invasive without sacrificing effectiveness, not inventing new ways to poke and prod the people we're supposedly trying to protect. We should be investing in new intelligence and counter-intelligence techniques to find and track the real would-be terrorists before they ever set foot in an airport, train station or sneeze on someone after injecting themselves with a new super plague; not treating every passenger as one. Terrorism existed long before someone thought to use a commercial airliner as a cruise missile and it's ridiculous to assume the next major strike would involve our mass transit infrastructure simply because the last one did. I grant that it would be equally ridiculous to assume it wouldn't, but it seems like we're devoting an awful lot of our resources to just one of several possibilities.
I have a friend whose company has been working on a facial recognition software that will also be able to recognize unusual nervousness.
So the guy who's already got one red flag for booking a one-way cross-country ticket at the last minute to be with his dying father gets grounded when a computer flags him for "unusual nervousness" when he learns his flight has been delayed due to inclement weather.
don't tell me that Brian should quit his job
I don't believe I did. If, as I've been led to believe, he enjoys his job and believes in the politics and philosophy behind what he does, I have no objection to him staying right where he is.
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Postby daPyr0x » Wed Nov 24, 2010 9:08 am

Did you ever stop to consider that procedures are put in place for a reason? Do you think that all of this is just for fun? There are actual threats being made on this country. Let's stop placing the blame on TSA and start putting where it belongs: ON THE TERRORISTS!
The TSA's process would not have caught the underwear bomber. It would not have stopped the terrorists that took over the planes on 9/11. Does the process prevent unauthorized products making it on to the plane? Sure it does. But you can't ban everything that can potentially cause harm, because damn near anything can cause harm. Refusing to let me carry shampoo on the plane does a whole lot less for safety than proper personnel screening for actual terrorists.
Procedures are put in place to combat threats, and the government doesn't broadcast all of the latest intelligence on CNN just to boost their public approval rating. They also don't broadcast every time they stop a practice run.
So, would you say that in Israel, their international airport faces more or less threats from violence/terrorism than any airport in the US? Call me crazy, but I'd hazard a guess to say that terrorists are a far bigger threat for them than Americans. Yet somehow, Israeli's Ben Gurion Airport has not had a breach of security since 2002 (link).
Some idiots suck at their job. Some idiots suck at their job in every field. Most people that work for TSA (and I know a lot of them personally) are good, honest people trying to do their very best to protect the people of this country. Lines have to be drawn somewhere and unfortunately, right now, they are more limiting. Sometimes restrictions are lessened because threats are lower, but you never hear about that on the news.
Actually you do. I heard about this on the news, as I did about the relaxed liquid restrictions. Lines do need to be drawn somewhere, that's what all-encompassing legal documents such as the little known constitution is there for, to draw those lines. And get s*** on by money grubbing assholes like Chertoff - former head of DHS (see - person who instituted rules regarding scanners), who now works on behalf of OSI (the company who manufactures the scanners) as a lobbyist through a consulting company. The person who made the law is personally profiting from it. HOW DOES THIS NOT BOTHER YOU PEOPLE???
Did you know that the metal detector was put into place in the 1960's? I don't want 50 year old technology being the one thing that protects me from 2010 terrorists. TSA is working with the best they have right now. Soon, there will be better technology available. New technologies are being developed all the time. The technology isn't quite ready for the "paper doll image" body scanner, but it's on the way. I have a friend whose company has been working on a facial recognition software that will also be able to recognize unusual nervousness. These aren't ready yet, but they will be. So don't tell me that Brian should quit his job just because the technology isn't there yet. That's just ridiculous.
Again I make mention of the Israelis, they seem to be doing a pretty damn good job without all this "technology." Facial recognition software? Training people on this isn't working, why are we trying to train a computer to do it?

But hey, lets take a different stance on things. We're forcing people to be exposed to X-rays, yet unlike every other place where X-ray machines are used, the TSA agents are banned from wearing dosimeter badges (to warn if they've received a dangerous dose of radiation, we actually don't have any actual independent and verifiable information regarding the safety and health effects of these scanning machines - everybody saying they're safe is based around the "radiation dosage per pound of person" idea, when the truth is that unlike common x-rays, the radiation from these machines is absorbed completely by the skin as opposed to throughout the body. Do I have any justification in saying they'll cause cancer? No, but neither does anyone saying they don't. We just don't know, nobody does, and nobody's going to for as long as the government keeps awarding no-bid contracts to their friends.

Oh, and if that doesn't bother you. If nothing else that I've written strikes a chord to you as a problem, then I present to you one final story. How would you feel if you sent your high school age daughter on a school trip and then found out the government mandated machine you are forced to go for is being manned by an individual who's getting himself off on the view of your daughter and all her friends naked. (link)

If this is all okay with you, if being viewed naked, masturbated to, and felt up is considered an appropriate condition on travelling to you, then the terrorists have won. Terror-ists, they want you to feel terror. Are you scared?
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Re: TSA, Yea or Nay?

Postby Jayelle » Wed Nov 24, 2010 10:31 am

(Mods, could you split the posts from the other threads to over here before we derail them further?)
Too late. We can't add to an already made thread. Sorry.
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Postby eggbalancer » Wed Nov 24, 2010 11:45 am

daPyr0x: I had typed out a whole point-by-point response, but I think you have already pretty much formulated your opinion on the matter (even if it was largely influenced by two-year-old articles or two-year-old logic and dubious news sources.Don't believe everything you read on the internet.). I don't think there is anything I can say to change your mind, especially since some information cannot be shared because of security clearance. No one has been arrested in Denver for their behavior related to the AIT. People have been arrested because the Behavior Detection Officers have picked up on them through interviews. There are efforts being made outside the airport. There are multiple layers of security.

Dr. Mobius: They are trying to find ways to make the process less invasive, yet still effective. The new technologies will be aimed towards simplifying the process, not complicating it. When the automated image analyzer software comes online, I hope that people will revisit this issue and point out that TSA is doing their best to protect us and our privacy (although I suspect it will be cast in the light of, "See! We banded together and made TSA back down!" even though the software has been in the testing phase for months.)

Also, Airport security is the only one in the national spotlight, but that doesn't mean that TSA and DHS aren't already prepared for other possibilities of attack.
So the guy who's already got one red flag for booking a one-way cross-country ticket at the last minute to be with his dying father gets grounded when a computer flags him for "unusual nervousness" when he learns his flight has been delayed due to inclement weather.
The Behavior Detection Officers aren't going to accost and detain people without talking to them to find out what's going on. They see plenty of people displaying those normal symptoms of nervousness, and that's not the kind they're looking for.

I have actually been surprised at how cooperative and friendly 99% of the people coming through the machines have been over the last couple of days. I think this is another case of the vocal minority getting showcased by the media. Most people get it. A few just get mad.
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Postby daPyr0x » Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:48 pm

I love being engaged.

So, my "final point" article was a fabricated exaggeration, which you debunked by showing evidence of an instance poor reporting that was done previously on a topic I hadn't brought up. Okay, sure. I'll take that back, even if it does look suspiciously like this guy is jacking it. Regardless, I don't think it's an unrealistic concern to have, despite the fact that no, the machines do not show full colour images.

2 year old articles and 2 year old logic? Okay, you're right, I quoted one single 2 year old article regarding TSA effectiveness. Fine, here's a more recent one, based on a report by the GAO. 58% of arrests made are for illegal aliens and persons with outstanding warrants. Did these people get caught 'cause they got patted down? I'm pretty sure you can't tell an illegal by grabbing their junk.
TSA is doing their best to protect us and our privacy
You just said that, right? Like they were when they assured everyone the images attained from the scanner couldn't possibly be saved? oops...

Here's what I don't understand though. The odds of dying of testicular cancer are 1 in 7200 (link), vs. your odds of death by terrorist attack at 1 in 9.3 million (link - I'd love to have this debunked, so please do show me if you have proof to the contrary)...if we're forcing everybody through groping, why not check for testicular cancer while you're there? It's far more likely to kill you. Hell, you have a better chance of being struck and killed by lightning than you do dying in a terrorist attack. Maybe we should include checks to ensure everybody's shoes will fully isolate them from the ground, too.

I'm not saying that security isn't important, nor am I saying that TSA operatives doing their job are doing anything inherently wrong (in fact, I stood up for them during the original discussion on here); what I am saying is that forcing people through radiation machines - the side effects we know nothing about - that display nude images, with the only opt-out option is being groped head to toe, in order to be able to travel is a clear violation of privacy and the constitution on which your country was built.

Maybe if it there was some sort of corroborating data that shows actual effectiveness of the system....except that's exactly where I started. The government outright admits it has no way to tell.
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Postby zeroguy » Wed Nov 24, 2010 9:09 pm

Did you ever stop to consider that procedures are put in place for a reason?
Even if these things are 100% effective and should be the way they are, the TSA has completely failed to convince the public of that. Completely failed; out of anyone I have ever talked to that has mentioned these things (outside of pweb, I guess), I have never seen anyone talk as if they feel safer due to any TSA security measures, or treated them as anything but a laughingstock.

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Postby eggbalancer » Thu Nov 25, 2010 1:11 am

dapyrox, as I stated in my last post, it's not worth my time to try and change your mind, since it's not open to anything I have to say. I'm going to continue with my life of being a dad and going to work to keep you safe. If you want to form opinions based on inaccurate articles you read on the internet, (or articles that actually refute your point, but you haven't bothered to actually read them) be my guest. I'm not going to "engage" you here in a futile argument.

zeroguy, I hear what you're saying, and I think that Janet Napolitano and John Pistole could do a better job of convincing the public that what we're doing is necessary. However, I talk to hundreds of people every day, and tons of them tell us, in one way or another "thank you for what you do." I didn't hear any complaints or have any problems today, on "National Opt Out Day." In fact, I heard dozens of people say we were doing a great job and that the media hype was totally ridiculous.

Our checkpoint was under intense scrutiny by a half dozen camera crews with telephoto lenses today. An investigative reporter came through several times, trying to find some "dirt," but couldn't. They gave up and went home, because there was no scandal to report. Short lines and happy passengers.
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Postby Eaquae Legit » Thu Nov 25, 2010 1:13 am

dapyrox, as I stated in my last post, it's not worth my time to try and change your mind, since it's not open to anything I have to say. I'm going to continue with my life of being a dad and going to work to keep you safe. If you want to form opinions based on inaccurate articles you read on the internet, (or articles that actually refute your point, but you haven't bothered to actually read them) be my guest. I'm not going to "engage" you here in a futile argument.

zeroguy, I hear what you're saying, and I think that Janet Napolitano and John Pistole could do a better job of convincing the public that what we're doing is necessary. However, I talk to hundreds of people every day, and tons of them tell us, in one way or another "thank you for what you do." I didn't hear any complaints or have any problems today, on "National Opt Out Day." In fact, I heard dozens of people say we were doing a great job and that the media hype was totally ridiculous.

Our checkpoint was under intense scrutiny by a half dozen camera crews with telephoto lenses today. An investigative reporter came through several times, trying to find some "dirt," but couldn't. They gave up and went home, because there was no scandal to report. Short lines and happy passengers.
I'm really glad you had a good day. :)
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Postby daPyr0x » Thu Nov 25, 2010 8:49 am

There were lots of reporters out for "opt-out day." It was a very well strategized move to minimize backscatter usage during the day, removing the issue as a whole. OH NO OUR SKIES WONT BE SAFE CAUSE THEY DIDNT LOOK IN THE BROWN MAN'S DRAWERS!!!!! Oh well, at least the PR situation has been temporarily diffused.

Thankfully, they'll still stick their hands in your pants, just in case that teenager has a bomb wrapped around his cock. I'm all for security, but sticking your hands inside my pants isn't security. It's conditioning.
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Postby mr_thebrain » Thu Nov 25, 2010 9:47 am

i'm all for security checkpoints, i think they do a good job. i just think that it's getting a little carried away with how they implement their security. i think it was doing a pretty darn good job before this new procedure and it will continue to do a good job with it. i just think the new procedure is overkill.

what's the ratio of planes brought down by terrorist to planes brought down by technical failure (engines blowing up) to planes being brought down by terrible piloting?

either way the numbers will be incredibly low don't ya think? especially when you consider how many people die in car crashes every year.

we can't prevent everyone from dying anyway. s*** happens, if it's not by some stupid person on a plane it'll be some way else. i felt safer getting on a plane 2 years ago than i do today. and it has nothing to do with terrorists or security. this is just a new way for americans to keep americans terrified and/or embarrassed. and it's unnecessary in my opinion.

i actually find it hard to believe that people are still targeting planes. i'm thinking the next real attack is going to a whole lot less 9/11 and more land attack anyway.
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