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A Peek At the National Opt-Out Day Numbers

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the was-a-good-day-to-drive dept.

Security 297

Yesterday was a big travel day for Americans, and the organizers of National Opt-Out Day hoped to use it to highlight widespread, though not universal, dissatisfaction with stepped-up screening measures in US airports, by encouraging people selected for body screening to insist instead on the pat-down alternative. Reader Willtor writes with a story in the New York Times on the effect of the protest: "'39 people had opted out of the body scans in Atlanta by 5 p.m. In Los Angeles, 113 had. One had opted out in Charlotte, N.C. Boston seemed to have something of a mini-spike, with 300.' This is a tiny fraction of passengers, of course. But when I flew out of Boston this afternoon, they had opened a line that led to a traditional metal detector. When I flew out in June all lines went to the nudie scanners. Is it safe to be optimistic that we have been heard and policies have changed? I am not particularly concerned whether we get credit or whether it is reported that the protest fizzled. But it would be nice to know that some of the more invasive theatrics have become optional." According to its organizers, meanwhile, the opt-out protest was a "rousing success." If you traveled yesterday by air, what was your impression?

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the opt-out protest was a "rousing success." (1)

Fibe-Piper (1879824) | more than 3 years ago | (#34344846)

obviously/P

Re:the opt-out protest was a "rousing success." (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34344948)

AAA numbers...

In 2000 6+ million traveled by air
After 2001 it was about 4m. It rebounded to 4.5-5m over next few years.
2008 you begin the slide down in air travel
This year is expected to be slightly more than last year, about 1.6m
Next year??

so 6+million => 1.6 million slide

I used to fly frequently (on average standard). Terrorism never would have stopped me. Maybe 10 flights in 2006. And I was good for the airlines. Only 1 small carry on, no luggage, and I even dressed to get through the metal detectors without causing slowdowns. But now, no way. I will not be paying to be treated as if I was in prison. It doesn't make me feel safer to be xrayed and groped.

I may actually need to travel from Chicago to San Francisco early next year and I'm actually looking at AmTrak. 3 days on a hotel on wheels - sounds better than xrays and molestation...

BTW: New Hampshire has a motto "Live Free or Die". They should change it. We have created our of prisons and the terrorists are laughing...

Re:the opt-out protest was a "rousing success." (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 3 years ago | (#34345712)

so 6+million => 1.6 million slide/quote?

Please, p[ease, please, provide a reliable citation for those numbers.
My google-fu is not strong enough.

I promise to use the power wisely and email just about everybody I know with them if they are supportable.

Re:the opt-out protest was a "rousing success." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34345036)

If you have actually read the reports, most of the supposed turkey day protesters have been... 'CHICKENING' OUT! What a bunch of whiny COWards!! Buck buck buck buck buck buck buck!!!

Mine is: (4, Interesting)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 3 years ago | (#34345080)

I've completely opted out of flying commercially since 2001. That's a protest that allows me to vote with my wallet. It has transferred tens of thousands of dollars away from the airlines, and I expect that trend to continue. In the interim, I've very much enjoyed driving about the nation, traveled internationally via cruise ship (though that is now beginning to suffer similar indignities as commercial passenger service), and learned that "luxury" train travel in the US appears to be something descended from Torquemada's collection of techniques.

The first car ride I took (that I can recall) was in 1959; like many American males, I've had a vibrant interest in cars since very early on. I've owned quite a number of them across the years. From that perspective, most of today's vehicles are amazingly well made, comfortable, handle extremely well, and are stupendously reliable - truly a joy for me to drive. That, combined with a lifelong passion for photography, and I have to say driving is something I've happily rediscovered over the last decade. Occasionally I rent a higher end vehicle that I would not normally have the opportunity to drive for a cross-country run; I can't even begin to tell you how much fun that can be if you actually enjoy driving. Large portions of the American west, particularly around the Rockies, still offer driving challenges worth taking on... it gets considerably more tedious, road-wise, as you get closer to the coasts (55 in what is essentially a supercar is kind of annoying), but on the other hand, the photo ops become quite numerous, so I sort of change objectives as I go.

I would suggest that if driving is an option you can consider, this is a much more effective -- and fun -- way to protest the approach taken by the government and the airlines. Like it or not, money is the longest, strongest lever you can apply in this society. Writing "TSA sucks" on yourself or going to the checkpoint in a kilt, sans underwear... these things don't really accomplish much, other than get you your ten minutes of infamy.

Re:Mine is: (0, Troll)

del_diablo (1747634) | more than 3 years ago | (#34345154)

Number and statistics is a sad thing,
You are no longer flying, and thus you think you are voting with your wallet.
Here is the problem: There are millions more people, 1 lost ticket won't affect profit, and the people who should have dropped it in protest fly so regularely and are so addicted on the issue that they won't consider it.
By all means, vote with your wallet, but please be aware that it won't mean anytthing.

Re:Mine is: (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34345226)

I guess you don't vote in elections then, because your single vote is insignificant, right?

Re:Mine is: (-1, Offtopic)

del_diablo (1747634) | more than 3 years ago | (#34345310)

Democratic elections rely on a broken process:
Either enough people vote, or the result is random
Image if suddenly only 10% of the population participated, then the result is random in contrast to 85% participation. So... you must either vote, or accept whatever shit the next goverment decides to throw..... Idiotic and broken
Think of it more like having a bunch of services, and you feed the least broken one, which is still really broken. That is democraty when it does not work as intended. Which actually happens a lot more than people think.
So yes, I vote, simply because the option is worse. Of course, voting also means I accept the majority enjoying their rights i may or may not disagree with.

Re:Mine is: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34345234)

Voting isn't about controlling other people. It's about making your opinion known.

A single vote almost never makes a difference. But to say "Fuck it, I'll just give in," because your single vote isn't making a difference is to totally miss the point.

Re:Mine is: (0, Offtopic)

del_diablo (1747634) | more than 3 years ago | (#34345346)

I disagree with your interprention of my comment.
Voting is about controlling people, otherwise there would not exist a good reason to vote, it is just that it happens from the viewpoint of the partial hivemind we call society. You vote for X, somebody else for Y, and the rest of the sheeps vote for Z.
And if we really want to compare it with voting, does there exist a air company flying internally in US that has no checks except generic metal detector? In politics you would make your useless party, recruit and spread your opinion, and thus then actually making the voting process worth it(and no, its not worth it).
If there does not exist that, then there is nothing to vote on, and nothing to gain by sitting home, unless you use a different enterprise within commercial transportation.
And.... does there exist a option from getting from A to B within relatively short time C? Trains are to slow, cars are to slow, the only option is airtraffic, unless you ignore time. If you ignore time, you will face a entire new bunch of conditions, which may conflict with your demand and needs.

~Nordicfag

Re:Mine is: (1)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | more than 3 years ago | (#34345332)

Then you don't understand how a trend gets started. The first people to do something are usually told that they are pissing in the wind. Ideas catch on, more people vote with their money and things can change.

Re:Mine is: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34345490)

By all means, give up without trying! Then we can be assured the numbers wont change! :p

Re:Mine is: (2, Insightful)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | more than 3 years ago | (#34345228)

At the moment you can drive anywhere you like without being hassled by the TSA. Rest assured that they will get to you sooner or later. The USA is about 1/4 way down a slippery slope and picking up speed.

Re:Mine is: (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34345336)

O'Rly?

http://tucsoncitizen.com/view-from-baja-arizona/2010/05/16/guide-to-border-patrol-checkpoints/
https://www.checkpointusa.org/blog/index.php/2008/07/04/p94

Re:Mine is: (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 3 years ago | (#34345400)

Sadly, the Airlines will be deemed 'too big to fail' and you'll end up paying for it anyway.

Re:Mine is: (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34345410)

Hello,

I represent the commercial airlines of the US and I must say that we are deeply disturbed by your withdrawal from domestic flight. I promise wholeheartedly that we will work feverishly and ceaselessly to amend all the difficulties that you may perceive so that we can win back your valued business. In complete truth, I claim that we will leave no stone unturned in the pursuit of your satisfaction as a valued customer.

[Turns away momentarily to conceal a snicker.]

Oh, by the way, that camera is prohibited and your photographic activities will be reported to the DHS.

Re:Mine is: (4, Insightful)

trentblase (717954) | more than 3 years ago | (#34345526)

You are voting with your wallet, but did you make your reasons known? It may seem idiotic, but I'm sure someone at an airline is looking at the numbers and saying "people aren't flying anymore, it must be because they DON'T FEEL SAFE... we must make them feel safer by launching operation anal cavity probe!"

Re:the opt-out protest was a "rousing success." (1)

Gerzel (240421) | more than 3 years ago | (#34345588)

OR...

Policies could have been changed due to the tremendous load of the biggest travel day of the year that was likely to overtax the new systems to the point that the old systems would be re-opened even without any sort of "protest."

Re:the opt-out protest was a "rousing success." (0, Flamebait)

Gerzel (240421) | more than 3 years ago | (#34345600)

Oh BTW since when did Republicans get so weak on national security?

Seriously, no problem with warrentless wiretaps, starting 2 wars and all that the Bush administration did, but as soon as it's a Democrat then it's invasion of privacy.

Duh (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34344858)

It was arousing success ;)

The TSA has not changed policy (5, Insightful)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 3 years ago | (#34344874)

They are switching to standard metal detectors until the furor dies down, then they will ramp up with the scanning and patting.

I expect the switch to resume after Thanksgiving when most travelers will be business travelers who can't afford to spend their time protesting.

Now, if the TSA is right about the necessity of these scanners and enhanced patdowns, this move to temporarily disable the scanners seems like a massive security problem.

Get used to the Police State... (5, Informative)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 3 years ago | (#34344908)

Not only does the TSA not plan to make any changes in response to the scanner issue, they have said that they would like similar "security" for Amtrak and Greyhound. Next up, searches and scanners at malls. Folks, it's too late. We let them have their way for the pas 9 years or so, and they have grown too strong to stop.

Re:Get used to the Police State... (4, Insightful)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 3 years ago | (#34344950)

this is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty - never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.

- Winston Churchill [wikiquote.org] , 29 October 1941

Re:Get used to the Police State... (4, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#34345188)

Never give up, never surrender! - Commander Peter Quincy Taggart

Re:Get used to the Police State... (4, Funny)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34345312)

Never give up. Trust your instincts. - Peppy, Star Fox 64

Re:Get used to the Police State... (5, Funny)

NoSleepDemon (1521253) | more than 3 years ago | (#34345382)

Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you go - Rick Astley, "Never Gonna Give You Up"

Re:Get used to the Police State... (2, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 3 years ago | (#34345694)

Why don't you have some dirty hot sex with me?

- Pepper, Give It Up

Re:Get used to the Police State... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34344962)

And every time the subject of running kids through these things or the pat downs comes up on the news, they almost always just don't want to talk about it.

Any parent that forces their kids (anyone less than 18.000 years, who can not consent to this kind of thing) through one of these things should be locked up.

Re:Get used to the Police State... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34345078)

18 thousand years? That's an old kid.

Re:Get used to the Police State... (1)

orlanz (882574) | more than 3 years ago | (#34345412)

He is obviously American, you non-American insensitive clod!

Re:Get used to the Police State... (1)

Peach Rings (1782482) | more than 3 years ago | (#34344966)

It's not like the pat-down stuff is codified in law; it's an administrative thing. I'm not sure the administrator of the TSA can be fired by Obama since he was confirmed by the Senate, but in 2012 a new administrator can be nominated that will be able to stop the new search procedures with a simple signed memo.

Re:Get used to the Police State... (4, Interesting)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 3 years ago | (#34345038)

Senate confirmation doesn't prevent someone from being fired (cf Andrew Johnson, 17th President. Particularly his impeachment). John Pistole (TSA chief douchebag) or Janet Napolitano (DHS chief cunt) could stop them today. Barack Obama could stop them today (either by telling them to stop, or firing her cottage cheese ass for gross incompetence, or with an executive order).

Re:Get used to the Police State... (2, Insightful)

fnj (64210) | more than 3 years ago | (#34345232)

On the money. Exactly right. And I think we can see that both political parties have turned against the founding principles of the US. One of them brought us this police state in the form of the nazi-in-clown-suit TSA and DHS, and the other has continued and magnified the policy. We still in possession of our wits DO see the enemy ... and he is ... you know it.

It's worse. (5, Informative)

toby (759) | more than 3 years ago | (#34345000)

Read this. [shtfplan.com]

Opt-outers (presumably of any TSA procedure on any mode of transport) are tagged "domestic extremists" whose data will be referred to the Extremism and Radicalization Branch, Homeland Environment Threat Analysis Division [blogspot.com] .

Re:It's worse. (1)

nu1x (992092) | more than 3 years ago | (#34345134)

Woohoo ! You did it America !

You "voted" yourself into a shoebox !

Please consider this thread godwinned (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34345222)

thank you.

Re:It's worse. (3, Interesting)

fnj (64210) | more than 3 years ago | (#34345294)

OK, the thugs in charge of the US want to create an estranged and disenfranchised domestic enemy for some strategic purpose. They will get it. I just hope it surprises them, exceeds their plans, takes them by the throat, strangles them all and kicks the gang of thugs into the sewer where they belong.

Re:It's worse. (4, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#34345354)

Read this. [shtfplan.com]

Opt-outers (presumably of any TSA procedure on any mode of transport) are tagged "domestic extremists" whose data will be referred to the Extremism and Radicalization Branch, Homeland Environment Threat Analysis Division [blogspot.com] .

Your source is a blog of a blog of an un-named source that doesn't show anyone the putative memo. No pdf of the thing at all. For all we know, it's a bunch of electrons made up by somebody with an axe to grind.

A few seconds wandering around the Internet will yield hundreds if not thousands of similar posts about similar horrible things with about the same degree of provenance.

Tape the foil on tighter if you like, I'm going for the turkey.

Re:It's worse. (2, Funny)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 3 years ago | (#34345408)

Tape the foil on tighter if you like, I'm going for the turkey.

They got to you, didn't they? How much did they pay you? Are they holding your family?

Re:It's worse. (3, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#34345442)

Like I said, I'm going for the turkey. If they're holding my family all I can say is that it sucks to be them....

Nutjob (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34345642)

Sometimes I enjoy listening to all the nutjobs on the radio, talking about their government conspiracies to depopulate the planet, eugenics and mental experiments. What is scary, is once in a long while, these clows are right.

This is the beginning of a police state.

Oh well, time to donate to EPIC.ORG. Maybe that action will put me on the no-fly list.... You know, aiding and funding a dangerous organization like Epic or UCLA.

Re:It's worse. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34345552)

Note, this is an academic observation- this gentleman appears to meet his own criteria for domestic terrorist:

a) DOMESTIC TERRORISM DEFINED- Section 2331 of title 18, United States Code, is amended–
‘(5) the term `domestic terrorism’ means activities that–
‘(B) appear to be intended–
‘(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population ==

So we can't exercise our rights to peacefully object to a government policy without being blackballed and thrown on a punitive list? Sounds like intimidation and coercion to me.

But again, a PURELY academic observation.

No they haven't (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34345176)

We let them have their way for the pas 9 years or so, and they have grown too strong to stop.
 
That's just what they want you to believe. As long as you make it as much hassle for them as it is for you, you will be just as strong as they are.

Re:The TSA has not changed policy (4, Interesting)

IICV (652597) | more than 3 years ago | (#34344958)

Yup, that's what I've been hearing - that the TSA is shutting down the naked people scanners today, presumably in order to deflate the number of people who opt-out of naked people scanning.

What I would really like to see is the number of people who went through the naked people scanners, as a percentage of the total number of passengers passing through airports today. If the TSA was purposefully shutting down the naked scanners in order to deflate the number of people who can object to going through them, then that sort of manipulation would show up in such a statistic.

Re:The TSA has not changed policy (4, Interesting)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 3 years ago | (#34345056)

Yup, that's what I've been hearing - that the TSA is shutting down the naked people scanners today, presumably in order to deflate the number of people who opt-out of naked people scanning.

Actually, I strongly suspect it's because, let's face it, the scanners hurt overall passenger throughput, which would make a bad travel day absolutely horrendous.

Which, of course, is really quite ironic: during a period when you probably want real, functional security procedures the most (ie, when the most people are traveling), the TSA has to ratchet down their policies in order to handle the load...

Doubletalk abounds on this issue (5, Insightful)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 3 years ago | (#34345130)

"Which, of course, is really quite ironic: during a period when you probably want real, functional security procedures the most (ie, when the most people are traveling), the TSA has to ratchet down their policies in order to handle the load..."

There is nothing ironic about it at all. It is simply proof that even the TSA doesn't believe their own bullshit regarding the importance of said scanners for the purpose they claim. The scanners are already serving their purpose, which is to generate lots of cash and kickbacks. On the one hand they are claiming it keeps things super secure, and on the other the authorities are looking into the possibility a teen stowed away on a plane from North Carolina to Logan [bostonherald.com] . I mean, which is it? These procedures are super important and keep us all safe, or these procedures may well have not even been able to keep some random teen from stowing away on a plane?

Re:The TSA has not changed policy (4, Insightful)

nu1x (992092) | more than 3 years ago | (#34345164)

> Which, of course, is really quite ironic: during a period when you probably want real, functional security procedures the most (ie, when > the most people are traveling), the TSA has to ratchet down their policies in order to handle the load...

Which proves that, the scanners are there not to protect people at the most vulnerable travel day if you would look at it from common sense perspective, but rather, to train the cattle to be more obedient cattle.

Re:The TSA has not changed policy (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34345140)

Yeah, I was all set to opt-out on Wednesday but they just sent me through the regular metal detector like they used to before this whole mess started. Opt-out numbers aren't so meaningful if you don't even have the chance to opt-out.

Re:The TSA has not changed policy (1)

BuckaBooBob (635108) | more than 3 years ago | (#34345158)

Actually what would be more effective would be to get everyone to call/email/snail-mail the Airport Administrators and Demand they out-out of the TSA and move to private screening at their local airport as a result of the "Nude" Scanners implemented by the TSA.

That would likely be alot more successful as fewer people would have a larger impact on the people that can opt-out of the TSA program..

Re:The TSA has not changed policy (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 3 years ago | (#34345306)

Now, if the TSA is right about the necessity of these scanners and enhanced pat-downs, this move to temporarily disable the scanners seems like a massive security problem.

If they were sure they were right, they would never bypass them. The fact that they do indicates that they are not a necessity, just a convenience or scare tactic. Rumor is that the enhanced pat-downs were initiated to "encourage" people into accepting the back-scatter scans.

I read an article that the TSA is considering software to either distort the back-scatter images or reduce them to stick-figure images, with any anomalies highlighted. If true and implemented, then this should reduce some of the complaints about the scans. If simple stick-figures are shown, then there wouldn't be a need for a monitor in another room for "privacy"; the monitor could be out next to the scanner.

I can't speak for the overall legal/privacy or radiation concerns, though if the specs are correct, any radiation exposure should be very minimal for the average air traveler.

Can't opt-out if they don't run the scanners (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34344882)

Though the TSA denies it, over at Engadget some folks are reporting the scanners aren't being used in some places.

But... (1)

InvisibleSoul (882722) | more than 3 years ago | (#34344884)

Nudie scans are an arousing excess.

The TSA (1)

Christian Marks (1932350) | more than 3 years ago | (#34344898)

is only doing its hand job.

Seatac had scanners galore but weren't using them. (4, Interesting)

Peganthyrus (713645) | more than 3 years ago | (#34344912)

I didn't see anyone getting a pat-down, "enhanced" or otherwise. Just the same old shoes-on-the-xray-belt routine as always.

Re:Seatac had scanners galore but weren't using th (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34345156)

Same here. I actually had to go through security twice, because my first flight was canceled. No pat-downs, no protesters, just the same deal everyone's been doing for years.

Entirely predictable. (5, Interesting)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 3 years ago | (#34344914)

This was entirely predictable. It's not easy to convince people to let other people--strangers of the same gender--touch them intimately as a form of protest.

It was also predictable that the media would spin it as a failure.

In fact, it probably helped speed security clearances on one of the busiest travel days of the year, because the TSA planned for a larger disruption. At least, that is what I would do, to be safe, and I'd imagine they did it.

The major media covers the story by repeating the TSA talking point that the majority of Americans support the scans. They base this on a Washington Post/ABC poll: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/polls/postpoll_11222010.html?sid=ST2009122902788 [washingtonpost.com]

I do think you'd get different numbers if you polled at the airport.

Re:Entirely predictable. (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 3 years ago | (#34344992)

There was the original CBS poll that showed 80% support. That was before anybody was paying attention (and who knows how they phrased the question). Then the Washington Post/ABC poll with 64% support for the scanners, 48% support for molesting. Zogby [zogby.com] has a more recent poll showing even more public opposition (the raw data isn't available but 61% oppose scanning and molesting).

Re:Entirely predictable. (5, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 3 years ago | (#34345044)

What I'm seeing in these articles are simply lies.

A woman says "I took the scanner, because I was even more unfomfortable with the enhanced pat down" and that's spun as supporting scanners. That's a bald faced lie.

Another woman says "I took the scanner, because I thought if I opted out I would look suspicious, and I just want to get through without a hassle", and that's spun as "not being against scanners"...

For my part, I'd submit to get onto a plane too. My last flight was part of a $5000 vacation package. If my wife and I are not on the plane, its not like we get the money back. I want to enjoy my vacation, and not watch $5k go up in smoke to make a point at the airport.

Bottom line, you can't look at how much resistance you actually see at airports. Its a coercive environment, they hold your vacation or business trip, your freedom, and even your dignity over your head. For a lot of people these are "high stakes"... make a fuss and your expensive flight is missed, your relaxing vacation, or family visit, or business meeting is ruined. And instead your in some sort of legal limbo where they can confiscate your stuff, strip search you, delay you indefinitly... Its no wonder that most travellers just want to fade into the background and get to their destination without hassle.

People don't support for the TSA system. They are terrified of it.

Re:Entirely predictable. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34345182)

People don't support for the TSA system. They are terrified of it.

And now we can all see who the real 'terrorists' are.

Re:Entirely predictable. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34345274)

A woman says "I took the scanner, because I was even more unfomfortable with the enhanced pat down" and that's spun as supporting scanners. That's a bald faced lie.

Another woman says "I took the scanner, because I thought if I opted out I would look suspicious, and I just want to get through without a hassle", and that's spun as "not being against scanners"...

QFT.

It's like saying "I opted to get 5 years in jail for jaywalking instead of 15 years in jail for trespassing".
Both are completely off the charts constitution killers, but it still makes "5 years for jaywalking" sound better.

Not only that, but something not included here are the number of people who opted not to fly because of all this bullshit.
With ePatdowns and NakedScanners on one side and the countless fees airlines are throwing around, it's only a matter of time before we're bailing out the bankrupt airlines again.

Re:Entirely predictable. (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34345542)

IMO part of the problem is that they positioned the protest wrong. People don't want to screw up time with family to make a protest. If you cause a fuss you may never get where you're going. If they'd set the protest for sunday it would be a protest coming back. And you could always tell your boss you got caught up in the protest, true or not. Going out do you really want to explain to your relatives that you were busy protesting?

The other thing is people travelling with kids might not want to protest at all. Mostly because the kids will protest the delay, and no one wants to deal with that.

Re:Entirely predictable. (2, Insightful)

Rik Rohl (1399705) | more than 3 years ago | (#34345586)

And if that isn't the very definition of Tyranny, i don't know what is.

Re:Entirely predictable. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34345054)

How was it predictable that the media would spin it as a failure? As far as I can see the general sentiment from the media has been the exact opposite. Many outlets say the public might revolt because of increasingly invasive TSA "security theatre". The reality is that the majority of travelers just don't care.

Re:Entirely predictable. (3, Insightful)

Super Dave Osbourne (688888) | more than 3 years ago | (#34345084)

My guess is that the Big Sis and her fun loving civil liberty thefts are laughing all the way to the bank on this one. 1/3 of a billion in sales (at least) for Chertoff and clan as well, kickbacks to governmint officials and the public protestors are seen as a loose bunch of losers that can't organize a real movement. There has to be more than a protest 'day', which is easily skipped. There has to be a civil unrest and protest that lasts months or years for there to be any chance of change. So many that made the 60s and 70s what it was in protesting are old and passing the battle on to a ADHD laden group of kids they pushed out as a 2nd and 3rd generation of wannabees. Seriously, if you want change, folks have to change themselves (literally and figuratively). If you want society to get better, than you had better start by getting better yourselves. Lead by example, and refuse to have your liberties taken/stripped away. Getting naked or in a bathing suit at the airport is a JOKE, that is exactly what the TSA and Big Sis wants you to do, give up your privacy and self respect.

Re:Entirely predictable. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34345244)

What could be a greater success than making the Giant blink. I think we should repeat it on December 24.

I was one of the thirty or so protesters who hit the Manchester, New Hampshire International Airport, we got great responses to our signs and bullhorned (outdoor) comments. A couple touchy spots with cops, especially when I was greeting TSA agents with "Hey, how ya doin' Chester Molester". They didn't like that, complained to cops, but cops really could not act on the content of my speach. They asked me to tone it down, so I just said "OK" and continued with what I was doing before.

The no-show (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 3 years ago | (#34345360)

This was entirely predictable. It's not easy to convince people to let other people--strangers of the same gender--touch them intimately as a form of protest.

From the WSJ:

George Donnelly, one of the organizers of the Opt Out day boycott, said Wednesday that his group hadn't received any reports of significant opt-outs. He said the group will continue its efforts after the Thanksgiving holiday. Few Travel Problems, as 'Opt Out' Day Fizzles [wsj.com]

It's Thanksgiving.

Flights are booked solid weeks - often months - in advance.

The protestor does not get to the screening area without having purchased a ticket - for which he has probably paid full price. He stands a fair chance of cooling his kilts in the county lock-up until his wife can be persuaded to post bail.

Not in NC (2, Informative)

TheUnknownOne (810624) | more than 3 years ago | (#34344964)

My cousin traveled up from North Carolina, said there were no pat downs, or scanners. (He said he saw the scanners, but they weren't using them)

Well played, TSA, well played (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34344976)

It's hard to opt-out if the thing you're opting out of is roped off and not used.

This was a brilliant move by an organization that is not known for its brilliance, ever. Somebody at the TSA is sipping champagne and laughing today at pulling the rug out from underneath the protesters' feet.

The scanners will be back online within days, and then it will be more of the same from the gestapo. But the protest? FAIL. All of the mainstream stories show this to be a non-issue, and now the "protest" numbers back this up in the TSA's world of spin. We got played.

Comply citizen.

Re:Well played, TSA, well played (5, Interesting)

Apuleius (6901) | more than 3 years ago | (#34345618)

By turning the scanners off, they tacitly admitted that the public's discontent is a bigger issue than Al Qaeda.

Now we just have to make them say it outright.

No Problems -- I guess I'm a sheep... (2, Insightful)

dlenmn (145080) | more than 3 years ago | (#34344986)

If you traveled yesterday by air, what was your impression?

I flew out of Milwaukee, WI, got through security in only a few minutes, and the TSA people were very nice.

I guess that makes me a sheep for bending to the will of the government that's hellbent on making me in to a slave. Or something.

Re:No Problems -- I guess I'm a sheep... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34345090)

Don't worry, NAKED PICTURES of you ARE definitely not being STORED intentionally or accidentally BY THE GOVERNMENT.

"Land of the free" my groped ass...

Re:No Problems -- I guess I'm a sheep... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34345196)

Because everyone knows that the government is just dying to get their hands on naked pictures of you. You know, for security reasons.

We should oppose the scanners not because of perceived civil liberties violation, but because they are just not an effective security measure, cost a great deal of money, and don't significantly improve the overall threat from an attack by a criminal and/or terrorist. The only value I see is that they make some people feel more secure when they fly.

The whole thing is really quite silly.

Re:No Problems -- I guess I'm a sheep... (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 3 years ago | (#34345144)

"I flew out of Milwaukee, WI, got through security in only a few minutes, and the TSA people were very nice."

Don't you find that people are usually nice to you when they are grabbing your vagina?

MDW/ORD/CLT: No Scans (mostly) (1)

PvtVoid (1252388) | more than 3 years ago | (#34344988)

I'm sitting in the Charlotte, NC departure lounge right now. They had a few people going through the backscatter machines at ORD, but shut them down while I was in line and sent everybody through the magnetometers instead. Pretty clearly, the TSA backed off on universal body-scanning for the holiday.

Funniest thing I saw in Chicago was the guy in front of me trying to opt-out of the metal detector, and get a pat-down instead. He was a little confused.

Did it bring air travel to a screeching halt? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34345072)

No?

Then it failed.

Re:Did it bring air travel to a screeching halt? (2, Insightful)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 3 years ago | (#34345146)

It drew worldwide attention to growing concerns about a real problem, I don't see how that's a failure.

Re:Did it bring air travel to a screeching halt? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34345656)

If by "worldwide attention" you mean "an article on Slashdot with 45 comments on it and the odd mention elsewhere", yes.

It's on http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world/us_and_canada/ [bbc.co.uk] in the "also news" 1-liners just above John Travolta's new kiddie. Nothing on the (UK) Telegraph's USA news site, nor the Sydney Morning Herald. It is on the (Jo'burg) Mail and Guardian "world news" site but as the second-last story. Basically, no-one much cares.

Re:Did it bring air travel to a screeching halt? (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#34345658)

The scanners were shut down to keep people from opting out. The gate rape was also skipped. Solid proof that if enough citizens even look like they MIGHT have a spine, the TSA can be forced to crawl back under it's rock.

Nude-o-scopes were off at MCO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34345076)

Roped off and not in use--apparently the TSA wanted to minimize the protest from the inexperienced travelers and make NOOD look like a fizzle.

They went about this the WRONG way. (1, Interesting)

Khyber (864651) | more than 3 years ago | (#34345094)

If they wanted to cause some issues and slowdowns, everybody flying should have been hiding metal and more all over their person.

Or everybody should have shown up with a large knife.

What's the TSA going to do, then?

Not much since they're sorely outnumbered.

Re:They went about this the WRONG way. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34345220)

No, that would just brand the participants as potential criminals, organized ones at that (worse!).

What should have been done is all men take a viagra.

Re:They went about this the WRONG way. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34345650)

They're "outnumbered" until they lock down the airport, shut down all the roads, and the tac teams show up. If you're talking about numbers, you'd better be armed with something better than a knife, because they'll have assault rifles and tear gas (and rubber ammunition if they're feeling generous).

Not smart, and not even a good idea, considering.

Better stunt (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34345116)

Any time there's an opportunity to ask a someone in federal government a public interview question, ask: "Now that your government has first-hand knowledge of my genitals, how do you feel about their shape? Do you think about them at night? Do they satisfy you?" Expect to get thrown out, but convince enough people to do it and the media would have a field day.

Why do I care? (0, Troll)

markian (745705) | more than 3 years ago | (#34345128)

I must be missing something about this... I mean, when I was in an airport overseas, and they started to go through my check luggage as part of standard security, my knee-jerk reaction at first was to be a bit freaked. But after 30 seconds of thought I realized that this was GOOD. They were HAND SEARCHING luggage! Plus scanning it. No bombs on that plane! So why do people care about scanners? Is it some kind of weird prudish thing? Or do the scanners do some harm? I'm happy to fly nude. I'll know the chance of someone having a weapon is pretty small!

Re:Why do I care? (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 3 years ago | (#34345148)

I think you are missing the fact that the objections in the US have nothing to do with luggage screening. It's the hand searching and scanning of people that is objectionable.

Re:Why do I care? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34345212)

No bombs on that plane!

And no tigers in my room, thanks to my tiger-repelling pebble.

Re:Why do I care? (3, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 3 years ago | (#34345254)

Flying nude doesn't protect you from a suicide bomber that packed his asshole with explosives.

Re:Why do I care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34345284)

Indeed... I'm not sure what all the fuss is about. I was flying within Canada earlier this week and the scanners were nice - it took only 10-15 seconds to clear each passenger. The line through security was more of a slow walk / assembly line than the stop and go and sit and wait as it used to be. I just don't understand the resentment towards them, but then again I also don't understand why people are afraid of being seen nude either.

Re:Why do I care? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34345322)

How about this, fly clothed but every person has a knife at their disposal. Now tell me what could one or two terrorists do with their knives when faced with 150 others also armed with knives? AND keep in mind, the cockpit is locked.

Because it's a worthless waste of time? (3, Informative)

The Master Control P (655590) | more than 3 years ago | (#34345368)

I can at least see the reasons that some people are willing to twist themselves into unreasonable knots for security. I can't understand why anyone would do the same for worthless security theater, which aptly describes everything the TSA does.

Remember: The TSA has never caught a single terrorist. The TSA has never foiled a single terrorist plot. Tests succeed in getting weapons past them more than half the time. But they've made sure people can't get "bombs" in inside water bottles... by putting all the suspected "bombs" into a trash bin 5 feet from the line. Meanwhile, at El Al you won't star in your own porn or be groped and they don't care if you bring a bottle of water or shampoo, yet no flight out of El Al has ever been hijacked in more than half a century.

Re:Why do I care? (1)

mR.bRiGhTsId3 (1196765) | more than 3 years ago | (#34345544)

I believe the long term affects of the radiation they use haven't been sufficiently studied. I'd be more worried about the TSA officers sitting there being exposed to the things all day.

Missing data (4, Informative)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | more than 3 years ago | (#34345246)

The numbers don't account for people who, like myself, decided to just not fly at all. I go to Las Vegas a few times a year, and while it used to be fun to fly I have decided to drive instead because of all the TSA nonsense.

Succeeded Before Yesterday (5, Insightful)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 3 years ago | (#34345288)

The protest was a success well before yesterday. The goal of such civic participation in government is to raise public awareness. The head of the TSA had to think about this, and talk about it in the national media. This enlivened the public debate. That is the exact definition of victory.

If one wants to muse about more concrete short-term victories, consider the lines at the airports yesterday. I have flown on the day before Thanksgiving -- it is not pretty. According to reports, yesterday went significantly more smoothly than in the past. Think about the cause/effect. I suspect the TSA decided they had to stage a good show of efficiency yesterday to defuse the opt-out protest. They put on extra staff and gave rousing pep talks -- and; the airports sucked a little bit less yesterday than they would have otherwise. That is a nice outcome. The protest changed the behavior of our government for a day.

Did this one effort to organize civic participation go exactly as designed and solve the whole problem in one shot? Of course not. Decentralized civic displays -- almost by definition -- cannot work like that.

Civic management of government is a process, and this was a fine step. Much like our debates here in these forums are part of the process. It is the road to a better society. An endless and engaging road winding through an increasingly healthy societal system.

Or more viscerally: It is like using a spray bottle of water to train a puppy; we're going to have to do it more than once before the government learns not to poop on the carpet.

Re:Succeeded Before Yesterday (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34345426)

If I ever received mod points, I would mod you up. I especially like the last line.

The surprising thing (2, Insightful)

turing_m (1030530) | more than 3 years ago | (#34345394)

I am more than a little surprised to see that there is no or very little images of people that have shown up in public. I would surely think by now, given the likely IQ and motivation of someone joining the TSA, you'd have "best of TSA nudie scan" torrents available now for every possible fetish. Even if they are going to get traced back to the originator of the torrent and leading to their dismissal. But so far nothing. What is wrong with you people?!?

But seriously, this whole charade must be about one picture of a VIP's micro-tool away from being permanently canned.

IND and LGA (1)

TVDinner (1067340) | more than 3 years ago | (#34345480)

IND A concourse on Monday was doing the normal random scanner/metal detector as always. LGA D terminal didn't have any scanners that I saw, just metal detectors. I travel for work every week. I like the metal detector choice just because it's faster, especially since I don't have to remove my belt. I'd do a scanner before a patdown for the same reason. I have no problem with scanners, just don't like the extra time they take (see "Up in the Air" with George Clooney). I don't see scanners as invading my privacy. I'm comfortable exchanging some stranger seeing my image on a scanner to fly. Now, if someone wanted to scan me to drive my car, that would be a different matter. To me it's a reasonable precaution and I'm willing to accept that.

The real litmus test for this is (4, Insightful)

melted (227442) | more than 3 years ago | (#34345566)

The real litmus test for this is whether you'd support a nasty, middle-Eastern looking guy with a thick beard and a white prayer cap, if he chooses to opt out. I know it's all just security theatre and so on, but I'd like to see the reaction of the folks who opt out on principle if they end up in this situation, and have to board the plane with this dude who also opted out.

I stood on line for 4 hours (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34345568)

It took me 4 hours to get through security Wednesday evening because of people (myself included) opting out. There were probably 200 people on line in front of me when I arrived at security. Thankfully the airline delayed our flight until everyone who had checked in was on board.

TESTIFY! (2, Insightful)

Apuleius (6901) | more than 3 years ago | (#34345606)

The TSA decided that the Opt Out protest was a bigger concern than Al Qaeda.

That is a tacit admission that 1. the threat is not that great and 2. these damn scanners accomplish nothing to reduce it.

Don't let them forget this!

Cut to the chase (5, Interesting)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#34345704)

Let's cut to the chase already.

What they really want is for every house to have a scanner like that on the entrance, so you are scanned and/or patted down every time you enter and exit your house and every other building (and of-course every mode of transportation as well, including the buses, planes, trains and automobiles, yachts and ships and dirigibles and even you bikes.)

This is actually very amusing to me, as I was born in the USSR and one of our best satirists ever (Zhvanetsky) had a few monologues, where he described the soviet experiences in a half-imaginary way

Here is one of the monologues (my translation):

As usually, you are going somewhere, the face as usually is facing forward; The back of the head has no clue.
All of a sudden from behind:
    - Continue moving!
    - I am continuing.
    - So go as you are going.
    - I am going as I am going.
    - Take a little to the right.
    - Will take... taking.
    - Don't talk!
    - I am silent.
    - Stand there, don't look back!
    - Standing. Not looking. Letting something pass on the left. What is that behind me?
    - DO NOT LOOK BACK!
    - Not looking.
    - OK, you are free to go!
    - Yes, I am free!

here is another one, please don't get on my case for the translation style, it's difficult to translate something well anyway, and to make it even remotely funny while doing so is just ... very hard and I was trying to keep to the way the monologue was read, which was with leaving many of the necessary verbs out of the text on purpose, to create an 'air' of the idea that not every word needs to be spelled out for the listener.

Turnstiles.

At the end of every street need to set up turnstiles. Obviously, you can walk this and that way, as much as you want, but this is pure lack of responsibility - going wherever you want. So at the end of each street set up the turnstiles. Nothing special. They should let everybody through for now without any questions. Don't be afraid. Only the ricketting noise lets you know... And the security guards with sleeve insignia. Let them stand there and let everybody through. For now. Just their presense, just the steel stare... You are coming towards them - the face is burning up, you pass them - you back is burning up. And they are not asking anything... yet. This is the entire effect. And it's increasing the discipling. And at any moment you can lock everything up. Those with special commands have access to any house, etc.

By the perimeter of the plaza - until the security checkpoint. A man is walking along the fence, with the hands moving over the fence. Let's suppose three, four times he moves the hands over the fence - and into the security checkpoint, where NOBODY is stopping him, though the security guards are standing there of-course. Special paint on the fence, easy to check the fingerprints, this and that, etc. My god, nobody REALLY will be taking the fingerprints off the fence, don't worry about it. But in case there is some emergency... the fingerprints are right there and what are you going to do? For now of-course, let them go through without showing any papers. Though to have the papers on your person, that's for sure, just in case they mustc check, some emergency, etc. So obviously as you are coming closer towards the guard there, you already want to show something. To come through without showing - that's only to be suffering in doubt. In time you won't mind any of the checks. It will be a shame to walk around unchecked. All the more so - to come of a sudden and somewhere, as you do now. Or to yell - "my house is my castle" - that's just from internal immorality.

But IN the corridors you don't need to put security guards. For now. You have to start at the entrance, of-course. A short conversation: "Where, when, why the purse? And what if there is nobody there, then where?" and so forth. And right by the doors, not to bother aftewards of-course. And the key goes in the locker. So obviously the person, citizen will not feel like he is completely let to be on his own. Explain to him, that is more pleasant to go somewhere or to be in a tub when you know that you are not alone. Whatever you do, whereever you are, well, so literally - naked prairies, and you are not alone, and during any phone call you shouldn't be afraid - everybody picks up. To every yell: "Hey there, people!" - from under the ground comes out a special-social worker: "The washrooom is behind the corner" and so forth. But this is already an emergency, you should really walk around with 4 - 5 comrades.

And if you are visiting somebody - do not forget to set up an appointment. This is mandatory. Set it up at your house, a local visit: left, came, left. Of-course, provide the entire range of possibilites so that the person would feel free. The host literally marks with something. Well, literally, literally with something. A simple rubber stamp will do, my god, nothing out of the ordinary. And allocate the time appropriately with some leeway, so that the guest wouldn't be in too much hurry to leave.

Personal belongings - don't even have to do in every house, only at some special nodes: underground walk, an airport, a supermarket. What for? Well, so that everybody feeds approximately the same way. What does that do? No, it's great: the same illnesses for the doctors, the same height, weight for the clothing ateliers, and of-course, as few as possible of those unknown foreign words, as little as possible. Use literally those specific words, those that are already in use. Just not to bother anybody with a new word. And to maintain the culture and the beauty of it just implement a simple rule: every third word should be "excellent", "good", etc. Well, for example: "Nicely left the house, wonderfully came by, feeling excellent, can you borrow a dollar..." - etc.

Start the conversation as follows: "This is by serial number such and such." Yes, for convenience instead of last names - phone numbers. Don't bother with first names. It's easier this way for both, logging and remembering. Imagine: "Hello to Grigory 256-32-48 from Ivan 3-38-42". Five values. Already everything is clear, which city, don't need to guess, who and who and suddenly, I underline - suddenly, has passed you the hellos. With time, I think, there should be a permission givnen to pass a hello, but a very simple permission, possibly even verbal, I think.

With the letters, we should also simplify this: all letters should be writtn with printed letters, like those postal codes on the envelopes. In the beginning of-course it will take more time, but it simplifies the postal office WORK so much... And this way you can't really write too much. And obviously instead of automated phone systems, I'd bring back the old ones, with those headphones and hand operated switch boards. Think about it, it'll improve everythign so much.

And so for simplification and comfort, those who leave houses talk to the yard patrol. Then beyond that, it's street patrol, then alley patrol. Those who are leaving the city will talk to highly professional, inter-city patrol. And God forbid, at the exit from the country, we will have the pride of our nation working, the Elite patrol with a conventional name "dead-end". And they have the rights and the equipment and maximum persuasiveness to turn around the knees and the body of that one who is leaving around. The face doesn't need to be touched, not to bother. So in this situation the citizen will not want to leave, as you understand, the home city, or the street, and after a while the house will also become completely dear.

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