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TSA Investigates... People Who Complain About TSA

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the stay-classy-guys dept.

Government 379

Hugh Pickens writes "CNN has obtained a list of roughly 70 'behavioral indicators' that TSA behavior detection officers use to identify potentially 'high risk' passengers at the nation's airports, and report that arrogant complaining about airport security is one indicator TSA officers consider when looking for possible criminals and terrorists. When combined with other behavioral indicators, it could result in a traveler facing additional scrutiny. 'Expressing your contempt about airport procedures — that's a First Amendment-protected right,' says Michael German, a former FBI agent who now works as legal counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union. 'It's circular reasoning where, you know, I'm going to ask someone to surrender their rights; if they refuse, that's evidence that I need to take their rights away from them. And it's simply inappropriate.' Interestingly enough, some experts say terrorists are much more likely to avoid confrontations with authorities, saying an al-Qaeda training manual instructs members to blend in."

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the TSA's purpose is not stopping terrorists... (5, Insightful)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834038)

...and it's getting boring to have to read things which imply it.

Re:the TSA's purpose is not stopping terrorists... (5, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834138)

Depends on your point of view.
Dissident speech instills terror in the minds of authority.

Re:the TSA's purpose is not stopping terrorists... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834232)

Depends on your point of view.
Dissident speech instills terror in the minds of authority.

As evidenced throughout North Africa, Middle East and even China, at the moment. Yup. Those tyrants are very wary of anyone who so much as utters a disparaging wort about their cousin having a bad go with the local constabulary.

I'll take two lumps, please. Sweets to the sweet I always say.

Re:the TSA's purpose is not stopping terrorists... (2, Insightful)

HermMunster (972336) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834254)

This is the government attacking it's citizens over their opinions and beliefs, nearly making it an illegal act. That's fascism.

Re:the TSA's purpose is not stopping terrorists... (5, Informative)

judoguy (534886) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834492)

This is the government attacking it's citizens over their opinions and beliefs, nearly making it an illegal act. That's fascism.

There's nothing specifically fascist about this. The same could be said for Socialist or Communist. Rather, it's generic totalitarianism.

I wish people would stop using "Fascist" for "Evil". It's only one of several evil forms of government.

Re:the TSA's purpose is not stopping terrorists... (-1)

Monchanger (637670) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834494)

Fascism? You're an idiot.

Nobody has been "attacked" here, save for the poor TSA agent who's being bullied by schmucks like you who think you're entitled to do whatever you want the constitution to say. You have the right to request to speak to a supervisor or to file a grievance. You can even sue the TSA if you have a problem with their policies. If you choose to act out, be disruptive and incite a riot at the airport, you open yourself to being detained just like any other crazy person.

"Arrogant complaining" is employed as a social engineering trick. I'm guessing you'd be one of the first in line to complain about the TSA being "too stupid to fall for a simple SE trick."

Re:the TSA's purpose is not stopping terrorists... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35834706)

Yeah, right.... expressing an opinion IN OF ITSELF is not bullying, you fucking schmuck. Yes, there are degrees, but this new report seems very generalized. I'd say being retaliated against for expressing your opinion alone is pretty fascist.

Re:the TSA's purpose is not stopping terrorists... (2)

Low Ranked Craig (1327799) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834786)

You're an idiot.

Oh, sweet irony.

Like Chechneya... (5, Insightful)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834750)

> Dissident speech instills terror in the minds of authority.

Not for the most part. Mostly they just find it annoying and respond by being authoritarian because they're pissed off. When reporters report on torture in Chechneya by the local strongman, they get killed because they're a pain to him. Not because the guy who tortures people every day is somehow afraid of them. He *should* be afraid of them. But mostly he's pissed at them. And he runs the apparatus of the state. He's not afraid of them--at most he's afraid that his bosses will replace him if anybody cares about new public knowledge that Russia sponsors terrorism.

Similarly (and obviously very differently, since most TSA employees are good people who are not actively torturing lots of innocent civilians, but similarly for the point about whether terror is inspired), TSA employees, like cops, are generally not terrified by dissident speech. They are annoyed by it because someone is making their day harder.

Indeed.... (-1)

rawposter (2042496) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834382)

A guy gets thrown in jail [freeblogspot.org] for looking at CP cartoon
(Not that I am against that, CP watchers should be burned alive), but here TSA gropes 9 year olds....
I mean What the Fuck!

Re:Indeed.... (1)

Chrutil (732561) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834582)

Can someone make a fucking goatse blocker firefox plugin please? This is pissing me off now.

Re:Indeed.... (-1, Troll)

trollforce1 (2042518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834810)

Thanks for food!, Yammy.
This comment will go straight to my "troll food page":

"Ugh. Goatse. NSFW. Asshole (poster and picture, both)."
"i WAS eating lunch you ass!"
"I hope you die in a fire before you are old enough to contaminate the gene pool."
"You're a fucking douchbag." - "That is the most accurate comment yet"
"Thanks, I'm reading slashdot in class like a good student and just got tubgirl'd."
"Can someone make a fucking goatse blocker firefox plugin please? This is pissing me off now."
"Seriously ... new account to post that ... what a douche!"
"Asshole... Ginormous asshole, in fact."
"Better than you, you arse bandit."
"you fucker" - "I had the same thought as you. What a fucking asshole. The link is nsfw."
"mod to -1, please. this guy is an 'asshole'.... (yes, you guessed it)"
"Ugh. Goatse. You asshole."
"Really? Are you not tired of this yet?"
"Posting your picture online again?"
"I did not even bother to look, but this same idiot has been doing this for weeks now. Fuck off asshole."
"fuck you."
"Doh! One has to also recognize data urls. *sigh*"
"Oh dear god my eyes. Haven't seen THAT awful image in a while."
"my eyes are burning... argh! Damn you!"
"MY EYES... dude i am at work here "S "
"Why the sudden coordinated campaign for Goatse? Is someone making money off this?"
"You're right, this is the most coordinated troll campaign in a long time. Multiple accounts, multiple pages."
"Urgh...dammit, am I the only one thinking the goatse trolls are getting worse lately than they have been in the past five years?"
"Who found a way to monetize goatse at this late date? If we got half the effort of that campaign on real stuff we'd all have better software by now."
"Boy Goatsex is out in force today... - Every topic is littered with them..."
"I am sick and tired of that crap on /. "
"Could not someone at slashdot write a small script to blacklist url's that have been flagged troll? I'll do it if you pay me a slave wage..."
"Parent should be modded down. Link is NSFW and mentally scarring."
"Argh. Goatse alert..."
"Grow up"
"just post the damn url, i'm not going to click on a tinyurl link and get goatse'd or something.."
"Don't click the link! Goatse wannabe."
"Goatse URL - Haven't seen that guy in a while"
"Someone please mod this guy down... Don't click his link."
"I tried to post warnings about the goaste loving jerk yesterday but was modded into oblivion as a karma whore"
"can we start banning people who post that hiding it behind a url shortening link like goo.gl?"
"you are one dedicated troll."
"Well played, sir. Well played."

Re:the TSA's purpose is not stopping terrorists... (5, Informative)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834776)

the TSA's purpose is not stopping terrorists...

Q: How many terrorists has the TSA caught?
A: ZERO

Q: How many terrorist attacks has the TSA stopped?
A: ZERO

For proof, the answer is obvious - a terrorist doesn't just decide that airplanes are too well protected so they are going to give up on the idea of causing mayhem, they will just look for easier targets like shopping malls, movie theaters, concerts, etc. Since we have had zero attacks on alternate targets, its clear the TSA isn't protecting airplanes from anyone.

The worst we've seen have been run-of-the-mill lone gunmen type like the Ft Hood shooter and the DC sniper. Everybody else, like the Times Square bomber have been so incompetent they couldn't even build a working bomb and most of those convicted have been guilty of nothing more than talking trash within the earshot of a snitch looking to get criminal charges dropped in exchange for narcing out someone, anyone.

The terrorist ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35834794)

... is the man telling you to be afraid.

So ... (4, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834042)

So all I need to do to get felt up by a guy who's clearly as unhappy about it as I am is to bitch about the lines at the airport and how poorly the TSA's uniforms fit? Where do I sign up again?

Re:So ... (2)

king_grumpy (1685560) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834070)

Pick the line with cutest guy, *then* complain ;)

Re:So ... (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834218)

"Hey officer, wouldn't your hands like to feel all over a nice, sensual terrorist!?"

Re:So ... (3, Funny)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834802)

    You know, soft moaning like you're enjoying the experience, and asking them to do redo particular parts works very well too. It's not a "complaint", but it'll weird them out enough to not want to touch you ever again.

    I'm very straight, so it's hard to fake it, but apparently I do well enough.

    Mmmm.. oh ya.. right there. do it again.. faster.. oohh... What are you doing after work, I fly back at 10pm..

Re:So ... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35834326)

That's only helpful for the 10% or so of people who are gay. As a straight guy, I'd rather have the least attractive guy doing the pat down. At least someone less attractive then myself. That way, it's him that can feel bad about themselves, not me.

I choose the body scanners, but they are annoying. I'm not too worried about the radiation, but they are slower then metal detectors. They require you to take off your belt, watch, boarding pass etc, when I can normally get through a metal detector with those still on. But worse is thinking about how there is now one more person in the world who knows how "inadequate" you are in certain proportions. It doesn't matter if that person doesn't know who you are, it still makes YOU think about it and feel bad about yourself.

Re:So ... (0)

DanielSmedegaardBuus (1563999) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834410)

That's only helpful for the 10% or so of people who are gay. As a straight guy, I'd rather have the least attractive guy doing the pat down. At least someone less attractive then myself. That way, it's him that can feel bad about themselves, not me.

I choose the body scanners, but they are annoying. I'm not too worried about the radiation, but they are slower then metal detectors. They require you to take off your belt, watch, boarding pass etc, when I can normally get through a metal detector with those still on. But worse is thinking about how there is now one more person in the world who knows how "inadequate" you are in certain proportions. It doesn't matter if that person doesn't know who you are, it still makes YOU think about it and feel bad about yourself.

So... Not being gay, you choose the "least attractive guy" so that the more attractive guys don't know "how inadequate you are in certain proportions"?

Hmmmm...

Re:So ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35834442)

That's only helpful for the 10% or so of people who are gay.

Or the > 50% of the population who are women. Minus the gay ones, of coarse.

As a straight guy, I'd rather have the least attractive guy doing the pat down.

If you're really straight, it shouldn't matter to you. If you find yourself uncomfortable because you find the guy too attractive... that might be a clue that you are bi or gay.

Re:So ... (3, Insightful)

Stargoat (658863) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834778)

Patriots opt out.

Re:So ... (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834398)

I wouldn't bother. Those guys rarely call the next day.

Yep... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35834048)

One could assume from this that the TSA is here to teach us to not talk back to the Authority, rather than to actually catch terrorists.

Re:Yep... (1)

vldragon (981127) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834324)

That would assume that TSA is acually an authority in something...

Re:Yep... (0)

Calydor (739835) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834564)

They are an authority in whether you're going on your trip or not.

Re:Yep... (2)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834616)

They are an authority in whether you're going on your trip or not.

Yes, but being in authority is not the same as being an authority.

Re:Yep... (4, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834808)

They are an authority in whether you're going on your trip or not.

Authority without responsibility, like so many of the "warriors" in "war on terror" and the "war on drugs."

Re:Yep... (5, Insightful)

Caradoc (15903) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834840)

If you ask a TSA employee, their job is not catching terrorists. Their job is preventing "dangerous items" from getting onto an aircraft. The problem is that if that really is their job, they're horrifically bad at it. They've missed box cutters, knives, a brick of primers for handloading, multiple handguns, Jamie Hyneman's 12" razor blades, and assorted other items I'd consider far more threatening than the leather bookmarks and silver cake servers they've been confiscating and fining people for. They're awfully quick to claim "success" when they find someone with a doobie tucked into their shorts, though. My guess is that their publicly stated mission of "Transportation Safety" has taken a back seat to their new unstated mission of "drug interdictment." Additionally, looking at pure statistics, in any interaction between the TSA and a single passenger it is almost infinitely more likely that the TSA employee is a thief, rapist, kidnapper, or bully than that the passenger is an actual terrorist bent on mayhem during the flight. They don't actually contribute measurably to "transportation safety." So why should we put up with their theatre?

It's the same circular reasoning as: (5, Insightful)

Dutchmaan (442553) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834054)

If you're not guilty then you won't have anything to hide. ( which, ironically, I think we should apply generously to politicians/corporations )

Re:It's the same circular reasoning as: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35834282)

If you're not guilty then you won't have anything to hide.

... and since I have nothing to hide, you have no need to search me/my belongings.

Their logic works against them every time. That's why the TSA won't try to reason with you; they'll just go straight to detaining you.

Re:It's the same circular reasoning as: (1)

Travelsonic (870859) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834762)

Ah, but if you believe in, and use the sociolegal concepts of privacy you CAN'T have NOTHING to hide whatsoever, since privacy is a form of concealment.

Obvious Fact........ (1)

pro151 (2021702) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834056)

TSA is an agency of the United States Government. If you can't make the connection I will draw you a picture. :o)

Re:Obvious Fact........ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35834098)

TSA is an agency of the United States Government. If you can't make the connection I will draw you a picture. :o)

So... the "connection" is that the US Government controls the TSA? I... um... guess that's a major breakthrough? One nobody ever realized before? One certainly deserving of a clown nose smiley?

The hell are you smoking, kid?

Re:Obvious Fact........ (2, Informative)

Dutchmaan (442553) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834114)

TSA is an agency of the United States Government. If you can't make the connection I will draw you a picture. :o)

Glenn?!

Orwell's 1984 was prophecy (3, Funny)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834060)

War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, and Ignorance is Strength...

Facecrime (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35834192)

War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, and Ignorance is Strength...

Wrong quote.

"Facecrime: An indication that a person is guilty of thoughtcrime based on their facial expression."

The article isn't about surveillance, it's about BDOs and SPOT [flyertalk.com] agents on the lookout for facecriminals.

"It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when you were in any public place or within range of a telescreen. The smallest thing could give you away. A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself, anything that carried with it the suggestion of abnormality, of having something to hide. In any case, to wear an improper expression on your face, was itself a punishable offense. There was even a word for it in Newspeak: facecrime"

If the Orwell's getting tired, I'd settle for a quote from the other design document on which TSA is based.

"Happiness is mandatory. Are you happy, Citizen?"
- Paranoia XP [mongoosepublishing.com] , the post-9/11 revision of the classic 80s role-playing game.

I'm not so paranoid that I'm reluctant to post this as an AC, but I am paranoid enough that I didn't want to use the acronym for "role-playing-game."

Re:Orwell's 1984 was prophecy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35834200)

Some animals are more equal than others...

Oops, wrong book... but you know what I mean.

Who'd a thunk it! (1)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834064)

Poke the tiger with a stick, and you get bitten.

Re:Who'd a thunk it! (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834310)

Tiger yes. a "government of the people, by the people, for the people" no.

See, you're giving the government more power than it deserves. But alas, we get the government we deserve.

Re:Who'd a thunk it! (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834384)

Ignore the tiger, and you get eaten.

Re:Who'd a thunk it! (2)

Low Ranked Craig (1327799) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834530)

Shoot the tiger from 500 yards away with a scope sighted 30-06 and you have no tiger, and maybe a few good steaks.

Re:Who'd a thunk it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35834496)

Come on bro, I've got tiger blood. ...Three ounces of it, in a one-quart plastic bag, separated from my carry on.

Watch this documentary!!! (5, Informative)

ticketswapz (1974628) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834074)

Please Remove Your Shoes In this documentary, it shows the agreement between the FAA and airlines industries to put security at a low priority while getting passengers on planes as quickly as possible was the highest priority. A "red team" agent who audits security put a bomb in a suitcase, threw clothes on it and put a water bottle on top of the clothes. The screener detected the bag, opened it up, confiscated the water bottle and allowed the bag to go through. TSA agents complained because he "thought outside the box" and invalidated the test because it was "unfair" to their procedures on how to audit security. This documentary is from ex/current TSA, FAA, and air marshal agents. Did you know the TSA was more interested in having an air marshal dress code than actually "blending in" on the plane? The guy in a suit and tie sitting on the plane to Hawaii was a dead giveaway when everyone else was dressed appropriately.

Well duh? (5, Insightful)

SomePgmr (2021234) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834088)

Interestingly enough, some experts say terrorists are much more likely to avoid confrontations with authorities, saying an al-Qaeda training manual instructs members to blend in.

This seems like the most obvious flaw in reasoning, and probably didn't require expert research to predict. What nefarious character is going to draw attention to themselves when trying to get away with something evil? This didn't stand out as a "duh" to the folks crafting this list? That scares me too... assuming the goal of these criteria was to catch the bad guys, of course.

Re:expert research (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834336)

Sure it does 'cause no one believes amateurs right?
All the experts have to do is look at what the amateurs are doing and replicate what works but with their aura of authority.

Re:Well duh? (2)

rbollinger (1922546) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834480)

Actually, consider how magic tricks are pulled off. Through distraction. If you intentionally draw attention to something, you can oftentimes slip something else by unnoticed. Not, that I think this is the reasoning the TSA used.

Re:Well duh? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35834716)

I wonder how much distraction it takes for a bunch of TSA Airport Security Screeners to miss a handgun five times out of five [nbcdfw.com] with their shiny new toy.

Re:Well duh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35834632)

What nefarious character is going to draw attention to themselves when trying to get away with something evil?

Oh, don't worry. They have a "profile" for that too. It's just so they can pick off anyone they don't like.

Re:Well duh? (5, Insightful)

Low Ranked Craig (1327799) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834720)

If I was an alleged terrorist (and for the record, I'M NOT) the alleged terrorist would get a job at the airport as baggage handler, or as a someone who services the planes. Then the alleged terrorist would put a bomb in some luggage, or some C4 into soda cans or something and get them on the plane - the alleged terrorist wouldn't try to get through security, unless his plan was to blow up the security checkpoint, which would also be good from a terror perspective. Then they can move the security check points outside the terminal, then those get blown up. Then move them off property and check all the people before allowing them in to the airport, then car bomb gets that.

The worst thing we ever did was change our behavior and way of life after the hijackings in the 70's and obviously after 9/11. We showed the people who would do such things that we will modify our behavior in a predicable fashion based on their actions - a very bad idea. We are now in a reactive posture. The thing that's even worse is listening to the morons who travel talk about how the "security" measures make them feel safe. Really? I have a tiger repelling rock I'd like to sell you...

I tell you, freedom and human rights in America are doomed. The U.S. government will lead the American people in — and the West in general — into an unbearable hell and a choking life.

The preceding is a real quote, many of you know who said it, but if not, Google it...

And for the record, fuck the TSA. By all means, investigate me. I have the ACLU's phone number right here ready to go... I've said as much directly to my congressman and senators

Backward thinking (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35834106)

Obviously the terrorists are not going to waste time complaining about airport security. They are about to blow themselves up, fer chrissakes -- do you think they want to spend their last hours on Earth complaining about getting their toothpaste confiscated?

Besides, if you give increased scrutiny to people who engage in certain behaviors, that means you give less scrutiny to those who don't. The terrorists are smart enough to figure this out. Better to scrutinize everyone equally, so they can't get through by acting in un-terrorist-like ways.

The real terrorists. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35834108)

Who are the real terrorists? I'm not sure about you, but I'm almost afraid to fly.

As for "rights" ... you don't have any "rights" when it comes to the TSA.

Re:The real terrorists. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35834476)

I have personally been terrorized by a Middle-Eastern radical (threatened to be killed at work). I am still more afraid of the TSA... (Posted anonymously so I don't end up on the list...

Re:The real terrorists. (2)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834658)

I have personally been terrorized by a Middle-Eastern radical (threatened to be killed at work). I am still more afraid of the TSA... (Posted anonymously so I don't end up on the list...

Just tell him, "it works both ways, Bucko. And I hit what I shoot at."

Re:The real terrorists. (4, Insightful)

Low Ranked Craig (1327799) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834748)

I don't fly any longer, because I'm almost certain that I'd get picked for screening and I refuse to submit to the machine or a manual search, and I would assert my 4th amendment rights if they attempted such and probably end up in jail for doing so. The fucking bastards.

Re:The real terrorists. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35834756)

This is where we need to focus. TSA is designed as security theater to make people feel safe flying, because that helps the airlines profit. People need to make it clear that TSA is discouraging people from flying, then the airlines will demand more reasonable procedures.

Misguided Rules (1)

cobrausn (1915176) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834116)

So if you RTFA, you'll notice that the '20th Hijacker' (Mohammed al-Qahtani) was caught because the TSA agent became suspicious (for whatever reason, probably profiling if I had my guess), asked why he didn't have a return flight ticket, and the hijacker became very angry and confrontational about it.

Ten years later, getting angry about security is now on the list of things to look out for. From a pencil-pusher's standpoint it seems an almost reasonable thing to add to the list, but I still don't like it.

Re:Misguided Rules (4, Insightful)

sangreal66 (740295) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834412)

The TSA did not exist on 9/11. Mohammed al-Qahtani was turned away by immigration after his flight landed in the US. He was chosen for Secondary inspection because he didn't fill out the paperwork properly. He was denied admission for a long list of suspicious activity ($2800 cash, no hotel, no return ticket, multiple stories, etc) in addition to being "creepy." That case really doesn't have much in common with what the TSA is attempting to do. That is also CBP's job. They are tasked with undesirable people out of the United States. When the TSA does their job (keeping weapons, explosives, and incendiaries off airplanes), it does not matter who boards an aircraft.

The AAPD asked numerous questions concerning the case. I explained that apart from not having a return ticket and possibly not having sufficient funds, the subject appeared to be malafide. I further explained to the AAPD that when the subject looked at me, I felt a bone chilling cold effect. The bottom line is, “He gave me the creeps”.

Full Testimony: http://www.9-11commission.gov/hearings/hearing7/witness_melendez.htm [9-11commission.gov]

Re:Misguided Rules (2)

Courageous (228506) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834816)

Anything that cannot be separated from revenge-by-cop is something that I question in the utmost terms.

I.e., if it resembles someone complaining about the IRS and then getting audited, I call it a likely government abuse, no matter the "justification".

C//

TSA investigates complainers... (2)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834118)

>_>

Well, this is certainly the finest pat-down, X-Ray scan, cavity search and bowl of hot grits down the shorts I've ever experienced at SFO! I feel like flying every week!

Terror Alert Elevated from Plaid to Paisley

nab scuffle throw-down hammer-lock vulcan-death-grip

Ahhh, nooooooo! I was sincere! Really!

Actively harmful... (1)

ssuchter (451997) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834130)

Having such an easily game-able criteria (boisterous people get more investigation) yields more success rate for those who don't want to get investigate. The al-Qaeda training manual suggesting blending in is an obvious reaction - while the security spends more time on some class, they have less time to spend on the class the terrorist can put themselves into. (Quiet and blending in.) Thus, this actively (slightly) increases the chance the terrorist can achieve their goals.

First post (1)

Brad1138 (590148) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834140)

X not intended to be a factual statement.

No Suprise (1)

hduff (570443) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834154)

Does this report honestly surprise anybody?

You have idiot politicians supervising idiot bureaucrats who supervise idiot workers carrying out idiot policies upon idiot people who accept it without question. Anybody who does question it is a real threat to the idiots who are only smart enough to protect their own jobs, not the country.

Opinion (1)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834156)

The TSA is positively Orwellian. They behave as if they are playing out lines from 1984

Re:Opinion (1)

dr2chase (653338) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834164)

Yeah, wait till they drop a rat down your shorts to sniff for explosives.

Re:Opinion (1)

sangreal66 (740295) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834592)

You should check out their propaganda blog

Lets start a campain (-1, Troll)

cdrf (2042468) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834172)

TSA = pedophile organization [freeblogspot.org] Join campaign now!

Goatse alert (1)

NovaHorizon (1300173) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834256)

since the troll won't give a NSFW label.

parent is goatse link (NSFW) n/t (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35834434)

n/t

In Soviet Russia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35834196)

... ... ... its a lot like that!

Blend in, duh (2)

pz (113803) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834226)

Interestingly enough, some experts say terrorists are much more likely to avoid confrontations with authorities, saying an al-Qaeda training manual instructs members to blend in."

No kidding. As someone trying to evade detection in a crowd I could (a) do something that draws attention, or (b) try to be as unremarkable as possible and take steps to make any interaction dull and quickly forgotten. The first is more likely to bring the authorities my way, and the second is less likely. So ... let's see ... I'm going to ... wait, wait, don't tell me ... I'll pick ... um ...

(Warning, this post contains high concentrations of sarcasm. Use with appropriate caution.)

To be fair (0)

brit74 (831798) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834234)

To be fair, if you really were a terrorist carrying something (a knife or gun or bomb), I think you'd complain, too. Just like people carrying drugs in their cars might suddenly get angry and combative with police about being pulled over "for no good reason". I suppose the relevant question is: are there too many false positives (caused by ordinary passengers getting legitimately angry over an overzealous TSA) to be of much value. Certainly, if the police were pulling people over all the time to search their car, they'd start getting a lot more false positives (i.e. people complaining about being illegitimately pulled over so the police can rummage through their stuff and make them late).

Re:To be fair (4, Interesting)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834396)

Just like people carrying drugs in their cars might suddenly get angry and combative with police about being pulled over "for no good reason".

Who told you that nonsense?
They don't. The people moving drugs use rental cars, since the car can get seized, and they tend to do the speed limit or right around it. If they get a ticket they are as nice as possible, no reason to want to attract attention. Your average methhead does not of course fit the description I gave, but that is because he is a moron meth user not someone moving large amount of drugs for profit.

Or SO I HEARD.

Complaining IS blending in (1)

istartedi (132515) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834248)

Everybody I know who flies complains about the TSA.

So the TSA investigates everybody? Now we're back to the same absurdity as "everybody does something embarassing on FaceBook, so don't hire anybody".

Oh nevermind. Keep on with the taxpayer funded elephant repellant...

This is America (2)

NovaHorizon (1300173) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834250)

This is the United States of America. Anyone who doesn't complain about even the slightest inconvenience obviously is not from here. So why would they check the people who do complain when that's the American way?

Those who grope a 9 year old kid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35834258)

cannot have right to complain about their complainers.

in no world country, they grope 9 year olds at the airports. period. only in usa.

Re:Those who grope a 9 year old kid (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834728)

cannot have right to complain about their complainers.

in no world country, they grope 9 year olds at the airports. period. only in usa.

You're absolutely right. In certain other countries, they don't grope those nine-year-olds ... they beat them, rape them, and sell them into slavery.

What's your point again?.

in soviet Russia (3, Insightful)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834290)

Complaining got you send to gulag.

Interesting Statistics on CNN (5, Informative)

jasonwc (939262) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834364)

According to CNN, the TSA is actually more ineffective than I initially thought:

False Positives-

Members of Congress also expressed concern about the number of "false positives" -- people flagged for additional screening that resulted in nothing being found. For every person correctly identified as a "high risk" traveler by (the behavior detection officers), 86 were misidentified, Willis said. At random screening, for every person correctly identified, 794 were misidentified.

Effectiveness at detecting terrorists-

Experts agree that the fact that there is an extremely small number of terrorists makes it hard to evaluate the effectiveness of behavioral observation programs. The Accountability Office said it looked at 23 occasions in which 16 individuals -- people later charged with terrorism-related activities -- passed through high-threat airports. None is known to have been identified. But it is not known if the behavior detection officers were working at the time, the agency said.

So, in the best case scenario, for every person ultimately charged with a crime (not necessarily convicted) 86 are misidentified. And that is using "trained" behavioral analysts. Most TSA searches are random, which results in one charge for every 794 false positives. Note also that nearly 40% of the charges are immigration related. Most of the rest are probably drug related.

The TSA can't point to a single incident where its random searches or behavioral analysis actually has prevented a terrorist attack. Despite their utter failure, the TSA plans to spend another $1.2 billion over the course of five years on behavior analysis techniques.

Source: http://www.cnn.com/2011/TRAVEL/04/15/tsa.screeners.complain/index.html?hpt=C1 [cnn.com]

Re:Interesting Statistics on CNN (1)

jasonwc (939262) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834402)

Just to be clear, the paragraphs starting with "Members of Congress" and "Experts agree" are direct quotations from CNN. The remainder of the post contains my opinion. Sorry for any confusion.

This is why profiling is so stupid (1)

PuckSR (1073464) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834370)

Whatever you start looking for in a criminal via profiling will cause criminals to start acting differently....

If you start pulling aside people who complain, then you will get terrorists who don't complain.
You start pulling aside Middle-Eastern men of a certain age group? They find a Jamaican to attack you(this actually happened)
You start looking for recent immigrants? They find people who are native citizens
You start searching luggage? They send bombs via UPS

Notice a pattern?

How about we start more diligently searching for the following characteristics:
1) Explosives
2) Weapons
3) Trying to bring non-allowed items on to a plane
4) Nervous(perhaps because they are trying to do something illegal and murderous)

Re:This is why profiling is so stupid (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834438)

1) unlikely and pain in the ass to catch since lots of stuff sets off the detectors.
2) define weapon? I bet I could kill a man with a pen if I wanted.
3) how you plan on finding those?
4) or maybe I am nervous because I hate having the TSA hassle me.

The reality is terrorism is such an edge case we would do better by spending all this money on fixing our roads. We would save many times as many lives per million dollars spent.

Re:This is why profiling is so stupid (4, Insightful)

mrxak (727974) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834770)

1) Use smarter screeners. We don't need better scanners or more of them, just screeners able to stay alert and recognize a problem.
2) Anything that can take down a plane (aka the pilots). As far as I'm concerned, as soon as they secured the doors, a 9/11 style attack is no longer possible (and nobody's tried it again). Killing a few passengers doesn't matter because other passengers will react quickly now to defend themselves.
3) As long as it can't blow up the plane or kill the pilots, it shouldn't be on the list anyway.
4) There's a difference between irritation and nervousness. The former is a typical reaction associated with normal travelers, the latter is an atypical reaction associated with terrorists and criminals.

We shouldn't be worried about anything getting on a plane unless it can hijack the plane or cause parts of it to rain down in little pieces. Anything else can be just as effective as a terrorist act anywhere else on the ground. We've secured cockpit doors to prevent hijackings. Now the terrorists are more interested in explosives. They've used new methods pretty much each time, and we've only been playing catch-up. What's the one common factor in all of them? Passengers reacted quickly and put a stop to it. Personally I don't mind if there's a guy on my plane who tries to light his shoe on fire, as long as flight attendants and other passengers react quickly when they see him try. So for goodness sake, let me keep my shoes on in the security checkpoint.

And let's not forget, if the terrorists are smart enough to make it to a security checkpoint without detection already, they're smart enough to get through the security checkpoint without being stopped. TSA should be our last line of defense, not our only line of defense.

Re:This is why profiling is so stupid (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834844)

Decent terrorists and criminals are not going to be nervous, they will take drugs to ensure that if needed.

These are edge cases not worth wasting money on. The only real security is what you said, locked doors and a plane full of folks who will not tolerate such bullshit.

Utilizing My First Amendment Rights (1)

ChasmCoder (1818172) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834386)

I think the TSA is the most inefficient, invasive non-federal, federal, organization I have ever encountered this side of the rest of the government. I despise all things TSA. Do not get me wrong. Security is important, but this 'indicator' is BS and only intended to intimidate JOE Air Traveler from complaining about the Invasive Full Body Scan or Pat Down. Amongst The Plethora Of Other Issues One Encounters Whilst Trying To Travel. Any "Terrorist" worth their salt is going to know PRECISELY WHAT TO DO to NOT be detected. This pathetic excuse for Airport Security that is the TSA is not going to thwart any serious terrorist threat/plot. That is all.

Unfortunately (1)

u-235-sentinel (594077) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834404)

Nobody has suggested the TSA are really intelligent anyway. In face the last time I went through the metal detector my wallet set it off (I had 12 quarters in it). Put it through the scanner and the guy smiled saying "Wow dude, you have a lot of change!".

I replied "How much do they pay you guys??"

Seriously, 12 quarters is a lot of change? I guess at $14.95 an hour it must seem like a lot :-)

Re:Unfortunately (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35834604)

Yeah, 12 quarters is a lot of change. 50 pennies is also a lot of change. It's simply more coins than many people would regularly carry around. Did you really misinterpret his statement, or are you being intentionally pedantic?

Oh no you stupid people... (4, Funny)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834436)

"saying an al-Qaeda training manual instructs members to blend in."

Why did you have to tell them that? Now they'll consider everyone blending in to be potential al-Qaeda terrorists.

Re:Oh no you stupid people... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35834628)

Right, but then the TSA will have the proper, foolproof plan: scrutinize people who bitch about TSA procedures, _and_ scrutinize people who blend in (i.e. don't bitch about TSA procedures). Brilliant!

I've already given up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35834456)

At this point I have completely given up on the idea of ever flying on an airplane ever again.

Re:I've already given up (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834708)

No need to do that. Just drive to the nearest border, Canadian or Mexican and take your flight from there. I admit this works best if you live near one of the borders. USA, encouraging you to spend your money elsewhere more and more each day.

The unanticipated side effect (-1, Troll)

yelvington (8169) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834466)

Cracking down on arrogant complainers may have little to do with airline safety and terrorism, but if it succeeds, it just might be the first positive thing the TSA has done for air travel. Just think: Jackass-free flights! Now, if they could do something about the Atlanta gate agents....

Re:The unanticipated side effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35834606)

Though how many people get annoyed with the TSA screening then go on to cause a fuss later.

al-Qaeda training manual (1)

Kvasio (127200) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834500)

saying an al-Qaeda training manual instructs members to blend in

Can I haz the ISBN?

Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35834572)

The first rule of TSA: Dont talk about TSA.
The second rule of TSA....

TSA has completely missed the boat yet again! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35834634)

This is by far the stupidest indicator they could use. The Real terrorists don't really want to bring attention to themselves, now do they. Exactly how dumb are these people?

Opposite in criminal investigations (4, Insightful)

stimpleton (732392) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834678)

Interesting. I know first hand that detective instruction and manuals state that one should focus on those in an investigation that are overly compliant when searching for suspects.

It is common sense anyway? When you cold call a neigborhood, those that have nothing to hide, invariably people are hostile to anything beyond "have you seen anyone suspicious out on the street."

"Where were you on x date?" and things go rapidly downhill. Normal people get upset and start making a fuss.

Dear America: (4, Insightful)

neoevans (179332) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834680)

1984 was not an instruction manual.

Sincerely,

The rest of the World.

The quiet, cooperative ones... (2)

unil_1005 (1790334) | more than 3 years ago | (#35834726)

...who never cause any trouble: until they blow the place uP!

That's how you can tell them from the Americans -- they always bitch.

Free Market Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35834782)

Why don't we let the free market take care of airline security?

If you feel safer on CavitySearchAirlines, then strip down and get in line A.

If you want the ultimate in convenience, get in line B for your flight on JetNoBagSearch.

As long as the U.S. Military is required to shoot down all craft taken over by terrorists (no exceptions), I think everybody can choose the security solution that works best for them.

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