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Female Passengers Say They Were Targeted For TSA Body Scanners

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the when-there's-something-to-abuse-somebody-will-abuse-it dept.

Privacy 572

wiedzmin writes "TSA agents in Dallas singled out female passengers to undergo screening in a body scanner, according to complaints filed by several women who said they felt the screeners intentionally targeted them to view their bodies. Allegedly, women with 'cute bodies' were directed through the body scanners up to three times over by female agents, who appeared to be acting on a request from male agents viewing the scans in a separate room. Apparently this was done because the scans were 'blurry,' possibly due to autofocus problems with agents' smartphone cameras." After hearing the claims, Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) announced plans to introduce legislation that would require the presence of "passenger advocates" at airports to deal with complaints like these.

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Beyond popular belief... (5, Funny)

3seas (184403) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043343)

it is humans who can be dishonest which hold positions in Politics, Military, Religion and of course the Tits Sex & Ass authority.

Re:Beyond popular belief... (5, Funny)

SteveFoerster (136027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043677)

Wait, I thought it was the FBI that were the Female Body Inspectors?

And yet (5, Interesting)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043349)

People are surprised that when you take marginally skilled, semi-officious private sector workers and give them civil service protection behavior that was an instant firable offense becomes something you have to endure with a smile...

Re:And yet (5, Interesting)

twotailakitsune (1229480) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043483)

Ben and Teller bullshit had a show that talked about this. They had random people on the street sit in a van and keep a eye on a car. They had to video recorded when the car left.

Next door some people was having fake sex. What to guess where the random people pointed the cam?

Re:And yet (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39043767)

> Ben and Teller

Penn and Teller maybe?

Absolutely (5, Insightful)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043355)

Because what we need is not less invasive and less humiliating scanners, but additional people on the payroll so that all this useless technology can continue to have nearly zero impact on actual flight safety.

OPT OUT (5, Interesting)

Peter Simpson (112887) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043397)

Folks, you can ask not to go through the scanners. Just say "OPT OUT". You get the pat down, of course, but from my experience, it seems to bother them more than it bothers me. And it sends a message.

I've never trusted TSA to verify the safety of those machines. I'll take the grope rather than trust an unregulated scanner that bombards my body with who knows what power and type of radio or ionizing radiation.

Re:OPT OUT- If you're in a country that allows it (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39043435)

Nice try, unless you are flying out of Australia to the United States. More to follow, I'm sure.

Re:OPT OUT (5, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043447)

You realize the patdown (which is considered more invasive than a police pat-down) isn't really an acceptable answer for a lot of people either. You don't get to say a punch in the nose isn't an assault just because you offered to substitute a kick in the crotch.

Re:OPT OUT (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39043587)

Ultimate opt-out: Learn to fly, buy a plane, and use airfields that don't have the TSA. There are at least 4000 airports in the US. Chances are, you'll find one closer to where you wanted to go. Added bonus - go where you want to whenever you feel like it. Day trip to the beach? Done!

If you say flying is too expensive, consider that you can get an airworthy 2-seater for about $15,000. Some airports even have free parking for both your car and the plane. Hangar space can be found for $200/mo similar to urban car garages.

Re:OPT OUT (1)

SteveFoerster (136027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043625)

Awesome! I'll get right on that.

Re:OPT OUT (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39043773)

My wife already thinks my motorcycle hobby is too expensive; if I want to get into private aviation I'd need to factor in the cost of a divorce lawyer.

Re:OPT OUT (2)

LoP_XTC (312463) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043795)

consider that you can get an airworthy 2-seater for about $15,000.

Considering that the Hindenburg and Titanic were both top dollar for their time and both considered well above "airworthy" and "seaworthy", this is one area I dont think I would consider going cheap on.

Re:OPT OUT (4, Informative)

Lennie (16154) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043845)

Who knows, maybe the paint used on the Hindenburg was cheap.

Re:OPT OUT (2)

Brian Feldman (350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043597)

Why isn't it acceptable? I opted out on every recent flight I took and felt not the slightest bit ill of the experience compared to the scanner machines.

Re:OPT OUT (2)

Wild_dog! (98536) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043665)

Plus you don't have to get a dose of radiation to go each time.
Scanners just need to go.

Re:OPT OUT (-1)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043739)

You get more radiation from being in a high altitude, unshielded aircraft (a LOT more, IIRC).

I don't see radiation as being a point of controversy.

Re:OPT OUT (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39043829)

You're making the assumption that the machines are configured / calibrated correctly. I've seen no evidence to indicate that's a valid assumption.

Re:OPT OUT (5, Interesting)

lorenlal (164133) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043703)

It's not acceptable because my wife was directed to a scanner, and opted for the pat down. She said it ended up being horrible, and she felt quite violated. Like other posters said, this is a case where *neither* option actually increases security. I honestly believe that the pat down is designed to be so intrusive that the scanner ends up being no so bad in comparison.

Re:OPT OUT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39043641)

You realize the patdown (which is considered more invasive than a police pat-down) isn't really an acceptable answer for a lot of people either. You don't get to say a punch in the nose isn't an assault just because you offered to substitute a kick in the crotch.

Bonus points for you!
I don't fly to the US or so, so I can't speak from any kind of experience. When you say opt out of the scanners, have you tried saying opt out to the pat-down too?
What happens then?
Or you say: ok, you can touch me if I can touch you!

Then "passenger advocates", really? I mean, come on. I know I may need a lawyer when I did something illegal or when I sue someone or ...
But when I'm just trying to use some transportation? And how exactly is the advocate going to stop this behaviour, 24/7??

Re:OPT OUT (1)

PARENA (413947) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043717)

Reason tells me you'd be sent away, not allowed to pass ('play by our rules, or don't fly', which sucks, but they're hired to keep you out in this case). But I think I've read about someone getting arrested for not wanting the pat-down, either, which is just insane, of course. Then again, I might remember wrong.

Re:OPT OUT (5, Insightful)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043647)

You realize the patdown (which is considered more invasive than a police pat-down) isn't really an acceptable answer for a lot of people either.

This is a non-violence approach as best as Ghandi himself would have come up with. If the everyone opted for a pat down, then there would be massive queues as the TSA sods could not keep up with the folks in line, that gives them bad press - which is the last thing they want coming up to an election. Therefore, they put more and more and more staff on to keep up with the growing queues refusing the body scanner. Their budget blows out significantly and their methods are seen by the pollies as more and more asinine. Going into an election, the more noise and bad press that can be generated, the less politicians will want to touch it.

I live in outsde the US, but I can only implore you folks in the US to fight tooth and nail for all you can. Beat them at their own game - you have the numbers and you have the media there more than ready to take any hot load that will make the masses agitated. Use it to your (and by that defnition, everybody's) best advatage.

Take the invasive pat-down and blog about how violated you felt. If you are interviewed by someone else, be sure to portray the raw emotion, this will find a bond with all the voters out there who haven't personally experienced it. Contact your senator and write a lengthy letter outlining your outrage. Contact the airport directly and voice your objections - if they have enough complaints, they will (if they are not already) turn to be on the side of reason and common sense - make it bad business to support his TSA guideline and bring them to your side. Make yourself the martyr, and be proud, for you will be serving the betterment of your peers.

The only thing in a capitalist world that will serve your freedoms and personal liberty is bad business through bad press for those that seek to make money by taking it away from you.

Re:OPT OUT (4, Interesting)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043707)

This is a non-violence approach as best as Ghandi himself would have come up with. If the everyone opted for a pat down, then there would be massive queues as the TSA sods could not keep up with the folks in line, that gives them bad press - which is the last thing they want coming up to an election.

A possibly more effective solution: Refuse to fly. Take a bus, take a train, drive, or forgo travel, but don't pay into the system by buying a plane ticket.

Re:OPT OUT (5, Insightful)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043753)

A possibly more effective solution: Refuse to fly. Take a bus, take a train, drive, or forgo travel, but don't pay into the system by buying a plane ticket.

I totally agree, but this isn't always an option - and it doesn't send a direct message. Lower numbers of passengers can be spun as a downturn due to the economy, it can be spun as more people who are scared to fly due to the terrorist attacks. A long queue of people unwilling to accept an invasive body scanner is much harder to sell as a positive if you are trying to sell body scanners.

Re:OPT OUT (4, Interesting)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043799)

A possibly more effective solution: Refuse to fly. Take a bus, take a train, drive, or forgo travel, but don't pay into the system by buying a plane ticket.

Or, don't fly to the US. They don't like us foreigners there anyway.

Re:OPT OUT (2)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043807)

The downside of that, other than no other mode of transportation being able to compete with air travel in terms of speed, is that it could shut down the airlines altogether. I haven't been on a flight since the scanners were installed, but once you're past security, I found the entire experience fairly enjoyable, if a little dull. By shifting the hardship to just the TSA rather than the entire airline industry, we can hopefully force the TSA to back off without giving up the conveniences of air travel.

Re:OPT OUT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39043815)

Yep, driving to europe is easy!

Re:OPT OUT (1)

silas_moeckel (234313) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043805)

Yea if you don't like being violated via method a try method b? Just refuse to get on a plane until they stop the stupidity.

Re:OPT OUT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39043655)

You realize the patdown (which is considered more invasive than a police pat-down) isn't really an acceptable answer for a lot of people either. You don't get to say a punch in the nose isn't an assault just because you offered to substitute a kick in the crotch.

In the butt or in the mouth also works

Re:OPT OUT (1)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043783)

That analogy works for, say, lying in bed, but not for entering a boxing rink.

The airport is the new boxing rink. There are three options (just as the option of not entering the rink), and the third makes the other two reasonable.

If you don't want to get searched, you can't fly on a plane. If you want to fly on a plane, you have two unpleasant options to getting searched.

In your analogy, the third option would be saying "I don't want either" and walking away.

Re:OPT OUT (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39043451)

+1 to this. I do it all the time. It's not a big deal, and in reality isn't as invasive as the scanners. At one airport I thought I would be able to go through the standard metal detector until and agent told me to go through the scanners. I told them "Opt Out" and was patted down instead. While not great, pat downs are not that bad, and I know my body isn't subjected to any health risks. A colleague traveling with me had to go through the scanner and was also selected for a pat down.

Re:OPT OUT (4, Interesting)

SteveFoerster (136027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043691)

I do this, and take the opportunity to tell the TSA guy that he really ought to do some Google searches for "terahertz radiation" if he's going to be exposed to it all day. So far all the guys I've said that too seemed interested, perhaps more so because I was actually friendly and not calling them sexual predators like most people seem to. If they won't stand next to those machines, those machines can't be there.

Re:OPT OUT (5, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043555)

Always remember to give the officer doing the pat-down your best sex-offender-smirk and remark that you "always stand at attention for a man in uniform"...

The situation is not actually winnable in any useful way; but if the rentacop goes home feeling as though their soul is soiled, you've done your part.

Re:OPT OUT (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39043733)

I always ask the groper, "how do you feel about your mother being treated this way"

Re:OPT OUT (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39043635)

Not much of a problem if you're male. But if you're female, they must have a female TSA agent to pat you down. This woman [msn.com] found out that if a female TSA agent isn't available, then you miss your flight.

Re:OPT OUT (4, Insightful)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043831)

Is it possible to request someone of the opposite gender? I'm a guy and I'm a lot more comfortable with the idea of a woman doing the pat down - even if she's old and/or ugly for the much the same reason I prefer female doctors.

Re:OPT OUT (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39043683)

Folks, you can ask not to go through the scanners. Just say "OPT OUT". You get the pat down, of course, but from my experience, it seems to bother them more than it bothers me. And it sends a message.

If you time it right, this message can be both auditory and olfactory.

Re:OPT OUT (1)

Eraesr (1629799) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043711)

Yes, I'm sure women who feel they were singled out in a body scanner so male security personnel could look at blurry pictures of their bodies would much rather be physically touched by those same men.

Re:OPT OUT (1)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043813)

Yes, I'm sure women who feel they were singled out in a body scanner so male security personnel could look at blurry pictures of their bodies would much rather be physically touched by those same men.

Pretty sure they don't go that far. Same sex pat down.

Re:OPT OUT (1)

maple_shaft (1046302) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043793)

There are perfectly legitimate medical reasons for why one would not want to be scanned as well.

My wife had reconstructive knee surgery when she was in high school and because of this she has titanium bolts holding her knee together. Have you ever seen what happens to titanium when you subject it to large amounts of x-rays? It heats up rapidly and tremendously, which she can't really feel at the time but the expansion and subsequent contraction of the bolts when it cools down causes her hours of aching pain later.

Because of this she refuses the scanner and always opts to have her naughty bits being fondled by a complete stranger.

Re:Absolutely (4, Interesting)

PlatyPaul (690601) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043415)

Agreed 100%. Statistically speaking, the best approach is to only scan men, as the vast majority of (current) terrorists are male, and the available pool of potential future women recruits is (currently) smaller.

Is it too crazy to expect that sampling for security should match the actual observed distribution (with a uniform prior)?

Re:Absolutely (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39043523)

Agreed 100%. Statistically speaking, the best approach is to only scan men, as the vast majority of (current) terrorists are male, and the available pool of potential future women recruits is (currently) smaller.

That's profiling! You should be ashamed!

Re:Absolutely (3)

PlatyPaul (690601) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043585)

Profiling is only bad if it disproportionately targets particular groups or labels.

Re:Absolutely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39043535)

The "Black Widows" in Chechnya would approve...

Re:Absolutely (1)

PlatyPaul (690601) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043569)

Shahidka are a vast minority of modern-day terrorists. That, plus there have been no reports or confirmed shahidka terrorist activities in the USA.

Re:Absolutely (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39043579)

You are obviously talking about terrorists in the US, because there have been many women terrorists (suicide bombers) in other countries. Much easier to bring in a really large bomb when feigning pregnancy. I have known more then a couple people killed this way.

Re:Absolutely (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043583)

Never heard of Shahidka [wikipedia.org] , have you?

What they need to do is keep track of who gets scanned, and anybody who scans an unacceptable proportion of one gender versus the other gets fired, no compromises. (exactly 50/50 is probably not possible, but make the maximum acceptable ratio something like 48/52, proportionally adjusted to the population on the plane in question). Failing that, set up some kind of pattern for who gets scanned, like a fibonnacci sequence or something. And install video cameras in the screening room, angled so that you cannot see the display, but you can see anything pointed at the display (say viewing from 180 degrees). Put that camera on a live feed so that the passengers waiting in line can see it.

Re:Absolutely (2)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043631)

If you're going to play the statistics game, then why scan everybody? After all, worldwide, there's only been, what, a thousand or two actual terrorist issues on airplanes in all of history. How many people fly each year? One million? Two? 800 million+? [bts.gov] . So why not just scan half a dozen people and be done with it? Or better yet, just put a serious lock on the door to the flight deck.

Re:Absolutely (1)

Wild_dog! (98536) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043695)

What about the babies. They were always taking my babies away from me screaming. So they could check their poop or something. Everyone knows how deadly that is.

If you just check men, then people will start stuffing their infants with bombs.

This is what happens.. (3, Insightful)

Adult film producer (866485) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043361)

when you hire the unemployable and give them a badge. Tough nuts people. Bend over and take it.

Re:This is what happens.. (5, Insightful)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043557)

when you hire...pretty much anybody...and give them a badge.

Re:This is what happens.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39043667)

Herpderp.

Nice to see someone is totally submissive to what "authority" deems is the best way for them to live their life.

Over inflated opinion of herself (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39043365)

Don't get me wrong she looks good but at a busy airport terminal I'm willing to bet there are at least a dozen women that are far more attractive.

Re:Over inflated opinion of herself (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39043385)

So basically you're a virgin

Re:Over inflated opinion of herself (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39043501)

Well now I have to go ogle TFA...

Who do the passenger advocates report to? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39043367)

> require presence of passenger advocates.

Translation: throw more money (down the drain) at the problem.

How about we just dispense with the whole Security Theater sham?

Unless these passenger advocates report to someone outside the TSA, I fail to see how this will solve anything.

capcha: taxable. lol

Re:Who do the passenger advocates report to? (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043481)

You nasty cynic...

I, for one, am bursting with patriotic confidence! These 'passenger advocates'(likely toiling tirelessly out of a dank basement office hidden behind a filing cabinet and marked 'beware of the leopard') will almost certainly reform the TSA's abusive practices just as 'Internal affairs' units have revolutionized the professionalism of our police forces! Victory! Progress!

lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39043369)

But who is going to watch the passenger advocates to make sure that they are doing their jobs correctly?

Re:lol (1)

Saintwolf (1224524) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043639)

Presumably the passenger advocates' advocates.

"Passenger advocates" (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39043371)

After hearing the claims, Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) announced plans to introduce legislation that would require the presence of "passenger advocates" at airports to deal with complaints like these.

Passenger advocates, eh? How about plain removing the scanners. That'd be some Passenger advocacy right there.

Re:"Passenger advocates" (5, Insightful)

Riventree (693212) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043701)

The problem: A hugely expensive and virtually value-free arm of the government is causing trouble.

The solution: Grow the government by forming a new department to look after the old one.

Somehow "Fire the bastards and shut down the TSA" doesn't seem to occur to people in congress. (D- or R- types)

Just fix the software. (3, Insightful)

StoutFiles (2471680) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043383)

Pictures don't need to be so shapely to determine if they're carrying something deadly.

You can solve any problem... (4, Insightful)

montyzooooma (853414) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043413)

... by throwing more money and resources at it, right?

Who is going to keep an eye on the passenger advocates?

"So nat'ralists observe, a flea Hath smaller fleas that on him prey, And these have smaller fleas that bite 'em, And so proceed ad infinitum."

Re:You can solve any problem... (1)

fizzer06 (1500649) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043533)

They'll have to hire some people for that, too.

pictures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39043423)

Who decided the women were cute? We need pictures...

Bullshit (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39043437)

I deeply apologize for the vulgar heading but I am ashamed to think that these thugs in the TSA are part of the same department as the Coast Guard. This is an obvious abuse of power from these "rent a cops" that are under the impression that they have power over the private citizen. Just a Coastie speaking his mind.

Not a surprise... (4, Insightful)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043443)

There were reports in europe about airport screeners doing the same thing not only to women, but to religious minorities. In turn people are corrupt, and when you take people who get 4 hours of training(give or take a little bit), and give them any type of authority. Bad things happen, like abuse of power.

It does make sense to scan the hotties (5, Funny)

netwarerip (2221204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043449)

Since you'd have a better chance of seeing some foreign object on a chick with a slim body. Fat chicks might have layers that hide the contraband, so they may as well scan the hot ones and increase their chances of catching something.
Plus you have to figure it's more likely that a slim, hot chick is a drug mule than a fat chick, because if the fat chick was a cokehead she wouldn't be fat.
Damn, I have been underestimating the TSA guys all along, they got it all figured out!

Re:It does make sense to scan the hotties (-1, Troll)

assertation (1255714) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043621)

I wish I had moderator points left this week to mod you down. Try acting like a grown up. If you do, you might actually get some from a decent woman.

Senator Charles Schumer brought us SOAPA didn't he (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39043459)

Senator Charles Schumer brought us SOAPA didn't he?

Re:Senator Charles Schumer brought us SOAPA didn't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39043507)

He is also a humongous, publicity seeking prick. (And yes he is my Senator.) He may be right about this, though, even though I generally do not trust him to do anything but draw attention to himself.

Enough is enough (5, Insightful)

Zebedeu (739988) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043471)

After hearing the claims, Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) announced plans to introduce legislation that would require the presence of "passenger advocates" at airports to deal with complaints like these.

No, no, no!
Just stop with the scans!

The correct solution to this problem isn't to add more and more layers of complexity on top. It's to simply accept that this whole thing was a bad idea and drop it.
It's like some bizarro world where the obvious answer is starting everybody in the face but nobody wants to reach for it, so they try to find ways around it.

Re:Enough is enough (1)

Theophany (2519296) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043543)

It's like some bizarro world where the obvious answer is starting everybody in the face but nobody wants to reach for it, so they try to find ways around it.

How is that different from the 'real' world. Politicians always pull this kind of shit.

Re:Enough is enough (1)

Malties (1942112) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043759)

And once these passenger advocates is not advocating in the "correct" way we can add an advocate advisor the the payroll to oversee the advocates overseeing the screeners. And a supervisor for the overseer, and a manager for the supervisor... I see unemployement going down!

What part can't the court's comprehend? (4, Insightful)

dmgxmichael (1219692) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043499)

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

How is the TSA screening [i]not[/i] in violation of this. Being forced to go through machines that essentially strip you naked is well outside the bounds of 'reasonable' by the definition of anyone but a politician it seems.

Re:What part can't the court's comprehend? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39043613)

Here's what's going through their heads. [arstechnica.com]

It looks like a bunch of bureaucrats, their lawyers, and the judges were a big pedantic clusterfuck.

That's how freedom dies, it wimpers and dies under bureaucratic pedantry and government mendacity.

Re:What part can't the court's comprehend? (1)

SteveFoerster (136027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043727)

Those in the judicial branch abandoned their role of guardians of individual liberty a long time ago. Separation of powers was an interesting experiment, but the results were negative. I wish it weren't so, but today's America is incontrovertible evidence for it.

USA, the land I used to want to go on holiday to. (5, Insightful)

awjr (1248008) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043503)

I love going to the USA, but your government really isn't making this a pleasant experience.

Re:USA, the land I used to want to go on holiday t (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39043617)

I assume being on a plane slamming into the side of a building isn't pleasant either.

Not that the TSA has a chance in hell of preventing that from happening again.

Re:USA, the land I used to want to go on holiday t (5, Insightful)

Stele (9443) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043737)

They've already done it, by locking the cabin door. The cheapest and most effective fix to the problem possible.

At my home city airport, we still have the normal meta detectors and non-mandatory pat-downs. Why? Couldn't a terrorist just drive to my city and fly from there? This whole premise makes the entire current system worthless.

Re:USA, the land I used to want to go on holiday t (0)

AikonMGB (1013995) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043777)

Did you just self-comment yourself into irrelevancy in a single post? Impressive.

Get a pat down. (4, Insightful)

Karmashock (2415832) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043505)

What we need is to make sure the pat down remains an option. I get that every time they want to send me through the scanner. I just go through the opt out line that lets me get patted down. A guy with blue gloves on lightly touches me to see if I have a suicide vest on or whatever and then lets me go through. I assure you he enjoys the process no more then me. Which is how it should be.

I'd rather not get bombarded by radiation in their scanner or have nude photos or whatever in their storage system.

What are the women afraid of here? They get patted down by a women. Think she's going to enjoy touching you any more then the guy that pats me down? Think again. The pat down is the solution to this...

And if enough people opt out of the stupid scanner then they'll stop doing it. And I don't think the pat downs are sustainable if everyone opts out which means they should start only doing it for some but not everyone. They can say they do it "randomly" if that makes the PC people happy but they're fools if they don't make a point of patting people down on watch lists.

We don't need advocates. We just need to make as annoying for the government to be annoying as it is for everyone else. If a TSA guy has to stand there and pat down every person that gets on the plane personally... then they'll be forced to adopt irritating practices.

In the meantime, it doesn't bother me. Any one man or women that has a problem with someone of the same sex doing a pat down has issues. And frankly, as a man, I really wouldn't care if a women did it. I grasp it's different for women and maybe they need someone special... I'm just over it. So long as it's isn't a chimp that rips my sack off I'll be fine.

Re:Get a pat down. (2)

Brian Feldman (350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043627)

I wish more people would do this. I agree, it would be completely untenable to maintain the machines' usage when most people opt out of it. I think this is the only way forward to ejecting these machines from our lives.

Re:Get a pat down. (1)

Stormthirst (66538) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043715)

Better yet, the pat downs take longer - meaning the queues for boarding get longer. Sooner or later the airlines will complain it's taking too long for their passengers to get through the boarding process.

Unfortunately the TSA will just employ more unemployed morons to grope people. Probably still cheaper than buying more scanners though.

Alas... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043511)

This [youtube.com] 2008 piece has always been hilarious; but I had hoped that it would not prove prophetic...

Good job Schumer (4, Insightful)

gimmebeer (1648629) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043549)

Way to take the typical govt stance that the answer to any complaint about too much govt is... more government! He just took a complaint about the TSA's overwhelming presense and turned it into an arguement to hire more TSA workers.

It's crude, but I'll say it (4, Funny)

necro81 (917438) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043567)

Pics or it didn't happen.

[ducks under table]

Which could be a more serious and useful statement than just a crude one-off remark. We are talking about TSA agents abusing their image-taking capabilities. I've been told that the machines have been modified to not store images, but is that verified? On the other hand, annecdotes and allegations are, well, just that, at least until more solid information is available.

More wasted money on something that won't work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39043595)

This is just another example of money being wasted. TSA's security is often a joke, but it continues to grow, spend money, and perform questionable acts. The very fact that they need advocates for passengers indicates that their actions are questionable. If they are forced to hire advocates, then they will have to spend more money on that... and pass that expense on to the passenger.

Also, if the advocates are not third party, then they are almost never going to say anything against the TSA's actions. They won't be good at defending passengers from the TSA's actions if they are part of the TSA.

While I like the idea that the senator is trying to do something, I wish his actions would limit the TSA's behavior, instead of spending more money on something that shouldn't necessary if the TSA were able to act in a civilized manner.

Thank You George W. Bush (4, Insightful)

assertation (1255714) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043605)

A few Middle Eastern men show up at a Florida flight school with one blurting out that he didn't need to know how to land. All sorts of information about them makes it to the FBI, but the FBI does nothing. Later they fly a plane into a building.

Instead of removing the incompetent people and practices at the FBI you go against the goals of your party for small, cheap government by creating the white elephant of the Department Of Homeland security......and.....you screw over the freedoms of your fellow Americans by forcing them to be groped or nuked to get on a plan.

Re:Thank You George W. Bush (1, Insightful)

WankersRevenge (452399) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043741)

While George Bush certainly deserves a smackdown for his assault on civil liberties, the scanners were introduced on Obama's watch. Obama also signed into law the indefinite detention of American citizens and has no problem ordering the execution of American citizens who have not been formally accused of any crime. It depresses me to see fellow progressives cheer "four more years" for a man who has extended the very policies they decried during Bush's watch.

And it continues to baffle me why anyone would choose to vote for either Republican or Democrat when both parties have shown utter contempt for the people whom they serve. The only thing that seems to motivate politicians to do the "right thing" is the fear of losing their job and with advent of unlimited spending during election cycles, that fear doesn't have the weight it used to.

A few questions (1)

evil_aaronm (671521) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043611)

Will the "advocates" use baseball bats to "address" errant TSA agents? Because that's about the only thing that will stop these pervs.

What good is an advocate after people have been exposed and their pictures uploaded to youporn?

What's wrong with the software that they must go through 3x before they get a usable image? And what about the extra dosages of radiation?

Obligatory (1)

eternaldoctorwho (2563923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043645)

Pics or it didn't happen

Image security (1)

shoppa (464619) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043653)

I'm sure that IT security folks made billions of dollars making sure the electronic copies of the soft-tissue scans were not kept in the scanners themselves.
But then the person (and knowing how security works... probably an ex-military) reviewing the image whips out their cellphone, and wow.
I'm not very surprised that most smartphones have difficulty autofocusing on on a soft tissue scan.

Sorry, but I have to call BS on the claims (4, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043669)

As a former screener, I have always been candid about what is wrong with the TSA, its policies, practices and personnel. I know the people at the TSA and most of them are pretty much exactly as most people assume/presume. However, there is one thing that female screeners don't do and that's "act at the request of male screeners." That pure paranoia here. There is simply NO WAY it is happening at the request of male screeners. That said, I also know there is a large portion of homosexuals (both male and female) working for the TSA. They are largely the same demographic that occupy the pedestrian ranks of other "security professional organizations." So if the rate of "targeting cute bodied females" is unusually higher than other groups, then it is likely done for their own reasons, not at the request of others.

A bit more obvious ... (1)

XrayJunkie (2437814) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043729)

... would be a print key ;-)

I have another idea (1)

endus (698588) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043781)

Why don't we just not use these worthless, expensive, pieces of shit in our airports anymore? Seems like it might be a simpler solution to the problem.

Simple Rules can go a long way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39043791)

Have two sections where women will be viewed only by women and men only by men and if they want they can have a unisex section for political correctness .
Just like Rest rooms .

Another brick in the wall (4, Funny)

evil_aaronm (671521) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043797)

To the tune of Pink Floyd's "Another Brick In The Wall"

We don't need no radiation
We don't need no forced control
No blatant fascists in the airport
Agent leave those tits alone
Hey Agent! Leave those tits alone
All in all you're just another brick in the wall
All in all you're just another brick in the wall

If you don't show us your tits, you can't get on the airplane!
How can you get on the airplane if you don't show us your tits?!

what the hell did they expect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39043823)

who's gonna wanna look at a MAN'S body on the scanner's monitors?? DUH!

More bureaucracy (1)

concealment (2447304) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043853)

Our solution to a broken bureaucracy: add more bureaucracy.

Each of these consumer advocates will entail hiring two more people to manage the paperwork at the home office.

You, the consumer, pay for it all in higher taxes.

Thank you, suckers, for working real jobs so many of our fellow citizens can get hired to these do-nothing positions and paid more than the minimum wage their incompetent performance deserves.

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