After a TSA agent repeatedly stuck her fingers in Amy Alkon's vagina, Ms Alkon condemned this as sexual assault. The agent, far from being punished, sued Ms Alkon.
Internal documents show that the TSA ignored cancer clusters that might be caused by body scanners, refusing to give its staff dosimeters which could determine whether in fact they are exposed to too much radiation.
It also lied and said that NIST had "affirmed the safety" of the scanners, which NIST denies doing.
The Rapescan naked body scanners were never properly tested for safety.
The supposed test didn't use the real product. The test can't be repeated because crucial data is missing — as are the names of the people who did it. The software was not checked for safety at all.
This article explains a point that makes these machines potentially very dangerous if they break. They have a high intensity X-ray beam that scans across the body at high speed.
If the scanning mechanism breaks, the beam could remain fixed on one spot in the body, causing a radiation burn.
Don't take the risk. Tell them to feel you up!
The TSA discovered that some x-rated scanners are emitting 10 times as much x-rays as they were supposed to.
A UK immigration officer stranded his wife in Pakistan for 3 years by adding her to a "no fly" list.
This story directly concerns one dishonest official. However, why was that dishonesty possibie? Because of the existence of a system that punishes people without trial and gives them no effective legal recourse. This is an invitation to injustice. Maybe this was the sole case where a person was listed by a malicious spouse — though how do we know? — but there are hundreds or thousands who are on the list for flimsy reasons, and they got no trial either.
There should not be any "no fly" list. People have a right to travel within their country, and to return to it. If there is a specific reason to suspect some person of planning a crime, that provides grounds for a court order to search that person to whatever level is required. Once that is done, there is no reason that person should not ride in an airplane.
Ralph Nader: The TSA delivers naked insecurity.
The TSA often fails to notice knives and guns that passengers bring on board.
So scanning or feeling up a fraction of the passengers can't do much good.
There is no indication that the TSA has ever stopped a real terrorist.
Does catching illegal aliens and people carrying drugs justify TSA searches? Putting aside for the moment the question of whether it is right to prohibit drugs, the answer is definitely no, because the TSA's excuse for searching everyone is flight safety. If flight safety is not a real justification, then there is no excuse for the searches at all.
As for discouraging terrorists from even trying, it doesn't seem that the TSA succeeds at that either. It only shows them the need to be more inventive so as not to be caught by the TSA.
The TSA causes more crime than it prevents, and now body scanners and feel-ups are making the American public revolt.
An airline passenger did not want to be body-scanned or felt up, so the TSA told him to leave the airport; then it threatened to sue him for $10,000 if he did leave the airport.
See also this pol-note.
The US has recently used its "no-fly" list to interfere with travel between other countries, effectively labeling journalists such as Hernando Calvo Ospina as "terrorists". Those events occurred in April, so it is possible that the policy has changed since. If that is so, I would like to know.
The TSA gave subpoenas and threats to bloggers who posted copies of a directive that the TSA sent to 10,000 airline employees. I read that they later dropped these subpoenas, which is good, but the TSA still has a vicious attitude problem.
The US government should put away the security theater, which threatens our freedom and doesn't protect us. The way to prevent terrorism is by respecting justice, at home and abroad.
Abdulmutallab's home-made bomb reportedly set the airplane's cabin wall on fire. The new security measures are surely unnecessary in some ways and inadequate in others. Meanwhile, you don't need a terrorist to cause a fire in an airplane — for instance, survivable crash landings sometimes start fires.
So what's an airplane doing with a flammable material in the cabin wall? That's what needs the attention.
The TSA unintentionally published all the details of its security practices through incompetence.
United refused to compensate Dave Carroll after damaging his guitar, so he wrote a song about it. Airlines (and other companies) ought to treat all their customers decently, not just those who are specially talented. This requires consumer protection laws and regulations.
Idiotic airline "security", rigidly enforced, almost sabotaged a revolutionary stem cell transplant.
He should have just put it in a cough medicine bottle to get around these security theater measures.
The "security theater" with its accompanying paranoia is often galling, but usually the only substantial harm it does is to the spirit of freedom. As we get worn down and accustomed to obedience, we become more suited to living in a dictatorship than in a free society. But this instance shows that it is liable also to do major harm to individuals.
Note the fundamental injustice of arresting people for criticizing the way they are being treated.
Note also how airline personnel use absurd accusations as a way to distract attention from their mistreatment of the passengers. They are trained to put the passenger in the wrong.
Heathrow security averted an imaginary deadly rice-milk threat by insisting that it be decanted into baby-bottles.
TSA "behavior detection" selects innocent people more than 99 percent of the time, and psychologists say it is has no psychological basis.
The TSA itself has opened a big hole for unauthorized people to get into airports.
Conclusive proof that most airline security is just for show. It would block stupid terrorists, but not smart ones — if the smart ones are still interested in airplanes.
Blocking stupid terrorists is worth something, but it could be done with a lot less hassle without the show.
The TSA is on guard against the Bra Bomber.
Here are EPIC's comments on TSA's "Secure Flight" program, which aims to make airlines report all air travel to a central site which will check the list of a million terrorist suspects, rather than checking it themselves.
Bruce Schneier points out that the system will be error-prone and ineffective, as well as nasty and unjust.
Even though identifying all travellers has limited value for preventing non-state-sponsored terrorism, it is really handy for general control of the populace and suppression of dissent.
An airline security bully threatened to arrest a man in Heathrow Airport for wearing a shirt with a picture of a cartoon robot with a gun.
If the bully were so stupid that he believed the cartoon robot could actually shoot someone, it would be hard to be angry at him. Someone so badly retarded is not fit for the job, but it's not his fault that he is retarded.
However, what really happened is much worse. That bully was perfectly aware that the cartoon robot could not shoot anyone. But he thought he should forbid it anyway, because he has lost all sense of proportion.
Airline pilot James Robinson has trouble getting to his flights because he's on the terrorist watch list.
Another pilot has sued for being listed, since it cut him off from his livelihood.
A TSA inspector got a clever idea for "inspecting" planes. Nine planes he damaged were grounded for repairs.
In a rare act of thoughtfulnes, the TSA has decided not to add to its "terrorist suspect" list everyone that forgets to bring ID.
John Gilmore was once kicked off a plane for wearing a sticker saying "terrorist suspect". The morons on the flight crew thought that meant he was dangerous, but it only referred to the fact that everyone who flies in a plane is treated by the TSA as a terrorist suspect.
Sherri Davidoff reports on flying in the US without her wallet, concluding that the TSA's attempts to identify people have nothing to do with protecting passengers and are solely about control.
A TSA agent took from an airline pilot the standard issue knife that the airline gives to all its pilots.
This TSA idiot firmly denied that he was enforcing a dumb rule.
The worst thing about the TSA is not that its staff enforce rules in stupid ways. It is that they insist it is right to enforce rules in stupid ways. They are being paid to act like robots instead of humans.
When people act like robots, do they still deserve to be treated like people, or is it legitimate to treat them as robots?
Air travellers now face strip searches in public.
Remember the Shoe Bomber? Wait till they catch the Bra Bomber and start requiring all women passengers to remove their bras.
The TSA has abruptly abolished the right to board a plane without showing ID.
As the article explains, this and the "no fly" list are "security theater", with results that are unjust.
Student with gun necklace pendant stopped at airport.
This tendency towards absurd zeal is not limited to the occasional idiot. It pervades the whole system.
When the TSA insisted on opening James Hoyne's backup feeding tube, they put his life in danger.
Here's another person who the TSA deceptively harassed about his shoes. The article also explains how ineffective the TSA is at catching real weapons.
TSA agents stole a baby's food. "You need a doctor's note," they said. The parents are both doctors, the TSA refused to accept their note, or to let them contact another doctor.
Once the TSA has found an excuse to take something away from you, their policy is to be as cruel as possible.
The "liquid explosive" danger is fantasy. When the TSA confiscates liquids, this is gratuitous abuse.
A man with neurological problems, who needs to carry lots of juice to avoid seizures, fights legally with the TSA which tries to stop him for no good reason.
TSA searches, detains 5 year old because his name was on no-fly list.
The TSA stopped a traveler from boarding a plane, after she had passed through security, because an agent did not like her attitude.
Here's the text of a complaint that I am sending to the TSA for misleading treatment at Logan Airport.
When I continued to verbally criticize the conduct of the agents, and didn't sit down and shut up, they called the State Police, and one Officer Gillespie told me that "Unless you shut up I will throw you out." I asked if that meant he would arrest me for speaking, and he said, "No, for making a scene." (Different words for the same act.) I told him that was bullying and abuse of power, and refused to shut up.
I then promised I would write about it for my web site, and he asked what it was, so I told him. Unfortunately it took a few days for me to get the work done. I hope he has not concluded I failed to follow through.
In another incidence, a man who put a note saying "Kip Hawley Is An Idiot" (that's the head of the TSA) on his plastic bag of liquids was treated like a criminal by the TSA.
This was, in effect, perfect proof that the TSA attacks those who criticize it, even in the total absence of any legitimate reason to do so.
The TSA's response to subsequent inquiries followed the standard dishonest rule of unjust government: admit nothing, deny everything, make counterallegations.
Don't fly Air France if you can help it. This is not a boycott, just a suggestion. Air France is unbelievable.
The Transportation Security Administration is tyrannizing airline passengers in the name of security.
For future trips, I think I will print copies of that article so I can hand them out while waiting in the line at the checkpoint.
Go to China or else! (12 April 2003)
The US government keeps track of lots of information about Americans who travel — including what books you read, and the size of your hotel bed, if they can find it out.
To search all air passengers for bombs and weapons is legitimate provided the search does nothing else. When the government uses this search as an excuse to take note of anything other than bombs and weapons, that is dishonest, and therefore unjust.
X-ray scanners are expected to cause from 6 to 100 people in the US to get cancer per year.
Since that is a rough estimate, we can make a further rough estimate that half of them will die from it.
Since there is no sign that these scanners have ever prevented an act of terrorism, this probably means they kill more than they save.
What would they say to someone who has a gun tattoo?
85-year-old Lenore Zimmerman says the TSA strip-searched her in her wheelchair.
The TSA says it wasn't a strip search. Why the differing claims? Knowing the habits of goverment officials, I think the TSA could be using some minor distinction, of no real significance, as an excuse to duck an accusation that carries opprobrium. For instance, perhaps they only required her to remove her clothes below the waist, rather than entirely strip.
Was security theater a plan to reassure Americans that later went awry? Maybe some had that intention, but I think there was a more subtle and fiendish plan.
There is one purpose for which security theater is supremely effective: making Americans afraid, so they will surrender freedom without resisting. For those in the state who hate our freedoms, this is the goal.
The messages repeated in our subway trains and buses, telling us to be very afraid of bombs, are further evidence of this. Americans did not need reassurance to continue taking buses and subway trains. We did not demand that the government do something to protect us from terrorists there. Thus, "reassurance" as a motive doesn't fit.
A former FBI agent who worked in counterterrorism says the TSA is useless, wasteful, offensive, and unjust.
Jonathan Corbett describes a simple, reliable method to fool the TSA's body scanners.
The TSA response says, in effect, "Ignore our flaws, have faith in us."
I'm not worried that this will endanger the safety safety of flights because, as Bruce Schneyer has explained, this aspect of the TSA's security checks are mere theater anyway. The real dangers of the TSA are (1) radiation exposure from x-ray scanners and (2) the danger to our freedom from letting them go fishing through our pockets and handbags for grounds to arrest people.
The TSA defends its actions in ordering a 4-year-old they had terrorized to stop crying and stand still for a pat down.
In 10 years, if another mother disobeys orders and goes to comfort her little child, they will arrest her or even shoot her. SWAT teams already do that sort of thing, then justify it based on violence in their imagination. That is the spirit of rigidity and zero tolerance, which is the spirit of America.
If TSA searches did a necessary job, perhaps one could argue that every system goes wrong sometimes and this is the price we must pay for safety. However, all we buy with this price is a ticket to security theater, and we'd rather skip the show.
Supposed TSA "behavioral detection" turns out to be just plain old racial profiling.
Even worse, it focuses on issues that have nothing to do with the safety of flights. In effect, this article admits that the TSA's main activity is an unwarranted fishing expedition, with safety of flights as a mere excuse.
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