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Airport passengers are disturbed by the TSA's "nude" scans of adults and children alike. But they're even more repulsed by the idea of being groped by TSA agents under the stricter "enhanced" search procedures.  (Source: Corbis)

Terrorists' new tact of smuggling IEDs in their anal cavity may force the TSA to adopt even more intense search "enhancements".  (Source: World Net Daily)
The public is not happy about increasingly invasive "enhanced" searches and scans

Imagine if you saw this job posting on Craigslist: 
Wanted: A person with good attention to detail and willingness to work long hours.  Your daily tasks will consist of viewing people naked all day, including children.  You will also be asked to pat down the private regions of men, women, and children on a regular basis.
It sounds ludicrous, but that's essentially the job duties of the average Transportation Safety Administration worker at an airport these days.  And it's exactly why the public is outraged and planning an unprecedented, if poorly organized protest for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Prepare to be Searched

In response to the ever imaginative attempts of terrorists, the Obama administration is rolling out mass deployment of the scanners, which show nude images of passengers.  And those who refuse scans undergo much more invasive searches. 

Some passengers are reporting that TSA officers reached into their undergarments, groping their private parts.  Reports one woman, "The woman who checked me reached her hands inside my underwear and felt her way around.  It was basically worse than going to the gynecologist. It was embarrassing. It was demeaning. It was inappropriate."

While there's supposed "protocols" protecting against such gross violations of privacy, there's little in the way of oversight it appears.

Similarly body scanners supposedly can't store or transmit images -- but that might not line up with reality.  However, the U.S. Federal Marshalls recently admitted in a court case that they secretly stored tens of thousands of nude scans of passengers, including, likely, children.  The TSA continues to claim that it's impossible to store images.

The public is not happy about these developments.

Poorly Organized Protests

Growing public outraged has fueled some to propose "National Opt-Out Day".  Some people are proposing going to the airport dressed in protest T-shirts and kilts even.  Rather than agreeing to body scans, they plan on demanding that TSA officers perform "enhanced" pat downs in a bid to delay flight times and press the point.

Robert Shofkom, a 43-year-old Georgetown, Texas native is among those planning on wearing a kilt in protest.  An IT specialist by profession, Mr. Shofkom remarks, "If you give them an inch, they won't just take in inch. Pretty soon you're getting scanned to get into a football game."

Some people have even passed out fliers or brought protest signs to the airport.  The fliers carry messages like, "You have the right to say, 'No radiation strip search! No groping of genitals!' Say, 'I opt out.'"

If enough people are convinced, it could just work.  A scan takes only about 10 seconds.  But a pat down can take four minutes or more.  If a significant portion of passengers opt for pat downs it could seriously delay flight times.

The protesters join America's largest pilot unions, which have boycotted the full-body scanners, which they say pose a small, but substantial cancer risk.

At present, the efforts seem rather poorly organized and ineffectual -- flights have remained on schedule and wait times have been remarkably low at around 10 minutes at many major airports.

Still the protests are clearly catching the public's attention, as evidenced by the "Don't Touch My Junk!" video which went viral.  In that video an Oceanside, Calif., man named John Tyner told a San Diego airport TSA official, "If you touch my junk, I'll have you arrested."

TSA Tells Public Not to Resist

The TSA has admonished the protest efforts.  Transportation Security Administration chief John Pistole, speaking on ABC's Good Morning America said that protesters are hurting the public, stating, "I just feel bad for the traveling public that's just trying to get home for the holiday.  [The TSA screeners] just want to get you through."

The agency has increased its staff count, bracing for potential protests.  And it's urging the public to comply with its nude scans and pat downs.

What's Next?

With increasing privacy violations at the airport, the hot topic on many people's minds is -- where will the TSA stop?

There's been growing speculation about terrorists trying to smuggle explosives by inserting them in their rectum.  A Saudi suicide bomber already smuggled a bomb in his anal cavity.  A terrorist, in theory could smuggle a bomb onto a plane in their anal cavity and then remove it and detonate it.

Current generation scanners are likely not capable of detecting low-density explosives inside the anal cavity.

If such an attack is attempted, the TSA may have to opt for even greater "enhancements" to its already intimate screening protocol.

And in reality there's probably plenty of vulnerabilities that haven't been thought of.  What is clear is that the public likely faces a choice between continuing to give up their freedoms or drawing a hard line now and resisting the current protocols.


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Far too invasive...
By Amiga500 on 11/24/2010 1:53:17 PM , Rating: 5
To provide what is effectively a facade of safety to the more gullible members of the general public.

Anyone half competent could blow up a plane. Don't be under any illusions otherwise.

Thus, the scanners and searches are a waste of time, money and people's liberty.

As Benjamin Franklin said; "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety".




RE: Far too invasive...
By DigitalFreak on 11/24/2010 2:22:42 PM , Rating: 2
They still serve first class meals with real silverware and glasses made of glass. It would be easy enough for a terrorist to use those to hijack a plane, and they wouldn't even need to sneak them on-board.


RE: Far too invasive...
By GreenEnvt on 11/24/2010 2:54:09 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think in the post 9/11 world a guy with a knife (or guys with knives) if going to be able to hijack a plane. Passengers will beat the %R$#@$#@!! out of the guy.

The biggest threat is explosives or something else that could cause flight systems to fail (E.M.P.?). I'm fine with limits on fluids, but I think most of the other passenger screening procedures do basically nothing to prevent terrorism. The cargo however is another story..


RE: Far too invasive...
By fic2 on 11/24/2010 4:40:14 PM , Rating: 2
From what I have heard no airport ground personal have to go through a daily security check. So, basically anyone from baggage handler, cleaning crew, gas pumper, etc could bring anything into a plane and drop it off for a scanned "safe" passenger to use.


RE: Far too invasive...
By arazok on 11/25/2010 7:14:22 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
I don't think in the post 9/11 world a guy with a knife (or guys with knives) if going to be able to hijack a plane. Passengers will beat the %R$#@$#@!! out of the guy.


I think all they needed to do after 9/11 was lock the cockpit doors. Problem solved. The rest is BS.


RE: Far too invasive...
By dananski on 11/26/2010 7:47:47 AM , Rating: 2
There was me thinking I was the only one thinking they should do that. If they aren't doing it, there must be a good reason, because it's a great idea as far as I can see.

Of course you still need to check people for bombs before they get on the plane, because even if you can stop terrorists taking control of a plane and flying it into a building, you still don't want them to blow up a plane, say, over a crowded city.


RE: Far too invasive...
By Lerianis on 11/29/2010 4:45:34 PM , Rating: 2
I don't understand why that didn't happen on 9/11. If someone tried to take over the plane I was on, I would DAMNED WELL kill the SOB or find some other way to subdue him.

It was 120 against 4.... WHY THE HELL were they able to take over those planes? Americans too milquetoast all of a sudden?


RE: Far too invasive...
By Pirks on 11/24/2010 5:14:48 PM , Rating: 2
Glass and silverware won't let terrorist in the locked up pilot's cabin, so who cares really? Explosives are the real threat these days, not stupid silverware that's not gonna work now after 9/11, no wonder they gonna start searching rectums for explosives.


RE: Far too invasive...
By priusone on 11/24/2010 9:00:19 PM , Rating: 2
Ever heard of Lidia Alvarado?

http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/keyword/san-sa...

http://www.coalitionoftheswilling.net/archives/200...

Sure, you'd have to replace the metal with something else, but the real point is, is people are will to try anything.


RE: Far too invasive...
By Reclaimer77 on 11/24/2010 5:16:06 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Anyone half competent could blow up a plane. Don't be under any illusions otherwise.


Thankfully, so far, they always haven't been half competent. The underwear bomber DID get on the plane, and he WAS able to ignite his weapon. Any more "competent" than that, and we would have had hundreds more dead possibly. Or at the very least, a much more serious situation.

The problem is that we've decided to be reactive instead of proactive. Oh no one guy tried an underwear bomb that didn't even work, let's spend billions on new scanners for EVERYONE!!

I would rather they not make it to the airport at all. Instead of talking about what they did once they got on the plane.


RE: Far too invasive...
By RivuxGamma on 11/24/2010 5:50:21 PM , Rating: 2
I understand that there needs to be a term for it, but, dear Jesus, do I hate the term "proactive." I hear it used way to much. Sort of like when "paradigm" became huge in business lingo.


RE: Far too invasive...
By MojoMan on 11/25/2010 3:16:57 AM , Rating: 2
The underwear bomber was NOT competent because he WAS put on the plane by the state department. They pull this crap to get us to be scared and give up our rights.

http://clareswinney.wordpress.com/2010/01/30/us-st...

Kurt Hascall is a lawyer that lives here in MI. He watched events unfold and knew the government had their hands all over this.

You have a greater chance of getting struck by lightning than killed by a terrorist. Please, America, stop being so cowardly. It's embarrassing.


RE: Far too invasive...
By sfi2k7 on 11/26/2010 2:57:53 AM , Rating: 2
They spend millions to make billions by making Americans afraid. You know almost every minutes One(or more) woman is raped in america and i do not know of a single law or effort by our government to stop that Heinous crime (in pre-crime stages, i.e before the crime is commuted). I do not mean that they should arrest the person before he commits his crime but look and change the consequence or the environment that make the crime possible(or probable). You could spend more time in prison for smoking a joint (specially if you are black) then raping a woman. Something wrong with this picture (read; out justice system).


RE: Far too invasive...
By AlexWade on 11/24/2010 5:47:23 PM , Rating: 5
My complaint with these scanners is twofold.

First, they were put in for safety. Yet, the TSA admitted a long time ago that these would not have stopped the recent terrorist strikes. Sorry, it has been a while so I don't have a link. Why should I surrender my dignity for something that has a 0% chance of detecting the methods terrorists are going to use?

Second, USA Today had an article about the company that makes these machines, L-3 Communications. Basically, the only reason they are at the airports are because L-3 has well-connected lobbyists. To me, these scanners represent everything that is wrong with politics.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2010-11-22...

http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/clientsum.php?lna...


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