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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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By Karma007 on 11/24/2010 1:59:34 PM , Rating: -1
Mick, we all know it can feel demeaning to get a pat down, but how would you feel if the underwear bomb had actually gone off and 200 people were killed last Christmas ? Differently, of course.

The last poll I saw about this showed 68% of Americans supported the TSA's security measures.

Is it a perfect system? No, because no system is perfect.

Suck it up and get through it, or take a rental.

P.S., Weekly World News?


Anandtech's quality is at an all time low; I didn't know Anandtech had the same quality as a dollar store check out stand.


By Homerboy on 11/24/2010 2:07:16 PM , Rating: 2
I'm missing how this is a repost of WWN. I see that one picture is (which is a stupid picture may I add). But where are you getting the fact the rest of this is from WWN?

I'm not ripping on your post, I'm genuinely curious.

By Hakuryu on 11/24/2010 2:15:54 PM , Rating: 5
The underwear bomber boarded a plane in Amsterdam, so TSA scanning is irrelevant.

And, correct me if I'm wrong, but the 911 terrorists got their knives on the plane (ie. they were not carrying them). Again, TSA scanning wouldn't have done anything.

I'm all for security, but these scanners and the ridiculous procedures just seem like heavy-handed attempts by incompetent people to keep everyone in fear, and to get them to give up their rights.

Why not use dogs, which have been shown to work, sniff every passenger, instead of spending billions on controversial technology?

By ClownPuncher on 11/24/2010 2:17:51 PM , Rating: 2
Because dog labor is controlled by the unions.

By mdogs444 on 11/24/2010 2:16:40 PM , Rating: 2
The last poll I saw about this showed 68% of Americans supported the TSA's security measures.

Where do you people come up with this stuff? Did you just make that up? I think you did.

The real statistic (yes, citing a poll helps) is 61% are AGAINST the new body scan/pat down procedure, and that 48% say it will force them to consider alternative forms of transportation. In fact, 53% believe this won't help prevent any form of terrorism.
Is it a perfect system? No, because no system is perfect. Suck it up and get through it...

I am willing to put money down that you were not singing this tune when the Freedom Act was passed and you found out they could monitor your texts, emails, and phone calls without warrant...right?
Anandtech's quality is at an all time low; I didn't know Anandtech had the same quality as a dollar store check out stand.

Coming from somoene who makes up his own statistics which are not even CLOSE to being correct, much less on the same side of the spectrum.

Thats a question for you.

By weskurtz0081 on 11/24/2010 3:29:32 PM , Rating: 1
When was the last time a terrorist blew up a plane with an explosive device? Better yet, how many planes in the history of aviation were blown up due to terrorists with explosive devices?

Just because someone doesn't think THIS amount of airport security is necessary doesn't mean he is a hillbilly, and there's no point in being a dick about it either.

By weskurtz0081 on 11/24/2010 5:09:26 PM , Rating: 2
Fair enough on the hill-billy comment.

On the rest though. Do you HONESTLY think this will prevent terrorists from blowing up a plane if they want to? Honestly, if you were a terrorist and wanted to blow something up, don't you think you would kill more people at a sporting event, concert, or any other number of places? Using the logic that "just because it hasn't happened doesn't mean it won't" shouldn't we put full body scanners in at all of these places?

If a terrorist wants to blow up a plane, they WILL blow it up regardless of full body scanners, they will simply have a rectal based bomb, go to the bathroom, get it out, blow the plane up, these scanners will not stop that from happening.

I for one am not worried about it. My chances of being on plane that was either hijacked or blown up by a terrorist is about the same odds I have of getting struck by lighting or getting melanoma from a full body scanner. I am not living in fear.

By kerpwnt on 11/24/2010 4:56:44 PM , Rating: 2
In which case, I'm pretty glad they're monitoring.

You won't be glad when you say something like "cinnabon are the bomb! I'm gonna go jihadi on some at the mall!" and the FBI busts in your door.

I do realize that it is ridiculously improbable, but people make mistakes. Innocent people have been imprisoned (or worse) by those who normally protect us.

By myhipsi on 11/25/2010 11:21:32 AM , Rating: 3
I don't really trust the American Public to know what is best for the security of their country

So you trust a government bureaucrat instead? LOL

By DigitalFreak on 11/24/2010 2:19:07 PM , Rating: 4
This isn't Anandtech, dumb-ass.

Mick, we all know it can feel demeaning to get a pat down, but how would you feel if the underwear bomb had actually gone off and 200 people were killed last Christmas ?

I'd rather take the chance of being on a plane with a bomber than lose what remaining freedoms we have.

By Karma007 on 11/24/2010 2:32:59 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry. I forget that "Latest from Anandtech" meant something else..........

By mdogs444 on 11/24/2010 2:26:09 PM , Rating: 2
Still, no one has answered the question: if an underwear bomb had gone off in American airspace and 200 citizens were killed, how would you feel about pat downs?

Perhaps your asking the wrong question. Instead of groping our own citizens on our own land...we should be groping citizens of other countries who want to come onto our own land.

Then we wouldnt have to worry about either one, would we?

By Karma007 on 11/24/2010 2:39:54 PM , Rating: 2
No, that is the right question. People's feelings about security in the U.S. changed after 9/11. They would have changed again if an underwear bomb had exploded.

As for your question, that depends on other countries security measures. The U.S. has no direct control over passenger screening on outbound flights to the U.S. Only indirect control.

By mdogs444 on 11/24/2010 2:44:13 PM , Rating: 2
As for your question, that depends on other countries security measures. The U.S. has no direct control over passenger screening on outbound flights to the U.S. Only indirect control.

I disagree. The U.S does not have to allow the flight, much less the people on board, to enter the country at all. So to say that we cannot screen all the fliers of any flight coming INTO the U.S is completely false.

We may not currently do it, but it does not mean that we can't.

By Karma007 on 11/24/2010 2:26:55 PM , Rating: 1
As an add-on:

Of course it would be great to have nothing to slow you down when flying. Grab your bags, give your ticket to the flight attendant, get on the plane, and go.

Is that the world we live in? No.

Will security measures change? Sure.

Deal with it or drive a car.

By mdogs444 on 11/24/2010 2:34:53 PM , Rating: 5
Hey if you want a cheap rub & tug from a non educated bag handler, go ahead and get one. If you want to jump into some radiation contraption go ahead. I don't believe for one minute that its as safe as they say - especially coming from the same nitwit liars that told us the machines were incapable of saving images, do not save images, and have no way of making images available....then they end up on the internet. I don't believe a damn thing they say.

I, for one, believe in the freedom of privacy and am not willing to sacrifice it because YOU think I should. I'm also not willing to be a sheep and going through groping that the person who sets the policy does not have to abide by. Do what YOU want to do, but YOU dont get to tell everyone else how to feel or act

By mdogs444 on 11/24/2010 2:45:47 PM , Rating: 5
^ Liberal Elitism

By ClownPuncher on 11/24/2010 2:51:15 PM , Rating: 2
It's Progressive Elitism. The ol' Liberals don't want their balls scanned either.

By weskurtz0081 on 11/24/2010 3:26:44 PM , Rating: 2 the future...

Then... don't go to the football game, watch it at a bar or at home! Then, don't take the train, drive! Don't go to the baseball game. Don't go to the basketball game. Don't go to the soccer game.

How about just don't live in fear because the odds of you dieing due to terrorism are about the same as being struck by lighting.

By myhipsi on 11/25/2010 11:45:09 AM , Rating: 1
Definitions of Terrorism:

The use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce
The the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism

Terrorism is effective because of people who think like you.

By weskurtz0081 on 11/24/2010 2:48:35 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe I don't want to be subject to additional radiation, maybe my children have the potential for melanoma, maybe I don't want a stranger touching my children like that.... maybe my children don't want a stranger touching them like that....

Do you honestly think no one has a valid complaint, your thought on this is the only one that's right, and everyone else should just shut up about it?

By weskurtz0081 on 11/24/2010 2:44:39 PM , Rating: 2
If a terrorist had a shoulder fire rocket and took out an airplane after it took off... if a terrorist blew himself up in a football stadium... if a terrorist had plastic explosives up his butt and blew it up on a plane...

Tell me this, when was the last time a terrorist blew up a plane with explosives?

By fic2 on 11/24/2010 4:32:34 PM , Rating: 2
They don't even have to blow up a plane. Just get in a security line at the airport and blow themselves up when they are in the middle of it. Probably kill a couple of hundred people and shutdown every U.S. airport while the TSA tries to figure out how they can send someone to your house to do a pre-airport grope.

Or pack an 18-wheeler with explosives and detonate it as they crash through the front of the airport.

“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls

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