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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 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

"I f***ing cannot play Halo 2 multiplayer. I cannot do it." -- Bungie Technical Lead Chris Butcher

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