Posts Tagged ‘TSA’

TSA Policy Change…Not

November 22, 2010

President Barack ObamaLast I posted, airlines were losing friends…fast.  President Barack Obama is urging the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to place significant consideration on developing “less intrusive” inspection methods.  He then likened the TSA to his counterterrorism team in that both groups must consider whether the respective chosen courses of action are necessary or not.

According to ABC News, the TSA announced it is testing full-body scanners capable of showing nothing more than a stick figure, though no sample image is available.  It is odd that dumbing down an image is considered a technological advancement, but there you TSA Admn John Pistolehave it.  As a side note—ABC News ran a story indicating the scanner images are not very detailed prior to my previous TSA post, so I do not place a lot of weight on ABC News stories regarding the TSA.  The TSA also attempted to reassure the public the screenings will be “minimally invasive,” but the organization gave no indication of enacting an actual policy change.  Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, even expressed how she would not want to go through airport security.  Fox News also acknowledged implications made by Transportation Security Administrator, John Pistole:

Pistole appeared to shrug off statements by President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton that the agency would look for ways to alter screening techniques that some passengers say are invasions of privacy.

Rep. Ron PaulEnter:  Ron Paul and his proposed American Traveler Dignity Act.  He stepped in front of the House of Representatives and gave an excellent speech, in which he suggested members from various branches of government go through the scanner and the pat-down, which he referred to as “groping.”  Paul also made reference to the money trail and possible health risk associated with the full-body scanners.  It is nice to see Ron Paul get back in touch with his Libertarian roots.  Though he always runs on the Republican ticket, this introduction of legislation does not fit the ideology of conservatism (Republican).  Why?  Because the bill will be effectively extending the power of the federal government to regulate air travel.  Paul has voted against similar extensions of power in the past.
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A Little TSA TNA?

November 16, 2010

Airport Security CartoonThe Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has decided to beef up security measures in time for the holidays.  In a move of hospitality and Democracy, the security personnel give you a choice.  You can choose the old-fashioned frisk or a full-body scan.  These scanners have been rumored to have adverse health effects, but it seems as though such is not the case , as the amount of radiation received is less than that received during the flight, itself.  This article tells of a biochemist who claims actual studies do not exist to back up the erroneous claim.

The other issue to tussle with is privacy infringement as a preventative measure.  The scan is detailed enough to make out bodily TSA Logodetails, but the face is blurred by the software.  And it is not as if the pat-down is less intrusive, considering “more vigorous” pat-downs, crossing into “molestation,” are already the norm in many airports.

The TSA is going to increase security implementation, but you will still be able to find airports without the full-body scanners.  As of Sept. 17, this was the list of airports with scanners.  Closer to the holiday season, I will follow up.

Luckily, Germany has flipped the bird to the full-body scan concept, calling it “nonsense.”  This would also be the most likely country I would travel to, so it works out.  Children are spared in Europe, as the scanner images are considered child pornography.  This article reveals children in the US are not so lucky.  This is a major shock, considering how strict we, as a country, are with sexual harassment involving any age group.

Route 66 RoadIn any case, I would prefer to drive with a massive supply of tunes.  If I were to get tired of driving, I would find any alternative to flying I could—I do not like the idea of being strip-scanned or molested.  If I had to cross a sea, it would have to be for something very important…unless the destination was reachable by cruise.  I will wait until more safety details are released before I determine which method I would prefer for overseas flights.

I am glad I flew when I was younger…it has now lost its appeal.