Hate the full-body scans, pat-downs and slow going at TSA airport security screening checkpoints? For $100, you can now bypass the hassle. The Transportation Security Administration is rolling out expedited screening at big airports called "Precheck." It has special lanes for background-checked travelers, who can keep their shoes, belt and jacket on, leave laptops and liquids in carry-on bags and walk through a metal detector rather than a full-body scan. The process, now at two airlines and nine airports, is much like how screenings worked before the Sept. 11 attacks. To qualify, frequent fliers must meet undisclosed TSA criteria and get invited in by the airlines. There is also a backdoor in. Approved travelers who are in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's "Global Entry" program can transfer into Precheck using their Global Entry number.
Tag Archives | TSA
Via the Economist, Bruce Schneier points out what should be obvious:
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In the entire decade or so of airport security since the attacks on September 11th 2001, the TSA has not foiled a single terrorist plot or caught a single terrorist. Its own “Top 10 Good Catches of 2011” does not have a single terrorist on the list. The “good catches” are forbidden items carried by mostly forgetful, and entirely innocent, people—the sorts of guns and knives that would have been just as easily caught by pre-9/11 screening procedures. Not that the TSA is expert at that; it regularly misses guns and bombs in tests and real life. Even its top “good catch”—a passenger with C4 explosives—was caught on his return flight; TSA agents missed it the first time through.
In previous years, the TSA has congratulated itself for confiscating home-made electronics, alerting the police to people with outstanding misdemeanour warrants and arresting people for wearing fake military uniforms.
This video is here to demonstrate that the TSA’s insistence that the nude body scanner program is effective and necessary is nothing but a fraud, just like their claims that the program is safe (radiation what?) and non-invasive (nude pictures who?). The scanners are now effectively worthless, as anyone can beat them with virtually no effort. The TSA has been provided this video in advance of it being made public to give them an opportunity to turn off the scanners and revert to the metal detectors. I personally believe they now have no choice but to turn them off. Please share this video with your family, friends, and most importantly, elected officials in federal government...
The TSA is denying this, here is what Tim Mak reported on the Politico below. This kind of reminds me of when the late Senator Kennedy was placed on the “no-fly” list, however, in Senator Paul’s case, given his vocal criticism of the TSA, this incident makes great political theater. (I wonder if his father will bring up in the next Republican presidential debate …)
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Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul was blocked from boarding a flight Monday by the Transportation Security Administration in Nashville, Tenn., after refusing a full body pat-down, POLITICO has confirmed. “I spoke with him five minutes ago and he was being detained indefinitely,” Paul spokesperson Moira Bagley said. “The image scan went off; he refused patdown.”
Paul’s father, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), tweeted out news of the incident, saying that there had been an “anomaly” with a body scanner. “My son @SenRandPaul being detained by TSA for refusing full body pat-down after anomaly in body scanner in Nashville.
Remember when you were growing up and wanted to be a police officer, fire fighter or other public servant?
Now the TSA appears to be tapping children as future recruits for airport checkpoints, as evidenced by this novelty “Junior Officer” badge handed out at Austin Bergstrom International Airport. Not only are young, impressionable fliers indoctrinated by the unconstitutional checkpoints themselves, but now by a subtle driver to join the team someday when they can get the power to conduct their own pat-downs and body scans.
Reports Julia Whitty on Mother Jones:
In order not to risk jeopardising citizens’ health and safety, only security scanners which do not use X-ray technology are added to the list of authorised methods for passenger screening at EU airports.
In How Safe Are TSA’s Porno Scanners? I wrote about the risks of using ionizing radiation in routine airport screenings. Concerned scientists have noted the health risks of X-ray scanners, where even low levels of radiation increase cancer risks. They also note that TSA’s safety testing is flawed, since:
- testing is not done on the skin, which receives most backscatter X-rays
- the devices used for testing airport scanners are not designed for testing airport scanners
Worse, as Pro Publica points out, TSA’s safety tests are strangely obtuse:
The researchers’ names have been kept secret, and the report on the tests is so “heavily redacted” that “there is no way to repeat any of these measurements.”
Read More on Mother Jones
Michael Grabell reports on ProPublica:
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On Sept. 23, 1998, a panel of radiation safety experts gathered at a Hilton hotel in Maryland to evaluate a new device that could detect hidden weapons and contraband. The machine, known as the Secure 1000, beamed X-rays at people to see underneath their clothing.
One after another, the experts convened by the Food and Drug Administration raised questions about the machine because it violated a longstanding principle in radiation safety — that humans shouldn’t be X-rayed unless there is a medical benefit.
“I think this is really a slippery slope,” said Jill Lipoti, who was the director of New Jersey’s radiation protection program. The device was already deployed in prisons; what was next, she and others asked — courthouses, schools, airports? “I am concerned … with expanding this type of product for the traveling public,” said another panelist, Stanley Savic, the vice president for safety at a large electronics company.
Federal airport screeners still find four to five guns at checkpoints on a typical day, the Transportation Security Administration's chief told a Senate hearing Wednesday. "Yesterday we found six, including one at ... Bradley (airport in Connecticut) — a loaded gun with seven rounds in it, in a checked bag that (a passenger) was trying to get through," Administrator John Pistole said. Passengers typically say they forgot the weapon was in their bag, TSA officials said. But in one recent case, a passenger at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport tried to board a plane with two pistols, three ammunition magazines, eight knives and a hand saw in a carry-on bag, the TSA said. That passenger was arrested by local law enforcement.
“People generally associate the TSA with airport security…but now we have moved on to other forms of transportation, such as highways, buses and railways,” said Kevin McCarthy, TSA federal security director for West Tennessee. They are randomly inspecting vehicles on highways in Tennessee.