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The Cheap Thrill-Airport Security Measures run Wild
Old 11-15-2010, 07:09 PM   #1
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The Cheap Thrill-Airport Security Measures run Wild

Oh pat me down ! Puleeez. yeah right there !

Scanners and pat-downs upset airline passengers - Yahoo! News-
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Old 11-15-2010, 07:22 PM   #2
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Here's the video of the process the TSA goes through for the strip searches. As it says in the article, "The video makes for extremely uncomfortable watching and viewer discretion—and outrage—is advised."

Reason.tv: Coming Soon to an Airport Near You:*Prison-style strip searches? - Hit & Run : Reason Magazine
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Old 11-15-2010, 07:33 PM   #3
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ComPost - TSA and John Tyner -- usually, this sort of thing is preceded by dinner

TSA - Glove, no love

"I got a free hand job from the TSA"

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Old 11-15-2010, 07:37 PM   #4
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I think Osama and the boys are in their caves laughing and saying - look we made them sexually abuse their men, women and children in public.
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Old 11-15-2010, 08:17 PM   #5
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So many things are wrong about this new procedure imho.

I read something this morning about an 8 yr. old boy who was randomly chosen after going through the scanner to then go through the extensive pat down.
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Old 11-15-2010, 08:34 PM   #6
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I am familiar with the technology used for full body scans. Yes, it may make some folks uncomfortable, but to me, it is preferable to know ALL passengers have gone through the scanner than continuing the real risk of being blown to smithereens at 35,000 feet.

I can always choose not to fly, which removes both situations - invasion of privacy for the sake of security and the risk of being turned into human confetti.

Go ahead and throw the tomatoes.

Added later...my appearance has often been mistaken for a person from regions that have been known for...um...violent human behavior. When I was traveling for my j*b, I always got a real kick out of being randomly chosen, going through the scan/search process, and then presenting my credentials. I was never touched inappropriately nor made to feel like I was less than a person. YMMV
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Old 11-15-2010, 08:39 PM   #7
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I am familiar with the technology used for full body scans. Yes, it may make some folks uncomfortable, but to me, it is preferable to know ALL passengers have gone through the scanner than continuing the real risk of being blown to smithereens at 35,000 feet.

I can always choose not to fly, which removes both situations - invasion of privacy for the sake of security and the risk of being turned into human confetti.

Go ahead and throw the tomatoes.
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Old 11-15-2010, 08:44 PM   #8
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I am familiar with the technology used for full body scans. Yes, it may make some folks uncomfortable, but to me, it is preferable to know ALL passengers have gone through the scanner than continuing the real risk of being blown to smithereens at 35,000 feet.
Is the altitude the threshold for the procedures or do other means of transportation qualify - trains (including subways), ships and buses?
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Old 11-15-2010, 10:38 PM   #9
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I went through the scanner a couple of times this summer--that didn't bother me too much as I'm past the modesty stage. I'm sure they save the images, no matter what they say, in case they're needed down the road for an individual case. But having a TSA employee get to third base with me if I got pulled out as the random patdown? That would definitely bother me. Having kids' crotches patted down? That's just too creepy, imho.

I like a good road trip, but hard to drive to Europe or South America, so not flying is not always an option.
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Old 11-15-2010, 10:40 PM   #10
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Is the altitude the threshold for the procedures or do other means of transportation qualify - trains (including subways), ships and buses?
+1. And high rise office buildings, and shopping centers, and big urban high schools--aren't they also at risk for getting blown to smithereens? Couldn't you make the argument that all of those places also warrant the same procedures as airplanes?
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Old 11-16-2010, 12:17 AM   #11
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In chasing through the radiation exposure levels for the backscatter systems, I ran across some interesting numbers, and even more interesting ways the calculations were done.

The manufacturer for the units at a local airport claims an exposure level of 3 microREM, which is certainly small. The absorption calculation, though, assumed the dose was absorbed through the entire body, and not in the 1/10 inch of skin that actually is penetrated by the soft X-ray dose.

The actual skin dose is higher, 56 microREM, per FDA & NIST Assessment of the Rapiscan Secure 1000® Body Scanner for Conformance with Radiological Safety Standards - July 21, 2006. Low level radiation exposure studies (BEIR VII report - NAS/NRC 2006) show that each 1 μrem of effective dose received is considered to contribute 5 × 10^–10 (one chance in two billion) to an individual's risk of contracting a fatal cancer during his or her lifetime.

At 56 microREM, each exposure has about a 1 in 35,000,000 chance of producing a fatal cancer over a lifetime. The odds of dying in a terrorist attack on an American commercial plane ran at 1 in 25,000,000 last decade, roughly similar.

If this screening method is 100% effective in blocking all terrorist attacks on American commercial flights, it would appear that people are trading death by cancer for death by terrorist. If the screening method turns out to be less effective, then people are simply adding additional risk. The overall level of risk is small compared to other causes, such as tornado, lightning strike, or the ubiquitous automobile accident.

The risk compared to the risk that is trying to be avoided shows this is not a particularly effective bet, and it is quite expensive. It also remains to be seen if a $10/hour operator can correctly operate and maintain a device whose improper adjustment and use poses a radiation risk to the operator and traveling public. Exposure to low levels of radiation appears to be linearly additive to the lifetime cancer risk, so 'dialing it up' to get a better image might have a negative impact.
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Old 11-16-2010, 12:47 AM   #12
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I know it's for the sake of security, but there is definitely something wrong with the principle of these pat downs.

At the very least, the passengers should be able to choose who will do the "goosing"

I'm waiting for when as part of the proceedure, they'll require all of us to cough twice.
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Old 11-16-2010, 04:34 AM   #13
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I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again: Anything that can be used can be misused. Anything that can be misused will be misused.

I think it's just a matter of time until some celeb will see his/her scan on the net. Some $10/hour TSA "voyeur" would gladly risk a $1K fine (and maybe(?)) the loss of his/her job to make $XXK for scans of (insert your fav. celeb.)

Suggesting that "you don't have to fly" is ridiculous as it's the only practical way to get to most distant locations - even if it's theoretically possible to travel by some other means. Maybe you could actually travel from London to Tokyo without ever boarding a plane, but it could take the ingenuity (and means) of a Philleas Fogg - not to mention the better part of 80 days. Oh, and i wouldn't try using a balloon as someone would certainly shoot you down for violating their air space. Of course, YMMV.
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Old 11-16-2010, 04:55 AM   #14
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PIT has these new full body scanners which I will experience for the first time next month when I go to FL. I would rather they scan me than touch me in any way. My retired cousin on the other side of Pittsburgh that I do a lot with can give me the heads up. She leaves Sat. for a two-week guided tour of Ethiopia.
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Old 11-16-2010, 09:08 AM   #15
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I was never touched inappropriately...
Define "inappropriate"?
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Old 11-16-2010, 09:12 AM   #16
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I went through a pat-down last year when I had a broken ankle in a boot cast. It wasn't too bad, but the tsa guy felt everything to within millimeters of private parts. Hopefully they aren't getting more aggressive than that.
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Old 11-16-2010, 09:12 AM   #17
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[QUOTE=Koolau;1001213]I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again: Anything that can be used can be misused. Anything that can be misused will be misused.

I think it's just a matter of time until some celeb will see his/her scan on the net. Some $10/hour TSA "voyeur" would gladly risk a $1K fine (and maybe(?)) the loss of his/her job to make $XXK for scans of (insert your fav. celeb.)....QUOTE]

They say no record is kept.

So, what happens if a TSA worker gets too liberal during the scan or pat down? The passenger has no recourse at all since it will only be passenger said, TSA worker said with no record?

Ironic, one time there were cases of flight attendants being taken advantage of by obnoxious passengers but now it's the passengers being searched virtually or physically. Something wrong with this picture?
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Old 11-16-2010, 10:39 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by M Paquette View Post
In chasing through the radiation exposure levels for the backscatter systems, I ran across some interesting numbers, and even more interesting ways the calculations were done.

The manufacturer for the units at a local airport claims an exposure level of 3 microREM, which is certainly small. The absorption calculation, though, assumed the dose was absorbed through the entire body, and not in the 1/10 inch of skin that actually is penetrated by the soft X-ray dose.

The actual skin dose is higher, 56 microREM, per FDA & NIST Assessment of the Rapiscan Secure 1000® Body Scanner for Conformance with Radiological Safety Standards - July 21, 2006. Low level radiation exposure studies (BEIR VII report - NAS/NRC 2006) show that each 1 μrem of effective dose received is considered to contribute 5 × 10^–10 (one chance in two billion) to an individual's risk of contracting a fatal cancer during his or her lifetime.

At 56 microREM, each exposure has about a 1 in 35,000,000 chance of producing a fatal cancer over a lifetime. The odds of dying in a terrorist attack on an American commercial plane ran at 1 in 25,000,000 last decade, roughly similar.

If this screening method is 100% effective in blocking all terrorist attacks on American commercial flights, it would appear that people are trading death by cancer for death by terrorist. If the screening method turns out to be less effective, then people are simply adding additional risk. The overall level of risk is small compared to other causes, such as tornado, lightning strike, or the ubiquitous automobile accident.

The risk compared to the risk that is trying to be avoided shows this is not a particularly effective bet, and it is quite expensive. It also remains to be seen if a $10/hour operator can correctly operate and maintain a device whose improper adjustment and use poses a radiation risk to the operator and traveling public. Exposure to low levels of radiation appears to be linearly additive to the lifetime cancer risk, so 'dialing it up' to get a better image might have a negative impact.
Thank you M Paquette for this careful assessment.

I won't even get dental x-rays unless I have a symptom, and only then of that region. They can feel away, I am more comfortable with idiots than with radiation.

My guess is that this issue will not easily blow over. Perhaps 50% of traverlers are women, women are both health conscious and also have a pretty clear sense of personal space violations. I can imagine some mother who shows up with her 13 year old daughter. The girl has needed radiation for medical treatment recently, so her cumulative dose is climbing. What will Mom do?

Stay tuned.
Ha
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Old 11-16-2010, 11:20 AM   #19
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My guess is that this issue will not easily blow over. Perhaps 50% of traverlers are women, women are both health conscious and also have a pretty clear sense of personal space violations. I can imagine some mother who shows up with her 13 year old daughter. The girl has needed radiation for medical treatment recently, so her cumulative dose is climbing. What will Mom do?
If available, the terahertz/millimeter wave system should be selected, I think. There's no ionizing radiation involved, just very low levels of radio energy at a short wavelength. There are still some questions of possible cellular damage from these frequencies, but compared to the certainty of ionizing radiation damage, I'd take it.

However, Michael Chertoff, former director of Homeland Security, now represents Rapiscan (via Chertoff Group), a maker of X-ray whole body scanners, so I'd expect to see very few of the terahertz scanners installed.
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Old 11-16-2010, 11:29 AM   #20
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Here is a method for good Public Relations and confidence building for scanning and crotchal pat-downs by TSA.

Big sis, head of homeland security, head of TSA, Speaker of the House etc. were all shown to be publicly scanned and subjected to extremely familiar hand searches each and every time they attempt to board an air transport. Oh, and do have the media present videotaping each event.

Should do it for the President and his traveling companions. Just to instill confidence and comfort in the process.
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