Monday, November 15, 2010

How do you feel about the new the Transportation Security Administration's technique for patting down airline passengers at airport security?

A friend emailed me today about this. She was skived out at our choices at the TSA checkpoints these days. She has a teen aged daughter, as I do and we were both emailing back and forth about the procedure. Both of us were more apt to do the scanner, since the actual physical option really did not appeal to either of us.

In Newspapers, and news reports airport travelers are calling it groping, prodding or just plain inappropriate - a pat-down that probes places where the sun doesn't shine. The TSA is calling it the new reality of airport security following the uncovering of a terrorist plot last month to blow up cargo planes en route to the United States.

The TSA has instituted a new type of pat-down of passengers, a move that's part of a general tightening of air security. If a full-body scanning machine shows something strange or a passenger declines to go through the machine, an officer will perform a more personal search. Maybe the media is making a big deal out of this but the new regulations says the pat downs are now not back handed (using palm and fingers) and are rather invasive.

On CNN there is a audio tape of a guy getting patted down. the TSA agent is very professional but when he told the guy he needed to do a "groin search" with a description, the guy said, "if you touch my junk I'll have you arrested." needless to say, the guy opted out of traveling that day.
CNN audio of TSA screening

A friend of mine who is a TSA agent says there are very strict rules about how it is to be done. There are parts of the body where you have to do it two handed so it is with the palm, not the back of the hand, but it is on the leg where you sort of "wrap' your hand around the ankle, and move up the calf to the thigh. The entire time they are doing it, and prior to touching the person, they are required to explain everything they are doing and going to do, and are monitored very closely by a supervisor.

A parent quoted in Saturday's Washington Post said,"It's more than just patting you down. It's very intrusive and very insane. I wouldn't let anyone touch my daughter like that," said Marc Moniz of Poway, Calif., who is planning to accompany his daughter's eighth-grade class from San Diego to Washington in April. "We're not common criminals." My friend, who chose to be anonymous said, "The media may be making a big deal out of this but first person stories tell me otherwise. We tell our kids not to let a stranger touch them and then we as parents are asked to give permission for this???"

"We're opposed to letting TSA treat us like criminals," said James Babb of Eagleville, Pa., an activist who is organizing the We Won't Fly campaign. This group launched the Web site, It has gotten more than 70,000 hits per day since going online a week ago. The Web site asks passengers to say no to scans and pat-downs and for TSA to remove its "porno-scanners" and "gropers."

The Senate Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety, and Security will hold a Transportation Security Administration Oversight Hearing next Wednesday.

What do you think? If you are traveling in the near future how do you feel about it? If you have kids how do you feel about that? Let u know how you feel?

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