Earlier in the week, I had intended on writing a great post on the TSA scanners, opting out of them, and the invasive TSA pat downs. Since it’s been all over every news outlet I have come across, I thought I could better serve the story with links to some important stories and websites you should check out to learn more on why everyone should opt out while still insisting that the pat downs be scaled back.
Before you begin, you should familiarize yourself with the TSA guidelines so that you can understand just how many times the TSA screeners are violating their own rules and regulations.
First, and foremost, if you have a problem with the TSA, you need to actually go to their website and let them know about it. The TSA are currently hiding under a rock, pretending that people enjoy this sort of thing. Politicians don’t care either, because they are exempt, apparently, from going through security.
One of the best places to visit concerning the full body scanners is Bruce Schneier’s blog. He has an excellent article about everything that is going on and is a great starting point. Since his story also has nearly every link I had intended on making, please check it out. Read the stories. Watch the videos. This is an important issue that everyone should be informed about.
In addition to the numerous links on Bruce Schneier’s blog, here are a few more that have popped up since he made his post.
The TSA calls it unfortunate. I call it disgraceful. A man was left covered in his own urine when the TSA broke the seal on his urostomy bag.
The TSA made a cancer survivor remove her prosthetic breast and show it to them.
A young boy is strip searched by the TSA.
Doug Melvin, the former TSA director in Boise is caught naked and masturbating at a hotel.
These are photos from Denver International Airport of actual pat downs. This is the airport I fly out of.
The TSA has granted airline pilots an exception to screenings.
The best headline I’ve seen came from reddit. Obama backs freedom fondling.
Senator Joseph Lieberman, the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, thinks the scanners are a good thing.
Former Governor of Minnesota, Jesse Ventura, says he won’t fly again due to the regular abuse he gets from the TSA.
Ralph Nader weighs in on the issue.
Many TSA agents hate the new rules over the groping nature of the pat downs and find that morale is low. It remains to be seen if they will take a stand against the pat downs or continue to follow along.
This is a video of a story in March 2010 of a 4-year old boy who was told to remove his leg braces so that he could go through security. He can’t walk without them, but the TSA didn’t care.
Airports can hire their own security. It need not be the TSA, however, there are only five approved companies to pick from.
SeaPort airlines is TSA-free. You can show up 15 minutes before departure and still fly. Unfortunately, they don’t fly where I go.
New York lawmakers intend to kick the TSA our of their airports.
In 2008, the TSA screeners were avoiding their own security.
The US military forbids Afghani forces from doing the very thing the TSA is doing to American citizens on a daily basis.
There are many health questions about the full body scanners. No one is entirely sure they are safe.
Flyer Talk discusses what I have suspected all along. The pat downs are more invasive because they want you to go through the full body scanners.
You can carry fully automatic weapons on board if you’re in uniform, but don’t you dare try to bring your nail clippers.
The full body scanners can see sanitary napkins that women are wearing, yet the TSA doesn’t see this as a privacy or dignity concern.
There is an IAMA post from someone who is a TSA supervisor on reddit.
Someone got a gun past TSA. A god damn gun. He remembered it was in his bag and turned himself in. What is TSA’s response? They call everyone back, including a plane that had already left the gate, and force everyone to once again go through the same bullshit procedure that had failed to detect the gun.
Mark Hemingway wants to know, “Since the TSA molested my family, why doesn’t Obama volunteer to subject his family to the same security procedures?” We all know that it will never happen, but we wish it would because that would get the procedures changed very quickly.
The security boss of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport is calling for an end to endless investment in new technology to improve airline security.
Marijn Ornstein said: “If you look at all the recent terrorist incidents, the bombs were detected because of human intelligence not because of screening … If even a fraction of what is spent on screening was invested in the intelligence services we would take a real step toward making air travel safer and more pleasant.”
In the end, it is we, the traveler, who must protest about these policies. We must hold the TSA accountable and have consistent and equal treatment at all airports. And we must always remember, that it is we, the traveler, who has stopped the terrorists. The TSA has yet to stop a single terrorist since its creation.
There are two great sites to follow on this issue as well. As many people know, I read reddit several times a day. Several redditors have created a website just for this issue. It is called Fly With Dignity. We Won’t Fly are the people behind the National Opt Out Day. Both sites are doing an excellent job of keeping everyone informed of what has happened, what is happening and what might happen.
Finally, let me point out that I am not against having security at airports. What we need is less of what we have, more personal dignity and privacy, and using common sense in the matter. The TSA has always been about the illusion of security and not actually providing any better security. We shouldn’t let our privacy slip away just so a few men can make a couple of bucks off an unsuspecting public. We didn’t freak out twenty years ago, so why are we doing so now? Take a stand now.