Loss of Privacy

Keeping you informed on recent losses to privacy and civil rights worldwide.

Browsing Posts tagged TSA

From YouTube:

My recent experience with TSA at IAH, George W. Bush Airport in Houston, Texas.

First they groped me for opting-out of the body-scanner, and then they false-positive alerted on me after the gloves they groped me with alarmed “explosives”.

Having been sexually assaulted by TSA before in the Miami Airport, I was concerned. I asked what they were going to do next, and they replied, “Something that’s going to make you want to leave the country.”

I repeatedly requested that the following procedure be done in public, for all of our interests, and they insisted on taking me into the private room. I stood firmly on the position that I would only leave the public view if the act were filmed by my wife.

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Angel Velazquez, 59, is accused of stealing $8500 from a woman’s luggage at O’Hare International Airport.

Prosecutors in court Wednesday said a 48-year-old woman put the cash in her suitcase and checked the bag as she took a flight on KLM Royal Dutch Airlines in mid-November. When she arrived at her undisclosed destination, she realized the money was missing.

Prosecutors said that agent Velazquez was caught on surveillance video going through the woman’s suitcase. He allegedly found the cash, stashed it in a garbage can and later retrieved it and put it in his own backpack.

This is yet another warning that if you are going to carry that much cash, or any valuables, with you when you fly, keep it with you. DO NOT check it in your luggage. You can’t watch the bag and you have no control over the sticky fingers that are going to search your bag. If you have it with you, you will know immediately if it’s been tampered with because the TSA does that too.

The TSA released their usual statement that they don’t tolerate theft, but this time added that they were moving to fire Velazquez.

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More security theater for the masses to enjoy.

TSA officers also will be using radiological detection devices.

“We did a drill a couple weeks ago. Most of the passengers transitioning the station didn’t even realize it,” TSA Special Agent John Durkin said. “There’s not going to be pat-downs. There’s not going to be magnetometers or gas imaging technology like you see at an airport.”

Bomb-sniffing dogs, radiation detection devices and dozens of cops will be stationed at Secaucus Junction on Sunday.

To enhance the fear, Black Hawk helicopters will be flying around the area as well.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents will be eyes in the sky come Sunday. They will be in Black Hawk helicopters, enforcing the 10-mile no-fly zone around the stadium.

Why is CBP enforcing a no-fly zone?

“Most of the cases of people breaching the zone, obviously, in the past, have been a mistake,” said Phil Petro Customs and Border Protection.

The media trotted out people who agree with the massive ramp up of security at the Super Bowl, despite the fact that law enforcement admits that those who have breached security were making simple mistakes. And here they are telling us that this is a good thing.

“I’m not surprised to see it,” said Amtrak rider Pauline Jones. “It doesn’t freak me out at all, no. I’d rather see it. I think it’s good.”

“It’s comforting to know they’re there,” added Amtrak rider Pat Clifton. “I was here on 9/11, so I’m glad to see them here.”

So were a lot of other people who don’t see the need for a police state in action just to go to a sporting event.

You can see the sniper’s nest from a previous Super Bowl here and read about the high tech security in use in the past. Of course, social engineering will probably still get you in for free.

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Lisa Simeone runs the civil liberties watchdog site TSA News Blog, where she and her writers keep track of the abuses of the Transportation Security Administration. Simeone has been working in public radio and print for 30 years. She has hosted NPR’s All Things Considered, Weekend Edition, and Performance Today, also the independent documentary series Soundprint. She’s written book reviews and op-eds for the Baltimore Sun and now writes on a variety of subjects for Style Magazine. In 2011, she was fired by Soundprint and blacklisted by NPR for her involvement in the Occupy movement. She managed to hang on to two radio gigs and continues her lifelong political activism.


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