News Airport searches

FlexGunship

Gold Member
367
8
Bad laws and rules have loopholes or downright silly repercussions. The new TSA invasive search rules are bad rules.

Bend them, twist them, and make everyone feel awkward.

"I'd like to skip the backscatter and be patted down."
"Okay."
"In private."
"Sure."
"And I'm a little sexually confused lately, so, it should probably be a woman..."
"Uhh..."
"...and a man."
"Sir..."
"And maybe they could hug a little?"
"I seriously doubt..."
"Do you have any dogs that could help?"​

At some point, they'll just give up because of all of the nonsense. Or, at least I hope they do.
 

Office_Shredder

Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
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I completely forgot about the rule that requires TSA agents to stand there and listen to you until you finish giving instructions on how your search should be performed
 

FlexGunship

Gold Member
367
8
I completely forgot about the rule that requires TSA agents to stand there and listen to you until you finish giving instructions on how your search should be performed
Actually, they can't touch you without permission. So, yes, they are forced to listen to you. There is an excellent precedent for this. (Citation: http://noblasters.com/post/1650102322/my-tsa-encounter [Broken])

Until you explicitly give them permission to touch your genitals, it's still considered sexual assault. You are allowed to specify the gender of the person performing the pat down and you are allowed to request it be done in private.

What's the alternative? The police can only arrest you at the direction of the TSA.
 
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107
0
Actually, they can't touch you without permission. So, yes, they are forced to listen to you. There is an excellent precedent for this. (Citation: http://noblasters.com/post/1650102322/my-tsa-encounter [Broken])

Until you explicitly give them permission to touch your genitals, it's still considered sexual assault. You are allowed to specify the gender of the person performing the pat down and you are allowed to request it be done in private.

What's the alternative? The police can only arrest you at the direction of the TSA.
Personally, I'm not willing to test any of their limits - I have a "stay off 60 minutes" rule.:smile:
 
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BobG

Science Advisor
Homework Helper
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I completely forgot about the rule that requires TSA agents to stand there and listen to you until you finish giving instructions on how your search should be performed
You mean this rule?

Think before you speak. Belligerent behavior, inappropriate jokes and threats will not be tolerated. They will result in delays and possibly missing your flight. Local law enforcement may be called as necessary.
http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/screening_experience.shtm
 
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BobG

Science Advisor
Homework Helper
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Actually, they can't touch you without permission. So, yes, they are forced to listen to you. There is an excellent precedent for this. (Citation: http://noblasters.com/post/1650102322/my-tsa-encounter [Broken])

Until you explicitly give them permission to touch your genitals, it's still considered sexual assault. You are allowed to specify the gender of the person performing the pat down and you are allowed to request it be done in private.

What's the alternative? The police can only arrest you at the direction of the TSA.
This is the incident that was mentioned in posts #8 and #16.

It's a different kind of problem. The person wasn't boarding a flight. The only reason he had to undergo any security check is because the international gates and the accompanying immigration checkpoints exited out into the general boarding area.

In other words, his was a problem of how to get from the departure gate to the airport exit without going through the general boarding area. In his case, security officers gave him a personal escort through the boarding area to the 'outside' part of the airport. It also might be worth noting that it took him 2.5 hours to get from the airplane's gate to the outside of the airport. That might seem a good trade-off to some.

That won't help you if you're arriving at the airport intending to get on a flight.
 
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FlexGunship

Gold Member
367
8
In other words, his was a problem of how to get from the departure gate to the airport exit without going through the general boarding area. In his case, security officers gave him a personal escort through the boarding area to the 'outside' part of the airport. It also might be worth noting that it took him 2.5 hours to get from the airplane's gate to the outside of the airport. That might seem a good trade-off to some.
  1. The only difference between the two forms of screening is that in one case you could miss a flight, and in the other you couldn't. The guidelines are the same.
  2. 2.5 hours is a good first try. Hopefully, as a society, we can get the time down to a few minutes. The script will be routine, and everyone will know their parts.

Can't solve the problem all at once. But this is a good start.

EDIT: Sorry, I should be clear in my stance. The TSA compulsory sexual assault rules are a violation of human decency in my opinion. Prior to terrorist activity, I could fly on an inter-state plane without being photographed naked or subjected to having my "junk" touched. Now, as a direct result of terrorist activity, we are terrorizing each other. I, for one, see this as a problem that needs to be solved.
 
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Al68

'Force' and 'duress' imply there is simply no other option....
No they don't. They mean that force or duress is being used to limit choices.
 
In other words, his was a problem of how to get from the departure gate to the airport exit without going through the general boarding area.
In this case presumably cock-up rather than conspiracy, but it does raise an interesting point. What do you do with a US citizen, on US soil, trying to enter his own country who refuses to go through the check - send him back to where he came from ?

It also might be worth noting that it took him 2.5 hours to get from the airplane's gate to the outside of the airport. That might seem a good trade-off to some.
In the sense that it would have been quicker for Rosa Parks to just sit at the back of the bus, or Gandhi to have stayed as a rich lawyer.
 
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Under the definition of duress within contract law, this is the only section I feel applies here:
Lack of reasonable alternative (but to accept the other party's terms). If there is an available legal remedy, an available market substitute (in the form of funds, goods, or services), or any other sources of funds this element is not met.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duress#The_elements_of_economic_duress

However, it depends what you consider reasonable. To me, driving is a reasonable alternative for shorter trips, but anything over 500 miles and it's not reasonable. But then I'd also weigh in the cost of the trip. If it costs the same or less to drive than to fly, regardless of distance I'd consider it fairly reasonable. So it's a matter of preference for this one and what a court would see as reasonable.

So given it's a case of do it or don't fly, for international flights I can completely understand the 'duress' aspect. But for internal flights I'm not so sure, especially for a country like Britain where driving anywhere isn't that bad.

I'd also add here that it's no different to a number of other situations, such as the nightclub example people keep mentioning. With the nightclubs it is a case of be searched or bugger off. Now given every club I can go to involves this pat down pre-entry procedure, there is no reasonable alternative and yet no one complains about it.

As I've said in other threads, it seems like Americans have double standards. You are happy to accept searches for clubs and not make noise about them but the moment it's something regarding the government it's the worst thing ever and must be stopped.
From my perspective, being searched before boarding a private aircraft is no different to being searched before entering a private club. The only difference between the two is who does the searching. Perhaps you would prefer if the airport had it's own security, privately funded by ticket price increases, that you agree to on the ticket between you and the airline, who searched you instead?
 
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In this case presumably cock-up rather than conspiracy, but it does raise an interesting point. What do you do with a US citizen, on US soil, trying to enter his own country who refuses to go through the check - send him back to where he came from ?
As I understand it, you can't prevent a US citizen entering the country.
 
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0
In this case presumably cock-up rather than conspiracy, but it does raise an interesting point. What do you do with a US citizen, on US soil, trying to enter his own country who refuses to go through the check - send him back to where he came from ?


In the sense that it would have been quicker for Rosa Parks to just sit at the back of the bus, or Gandhi to have stayed as a rich lawyer.
Seems a little dramatic - aren't passengers expected to arrive 2 hours early...some might consider it reasonable to spend as much time leaving?
 

FlexGunship

Gold Member
367
8
Seems a little dramatic - aren't passengers expected to arrive 2 hours early...some might consider it reasonable to spend as much time leaving?
Yeah, it didn't used to be like that. But now it is. There is a direct causal link between terrorist activity and U.S. citizen acting terrorized.

Not to be cliche, but "they won."
 
2,662
20
Well in all fairness, their goal seems to be wiping out anyone who doesn't subscribe to their religious beliefs. So in that respect, they haven't won.

The question is, would you rather sit on an aircraft knowing nothing changed after 9/11 and that knives and the like could be on board with a passenger so easily? Or would you prefer to know that everything possible is being done to ensure your safety?

It's slack security that allows things like this to occur in the first place.
 

Al68

Under the definition of duress within contract law, this is the only section I feel applies here:...

However, it depends what you consider reasonable. To me, driving is a reasonable alternative for shorter trips, but anything over 500 miles and it's not reasonable.
That definition does not even remotely apply here. I wasn't referring to anyone accepting the "terms of the other party to a contract". We were talking about "terms" imposed by force by a third party (government).

By that standard, I could use force against my neighbor to prevent him from driving to work, or wearing a blue shirt, since he has other reasonable options.

The use of force by government must be justified. The fact that the recipient of the force "had other options" does not negate the need to justify the use of force. This is not that hard to understand.
 
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107
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Well in all fairness, their goal seems to be wiping out anyone who doesn't subscribe to their religious beliefs. So in that respect, they haven't won.

The question is, would you rather sit on an aircraft knowing nothing changed after 9/11 and that knives and the like could be on board with a passenger so easily? Or would you prefer to know that everything possible is being done to ensure your safety?

It's slack security that allows things like this to occur in the first place.
Careful - it sound like you might know who "they" are - somebody with a religious motive(???) couldn't this lead to profiling (that is actually having a focused plan).
 

FlexGunship

Gold Member
367
8
Well in all fairness, their goal seems to be wiping out anyone who doesn't subscribe to their religious beliefs. So in that respect, they haven't won.
Disagree. Their goal was to terrorize individuals into submission. Their global goal is, of course, conversion of religion. This is the same difference between the goal of a strafing run and a war. You can't say the strafing run wasn't a victory just because the war isn't over.

The question is, would you rather sit on an aircraft knowing nothing changed after 9/11 and that knives and the like could be on board with a passenger so easily? Or would you prefer to know that everything possible is being done to ensure your safety?
http://thestir.cafemom.com/baby/113023/tsa_targets_breastfeeding_mother
http://www.businessinsider.com/tsa-security-horror-stories-2010-11#an-8-year-old-boy-removes-his-shirt-1
http://www.businessinsider.com/tsa-security-horror-stories-2010-11#cancer-survivor-leaves-humiliated-covered-in-own-urine-2
http://www.businessinsider.com/tsa-security-horror-stories-2010-11#a-3-year-old-girl-frightened-by-tsa-pat-down-8

THIS IS WRONG. End of statement. It is abuse, humiliation, and sometimes worse! There is a middle ground. There is a place between here and no security.

The idea that we so casually dismiss a "few victims" is disgusting, frankly. This is exactly why we have a government: to protect us from this type of abuse of power.
 
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FlexGunship

Gold Member
367
8
Careful - it sound like you might know who "they" are - somebody with a religious motive(???) couldn't this lead to profiling (that is actually having a focused plan).
Profiling is quickly becoming a necessary evil. It amounts to religious and racial prejudice, but frankly, it's better than no plan at all. That's an opinion that I haven't held until recently.
 
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Profiling is quickly becoming a necessary evil. It amounts to religious and racial prejudice, but frankly, it's better than no plan at all. That's an opinion that I haven't held until recently.
I don't know how to avoid profiling? If you want to pretend that the process doesn't profile and fits a PC definition - fine. But in reality, the training process has to teach personnel what to look for - whatever that means.
 

FlexGunship

Gold Member
367
8
I don't know how to avoid profiling? If you want to pretend that the process doesn't profile and fits a PC definition - fine. But in reality, the training process has to teach personnel what to look for - whatever that means.
I agree.

I don't know of any "scared 3 year old girl" bombers. Or any "crying rape victim" hijackers. I've never read a story about "attractive underage girls" building dirty bombs. And, I don't think I've heard about any "elderly bladder cancer survivors forced to strip and then covered in their own urine" blowing up any religious buildings.

If you're not outraged, then you don't know enough! (http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/2010/11/20/tsa-pat-down-leaves-bladder-cancer-survivor-covered-in-urine/)
 
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Profiling is a necessary evil.

It's like in the UK where they want to reduce knife crime by performing random searches.

Now it's known the type of person likely to be carrying, but because of not wanting to target specific groups they have to search all groups equally. So now you end up with pensioners being searched for knives. What a load of BS.
If we know it's teenagers in hooded jackets, hanging around dark corners who are likely to be carrying then you target them. But thanks to the PC brigade we're stuck with random searches on everyone.

So if we know the profile of a person likely to be a terrorist, is it wrong to focus attention on them?
 

talk2glenn

You are happy to accept searches for clubs and not make noise about them but the moment it's something regarding the government it's the worst thing ever and must be stopped.
According to the Supreme Court, a club is private, and an airport is public. An individual can opt out of entering a club, if he disagrees with the admissions policies. The state, however, cannot legally conduct searches of everyone entering the same property, because it is private - the property owner, and not the government, gets to determine who can and cannot under, subject to the law but given constitutional protections (4th amendment, in this case).

An individual can also opt out of entering an airport, if he disagrees with the admissions policies. And because airports are public property, the state (as the property owner) can set the admissions requirements, up to and including searches.

It's not quite this cut and dry, of course. Even on public property, we suffer only diminished constitutional protection. On public school grounds, for example, the state can restrict free speech up to a point, but not ban in outright. Specifically, the test on school ground is whether or not the speech interferes with the process of educating. Similarly, at airports, your rights are diminished, but not eliminated. The state may conduct searches and seizures as reasonable and necessary, given technology, to discover and seize weapons and provide for the safety of passengers and aircraft. It remains an open question as to whether the courts would uphold the so-called "enhanced pat downs" or the body scanners. My guess is that the scanners are lawful, but the enhanced patdown procedure -as it currently stands - may be too vague and broadly enforced (randomly at some airports, apparently - not just to those who fail less invasive screenings) to pass muster.
 
2,662
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Aircraft are private vehicles.

So on this basis, if the owners of the aircraft all turned around and said you must submit to a search by TSA (whatever their requirements) before you get on their aircraft, would you accept these terms?
 

FlexGunship

Gold Member
367
8
Aircraft are private vehicles.

So on this basis, if the owners of the aircraft all turned around and said you must submit to a search by TSA (whatever their requirements) before you get on their aircraft, would you accept these terms?
I would actually feel better about this for one very specific reason: choice.

Surely, if it were up to the discretion of airlines to decide which security measures best serve their customers, then free market forces would take over. There would be a competitive push to create the MOST secure airline with the LEAST invasive security measures. There would be actual competition to serve the customer best.

Instead, we have a federally mandated operation which means it will never get better. There will never be competition. No one with a "better idea" will make any more money. The door is shut on the idea-train.

EDIT: I should add that this would probably lead to new and more free expression of civil liberties. Liberties that many people are uncomfortable with. If a pilot (or flight attendant) gets to decide who is searched, I think you would find that a very freaking practical guideline would start to be enforced automatically. Don't like how picky they are, fly a different airline!
 
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You misread my post.

The TSA would still be there, doing what they do now. However, instead of you being 'forced' by the government, the aircraft owners would insist you had them or don't fly. The owners wouldn't dictate what measures took place. Nothing would change, only who was demanding the security checks.
 

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