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Court Approves TSA Body Scans, But Calls For Public Comment 292

Posted by Soulskill
from the in-the-case-of-the-people-vs-the-peepers dept.
OverTheGeicoE writes "The District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals has finally issued a ruling (PDF) on EPIC v. DHS, a lawsuit seeking suspension of the use of body scanners for primary screening pending an independent review that would include a public comment period. According to the summary, the court 'grant[s] the petition for review' but 'due to the obvious need for the TSA to continue its airport security operations without interruption, we remand the rule to the TSA but do not vacate it.' In short, the TSA is required to open up their policy for public comment, but they can continue to use the scanners in the meantime and most likely afterward. This doesn't sound like much of a victory for EPIC or the U.S. public."
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Court Approves TSA Body Scans, But Calls For Public Comment

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 17, 2011 @07:28AM (#36792046)

    These unwelcome intrusions continue because we allow them. If we the people as a group, boycotted air travel, tgis DHS BS would go away. There are two waaaay more effective antiterror methods to use than spying on everyone and fondling people against their wills... first, airlplanes should be constructed to make hijacking physically impossible, (not that hard to do) and we should figure out what it is we as a nation are doing that makes people in other countries want to fscking want to kill us, and stop doing it. It shouldnt be that hard... if we were willing to open our eyes as a nation and see.

    • by alphatel (1450715) *

      These unwelcome intrusions continue because we allow them. ... first, airlplanes should be constructed to make hijacking physically impossible

      Sure, if you want to do it the easy way!

    • How? Just HOW? I fly as gladly as I go to my dentist to have a wisdom tooth dug out. I would buy Mr. Garrison's device (ya know, Southpark...) if it was available as an option because it would be less invasive. But there is often very few options when you have to cross big distances, and none if you have to cross an ocean. It's the difference between a 4-6 hours flight and 20+ hours drive. And, especially when traveling for your job, the 20+ hours drive is not an option.

    • NO we can't (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 17, 2011 @08:31AM (#36792270)

      These unwelcome intrusions continue because we allow them.

      That's the thing, most people I talk to in the real World actually think that the scanner make them safe - they'd be pissed if they went away or if there were another successful terrorist attack would say, 'SEE! We needed those scanners!!"

      Remember, we're in a society that has many many people who think that chiropractic doctors are real, homeopathy works, Satan exists and that by increasing the Debt Ceiling, Government spending will go up.

      • by tombeard (126886)

        If they don't plan on increasing spending why do they need a higher debt limit? With you on the rest though.

        • interest accumulation.

        • by AK Marc (707885)
          They could cut spending by almost 50% over last year and the debt would still increase. Thus, cutting spending massively will still require a higher debt limit.
        • The two words you're looking for are:

          Deficit: How much more is spent than earned. If you have any deficit--even one penny--debt increases. If you decrease your current deficit but are not yet in surplus, your debt still increases.

          Debt: How much money is owed and not yet paid back. This is done* with government bonds; essentially, you give the government a loan, and they pay you back with interest, even if they have to take out more loans to do so. Technically, because of the interest rate on government

      • Re:NO we can't (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Stiletto (12066) on Sunday July 17, 2011 @01:28PM (#36793992)

        That's because most people in the real world are overly susceptible to slick marketing, and body scanning tech has been heavily and unrelentingly been marketed to the American public. These things are big money for the companies that produce them, so they'll stop at nothing to convince Joe Retard that we need them.

    • we should figure out what it is we as a nation are doing that makes people in other countries want to fscking want to kill us, and stop doing it. It shouldnt be that hard.

      No, it should be impossible. That's because if we did what one group of murderous people want, then that'll just crop a group of murderous people who want things the way they were. It's a known fact that it's not possible to please everyone 100% of the time.

      • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Sunday July 17, 2011 @10:42AM (#36792900)
        We should learn our lesson from the dozen or so times that the US has created a group of people who hate us. We use people as proxies then leave them with a pile of rubble, we push for policies that are favorable to American businesses but which ruin whole countries, we fight wars against countries that never posed a threat, we give weapons to oppressive governments, we throw our support behind tyrants and dictators, etc. We need to stop doing all of the above, then clean up the massive mess that we have made, and then we will return to our position as the country that brings people hope.

        As for airport security, can you cite any cases where the TSA's backscatter or groping approach has actually prevented an attack? I seem to recall a test that indicated that the TSA missed the majority of knives and even a large fractions of guns at those checkpoints. I also get the feeling that the bomb sniffing dogs, intelligence analysis, locked cabin doors, and in-the-air security (e.g. tackling people who try to set their shoes on fire) are doing many orders of magnitude more to protect travellers.
        • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

          by ppanon (16583)
          Well since the US is one of the biggest producers of greenhouse gas per capita (although China is catching up in pure volume), since that is likely to be one of the greatest causes of human misery in the 21st and 22nd century, and since a supermajority of US citizens are in denial about climate change.... good luck with that.
    • by trevelyon (892253)
      This is exactly what I've done. I just simply refuse to give them the right to degrade me like this. Luckily I haven't had the need to go overseas since this stupidity started but when I do I will investigate if flying out of Canada is better and go from there if it is or find some other rational way. Maybe it's just me but I'm simply not scared of terrorism. I will, however, fight against the steady loss of human dignity when dealing with almost any government organization. If they won't give me the b
      • by hedwards (940851)

        I'll be driving or taking the train to Vancouver, BC the next time I need to fly overseas. I doubt I'm the only one fleeing to Canada just to get on a flight without being sexually assaulted by a bunch of perverts.

    • by AmigaMMC (1103025)

      first, airlplanes should be constructed to make hijacking physically impossible, (not that hard to do)

      Obviously you have no clue on what you're talking about. As any pilot as well as airline employee such as myself can tell you there is no such a thing as "impossible to hijack" human creativity prevail, you might make it harder for a while but some new idea will come up eventually. Second, hijacking is not really a problem, how often do you read hijacking stories? The problem is the introduction of dangerous components into an airplane and that's the responsibility of TSA and if you ask me they're doing a s

    • There's an easier way than boycotting air travel (which won't happen, because too many people like it). If we all got upset enough that we wrote to our senators/representatives, it would change. And in a bi-partisan way. The only reason it doesn't change is because most people don't fly, and thus most people aren't really bothered by it enough to do anything about it.
    • boycotted air travel

      Unfortunately, travelling by plane is fundamental to modern life for a lot of people. It used to be that a business trip across the continent meant a few days travelling (e.g. by train); now it is basically expected that someone will only be travelling for a few hours to do work thousands of miles away. Boycotting planes for personal travel is fine, if you don't mind restricting your vacations somewhat, but for people who need to travel as part of their job, such a boycott is not feasible.

      Right now,

    • by pla (258480) on Sunday July 17, 2011 @11:42AM (#36793304) Journal
      These unwelcome intrusions continue because we allow them. If we the people as a group, boycotted air travel, tgis DHS BS would go away.

      Agreed. However, you need to understand that the vast majority of air travel consists of business travelers with close to zero discretion about how to get to their destination, rather than people flying because they choose to do so.

      You want to make the TSA cut this shit out? We have exactly one option that might work: Public shunning.

      Run a business? Refuse to serve them.
      Know any personally? Tell them you can't hang out anymore until they take a respectable job such as prostitution or dealing drugs.
      Encounter one casually on the street? Stop just short of assault in badgering them.
      Have to actually fly? Hand every one of them that speaks to you the business card of a local headhunter.

      Make it impossible for these people to have a life, and no one will take the job at any price. And maybe, just maybe, instead of instituting some sort of "TSA draft", the asshats in DC will get the message.


      They want "public commentary" on their scanners"? How about "fuck off and die, you goose-stepping pieces of shit, We The People hope your pornoscanners give you all a slow and painful cancer"? That work for ya, Janet? Get the idea yet?


      / And for the apologists - You know who else "was just doing their jobs"?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by EdIII (1114411)

        Considering that one of my friends (20 years) is a supervisor, you're plan does not work for me. The regular TSA agents and supervisors are not bad people at all. It is hard enough to find a job in this economy and a TSA agent is worse than a call center or telemarketer in terms of stress and bullshit.

        You want to cause them pain by mistreating them, which is not that much different than physical violence in the spirit of your argument.

        Antagonistic behavior and belligerence is never the answer to conflict r

        • by sjames (1099) on Sunday July 17, 2011 @07:00PM (#36795586) Homepage

          Considering that one of my friends (20 years) is a supervisor, you're plan does not work for me. The regular TSA agents and supervisors are not bad people at all. It is hard enough to find a job in this economy and a TSA agent is worse than a call center or telemarketer in terms of stress and bullshit.

          Just following orders? Where have I heard that before?

          Sorry, but orders or no, if you rape a baby, you're a baby raper.

          Oh, sorry, FONDLE.

  • by pwizard2 (920421) on Sunday July 17, 2011 @07:29AM (#36792056)
    Of course they voted this way... why would a federal circuit court do anything that reduces the power of the federal government? These days, representative government is a lie.
    • So much for the so called seperation of powers. It was all just a myth anyway.
      • by ATMAvatar (648864) on Sunday July 17, 2011 @10:21AM (#36792766) Journal

        It became a myth with the rise of political parties.

        Were there not large organizations that spanned multiple branches of government at any given moment, separation of powers would work better, as each branch would be an independent entity protecting their own interests. Instead, you get one party controlling multiple branches, and the members within agree to work towards common goals, dissolving the separation of powers.

        Of course, one could blame a lot of the country's ills on the existence of political parties.

    • by westlake (615356)

      Of course they voted this way... why would a federal circuit court do anything that reduces the power of the federal government? These days, representative government is a lie.

      Think about what you just said.

      The circuit court left the decision of whether these machines should be used to the President and the Congress.

      That is what representative government is all about.

      • The trouble is, at some point something has to become a check on the power of the representatives at any given time.

        History teaches us that some principles are too precious to entrust to any representative government subject to the immediate political pressures of the day. We typically enshrine those principles in some sort of constitution or bill of rights, which is placed above the administration for the time being and beyond their power to overrule without going back to the people as a whole for their ex

        • by dwillden (521345)
          To answer your question: Yes it is absolutely possible to appeal to a higher court. First to the full panel of the circuit court that made this ruling and then on up to the Supreme Court. Somewhere along the line I'd like to hope that one of the higher courts would rule against the TSA policies in favor of the constitution. I'm fairly confident the current Supreme court would do so, but there is always the risk that such a ruling could be allowed to stand.

          I have no doubt EPIC fully intends to appeal
      • by hedwards (940851)

        It astonishes me that the court was OK with the machines because we have the ability to opt into a pat down. I'm curious where in the constitution the founding fathers granted the right to a pat down just because you want to travel. Seems pretty counter the whole point of the 4th amendment if the government is allowed by the courts to ignore it.

  • Summaraized: (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sinthet (2081954) on Sunday July 17, 2011 @07:40AM (#36792116)

    We're not gonna stop doing it, but we'll now allow you to bitch about it.

  • by bistromath007 (1253428) on Sunday July 17, 2011 @07:41AM (#36792118)
    This is the judicial equivalent of saying "cry about it."

    Please, just wake me up when somebody actually starts killing Senators. I'm done with this.
    • by slick7 (1703596)

      This is the judicial equivalent of saying "cry about it." Please, just wake me up when somebody actually starts killing Senators. I'm done with this.

      Who gives a crap about what the public has to say, since it has already been approved. This smells of bought dog politics by feigning concern.

      • The public's say - I give a crap because the misinformed and apathetic are the ones continuing to allow this shit to perpetuate on logically faulty grounds - that is, allowing the massive expansion of the TSA's power to occur.
  • "obvious need"? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gaygirlie (1657131) <gaygirlie@hotmaiLIONl.com minus cat> on Sunday July 17, 2011 @07:42AM (#36792122) Homepage

    Why is it considered an obvious need that the TSA continue using these devices? They've cost the U.S. tens of millions of dollars and so far I haven't heard of them actually having stopped any real terrorist, in fact they've just made it even easier for people and TSA employees to steal stuff from fellow travelers.

    Have these things stopped any actual terrorism attempt? And if so, was the attempt sophisticated enough that it wouldn't have been noticed otherwise?

    • Re:"obvious need"? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by James Kilton (714163) on Sunday July 17, 2011 @07:53AM (#36792164)
      There isn't one shred of data that these devices actually work, or that TSA's security practices have stopped anything. The TSA does not track anything, so there's no way for anyone to know what the hell the truth is. I suspect that the TSA has not stopped anything since 2001, it's been other agencies (FBI, CIA, etc) who have prevented attacks.

      There's also the fact that driving is many times more dangerous than flying, yet flying gets the most "security" (not that I want a TSA pat-down before getting into my car, of course, but it just shows how useless they are).

      By the way, the backscatter devices would NOT have detected Mr Underpants Bomber. Oh, and every policy the TSA has put in place has been after someone got through security (e.g. shoe bomber => take your shoes off). Security theater at it's finest. Now, who are the politicians who've gotten donations from Rapiscan et.al. and how do we make sure they're permanently removed from office?
      • > TSA has not stopped anything since 2001, it's been other agencies (FBI, CIA, etc) who have prevented attacks.

        That's how Seth Jones puts it in this @Google lecture [youtube.com].

        "Dr. Seth Jones is a specialist in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and al-Qa'ida, and he will be speaking to us about the latest developments in Afghanistan following the recent death of bin Laden. Dr. Jones is a political scientist at the RAND Corporation, and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University and the US Naval Postgraduate School."

      • by aaarrrgggh (9205)

        While I agree with most of your comments, it begs the question: are we more comfortable with the CIA, FBI, and NSA abridging our rights? If they have had success in stopping the bad guys does that mean they should have more latitude in violating the constitution?!

        • Re:"obvious need"? (Score:5, Informative)

          by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Sunday July 17, 2011 @10:52AM (#36792966)
          You left out what may be the worst offender among the TLAs: the Drug Enforcement Administration. The scale of attacks on our rights by the DEA exceeds pretty much any other government agency. The TSA attacks the dignity of America travellers; the DEA routinely sends paramilitary units into homes, rifles drawn, and imprisons or kills the residents. The DEA routinely seizes money and property, and uses the proceeds from those seizures to fund its own operations. The DEA can even declare a substances to be illegal without any congressional approval, and then arrest people for possession of that substance (let me reiterate: the DEA can arrest you for violating laws that the DEA can create without any democratic process).

          There is outrage at the TSA's actions by the media, both from left wing and right wing sources, as well as in state legislatures and in congress. Yet we stand by while the DEA is permitted to commit even worse abuses of American rights, and the media is largely silent or even supportive of what the DEA is doing.
      • by DeadCatX2 (950953)

        There are better reasons why TSA couldn't stop the underwear or shoe bombers.

        They flew in from foreign airports. Abdulmutallab was flying in from Amsterdam. Reid was flying in from Paris.

      • In fact, the architect for Ben-Gurion airport's security calls them "expensive and useless", Google "Rafi Sela".

        Bureaucracies are more likely to reorganize than to do the right thing, so there's greater chance of success if the public comment advocates one of Sela's suggestions, which is to separate risk assessment from implementation. Right now, the TSA can claim that any possible threat is worth any additional expense, an expense that just happens to be their income. Imagine if the TSA's security measures

    • by wwphx (225607)
      Expand your question: has the TSA stopped any actual terrorism attempt? DHS claims that DHS has, but they can't tell us about it because that would be leaking information to the terrorists, as if the terrorist leaders wouldn't know an operation went pear-shaped when there wasn't an earth-shattering kaboom and they lost all contact with their cell. If a TSA checkpoint actually captured a high-value bad guy, you'd have a dozen or more cell phones shooting video and taking pictures, and they wouldn't be able
      • by wvmarle (1070040)

        Expand your question: has the TSA stopped any actual terrorism attempt? DHS claims that DHS has, but they can't tell us about it[...]

        Considering with how much fanfare other terrorist cells have been stopped, this sounds like pure BS. Or why would they publish the stopping of those liquid-bomb terrorists, for example? Such an attack has never been tried before, actually they didn't even get to the "attack" stage, they didn't even mange it to the airport, they barely managed to get the ingredients for the plan together when they got busted.

        That one was allowed in the headlines worldwide.

        Secondly, wouldn't actually stopping a terrorist at

        • by wwphx (225607)
          Absolutely agreed. The liquid-bomb group was discovered and stopped by the British authorities through standard police work, which argues that the previous scans plus locking/reinforcing the cockpit doors plus the knowledge that you may die so you might as well attack the hijackers will stop any future hijackings.
      • by tompaulco (629533)
        I've got a rock that prevents tiger attacks. I have never once been attacked by a tiger in all of the time that I have owned this rock. Perhaps I could sell it to the government.
      • especially since I've been told people with immunodeficiencies like me are radiologically-sensitive and having one genetic problem is more than enough, thenkyewveddymuch.

        Then stay off the plane. The radiation you get from a several hour flight is more than what you get from a backscatter device (if it's working correctly and other caveats), keep your health up and avoid CT scanners, then stay away from the NE United States (high radon background, stay away from old basements and granite for sure), then make sure that you DON'T go to the dentist and tighten that tinfoil hat just a bit further.

        There are lots of reasons to be annoyed with the TSA. Radiation isn't one of t

        • The radiation you get from a several hour flight is more than what you get from a backscatter device..

          We don't know that. You don't know that. What we do know that it is physically possible to build such a device that does give such a small dose. We also know that this is much more expensive than using cheaper detectors and xray sources and just upping the dose significantly. We also know that they have refused to test/certify the machines properly as all other medical xray equipment is.

          We just don't know what the dose is. We also don't even know if the machines get any kind of proper calibration and tes

        • Re:"obvious need"? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by naoursla (99850) on Sunday July 17, 2011 @11:19AM (#36793160) Homepage Journal

          Yes, but you get the radiation from the machine in a second and you get it from the flight spread over an hour. That is also assuming the machine is operating and being operated correctly. I'm not convinced yet. I'll wait several years and see if cancer rates increase among frequent travellers before I allow it to be used on myself or my family.

      • Still, they're going to have to grope me: I am not going to go through one of those damn machines

        I feel much the same way. I suspect that the machines are safe, but I am not confident they have been thoroughly tested so there is a risk. I certainly don't trust the TSA to tell me the truth about the true risks of the scanner.

        The main reason I opt out of the scanner, though, is this. I consider both the pat-down and the scanner a violation of my rights. The TSA wants me to use the scanner because that is more efficient for them. Therefore, I will force the TSA to violate my rights in the most ineffi

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      They obviously need these big, expensive machines to continue making money and looking like they are doing something so they can continue sucking from the public teat while simultaneously compromising the liberty of the citizens of these united states.

      This is what happens when we permit a strong federal government. The founding fathers somehow missed this, and are not the geniuses we thought they were. They were in fact hypocrites; all men created equal except for women and slaves. There's no particular rea

      • by tompaulco (629533)
        This is what happens when we permit a strong federal government. The founding fathers somehow missed this,
        The founding fathers put all kinds of checks in place to prevent the federal government from getting too much power, in fact the balance was tipped overwhelmingly in favor of the states. It took hundreds of years of using the constitution as federal toilet paper to reverse that.
        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          And yet the ICC was left open-ended. It's hard to believe that they were so brilliant everywhere else and yet so stupid there. To permit necessary laws is to beg the question of what is necessary and to fail to explain is to leave the citizenry begging.

    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      One of the first rules of writing my lawyer mother taught me was "If you read the word 'obviously' or 'clearly', it is probably neither clear nor obvious."

      The TSA can't point to a single terrorist attack foiled by these scanners. They can't point to a time where terrorists (e.g. those being spied on by the FBI) have had to change their plans and tactics due to these scanners. That's right - 0. There's absolutely no demonstrable value to the scanners.

      For my part, I refuse to fly until the scanners are no lon

    • If they're needed at airports, where most people are just trying to get where they're going, how much more so are they needed at courthouses, where emotions are high and all kinds of high-value targets spend their entire day in exposed positions?

      We should install the scanners at courthouses immediately, and since a lot can be concealed under a judge's robe, I don't see any reason why anyone should be exempt from the scrutiny. After all, the machines are safe and effective, right?

  • by JSBiff (87824) on Sunday July 17, 2011 @08:51AM (#36792362) Journal

    If the TSA sets up a website for public comments about this screening policy, it'll be the only safe place in the world to put kiddie porn, messages between terrorists or between organized crime groups, etc.

    Because you can pretty much guarantee that the government will NEVER READ IT.

    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      They surely will as everyone asking for those scanners to be removed must be a terrorist. Because the peaceful people that just want to get from A to B have nothing to hide, right?

  • For security reasons we'll of course need to perform some preliminary screening before the secure area in which the comment box is located.

  • A- I notice that the lines seem to be moving a little bit faster. I like that.

    B- I assume that the security is a deterrent to at least some terrorist wannabes. (Fire extinguishers do not deter or scare away fires).

    C- Privacy? Mandatory showers after PE class in 7th grade, perhaps, inured me to TSA scanners. Since they started scanning, how many instances of humiliation have occurred, and how does the risk compare to use of public urinals?

    D- I share the suspicions of wastefulness and lobbies, but the

    • by Drathos (1092) on Sunday July 17, 2011 @10:33AM (#36792834)

      I don't know where you've been using backscatter scanners, but at Washington Dulles, they slow things down. In fact, they actually get so far behind that they randomly select people to go through the old way to prevent the lines from getting too long. With the old metal detector, people just walk through with a possible pause for a check with a hand wand or go through again because of change in their pocket or something. With backscatter, every person has to stop in the device for a few moments, then wait for the person in the back room to report to the agent at the scanner. It doesn't help that every person who goes through the nudie-scan also gets groped because every one is reported to have an "anomaly." At least, with every one that has gone through at the same time as I have since they made the backscatter mandatory earlier this year.

    • by aaarrrgggh (9205)

      1k flier's retort:
      Lines move faster because more screening lines are open. At my usual queue at LAX, they have gone from having 2 lines open 90% of the time to four for the same periods. This particular station only has one RapeScanner plus 4 metal detectors.

      The stupid terrorists have little idea how most of this stuff works. The smart ones can figure out ways around the tech. At PHX, employees don't need to go through RapeScanners. I'm all for keeping medium range weapons off planes, like guns, which c

    • by Dan667 (564390)
      how about people scared of being out in the real world just stay home instead of violating everyone's Constitutional Rights. And it would be easy to just bomb the tsa screening line. Actually, the tsa have created a very high value target with this hand waving screening that does not prevent anything.
  • I'm... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 17, 2011 @11:16AM (#36793128)

    I'm more afraid of the TSA than I am of Terrorists.

    I'd rather die a free man than fly as a slave.

  • by Tablizer (95088) on Sunday July 17, 2011 @12:11PM (#36793520) Journal

    It violates our rights because there is no practical alternative. Bus and train are much slower. If they had an intrusive and non-intrusive flight choice, then it would be fair.

    The non-intrusive flight would carry the known risk, in signature, of being shot down quickly by the Air Force if there were problems. Give us choice!

    • by pizzach (1011925)

      The fact that the US Government doesn't trust American citizens to do the right thing in a plane hostage situation is a telling. After 9/11, does anybody think US citizens on a plane will just be sheep in a hostage situation? That is the one and only reason there hasn't been any hijackings at all after 9/11. Once you're in the air, the TSA means crap.

  • by MartinSchou (1360093) on Sunday July 17, 2011 @01:07PM (#36793866)

    I don't mean breaking them, but making them pretty much impossible to run for the DHS due to public outcry.

    Here's my thinking: Figure out how to turn the relatively harmless dosage into something really scary looking.

    Imagine the reaction if a few people's clothes started to emit smoke or catch fire in the middle of one of the scanners. Granted, the first reaction might be an arrest because the TSA thinks you're carrying explosives, but once that's been cleared out of the way, and half a dozen others have experienced the same thing around the country, I suspect the media will whip up such a shit storm about how these scanners are setting passengers' clothes on fire, that the scanners will be permanently banned.

  • by straponego (521991) on Sunday July 17, 2011 @01:36PM (#36794038)
    We will add you to a list of dissidents and you will receive super-enhanced screening.
  • by Dan667 (564390) on Sunday July 17, 2011 @01:49PM (#36794092)
    it makes the tsa's job more miserable and never under estimate getting something changed because the people that do it are made miserable.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 18, 2011 @12:09AM (#36797174)

    I don't understand the court's comments. I mean, I do from the standpoint that they are in DC and aren't reviewing this from a Constitutional standpoint but rather some kind of operational / "I don't want to go on record as being the guy who pulled the plug and then a terrors slips past." Frankly, this has already been decided in Terry v. Ohio. It clearly outlines the requirements for police (e.g. the government) to search a person vs. just "frisk" a person. It even outlines what defines a "frisk" which is why it is often referred to as a "Terry Frisk" within the law enforcement world. Simply put, there needs to be probable cause for the officer to search a person (the same as the groping and looking down your pants search done by the TSA.) Reasonable suspicion, e.g. "I think anyone of you could be a terrorist" doesn't qualify, and thus this is a clear violation of the 4th Amendment. As is the scanner, as forcing anyone to show their nude person also (under several rulings) requires probable cause or the exceptions for entering a prison.

    There is one major issue not in the favor of citizens though... the TSA (namely it's "agents") are security guards and not law enforcement. Thus they are not directly forced to behave by Terry v. Ohio, or for that matter anything else. And they do not have to reach for probable cause. But, they are agents of the government and therefore we the people are protected by our enumerated and inalienable rights. We just have to apparently point this out to the courts.

    I too dislike the "we are just following orders" comments they give... like others, I apparently payed attention in history class and have seen what that attitude has lead to and frankly I doubt the human psyche has changed enough to prevent a relapse.

    But I am all for refusing the back-scatter scanners and making them search my person if that is my only alternative because I have to fly somewhere. It slows them down, it slows down everything, and that is what will cause the pressure on the system. The morons going through the x-ray machine... well I guess in a few years they will learn that much like asbestos and cigarettes the government wasn't actually truthful in the damage caused by something. There is far too much evidence that their machines are harmful (most recently a large number of TSA agents reporting cancer.) It's an x-ray... I don't care how low power you set it... you weren't genetically designed to deal with it all the time. I fly several times a week, so I am not going to play in the the naked picture taking microwave generator thank you very much... both for privacy and health reasons. I love listening to the TSA agents tell people it's just like a sonogram and your cell phone is more dangerous. Really?! Maybe if you guys payed attention in high school and went on to collage you could get real jobs and stop trying to mesmerize the masses with your make believe science.

    I'm personally waiting for the "anus bomber" or "laptop battery bomber" to attempt to strike. Either will shut down commercial air travel as probing people (well I know a few that might like it, but I digress) and not allowing laptops on aircraft will be the check-mate that is needed. The security theater reaction instituted by DHS and thus the TSA is their actual goal. terrorists don't even need to be successful... hell failing is actually more damaging in this case. The terrorists are winning by getting us to give up our freedoms. People, their goal is to destroy our way of life... not knock fling tin cans out of the air. They love police states where freedoms are restricted because people believe they are now safer... that's how they run things themselves. They don't need to be the ones in charge, but getting us to fall under their type of rule means they won, even if they no longer suck air in a cave with a love sheep as their only companion. They dislike freedom, they dislike private wealth, they dislike public education and free thought... I have never heard them say "man, I really hate airpla

If the code and the comments disagree, then both are probably wrong. -- Norm Schryer

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