The Madeleine Brand Show

Strip or grope? new TSA screening policies under fire

Full body scan or pat down? Privacy advocates have slammed the Transportation Security Administration’s new security protocol, calling its special screening a choice between a “virtual strip search” and a groping.  The new rules say that a traveler who refuses to walk through a backscatter scanner – also called a full body scanner or advanced imaging technology – must submit to a pat down during which the TSA officer may touch around the passenger’s groin area and inside his/her underwear. Though the kind of touching the TSA allows is not specified on its website, it does have tips to expedite the special screening process here.

So far public outcry, a grilling from Congress Wednesday, and a new bill introduced by Rep. Ron Paul of Texas haven’t convinced the TSA or Department of Homeland Security to change the rules. Some, including Florida’s Rep. John Mica are calling for airports to remove the TSA and install private security in its place. Meanwhile, a site called OptOutDay.com is encouraging airline passengers to refuse both the scanner and the pat down, Wednesday, November 24.  The day before Thanksgiving is one of the highest traffic airport days of the year, so if you’re flying next week, get ready for a long security line.

A barrage of personal stories and protest sites are cropping up online, from a pilot who was so upset after a "humiliating" pat down he couldn't fly a plane, to the cheeky opposition of Reddit’s Operation Grabass.

And -- you knew this was coming -- a Taiwanese animated news segment shows a TSA officer escorting a woman into a private boudoir for her pat down:

Are you comfortable with full body scanners? What about a more intimate pat down?  Share your security stories and Thanksgiving travel plans with us here and here.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Enjoy reading The Madeleine Brand Show? You might like KPCC’s other blogs.

What's popular now on KPCC