Just wondering what everyone thinks of the recent airport security measures in the US. I am referring to the full body scanners and pat downs.



Tags: Airport, Scanners, Security

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There have been three attempts... or more to bomb planes in the US or headed for the US. We are responding after the fact with each measure in knee jerk fashion. Israel doesn't operate like we do, so how do they deal with it? Tools like bomb sniffing dogs need to be used. There is no reason a bomb sniffing dog can't walk up and down the lines and be in the screening area. It violates no one's rights and we all keep moving. License plate readers and other passive technologies can be implemented. A blanket "strip search or molestation" isn't a reasonable answer for me. The metal detector serves a great purpose and look through my luggage. Beyond that, I see no reason to give up more rights. The 4th and the 6th guarantee Privacy and Due Process, unless flying? I think that it's time to draw the line.
It does seem pretty silly to me to be screening the aircrew. They can fly the airplane into a building any time they want, so why bother with searching them? Ultimately, we have to trust them.
I read an article on how Israel does it. Those guys wrote the book on how to run a secure airline without invading privacy however the US won't implement anything another nation came up with as we want to do it "our way" even if "our way" is moronic.

"Hello there Constitution, my name is the Patriot Act and i'll be ripping you to shreds now."
They are responding to known threats in the wrong way IMO. They shouldn't be focusing all their time on checking every single person in this manner to me it just takes their time away from focusing on and identifying that small number of people who would actually do harm. And it gives them more hassles with already stressed and disgruntled passengers having to go through more bullshit. Just because I'm traveling by plane doesn't mean it's ok to violate my rights. Bomb sniffing dogs would probably be a lot more effective in preventing bombs getting onto planes than giving everyone the "TSA massage" or taking nude pictures of them.
The easiest way to deal with this problem is to take a 'guilty until proven innocent' approach.

"All suspects are guilty. Period. Otherwise they wouldn't be suspec...
I don't have a problem with any of it. If someone wants to touch my junk under the pretense of looking for contraband, go for it!
If they allow a woman to grope me, then I am okay with being molested.
Ha! My life is seems to be a B rate comedy at times.

How about this? I get to feel up the TSA agent first. Fair is fair, right? If they get a grope, so do I.
I have flown within the last month. I got the scanner at the Denver Airport. Frankly, I really didn't know what was going on. I had been standing in line for 45 minutes, my carry on was heavy and I just wanted to get the F thru.
I did have a problem with them questioning a medicine that happened to be a liquid. It was well under the three oz. But everyone was very polite.

I did get a pat down on the way to Denver because I was wearing a skirt and it was 'baggy'. I didn't care as the young woman had a supervisor standing over her and she was more embarrassed than I. I felt sorry for her having to pat down a baggy old lady.

My feeling is kind of like 'I don't care.' I am old and don't get much of that action from strangers anymore. I cannot cite religious objections after all.

Dennis Leary once said that we should have all nude airlines. Prehaps he was right.
I always get extra checking and I don't know why. I have an idea that if someone accuses TSA of racial profiling they can point to me the middle age white library lady and say, "See her, she got screened." It is the only explaination I can come up with.

Even if I read all the TSA stuff ahead of time they still pull something new on me.
This is one of the problems I have with the TSA. Their policies across airports are completely inconsistent, and the procedures are not clear until they are being barked at you while trying to get your bags on the conveyor.

Many countries in Europe have videos playing for those waiting in the security line, demonstrating the procedures clearly.
While few would argue that airport security is especially efficient, they do help address a real, albeit rare threat. The backscatter x-ray seems to be the next evolution of the traditional metal detector, and even though both have weaknesses, they do act as a general deterent.

I fly several times a week and have for several years. Over the last year I have gone through these new machines at many major airports along with a few pat-downs and found it to be no major inconvenience. I have also travelled often in South America and have found pat-downs and bag searches almost compulsory when entering public buildings, night clubs, or even after going through multiple metal detectors at airports.

Although many in this thread seem confident that this is merely security theater, to say that the measures are not at all effective or that security theater in itself is not effective seems to be a simplistic judgement. Another viable alternative is to have the full body scans and pat downs be completely random, much like the Mexican red-light-green-light approach in customs. Given the high visibility of aircraft terrorism, responsible and appropriate levels of security should be in place and passenger privacy needs to be balanced with the need to have passengers prove they are not bringing hazerdous materials on board. The media's sensationalism in presenting this development along with typical public overreaction only obscures real systemic analysis.

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