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jeffburdges (3)
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Dear America, I Saw You Naked

The TSA saw the near-miss as proof that aviation security could not be ensured without the installation of full-body scanners in every U.S. airport. But the agency’s many critics called its decision just another knee-jerk response to an attempted terrorist attack. I agreed, and wrote to the Times saying as much. My boss wasn’t happy about it.
“The problem we have here is that you identified yourself as a TSA employee,” she said.

Jason Harrington, author of the formerly anonymous Taking Sense Away blog, on his experiences as a dissenter inside of the Transportation Security Administration.
posted by gauche on Jan 31, 2014 - 71 comments

Snowden documents shed light on Shiban, Akbar, and Trojanov cases

New documents released by Glenn Greenwald from trove leaked by Edward Snowden show that the agency officially viewed arguments about 'due process' to be an 'adversary propaganda theme', listed alongside military threats to drones. [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Oct 1, 2013 - 80 comments

Showdown at the Airport Body Scanner

"As I watch fellow passengers walk into the machines, posing with their arms raised over their heads like prison inmates submitting to a strip search, I feel proud of my small act of protest. Then I spread my legs and await my public groping."
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Sep 3, 2013 - 136 comments

"...I assumed that this was another such check."

Don't fly during Ramadan. Aditya Mukerjee describes his experience while attempting to clear the U.S. Transportation Security Administration's checks and board a JetBlue flight. After being cleared by the TSA, following two hours of questioning and checks, Mukerjee was prevented by JetBlue from boarding his intended flight. He was offered rebooking for the following day and, when he declined, given a refund.

This isn't the first time that the TSA and JetBlue have been called out for this type of action.
posted by fireoyster on Aug 22, 2013 - 149 comments

The price of security

PreCheck, a new program instituted by the TSA, will allow passengers to keep their shoes, jackets and belts during screening, as well as allow laptop computers and approved liquids to remain in bags for a fee of $85.
posted by Omon Ra on Jul 25, 2013 - 216 comments

Grenades, Bayonets, and Tasers. Oh My!

The TSA has started an Instagram page showing confiscated items from TSA checkpoints in airports around the country.
posted by reenum on Jul 3, 2013 - 36 comments

Textiles and Politics

Throughout human history and across the globe, whether as intimate artifacts of interpersonal relations or state-level monumental works, textiles have been imbued with political importance. Textiles can communicate and construct status, ethnicity, gender, power, taste, and wealth, and have functioned at the nexus of artistic, economic, and political achievement in human culture. As trade goods, creative medium, and social artifact, textiles have been instrumental in generating, supporting, and challenging political power.
The Textile Society of America 13th Biennial Symposium (2012) will explore the crossroads of Textiles & Politics.
posted by infini on Jun 9, 2013 - 12 comments

TSA troubles

Delta Airlines and other airline workers' unions have asked the TSA to reconsider their recent announcement to loosen security restrictions on airlines, effective April 25, that would allow passengers to carry small pocket knives, among other items. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Mar 9, 2013 - 202 comments

TSA Moron Trick

Luke Rudkowski of WeAreChange breaks down WRC Correspondent Julio Rausseo’s experience at the Chicago Union Station, 1 week after releasing a video exposing TSA checkpoints being setup there. (This was posted on Reddit yesterday, but wearechange.org's server crashed for a while (I think)...so here it is, in all its wtf glory.)
posted by pjmoy on Jul 29, 2012 - 47 comments

Profiled By The TSA? There's An App For That.

FlyRights is a smartphone app designed to provide a quick and easy way to report complaints of air travel harassment, profiling, and discrimination. Within the first ten hours of its launch, FlyRights had fielded two complaints of harassment and profiling. By contrast, the DHS's report to Congress on civil rights and civil liberties listed only 11 complaints in the first six months of 2011. FlyRights was designed by the Sikh Coalition, the nation's largest Sikh civil rights organization.
posted by mattdidthat on May 2, 2012 - 38 comments

Security theatre theatre.

In the latest (ongoing) Economist debate (run Oxford-style), security expert Bruce Schneier and architect of the TSA Kip Hawley are facing off to respectively defend and attack the motion "This house believes that changes made to airport security since 9/11 have done more harm than good." Overview. Opening statements. Rebuttals. (Surprisingly cogent) comments from the floor.
posted by unSane on Mar 23, 2012 - 32 comments

Blogger: 1, TSA: -1,000,000,000

Body scanners attacked again as US blogger Jon Corbett who blogs for TSA Out of Our Pants! exposes how to beat the body scanners, carrying a metal box in a secret shirt pocket through security at two airports. [more inside]
posted by nickrussell on Mar 7, 2012 - 130 comments

"Carried to its logical end, TSA policy would have to require passengers to travel naked or handcuffed."

"The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) ... have made air travel the most difficult means of mass transit in the United States, at the same time failing to make air travel any more secure." Steve Moore has been an FBI Special Agent, head of the Los Angeles Joint Terrorism Task Force's Al Qaeda and extra-territorial squads, a SWAT agent trained to interdict airplane hijackings, and a pilot. His father literally wrote the book on airline security. And he has come to the conclusion that "TSA is one of the worst-run, ineffective and most unnecessarily intrusive agencies in the United States government." [more inside]
posted by Zozo on Feb 29, 2012 - 170 comments

DHS Monitoring "Political Dissent"

A FOIA by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) has revealed that the Department of Homeland Security is monitoring political dissent, including social media that reflect adversely on the U.S. government generally and DHS specifically. [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Jan 14, 2012 - 61 comments

So much inconvenience for so little benefit at such a staggering cost.

"Since 9/11, the U.S. has spent more than $1.1 trillion on homeland security." To walk through an airport with Bruce Schneier is to see how much change a trillion dollars can wreak. So much inconvenience for so little benefit at such a staggering cost. And directed against a threat that, by any objective standard, is quite modest.
posted by quin on Dec 23, 2011 - 150 comments

Department of Terror and Graft

"Without knowing what they ought to fear, US citizens might otherwise fail to support profitable national security initiatives." - Malcolm P. Stag III, Secretary of Fear [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Nov 7, 2011 - 39 comments

Next, rubber gloves at the supermarket checkout

People generally associate the TSA with airport security…but now , starting in Tennessee, we have moved on to other forms of transportation, such as highways, buses and railways That's why Tennessee is the first State to partner with TSA to do random checks on highways.
posted by twoleftfeet on Oct 23, 2011 - 95 comments

"I’m like, pat my hair? O.K., I guess..."

Does the TSA have "a thing" about black womens' hair?
posted by John Cohen on Aug 16, 2011 - 107 comments

Freedom of choice: Molestation or Radiation

Following a widely-reported incident in which TSA agents required a 95-year-old cancer patient to remove her adult diaper for inspection before being allowed to board her flight, TV pundit Keith Olbermann has designated TSA chief John Pistole the "Worst Person in the World" and called for his removal. In other news, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) says it has obtained evidence that "the Department of Homeland Security has failed to properly evaluate the level of risk from airport body scanners." Documents obtained by EPIC via the Freedom of Information Act reveal that "even after TSA employees identified cancer clusters possibly linked to radiation exposure, the agency failed to issue employees dosimeters - safety devices that could assess the level of radiation exposure." (News report with video: TSA workers fear radiation dangers from scanners.) EPIC says the documents also indicate that DHS "mischaracterized the findings of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, stating that NIST 'affirmed the safety' of full body scanners.". In a private email response (PDF link), NIST stated that the institute had not tested the safety of the scanners. And yesterday the Texas legislature approved a watered-down version of its TSA "anti-groping" bill. The Idaho legislature is also considering an anti-TSA-groping bill. [more inside]
posted by thescientificmethhead on Jun 28, 2011 - 171 comments

Terrorists on wheelchairs

Stuck. On their way home from photographing Formula Drift Palm Beach, Joe Ayala & Larry Chen found themselves stranded over night in Dallas Fort Worth as their flights home were canceled
posted by growabrain on Jun 17, 2011 - 34 comments

Can't touch this

Last week the Texas House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill (House Bill 1937) prohibiting public servants from intrusively touching anyone seeking access to a public building or form of transportation. (TIME, Dallas News, Washington Times) The blogosphere touted the legislation as a move to criminalize TSA groping. Today, the bill was withdrawn from consideration by the state senate after a threat from the TSA and Department of Justice to "close down all the airports in Texas". Protesters are currently marching on the state capitol. [more inside]
posted by thescientificmethhead on May 25, 2011 - 93 comments

The suspect isn't responding to our questions...

The TSA has performed a "modified pat-down" of an 8 month old baby. [more inside]
posted by notion on May 13, 2011 - 109 comments

TSA a Giant Waste of Money

John Mueller and Mark Stewart may have found the one part of government we can afford to cut in their paper "Terror, Security, and Money: Balancing the Risks, Benefits, and Costs of Homeland Security" From the abstract "The cumulative increase in expenditures on US domestic homeland security over the decade since 9/11 exceeds one trillion dollars. It is clearly time to examine these massive expenditures applying risk assessment and cost-benefit approaches that have been standard for decades."
posted by RSaunders on Apr 27, 2011 - 30 comments

Have you ever printed a boarding pass?

Alaska man prints poster-sized boarding pass. No extra TSA pat downs, no enraged passengers.
posted by kuujjuarapik on Apr 22, 2011 - 56 comments

Car-go or Car-stop?

Yesterday Air Canada said it would stop shipments of all cargo to the U.S.A. due to an "emergency change to US security" [more inside]
posted by sardonyx on Mar 10, 2011 - 60 comments

Newsflash: Terrorism existed before 9/11

We never used to go nuts about terrorism.
posted by dougrayrankin on Dec 29, 2010 - 64 comments

Secret Messages In Your Underwear

The 4th Amendment Underclothes are a way to send a message to the TSA. Next time you undergo an X-ray body scan, wear these and let the law enforcers know you won't be scanned without at least reminding them what they violate when they do so.
posted by fantodstic on Dec 28, 2010 - 64 comments

The Daily Patdown: Your Daily Dose of Security Theater

The Daily Patdown - Your daily Dose of Security Theater. Some pictures of groping therein. [via mefi projects]
posted by Burhanistan on Dec 20, 2010 - 46 comments

X-rays for naught

The TSA let a loaded gun get on an airplaine. (also, also, also) [more inside]
posted by knz on Dec 19, 2010 - 136 comments

Teen stowaway gets through airport security, stows away in wheel well, ends tragically.

Authorities believe a 16 year old boy found dead last month on a Milton, MA street fell out of the wheel well of an aircraft. Last month, the suburb of Milton, MA, was horrified when the mutilated body of a teenager was found in the road. The body lacked identification, but was eventually found to be that of Delvonte Tisdale, age 16, from Charlotte, NC. The mystery of how he got there when he had been seen the night before in his bedroom seems to have been solved: authorities now believe he stowed away in the wheel well of an aircraft from Charlotte to Boston, and fell out as the airplane approached Logan airport. [more inside]
posted by kpht on Dec 10, 2010 - 59 comments

The fundamental problem is that terrorism is innovative while TSA policy is reactive

A Nude Awakening - The TSA and Privacy. An insightful article about the TSA and fundamental freedoms from the Oklahoma Daily Student newspaper. via
posted by blue_beetle on Dec 6, 2010 - 48 comments

Pleasure from Your Submission

Is anti-TSA outrage right wing "catnip"? The Nation called the activism Koch-funded astroturfing, than apologized. Radley Balko finds the magazine hypocritical. At least one politician has gone catnip crazy: Eugene Delgaudio, who claims in an email sent by the activist that patdowns are part of a "homosexual agenda" to get "pleasure from your submission."
posted by l33tpolicywonk on Nov 30, 2010 - 108 comments

List of commercial airliner bombings.

This list of commercial airliner bombings appears in the Ask a Rocket Scientist section of Aerospaceweb.org. It presents a comprehensive and descriptive catalog of 86 bombings and attempted bombings since 1933, 54 of which resulted in fatalities, and offers some information that might be relevant to the question of airline security.
posted by washburn on Nov 29, 2010 - 44 comments

TSA revenge screenings

TSA holds woman captive as revenge for her complaint against them. [more inside]
posted by Joh on Nov 25, 2010 - 383 comments

We'll need to declaw that cat.

Airport-security cartoons from The New Yorker’s archives (1938 - present).
posted by gman on Nov 23, 2010 - 28 comments

Can you imagine 50 people a day, I said 50 people a day? Friends, they may think its a movement.

Nov. 24 is National Opt-out Day from airport back-scatter scanners Time to call BS on TSA's kabuki theater of airport security: "As public anger grows over the TSA's body scanners and intrusive new airport pat-down procedure, a Web site is urging travelers to "opt out" from the body scanners and instead choose to have a pat-down in public view, so that everyone can "see for themselves how the government treats law-abiding citizens." OptOutDay.com declares November 24 to be the day when air travelers should refuse to submit to a full body scan and choose the enhanced pat-down -- an option many travelers have described as little short of a molestation."
posted by TDIpod on Nov 10, 2010 - 395 comments

'The Resistance' is the actual name I've given to my testicles

For the First Time, the TSA Meets Resistance
posted by bwg on Oct 29, 2010 - 179 comments

Does it start now?

"Better people than I have sacrificed more than their careers, their livelihood, for the cause of freedom. Americans need to wake up and stand up." Michael Roberts, a pilot for ExpressJet, refused to enter the millimeter wave machine. TSA called the police and sent him home. [more inside]
posted by peachfuzz on Oct 20, 2010 - 142 comments

Learning Arabic

An American student learning Arabic was detained for hours by the TSA and questioned because he carried basic Arabic flash cards. The ACLU has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Nick George a physics student at Pomona College who was detained and aggressively interrogated by Transportation Security Administration authorities, by the FBI and by Pennsylvania police when he tried to board a plane carrying Arabic language flash cards.
posted by sierray on Feb 11, 2010 - 145 comments

"It's funny, 'cause its a joke...right?"

TSA plants white powder on someone as a "joke." via Consumerist
posted by plaidrabbit on Jan 21, 2010 - 132 comments

Bruce Schneier's work isn't peer reviewed. He has no peers.

Is aviation security mostly for show? An essay by Bruce Schneier.
posted by grouse on Dec 30, 2009 - 96 comments

How to feign security in 93 easy pages

The TSA has accidentally posted their SOP online. Not having learned proper redaction techniques after dozens of other companies and government agencies made the same mistake, the TSA posted their complete "Screening Management Standard Operating Procedures" manual online in PDF format. [more inside]
posted by pla on Dec 9, 2009 - 131 comments

"We are supposed to notify a supervisor. You’re a supervisor, right?"

Do I have the right to refuse this search?
posted by anastasiav on Oct 30, 2009 - 107 comments

TSA agents took my son

Woman tries to go through metal detector at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson aiport with her infant son, only to have his pacifier set off the alarm. TSA did the only rational thing and took the woman's son
posted by cgs on Oct 16, 2009 - 653 comments

An Unclear Future

Clear, the "security service" that allowed travellers to bypass TSA security lines, offered a Father's Day discount if you purchased a one-year membership by June 21. On June 23, Clear ceased operations. Sorry, no refunds.
posted by mattdidthat on Jun 23, 2009 - 50 comments

Trolling the head of the TSA

Trolling the Head of the TSA: Bruce Schneier [previously], consummate voice of sanity on all issues of security, co-authors an article in The Atlantic [previously] demonstrating how weak and ultimately pointless most of the new security practices put in place at airports since 9/11 are by, among other things, boarding airplanes with large amounts of liquid, using fake boarding passes he printed off his computer, and wearing an "I <3 Hezbollah" t-shirt. TSA head Kip Hawley then responds on the TSA's blog. Schneier then responds to the response on his blog. Hawley then leaves a comment to that post. Schneier fires back again in his monthly newsletter. Quite an interesting and intelligent debate, despite both men humorously falling victim to the idioms of the medium and getting increasingly snarky with each passing post. [via this month's crypto-gram, a good read all the way around.]
posted by ChasFile on Nov 17, 2008 - 30 comments

The Things He Carried

The Things He Carried. "Airport security in America is a sham—'security theater' designed to make travelers feel better and catch stupid terrorists. Smart ones can get through security with fake boarding passes and all manner of prohibited items—as our correspondent did with ease."
posted by chunking express on Oct 16, 2008 - 91 comments

TSA security theater

Two commercial pilots find themselves on the no-fly list. One pilot sues after having his flight privileges revoked, while the second pilot (and a five-year old sharing his name) note they can bypass the watchlist by checking in using their initials instead of their full names. TSA has also found themselves in the news this week for disrupting 40 flights and damaging 9 planes during an overzealous security check.
posted by grippycat on Aug 20, 2008 - 74 comments

TSA gets Xray goggles. No, seriously.

Scanners that see through clothing installed in US airports. Good news! No more testing. Time to roll these puppies out. It's OK though, seriously guys. See we're gonna blur the faces when we look at their sexual organs, so everything's cool. K? Prev.
posted by allkindsoftime on Jun 13, 2008 - 185 comments

I'll jack your gold-plated pen knife, bitch, and that's reality, you better lose you pre-9/11 mentality

Single-link YouTube: TSA Gangstaz - Belt Buckle Moneyclip (NSFW audio) [via]
posted by nitsuj on Feb 26, 2008 - 34 comments

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