back to article Airport screeners go for the groin

US airline security staff have introduced a new pat-down technique that might be familiar to folks who request "extras" in a massage parlour. Punters — i.e., passengers and civil liberties groups — are far from ecstatic over these new moves, variously describing them as "horribly invasive" and "humiliating". Passengers who …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    "That's what we're hoping for. We're trying to get everyone into the machine."

    Then the solution is obvious. Opt for the pat down every time. And pretend like you enjoy it a little more than you should. Keep asking them to "now touch my crotch please". Don't give them the satisfaction of feeling dominant.

    OR, don't travel to a country that actually pays people to molest you? Just a thought.

    1. TheRealRoland
      Welcome

      Or, don't travel by plane in the US

      If you read the article a bit more carefully, you'll see that this is about people traveling inside the US -- so for instance from Chicago to Los Angeles, etc.

      This has nothing to do with 'travel to a country blablabla'.

      Most of the outrage is coming from US citizens, traveling inside the US. In the United States, this approach has become the standard -- go through a machine, or get patted down thoroughly by a human.

      Although I'm a frequent flyer, i've gone through the full body scanner maybe two or three times in the last year. The other times is just the plain old metal detector.

      Just make sure you don't hit the metal detector when you go through it, or it'll throw a hissy-fit (accompanied by much groaning from the biz travelers behind you).

      I'm suspecting that only outside of the rush hour these machines are operational. When the business man / woman / individual needs to go through security in a hurry (monday mornings, thursday evenings anyone) at least at the airports I travel through don't have the full body scanners working.

      And rebooting these new-fangled things is apparently a pain -- not a quick shutdown, it takes at least 10 mins, last time I saw it happen.

      1. PirateSlayer
        Megaphone

        Excellent

        Past experiences have shown that nearly every major terrorist attack is carried out outside of rush hour times because this maximises the possibility of getting caught.

        If these checks aren't in place in rush hour, you might as well just start packing everybody's arseholes with explosives now, since you haven't got a hope in hell of stopping a terrorist.

      2. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge
        Happy

        So...

        ... the way to screw the whole system is to "hit" the metal detector? And then when they've got it up and running again, have someone else hit it? Hmmmmm - can we have more details as to what "hit" means in this context? Are we talking merely brushing against the sides, or something a bit more forceful?

        1. MeRp

          for me..

          it seems that if I even brush a metal detector it sets it off. This includes if I don't have anything even vaguely metallic on my person. Not sure why this is, but if you want to hold up a line, I suppose you could do this a few times. Eventually they'll wand/rub/pervscan you, though.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Happy

      Female pat down for men

      If you're a male, ask for a woman to do the pat down claiming that you are homosexual! If a woman gives me a pat down on my groin, I'll possibly travel more often!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Security Theatre

    The only reason that the Home Office does not plan to get more intimate with passengers is that they simply do not allow you to opt out from the Nude-O-Scope. If they want naked pictures of you, they will see you naked, simple as that. Sorry, no way out for you. Let the bidding start for the "security" pictures of your sons and daughters.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Paris Hilton

      Security Theatre

      I had the full, hands on, "do you dress to the left sir", pat down at Heathrow, T5, a fortnight ago. Seems I bleeped going through the electronic arch. That got me a real going over with a wand, then the pat downm and THEN the nude-o-scan.

      When I asked if the scan was optional as I had already had my privacy invaded once, I was told "Yes, as in its optional that you fly.".

      All of this for a short haul flight to Germany. Or maybe they had "intelligence" that an overweight business man, aged 50, with white hair going to Hamburg was a credible threat. Well, by the time the security wombles had decided that neight I nor my privates were a bomb, I really was ready to explode.

      Country has gone stark raving mad.

      Paris, because if she had been doing the pat down, I just might have exploded.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    When Harry met Sally

    If people are vocal enough about how much they are 'enjoying' their pat-down/feel-up (Oh baby yesss, yeah right there, a little higher ... Ooooooh, I'll go get you a towel) then I'm sure the TSA will reconsider.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They will ...

      ...get tazered right away until they no longer pose a "threat" to the security personal aka till the security pervs are no longer amused by your screams.

      1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

        I don't think so

        This is where the lawsuits come in.. Personally, I would definitely considering a shorter version of the "When Harry met Sally" restaurant scene - just to see the guy go red.

        You're forgetting that the volume of people going through these checks quickly allows for trends to be discovered. If there's a bit too much feeling around you will be very quickly get to a situation where the volume of evidence will nullify any attempt at discrediting it by blaming it on a disgruntled traveller.

        You should never underestimate the power of volume - and neither should the TSA.

  4. Cunningly Linguistic

    This title is home-grown organic

    Osama must be laughing his cock off!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What about the children?

    Do little girls and boys also get an intimate grope from a stranger?

    1. Graham Marsden
      WTF?

      You have a choice...

      ... let the perve at your kiddies with a scanner or let them be touched up by someone who could be a paedo...

      Bet you feel safer travelling already!

    2. lIsRT
      Joke

      Stand back, I'm going to use *logic*.

      Given that female travellers will presumably only be groped by female security staff, and male travellers only by male security staff (unfortunately), we can expect the TSA will be employing a special unit of work-experience schoolchildren of various ages.

      I am sure they will bring at least an equal amount of dedication, professionalism, and competence to their work as existing TSA staff do.

    3. Pandy06269

      Gotta be done

      Will somebody please think of the CHILDREN!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Grenade

    Hopefully ...

    This pantomime will soon have an end put to it when the first few lawsuits kick off, as they surely must. Hopefully quite a few people, including politicians, will soon end up getting handed a very large unexpected bill.

    Modern life is utterly beyond satire. Even Chris Morris's febrile imagination could not have come up with this sort of shit even just a few years back.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Question for the pervert US security groin gropers...

    So, are all men created equal like it says, or are some more equal than others? I guess if your experience has been the later, there's no doubt it's time to tear those crusty old documents up and write some new ones for the 21st century. Ones that give authority to treat people this way.

    By the way, Wwhat passenger age do you start touching crotches and chest areas? 18? 16?... 14 maybe? 12?! What happens if a 14 year old boy gets aroused by this in plain sight of his parents and other people, and is left utterly humiliated? Can he sue or will that be taken care of in the Constitution 2K10™?

    Still... at least local women don't have to wear a head scarf, so it's all in a good cause at the end of the day.

    I don't suppose anyone cares enough to make this an issue in the mid-terms?

    1. MeRp

      Considering

      that the mid-term elections were held on Nov 2nd, I think this is too late to have an effect...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Axis of Evil

    Looks like it is now around the finger of the TSA "rent a cop".

    Paris, because she would never go through a scanner given this option!

  9. Big-nosed Pengie

    The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

    No doubt positions for <s>touch-up</s> pat down staff are highly sought-after.

  10. Richard Porter
    Grenade

    We all know what "we have no plans" means.

    Do you get to see who's going to give you a pat-up^h^hdown before you make your mind up?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Once again...

    in a cave/luxury compound , Osama Bin Laden is laughing like a drain at what he has got us to do to ourselves!

  12. Christoph Silver badge

    US Security abuse their powers

    And the news story in this was?

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
      Flame

      Sir

      Don't you think it's important to keep highlighting these issues?

      If you would rather that we were all as bloody apathetic as you seem to be then I suppose you could sleep safer at night being touched^H^H^H^H^H tucked up by Uncle Sam at night, right?

  13. J Lewter

    The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

    The main airport I use (in USA) only received bomb scanners 2 years ago...

    Since we (me and fam) are "International" Travellers starting at a small crappy airport we trigger the "security team" every time we go...

    Escorted to gate, 100ml drinks for us are forbidden.. while some fatass is drinking his 880ml superduper gulp cola he got from the gas station before he arrived at the airport looks at us and wonders if we are gonna blow up his plane.

    What's worse is that they dump (literally) our bags out every year, swab them all, and then shovel the gear back in.. They sit on top of the baggage to get it re-sealed... I ask them every year (can you perhaps unpack it neatly and put it all back in correclty only to be met with the responce of a TSA advisory card that says for my safety they accept no responsibilty in screwing up my luggage, it's contents, delays in contents, or for giving the general population of that airport the view that I am a terrorist..

    I think the airport has something like 10 carrier flights a day, and there's at least 18 TSA staff on duty at any given time.......

    Since they have no body scanners, I can see that we'll be in line for feel-ups for the next 30 years.

  14. ZenCoder
    Unhappy

    Not very sensitive to victims of sexual abuse.

    There are a lot of people out there who are survivors of sexual abuse, not all of them can handle being viewed or touched like this by strangers without experiencing intense emotional distress.

    1. Stuart Elliott
      Joke

      Yeah...

      Just watch last weeks Dexter for proof of that. :)

    2. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge
      Alert

      Worse yet ...

      ... those people are likely to start showing signs of anxiety whilst in the line, so the profilers are going to take them to one side for "intensive screening". Bad on a personal level for those affected, and bad for security - lots and lots of false negatives!

      These f****rs just don't think things through.

    3. The Fuzzy Wotnot
      Unhappy

      Good!

      Perhaps one of the survivors will then have the courage to hire hotshot lawyer to sue the arses of the government and put an end to this pathetic state of affairs.

      I love all this shite. "We will not bow down to terrorists! We will no cow-tow! They will not win!"

      Sorry, but by the state of the world I see today, they buggers have already won. They didn't even have to do very much, except put the willies up a load of easily frightened and paranoid politicians and security nuts.

      Face it, the terrorists have won, we stand by and watch the last vestiges of our liberty drift into the wind like so much smoke.

  15. Winkypop Silver badge
    FAIL

    The looky-looky peep show or....

    would you like to step out the back for some touchy-feely?

    wink wink..

  16. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
    Coat

    Do the TSA staff wear numbers...

    so you can choose?

    No, that's not a pistol in my pocket...

  17. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Pedophile at the airports

    ....and we are all looking for them on the Internet...

  18. David Hicks
    Happy

    LOL

    The TSA operatives might want to think about who's being humiliated by whom after they have to grope some fat, sweaty geek's balls for the 30th time that day.

  19. Eddy Ito Silver badge

    Is that a gun in your pocket

    Or did TSA rub you the right way. What do you mean TSA doesn't stand for Tits, Snatch & Ass?

    Now then, "one more time" can we have a Britney icon or if you're old and must at least a Captain & Tennille icon.

  20. A B 3
    Pirate

    The threat of communism...

    No that we don't live under the threat of communism, the government is free to become as communist like as it wants. I guess we didn't win the cold war.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Boffin

      A B 3 - The word you want is Authoritarian ...

      as done by the extreme right (yer Nazis) and extrme left (yer Stalins). Big hint - politics is a mobius loop.

  21. Rab Sssss
    Badgers

    So its...

    Basicly a proper pat down then Instead of a half arsed one?

    (no pun intended).

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Grenade

    Ooh, ooh, ooh, pick me, pick me, pick me.

    And I want that cute TSA employee over there, yes the one with the 'trainee' badge. Oh, and I'm very tickleish, and very honry.

    I can't wait to get on a plain.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Headmaster

      Are you a native American?

      What has getting out on the great plains got to do with this?

      (Perhaps you meant P L A N E as in aeroplane)

    2. The Fuzzy Wotnot
      Coat

      honry?

      You mean "ornery"?

      Yes, waiting in line for a free grope and the "plain", I would be pretty bad tempered and annoyed too!

  23. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Pint

    Fnarrr!

    "A spokesman told us that he was not aware of any such plans — but he'll get back to us if anything comes up."

    Something always comes up...

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Evil Genius plan

    Next step is underpants bombs on younglings. Once the "Land of satan" has heard of this they will have to be more thorough on the younglings. This will bring us much gold through our pet laywers and the "land of satan" will have rightly have jihad brought to it by the "Protect the Children brigade"

    and we will have their gold mwhahahahaa!!!

    What? Their preists allready feel up the younglings?!?

    No Gold!!!! The Chinese own it all???

    Well fsck that! What a waste of a good plan!

  25. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  26. penguin slapper
    FAIL

    land of the stupid

    So, a fake bomb is sent on a cargo plane from a long way away and the response is to humiliate passengers over here.

    It's a good job there aren't stupid people in charge.

    1. Marketing Hack Silver badge
      Stop

      Unfortunately....

      Getting felt up by the TSA has nothing to do with the recent printer cartridge bombs. That was something that has been in the works since before last Christmas' attempted underwear bomber. Only now it is actually being rolled out where you have to go through the machines or submit to an intimate pat-down.

      The toner cartridge bomb has now supposedly caused a cessation of toner cartridge shipments via air freight in the U.S. (I think I saw a news story on that yesterday looking at CNN.com or something like that ). So I guess if your printer runs out of toner you will not be able to overnight in a new cartridge.

  27. JMB

    Airport screeners go for the groin

    There has been one assassination attempt with a bomb hidden internally in someone's rectum. How long before that is tried on a plane and then the searches will get very intrusive.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: The perv scanners cannot detect internal explosives...

        Do you people ever read your comments before you post them?

        1. Adrian Challinor
          Joke

          Clearly not

          So perhaps the moderatrix failed and let this one through. Bad Sarah.

          1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

            Re: Clearly not

            I let it through as an example to the rest of you, as I sometimes do with comments of that stripe.

            1. The Original Ash

              Hmmm

              Superfluous "s" on that last word, Ms. Bee.

              1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

                Re: Hmmm

                Wait... oh yeah I see!

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Fred Flintstone Gold badge
      Joke

      There's also..

      .. the Mr Creosote approach. Still undetectable.

      You're already in the right country from what I see from obesity statistics.

      Another chocolate waffeur, Sir? Just a little one..

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Badgers

    Old news

    I assumed this was standard practice - I had it done back in March this year at Barcelona (BCN) - metal detector went off, so I got a full rub-down by a bloke who didn't appear to like his job.

    Ironically, he didn't find the thing which set off the metal detector, which was a 1cent coin lodged in the corner of my pocket, which I didn't find for another 2 weeks!

  29. CaptainHook
    Go

    Rail travel

    I would really like to invest in some US long distance rail companies right now.

    There will come a point where all the short to medium distance travel is just less hassel and cheaper than flying and aircraft will just be used for the really long distance time sensitive travel like the coast to coast runs.

  30. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Strange...

    Few days ago I watched a queue of middle-aged men being thoroughly patted down by a young hot-looking female security operative in PEK and noone seemed to want to complain!

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Strange...

      Yeah, and I bet she loves her job.

      1. Tigra 07 Silver badge

        RE: Sarah Bee

        She could have volunteered to do it.

        Maybe if the patter was an old guy with a beard, a hook and an eye patch then more poeple would use the scanners instead?

        1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

          Argh..

          .. apart from the obligatory pirate talk I would specifically worry about someone approaching my sensitive bits with a sharp pointy hook.

          Yep, would work for me..

  31. Andy 70
    WTF?

    how about feeling sorry for the staff?

    i can't speak for the rest of you, but i'm not exactly going to do photo shoots for vogue.

    imagine how the staff feel when they have to deal with a load of travelers:-

    1. going to/from a generic game/film/tv show geek convention

    2. Saga coach tour load of old folks. (ooooh young man!)

    3. hen parties / stag dos..

    4. ... various highly vocal religious groups...?

    while there is the usual think of the children. i can't think the staff would be too up for it either. i can imagine the CV. Heathrow 'Sweaty Ball' Bag Handler. Staff attrition is going to be interesting.

    i dunno. appologies for the above mind dump. just trying to see it from all sides...

    i think i'll take the car. when is that atlantic bridge going to be ready?

  32. Tigra 07 Silver badge
    Troll

    The lesser of 2 evils

    If those are the only two options, i'll opt for the pat down

    Strange hands crawling over you and in private areas, no different from going to the nightingale on a saturday night

  33. Velv Silver badge
    Flame

    Options...

    There is a third option.

    DON'T FLY!

    Everyone knows you need to pass through security before you get on the plane, and you have the option of other methods of transport.

    100(ish) years ago, NOBODY flew. Trains were the order of the day, or horse drawn carriages. People travelled where they could afford the time and money. Nobody is forcing you to go through security - you can get on a Greyhound or Amtrak (or local equivalent) without any security checks (and risk another 7/7).

    I do think the current security controls are excessive, however in order to get re-elected politicians need to appear to be doing something, and controlling the possibility of blowing up planes is somehow seen to be key. Perhaps the alternative is to be issued with a skin tight rubber suit before flying, then everyone can see you aren't concealing anything.

    1. Wayland Sothcott 1 Bronze badge

      Options... DON'T FLY

      Don't Fly is the answer but not for the reasons you give. It will put pressure on those implementing these scams to stop doing it.

      However taking away the wonderful things the 20th century provided us may well be a major part of the evil plan.

      1. Restrict air travel

      2. Get everybody complaint with security protocols

      Obviously not many people are actually worried that they really will be blown up by an ink cartridge but everyone wants to seem sensible and responsible so they can understand why it's taken seriously.

    2. Bill B

      Staff Volunteers

      When these people applied for the job the job description probably didn't include "Regular feeling up of someone of the same sex". So I tend to agree .. this could be as humiliating for the staff as it is for the passenger.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      WTF?

      re: how about feeling sorry for the staff

      I dont feel sorry for traffic wardens!

      As johnny rotten once said “it’s their career choice”.

    4. BossHog
      Thumb Down

      Well..

      We've already uninvented Concorde, so it's only a matter of time before we uninvent the rest of the planes. Steadily backwards....

      1. DavCrav Silver badge

        Upvote or downvote?

        "We've already uninvented Concorde, so it's only a matter of time before we uninvent the rest of the planes. Steadily backwards....

        I want to upvote your post because it's true, but downvote it because I don't like the fact that it's true....

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Welcome to the machine

    Why are they doing it? Because they believe in technology --not the first time they've pushed for that, it's why their HUMINT in the middle east was all but nonexistent back when-- and because they don't believe they'll get away with just stopping with the pat-downs and force everyone to go through a perv scanner. Obvious, no?

    Oh, and perhaps because they think cranking up the humiliating is fun, too. TSA goons are that sort of people. Apparently they think they'll get away with it. Then again, if every single traveler says "no" to both and whole aeroplanes end up flying empty or not at all because no passenger was allowed through security, then at some point even the dimmest dimwits must realise that the theatre has gone too far.

    For me, I'm hoping for a swift end of the TSA in its entirety, and the fancy machinery to go with it, but that's probably too much to ask for at this point in time.

  35. Yotam
    Thumb Down

    I already prefer another 9/11

    This has passed psychopathy, since they increased the security after 9/11 they caught maybe 2 people trying to do the same thing, and billions had to have their balls tugged by a guy with a gun.

    Last time I flew from Berlin, everybody had their genitals petted. He accidentally grabbed one of my balls I got angry and protested and got a naked search

    And for the record I am white and served as soldier and worked as cop.

    1. Wayland Sothcott 1 Bronze badge

      We act as a flock of sheep not a pack of wolves

      If we were all to do that then it would work. However we are sheep and sensibly don't stray far from the flock. The flock can see when one or two of the sheep are being a bit risky and so won't join in. However if the scanner were to fry someone right in front of everyones eyes....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        That brings up a question then.

        Or rather, two.

        Are they "scada-" and/or "internet connected"?

        and

        Do these things go up to eleven, or at least beyond "stun"?

        Either would do. Both would be good. Now for some hacktivists, in the true sense of the word.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Pint

        Yes, we're sheep.

        We like to believe that if we do everything we're told we'll be perfectly safe. That's why the whole security circus is so popular. And to keep that industry going it behooves the flock to be kept scared. It's just us techies that immediately spot the fallacies and do the teeny bit of math required to show the silver bullets cannot possibly ever work.

        And even if you stunningly visually *show* them what's what, their eyes'll glaze over and they'll vote for the nearest politician who promises to do something dramatic and gratuitous. Or for whoever their great-grandfather voted for, depending on temperament. We lack that mythical "better educated voter" the USoAian founding fathers held out for. But we can create them.

        We do have our very own secret weapon: Information and the means to disseminate it. That alone is not going to be enough. All that you get from various social and communication networks is "weak ties" where you need "strong ties" to find the moral support to affect serious change.* But once we realise that just the weak ties aren't enough, you can start to milk them for all they're worth to pass the word around and get communities to team up and start forming those strong ties. It'll take longer, it'll be lots of work, but it can be done.

        Thus, the beer: I give you the mythical "better educated voter".

        * http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/10/04/101004fa_fact_gladwell?printable=true

  36. Trollslayer Silver badge

    Easy

    Yes, I can think of a couple of ways to get stuff through - it's all security theatre so somemone can get brownie points.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    funniest

    Funniest thing is that the stupid scanners never would have detected the pants bomber anyway.

  38. King Edward I
    Go

    In your best Stephen Fry voice...

    ..."While you're dfown there my dear..."

  39. David Cantrell
    Go

    Pointless title, which must contain letters and/or digits.

    Finally, a reason to visit the US!

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    Call that a title?

    Will I need tinfoil undercrackers to go with my tinfoil hat now?

  41. Rogerborg

    While we're bullshitting about what we're going to do

    I'm going to rub my mighty manbeard and growl "I identify myself as a female lady, so get that hot piece of ass over there to feel me up. Also, I'm a lesbian, so my woman-cock will probably swell up."

    Alternatively, I'll just tut and get in line for the perv scanners like absolutely everyone else, including all the keyboard warriors here.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Cool!

    Next time, I'll make sure I pick the line with the cutest male attendant, and opt for the full grope-search.

    If they think that's gonna embarass me, then they are in for a shock - I will enjoy every second of being felt up by a cutie AND I'll make sure they know it too.

    THEN we'll see who feels the more humiliated - the gay getting felt up by a cutie, of the TSA drone having to molest a gay guy.

    Might as well get SOME enjoyment out of being screwed by the authorities and their bogus WarrenTerror.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Same Sex Searches

      Ummm .. I'm not sure what airports you go through but the staff I've seen don't really come under the heading of 'cutie'

      But yes, a small percentage of the population may prefer to be thoroughly patted down.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Grenade

    UK

    I'm fairly sure this new "technique" is already in operation, at least that's what it felt like at Gatwick last week.

  44. Hooch181
    Grenade

    I eagerly await...

    the first sexual harassment/molestation charges!

  45. Paul Smith
    FAIL

    winners and losers

    Just like the war on drugs, the war on terrorism was based on grossly incorrect assumptions but has since become so profitable for the incumbents, that it will not be allowed to end.

  46. Dave Rickmers
    Alert

    Flying is bad for the sky

    Is this trip really necessary?

  47. John A Blackley

    Misleading

    In case anyone is misled into believing that passengers are only patted down if they refuse to go through the body scanner, that is not the case.

    Travelling last week, I went through three airports - Dallas, Houston and Washington - where body scanners either did not exist or were not turned on. In each airport I was given the "feel-up pat-down' when I set off the metal detector (I have a hip implant).

    I thought it was a nice, friendly thing to do.

    1. The Fuzzy Wotnot
      Happy

      Ye'all come back now, ye'hear!

      Oh I will love, I most certainly will!

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    This is America.

    And to keep the passengers happy they can get famous actors and actresses to do the pat-downs.

    If you're a terrorist you can opt for a pat-down from your favourite extremist cleric.

    Everyone's happy.

  49. NoneSuch Silver badge
    WTF?

    So my choices are...

    A) Having my gentleman vegetables hand weighed...

    B) Having my crotch shot posted on TMZ...

    Decisions, decisions...

  50. Futumsh
    Joke

    Well I for one...

    Will be changing my name to Pat McGroin.

  51. red hal

    The No Fly Option

    As has previously been mentioned, the only way to put an end to this is to vote with our feet. Don't fly. This is a no-lose scenario; either

    When the airlines will put political pressure on the government because they are faced with insolvency, then either

    a) Security checks will be changed,

    or

    b) The airlines go out of business.

    In scenario a) we win, in scenario b) the climate wins.

    Is it really that much of an inconvenience? You don't even have to stop flying completely, just ask yourself if that journey is really necessary. For business meetings, even a comparatively expensive telepresence setup (Think 'holodeck with Cisco branding') can pay for itself within a year, and that's just on travel costs. Factor in carbon footprint, travel time as lost working hours, and video-conferencing as a replacement for many long-distance business flights becomes a real alternative.

    On the private side, think about having a "staycation"; holiday in your own country or state rather than travelling abroad.

    This slow escalation of humiliation will continue until pressure is put in the right place; on the wallets of businesses, and the ballot papers of politicians, not the groins of the public.

    1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

      Don't fly.

      Yeah. And get fired.

      1. red hal

        No really

        Like I said, you don't have to stop flying completely. Obviously if your job requires you to fly - for example, you are an airline pilot, crop duster, RAF helicopter rescue crew or superhero (the last two are practically the same) - then yes, that could be seen as a career-limiting move. For many other careers, promoting the use of remote conferencing as the green, cheaper option - where this is practical - can still have a big effect.

        Pie (not) in the sky? Not with a little forethought and pragmatism, it isn't.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Pervs in the US Government.....

    The pervs in the U.S. government probably are video taping the "Pat Downs" using hidden cameras. I would not be surprised to see some of the pat downs on the internet. They may even get spliced into some porn videos.

  53. teebie

    Blackmailing people into accepting threats of sexual assault

    So they are attempting to get people to walk through the radiation machines (which don't work) by threatening them with what most people would consider sexual assault, and getting them to 'consent' to the sexual assault by saying they won't be allowed to fly if they don't.

    I prefer not to fly.

  54. The Original Ash

    Solution

    Pour water onto your crotch. Claim bladder problems.

    Threaten to sue for discrimination if they don't touch your "pee".

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The aim is to discourage people from flying

    ...at least according to our resident conspiracy theorist in the canteen today:

    We have become addicted to flying.

    With Peak Oil looming / already passed, how do we discourage people from flying?

    More and more inconvenient/degrading security theatre.

    Probably easier to raise the ticket price, though. And tax airline fuel.

  56. mec
    WTF?

    What's next, colonoscopies?

    Does anyone remember the studies that show the terahertz waves can tear apart your DNA?

    (e.g. http://medgadget.com/archives/2010/01/study_looks_into_potential_side_effects_of_terahertz_full_body_scanner_technology.html)

    "Opps, sorry about that. Have a nice flight."

    It's easy for the TSA to put you through the machine, they aren't the ones getting nuked!

    1. Blain Hamon
      Black Helicopters

      Actually...

      Remember Shoe-fitting fluoroscopes? There people who got their feet xrayed once a year did not suffer nearly as much radiation as the person who operated the machine day in and day out.

      It could be that those biggest hit with the radiation are those who get prolonged exposure, even if they're not in the direct beam, being the TSA goons themselves.

  57. cybersaur 1
    Stop

    We live in a fascist police state

    When children are getting fondled by TSA goons in the name of security theater the terrorists have won.

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