Wil Wheaton on the TSA

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Re: Wil Wheaton on the TSA

Postby JBJ » Fri Apr 08, 2011 2:37 pm UTC

zmatt wrote:
Chen wrote:
Griffin wrote:Also, an officer can STILL only give you a breathalyzer if there is reason to believe you've committed a crime (driving while intoxicated).

They cannot just pull you over and test you - that would be unconstitutional in the US.
While they may be, strictly speaking, not in line with the 4th amendment, sobriety checkpoints, where there is no probable cause, were determined to be constitutionally permissible http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michigan_D ... ce_v._Sitz.
Yes but a passenger on a plane isn't the same as the driver of a car. You can be over the legal limit and be a passenger. In fact the government encourages the drunk ones to be driven by someone sober. The sobriety checkpoints are more akin to searching pilots. However pilots are held to a higher standard than joe sixpack with a drivers license (lets be honest in America they come in crackerjack boxes) so that argument doesn't hold either.

The point isn't comparing pilots to drivers or passengers to passengers. The comparison is whether or not a person (be it a passenger or driver/pilot) is a danger to others. In a car, the driver has the most potential for damage as they are controlling 2 tons of rolling metal at high speeds. Airline passengers can be a danger to others if they bring aboard items such as firearms or explosive devices. The same would hold true for a car passenger carrying a gun or explosive device and the police would detain and question an automobile passenger if they observed someone doing so, even at a sobriety checkpoint. Oh, and pilots have to go through the same checkpoints in airport security as passengers.
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Re: Wil Wheaton on the TSA

Postby zmatt » Fri Apr 08, 2011 4:32 pm UTC

JBJ wrote:controlling 2 tons of rolling metal


what do you drive? 2 tons is rather large.
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Re: Wil Wheaton on the TSA

Postby JBJ » Fri Apr 08, 2011 6:07 pm UTC

zmatt wrote:
JBJ wrote:controlling 2 tons of rolling metal
what do you drive? 2 tons is rather large.

Eh, not really that large. Most small passenger cars are at least 1.25 tons (2,500 lbs). Hell, a Mini Cooper weighs in at 2,568 lbs. Medium to large sedans are going to be around 3,000 - 3,500. Trucks and SUVs, of which there are a lot, almost always push upwards of the 2 ton mark. Right now I'm driving a medium size pickup truck. Specifications show a weight of 4,652 lbs (~ 2.25 tons). I'll happily revise the statement to "controlling 1.5 tons of rolling metal" if it's closer to the average, but a 2 ton+ vehicle is not uncommon.
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Re: Wil Wheaton on the TSA

Postby Shivahn » Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:07 pm UTC

Tirian wrote:
Shivahn wrote:Frisking everyone also, you know, does something.


Does it? I haven't heard the stories about these scanners or pat-downs catching a bomb that otherwise would have made it onto a plane, and I have the sense that they'd be proud to point out a victory like that. I suppose one might suggest that the existence of the scanners and pat-downs would deter terrorists by sending them back to the drawing board, but I'd be pretty skeptical. There weren't any plots in between the Christmas bomber when it struck us that we needed to be concerned about the groins of the flying public and the roll-out of the security measures ten months later, so it is certainly worth contemplating that these measures only serve to frustrate the law-abiding public.


I was talking about the "frisking everyone going into a club," not the airport one. The emphasis was really on the "everyone" anyway, not the frisking.

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Re: Wil Wheaton on the TSA

Postby Heisenberg » Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:08 pm UTC

Actually, in this case the pilots are exempt from the screening, while their passengers are not. It'd be like a cop pulling you over and strip searching everyone in the car but you, without probable cause OR reasonable suspicion.

Also, police are required to provide detailed records of every search they perform, so that if Officer Steve is accused of discriminating against albino midgets, there is evidence to confirm or deny that accusation. TSA officers are not required to maintain a record of "random" searches, so they have the ability to be pervy douches and never be held to account for it.

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Re: Wil Wheaton on the TSA

Postby JBJ » Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:43 pm UTC

Exempt isn't entirely accurate. Uniformed pilots can be expedited through security after verifying 2 forms of picture ID and a check against a flight crew database. They still go through the metal detector, and if the metal detector goes off they could be subject to the enhanced pat down or body scan.
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Re: Wil Wheaton on the TSA

Postby EdgarJPublius » Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:25 pm UTC

JBJ wrote:
zmatt wrote:
Chen wrote:
Griffin wrote:Also, an officer can STILL only give you a breathalyzer if there is reason to believe you've committed a crime (driving while intoxicated).

They cannot just pull you over and test you - that would be unconstitutional in the US.
While they may be, strictly speaking, not in line with the 4th amendment, sobriety checkpoints, where there is no probable cause, were determined to be constitutionally permissible http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michigan_D ... ce_v._Sitz.
Yes but a passenger on a plane isn't the same as the driver of a car. You can be over the legal limit and be a passenger. In fact the government encourages the drunk ones to be driven by someone sober. The sobriety checkpoints are more akin to searching pilots. However pilots are held to a higher standard than joe sixpack with a drivers license (lets be honest in America they come in crackerjack boxes) so that argument doesn't hold either.

The point isn't comparing pilots to drivers or passengers to passengers. The comparison is whether or not a person (be it a passenger or driver/pilot) is a danger to others. In a car, the driver has the most potential for damage as they are controlling 2 tons of rolling metal at high speeds. Airline passengers can be a danger to others if they bring aboard items such as firearms or explosive devices. The same would hold true for a car passenger carrying a gun or explosive device and the police would detain and question an automobile passenger if they observed someone doing so, even at a sobriety checkpoint. Oh, and pilots have to go through the same checkpoints in airport security as passengers.


I'm not sure that comparison is accurate. Drunk Driving kills more people in a year than airplane terrorism has killed over it's entire history.
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Re: Wil Wheaton on the TSA

Postby JBJ » Mon Apr 11, 2011 5:07 pm UTC

EdgarJPublius wrote:I'm not sure that comparison is accurate. Drunk Driving kills more people in a year than airplane terrorism has killed over it's entire history.

No doubt, but there's a practical maximum to the number of deaths a single drunk driver can be responsible for. Typically it's just a few, often the driver themselves and the occupants of the car they hit. In rare cases, a dozen or more if a drunk driver veers into a crowded pedestrian area or causes an accident with a bus, van, or other group transport. The drunk driver also isn't trying to cause deaths. The potential carnage for a single terrorist is at least the 100-200 people on an airline and up to a few thousand if they can direct the plane into a building or populated area. And they are intentionally trying to maximize the damage. Eliminating drunk driving would save more lives, for sure, but there's no practical way to enforce that. If it were a requirement to have a BaC check before starting the car, there'd be just as many people throwing up their arms claiming another invasion of privacy.
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Re: Wil Wheaton on the TSA

Postby netcrusher88 » Mon Apr 11, 2011 7:33 pm UTC

Ignition interlock. It's a pretty common thing for a court to order... when someone has already been convicted of a DUI.
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Re: Wil Wheaton on the TSA

Postby JBJ » Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:35 pm UTC

Right, and a convicted DUI offender, especially a repeat offender, is a higher risk of driving drunk again. A high risk individual has been identified and has additional restrictions on their driving privileges. That's a fair cop. The rest of the driving public has not demonstrated the same risk, even though there are many who were lucky enough to get away with it. I was making the point that if everyone were required to have an ignition interlock, there would be an uproar.

How do we identify those high risk individuals out of the millions of air travelers? We can't really wait until they've offended like drunk drivers and give them additional restrictions. They'll be dead if they're successful, or in jail for the rest of their lives if they're not. So, by default, everyone is considered a potential risk. There are some options for identifying one's self as lower risk. Pilots and flight crew, who have extended background checks. Some attempts have been made to have a Clear Card system that allows expedited passage through security following a background check.

If we can't identify them by their past transgressions, should we start profiling again? I don't think that would go over very well either. Subjecting everyone to the same level of scrutiny, unless they've been cleared by some other process, is the fairest way to go about it.
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Re: Wil Wheaton on the TSA

Postby Dauric » Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:37 pm UTC

netcrusher88 wrote:Ignition interlock. It's a pretty common thing for a court to order... when someone has already been convicted of a DUI.


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Re: Wil Wheaton on the TSA

Postby Dark567 » Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:49 pm UTC

netcrusher88 wrote:Ignition interlock. It's a pretty common thing for a court to order... when someone has already been convicted of a DUI.

You know, I would really like one of these if I owned a car to prevent me from drunk driving. Not that I particularly ever would(especially seeing as how I don't plan on getting a car anytime soon), but I like the idea of an absolute safety to prevent it from ever happening.
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Re: Wil Wheaton on the TSA

Postby netcrusher88 » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:01 pm UTC

Dark567 wrote:You know, I would really like one of these if I owned a car to prevent me from drunk driving. Not that I particularly ever would(especially seeing as how I don't plan on getting a car anytime soon), but I like the idea of an absolute safety to prevent it from ever happening.

Every once in a while the idea of having an interlock as a standard feature comes up and I do like the idea, but they're prone to false positives. Mostly mouthwash. Also, they're not particularly difficult to get around as long as you have someone around who's sober.
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Re: Wil Wheaton on the TSA

Postby EdgarJPublius » Tue Apr 12, 2011 3:39 am UTC

JBJ wrote:
EdgarJPublius wrote:I'm not sure that comparison is accurate. Drunk Driving kills more people in a year than airplane terrorism has killed over it's entire history.

No doubt, but there's a practical maximum to the number of deaths a single drunk driver can be responsible for. Typically it's just a few, often the driver themselves and the occupants of the car they hit. In rare cases, a dozen or more if a drunk driver veers into a crowded pedestrian area or causes an accident with a bus, van, or other group transport. The drunk driver also isn't trying to cause deaths. The potential carnage for a single terrorist is at least the 100-200 people on an airline and up to a few thousand if they can direct the plane into a building or populated area. And they are intentionally trying to maximize the damage. Eliminating drunk driving would save more lives, for sure, but there's no practical way to enforce that. If it were a requirement to have a BaC check before starting the car, there'd be just as many people throwing up their arms claiming another invasion of privacy.


This is a classic miscalculation of risk. Although the potential threat posed by a single terrorist attack is great, the actual risk posed by terrorism is small. Terrorism is rare, even if every attack which was foiled since 9/11 had been 100% successful, over the same period drunk driving fatalities would have still been ten to twenty times higher AT MINUMUM (note also that traffic fatalities have decreased by 25% since 2005 and by nearly 30% since 2001).

Terrorism is also relatively easy to defeat.
Since 9/11 two security features have generally proven extremely effective at preventing future attacks. One is improvements in proactive security and information gathering that has revealed and thwarted several attacks before they could be completed, and the other is the general alertness of passengers and crew and their willingness to defend themselves and their fellow passengers against threats which has also thwarted several attacks.
Special mention can go to reinforced cockpit doors and public policies of shooting down hijacked aircraft rather than allow them to be used in 9/11 style attacks both of which provide provable security in the event a hijacker is able to execute an attack and have likely provided some level of deterrent against other attacks.

These four things have not increased risk to the public by any amount, do not in any way impose on the privacy or convenience of air travelers and yet have been supremely effective at preventing terrorist attacks.

Conversely "improvements" to security and screenings in airports have NOT detected or foiled ANY attacks and are merely questionably effective at detecting even hypothetical attacks while increasingly violating basic norms of privacy and human decency while imposing increasingly ridiculous burdens and wait times on passengers AND airlines.
All the while, stories like this one and many similar stories show the 'security theater' for what it is, a farce.

Experts say every year since the September 11 attacks, federal agencies have conducted random, covert tests of airport security.

A person briefed on the latest tests tells ABC News the failure rate approaches 70 percent at some major airports. Two weeks ago, TSA's new director said every test gun, bomb part or knife got past screeners at some airports.
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Re: Wil Wheaton on the TSA

Postby Glass Fractal » Tue Apr 12, 2011 4:22 am UTC

EdgarJPublius wrote:Terrorism is also relatively easy to defeat.
Since 9/11 two security features have generally proven extremely effective at preventing future attacks. One is improvements in proactive security and information gathering that has revealed and thwarted several attacks before they could be completed, and the other is the general alertness of passengers and crew and their willingness to defend themselves and their fellow passengers against threats which has also thwarted several attacks.
Special mention can go to reinforced cockpit doors and public policies of shooting down hijacked aircraft rather than allow them to be used in 9/11 style attacks both of which provide provable security in the event a hijacker is able to execute an attack and have likely provided some level of deterrent against other attacks.


That last one is fascinating. I'm not sure I could even think of a policy quite so cold as that. I guess I can see why it would work. Reinforced doors it a great one if just for the simplicity of it. I'm almost surprised the doors weren't already made like that.

EdgarJPublius wrote:All the while, stories like this one and many similar stories show the 'security theater' for what it is, a farce.

Experts say every year since the September 11 attacks, federal agencies have conducted random, covert tests of airport security.

A person briefed on the latest tests tells ABC News the failure rate approaches 70 percent at some major airports. Two weeks ago, TSA's new director said every test gun, bomb part or knife got past screeners at some airports.


Ugh, that's atrocious.

I'd heard mostly anecdotes about stuff the TSA missed, which could be flukes or the typical reporting bias toward interesting things. But damn, if they can't catching even half the stuff that goes through. Changes my view of the TSA from annoying to dangerously incompetent. We may as well just use the "are you a terrorist?" check that Newark had going on for a while.

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Re: Wil Wheaton on the TSA

Postby Qaanol » Tue Apr 12, 2011 4:34 am UTC

There’s a distinction to be made between, “The TSA screenings as currently implemented do not accomplish their goals,” and “The TSA screenings as currently implemented are unconstitutional infringements on the protected rights of US citizens. Even if the screenings did accomplish their goals, they would still be un-American.”

I’d say both are correct at this point, and both should be raised in the public awareness.
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Re: Wil Wheaton on the TSA

Postby EdgarJPublius » Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:21 am UTC

We need to move away from the paradigm of 'TSA screenings are not effective' to one of 'TSA screenings are not a solution to the problem of terrorism'.

It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that if the scans and screenings at a security checkpoint were just thorough enough and if the staff were trained, professional and experienced enough and that if we just give up enough of our privacy, then the terrorists will be defeated, or at least just won't be able to get on planes with the intent to do harm anymore. But none of these things are actually true.
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Re: Wil Wheaton on the TSA

Postby Randomizer » Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:50 pm UTC

If you're bringing a kid along to the airport, remind them to shout "No!", scream, and fight back if someone (eg, a TSA agent) tries to touch them inappropriately. What are they going to do, arrest a 10-year-old for not letting an adult touch their wiener?

Man, I hated flying even before this security crap. The plane always sucks in fumes when we're idling on the runway and it freakin' makes me nauseous. I don't get airsick, I get groundsick. :p

I remember the days when the advice people would tell me was, "Make sure you lock up your checked bags so the baggage handlers don't steal your shit," and now we've got to leave our luggage unlocked otherwise they'll break our locks? What bullshit.

Having people take off their shoes is crap, but dammit I just want to get my ass on the plane so I'm not going to waste my time arguing about it. And not being able to bring liquids onboard? Dang it, I want to bring my own water, the bottled water they have does not taste good at all. But whatever, I've got a flight to catch - not worth fighting over.

But now it's gone from, "Pain in the ass junk I put up with because I want to get somewhere," to "Get felt up by someone you're not attracted to when you're not even in the mood if you need to fly"? Then it's time to dismantle the goddamn TSA and arrest every single agent who's performed one or more of these "pat downs". This crosses the line from mundane bullshit to government sanctioned assaults.

Terrorism? I'm not worried about terrorism. While reinforcing the cockpit doors makes sense in that they keep unauthorized personnel out without causing anyone any hassle, in genreal it's not some great big security force that keeps people from killing me, it's the fact that no one wants to kill me. Humans are easy to kill - grab a knife, stab, and done. If there were so many boogey men out there I'd think the murder rate would be a wee bit higher than it is. Add to it the fact that so many guns slip through security, yet people onboard aren't constantly being shot only proves that people generally aren't the bloodthirsty savages the TSA would like us to think they are. Honestly I'd be far more worried about how well the planes are being maintained if I was going to get the heebie jeebies about flying. What are the numbers on mechanical-failure related crashes anyway?
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Re: Wil Wheaton on the TSA

Postby Aikanaro » Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:07 pm UTC

Randomizer wrote:If you're bringing a kid along to the airport, remind them to shout "No!", scream, and fight back if someone (eg, a TSA agent) tries to touch them inappropriately. What are they going to do, arrest a 10-year-old for not letting an adult touch their wiener?

I don't remember if this has actually occurred yet, but if not, part of me really wants it to to see what the legal outcome will be...
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Re: Wil Wheaton on the TSA

Postby Heisenberg » Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:20 pm UTC

12 and under can go through grope-free. I still don't understand how these individuals get away with touching the genitals of a fifteen year-old, who is legally a minor, and can't legally consent to that, ever.

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Re: Wil Wheaton on the TSA

Postby Chen » Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:30 pm UTC

So I just need to put my bomb on my 12 year old to get it on the plane? Lets hope the terrorists don't know about that.

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Re: Wil Wheaton on the TSA

Postby Belial » Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:36 pm UTC

Chen wrote:So I just need to put my bomb on my 12 year old to get it on the plane? Lets hope the terrorists don't know about that.


So what you're saying is that these security procedures have giant gaping holes?

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Re: Wil Wheaton on the TSA

Postby Chen » Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:00 pm UTC

Belial wrote:
Chen wrote:So I just need to put my bomb on my 12 year old to get it on the plane? Lets hope the terrorists don't know about that.


So what you're saying is that these security procedures have giant gaping holes?

Say it ain't so, superman!


Pretty much. I prefer the way I wrote it though :P

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Re: Wil Wheaton on the TSA

Postby Kag » Wed Apr 13, 2011 5:54 pm UTC

Chen wrote:So I just need to put my bomb on my 12 year old to get it on the plane? Lets hope the terrorists don't know about that.


Why bother getting the 12 year old? You already have a butt!
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Re: Wil Wheaton on the TSA

Postby netcrusher88 » Wed Apr 13, 2011 6:08 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:12 and under can go through grope-free. I still don't understand how these individuals get away with touching the genitals of a fifteen year-old, who is legally a minor, and can't legally consent to that, ever.

No, they can't.
Randomizer wrote:If you're bringing a kid along to the airport, remind them to shout "No!", scream, and fight back if someone (eg, a TSA agent) tries to touch them inappropriately. What are they going to do, arrest a 10-year-old for not letting an adult touch their wiener?

Yes.
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Re: Wil Wheaton on the TSA

Postby Heisenberg » Wed Apr 13, 2011 7:46 pm UTC

What. The. Fuck.

That kid didn't want to be touched. Those parents didn't want the kid to be touched:
"I did ask for alternatives. I did ask for her to be rescanned," Selena adds. "They just refused and said they were going to do what they were going to do."

We have a word for intentional touching without consent: Assault.

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Re: Wil Wheaton on the TSA

Postby bobjoesmith » Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:09 pm UTC

Sigh, and I did sigh after reading through this thread. People cry so much nowadays. We whine about privacy and about how we shouldn't be scanned or patted down, but on the other hand you post scores of pictures onto Facebook, twitter every detail of your life- hell even googling something is recorded. You know what? If you step back and look, how bad could it be. Oh no, someone can see black and white, high-res x-rays of me. I'm going to die of shame now. Barring that, what is the problem with one pat down- a standard physical gets far more touchy than that. We cling to these nebulous rights- "I deserve not to be patted down." Sure there can be some discretion on the part of the TSA agent, sure this could all just be a deterrent, but if it helps, I'm all for it.

I'm not saying invade my privacy. I'm not saying go and pat down little kids. I'm saying before someone rants about the TSA, they stand back and shut up and think. Gosh, you know what I hate? Traveling 500 miles per hour, a few miles up in the sky, to cross a ocean and gosh those body scans really do suck. Gosh now I'm going to tweet about it. And put it on facebook. Where there are pictures of said person drunk. It doesn't even matter if it is effective or not. Can we really not wait 10 extra minutes or suffer a little bit of scrutiny from someone whom we will never meet again? Apparently not.

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Re: Wil Wheaton on the TSA

Postby Ryom » Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:33 pm UTC

Ahhh, the "I'm okay with it so everyone should be" argument!

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Re: Wil Wheaton on the TSA

Postby Belial » Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:36 pm UTC

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Re: Wil Wheaton on the TSA

Postby Eseell » Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:39 pm UTC

bobjoesmith wrote:It doesn't even matter if it is effective or not.

I'm glad that you're apathetic about abridging our constitutional rights and wasting taxpayer money. Don't expect the rest of us to be.
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Re: Wil Wheaton on the TSA

Postby netcrusher88 » Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:27 pm UTC

bobjoesmith wrote:Sigh, and I did sigh after reading through this thread. People cry so much nowadays.

Oi. Fuck you.
We whine about privacy and about how we shouldn't be scanned or patted down, but on the other hand you post scores of pictures onto Facebook, twitter every detail of your life- hell even googling something is recorded.

When I post something to Facebook, I decided to put it there. When I tweet something, I decided to tweet it. When I google something, it's recorded because I've asked them to do so - otherwise it would be anonymized.
You know what? If you step back and look, how bad could it be.

Oh, please educate us all on how a procedure you've never experienced couldn't possibly be as bad as hundreds of people who have experienced it say it is. I've been looking for something to fill the slot after the quantum mechanics lecture from a kindergartener.
Oh no, someone can see black and white, high-res x-rays of me.

Someone can expose me to a level of radiation that is not fully documented and has not faced any medical trial without my consent, without probable cause, and without any evidence that it does anything useful and quite a lot to the contrary.
I'm going to die of shame now.

You do not have the right to tell other people they lose their right to privacy for no reason.
Barring that, what is the problem with one pat down

Yeah, I'm going to need you to shut the fuck up and listen.
a standard physical gets far more touchy than that.

I voluntarily submit to a physical - I am never compelled. Even in situations where I might be driven by outside factors to seek one - if I'm going to join the military, or seeking a job that requires a physical - I know that it will be performed discretely (certainly not in public) and professionally by a trained and certified medical professional who will respect any boundaries I set and, ultimately, against whom I have legal recourse if I feel I am touched or in any way treated inappropriately. None of these things are true about TSA agents.
We cling to these nebulous rights- "I deserve not to be patted down."

Fucking right I cling to the right to not have my personal space invaded without cause. And I don't mind a pat down if a metal detector picks something up - I mind the possibility of being literally groped because I refuse to submit to an untested device based on ionizing radiation.
Sure there can be some discretion on the part of the TSA agent

No, there can't. Also, the word you were looking for was indiscretion, but the indiscretion is not on the part of TSA agents but on the organization at large forcing this procedure upon them.
sure this could all just be a deterrent

Deterrent to what? You catch someone with a bomb they'll just send somebody else with another one. Someone will get through eventually. Actually, the first one got through because neither the AIT scanners nor the grope-down catch a fucking thing.
but if it helps

By no sane measure does this help anyone except the AIT scanner manufacturers.
I'm all for it.

Clearly.
I'm not saying invade my privacy. I'm not saying go and pat down little kids.

"I'm not saying you should do this, I'm just saying fuck it, I don't care if you do."
I'm saying before someone rants about the TSA, they stand back and shut up and think.

Exactly.
Gosh, you know what I hate? Traveling 500 miles per hour, a few miles up in the sky, to cross a ocean

What the shit?
and gosh those body scans really do suck. Gosh now I'm going to tweet about it. And put it on facebook.

Given the majority of people have never experienced these procedures or maybe even know about them, raising awareness is a legitimate strategy.

Also, you seem to be conflating the AIT scanners and the grope-down. Are you doing that on purpose to try to make people complaining of the latter look ridiculous, or are you just illiterate?
Where there are pictures of said person drunk.

Which they decided to put there.
It doesn't even matter if it is effective or not.

Wait. Whether what's effective or not? Telling people about it or the TSA's new pet procedures? Because telling people about it might be - the procedures are not in any way.
Can we really not wait 10 extra minutes or suffer a little bit of scrutiny from someone whom we will never meet again?

Do you really not understand that people have legitimate complaints about the way in which they are treated (not the time it takes), or are you just not aware that straw men don't work too well 'round these parts?
Apparently not.

Quite.
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Re: Wil Wheaton on the TSA

Postby EdgarJPublius » Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:59 pm UTC

Honestly, I don't care about the 'invasion of privacy' aspect of it. If some TSA agent wants to grope me or get a printout of my porno-scanner image, well, I can't say as I blame 'em, I'm pretty gropable if I do say so myself.
However, I understand that other people absolutely do have completely legitimate privacy and decency concerns about these scans and pat-down procedures.

What MY main concern is though, is that the federal government is wasting eight billion dollars a year for government contractors to get their jollies on the off chance that maybe they catch a terrorist by accident every once in a while.

Let me re-state my earlier position in case you missed it:
Terrorism is not that much of a threat to begin with, but even if it was, TSA checkpoints are fundamentally incapable of preventing that threat. There is no possible or theoretical combination of screening scanning and/or groping that could possibly pose a significant barrier to a terrorist attack short of just not ever letting anybody on the airplanes in the first place.

Privacy and Security are not a zero sum game, a loss of privacy does not in any way equal an increase in security, nor does an increase in security ever come at the cost of privacy.
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Re: Wil Wheaton on the TSA

Postby Isaac Hill » Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:20 pm UTC

Was the little girl the only one in the family searched? The articles don't expressly state that, but they don't mention the parents getting searched, either. Terrorist parents might wire up their kid, but if the parents aren't worth searching, then their kid isn't, either.

Also, when I go to the dentist and get my mouth X-rayed, the hygenist leaves the room, since exposure to a single X-ray's worth of radiation every couple years isn't too bad, but the cumulative effect of being exposed every day would be dangerous. Now I'm wondering about the TSA agents who man the scanning machines. Is there any protection for them? Googling for TSA "radiation badge" brought up some articles saying the workers don't get badges to alert them to dangerous levels.
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Re: Wil Wheaton on the TSA

Postby netcrusher88 » Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:56 pm UTC

Isaac Hill wrote:Was the little girl the only one in the family searched? The articles don't expressly state that, but they don't mention the parents getting searched, either. Terrorist parents might wire up their kid, but if the parents aren't worth searching, then their kid isn't, either.

Yeah, um... that would require logic being present. Allow me to disabuse you of that notion.
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Re: Wil Wheaton on the TSA

Postby Aikanaro » Thu Apr 14, 2011 1:15 pm UTC

Aikanaro wrote:
Randomizer wrote:If you're bringing a kid along to the airport, remind them to shout "No!", scream, and fight back if someone (eg, a TSA agent) tries to touch them inappropriately. What are they going to do, arrest a 10-year-old for not letting an adult touch their wiener?

I don't remember if this has actually occurred yet, but if not, part of me really wants it to to see what the legal outcome will be...

The day after I posted this, I saw the news story about the 6 year old. Should I hate myself now?
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Re: Wil Wheaton on the TSA

Postby Heisenberg » Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:59 pm UTC

Isaac Hill wrote:... the workers don't get badges to alert them to dangerous levels.

From what I understand, they're not allowed to wear radiation badges, while other federal workers in close proximity to radiation are required to do so.

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Re: Wil Wheaton on the TSA

Postby Eseell » Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:11 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
Isaac Hill wrote:... the workers don't get badges to alert them to dangerous levels.

From what I understand, they're not allowed to wear radiation badges, while other federal workers in close proximity to radiation are required to do so.

I know that if a passenger tries to go through with a dosimeter the TSA officers get very upset.
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Re: Wil Wheaton on the TSA

Postby Qaanol » Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:48 am UTC

Eseell wrote:
Heisenberg wrote:
Isaac Hill wrote:... the workers don't get badges to alert them to dangerous levels.

From what I understand, they're not allowed to wear radiation badges, while other federal workers in close proximity to radiation are required to do so.

I know that if a passenger tries to go through with a dosimeter the TSA officers get very upset.

Ooh, that’s good. Anyone know where to pick up a cheap dosimeter?
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Re: Wil Wheaton on the TSA

Postby hanecter » Fri Apr 15, 2011 6:38 pm UTC

I'm so doing this the next time I fly.

God. Why is this acceptable? Why are we doing this? I don't understand the motivation! It's not even effective and we're groping people...including children and sexual assault survivors. WHAT THE FUCK.

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Re: Wil Wheaton on the TSA

Postby Isaac Hill » Sun Apr 17, 2011 10:41 pm UTC

TSA blog wrote:The [Public Health Command’s Health Physicists] are also gathering area radiation dose data by mounting dosimeters within the inspection zone (that area only occupied by the individual undergoing the screening and delineated by the yellow bordered floor mat) on certain equipment.

This makes it sound like they take samples of certain machines to ensure that the machines, when operating properly, don't pose a hazard to the people passing through. This does not account for the workers standing just outside the inspection zone all day, or the possibility that a given machine may be malfunctioning, and emmitting extra radiation. I'm sure the TSA's statement will satisfy the fora just as much as it satisfied the TSA blog commentors.

I know that logic isn't a factor in TSA policy, but I wonder how hard it is to miscalibrate or otherwise tamper with a dosimeter. Could someone bring in an outside dosimeter set to go off at a small level of radiation which would give a false positive when passing through the scanner? If someone in line has their badge go off, it could create a bit of panic in the line.
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