Airline Passenger Refuses to Be Groped by Security; Becomes a Folk Hero

By Jennifer Welsh | November 15, 2010 5:24 pm

lego-security John Tyner missed his flight to South Dakota for a pheasant hunting trip with his father-in-law. He wasn’t late to the airport, he didn’t get lost in the terminal. He never made it into the terminal because he wouldn’t partake in either a whole body scan or a physical pat-down of his genitals.

After arriving at the airport, Tyner was pulled aside to go through a “whole body scan,” an radiation-based machine that takes an image of your body under your clothes. He “opted out” of the scan only to realize the alternative is just as bad. He asked the TSA officer who was patting him down not to touch his privates. Actually, he said: “If you touch my junk, I’ll have you arrested.” The matter quickly escalated, according to his blog post about the incident:

She described to me that because I had opted out of the backscatter screening, I would now be patted down, and that involved running hands up the inside of my legs until they felt my groin. I stated that I would not allow myself to be subject to a molestation as a condition of getting on my flight. The supervisor informed me that it was a standard administrative security check and that they were authorized to do it. I repeated that I felt what they were doing was a sexual assault, and that if they were anyone but the government, the act would be illegal. [John Tyner’s blog post]

After the incident, Tyner was escorted from the area, and was able to get a refund on his ticket and was eventually allowed to leave the airport, but not without being threatened with a $10,000 fine for doing so without having finished the screening procedure. At his blog you can read his post about the event and see his videos (he apparently had his smart phone recording video throughout much of the incident).

According to the TSA’s website, there are currently 386 of the whole-body imagers at airports around the US (at 68 different airports), though their numbers are expanding to about 1,000 machines (450 paid for by stimulus funds) by the end of 2011. The imagers are supposed to be being used as a secondary line of screening, though according to some anecdotal reports from passengers around the country it seems that’s not always the case.

Worries about the health effects of repeated low-doses of radiation, along with privacy issues and questions of what happens to the pictures of the digitally-undressed after they have been cleared, have started to catch up to the TSA as these machines become more widespread and people become more interested in keeping their privates private.

If a passenger is asked to take part in whole body screening and opts out of the procedure, he or she is subjected to the TSA’s new and “enhanced” pat-down procedures. Agents are instructed to use open hands and fingers to probe for any possible contraband on a person’s body, including lifting up the breasts and feeling in between the legs.

Continuing outrage by travelers has led one group to pronounce November 24th (the day before Thanksgiving) as the national “opt out day,” encouraging travelers to say no to the machines.

It’s the day ordinary citizens stand up for their rights, stand up for liberty, and protest the federal government’s desire to virtually strip us naked or submit to an “enhanced pat down” that touches people’s breasts and genitals in an aggressive manner. You should never have to explain to your children, “Remember that no stranger can touch or see your private area, unless it’s a government employee, then it’s OK.” [National Opt-Out Day]

Related content:
80beats: 5 Reasons Body Scanners May Not Solve Our Terrorism Problem
80beats: Body-Scanners in Courthouses Have Stored Thousands of Rather Personal Images
Discoblog: German Activists Protest Body Scanners by Stripping Down
Discoblog: Co-Ed Naked Airport Security: X-Ray Scanners Strip Search Passengers
Gene Expression: Privacy as a bourgeois privilege

Image: Flickr/nedrichards

  • Chris

    Now me personally (a male) never liked getting patted down by another male. If I am going to be patted down and touched down there, it should be by a woman and I should have to right to that.

  • gribley

    Well, I suppose that first comment was inevitable. Way to tarnish an important civil rights conversation with your puerile sexist drivel, Chris.

  • Sean

    Awesome. the terrorists love the way we say we need our privacy, they use the same rules as you and now know another way to board a plane with thier secrets protected until they are ready to unleash them on more of us. Search me anyway you want but I don’t want to fly with people who need their privacy on an airplane. Morons.

  • Anna

    First off, hooray for people like John Tyner. I absolutely refuse to be molested by ill-trained and often rude members of the TSA. I am more than happy to answer any questions they have for me, but I don’t want them touching me. The TSA is ineffective in their methods and rules are not applied uniformly from agent to agent or from airport to airport. If we really want to get serious about airport security, perhaps we should take a page from Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport, which is both customer friendly and repeatedly held up as an example of security that actually WORKS.

  • No. 6

    The terrorists won. We’ve surrendered all our freedoms for security theater.

    We’re spending millions to check passengers when any competent terrorist
    can bypass the whole process for at most a few thousand dollars.

  • Brian Too

    We can thank the underwear bomber, the shoe bomber, the liquid bomber, et al. Thank you. Thank you very much.


  • bigjohn756

    Osama bin Laden is laughing his ass off in a Middle Eastern cave somewhere. He won! Millions of man hours have been squandered every day, since September 11, 2001, by people waiting in airport lines to get felt up; trying to hold their pants up while, at he same time, trying not to drop their shoes; hoping that their laptops don’t fall off of the end of the conveyor while some government lackey asks them ridiculous questions like; “Did you have a stranger pack your luggage for you today?”
    Just ask Benj. Franklyn what he would think of this pathetic scenario. Or, ask the passengers of UA93 what they would do given the chance; they would say that many fewer people would have died if they knew then what we know now, and those who died would all be Muslim terrorist zealots.
    After 1.5++ million miles in the air prior to 9/11, I have flown twice since. I will not submit to the degradation of mind and body forced on us by our cowardly government which cannot think clearly enough to realize that most of the problems come from checked luggage, not passengers with tubes of toothpaste and cans of deodorant.
    I shall not fly again until our country regains its sanity. I have, on the other hand, driven cross country many times. at much greater expense to me and to the environment. How many others has this incompetent policy forced to do the same?

  • la

    where do we draw the line between our rights to not have others touch us to the point of feeling uncomfortable and safety for ourselves and our country?

  • scott

    Get over yourselves, you act like your junk is made of gold and everyone wants to feel you up like youre some kind of GQ model. If that same agent busted a would be terrorist with some strange weapon wedged up his crotch you’d be thankful they scanned or patted that person down.

    The government does not want a naked pic of your flabby body to keep on some secret file.

  • LunarStudio 3D Renderings

    The issue with radiation is understandable.

    However, there is a workaround for some of these other issues. Why not have the person operating the scanner completely hidden out of view of the person being scanned so they actually never have to look at the actual face and body of the person being scanned? The results look like a bad cartoon – it’s not like anyone is going to get off on it. This way it saves some level of embarrassment.

  • Majken

    I think it’s immature to assume commenter #1 is being sexist. I’m female and I’d rather be patted down by a male, myself. It just makes me more comfortable and hopefully the added “awkwardness” means he’s more respectful. I can just as easily be sexually assaulted by a woman.

    Scott: what sort of weapon would be wedged there that regular scanning wouldn’t detect? What sort of weapon would be wedged there that I couldn’t fully insert into my vagina? That’s not being checked. Let’s say that happens next. Let’s say some sicko hides a weapon in his daughter’s vagina. Does that mean cavity searches for all children?

    Just because it *could* catch a terrorist doesn’t mean it’s the only way, and it certainly doesn’t mean in any way that it *will* catch a terrorist. The only guarantee is that it’s restricting the rights of millions of law abiding people.

  • ChH

    As a 39 year old man … I don’t much care if someone touches my junk, and I definitely don’t care if they see it.
    But what about my tween and teenage daughters? The choice of having them either molested or viewed naked (and don’t start with this “it won’t ever be recorded” BS) is UNACCEPTABLE!
    Since most of my flying is to locations that are 9-14 hours away by car, I’m going to keep flying as long as I have to go through metal detectors, but I’ll refuse the “scan or hand” choice on principle and just drive if that’s the choice I’m given. Hopefully the airlines will raise enough of a fuss over lost revenue to get this absurdity rolled back.

    A challenge for those of you who think the naked scanners are no big deal – take a screen shot of any of the scan images you see floating around on the internet, put it in Paint or Photoshop or whatever, invert the colors, and see what you get.

    A parting shot – the logical conclusion of the TSA’s current policies is to rectally probe all passengers, (and vaginally probe half of them), given the success of this guy at rectally smuggling a bomb past security:
    If what they’re doing now is OK, is that OK too?

  • Mark McAndrew

    You mean the person operating the scanner CAN also see the subject in real life? Unreal. I wonder how much the TSA is costing the US economy by deterring everyone but the bad guys.

    The best deterrent to another 9/11 is 9/11. Anyone trying to hijack a plane will be lynched, so the only option is explosives – which they’ll either stick in the cargo or in one of ‘nature’s pockets’. Bodyscanners won’t catch them.

    Solution: alert, polite, well-trained TSA staff (imagine!) and sniffer dogs/equipment. Never mind drugs, they won’t bring down a plane.

    As for the scanners, stick the operator in another room, make the view headless, prove the radiation is harmless, guarantee it isn’t recorded, use only instead of a strip search, keep a log of the search. Any TSA staff shown to be abusing their position: fired and prosecuted.

    As is often heard in the waiting lines, we’ll get there eventually.

  • RJE

    This new security theater accomplishes nothing. People have been able to sneak all kinds of contraband material through security without going through extraordinary measures to hide said materials.

    If terrorists decide to blow up a bomb right at the security checkpoint where there are a lot of people gathered, it could be just as damaging as blowing up or crashing a plane. No one could stop them, really. Even worse, there’s really nothing stopping terrorists from blowing up a bomb in airport ticketing/lobby/baggage areas. Or a restaurant, or mall, or sports stadium. The list of places terrorists could kill a lot of people and have a highly damaging psychological effect is not a short one.

    I honestly don’t believe we are any safer than we were before 9/11. There are two things that have helped, however. Reinforced cockpit doors, and passengers that know to fight back.

  • rabidmob

    All this stuff makes me not want to fly.

    Airlines with tons of hidden fees, ever tightening passenger compartments, and especially the new invasive security measures.

    I didn’t mind the explosive checks, the metal scanners, the baggage scanners, but the full body scanners and the pat down checks.

  • soulsur5er

    Follow the money. Interesting how former head of homeland security has controlling interest in the company making the scanners along with major investors such as George Soros, Geo. Bush Sr. and a group called L3. There are certain people who are going to make alot of $$ off all this. People who are not put through the scanners themselves. They’ve had the scanners over a decade. I remember reading about them in the 90’s believing they would be used for military purposes and never thinking this would be done to the American citizens on a daily basis. Its so pointless anyway considering the TSA agents arent screened with sufficient background checks. There have been several incidents where the TSA agents hired turned out to be convicted child molesters, illegal immigrants and so on. This absolute power given to them doesnt tend to bring out the best in their character either. They behave like highly paid bullies and they come and go as they want. Think about this people and get educated. We are being conditioned to accept the police state. Next there will be a bomb attempt or worse in a mall and then there will suddenly be a need for even more xray scanners. You’re not only literally being exposed, but exposed to serious concentrated gamma radiation and yes, they are storing all the images. I’d rather take my chances with the so-called terrorists who arent smart enough to add a c4 blasting cap to their underwear bomb?

  • Nescio

    That’s fearmongering for you. No amount of propaganda can negate the fact that the number of hijacked planes is nonexistent compared to the number of annual deaths caused by malaria/AIDS/hunger/war of terror/heart disease/ et cetera. Note, these are all preventable deaths. If we would spend half the time and money of the WoT on these we would have already saved thoudands. (An attempt to calculate the factual risk is here: )

    In short, what problem is being solved with this silly procedure?

  • David

    government sanctioned child pornography!

    Unfortunately, genital pat downs are not new. It has been done frequently for many years now. Ever see a curtain off area next to the security area. That’s where it happens. My father who traveled internationally and domestically on business were frequently subject to genital pat downs. It was blood-boiling to hear how he was somehow “randomly chosen” again from his business trips. If you were wondering, my father is 100% Asian. (korean)

    I never believed that the back scattering images can be secure. all it takes is a TSA agent with a cell phone camera. Or a eager person with a mirror and a zoom capable camcorder. How do you safe guard against that ?

    I want to see members of congress and their families, all the TSA agents and their families get pat down and/or get their naked picture taken my the scanners. But I am naive to believe that they travel on via commercial airlines, huh ?

    Speaking of children, do they pat down the children too? They Have to. what if a bomb is attached to a child? It is government sanctioned groping of children or production of child pornography. When every child in all the airports get genital patted down by grown men or women. Or get their naked picture taken. Of course, the parents will have to watch all this happening or face a $10,000 fine per refusal. This may sound extreme but think about it.

    It is wrong when my father had to go through it all those years. And it is wrong now.

  • Russ

    The terrorists are winning by increments. They have disrupted the flow of life in this country, convincing us to give away pieces of ourselves. They have motivated our politicians to ignore our collective character, make rash moves and commit horrible mistakes in our name. The terrorists are laughing at us, each step of the way.

    On a practical note, I cannot understand why the units cannot be designed to isolate objects and remove the body image programatically.

  • Outrageous

    All this loss of freedom and dignity because of the Mossad’s false flag attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. Personally, I would rather not fly than be subjected to these searches.

  • scott

    Sure…Majken, I see your point, I was being general to some of these men who freak out if another man so brushes up against them like they are being raped by a gay gang. But this is how it is, sadly..until there is some big change, either from angry customers who protest (like the french) or new privacy laws, or better checks that don’t freak people out. And of course…cavity searching a child….please, you went there, not me, if it gets to that, we are all hosed.

    Outrageous, sure, by all means, you can stay home and see things here over and over. Im going to keep traveling often like I do and if I have to be patted down by some miserable, grumpy minimum wage dude for 30 seconds to get on my plane to Nice, France then so be it because I want to go and will go.

  • Andy Taylor

    I wonder if the TSA agent would be upset if I started to moan, close my eyes, and bit my lip while they were groping my genitals.

  • Jonathan Blaine

    Looks like the US public is finally catching on, but most are still sheep. It is a comparative joy to fly within Canada, but not to the US from Canada. The Canadian government has kowtowed to the US, as if Transport Canada was a division of US Homeland Security. The US government is also missing a revenue opportunity: some people might pay extra if they got their choice of TSA agent. I’m only half joking.

    My January blog about the subject:

    If you want a laugh about this whole thing — that is not too far from the truth in the US — watch this from Rick Mercer:

  • Dunc

    The list of places terrorists could kill a lot of people and have a highly damaging psychological effect is not a short one.

    Indeed. And the fact that they haven’t done so more often makes me suspect that their capabilities are somewhat more limited than we have been led to believe.

  • Jonathan Blaine

    Security expert Bruce Schneier: “Terrorism is rare, far rarer than many people think. It’s rare because very few people want to commit acts of terrorism, and executing a terrorist plot is much harder than television makes it appear. The best defenses against terrorism are largely invisible: investigation, intelligence, and emergency response. But even these are less effective at keeping us safe than our social and political policies, both at home and abroad. However, our elected leaders don’t think this way: they are far more likely to implement security theater against movie-plot threats… If we spend billions defending our rail systems, and the terrorists bomb a shopping mall instead, we’ve wasted our money. If we concentrate airport security on screening shoes and confiscating liquids, and the terrorists hide explosives in their brassieres and use solids, we’ve wasted our money.”

  • NewEnglandBob

    People are such prudes about the whole body scan. Time to grow up and leave Victorian England. Whining needs to stop. No one cares about your shriveled gonads.

  • Eric

    I don’t like it, but I would be willing to accept the scanners as a secondary screening option. Randomly select 10% of the passengers for secondary screening. 90% of passengers will avoid the more invasive procedure but the random selection will serve as deterrence.

    That’s not how they’re being used in my experience, though. I’ve been through the scanners twice, once at Charlotte Douglas and once at Boston Logan. Both times, they were putting everyone from the security line through the scanner (but only 1 or 2 lines had scanners, so the rest were the usual magnetometer). That’s the worst of both worlds.

    Also, I’m 6’4″ and the scanners aren’t tall enough for me. Both times I had to get my arms patted down even after the scanner because they make you raise them above your head. What a dumb design choice! Also, even though you just got scanned, apparently you’re not allowed to do anything like put your hands in your pockets. That also earned me an extra pocket pat-down. Stupid security theater.

  • Strider

    ‘Those who are willing to sacrifice essential liberties for temporary security deserve neither liberty nor security.”
    –Benjamin Franklin

  • William

    Get in your car and drive if you’re that worried about it.

  • ChH

    NewEnglandBob, do you have daughters? I don’t care about people seeing my shriveled gonads, but I don’t want to tell my 10 & 12 year-old daughters: “OK – you can walk in here so someone in that room over there can see through your clothes, or you can go over there and get felt up.” Not acceptable.

  • ChH

    earlier I made a comment about inverting scanner images. There is one image floating around (usually with instructions to invert the image) which, when inverted, is highly NSFW:

    But the rest, including the one with the middle-aged woman with a gun on her rear hip:
    … do not look nearly as explicit as that one when inverted. I now suspect that the image in the first one is bogus – it’s probably just a positive inverted and otherwise photoshopped to look like a scanned image.

  • MB

    The gun would easily be discovered by a standard walk-through metal detector, and the person would then be wanded. This entire argument about this intrusive tech is bogus. It cannot find powder, which is the explosive used by the Christmas bomber.

    Oh, and good luck driving to Hawaii.

  • DC

    There are two sides to every argument and in this case it is civil liberties vs safety.
    One potential solution may be as simple as having 2 sets of flights. For those people that treat safety as a higher concern then they can submit to patdowns and scans and anything else that the powers that be consider necessary. These folks can travel together happy in the knowledge that everything that can be done has been done.
    For those that place civil liberties higher, then they can travel with less restrictive security measures, be happy with the fact that their freedoms are intact and take the risk that a potential terrorist could more easily smuggle certain items on the plane.
    The main downside is the logistics of having two differing sets of routines – but that happens for domestic and international anyway.
    Just my 2 cents …

  • Everett Mann

    Everybody should just fly naked. Think of all the problems this would solve. Religious zealots whether they are Christian, Jewish or Muslim would no longer fly since all of them view nudity as dirty and nasty. Those with body image problems would not fly because they would be uncomfortable sitting next to the “beautiful people”; yes the grossly overweight would “fit” into this category. Airline fares just might get more affordable if it was a true market economy. Ahh the list could go on and on.

  • ChH

    DC – a different way to do essentially the same thing you’re proposing would be to have each airline handle their security in their own way. It would be fascinating to see how people balance safety vs privacy vs price.

  • Doug Nusbaum

    Take laptop. Remove Hard drive. Replace with two gig electronic stick and a lot of explosives. Remove batteries. Replace with a small battery and more explosives.

    Machine turns on at check through and detonates on plane. How exactly would it be detected by scanners.

    The Israelis do not use scanners. Anyone think that they are not targets of terrorists?

    How about this. A prosthetic leg? Find suicide bomber. Amputate leg. Make artificial leg using C4. And I thought of all of this just now on the spur of the moment. If it is this simple for me, I suspect that is why 50% of all attempts by private companies to smuggle “dangerous” items through succeed. Or how about this. 5 terrorists, 5 bottles at 15 oz each and you have a pint of HE.

    But wait. those scanners can actually detect all of this with hidden secrete gov technology about which we are ignorant. And invented and built by santas elves working as subcontractors for Haliburton (Dick Cheney inc.) And Haliburton gets a nice gov check and pays the elves in cookies.

  • DC

    ChH – yes that method would also potentially simplify the logistics issue seeing as most large airlines at the major airports have their own terminals. Another drawback to the plan is that it does not really remove the threat to those on the ground, but then that has mostly been dealt with by the rules regarding entry to the flightdeck.

  • http://none d.l. hICKS

    There have been countless owners of Schools that cater to small children. These so called “owners, and co-workers”, who had to go through extensive background checks. Scores of these Day Care Owners have been arrested and prosecuted for their profound improper touching (under the clothing) of little children who will be scarred for life. Who is to say that many of the people who are hired, after applying for the “pat down” security checks, do not carry deep within their mis-wired brains the minds hidden desire to do the same thing. Let’s ask one of these airline security “feel me where ever they feel a breech of security exist”, if they would freely allow the same ‘touch me where you want’ TO their new bride. Then put him to the true test and find a young man put his hands on, or inside, her most private parts…(who is to say that the security guy felt that he had seen her insert some ridiculous dangerous object “there”, it’s his word against hers. Then see how long it takes the observing airline” Pat down security guy” to punch-out his co-worker!!! This is a sick, silly, answer for this world’s most innovative and intelligent people i have ever heard of. If we can’t collectively find an answer for civilized security for our airlines, maybe we should not even consider flying Commercially. Trains, and buses are slower, but what is your granddaughters future fears and insecurities worth. D.L.H.

  • WTF

    US Dept of Homeland Security boss Napolitano is now defending pat downs of children aged 13-17 at airports and taking naked scans of them, even private parts. Welcome to America, land of the free. Gee, now closet pedophiles have a government job career path with “perks.” And that is not a joke. It’s a scary reality.

  • Nethinim

    This is all foolishness. Certainly being patted down or being scanned will be awkward for some, but it is necessary. You do have the option not to fly as inconviniant as that may be.
    We have given the T.S.A. the job of watching out for us, we must let them do their job. Granted, as agents of the United States Government they may be innept, but no more so than any other agency.
    During recent medical procedures I repeatedly have been gropped. proded and probed for extended periods. Yes, it is awkward, but for a good reason. Fortunatly nothing has been found as will be the case in most of the Air Port screenings.
    I seriously doubt that anyone is getting their jolly’s out of this.

  • JT

    What kind of background checks to the people who are patting us down go through?
    Is Junk Toucher a new job title?

  • Christine

    I was at Charlotte-Douglas airport with my 7 year old daughter, and I would not allow her or myself to go through the full body scanner. The only other option was for them to pat us down. Disgusting, Disgusting!!!!

    The only reason why we fly is because we have to!!!

    I am court-ordered to bring my daughter to NC for her father’s visitation(since the judge made the child do the traveling, ridiculous!)

    Otherwise, I wouldn’t go through any of this to get on a plane.

    It’s such a violation and what does this teach children? That its okay to be touched?


  • JimBo

    I agree with the sentiments of “Follow the Money”. There has to be another solution, and I also understand that airline travel is a privilege not a right. I agree that it is likely that terrorists will seek out other targets of opportunity. Therefore it seems as though prevention is the likely key, but our agencies are only as good as the information they receive- aren’t they. We are occasionally upset about the revelation that our emails and telephone calls are monitored, but the dust will settle and we go on with life and forget. I am not comfortable with being scanned, or with “enhanced” molestation. I will drive where I can. I won’t be the only one. There are such things as boats if I want to get to Hawaii, or anywhere else overseas for that matter.

  • Mark

    Eventually all air travelers subject to TSA jurisdiction will be stripped naked, subjected to both x-rays and full body-cavity searches, and then issued orange prison-style jumpsuits to be worn during the flight.
    Laugh all you like — you know it’s coming. No lesser measures can ever keep us “safe” from terrorists.
    The biggest problem here is the attitude of our elected officials. Their main concern is not prevention of terrorism, but rather avoidance of blame. The result is that no screening measure, however ineffective or intrusive, will be rejected on those grounds. Instead, every imaginable screening measure will be implemented, because what the officials fear most is being blamed for failing to prevent an attack.

  • Brian Too

    You know, I would reluctantly accept the necessity of this if the security results were good. Really good. As in, it catches 99.999% of the bad people.

    However I keep seeing stories of how there are big holes in the system, and unauthorized people getting through, and concerned whistleblowers getting badly treated for telling the truth.

    It makes me think this is all just a bad approach to securing the system, and the indignities aren’t getting results.

  • Naveed

    I read that someone up there said the terrorists won. The terrorists did win, but they’re wrong about why, the terrorists didn’t win because people are upset about their freedoms being taken and demand that they don’t have to be searched at the airport. The terrorists won because they gave the government another reason to take our freedom away, to molest us at airports, to treat 300 million people like criminals everyday because 12 people from Saudi Arabia decided to hijack some planes. Sometimes you have to choose between safety and freedom. I’d rather have freedom!

  • Daniel

    Just another example of the pussification of the USA. Some of you people need to get over yourselves. I bet for 90% of you, it’s more of a disgusting experience for the person doing the exam than it is for you. It’s not “groping” or “molesting” unless it is done for those purposes. They are doing it for the purpose of safety. I have a daughter, and I’d rather her get a 30-second exam over risking her safety any day. Ten seconds after you get the exam, the person who did it already forgot about you.

    Are you people who oppose this so fiercely the same people who go to the doctor and refuse to have a physical exam? Those patients crack me up.

  • Jenn

    I’m disappointed by how there’s not much thought given to how triggering both forms of security protocol (the scanning and the pat downs) could be to rape victims. It’s like shouts of ‘terrorism!’ make people completely forget the potential abuse of power that could happen when something like this is put into place. It’s naive to think this is genuinely done for the sake of national security – I’m certain it’s more psychological play to make travellers used to the idea of not having rights.

    1. There are already horrifying incidences of how a woman who is a rape survivor got trigerred by a pat down and how the TSA refused to assign a female agent for her:
    2. and there’s also an incident of a 9 year old boy being scared by a TSA agent who targeted him for a pat down even after he went through a scanner:
    3. Not to mention how violating this is to the rights of transgender people travelling. I can’t imagine the level of trans and gender fail that could take place as a result of TSA agents (the majority of whom I’m guessing like the wider population, don’t give much thought to trans issues) being able to see genitalia of all passengers.

    It’s an outrageous violation of bodily autonomy rights and I hope US citizens stand up to end this.

  • Concerned

    My 8 year old daughter wanted to go on an airplane trip, just for the experience. I did have intentions of just picking some weekend, going to the airport, buying two tickets to anywhere, and then going for a ride.
    Now with the new scanners in place, there is NO chance that I am going to have my daughter go through either the scanner or the pat down.

    I am glad that I got some international travel in myself before the scanners became part of our society.

    I really hope that the airlines tank. We really don’t need more checkpoints in our society. What is next? Buses?

    To be honest, I am now expecting the next terrorist attack to be in the security lines. Terrorists typically pick targets that either have high kills or high impact on mental states. With the long waits in line there is definitely both.

  • SecurityPerson

    So if the images are not saved or stored anywhere, then explain the leaks of multiple images.

    Simply enough if 2 people are getting scanned, then person 1 gets scanned and the image is temporarily stored to analyze, then person 2 gets scanned and the scanned image of person 2 replaces the scanned image from person 1. Ideally there should be at most one image in the scanner at the end of the day if the images are not being stored.
    If this process is the case then seeing multiple images on the internet implies that there is a problem with our airport security because multiple airports are leaking their final image to the public.
    If the process is not the case, then one can conclude that a lot more information is being stored than the TSA wants you to know.

    If the images are being stored, then security can easily add your driver’s license/passport information to the stored image…

  • Mark


    Your 8yr old daughter is exempt from pat downs. Kids under 12 are not subject to physical pat downs.

  • Concerned

    Ok. So if under 12 are not able to be pat down, then that means they have ZERO choice for the scanner? Way to go America for limiting/eliminating our freedom of choice!

    I am in the “opt out” category. So if I opt out, then my daughter opts out. So she gets by free and clear or cannot fly?

    Either way, I don’t exactly want someone patting me down while my daughter watches.

  • randrand


  • randrand


  • randrand


  • Kelvin Schmelmer

    Hi there, I read your blog frequently and usually your articles are incredibly readable on the other hand this particular one just did not seem like you took your time with it. I don’t want to turn out to be rude — just simply providing some constructive suggestions. My apologies.


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