Monday, November 22, 2010

BQOTD- New Airport Security Guidelines

There's been a lot of buzz in the news recently about the new TSA airport security regulations--the backscatter machine and the aggressive pat-downs that went into affect on Nov 1st. Some of the common concerns that I've heard are:

-Heightened radiation exposure with the full body scanners
-Concerns that the "naked" images of us or our children can be saved (TSA officials say that they cannot, but a similar machine in a Florida courthouse apparently had thousands of saved images when it was dismantled).
-Concerns about the aggressive pat-downs if you elect not to use the backscatter machines (or apparently if there is not a backscatter machine at your airport), which focus on genital areas.
-The fact that, apparently, once you "begin" the TSA screening process by getting in line, you MUST finish it. If you are uncomfortable with the screening process, ask for it to be stopped, and just elect not to fly, you are subject to an $11,000 fine. 

So I'm curious--what do you think of the new procedures? Are they a necessary evil to protect national security? Do you associate more with Benjamin Franklin's famous quote that those who would give up liberty for security deserve neither? Have you flown since the new regulations came into affect?


  1. Hi Meredith!

    The new TSA Program to Examine Random Voyagers (PERV) has lured Tiger Woods for airport screener duties - SHOCKING details at:

    Peace! :-)

  2. I'm kind of in the camp that I will do whatever for safety.. I haven't thought too much into it, but I usually go with the flow and to be honest and if it takes "naked pictures" of me saved on some thing to be sure people are scanned & we are safe then whatevs. I haven't read much about the radiation exposure, but I don't think we fly enough for it to matter. I'd probably be more upset if I was a frequent flyer :)

    I don't really get riled up about security procedures and feel so bad for TSA agents who are just doing their jobs & get chewed out.

  3. I am by no means concerned about them seeing my naked body. I'm a lot more concerned about the radiation. I travel pretty frequently and don't know that it's necessary to continue exposing myself to that kind of screening for the sake of safety. Many of my male coworkers plan on getting patted down to avoid the radiation as well. I think they're overdoing it just a bit though. I've had a pat down before and it wasn't invasive...if that's all they did, I'd be fine.

  4. I think it's all a bit much. What about children who have their bodies scanned over and over? Exposing them to so much radiation is not good. When Jaxon had xrays last month, they made sure to cover all my husbands genitalia with a plate, and the xray tech did the same. It shouldn't be any different at airports. I can tell you that we will not be flying anymore unless we have to.

    I had a pat down in Little Rock and it wasn't awful, but I can only imagine doing it with a child. It was bad enough with Moe. They made me hold my arms straight out and "dangle" Moe in the air while they checked my bra. Really?

    Also, I realize that they say this is all for the sake of "safety" but really? Read this article on ABC news... I know that these are "rare" cases, but it shouldn't happen period!

  5. Nice topic! I've heard lots about the new machines, even on my gossip talk radio station!

    For adults, I don't see the problem. I have flown with the new guidelines and didn't find anything offensive with the patdown I got. I would have no problem going through the new xray machine either, but I don't think they are doing anything more to protect our safety than the other machines did. If I were an adult victim of sexual assault I would surely object to any form of a patdown, so I wouldn't fly.

    For kids, they should be excused from all patdowns. It is a little intrusive for adults to be putting their hands on kids in awkward situations.

    I think all people should be okay just going through the standard xray machine or for adults getting the patdown.

  6. Im more concerned about the radiation and my child than anything else. For as long as I can remember, I for whatever reason, ALWAYS get singled out and patted down at airports. To the point that they would doublecheck the underwire in my bra. I dont see how many of the 'new' procedures are much different than the old ones, other than now its everyone.

  7. I keep seeing the close up of a woman being given a "pat down" played over and over on our morning news. The TSA agent is rubbing their hands between her breasts and then sticking their fingers in the waistband of her pants. It makes me uncomfortable watching the video let alone having this done to me in public. I don't fly much as my family is all withing a couple hour drive. Besides, I'm sure our small airport won't have the scanners available for quite some time. I really wouldn't care about the "naked" pictures, but the radiation is a concern. Anyone know the policy for pregnant women? What about babies?

  8. I am currently in Florida, and on my way here, I did not have to be patted down, but seeing the videos of it on the news makes me uncomfortable. I think kids should be excused from it completely. It is just not necessary in my opinion to subject children to that.

  9. I think they don't really know how much radiation they are exposing us to. It is not a medical device it has not been tested for side effects. It is like with cell phones. They were out for years and then we hear all this uproar about how they could be causing cancer. Don't get me wrong I have a cell phone, but this sort of thing should be tested before people are expected to go through it. Also, the whole fine thing. We should have the right to object and not fly do they think we are going to get in the line just to get a kick and then back out at the last minute, what is the point of the fine? It is invasive and this sort of thing needs to go through a more extensive approval process. If someone can stick their hands in your bra in the name of security there is a problem.

  10. They are a huge violation of our civil rights, and probably don't really help keep us any safer, to boot.

    What it does do is keep people (stupid people) thinking that the government is keeping them safer. It's an extremely expensive placebo.

    Haven't flown through them yet, but, should the occasion arise, I'm planning to make them pat me down so that I can file a complaint with the ACLU.

    So, yeah, not so much a fan of these "security" regulations.


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