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The response to the stepped up TSA screening procedures have been less than enthusiastic lately.

A few days ago, a San Diego man, refusing to submit to a full-body X-ray, recorded his run-in with TSA officials in which he refused to be searched during an enhanced pat-down procedure. According to reports, blogger, Johnny Edge, claims he was pulled out of line and asked to go through a backscatter X-ray machine. When he refused, he was told he would have to be patted down. According to Edge, he was informed that the search would consist of a TSA officer “running [his] hands up the inside of my legs until they felt my groin.” Mr. Edge wasn’t having that. Instead of quietly submitting to the search, he told the TSA officer, “If you touch my junk, I’ll have you arrested.”

Score for one for the little guy.

If the TSA thought the press on their new search procedures couldn’t get any worse, they were wrong. Today, news broke that a three-year-old girl was subjected to a pat down while trying to clear the metal detectors at a Tennessee airport. It all started when three-year-old Many Simon wouldn’t let go of her teddy bear to allow it to be scanned. After it was taken from her for screening, her father recalls she had a “tough time” going through the metal detectors and set it off twice. Instead of pulling the toddler and her family aside to investigate and perhaps screen them again (and without scaring the child), the TSA official patted Mandy down to make sure she wasn’t hiding anything suspicious. You know, like fruit snacks and crayons.

At the center of the debate over the new TSA procedures are the new full-body X-ray machines. These backscatter machines produce life-like, naked images of travelers, and help officials to spot suspicious items. However, they also give travelers reason for concern. Despite reassuring the public that their images will never be saved or made public, Gizmodo.com reports that over 35,000 X-ray images from machines similar to those used in airports were saved by U.S. Marshalls at a Florida courthouse. A hundred images have been leaked to the media. This makes us wonder just how safe TSA screened images will be.

The TSA’s enhanced screening procedures have been met with great controversy and have many worried about traveling over the upcoming holidays. Although the government has the difficult task of keeping the public safe,  some say the new rules are invasive and go too far.

What do you think? Are you worried about the new procedures? Sound Off!

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  • Simon

    Passenger security is only one small part of overall airport security. A gaping hole exists in the cleaning and maintaining of aircraft.

    Being a hard and low paid job, many immigrants fill cleaning jobs but often only last a short time before quitting. As an aircraft mechanic I saw the turnover of staff was very high. Every night these people brought vacuum cleaners onto several aircraft every night. Easily large enough to store guns or bombs. It would be easy to store guns and bombs in the aircraft for a passenger later in the day. Then there is my fellow mechanics, of all ages, races and religions. Many panels are quick release in the cabin and if a mechanic decided to store a gun on a plane for later use it would be simple. Mechanics and cleaners pass through security many times in an evening and learn security routines well, well enough to circumvent them.

    Easiest of all for the ill intentioned is, planes are often cleaned and repaired in lower security maintenance areas (such as a Heathrow, London) where the only security check between a parking lot and an aircraft is an unmanned, electronic card swipe.

    The TSA checks on passengers are required, but they do not need to be so intrusive as other tech does exist such as the sniffing machines and swabs. Chemical detection is by far the safest way to detect bombs. The increased safety checks are not increasing your security. The new scanners and the pat downs apparently do nothing to prevent bombs being smuggled in body cavities. You only need a few collaborators and you can smuggle enough explosive to rupture an aircraft skin. After all the structural thickness is only 1/16 inch thick alloy.

    Passenger security checks are to make you feel safe when flying, they don’t make you safer! They only prevent very dumb unorganized criminals, you only have to be slightly less dumb to get guns or bombs on board. All it takes is a fundamentalist without a criminal record who can get a job at an airport or a current employee who can be radicalized.

    I support the stand against this machine and procedure but for a different reason. They are less secure.

  • EDTesq

    I have a young daughter and I would be livid if she was subject to a pat down. Security or not, that can be tramatic for a child (and adult) b/c someone is touching your genitalia – even if on official business. I understand the desire to give people a sense of security. However, I think that not only should people’s privacy be respected, but also their person. As it relates to children, the elderly and those that may not be able to speak up for themselves, I truly believe they need to review the process; along with allowing a forum for people to file complaints if they feel the TSA officer has been excessive.

    As far as the X-ray machines are concerned – I’m not really vexed by the idea of them looking at an abstract image of my body. I’m worry about the exposure to an X-ray. When you have X-Rays at the dentist of your teeth you wear a vest to protect your organs so they won’t receive exposure. This is exposing your entire body, even at low doses. I’m more concerned with the long term effects of the X-ray, rather than someone looking at an outline of my body and all of its imperfections.

  • Me27

    These procedures are overboard. I understand we need to be mindful of possible terroist attacks and TSA is only doing their part in securing our nation. However, this is going WAY TOO FAR. It’s insane that they just expect us to slowly give up all of our personal rights as citizens all under the guise of protecting this country. I am not a criminal and i refuse to be treated as such.

    The use of x-rays and this new invasive pat down are definite reasons for me to reconsider flying anywhere. When I get ready to go home for the holiday’s, i think i might just consider taking the train.

  • Ed pontiff

    The governments will To do to me whatever it feels it wants to do to me ends @ the tip of my nose. No one in this country has the right to put their hands on you if do not allow it. And that includes not wanting back scatter radiation forced on your body. Trust the government yea right.

  • Derpper

    Going to far?? Nah, never! Why, they could have hid a bomb in that kid… Heck, the kid could have been the bomb!! Wake up people, even though the towers came down at free fall speed ( including tower seven, just fire… I suggest you smarten up and look into a little thing called physics and also look into engineering ) they killed 3,000 people already.

    So, be sure you let them pat down the kids, they strip searched an 8 year old in front of everyone already ( google it ) and make sure they get to see your every nook. We don’t want a terrorist hiding in your kid..

    Of course it’s going to far. People that buy into this are dumb as a brick and enjoy security theater.They don’t mind wire taps without warrants, why would they care about their kids being diddled? Mean time, borders are wide open and of no concern, despite the huge amount of border violence and border hoppers… You people are soooooo stupid… Now I digress.