TSA Says 'You Might Be A Terrorist If... You Complain About The TSA'

from the seriously-guys? dept

Ah, the TSA. Apparently among the "behavioral factors" that the TSA uses in determining who might be a criminal or a terrorist is... if you complain about the TSA. I guess that means I'm in line for some extra scrutiny. Honestly, though, this sounds a lot more like punitive action against people who complain, rather than a legitimate characteristic of someone who deserves extra scrutiny. Specifically, one of the factors is if someone is:
"Very arrogant and expresses contempt against airport passenger procedures."
An ACLU person quoted in the article wonders if this violates the First Amendment, in that it's going after someone for expressing their opinion:
"Expressing your contempt about airport procedures -- that's a First Amendment-protected right," said Michael German, a former FBI agent who now works as legal counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union. "We all have the right to express our views, and particularly in a situation where the government is demanding the ability to search you."

"It's circular reasoning where, you know, I'm going to ask someone to surrender their rights; if they refuse, that's evidence that I need to take their rights away from them. And it's simply inappropriate," he said.
Honestly, you'd have to think that a real terrorist or criminal, hoping to avoid calling attention to themselves, wouldn't be openly hostile to the search procedure, but would try to be quiet and blend in. Perhaps the TSA will defend this latest ridiculousness by saying it's all okay because it's standard operating procedure.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2011 @ 6:30pm

    Just let them do their jobs

    After all, they've caught so many terrorists with these and other methods. From now on I will ask any TSA agent trying to start a conversation with me if they are a SPOT agent and thank them for their hard work and dedication. You should too!

     

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    MrWilson, Apr 15th, 2011 @ 6:50pm

    TSA strategy is simple. Make air travel as unbearable as possible for as many people as possible so fewer will fly. Thus, the thinking goes, the terrorists will realize that they can't get as high a terrifying bodycount and will move on to targeting something else. Of course the airlines already tried this strategy for years, but it doesn't seem to dissuade passengers from flying.

    Scan em naked, grope em, take their bottled water, grope their kids, feed em plastic food, charge for peanuts, steal their luggage, skullfuck their personal dignity, expose their prosthetics, break their colostomy bags, throw away their shampoo bottles... American air travelers are nothing if not masochists.

     

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      harbingerofdoom (profile), Apr 16th, 2011 @ 6:21am

      Re:

      personally? i drove to las vegas last time i went because of all this.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 16th, 2011 @ 9:00am

        Re: Re:

        The spouse and I are empty nesters, cash on hand to do some travelling if we wanted. We could fly around the US or to another country, been saving our pennies for a nice vacation this year.

        We decided to just rent a house in Jersey on the beach, an hour away by car, since I won't even consider the possibility of going through this TSA crap.

         

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          The Devil's Coachman (profile), Apr 17th, 2011 @ 6:58am

          Re: Re: Re:

          We are also empty nesters. We plan to never fly anywhere for the rest of our lives. We've been there, done that enough, and to have to submit to the TSA Gestapo every time is so grossly insulting to human dignity that we will not participate. The genetically deranged subhumans who run the TSA should themselves be imprisoned for their crimes, but since we now live in a pretty close to fascist state, that will never happen.

          Screw the airlines, and the TSA. I even refuse to fly for business, and have legitimate health reason for it, even though it probably wouldn't be that big a deal. Nonetheless, why even take the slightest risk of an adverse reaction to it?

          If I do go to Europe, the Caribbean, and elsewhere, I will take a boat. Yeah, it takes more time. I have the time. I will gladly waste it whilst enjoying myself. To me, the act of flying is like the act of vomiting. Sometimes you might have no choice, but if you do, you won't do either.

           

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      FormerAC (profile), Apr 16th, 2011 @ 7:23am

      Re:

      If I were a terrorist, I would wait until the next big travel holiday (day before Thanksgiving, Christmas week, spring break, etc) and go to the biggest airport with the longest lines at security. Then I would blow myself up in the middle of the security line. Should be a nice addition to the security theater, don't ya think?

       

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    Nicedoggy, Apr 15th, 2011 @ 6:51pm

    I think the government will have a hard time trying to do anything even if it is useful if they continue down that path, they are damaging their public image and probably nobody will trust them to do anything and will move to block anything they try to do.

    And it already happen a dozen times already.

     

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      Chris Rhodes (profile), Apr 15th, 2011 @ 7:16pm

      Re:

      I think the government will have a hard time trying to do anything even if it is useful if they continue down that path, they are damaging their public image and probably nobody will trust them to do anything and will move to block anything they try to do.

      You assume that public anger or resentment will change anything.

       

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    Liz, Apr 15th, 2011 @ 6:55pm

    There's still plenty of other amendments to the U.S. Constitution. They can't possibly break them all can they?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2011 @ 7:12pm

      Re:

      Give them enough time, and they'll find a way to break them all at once. Yes, that includes the 18th and 21st.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 16th, 2011 @ 12:59am

      Re:

      I'm already getting sick of hearing about the constitution.

      When are people going to realize and understand that the constitution isn't actually written for us but for them (the capitalists)? That explains alot about what's going on recently.

       

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      arcan, Apr 16th, 2011 @ 8:01am

      Re:

      if they can break the 21st amendment or the 27th or the presidential election ones i will be impressed

       

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    CSMcDonald (profile), Apr 15th, 2011 @ 7:09pm

    Waiting for them to consider submitting quietly and politely to be suspicious behavior that warrants more intrusive checking.

     

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    Atkray (profile), Apr 15th, 2011 @ 7:10pm

    But wait it gets better

    Napolitano wants to unionize the TSA.

     

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    V, Apr 15th, 2011 @ 7:16pm

    Goosestepping anyone?

    Much like the Nazi Secret Police or the KGB, complaining about or avoiding the Secret Police is nearly an admission of guilt... and worthy of... detention.

     

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    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Apr 15th, 2011 @ 7:16pm

    The first rule of security theater is...

    You do not talk about security theater.

     

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    BuzzCoastin, Apr 15th, 2011 @ 7:25pm

    Is the TSA still part of the Chinese government?

    Is the TSA still part of the Chinese government? It has been recently reported that China is locking-up dissident complainers. I wonder if the PRC policy now extends to the TSA; it seems it does.

    Good work Comrade Napolitano; Mao would be proud of you.

     

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    abc gum, Apr 15th, 2011 @ 7:33pm

    The TSA are clearly retarded

     

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      Angry Puppy (profile), Apr 17th, 2011 @ 7:29am

      Re:

      Now, now, now...That's politically incorrect.

      The proper term is: "Constitutionally Challenged"

      or "Republican".

       

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      known coward, Apr 18th, 2011 @ 12:29pm

      Re:

      You owe the retarded an apology.

      The "retarded" are not doing this to america. It is the TSA. Started under the republican Bush, and going full steam ahead under Obama the democrat.

      The mentally disabled deserve your help not insults.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2011 @ 7:44pm

    It's efficient on the governments part. After they take a crap on the 4th amendment they can "clean up" with the first amendment. Only 25 left to go.

     

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    misterdoug (profile), Apr 15th, 2011 @ 10:10pm

    It's like those "You might be a redneck" jokes

    except not funny.

     

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    misterdoug (profile), Apr 15th, 2011 @ 10:27pm

    How does the government prioritize problems?

    Shouldn't "Transportation Safety" include not getting creamed on the highway by some drunken asshole? That happens about 20,000 times a year -- a 9/11 every two months. For some reason we've never had a multi-billion dollar War On Drunken Assholes. Funny thing.

    This kind of makes sense though, because drunk driving deaths don't affect the economy as much as an equivalent number of deaths from (much more spectacular) airplane hijackings. People would be afraid to fly, the air travel industry would collapse, devastating the tourism industry and the businesses that feed off it. The ripple effect would be huge.

    It seems plain that the TSA's primary purpose is to protect the economy, not the public. I'm not saying that's a bad goal. Let's just be honest about it. Protecting the economy is a higher priority than protecting the public.

     

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      G Thompson (profile), Apr 15th, 2011 @ 11:32pm

      Re: How does the government prioritize problems?

      If the TSA's goal is to protect the US economy, then the TSA has failed dismally and any US citizen who doesn't show contempt for them should be ashamed of themselves.

      Though I am not surprised that the TSa state that anyone who shows contempt of them is scrutinised more than normal since the USG themselves classify any country/individual/organisation that queries their international (and domestic) practices and hypocritical stance on Human Rights, Freedom of Expression, Right of Quiet Enjoyment, Right of Religious and Sexual freedom, Democratic ability for a country to set their OWN laws that might be restrictive to US interests (oh the horror) as a form of Terrorism.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 16th, 2011 @ 11:47pm

      Re: How does the government prioritize problems?

      Shouldn't "Transportation Safety" include not getting creamed on the highway by some drunken asshole? That happens about 20,000 times a year -- a 9/11 every two months. For some reason we've never had a multi-billion dollar War On Drunken Assholes. Funny thing.

      Or people who use cellphones while driving, which is even more dangerous. Just shows that it's really all about politics, not safety.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2011 @ 11:49pm

    Any real rationale for this wouldn't even make sense. What kind of terrorist is going to make a scene complaining while attempting to bypass security?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2011 @ 11:53pm

    Terrorists already won. They got American citizens to violate each others' rights - anyone working for the DHS may as well be one in my book.

     

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    That Anonymous Coward, Apr 16th, 2011 @ 5:10am

    I read these stories and I find myself terrified to fly ever again.
    I am afraid of being felt up, robbed, irradiated, humiliated, "detained without being detained", showing resentment at being treated poorly will lead to worse treatment, and this is wrong.

    In the push to stop the terrorists, they have become just as bad, if not worse, than what they claim to be protecting us from.

    They are terrorizing the populace, shouldn't they be detaining themselves?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 16th, 2011 @ 6:12am

    Laws were made to protect the powerful, thats something Obama will not CHANGE.

     

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    Shon Gale (profile), Apr 16th, 2011 @ 6:16am

    The real question is: Do you feel any safer?

     

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      FormerAC (profile), Apr 16th, 2011 @ 7:27am

      Safer?

      From TFA ...

      For every person correctly identified as a "high risk" traveler by (the behavior detection officers), 86 were misidentified

      86 to one false positive ratio. Outstanding job officer!!!


      Even better, still from TFA ...

      The Accountability Office said it looked at 23 occasions in which 16 individuals -- people later charged with terrorism-related activities -- passed through high-threat airports. None is known to have been identified.

      SO, 86 false positives for every "high risk" person identified. Yet still not a single terrorist?

      So we have naked scanners that can't find a gun. Behavioral profiling which incorrectly targets 86 people for every one they correctly identify, and 23 known cases of terrorists going through our "security" and not one was identified.

      Yeah, safer, that's the word I'm looking for ...

       

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    abc gum, Apr 16th, 2011 @ 7:01am

    Terrorize Society Association

     

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    William Jackson, Apr 16th, 2011 @ 7:49am

    This is why I did not push to investigate what happened to my son's PS3 which was stolen out of his checked luggage. I made one call and was told there was no way a TSA employee could have taken anything out of a bag. Total BULLSh£T

     

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      wnyght (profile), Apr 16th, 2011 @ 9:41am

      Re:

      You know, it's almost safer to UPS something you would like to take with you on vacation if it's valuable than it is to check it with TSA. I think I would pay the extra price for a safer feeling of my belongings.... Too bad I cant UPS myself.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 16th, 2011 @ 2:23pm

        Re: Re:

        I've read on a camera forum that nothing has ever been stolen if the checked luggage that includes a declared firearm. The TSA doesn't want bad press from anything coming up missing from luggage like that and they mark the luggage clearly as having a firearm inside.

        The best bet they say is to pack a starter pistol since they are small and no place in the U.S. includes them in handgun bans, but they still qualify as a firearm by the TSA. You would also need the same kind of (lockable?) handgun case or something, it can't just be loose in your luggage, and unloaded of course.

         

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      Vincent Clement (profile), Apr 16th, 2011 @ 11:11am

      Re:

      It is total bullshit. Had a small multi-tool removed from checked baggage. The TSA website clearly says it is allowed in checked baggage. But upon arriving at Disney World, it was missing.

       

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    Chris in Utah (profile), Apr 16th, 2011 @ 9:41am

    So i just watched Hop with the kids. Does that make the writers/producers and actors terrorist for openly snubbing working at the TSA looking at ads for work?

    I really got a laugh out of it too; come and get me, come and get me, come and get me.

     

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    Jesse (profile), Apr 16th, 2011 @ 10:04am

    Behavioral Guide to Identifying Abusive Government Organizations

    Behavioral Guide to Identifying Abusive Government Organizations:

    "Very arrogant and expresses contempt against airport passengers."

     

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    Griff (profile), Apr 16th, 2011 @ 11:21am

    No imagination

    The problem here with the TSA appears to be the stable door syndrome. They are trying to prevent 9/11, but locked cockpit doors and everyone knowing that hijackers don't just want to be taken somewhere will stop that ever happening again.

    9/11 succeeded because they were organised, motivated and had the element of surprise. Apart from some idiotic shoe bomber type incidents (ie poorly organised and no real element of surprise), we don't know of any real attempts at a major attack since 9/11.

    If the next event is as completely unexpected as a mode of attack as the last one was, it won't be prevented by security that works like this.

    The reason I worry is because I have no confidence in law enforcement (or Government)'s imagination.

     

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      Christopher (profile), Apr 16th, 2011 @ 8:27pm

      Re: No imagination

      You cannot prevent mass murders from happen, to be blunt. You can only clean up after the fact and MAYBE change some security things so that the holes that were there, aren't there anymore.

      In this case, they did that by PUTTING SUPER-STRENGTH DOORS ON THE COCKPITS OF THE PLANES!

       

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    Neil (SM), Apr 16th, 2011 @ 4:16pm

    nonsense

    First of all, the law and courts have made it clear (at least in the non-airport real world) that refusal of a search does not constitute probable cause or grounds for a warrant. Obviously this isn't about warrants since the TSA doesn't need those for some reason, but in terms of principles this seems like it should fall along those same lines.

    Second of all, it's absolutely ridiculous. Like you said, a real terrorist would not be going out of his/her way to draw attention to himself and would be trying to get through security checkpoints as quickly and quietly as possible. This is purely either a punitive measure or simply meant as a deterrent for possible complainants. They're letting the public know to keep your mouth shut and take it...or else.

     

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    Brian, Apr 16th, 2011 @ 4:41pm

    The same is true of police/civilian interaction.

    America the Police State

    Wooo

     

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    amaress, Apr 16th, 2011 @ 10:02pm

    I made it all the way through security a couple months ago with a butterfly knife in my purse I'd completely forgotten about. On the way there and on the way back.

     

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    JeroenW (profile), Apr 17th, 2011 @ 6:25am

    Reminds me of the DSLR user = terrorist witch hunt

    This reminds me of the convoluted reasoning we saw a lot between 2007 and 2010. If you went somewhere crowded to take pictures with a DSLR without a press pass you must be some terrorist coming to scout the site for the next attack. Never mind that any terrorist with enough brains to clean an AK-47 would use a cheap compact or a cellphone.

     

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    Michael, Apr 17th, 2011 @ 7:28am

    Doesn't affect me

    Since all this crazy security, I don't get on a flight that lands in the US. I don't vacation there, I don't even cross border shop anymore. I don't know how they think this kind of thing is any good during a recession. I will just spend my money elsewhere.

     

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    Jet, Apr 17th, 2011 @ 8:30am

    HEY TSA...YOU SUCK!

    Just couldn't help myself. You see, I haven't been getting much lately, so I figured I'd speak out against the TSA, get classified as a terrorist, and look forward to my next trip through airport security. Well, I'm off to take some pictures of farm animals.

     

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    Michael Lockyear (profile), Apr 17th, 2011 @ 9:36am

    When you treat the people as enemies of state, then the enemies of state tend to become the people (...with apologies to Commander Adama...)

     

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    RcCypher, Apr 17th, 2011 @ 10:07am

    Sounds like TSA.....

    has a case of Mccarthyism. Their own personal flavor of course. I wonder if they'll start searching people because they suspect them of being socialist.

     

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    CJ (profile), Apr 17th, 2011 @ 5:10pm

    well...

    You know the one that complains too much, and accuses to often, is usually the guilty one. So... TSA what do you have to be guilty about?

     

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    Adam, Apr 18th, 2011 @ 10:16am

    Scary

    How many people need to have their freedoms taken away before they revolt in masses?

    I used to have contempt for organisation like the UCLA but government is growing to the point were we need better checks and balances to protect individuals rights.

    Do not fear your government, the government should fear you.

     

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    retired cop, Oct 30th, 2011 @ 2:25am

    tsa

    I was raised in an airline family. My dad was a pilot and carried a 357 magnum in the cockpit routinely and checked passenger firearms in a locker near the cockpit, until the feds told the airline that was an employee firing offense. Flying was once fun, exciting, and respectable. I once flew on Aeroflot in the USSR in 1968. Cattle car conditions in an old converted Tupelev 104 bomber, but I was allowed my shotgun as a carry-on item.

    It has degenerated to the Soviet standards except here just like guun laws, the "easy" ones "we the people" are punished. Flying is like going to jail: the TSA remove your shoes, belt, search you, you are one of many unhappy people in a crowded area, your overseers are rude, intellectually challenged, rules made up to suit the occasion, the food sucks or is non existent, confined with uncertainty of getting out of there. They may be arming each TSA "security officer". The Federal grant money from Wash. DC corrupts the local police into protecting the fed system & money source. I never have had a beef with the TSA, people, but they are "obeying orders" (the the Nuremburg war crimes defence) coming from the DC Nazis-in-charge. I do not like to fly, esp. on an airline that goes along with such crap and is operated by lawyers and bureaucrats.

    Now they are checking trains and highways......just because it's there......???

     

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    soo keong chean, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 7:32am

    Malaysia is a proven terrorism within/born with

    14/12/2011 Wednesday
    Today I went to Sri Manjung Hospital and an Indian male medical officer said proudly, India country quietly approach to the queen of kingdom of heaven, ask and she replied " Is to be a terrorist or die " If the medical officer worked very hard and diligent to obtain vast of knowledge and speaks very much English and at golden age and a rubber stamp to practice by respect, then what is the very bottom people of kueh keling by millions ? Value of judgement ? Malaysia is a real 3rd world nation. Satisfaction Guaranteed.....3rd World because it is the Country that is of no good. The peoples are just bloody fools.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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