TSA Insists That It Doesn't Pick Hot Women Out For Extra Scrutiny

from the no-really dept

The TSA apparently has heard enough of various claims that its agents have been giving... um... "special attention" to attractive women making their way through airport security, and has issued a clear denial that the TSA ever focuses on looks, rather than security. In the specific case they're discussing, in which a woman claimed that she was forced to go through a body scanner three times, the TSA says that it happened so long ago that there aren't any specifics to go on. However, it does note that the machines at that airport are not the infamous "nudie scanners" but rather the newer machines that don't show a person's direct scan (and that these images are viewable by the person being scanned):
It does seem likely that the TSA is correct that the claims of this woman being put through a scanner for prurient purposes may have been exaggerated, but that doesn't mean that attractive people aren't necessarily called out for extra attention. The TSA categorically denies this possibility, but how would it know? It's not like TSA agents have a particularly good track record in obeying the law. Could there have been a situation where someone sent a woman through the scanner multiple times not to see the scan, but to keep paying her special attention? That seems much harder to rule out, and nothing in the TSA's post even acknowledges that possibility.

Either way, the blog post also notes that the woman did not file a complaint at the time, and suggests that if you have a problem, you should do so. Perhaps the TSA's Blogger Bob has never traveled like us "normal" people, but the whole process of getting through security is often such a hassle, the last thing you want to do after finally being allowed into the gate area is to continue dealing with the TSA and/or to provoke further scrutiny. As we've seen in the past, the TSA also does not have the best record when it comes to responding to those who complain about its activities.

I'm sure Blogger Bob believes that the TSA doesn't give special attention to attractive passengers, but perhaps it's time to acknowledge that the entire security theater setup is open to such charges because of how poorly designed it is?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 2:08pm

    TSA is watching!

    again and again and again............

     

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  2.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Feb 16th, 2012 @ 2:18pm

    Hehehehe

    Suddenly, today's Cyanide & Happiness seems pretty relevant...

     

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

  3.  
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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Feb 16th, 2012 @ 2:19pm

    Try a few times

    The more attractive people they send through (multiple times) the better chance that an anomaly or "random" flag will lead to a secondary search. I wouldn't think Senator Rand Paul much of a hunk to get additional screening, though.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 2:26pm

    Breaking News: Minimum wage employee that has been given unquestionable authority uses new found power to interact with hot women.

     

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  5.  
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    STJ, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 2:59pm

    I'm sorry, but this scanner says I have to ask you to step over to the coffee bar with me.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 3:00pm

    The fat smelly guys are bad enough, but the 250lb woman that looks like a man hoping to cop a feel is the worst. THE WORST.

     

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

  7.  
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    DannyB (profile), Feb 16th, 2012 @ 3:05pm

    She did not file a report at the time

    > the blog post also notes that the woman did not
    > file a complaint at the time, and suggests that
    > if you have a problem, you should do so.

    Two things:

    1. How many women who are assaulted file a report at the time, or sometimes ever?

    2. If you complain about the TSA, at the time, they are going to GUARANTEE that you do not make your flight -- just out of spite.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 3:30pm

    I have the SAME PROBLEM all time !!!!! I'm just that good looking :D

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 3:39pm

    Not convinced

    This seems to be a "he said/she said case", with no solid evidence to back it up. Because an attractive woman was sent through the scan multiple times does not mean she was scanned because she was attractive. To state that "but that doesn't mean that attractive people aren't necessarily called out for extra attention." is shift the onus of evidence on to the wrong group.

    I normally agree how TSA agents abuse their authority, but this seems like insubstantial vilification.

     

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  10.  
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    Endtimer (profile), Feb 16th, 2012 @ 3:43pm

    I seem to recall...

    Wasn't there a huge troll-bashing in the comments of that jotform.com story earlier today about how people are innocent until proven guilty?

     

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

  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 4:02pm

    Now every clever terrorist will have beautifull women carrying their illegal supplies, proving how bullet proof the TSA is

     

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  12.  
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    John Doe, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 4:04pm

    You want to know what is sad?

    What is sad is that I would rather be groped than nuked. I refused to be nuked the one time I got lucky enough to be in a line with the nukes. So they groped me instead. It is a sad state of affairs when citizens have to choose between sexual assault or potentially life threatening x-rays just to fly.

     

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  13.  
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    Lewc StackWalker, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 4:42pm

    Re:

    No, every clever terrorist will use ugly women to carry their stuff. Either way, TSA has to be random 'cause once they figure out the game, it's party on!

     

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  14.  
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    jason, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 4:50pm

    A majority of TSA screeners are Veterans and have college degrees or are working on college degrees, your ignorant comments show your intelligence level. They are underpaid and not only have to deal with the B.S. from people like you, but they have to deal with the TSA management as well which has always had a lot of problems in the way they treat their employees. So next time you go through the airport you might want to thank the TSO Officer for being a public servant, sworn to protect you instead of making inflammatory statements not based on truth. In Israel travel takes longer because there is a lot more interviewing and conversation between the Israeli Security and the passenger. It is a very small country in comparison. In the USA we don't have the luxury of spending an hour or more with each passenger with the tremendous volume of passengers flying on a daily basis. The procedures in place are quick and get the job done. The threat constantly changes, TSA uses the latest technology to adapt and keep up with the threat. You can complain all you want but there hasn't been another 9/11 since TSA has taken over security at the airports. Air travel has always been a special situation that requires a lot more scrutiny and security procedures. Flying in a tin can thousands of feet in the air going 500 miles per hour requires that the aircraft is free of any threat. TSA has to be successful every time, A Terrorist only has to be successful once to succeed. Where are all the terrorists you say? The fact is that the stringent security in place is a major deterrent for terrorists; we have made it very difficult for a terrorist to succeed therefore in most cases they won't even try. How would you like it if all security was removed and you just came to the airport and got on the plane? Would you feel safe? The fact is, that TSA would never find an underwear bomb like the one that was unsuccessful last Christmas without the body scanner or the new pat down. Keeping people secure on a passenger jet is all about Freedom. Because of TSA you are free to travel safely to your destination. It's unbelievable the amounts of ungrateful and unappreciative people who think their rights are being trampled because of TSA who only wants to make them safe. TSA Officers get no pleasure out of patting down people or looking at their body image. No organization is perfect, there are bad apples everywhere, the military, law enforcement and in your workplace as well. The media has whipped the general public into frenzy with all these news stories and inflammatory articles. Some say this isn't the America they grew up in, well no @!$%# Sherlock the world constantly changes, America constantly changes, Terrorists are constantly upping the game and adapting their skills to bypass the security in place. TSA will adapt to meet the threat. We live in an imperfect world with evil people, so we do things we don't like to do to remain safe and alive. It's not about fear and controlling the mass populace, it's about common sense. When there's a threat you do what you have to to eliminate it and protect the general public. If there is another attack on our homeland it will most likely be in another place than an airport but that is testament to the hard work and dedication of TSA workers day in and day out at our nationís airports. As long as TSA is doing their job day in and day out correctly then we will prevent another terrible day like we had on 9/11. Thank you TSA

     

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  15.  
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    Cody Jackson (profile), Feb 16th, 2012 @ 5:23pm

    Re:

    "A majority of TSA screeners are Veterans and have college degrees or are working on college degrees..."

    Proof? Just because you say it doesn't make it true, unless there is evidence to back it up.

    "...TSA uses the latest technology to adapt and keep up with the threat."

    Yet, they are always looking at the last "threat", not being proactive and using the advice of non-government security experts to anticipate future threats.

    "You can complain all you want but there hasn't been another 9/11 since TSA has taken over security at the airports."

    Yes, but correlation does not mean causation. Just because the TSA is in charge of security doesn't mean it is solely responsible for preventing another 9/11. If you consider the shoe bomber and others, airport security didn't stop them from getting on the plane. It was the passengers that prevented them from doing any damage. Personally, I think the reason another 9/11 hasn't happened is because passengers are more inclined to deal with threats themselves nowadays, not increased airport security.

    Finally, if a terrorist really wanted to make a statement, he would be better off targetting the security chokepoints rather than the airplane itself. That would shutdown the entire airport, and possibly surrounding area, rather than taking out a single plane. And it would show that the security theater from the government is ineffective at protecting people.

     

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  16.  
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    timmaguire42 (profile), Feb 16th, 2012 @ 5:29pm

    That settles it

    If the TSA says they don't single out attractive women for nudie scans, then they must not. Because I'm sure if they did, they'd come right out and say so.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 5:35pm

    Re:

    Does the TSA know what a paragraph is?

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 5:36pm

    Re: That settles it

    I'd say so

     

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  19.  
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    abc gum, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 5:43pm

    Re:

    "They are underpaid"

    Is that why they steal your shit?

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 5:58pm

    Re:

    How do you really feel about it?

     

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

  21.  
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    Killercool (profile), Feb 16th, 2012 @ 6:15pm

    Re: Not convinced

    The point is, the system is so badly designed it is open to abuse. Has there ever been a case of abuse by a TSA agent that WASN'T vehemently denied and/or justified by TSA? I can't seem to find one.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 6:34pm

    As Patrice Oneil once said, how do we know that someone isn't getting their rocks off of this?

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 7:14pm

    Re:

    Blah blah blah blah blah

    As long as TSA is doing their job day in and day out correctly then we will prevent another terrible day like we had on 9/11.

    Nope, we have far worse now - essentially a police state where everything we do is monitored. We have a semblance of privacy, and are guilty until proven innocent.

    We live in fear of going outside, lest we anger the police and be tazed or pepper sprayed, and then hauled off to commercialized prison.

    I don't know about you - but I felt a lot more secure knowing I still had freedoms - the terrorists have won.

     

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

  24.  
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    Panda (profile), Feb 16th, 2012 @ 8:39pm

    Too Easy

    Well now that I know they single out hot women, I will definitely use an unattractive woman to smuggle my cheese whiz.

     

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  25.  
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    SJ, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 9:14pm

    Re: Re:

    Clever terrorists would bring a lot of explosives strapped to them and blow themselves up in those hugs lines before the scanners... Until there, security is rather relaxed and chances getting caught early are slim while still being in a confined space and doing lots of damage...

    Of course that meany you have to believe in that all-terrorists-wants-to-harm-us fairy tale.

     

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

  26.  
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    SJ, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 9:17pm

    Well, could the TSA have said anything else except they don't single out attractive females? No, they couldn't... so no surprise there...

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 9:19pm

    When they don't communicate with you to provide any explanation as to why you are being scanned three times, your imagination is left up to explain it.

    When your imagination is left to explain the actions of someone representing an organization which you don't like then of course the explanation will be negative.

    It's not as if TSA understands what it is like to be on the receiving end of privacy invasions, so of course what I just explained very easily will be a foreign concept to them.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 9:24pm

    Re:

    Except that it doesn't really matter what the employees job is, if they are paid to deal with the public then they have the very reasonable expectation that they'll be treated like douchebags whether or not they have earned it. You choose to work for other people so you choose to accept the role you are assigned, or you look for work elsewhere.

    TSA can't earn the reputation they have and then expect the public to just be the better people and comply without dissent.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 10:30pm

    Response to: jason on Feb 16th, 2012 @ 4:50pm

    You didn't have a day like 9/11 before it either. You'd need the.TSA to function for a period of time equal to from the start of commercial air travel until 9/11 to even begin to draw that conclusion. To really be sound you'd also have to remove all the non-TSA safety measures (like the cabin locks) too for said period.

     

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  30.  
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    Phil, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 10:22am

    Re: Thank You, Jason - You can Board First

    Thank you, Jason. You and you alone seem to understand that looking at images of bare boobs all day and inspecting women's delicate underthings is a difficult and demanding job but one that is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.

    As you probably know, there has never been a female hijacker in the history of aviation, which can only mean one thing: we're overdue.

    Therefore, it only makes sense that we should SLOWLY AND COMPLETELY check your girlfriend as she goes through our scanners. Yeah....that's it, reeeeaally slowly.....

    I'd write more, but there is a whole group of college girls on spring break at the security checkpoint and I need to ensure that they don't have anything naughty hidden in their pants.

    TSA Blogger Bob

     

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


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