TSA May Let 'Trusted Travelers' Avoid Being Groped

from the well,-that's-one-idea dept

Apparently, the TSA is considering a system to figure out who is a “trusted traveler,” and then give them special VIP security lanes that will be less annoying and less intrusive. They may also treat different flights differently, such that “low risk” flights may not require the same level of scrutiny. While there is some wisdom in recognizing higher risk targets and lower risk targets and treating them differently, it does make you wonder if moves like this only make those “low risk” flights more of a target — and make “trusted travelers” equally targeted. Of course, it also raises questions about what the TSA considers a “trusted” traveler, what data they collect on those flyers and how they guarantee that the info is kept private.

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Comments on “TSA May Let 'Trusted Travelers' Avoid Being Groped”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Of course, it also raises questions about what the TSA considers a “trusted” traveler, what data they collect on those flyers and how they guarantee that the info is kept private.

Based on their track record, I’d hazard a guess that they use poorly thought out, completely ineffective methods. Since that includes their security, I imagine we’ll see a database leak sooner or later.

Anonymous Coward says:

Of course, it also raises questions about what the TSA considers a “trusted” traveler, what data they collect on those flyers and how they guarantee that the info is kept private.

Well, first off they can’t be Muslim. They must be born and raised in ‘MERICA. To be on the safe side better just say caucasian here.

crazzyheart (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I have been flying quite a bit lately and I am as caucasian as it gets and have been GROPED EVERY SINGLE TIME I’ve flown. So, it is not totally a race thing. I HATE it, I believe it is against our constitutional rights, but we have no say. The TSA has NEVER stopped a highjacking/bombing/911 type even ever and this makes me feel no safer than prior to this invasive screening. Just some perp watching everyone.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Gender and proportions?

You may look as caucasian as it gets, BUT….

Are you female? Are you curvaceous, statuesque, buxom or even merely “cute”?

Or maybe you just look compliant, like you’re in a hurry or mild mannered enough that you won’t raise a stink.

I think the TSA has a habit of searching for lost pocketknives where the light is good, not where they lost them.

Michial Thompson (user link) says:

Re: Low threat flights

Except that the passengers that aren’t more stringently screened are free to rome and interact with the passengers on those transcontinental 747 flights.

Even a blind man can see the flaws in this one, Terrorist A buys a ticket from Cedar Rapids To Chicago, carries whatever through less stringent Security, then meets Terrorist B on other side of Security and passes device off.

Not that either Terrorist A or Terrorist B are REAL Threats or even boogymen, but god forbid that Grandma be on her first flight in 90 years, and Terrorist B happens to yell Boo and make her piss her pants….

Michial Thompson (user link) says:

Hold on a second

If a 6 month old baby must be gropped and molested for safety, how could someone be identified as trusted????

*IF* this security is necessary for our safety, wouldn’t allowing ANYONE past without going through the normal processes also place EVERYONE at risk???

It seems that even the most trusted person could still have a bad day get depressed and decide to carry a weapon through for a terrorist for money, or hell for that matter just to take their own life with a big bang….

Seems the TSA is just trying to appease the select few and make it LOOK like they are doing SOMETHING.. Guess if it works for David Copperfield it should work for the TSA

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Also, corporate employees who are on business trips for their corporations will probably be exempt. The law may not explicitly say it, but the effect will be the same.

I wonder if anyone has done any statistics on what type of people tend to be searched (ie: race, business class vs regular, etc…).

Hugh Mann (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

At LAX right now, in the American Airlines terminal (Terminal 4), the only way to NOT get groped/irradiated is to go through the coach line at security. The lanes for Business/First all have the pornogroper mechanisms in place, while at least some of the lines at the other end of the security area (i.e., coach lines) do not.

To my knowledge, I have never been skipped for any form of searching because of my race or my employer or reason for travel or level of ticket (i.e., Business vs. coach). And, based on how often I have been frisked (and, nowadays, outright groped), I’ve had at least my fair share of this crap to put up with over the years.

The idea of the trusted traveler is you pay a fee ($100?), and TSA has a background search done. Not sure how deep it goes. Might just be a credit check and FBI search, but might go all the way to checking your employment references, schools, verifying address, employer, etc. Heck, it might be merely that you’re willing to submit to it, and then TSA just pockets the money and sends you your super-exclusive membership card.


Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“Ye know, some people actually had to turn over all of their data to the gov’t to do their job.”

You mean like FDA employees.


Besides, all criminals have to start somewhere.

Maybe some criminals don’t have a (known) criminal background because they’re still too young or have never been caught yet. Or maybe a large part of those who would catch them are (non-caught) criminals. and what constitutes someone who has a terrorist background, someone who has already blown himself up in the past?

You also assume that those doing the background checks aren’t corrupt themselves. Who is to watch those watching us?

I think the assumption that the government is somehow less prone to corruption and bad behavior than normal citizens is a bit naive. If anything, the government seems to often be worse than the criminals they seek to catch, it’s just that they never seem to get punished for their wrongdoings (even when ‘caught’ by the public due to things like leaks). Who is to catch those responsible for catching criminals when those responsible for catching criminals are themselves criminals?

I also wonder how effective background checks are at catching terrorists. Clearly the watch/no fly lists aren’t all that accurate. Either that or military veterans must be terrorists, the same military veterans who did have background checks done on them.

and do all terrorists necessarily have terrorist backgrounds that can be detected by a background check? and by the time a terrorist does make his way to the TSA it’s probably too late because he can simply blow up the people around him in the airport before even reaching the TSA.

teka r (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Lets see..
5 seconds of google to find a site, 3 to 5 days for delivery, a week or two to stalk a pilot who lives in your area and matches your physical build, then steal his PROX card (less time if you have an organization behind you)

1 minute to walk through the personnel security gate, past a guard who is only looking for the light on the checkpost to turn green when you vaguely wave your wallet near it.

It’s not quite up to the level of Catch Me If You Can, but it is sometimes amazing we are not seeing this daily.

Lawrence D'Oliveiro says:

Re: Singapore Airport Security

I like the way Singapore’s airport handles security. There is none until you are going to board the plane then each gate has it’s own security pass through.

So a bomb let off in the airport would kill far more people than on any individual flight?

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