TSA Does Full Grope Search On Screaming Three Year Old [Update]

from the i-feel-much-more-secure-now dept

There certainly are a lot of TSA search stories these days but it's an important topic, so we'll keep covering it as long as there are interesting stories. The latest, found via Slashdot, is of a three year old girl who got a full pat down while screaming at the TSA agents not to touch her. Update: Pointed out in the comments is that this actually happened "pre-enhanced pat down." This original story was from 2009, but the press seems to have picked up on it again... Apparently, she was initially upset at having to send her teddy bear through the machine and she then refused to go through the scanning device herself. Her actions somehow set off the scanner's alarm, leading to a TSA agent trying to do a forced pat down. The girl's father is a reporter and caught 17-seconds of the pat down on his mobile phone.

Oddly, it appears that the Tribune Company is pulling down this video every time it appears on YouTube. It's not clear why the Tribune Company won't allow it to stay up but others keep re-uploading it. This version is working as I type this, but it might not be for long.

Filed Under: privacy, safety, security
Companies: tsa


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  1. icon
    Paul Hobbs (profile), 18 Nov 2010 @ 3:55am

    Perhaps I just don't get it, but...

    It seems to me that there is a serious problem with the way that transport security is being handled. I don't quite understand why the TSA places so much emphasis on airport security when there are so many other (better) options for a terrorist to target. How many people on the average domestic flight? 150? 200? How many people on an average commuter train at say 7:30 AM? 2000?

    If I was a terrorist (and I'm not), and I wanted to cause as much carnage as possible, I would probably opt for a crowded passenger train in a tunnel (anyone remember London a couple of years ago?). In my experience (and I've travelled on trains in lots of big cities around the world), the security associated with boarding a train (especially a regular commuter train at peak hour in a big city) is negligible. Why ignore trains, which carry a lot more people than planes? I understand that there is a certain amount of fear and symbolism associated with plane hijackings - confined space, 30,000 feet in the air with nowhere to go, memorable images of gun wielding terrorists telling everyone to remain seated, etc, etc. And of course, we can't forget 9/11. But in a post-9/11 world, if your goal is maximum carnage and not a Hollywood action movie, wouldn't you target something with little to no security? It just seems weird.

    Can you imagine if they tried to implement pat-downs for all passengers at Grand Central Station before they got on a train? It would be pandemonium. And yet, no-one even thinks twice if someone gets on a train with a backpack. Or even a suit case. Heck - I've done it heaps of times. There are no baggage checks, no scanners, no-one checking ID, nothing. But to get on a plane, you have to jump through all these hoops and be subjected to all kinds of inconvenience (and now humiliation). It seems that the effort being invested in airport security is completely disproportionate to the risk, when compared to the complete lack of effort being invested in securing other forms of transport.

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