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
    Tim K (profile), 18 Nov 2010 @ 7:50am

    Just say no!

    I would never allow my child to go through that. The parent seemed to consent to it which boggles my mind. We teach our kids not to talk to strangers, and to never let a stranger touch them....but then to let a random TSA agent do a patdown? No sir. As for the backscatter machines, neither me nor my children will be going through any of them. Not sure what will happen if I ever go through an airport with them and get selected for "screening" because I'm not going to let the TSA scan or pat down my kids... or myself for that matter.

    And with regards to the radiation "dose" being less than a chest Xray or high altitude flight, that's a matter of the TSA spinning the data. The "total dosage" is measured in the amount of radiation when spread evenly throughout the entire body. However, many experts point out that the backscatter machines only penetrate the skin. Therefore the actual "dosage" of radiation while being less than an Xray is actually concentrated on the skin and is thus actually a much higher dose.

    To simplify I am making up numbers and measures.... if you get zapped with 300 gigawatts of radiation during a flight and weigh 150 lbs, your dose is 2 gigawatts per lb. If you are zapped with 150 gigawatts of radiation from a scanner that only penetrates 30 lbs of skin, the quantity of the dose may be half, but your skin is actually getting 5 gigawatts per lbs which is more than twice as much. Follow?

    In other TSA spin, they love to quote that Johns Hopkins studied it and said its safe, but if you read the statement from one of the scientists at Johns Hopkins he very clearly states that they only measured the radiation produced by the machine and reported it to the TSA, they did not study its impact on people or state that it was safe/healthy.

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