Sunday, November 21, 2010

TSA At The 'Tipping Point': Passenger Anger At Airport Pat-Downs Threatens To Boil Over

Adam Geller
Associated Press

How did an agency created to protect the public become the target of so much public scorn?

After nine years of funneling travelers into ever longer lines with orders to have shoes off, sippy cups empty and laptops out for inspection, the most surprising thing about increasingly heated frustration with the federal Transportation Security Administration may be that it took so long to boil over.

The agency, a marvel of nearly instant government when it was launched in the fearful months following the 9/11 terror attacks, started out with a strong measure of public goodwill. Americans wanted the assurance of safety when they boarded planes and entrusted the government with the responsibility.

But in episode after episode since then, the TSA has demonstrated a knack for ignoring the basics of customer relations, while struggling with what experts say is an all but impossible task. It must stand as the last line against unknown terror, yet somehow do so without treating everyone from frequent business travelers to the family heading home to visit grandma as a potential terrorist.


The TSA "is not a flier-centered system. It's a terrorist-centered system and the travelers get caught in it," said Paul Light, a professor of public service at New York University who has tracked the agency's effectiveness since it's creation.

That built-in conflict is at the heart of a growing backlash against the TSA for ordering travelers to step before a full-body scanner that sees through their clothing, undergo a potentially invasive pat-down or not fly at all.

"After 9/11 people were scared and when people are scared they'll do anything for someone who will make them less scared," said Bruce Schneier, a Minneapolis security technology expert who has long been critical of the TSA. "But ... this is particularly invasive. It's strip-searching. It's body groping. As abhorrent goes, this pegs it."

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5 comments:

Survival Time said...

The TSA must be shut down, it's all so a certain 'someone' can profit off the sale of his Scanners! It is designed to get your conditioned to the POLICE STATE in which we now live.


Simple way to peacefull hends this, STOP FLYING! taking your money from the Airline industry, they will tell government what to do!

Anonymous said...

Airport are now the breeding ground of a new kind of rodents/pest: TSA. To take them out, we shouldn't use airports for a while, at least as long as this pest is still breeding there.

So, don't be a breeding ground stay out of US airports.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see an entire Chapter of the Hell's Angels fly and beat the living crap out of any TSA creep that tried to touch them. Of course they wouldn't require any of them to go trough such B.S. out of complete fear of the Angels.

Anonymous said...

The solution? They will bring iris scanners as an alternative/adjunct to blind us and give us brain cancer.

Giving up air travel does NOTHING! If they get away with it there, they will aslo use it for admittance to sports stadiums, buses, trains, govt and commerical offices etc. Running away from airplanes solves nil! Standing up and confronting the perps head on is the only way to back the bully down.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the TSA porn scans and sex grope pat downs at US airports the late Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007 RIP) just before his death wrote: "The shoe thing at the airports and Code Orange and so on are world-class practical jokes, all right," Vonnegut reflected. "But my all-time favorite is one the holy, antiwar clown Abbie Hoffman (1936-1989 RIP) pulled off during the Vietnam War. He announced that the new high was banana peels, but they had to be taken rectally. So then FBI scientists and CIA agents had to stuff bananas up their asses to find out if it was true or not."

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