The Electronic Privacy Information Center has been suing the Department of Homeland Security because it refused to engage in the public rule-making process before it adopted RapeAScan machines as part of the primary screening at airports. DHS responded to EPIC’s suit the other day. While I think their response will be largely successful as written, [...]
|By: Brian Sonenstein Monday December 20, 2010 7:15 pm|
As we enter the busiest travel season of the year, there is no question that the TSA will be stepping up security measures across the country — including the use of the infamous ‘porno scanners’ and ‘enhanced’ patdowns.
Many of you will be enduring security checkpoints at airports over the next couple of weeks, so we wanted to remind everyone to download a free copy of our Know Your Passenger Rights flier before you travel.
|By: emptywheel Monday December 20, 2010 6:00 am|
Based in part on the FBI’s own manufactured “terrorist attack” DC’s commuters will experience the job of random searches.
Who needs real terrorist threats when the FBI can invent their own?
|By: emptywheel Thursday December 9, 2010 6:16 am|
According to DHS’ John Pistole, it’s up to him–his responsibility–to determine what the appropriate balance between privacy and security.
Now, I appreciate that, at some level, it is up to him. He’s in charge of TSA and he’s got to make the final decision whether to implement (or discontinue) a controversial scanning technology.
But it’s not up to him.
|By: emptywheel Wednesday December 1, 2010 5:15 pm|
But that doesn’t excuse the logic: John Pistole points to a plot the FBI–under his management–cooked up, as if it represents a “real” threat. He uses it to justify expanding VIPR to mass and surface transit venues. And then when TSA does set up one of those VIPR checkpoints, we learn they’re not looking for TATP (which is what Pistole implied in his testimony to Congress), but instead illegal aliens and cash smugglers.
|By: Jim White Wednesday November 24, 2010 8:53 am|
An article in Wednesday’s New York Times noted how residents of Seoul are taking Tuesday’s artillery shelling of a South Korean island by North Korea in stride, viewing that event as “largely contained and unthreatening.” How different that is from the panic-driven banning of toner shipments to the US after the failed attempt to bring down airplanes with toner-bombs. Using the toner-bombs as buildup, TSA now is forced to “justify” its eight month delay in its over-response to the failed Mighty Underpants Eagle bomb. Oh, and returning to the Korean situation, the Times notes that the Korean attitude is “We don’t want war.” That’s not quite the position of prominent right-wing nutjob Glenn “Instapundit” Reynolds, whose response to the shelling was “I say nuke ‘em. And not with just a few bombs.” The calm resolve of our Founding Fathers has given way to panic driven by hate and fear, producing a nation of xenophobic cowards. Enemies of the US need not even be successful in killing a single person to be able to drive us into hate-filled screeds and billions of dollars in useless “security” measures.
|By: David Dayen Wednesday November 24, 2010 6:06 am|
John Pistole, the TSA Administrator, spoke to reporters on a conference call late yesterday, and confirmed that in general, no changes to airport security procedures have been instituted since the outcry over the Rapiscan full-body scanning machine and the aggressive pat-downs. He did say, however, that some of the complaints he’s heard about the pat-downs in the media describe practices that would fall outside the guidelines given by TSA, and that passengers who filed complaints could have cases to make against TSA screeners if they engaged in practices that conflicted with standard operating protocols.
|By: Jane Hamsher Tuesday November 23, 2010 12:30 pm|
“The dumbest part: they did two pat-down demonstrations – male on male, and female on female,” the House staffer said. And they used a young female TSA volunteer “and in front of a room of 200 people, they touched her breasts and her buttocks. People were averting their eyes. The TSA was trying to demonstrate ‘this is not so bad,’ but it made people so uncomfortable to watch, that people were averting their eyes.”
“They shot themselves in the foot,” the staffer continued.
|By: Jane Hamsher Tuesday November 23, 2010 9:30 am|
So let me get this straight. John Pistole doesn’t want to detail what the patdown procedures are for fear the terrorists will exploit them, as said when he testified before the Science and Transportation Committee (video right). Then he didn’t tell the public that they were implementing the procedures because he didn’t want the terrorists to know.
And now in order to discourage “opt-out” day, they give advanced notice that a handful of people can easily bring every major airport in the country to a grinding halt with very little effort.
|By: emptywheel Monday November 22, 2010 6:30 pm|