$10,000+ fine for deciding not to fly after all?

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Re: $10,000+ fine for deciding not to fly after all?

Postby Dorvan » Tue Nov 16, 2010 2:33 pm

I think this is all a big misunderstanding. Clearly the TSA just needs some marketing help and a new slogan or two:

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Re: $10,000+ fine for deciding not to fly after all?

Postby Flex » Tue Nov 16, 2010 3:10 pm

Shoju wrote:The underlying major problem to the whole thing?
The qualifications to become an TSA screener.

actual qualifications lifted from a TSA screener job posting wrote:Employment Requirements
  • Applicants must be a citizen of the United States or a U.S National and have a high school diploma, GED or recognized equivalent. If you do not possess the education component, you can still apply if you have at least one year of full time experience working as an X-ray technician, aviation screener or security officer. In addition to these two basic requirements, applicants will be required to meet the following employment conditions:
  • Demonstrate physical fitness to work on a daily basis without the aid of medication.
  • Work irregular hours and shifts, including holidays and weekends.
  • Pass drug and alcohol screening tests.
  • Pass background, criminal and credit checks.


Thats it. Nothing more. The pay? Um... I have a college degree and I fall into that bracket. What the %&*( am I doing wrong?

Starting salary range of $23,600 to $35,400 (Federal Pay Band D)


I know I'm slow and all but I'm failing to see the issue here.
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Re: $10,000+ fine for deciding not to fly after all?

Postby djlar » Tue Nov 16, 2010 3:15 pm

So what about the people that have being traumatized by sexual assault or rape, I heard on the radio last night, a woman that won't go to Paris because she has to be padded down by a stranger, she suffered a sexual assault before and she's just too scared to go thru the airport gates.
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Re: $10,000+ fine for deciding not to fly after all?

Postby Flex » Tue Nov 16, 2010 3:16 pm

djlar wrote:So what about the people that have being traumatized by sexual assault or rape, I heard on the radio last night, a woman that won't go to Paris because she has to be padded down by a stranger, she suffered a sexual assault before and she's just too scared to go thru the airport gates.


sucks to be them.
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Re: $10,000+ fine for deciding not to fly after all?

Postby Belloc » Tue Nov 16, 2010 3:57 pm

The TSA searching and imaging systems are known as "Security Theater." They know that they don't actually detect the more sophisticated methods that terrorists would use and the whole point is the appearance (theater) of security. Unfortunately, terrorists are not that stupid. The proof is in the fact that these technologies and procedures have already been defeated.

If they want to prevent bombs and weapons from getting on planes, all they need are metal detectors, trained dogs (for sniffing), and cameras with trained people viewing the reactions of the people in line. These alone would be less expensive, safer, and more effective at deterring and preventing terrorists from boarding planes with weapons.


Also, ask yourself this: How many security checkpoints does a terrorist need to go through to access a crowded airport lobby, such as the ones where you pick up your tickets? Answer: None -- these areas are located right past the airport entrance and generally hold more people in a concentrated area. If a terrorist wanted to cause terror, all they'd have to do is walk into the lobby with a bomb in some luggage. They wouldn't even have to be a suicide bomber to pull that one off.

Security theater doesn't work.


(on topic, the reason for the fine for refusing the pat down after refusing the backscatter ((or whatever it's called)) is because potential terrorists could attempt to gain access through security and, finding out that they cannot, would be free to leave and pursue other, less secure avenues)
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Re: $10,000+ fine for deciding not to fly after all?

Postby Santcuff » Tue Nov 16, 2010 4:10 pm

I'm just going to leave here how my friend found a pretty big sized camping knife in his backpack about 2 days after a flight which he forgot he put in the backpack.

Airport never found it.
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Re: $10,000+ fine for deciding not to fly after all?

Postby Koatanga » Tue Nov 16, 2010 4:19 pm

Belloc wrote:(on topic, the reason for the fine for refusing the pat down after refusing the backscatter ((or whatever it's called)) is because potential terrorists could attempt to gain access through security and, finding out that they cannot, would be free to leave and pursue other, less secure avenues)

Detaining him until a search warrant could be issued would have prevented him from pursuing other, less secure avenues.

Threatening him with a lawsuit but letting him walk out the door anyway does absolutely nothing to prevent him from pursuing other, less secure avenues.

Does anyone really think a suicide bomber cares about a civil suit?

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Re: $10,000+ fine for deciding not to fly after all?

Postby Dorvan » Tue Nov 16, 2010 4:29 pm

Furthermore, for the kind of attack this is supposedly protecting people from, if there are "other, less secure avenues" that the attacker is aware of, they're simply going to choose that route in the first place.

If you take the position that as a security precaution the TSA should tail anyone who refuses screening until the leave the grounds...well, I'd say that's a bit of a waste of resources but not the end of the world. To mete out punishment for refusing an invasive search and withdrawing a request to travel, on the other hand, is ridiculous.
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Re: $10,000+ fine for deciding not to fly after all?

Postby fuzzygeek » Tue Nov 16, 2010 5:46 pm

Flex wrote:I know I'm slow and all but I'm failing to see the issue here.


Low requirements bringin' in the dregs, is what Shoju is getting at, I think.

Also the fine on him isn't so much about him as it is about deterring other people who might also have the sheer nerve and audacity to not fall in line. How dare they!
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Re: $10,000+ fine for deciding not to fly after all?

Postby Fivelives » Tue Nov 16, 2010 7:10 pm

The problem with "suspicious behavior" is that it's impossible to codify. Say, for instance, you get a phone call at 2am letting you know your <insert close family member here> was in a car accident or had a heartattack, or... well, you get the drift. You immediately rush to the airport and buy a ticket for the next available flight (red flag). You carry a bare minimum of luggage, perhaps just an overnight bag (red flag). While waiting in line, you're worried about your <insert close family member here> and show signs of nerves/anxiety (red flag). Then you start getting stink-eye glares from some TSA agents, understandably making you even more nervous (HUGE red flag).

X-ray scanners and sniffer dogs in combination with a metal detector pass through and wand is more than sufficient to protect airplanes from the passengers. Weapons smuggled on the flight by a flight attendant or baggage handler are what people should be worried about.

Regarding the "probable cause" issue. You can waive your 4th amendment rights by either explicit or implicit consent to a search, or by going into a situation where no reasonable expectation of privacy exists. TSA screenings are legal under "implied consent". You know you're going to have to pass through security to board your flight, thus you're giving implicit consent simply by going to the checkpoint. The snags come when people decide to withdraw that consent, which we should be free to do at any time. Unfortunately, that's not the case. The language in the decisions by the district courts is incredibly vague - with current technology it's impossible to "rule out every possibility of dangerous contents" as held in United States v. Torbet.

Torbet is the grounds that the TSA relies on whenever these issues pop up. Since they can always claim that the x-ray scanning of luggage was "inconclusive", you're always subject to the possibility of a second, more intrusive search. In some cases, you're even subject to a third even more intrusive search. Because hey, a frisk can be "inconclusive" too - after all, you might be smuggling a bomb onto the flight in the crack of your ass.

The problem this causes is, naturally, to broad a scope of power for the TSA agents, which requires absolutely no experience in the field itself. You have to be a high school graduate that can pass basic federal background checks for government jobs - yet you're not a part of the government nor are you subject to any sort of oversight or supervision. This has the added benefit of effectively taking away your 4th amendment rights, because those only apply when duly appointed state/federal agents or representatives are involved (police, courts, etc). The state and federal governments have also started using contraband seized in order to prosecute people, which is a more direct violation of the fourth amendment - which is pretty adamant when it comes to warrantless searches.
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Re: $10,000+ fine for deciding not to fly after all?

Postby Fridmarr » Tue Nov 16, 2010 9:52 pm

Fivelives wrote:The problem this causes is, naturally, to broad a scope of power for the TSA agents, which requires absolutely no experience in the field itself. You have to be a high school graduate that can pass basic federal background checks for government jobs - yet you're not a part of the government nor are you subject to any sort of oversight or supervision. This has the added benefit of effectively taking away your 4th amendment rights, because those only apply when duly appointed state/federal agents or representatives are involved (police, courts, etc). The state and federal governments have also started using contraband seized in order to prosecute people, which is a more direct violation of the fourth amendment - which is pretty adamant when it comes to warrantless searches.

That really doesn't bother me, the world is full of high school diploma wielders using complex technical equipment (nearly the entirely enlisted military for instance) and operating in complex systems. On the job training, for many fields, is way more valuable at producing a qualified employee than college.

The system is pretty messed up, and there's no way the government can make the case that a person who walks away and chooses not to fly, can be held liable and fined. It's utter crap, in my opinion, but the job requirements have very little influence. In fact, since plenty of college educated folks came up with the very flawed system that these folks are trying to implement, the problem may be the reverse :D.
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Re: $10,000+ fine for deciding not to fly after all?

Postby Flex » Tue Nov 16, 2010 10:30 pm

fuzzygeek wrote:
Flex wrote:I know I'm slow and all but I'm failing to see the issue here.


Low requirements bringin' in the dregs, is what Shoju is getting at, I think.


Got it. People without a college education trying to make an honest living are to be looked down upon.
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Re: $10,000+ fine for deciding not to fly after all?

Postby Arnock » Tue Nov 16, 2010 11:39 pm

I fail to see how a college education would really help you much when your job consists of: Operating security equipment (on-the-job training), Searching bags(On-the-job), patting down, and potentially strip-searching some travelers.
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Re: $10,000+ fine for deciding not to fly after all?

Postby Fivelives » Wed Nov 17, 2010 2:23 am

They should have police or military experience, since that's the job they're performing. Hell, they should at LEAST be out of their teen years.
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Re: $10,000+ fine for deciding not to fly after all?

Postby knaughty » Wed Nov 17, 2010 3:54 am

US Television news. 3 YO getting a pat down while they scream for the TSA employee to stop touching them.

University of California has written to the President's science advisor stating the X-Ray (nude) scanners may not be safe. The best bit of their paper? While the scanners are a relatively low cancer risk (1:20 million chance of death per scan), they will statistically cause more deaths than airline terrorists (1:30 mil).

Congratulations! You're killing more people with scanners than the terrorists can manage!

I've travelled to the US many times over the last 20-something years and enjoyed all my trips. My family own property in the US (a rather nice ski lodge). I found being finger-prited last time to be fairly objectionable. I certainly won't be travelling to any airport where security is run by the TSA (note that airports can opt out of using the TSA, hire private security and then bill the government). Given the choice between having my dick groped at an airport, or trusting the Dept of Homeland security to not be lying about radiation doses, I'll take tourist dollars somewhere else - thanks for asking! Or I could fly into Vancouver, then drive across the border...
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