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$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 Fetzie » Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:23 pm

So let me get this straight.

If you want to travel, using an American airport, to or from the USA, on a domestic or international flight, these strip-down frisk searches are mandatory? Well that puts any plans of a holiday in America on hold...guess we'll be going to Canada instead.

This appears to be a case of bureaucracy gone wild. The airports have to conduct security checks to eliminate the possibility of some nutcases getting on an aeroplane and blowing it it. They need to show they are doing the job, so they get the organisation behind security at airports to introduce these searches.

In Germany we have dogs, armed police (they have some impressively big guns nowadays), and luggage gets screened behind the scenes. When I go to Frankfurt Airport, after standing in a long queue for 40 minutes I first go through the metal detector, which is triggered by the rivets in my jeans and by my glasses. I get frisked and they use a hand held metal detector which apparently is enough confirmation that I shouldn't have worn jeans while flying, but otherwise I am a legitimate passenger who just wants to get the hell out of the airport as soon as possible, preferably on an aeroplane. Hand luggage is X-Rayed and hand searched if they notice anything (your laptop charger cable got tangled around the camera in your backpack for example), and you go on to the gate, trying to not spend money on the useless crap you can buy in duty free. Flights to the US and the UK have a second screening process which is pretty much identical to the first, but every second or third person has to put their shoes through the X-Ray machine. At no point are you made to feel like an anarchist hell-bent on bringing the government down, or a terrorist. Women are only frisked by female staff and as the frisking is done with your clothes on and in the security area where you are waiting, there would be hundreds of witnesses if they went too far. At no point do you not feel at ease (other than the general nervousness associated with airports - I just don't really like them).

Would this even be an issue if it hadn't been for 9/11 which really seems to have had a huge impact on the American psyche? Planes have been hijacked or blown up in the past and haven't sparked such an arms race like development of more and more invasive security checks. Why does the American public stand for this nonsense? In Germany, the biometric passports had to get past at least two independent watchdogs because of fears that the data stored on the chips could be used illegitimately. Full body searches for every single passenger at every single airport would never get past that lot, there would be cases brought to the Verfassungsgericht (the constitutional court, which is the highest court of appeal) and the idea would probably be dropped pretty quickly. The court wouldn't have to read that much of the constitution either, merely the first two sentences (that human dignity is inviolable, and that the state is obligated to protect it even at the cost of anything else).

My impression as an outsider is that this search method will keep going until somebody manages to file a sexual assault lawsuit against an employee of the TSA, which would then get the ball rolling and these methods repealed. From what I have been reading, this cannot be that far away.
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Re: $10,000+ fine for deciding not to fly after all?

Postby Fridmarr » Tue Nov 23, 2010 10:15 pm

Pyrea wrote:So let me get this straight.

If you want to travel, using an American airport, to or from the USA, on a domestic or international flight, these strip-down frisk searches are mandatory? Well that puts any plans of a holiday in America on hold...guess we'll be going to Canada instead.

No these frisks are not mandatory. Depending on the airport, the body scan is mandatory and if you refuse that or they don't get a good a picture, then you get the pat down. Of course, random people get the pat down either way, but that's not new.

Pyrea wrote:This appears to be a case of bureaucracy gone wild. The airports have to conduct security checks to eliminate the possibility of some nutcases getting on an aeroplane and blowing it it. They need to show they are doing the job, so they get the organisation behind security at airports to introduce these searches.

In Germany we have dogs, armed police (they have some impressively big guns nowadays), and luggage gets screened behind the scenes. When I go to Frankfurt Airport, after standing in a long queue for 40 minutes I first go through the metal detector, which is triggered by the rivets in my jeans and by my glasses. I get frisked and they use a hand held metal detector which apparently is enough confirmation that I shouldn't have worn jeans while flying, but otherwise I am a legitimate passenger who just wants to get the hell out of the airport as soon as possible, preferably on an aeroplane. Hand luggage is X-Rayed and hand searched if they notice anything (your laptop charger cable got tangled around the camera in your backpack for example), and you go on to the gate, trying to not spend money on the useless crap you can buy in duty free. Flights to the US and the UK have a second screening process which is pretty much identical to the first, but every second or third person has to put their shoes through the X-Ray machine. At no point are you made to feel like an anarchist hell-bent on bringing the government down, or a terrorist. Women are only frisked by female staff and as the frisking is done with your clothes on and in the security area where you are waiting, there would be hundreds of witnesses if they went too far. At no point do you not feel at ease (other than the general nervousness associated with airports - I just don't really like them).

Would this even be an issue if it hadn't been for 9/11 which really seems to have had a huge impact on the American psyche? Planes have been hijacked or blown up in the past and haven't sparked such an arms race like development of more and more invasive security checks. Why does the American public stand for this nonsense? In Germany, the biometric passports had to get past at least two independent watchdogs because of fears that the data stored on the chips could be used illegitimately. Full body searches for every single passenger at every single airport would never get past that lot, there would be cases brought to the Verfassungsgericht (the constitutional court, which is the highest court of appeal) and the idea would probably be dropped pretty quickly. The court wouldn't have to read that much of the constitution either, merely the first two sentences (that human dignity is inviolable, and that the state is obligated to protect it even at the cost of anything else).

My impression as an outsider is that this search method will keep going until somebody manages to file a sexual assault lawsuit against an employee of the TSA, which would then get the ball rolling and these methods repealed. From what I have been reading, this cannot be that far away.
We have most of that stuff too. Of course 9/11 is in our psyche, but there have been several foiled attempts since then, and one before. So, extra security is not without justification, it's just a matter of finding an effective implementation that is not so intrusive. As far as rights go, you don't have the right to fly, so getting one of these searches is entirely your choice. If you don't want one then don't fly, the only real constitutional breach in my opinion is when the guy tried to leave and he was still threatened with a fine.
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Re: $10,000+ fine for deciding not to fly after all?

Postby Fivelives » Tue Nov 23, 2010 10:46 pm

We all have the right to not be presumed to be criminals until proven innocent though, Fridmarr. Even Saddam Hussein got the presumption of innocence before his trial - but Joe Schmoe that doesn't agree with the ridiculous security measures at the airport is automatically treated like they have something to hide?

"The only people that are concerned about their privacy are people with something to hide" seems to be the rule of the day now. If that sentiment doesn't concern people, then what will? I have nothing to hide, but I still value my privacy. I'm not a terrorist, or an extremist of any sort, and I'm not a drug trafficker (although I did get my prescription pain meds confiscated last time I tried to fly commercial. That was a miserable couple of days until I could get them replaced). If people stop standing up for their rights, then those rights will disappear, and that's what the heart of the issue is.
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Re: $10,000+ fine for deciding not to fly after all?

Postby mazater » Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:04 am

Just in case this hasn't been linked here before (I'm too lazy to check):

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/11/adam-savage-tsa-saw-my-junk-missed-12-razor-blades.ars

Edit: Seems like it was linked before. =(
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Re: $10,000+ fine for deciding not to fly after all?

Postby Dorvan » Wed Nov 24, 2010 2:35 am

Pyrea wrote:If you want to travel, using an American airport, to or from the USA, on a domestic or international flight, these strip-down frisk searches are mandatory? Well that puts any plans of a holiday in America on hold...guess we'll be going to Canada instead.


Although I'm not happy with the new procedures, I do want to represent them correctly. They are as follows:

-- A subset of fliers, most likely some off a watch list and some randomly selected, are required to go through one of these backscatter machines as part of the screening process.

--The more invasive pat-downs are used only if the person declines to go through the backscatter machine (or, presumably, if the machine finds something).

-- The vast majority of travelers will not be asked to go through a backscatter machine as far as I'm aware.
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Re: $10,000+ fine for deciding not to fly after all?

Postby Passionario » Wed Nov 24, 2010 2:36 am

Fivelives wrote:If people stop standing up for their rights, then those rights will disappear, and that's what the heart of the issue is.


*put on his wizard robe and tinfoil hat*

That's exactly the point of performing aggressive patdowns on 3-year-olds. If you want to build a proper totalitarian police state, you need to condition your subjects to fear and obey all authority figure, and what better way to do so than to start at an early age? Clearly, TSA's actions are a part of the fascist scheme aimed at turning the American people into a fearful docile herd.

*puts on a different tinfoil hat*

No, wait, it's the other way around. Obviously, the purpose of those patdowns and nude scans is to instill the populace with mistrust and loathing towards TSA, which will then be projected on all authority figures in general, urging them to respond with violent disobedience. Clearly, TSA's actions are a part of the anarchist plot aimed at turning the American people into an unruly riotous mob.
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Re: $10,000+ fine for deciding not to fly after all?

Postby Fetzie » Wed Nov 24, 2010 5:05 am

Dorvan wrote:
Pyrea wrote:If you want to travel, using an American airport, to or from the USA, on a domestic or international flight, these strip-down frisk searches are mandatory? Well that puts any plans of a holiday in America on hold...guess we'll be going to Canada instead.


Although I'm not happy with the new procedures, I do want to represent them correctly. They are as follows:

-- A subset of fliers, most likely some off a watch list and some randomly selected, are required to go through one of these backscatter machines as part of the screening process.

--The more invasive pat-downs are used only if the person declines to go through the backscatter machine (or, presumably, if the machine finds something).

-- The vast majority of travelers will not be asked to go through a backscatter machine as far as I'm aware.


ah ok, thanks for clarifying that.
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Re: $10,000+ fine for deciding not to fly after all?

Postby Fivelives » Wed Nov 24, 2010 7:18 am

It's not a /tinfoilhat situation. We used to have the right to privacy; that right has been degrading for awhile now.
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Re: $10,000+ fine for deciding not to fly after all?

Postby katraya » Wed Nov 24, 2010 7:43 am

Passionario wrote:
*put on his wizard robe and tinfoil hat*

That's exactly the point of performing aggressive patdowns on 3-year-olds. If you want to build a proper totalitarian police state, you need to condition your subjects to fear and obey all authority figure, and what better way to do so than to start at an early age? Clearly, TSA's actions are a part of the fascist scheme aimed at turning the American people into a fearful docile herd.

*puts on a different tinfoil hat*

No, wait, it's the other way around. Obviously, the purpose of those patdowns and nude scans is to instill the populace with mistrust and loathing towards TSA, which will then be projected on all authority figures in general, urging them to respond with violent disobedience. Clearly, TSA's actions are a part of the anarchist plot aimed at turning the American people into an unruly riotous mob.


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

Postby fuzzygeek » Wed Nov 24, 2010 7:48 am

It would probably be different if this wasn't all just security theater, either.
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Re: $10,000+ fine for deciding not to fly after all?

Postby Sabindeus » Wed Nov 24, 2010 9:33 am

Fivelives wrote:Oh hey, railguns aren't on the prohibited no-fly list! I think I'll build one and take it with me next time I fly commercial.

http://home.insightbb.com/~jmengel4/rai ... intro.html


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wait what were we talking about
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Re: $10,000+ fine for deciding not to fly after all?

Postby Fivelives » Wed Nov 24, 2010 9:36 am

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

Postby Flex » Wed Nov 24, 2010 9:37 am

Fivelives wrote:"The only people that are concerned about their privacy are people with something to hide" seems to be the rule of the day now.


Isn't that the new Google motto?
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Re: $10,000+ fine for deciding not to fly after all?

Postby Fivelives » Wed Nov 24, 2010 9:38 am

Flex wrote:
Fivelives wrote:"The only people that are concerned about their privacy are people with something to hide" seems to be the rule of the day now.


Isn't that the new Google motto?


Wouldn't surprise me.
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Re: $10,000+ fine for deciding not to fly after all?

Postby djlar » Wed Nov 24, 2010 10:37 am

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