Ok, I know this is supposed to be a place to put funny stuff from the security industry... BUT...
(I apologize for the ranting, rambling, link heavy content)
I have been thinking about the new security procedures at the TSA check points. There have been some "interesting" changes of late.
First, we now have the two new technological fixes for underwear bombers; MilliMeter Wave (MMW) and x-ray backscatter scanners. Cool, technology is a good approach right? HAH!!
Think they don't store the pictures? They ADMIT that they do...
Second, we have the new "aggressive pat down" for those who either present an anomaly or just flat refuse the new scanners. Aggressive is an interesting euphemism to employ. Frankly (based on my own observations, not hearsay) it amounts to a full on prison grope in public. Apparently they are allowed to touch your junk, check the inside of your underwear, the full Monty as it were.
A little backlash...
After doing a little research, I found the following interesting bits to ponder...
One of the manufacturers, Rapiscan, is closely tied to Michael Chertoff. I am not certain as to his actual role as I have seen multiple assertions from lobbyist to CEO. Do a little looking around and see what you can find. What I am certain of is that he is closely tied to one or more of the makers of the scanners. Does his name ring a bell? He used to be the head of the DHS. Interesting, no?
Michael Chertoff argues for Full Body Scanners : http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/31/AR2009123101746.html
Michael Chertoff connection to the vendors supplying the very equipment he argues so stronly for...
Next, I had been pondering the idea of what happens when you refuse both the scanner AND the grope? Can you just say "No thanks." and go back to your car? NO!!! You are subject to civil prosecution! (I will add the federal district court case citation later today) one you enter the domain of the TSA, you can't leave freely until they have their way with you. Neat!!
The Official TSA Guidance on Civil Penalties:
All this makes me wonder; what are folks who have a religious proscription against being seen naked by a stranger or touched in what amounts to an intimate manner by someone who is not family or a doctor, to do? I am thinking that a majority of conservative and orthodox faiths will have some issue with this. Naturally, ones that spring to mind are the more strict interpretations of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. We can't profile, but we can make it so uncomfortable that the people we THINK of as the antagonists here will avoid air travel. Somehow there is this collective faulty memory that the only people who have committed terrorist acts in and against the US are Arab and Persian Muslims. Funny, I wasn't aware that McVeigh was Arabic, or that some of the crazies who always wanted to go to Cuba might actually be Persian... I mean, look how well Muslims have fared in Cuba in the last nine years!
I am thinking about a few social experiments... I am after all a security researcher, time to perhaps do some research...
A) If you, the reader, would be so kind as to spread links to this blog post, I'd like to see if TSA scrutiny goes up on me. The traffic wouldn't bum me out either ;)
B) I am going to track down a few methods to see if I can find a way to write secret messages to the screener in the back and see if any of it shows up tone InterWebs. Possible methods include: metallic fabric paint on the inside of a t-shirt, carbon fibre thread used to embroider something clever and/or rude on the band of my underwear or metallic thread in hems to do the same.
C) I am looking into having a series of t-shirts printed that say "I am not a criminal..." on the front, and "...I am an airline passenger." on the back.
D) I will be refusing the scanners and taking note of just exactly HOW intimate the grope is. I will also be interested issuing how the process differs based on how I am dressed and what
sort of carry-on I have.
Under the current rules, you have more privacy and civil rights as an arrestee than as an airline passenger. As an arrestee, there must be "probable cause" before an aggressive pat down can commence. We won't get into the more, shall we say intrusive, procedures you can be subject to. And I want to know when I was read my Miranda Rights in line???
Welcome to the next act, scene one of security theatre as presented by the Theatrical Security Administration Players for your voyeuristic pleasure...