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screening technology

Report aims to reform aviation security


WASHINGTON—The directives issued by Congress regarding policies and procedures for the U.S. Transportation Security Administration to protect the flying public has been largely reactionary, according to critics of the agency. As a matter of fact, the TSA itself was formed in a very reactionary manner, as a response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

TSA to retest scanning machines for radiation levels


CHICAGO—The Transportation Security Administration announced on March 11 that it will retest every full-body x-ray scanner in airports around the nation to verify the amount of radiation emitted from the screening devices, according to an article in USAToday.

Napolitano promotes technology, pat-downs and asks for travelers’ patience


WASHINGTON—The Transportation Security Administration’s Oct. 28 change in its pat-down procedures at airports around the country has caused considerable public dissension.

Has the TSA gone too far with frisks?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Yet again the TSA is in trouble with privacy groups. I just read this article from the Boston Herald that the ACLU is upset about an "enhanced" patdown search technique being used by the Transportation Security Administration.

The TSA launched a more aggressive "palms-first, slide-down body search technique." This procedure replaces the agency's previous technique which used a back-of-the-hand patdown.

Previously, TSA screeners used patdown motions of their hands to search passengers over their clothes, switching to the backs of their hands over certain ’sensitive’ body areas, such as the torso.

But now the searches will be done using all front-of-the-hand sliding motions over greater areas of passengers’ bodies, including sensitive areas.

Boston-Logan and Las Vegas-McCarran are the two airports testing this controversial technique.

A spokesperson for the TSA said that searches are conducted by same-gender TSA officers and passengers can request private screenings at any time. And the body searches are only done if passengers opt not to pass through full-body scanners.

Personally, I think a hand, is a hand, is a hand, regardless of whether it's palm up or palm down, but I can see how others might feel differently.

In some positive, less controversial news, the TSA just announced it has reached yet another major milestone and now 100 percent of passengers flying domestically and internationally on U.S. airlines are now being checked against government watch lists through the TSA's Secure Flight program.

Under Secure Flight, TSA prescreens passenger name, date of birth and gender against government watchlists for domestic and international flights. In addition to facilitating secure travel for all passengers, the program helps prevent the misidentification of passengers who have names similar to individuals on government watchlists.

See, it's just a matter of mixing the good with the bad.

Thoughts abound on fixing aviation security


WASHINGTON—As President Obama meets today with his security advisors to discuss the security lapses that allowed a passenger to board a plane with explosives that fortunately did not detonate, there is much speculation about the changes needed to better secure the aviation industry.