Furrygirl's sexy stripdown protest in Seattle airport mocking TSA security theater (NSFW video)


Self-described pornographer, sex worker, and sex blogger Furrygirl (Twitter, blog) opted for a patdown instead of the pornoscanners at the TSA checkpoint at the airport in Seattle, citing health concerns about radiation emitted by new devices.

To protest the TSA's invasive new "enhanced" screening procedures, she stripped down to see-thru, sexy underwear prior to her "grope-up," and videoblogged the whole thing (well, what the camera could capture from its vantage point on the little tray traveling down the conveyor belt).

"Instead of being scared and humiliated like the TSA wants me to be, I'm going to try and enjoy this experience the best I can," she says before she enters the screening area. "I'm just sorry the TSA doesn't work like a brothel, where you get to pick the one that's hottest."

I'd say what's most interesting about the video is what it doesn't show: the facial expressions of the TSA workers, the reactions of other passengers. At any rate, I applaud her efforts to stick it to The Man.

Video Link: My TSA Stripdown: Nov 21 at Seatac (vimeo)

Read more about it on her blog (NSFW)

Photos of the protester wearing the slinky undergarments at issue (NSFW)


  1. I’ll save everyone 12 minutes: Girl takes off her pants and then the camera spend 12 minutes looking at the ceiling/into a corner while a baby cries amid ambient airport noise in the background.

  2. All but one of the screeners sound surprisingly polite. Maybe what they say about Seattle is true. I like the concept but 12 minutes of very poor quality video and sound gave me a headache. She should put up an edited version with just the highlights.

  3. I’m in agreement with the other posts above, noisy and boring despite the titillation implying we’d see (or at least hear something more). That said, her blog and indeed site seem to have mysteriously gone down, so either somebody took notice or she wasn’t prepared for the bandwidth usage boing boing brought her.

  4. Just checked it – her site’s up now.

    Best part: the woman in the background saying “… Can see right through her underwear. It’s indecent!” I just wish someone had followed up with “So is an invasive body search.”

    Lost opportunity…

    1. That comments crystalizes the whole issue for me. American prudery at it’s finest. More concerned with having to see the ‘disgusting’ human anatomy than the invasive rights-trampling search that exposed it in the first place.

  5. The blog is boing’d. wait ’til tomorrow, maybe.

    btw- I’ve several vids now of people leaving their cameras on as they go through the xray machine. In each instance, there are little white dots on the black video field when (I presume) the xrays are turned on. Anyone have any insight on what, exactly, we’re seeing there?

    1. In each instance, there are little white dots on the black video field when (I presume) the xrays are turned on.

      The camera’s CCD is sensitive to radiation. Normally, it’s only meant to record light radiation, but if electromagnetic, microwave, or xray radiation is strong enough, it’s picked up. That’s the reason if you set your camera to a high ISO setting, and leave the shutter open for a while, you’ll get an image covered in static. That static is the background radiation of the universe. Those white dots you see, *ARE* the radiation.

    2. Cameras absorb light. X-rays are very high energy light, so when an x-ray interacts with the camera’s detector, you get an effect analogous to a very bright light – overexposure.

  6. So I guess she the one that thought of it AND did it.
    She suffered discomfort at both the hands of the TSA and fleeting fame.

  7. Would’ve liked to see the action play out, too bad she didn’t have an accomplice standing on one side of security or the other with another camera, to potentially catch more of the action. Still, I found it quite interesting to watch a recording of what a trip through the luggage x-ray looks like. Did you notice the flashes of static? Pretty cool.

  8. What Amelia_G said and that sure looks like a bog standard metal detector in the video and not a porno scanner.
    I do know next time I have to fly I will wear my utilikilt and go regimental.

  9. Really? While I’ll reserve comment on her chosen method of protest, the premise is ridiculous. Worried about the risk of radiation…please. I’ll bet she drove there and was exposed to more risk through that method of travel. Besides, when getting on a plane that will travel a few miles in the air each and every passenger will be exposed to more radiation than the minimal contribution provided by either the millimeter wave or back-scatter technology.

    Once again, we have a situation where the public is looking for a solution to a social problem (i.e. terrorism) through blind faith in technology. How about we apply a collective effort to cure the illness rather than treat the symptoms?

    1. Machdisk, are you honestly suggesting we should address root causes instead of using extremely expensive, ineffective Band-Aids to perpetuate an induced state of fear? That we should just… Fix the problem, instead of papering over it?

      Man, that is just plain undemocratic…

    2. Certainly she faced more danger driving there than she did getting any form of cancer from the backscatter x-ray. The chances of having something horrible happen from backscatter x-rays are almost as low as the chances of having something horrible happen on your plane because of terrorists.

      1. allen: did you even bother reading the UCSF letter? I assume you’re referring to the ASU professor — the ASU professor as a professor in PHYSICS, he has no medical education (his specialty is in biophysics) and therefore has no formal research background in medical equipment, radiation’s effects on the development of cancer, or any medical training whatsoever.

        On the other hand, the UCSF paper describes the fact that because the radiation is concentrated on a small part of the body, the radiation risk is significant. Those professors are part of a leading medical institution (#3 recipient of NIH funding), and most are members of the National Academy of Sciences.

        Letting some dipshit physics professor from ASU who probably thinks “hur hur because physics can describe everything, I am qualified to be an expert in cancer”, reshape the conversation on the pornoscanners is seriously wrong.

        1. er- sorry for the late reply. I think my attempt at humor was too deadpan. I was actually referencing the schneier blog post (http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2010/11/tsa_backscatter.html) that was linked on boingboing earlier this week. Sadly I hadn’t (and haven’t yet) read the UCSF letter- but given that it wasn’t referenced in the post, I think I might warrant a bit of a break for not having read it.

          In any event- I was saying that the antiterrorism safety measures were more statistically dangerous than terrorism, so I’m not sure there was as much threat to me mishaping the debate as you make out.

  10. Reporters should be asking President Obama if he’ll be willing to submit his two girls to monthly enhanced pat downs, while the new policy remains in effect. He’s too disconnected from the issue.

  11. Gee – that’s the politest bunch of abusive, power-tripping little mall cops I’ve ever heard. Full marks for Furrygirl for treating people decently no matter how strongly she feels about the whole thing.

  12. The real protest of course, would be to not fly anywhere. Ever.
    This might, however, contribute to a possible scheme of the TSA authority to limit air travel through intimidation because jet fuel resources are scarce and everyone, I mean EVERYONE, knows the US military needs jet fuel to ‘keep the peace’ and make sure that everyone (even the uber/ultra rich, too,) can live the American dream, protected by their sons and daughters in uniform.

  13. Link(s) seem fucked. Had no idea that BB was popular enough on a Sunday night to Fark someone’s Twitter and blog.

  14. Washington is one of the 12 states where recording audio requires consent from all parties. Ooops! Have fun in Sri Lanka, furrygirl. Hope you don’t get in trouble for this when you return.

    1. #27: In private, yes, but not in the middle of a public airport terminal.

      Good for her. I wouldn’t have the guts to do it. And all of you claiming the radiation is fine? I’m 35 and pregnant for the first time, there is no WAY I’m going to take even the smallest chance by shooting radiation at my body. Would rather not fly at all, but live in a different country to my family and taking a boat is somewhat time-prohibitive. If the TSA goons want to feel up a pregnant lady, I’ll report them so fast their head spins to everybody–the police, Congress, and the evening news. Way less afraid of terrorists (who have yet to be caught by this ridiculous BS anyway) and way more of having rights violated by the TSA.

      1. Re #55

        My wife was ~6 months pregnant when we flew back in September. In our airport this meant opt-outable backscatter scanners, with a non-creepy patdown, since that “enhancement” wasn’t available yet.

        My wife told the TSA worker that she was pregnant, and didn’t want to go through the machine. The TSA rep was surprisingly sympathetic, and said something along the lines of “They tell us to explain to people that these things are safe, but I wouldn’t go through it in your situation, either.”

        The moron who patted her down on the other side of the scanner spent five minutes trying to convince her to go through the machine. Twit.

  15. I only stumbled across these TSA videos recently and I am appalled at what is being done to people. I agree with the programmer who said “no.” These “gropes” certainly looks like sexual assault to me. Is flying worth it if it means you and your children are going to be sexually assaulted?

    To the neanderthals looking for “a good time” that was never the stated intent of this video. This was a Furrygirl’s protest:

    “Instead of being scared and humiliated like the TSA wants me to be, I’m going to try and enjoy this experience the best I can,”

    In fact, it came off beautifully when the security guy made her put a jacket on to cover up. Isn’t it interesting that she was rushed through the metal detector. No grope for someone who was clearly dressed for it.

    Which very much lends credence to the idea that making people “scared and humiliated” is precisely what the TSA wants.

  16. http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/children/index.shtm

    Looking through the TSA site, I tried to find out what the screening regs are concerning children. This was the best I could come up with:

    “We have to screen everyone, regardless of age (even babies), before they can go through the security checkpoint.”

    And, this helpful tidbit:

    “NEVER leave babies in an infant carrier while it goes through the X-ray machine.”

  17. “Instead of being scared and humiliated like the TSA wants me to be”

    She really lost me here, because she loses the high ground with such a broad, unprovable, demonizing assertion. Read the interview of TSA workers Boing Boing posted recently — consistently, the TSA workers ALSO find the searches humiliating and stressful. No doubt a few enjoy the power trip, as happens in any authority dynamic, but it’s nasty, immature, and counter-productive to paint with so broad a brush. TSA staff are under-paid, working class, in great part minorities, and based on interviews and common sense, most of them hate having to do extreme searches too. It would be a way better idea to enlist them as supporters to end the searches — instead of making them the target of some privileged white girl’s cutesy performance art viral video.

    1. Once you discard every hypothesis that is impossible, whatever remains, no matter how unlikely, may be the truth.

      Also, TSA staff ≠ TSA. However since the TSA works through a wall of drones, it is natural that they take the brunt of public disapproval. It’s part of what they get paid for after all. Serving the public interest doesn’t entail pandering to every Joe Blow.

    2. I think she meant it. Her blog is not responding, but a copy posted elsewhere indicates that she explained as follows:

      As a teenager, I had a conversation with an older activist who had been arrested many times over the years. He told me his secret to staving off despair and stress during the whole process. He said something like, “When you’re in jail, and the police strip search you, their goal is to humiliate you into obedience, so it’s your job to turn the tables on them. I do a sexy striptease, spin around like a fucking ballerina, and tell them how hot the whole thing makes me. It takes away their power and makes them the uncomfortable ones.”

      These are the sorts of useful lessons I learned instead of going to high school.

      “Sticking it to the man” can be about learning to draw power directly from disempowering constructs themselves. On my way to my vacation, I knew wanted to do something to express my disapproval of the TSA’s cancer-machines-versus-groping “choice”. (Also see National Opt Out Day set for November 24.) If there is but one superpower that I possess, it’s making people feel uncomfortable through my propensity for public displays of sluttiness and general unselfconscious loud-mouthery.


      You’re welcome to re-post or embed my video elsewhere, but I’d appreciate a link back to this blog post and crediting Furry Girl/Feminisnt.com.  Apologies on the low quality – I used a small cheap digital camera to record this because I wasn’t going to risk having an expensive one seized if the TSA got uppity.  I edited it on the fly with the camera’s own basic editing program since I no longer travel internationally with my laptop.

      The TSA allows “opting out” of the “naked” scanners if you submit to a groping that some people consider a form of sexual assault – or, at the very least, creepy and uncomfortable.  The TSA’s goal is to use the grope-down to frighten the public into submitting to a scan which scientists at UCSF consider a cancer risk.  Don’t be scared like the TSA wants you to be.


  18. Nice work. I got shooed out of Sea-Tac a few hours later after I went down to find out and report back on which security lines led to the strip search machines. The TSA security guards called in one of their mind-reader people then they brought in the police, who refused to tell me what, if any, public areas of the airport are off-limits to photography, then followed me the quarter-mile back to the train station. What a joke. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9SEv3sN6oU

    1. Umm… You went to the airport, acted in a suspicious manner – photographing security set-ups and refusing to talk to security personnel – and they treated you with suspicion. Yes?

      I don’t care for the new policies either; but, whether you agree with TSA policies or not, the TSA folks in the airports do have a responsibility to ensure passenger safety. You acted in a suspicious manner and they investigated. They’re doing their job.

      1. Orpheline, what is suspicious about photographing public employees interacting with the public in a public place? Thousands of people see it every day. This had nothing to do with ensuring safety.

        1. So I take it you have no problem with the government surveiling you with security cameras as you go about your daily business ? Or did I sign away the rights to privacy so vigorously defended here when I became a public employee.

          1. Wormman wrote, “So I take it you have no problem with the government surveiling you with security cameras as you go about your daily business ? Or did I sign away the rights to privacy so vigorously defended here when I became a public employee.”

            Wrong. I argued (successfully) to have surveillance cameras removed from my neighborhood park. There’s a huge difference between government surveillance of the public and me taking photos of our public employees in a public place.

            It is absurd to suggest that my photography posed any risk.

            Oh no! That guy has a camera! In the airport! And look, that woman over there is taking notes! And that guy over there looks like he’s going to remember everything he saw when he watched us doing our jobs — stop him from looking this way! Somebody go ask him what he’s up to! Call the police!

          2. Why is it absurd? If they don’t know who you are, how are they supposed to know what you will or won’t do with pictures you take? Just because you don’t see any potential risk in your photos doesn’t mean someone else couldn’t.

            By way of illustration, here are some things a terrorist could theoretically do with photos from security checkpoints:
            – Identify which areas are using the new scanners;
            – Identify TSA staff and target them or their families;
            – Identify which lines have the most passengers and detonate a device in the line.

            None of these is particularly likely; but security staff have a responsibility to evaluate even unlikely risks. Whether or not you posed a potential danger was something they had no way to evaluate without approaching you. They approached you, evaluated you, and let you go.

            @Laurel L. Russwurm made an excellent point: we have both a right and a responsibility to hold the people in power accountable, and to ensure they don’t abuse their power. Part of that is recognizing when an action *is* a valid use of that power.

          3. Orpheline wrote, “Why is it absurd?”

            Because thousands of people are looking at it and remembering it. Taking a photo is no more of a threat.

            “If they don’t know who you are, how are they supposed to know what you will or won’t do with pictures you take?”

            They’re not supposed to know who I am or what I’m doing. It’s none of their business. Their business is to keep weapons, explosives, and incendiaries off of airplanes.

            “By way of illustration, here are some things a terrorist could theoretically do with photos from security checkpoints:
            – Identify which areas are using the new scanners;
            – Identify TSA staff and target them or their families;
            – Identify which lines have the most passengers and detonate a device in the line.

            #1 is precisely what I was doing, so that I could report back to others. #2 and #3 donn’t require a camera; anyone who looks at them could do the same, and to say that someone using a camera is any more likely to do so is ridiculous.

            “They approached you, evaluated you, and let you go.”

            They didn’t “let me go”. I walked away from them. TSA have no power to detain, and in this case, the police had no reason to detain me.

          4. “By way of illustration, here are some things a terrorist could theoretically do with photos from security checkpoints:
            – Identify which areas are using the new scanners;
            – Identify TSA staff and target them or their families;
            – Identify which lines have the most passengers and detonate a device in the line.

            These things could just as easily be done by pen and notepad, or by memory alone. It is absolutely ridiculous to criminalize cameras. Cameras in the hands of the public keep others honest. Or at least provide evidence.

          5. I wasn’t criminalizing cameras. I was pointing out uses to which photos could be put.

            You’re correct, the same information could be gathered by naked-eye observation. Cameras in the hands of the public can certainly be used to document abuses of power – one reason I always have my camera with me.

            None of which has anything to do with my point. I never argued that pmocek shouldn’t have gone there or taken pictures. I was pointing out why TSA might have reacted the way they did when they saw him taking pictures.

        2. What @Wormman said. I have yet to meet anybody who enjoys being watched while at work. It makes people feel defensive, especially if there is a camera involved. Go to someone’s workplace – public or not – and start taking pictures and someone’s bound to ask, “Why are you taking pictures of me?”

          The TSA staff in the airports are tasked with ensuring the safety of passengers. Part of that task is evaluating behaviour which seems unusual. Going to an airport to take pictures of security checkpoints is bound to attract attention – especially when you try to avoid security when they approach you.

          I watched your video clip. The guard politely asked you why you were taking pictures of their work area, and you said, “I don’t discuss my personal business with strangers.” If someone ever told me their ‘personal business’ was recording me while I worked, I’d certainly be suspicious! But from your own description, they didn’t arrest or detain you: they asked a couple questions, then let you go.

          In other words, they did their job by investigating someone acting shifty.

  19. I was just groped by the TSA at SEATAC myself. Dude yelled “Whoa!” when I tried to show him the site of my fresh tat so he’d be gentle, guess now I know why! FY FurryGirl!

  20. From the TSA blog:

    “Children 12 years old and under who require extra screening will receive a modified pat down.”

    Over 12? All your crotchz are belong to us.

  21. All we need to do is find (and publicize) just one pedophile working for the TSA and we can kiss this enhanced security goodbye.

  22. Quick question for the powers that be. Have the hits for Boing Boing gone up with the regular use of the words “porn” and “sexy” in all of these post about the airline scanners? Just curious.

  23. Do you think TSA chief John Pistole would allow his own wife and daughters to have their bodies scanned, then have those images blown up and placed on billboards? Or would he opt out and allow his wife and daughters to be felt up by complete strangers every month?

    1. @marksgelter 8yos aren’t generally considered toddlers. If you keep the facts on your side, you will win. Look at the ABC poll. When people were told what the scanners did, support dropped to 64% from the USAToday poll where they didn’t give any deets. Even more so among frequent flyers (laughably defined as flying 1 or 2 times a year)

  24. At some ages people get irresistible urges to prove The Man wrong. Lots of smugness, and I’m gonna have to hypothesize that the goal leaned much further toward self-aggrandizement than fixing the system. I won’t neglect mentioning that the system IS fucked.

  25. It’s encouraging to see they didn’t arrest her. I was concerned that I might get into trouble for stripping down to a 2-piece bathing suit. I’m still going to do it anyway.

  26. A naked girl is indecent, but grown up people groping children is OK ?

    Did I miss something ?

    The goal of terrorism is not blowing up planes, it’s making people live in fear (hence the name). I’m sorry to say this, but I think they did it.

  27. One thing I was wondering about – if a minor passes through the porno scanners – shouldn’t that be considered the creation of child pornography? If the TSA officer views it, then they are consuming child pornography; and if the machine saves and transfers the photo to some central server, it would be the dissemination of child pornography. It almost seems like the best (rhetorical) argument that can be made against these machines. Now, we just need Fox news to lead with it.

  28. I like it, newfangled adult entertainment, the ceilings and walls are so exciting, so novel, nay abstract. This is the new thing, soon everybody’ll be doing the wall pr0n.

  29. The TSA agent who did the search should sue her for sexual assault. She intentionally sexualized a security screening that, while involving genitalia, was utterly void of sexual context. That forced someone who was trying to do a job — no matter what we think of that job — into participating in a sexual act against the guard’s will.

    Or, at the very least, indecent exposure. Can we not lose our minds completely, here, and agree that there are reasonable protests and unreasonable protests, even against an unreasonable law?

    1. Are you kidding me? Groping somebody’s genitalia is just fine with you, but enjoying it is wrong? The Nazis were just doing their jobs, too, but that doesn’t mean nobody should have protested what they were doing.
      We are quickly sliding down a slippery slope to fascism, and it’s quite disheartening to repeatedly hear people defend the perpetrators. I know that jobs are difficult to come by in this economy, but this stuff just goes to show you how people can be convinced to do things they clearly know are wrong. TSA workers should QUIT THEIR JOBS if they don’t want to be humiliated in return for following orders to humiliate thousands of INNOCENT people every day.
      And remember, buying a ticket for a flight is not a crime. There is no just cause for search or seizure just because you want to go see friends or family. This whole security theater needs to stop!

  30. I don’t know what’s more boring, 12 minutes of seeing the inside of a camera bag, or the fact that this girl isn’t even funny during this thing. Come on sister, shake it!!

  31. That female TSA agent REALLY wanted to feel her up. The male TSA agent said several times she was good to go. She was insistent that she was never cleared and needed a pat down.

  32. If we keep calling these searches “pat downs”, it’s a win for TSA. Their search is not patting; it’s outright feeling up.

  33. @Skully seems you weren’t actually paying attention to the facts: Furrygirl was not screened. The TSA was intimidated by her choice of undergarments.

    I’m curious as to how you can possibly characterize a security screening

    “involving genitalia, was utterly void of sexual context.”

    When any person’s genitalia is touched against their will, particularly by a person occupying a position of power over them, clearly there is a sexual context.

    It used to be called sexual assault. At least until the government began doing it.

    1. When any person’s genitalia is touched against their will, particularly by a person occupying a position of power over them, clearly there is a sexual context. It used to be called sexual assault. At least until the government began doing it.

      I don’t believe this is true. Well, I guess it is, but it depends on how you define “against their will”. I haven’t seen, in any of these reports, someone being touched after refusing such. The only person I’ve seen actually *refuse* the pat down was the “don’t touch my junk” guy, and they never did touch him.

      If you begrudgingly say, “Yeah, I guess you can touch me even though I’d rather not” it is no longer “against your will.” You’re being complicit because you’d rather be touched than not get on the plane. You can opt out entirely by not flying, and if you *really* thought this was sexual assault, anywhere near anything like a rape, you wouldn’t fly. This isn’t sexual assault any more than a woman getting a pelvic exam is sexual assault. Plenty of women do that even though they don’t like it because they’ve decided the benefits outweigh the downsides. It’s the same here.

      I’m not saying I agree with these searches. I’m just saying that equating “yeah, fine, touch my thigh to I can get on the plane” with rape is disingenuous.

      1. I understand your argument, but I’m not sure I agree with it. The key term there is ‘complicit’. A choice between two things you don’t want to do isn’t much of a choice, and it’s hard to argue for a person being complicit in a coerced decision. The nature of that coercion – physical, legal, peer pressure, or authoritarian – doesn’t make it any less coercive.

        Many of us are taught from a very young age that we should have complete say over our bodies, that it’s our choice to let someone else touch us. Forcing that decision on a person, for whatever reason, damages our authority over our selves.

      2. Rape is only one level of sexual assault. There are many.

        But if you want to quibble about consent, we’ll have to talk about duress.

        Duress or coercion can also be raised in an allegation of rape or sexual assault to negate a defense of consent on the part of the person making the allegation.”


        When anyone wields a disproportionate amount of power over anyone else, they have the ability to compel consent under duress. That’s not free will, that’s consent that has been forced.

        Maybe by a knife at your throat

        Maybe by the threat of arrest.

        For other people there may be little choice about flying.

        • Giving up flying might cut you off from your family.

        • Or giving up flying might lose you your job.

        • If you’ve paid a considerable about of money for your annual vacation you might be unwilling to forfeit it.

        • American citizens abroad who are unwilling to undergo such ordeals might be forced to decide if it is worth being assaulted by the TSA to come home.

        • Foreign nationals living in the United States may have a similar dilemma.

        • Many people have been bullied into it, threatened with the law, or even shamed into it. That too is duress.

        • Most people try to co-operate with authority. So when officials tell them to do something they do it, even if they are uncomfortable. People try to do their bit, be a good citizen.

        • And you know what? A lot of people just kept doing what they were doing until they suddenly found themselves faced with this. They hadn’t thought about it, but, how bad could it be? So they go along with it.

        But when you feel violated afterward, you have been violated.

        The rules have been changed without citizen consultation.

        When you buy a ticket to fly, do they tell you you are paying to have your human rights stripped away? Who voted for that?

      3. If you begrudgingly say, “Yeah, I guess you can touch me even though I’d rather not” it is no longer “against your will.”

        That’s called coercion. 1.)The act of compelling by force of authority. Once you hit the head of the line, you have two things that can happen. You can get chosen for the naked scanner or continue through the magnetometer.

        If you go through the magnetometer and set it off, perhaps because you have an medical implant, a prosthesis, pins and plates from a broken limb, or an artificial joint; or just because the rivets on your jeans set it off you have two choices. Comply with the grope or go home with the threat of an $11000 fine.

        If you get the naked scanner, you have three choices, go through it, comply with the grope or go home with the threat of an $11000 fine. If you’re unlucky enough to have a prosthesis, an ostomy, or, like Dave Barry, fuzzy genitals, you will fail the scanner and you will be left with two choices: comply with the grope or go home with the threat of an $11000 fine.

        You don’t see the coercion?

        1. And, to back up your argument, I’ll cite the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Bumper v. North Carolina (1968):

          “When a prosecutor seeks to rely upon consent to justify the lawfulness of a search, he has the burden of proving that the consent was, in fact, freely and voluntarily given. This burden cannot be discharged by showing no more than acquiescence to a claim of lawful authority.”

          In other words, compliance ≠ consent.

  34. @Wormman @Orpheline

    TSA officers are not private citizens, they are public servants. They are government officials exercising the might of the state. They have the full force of the law behind them. This power can be abused, which is why accountability is crucial.

    So yes, they do lose the right to privacy when they are conducting public business.

    And you are absolutely right, pmocek behaved shiftily, even suspiciously. Being an intelligent guy, he was afraid of having that vast government power arrayed against him. That he was not arrested/fined etc. is NOT the point. The point is that he COULD have been. He was right to be afraid.

    Furrygirl is quite correct in her assumption that the point of a strip search is goal is to humiliate you into obedience. It can also be used as a means to suppress citizen dissent. Just as fines and incarceration can.

    Although Furrygirl knew what she was getting into, and is comfortable being on camera, she sounds nervous. Being an intelligent woman she was very much aware that she too was challenging the might of the state.

    John Tyner, who wasn’t even trying to be an activist, but merely to protect himself, snapped on his camera as self protection and is now being threatened with legal action by the TSA.

    Not so long ago BoingBoing covered the story of the Canadian writer assaulted by border guards for having the audacity to ask why he was stopped by those representatives of government authority. Charges were brought against him. The worst of it is that these charges were supported by law.

    Standing up to government repression can be very dangerous to the individuals and activists who do. But if people don’t, they won’t have any rights left.

    The goal of terrorism is not blowing up planes, it’s making people live in fear (hence the name). I’m sorry to say this, but I think they did it.

    —Anon #50

  35. Yes, we can’t see the film, but the more important fact is she fought back. To that I say good for her. I love women who know they are empowered.

  36. I am lucking forward to a security screening with a choir singing “Touch Me” from the Rocky Horror Show in the background…

  37. At the moment, it seems the news is out on wether these scanning machines are harmful or not. The fact that there is no definite answer makes people worried and rightfully so.

    My mother developed cancer later in her life. Her age group commonly developed cancer due to when they were young children they were forced to have xrays to see if they had TB. At the time these xrays were deemed safe.
    Now its known those xrays were way way more powerful than is safe.

    So basically if specialists are not sure, im damned well never going to submit to a scan if it Might cause illness later in life.

    now where did i put those sexy undies…might as well enjoy the grope.

  38. I fail to understand

    so …
    1) people don’t want to go through scanner b/c of health reason or invasion of privacy.
    2) people don’t want to be pat down b/c of invasion of privacy
    3) she comes through nearly naked –

    Regardless if they pat her down or just take a look and see nothing on her and let her go, being nearly naked is WAY more invasive than the scanner or pat down.

    can somebody explain how this mocks TSA?

    I would think mocking them means showing what they do doesn’t work – either failing on true positive case of identifying threat or false positive case of reporting threat where there is none.

    I guess this is a case where you try to get attention by being naked , but that happens on the net so much, I think it lost some impact.

  39. If you think that you *either* go through the new backscatter scanning machines at the airport *or* you get the enhanced pat-down you are wrong. I was subjected to both on my trip through SFO on the 5th of November.

  40. On the video clip, it sounds like TSA employees have no idea what they are doing, who has gone through what checks, and who’s stuff is in what basket. That’s just sad.

  41. Hey, it’s the pedophiles vs. terrorists debate again. Remind me, who won last time?

    Oh wait, it’s not that debate. It’s something else… oh yeah, it’s about redefining the term “sexual assault” (Hey, shouldn’t a sexual assault, y’know, be at the very least intentional? Can someone sexually assault someone else accidentally? Looks like in the USA they can!)

    Third time’s the charm. Having say over who touches me and who doesn’t is kosher. So is obeying the law. If the law changed, I’ll try to abide by the law (say, if a policeman can pull me over and search me) then if I feel the law representative’s behavior was out of line, I will complain. If the entire law feels wrong to me, I can either vote with my feet (no fly), vote with my ballot (no reps), or grind my teeth and wait for it to blow over (and meanwhile talk my throat sore against it). Breaking the law is usually not an option. Funny thing, breaking it might get me arrested and – you guessed it – strip-searched in the police station. A world of Fail.

  42. People have legitimate concerns about the application and expense of new technology, I think that’s great.

    What I don’t like is the deliberate provoking of the TSA and the attempts to discredit them through provocative exaggeration and outright fabrication. The truth speaks for itself. Outright militancy just breeds more bad blood and causes problems for people around you who are just trying to get along.

    Protest and advocacy is good, but provocation and fabrication question’s this movement as a whole. This leads me wonder what the true motives are behind some of these more flagrant acts. Just let the truth speak for itself.

    1. Goblin wrote, “What I don’t like is the deliberate provoking of the TSA and the attempts to discredit them through provocative exaggeration and outright fabrication.”

      Fabrication is wrong, exaggeration often backfires, but “provocation” is sometimes useful. For instance, when government malfeasance occurs repeatedly, but only before tiny audiences, while the general public don’t believe that it is happening, it’s useful for someone who is ready to deal with the discomfort of that malfeasance to provide an opportunity for it to happen, then publicize it. I’m not talking about entrapment, but simply going about one’s lawful business knowing that an agent of our government is likely to act inappropriately in response.

      If you know the bully keeps stealing kids’ lunch money, there’s nothing wrong with sitting down at the table next to him with your lunch money in one hand and a video camera in the other. Provocation? Maybe. But not fabrication.

      “Protest and advocacy is good, but provocation and fabrication question’s this movement as a whole.”

      Please separate provocation from fabrication. They are entirely different.

      1. pmocek, you define yourself out of provocation.

        simply going about one’s lawful business knowing that an agent of our government is likely to act inappropriately in response.

        Thats not provocation, that is simply reporting on the truth of the matter, no provoking actions needed.

        Please separate provocation from fabrication. They are entirely different.

        When did I imply they were the same? I think both actions reflect badly on those who might do them. To include the event here. It is an unnecessary step that backfires. Just tell the truth don’t try to make things any more then they are.

        Put more simply, you lose the moral high ground whenever you provoke, as you produce an exception rather focusing on the problematic rule. The exception may be more exciting, but the rule is where the problem is. Don’t over-emphasize the exceptions to the detriment of your argument against the rule. That what I see happening now, people are disgusted by both the TSA and those that do gratuitous stuff like this to provoke them.

  43. I can tell you, as an anthropologist who has done primary research on the topic, there are a lot, a LOT of people who do not regularly wear underwear. Also, they are NOT necessarily who you would expect. Have fun, TSA!

  44. I see this as less a form of protest and more a form of self promotion/publicity stunt for the girls business.

    While I’ve got serious 4th amendment issues with, and the inefficacy of the TSA’s security theater, a webcam performer
    stripping down to sheer undergarments before even going through the metal detectors while trying poorly to film it is just being an attention whore. It’s kind of tiresome really.

  45. @Anon #88 – Protest is a publicity stunt. By definition. Get over yourself.

    Oh, and what I would love to see is a whole mob of people – fat, doughy people, all stripping down to their tighty-whities at the airport. THAT, sir, would be a more effective form of protest. Or publicity stunt. Whatever.

    1. fat, doughy people, all stripping down to their tighty-whities at the airport.

      Gotta agree with that. Furrygirl happens to be generically attractive in a conventional-American-2010 kind of way, and she also possesses the self-confidence and cheekiness (as it were) to strip down like this in public at an airport security queue. Though she may have been a bit nervous about, I don’t know, tweaking the nose of Authority or whatever, her relative lack of discomfort (which may well have been supported by her fairly justifiable lack of shame about the condition of her body) kinda waters this down a bit. Sure, the goal is to transfer the discomfort onto the TSA agents, but I suspect that may have been accomplished more effectively by someone who is not in possession of a figure that would stereotypically be envied and/or desired. You know: like me.

      Then again, rather than playing off my own lack of shame against the general public’s aversion to seeing me naked, I guess it could be that Furrygirl’s desirability might make it that much more uncomfortable for the TSA screeners. After all, they have to feel up every kind of person under the sun, and most airport gropees are reluctant and not all that stereotypically hot. I guess there may be some TSA screeners who would greet Furrygirl’s performance with “this-is-my-lucky-day” enthusiasm, but I imagine it’s possible that most of them would probably be made proportionally more uncomfortable the more desirable they found her.

      Well, anyway… I’m glad somebody’s doing it. But I certainly think it’s a testament to the insanity of our culture that a TSA agent, who is tasked with either looking at everyone naked or feeling up their bodies in search of contraband, feels that a woman who is dressed to make his or her job as easy as possible must needs don a jacket in the name of common decency.

      I personally would be perfectly content to stroll through the checkpoint bare-assed naked, displaying my explosive-free taint to whomever needs a glimpse, rather than being scanned and/or photographed, or felt up by strangers, in pursuit of the same goal.

  46. Um. Kind of boring and dull. I nearly fell asleep. Thats 12 minutes and 3 seconds of my life that I will never get back so thanks! I always wanted to know what it looked like sending my luggage through an x-ray machine. Now I know!

  47. I can’t access her blog (boing’d?), so I’ll beg the mundane…

    Can someone direct me to the company that sells her adult videos and the name she performs under?

    Security screening gets me hot.

  48. She wishes it were like a brothel, where you get to pick the hottest one, instead of being sexually groped and such by people you’re not attracted to.

    Like a brothel is to the people working there.

  49. “bizarro world strip club were you’re sexually assaulted by people you’re not attracted to”
    sounds like a normal strip club to me

  50. I’m just concerned of the distress she may or may not have caused some of the more innocent passengers, the ones with nothing to prove.
    “I hope they’re not going to ask me to do that”

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