TSA's new "pat-downs" are so invasive, airports are pre-emptively warning cops to expect sexual assault claims

If the TSA thinks that you're suspicious -- or if you opt out of the "optional" full-body scanner -- you get a junk-touching "secondary screening" in which the screeners "pat you down" by rubbing the backs of their hands on your genitals and other "sensitive areas" (they can be pretty rough -- a screener at ORD once punched me in the balls to retaliate for me asking him not to rest the tub containing my bags on top of my unprotected laptop).

But it's about to get much worse. Under new TSA rules, screeners will be able to lovingly cup and fondle your genitals and "sensitive areas" during a secondary search. The new guidelines call for searches so invasive, local TSA outposts have been told to notify local cops to expect accusations of sexual assault from fliers.

I predicted this. The day the TSA started letting its best-connected, wealthiest fliers buy their way out of the normal screening procedure, it was an iron-clad certainty that the way everyone else gets treated would get worse, and worse, and worse. We have not hit bottom. I predict cavity searches for "very suspicious circumstances" by 2020, with no way to opt out and choose not to fly once the party gets started.

The agency is now proactively warning airport officials that people might find these new patdowns odd, notifying employees of “more rigorous” searches that “will be more thorough and may involve an officer making more intimate contact than before.”

“Due to this change, TSA asked FSDs [field security directors] to contact airport law enforcement and brief them on the procedures in case they are notified that a passenger believes a [TSA employee] has subjected them to an abnormal screening practice,” ACI wrote.

TSA Introducing New, More Invasive Pat-Down Method [Mary Beth Quirk/The Consumerist]

(Image: Digital rectal exam, National Cancer Institute, PD)

Notable Replies

  1. Hopefully the male TSA screeners are so painfully straight that if I start writhing and groaning in ecstasy the moment they touch my junk they will get freaked out and just let me through.

  2. Trump: "Grab 'em by the pussy"

    TSA: "Sure thing, boss!"

  3. I think you're missing the point. Relative to the average American, who flies less than one time/year, you are fantastically well-connected. Even the least-connected, least-wealthy frequent flier is infinitely better connected than the infrequent fliers, who are likely to have virtually no surplus cash, nor even be registered to vote.

    It's true that frequent fliers themselves decompose into a power-law curve of connected-ness and wealth (with a discontinuity at the private jet/charter threshold). But the entire class represents a significantly super-median group of Americans by wealth, political engagement, and privilege.

    Taking this group out of the pool of people seriously harmed/humiliated by TSA procedures virtually guarantees that new, humiliating TSA procedures will proceed with impunity.

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