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)