At least this guy's trying to do something about the abuse of power that is the TSA. He will never win, though. They do what they want with our bodies (and our minds).

(dailycamera)
A Colorado attorney has asked a federal judge to order the Transportation Security Administration to abandon its airport screening procedures for United States citizens.

Gary Fielder filed his lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Denver last week, more than a month after he, his two daughters, ages 9 and 15, and a family friend underwent a TSA patdown in San Diego.

Fielder's lawsuit claimed the patdowns were "disgusting, unconscionable, sexual in nature" and in violation of the Constitution's protections against unreasonable searches.

He said subjecting U.S. citizens to the new procedures is wrong because no American has been accused of threatening commercial airliners with explosives.

Nationally, at least two other lawsuits have been filed over the TSA's new procedures.

"I'm not asking for any money. I just want to walk to a plane without being touched," Fielder said Tuesday. "They're probably thinking that next time, I'll just submit to the scanner. No, I won't go through that. I'm not going to be photographed nude..."
(more)


(newsinquisitor)
Yet another good reason to never ever use the internet again. It just gets creepier and creepier. Of course this is being marketed to consumers as a good thing because you might not have to give your insurance company blood or urine samples which, they say, would decrease costs and embarrassment. On the other hand, your insurance costs will increase when they read on your Facebook page that you love Twinkies and you’re depressed because you hate your job...
(more)


(ssrn)
Numerous websites have implemented the Facebook Like button to let Facebook members share their interests, therewith promoting websites or news items. It is, thus, an important business tool for content providers. However, this article shows that the tool is also used to place cookies on the user’s computer, regardless whether a user actually uses the button when visiting a website. As an alternative business model this allows Facebook to track and trace users and to process their data. It appears that non-Facebook members can also be traced via the Like button. This means that Facebook’s tentacles reach far beyond their own platform and members. Due to the extensive web coverage with Like buttons, Facebook has a potential connection with all web users. Web activity can be linked to individual accounts or a separate data set can be created for individuals who are not (yet) a Facebook member. The hidden collection of data on browsing behavior and the creation of individual data sets has implications for the privacy of individuals. This article discusses privacy issues arising from third party cookie use and connectivity of web activity and devices, using the technical process behind the Facebook Like button as an example...
(more)

It's only money! Spend it all (as long as we get worthless spy cameras watching our every move) Who gives a fuck if they don't actually prevent crime!!

(bigbrotherwatch)
“This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.” - Big Brother Watch Director Alex Deane
(more)

Bin Ladin wins! America is broke! Nice move, dumbasses! Wake up (nevermind, it's already a done deal! You can go back to sleep now!!)

(schneier)
In his October 2004 address to the American people, bin Laden noted that the 9/11 attacks cost al Qaeda only a fraction of the damage inflicted upon the United States. "Al Qaeda spent $500,000 on the event," he said, "while America in the incident and its aftermath lost -- according to the lowest estimates -- more than $500 billion, meaning that every dollar of al Qaeda defeated a million dollars..."
(more)
Monday, November 29, 2010


(washingtontimes)
President Obama is engaging in a relentless assault on our freedoms and constitutional government. The growing backlash against the new Transportation Security Administration (TSA) airport screening procedures signifies that Americans finally may have had enough.

There is a grass-roots revolt against state-sanctioned sexual harassment. And who can blame the protesters? Children are stripped of their shirts, and their private parts are touched. Nuns and old ladies are groped by intrusive TSA agents. Breasts have been fondled. Men's crotches have been patted down. Full-body scanners show images of people naked - a clear violation of privacy and civil liberties.

The administration insists that the enhanced procedures are vital for national security. The rationale: Last year's underwear bomber nearly blew up a plane flying over Detroit. Hence, everyone's private parts are now the property of the federal government - at least when flying...
(more)

Agree with everything but the racial profiling. Won't work either.

Things that make you go hmmmm, this is fucking bullshit!

(americanthinker)
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), under DHS, shut down over 70 internet websites suspected of piracy without notice to some of the owners. There's no indication other than "court orders" which explain how in the world the government had the legal right to simply block all of those domains.

From Fox News:

The seizures come as Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., vows to block an online copyright enforcement bill that was unanimously approved last week by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The bill would allow the Justice Department to seek expedited court orders blacklisting websites suspected of piracy.


The bill hasn't even been made into law yet. The DoJ couldn't go after the pirates, so Homeland Security did...
(more)
Sunday, November 28, 2010


(stuff)
The Economist says we are learning to live with Big Brother. It used to be easy to tell whether you were in a free country or a police state because in a dictatorship the goons were everywhere. But now in democracies, it's more subtle.

"These days, data about people's whereabouts, purchases, behaviour and personal lives are gathered, stored and shared on a scale that no dictator of the old school ever thought possible. Most of the time, there is nothing obviously malign about this. Governments say they need to gather data to ward off terrorism or protect public health; corporations say they do it to deliver goods and services more efficiently. But the ubiquity of electronic data-gathering and processing-and above all, its acceptance by the public-is still astonishing, even compared with a decade ago..."
(more)


(sacbee)
Smile at the windshield – and say cheese?

California is giving the green light to allowing video cameras to be mounted onto vehicle windshields in an attempt to improve road safety.

The goal is to make participants aware of bad habits by recording their behavior seconds before and after a crash or erratic driving maneuver.

"It seemed like a common-sense approach," Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher said of permitting but not requiring the use of video recorders.

Parents could buy such cameras to place in their teenager's car, but the prime market is expected to be truck, bus or other transportation companies with large fleets.

Critics question whether expanding workplace recording intrudes upon privacy in a society where cameras already are used for purposes ranging from monitoring department store aisles to detecting red-light violations.

"We have this fundamental right to privacy, and I don't think there was a case made for why we need to have continuous recording of drivers and traffic," said Valerie Small Navarro of the American Civil Liberties Union.

The issue comes at a time when the country is split on another matter pitting privacy concerns against public safety policy – full-body scans and aggressive pat-downs at airports...
(more)

(latimes)
U.S. diplomats have been asked by Washington to gather detailed financial data on their foreign counterparts, including the kinds of information usually sought by spies, according to diplomatic cables made public on Sunday.

The cables, part of a massive release of secret U.S. dispatches by the activist website Wikileaks, show that U.S. diplomats have been asked to gather foreign diplomats' credit card, frequent flier numbers and iris scans, as well as information on their internet identities and the telecommunications networks they use.

The activities are laid out in dispatches that describe how the diplomats must fulfill their obligations under a previously undisclosed program called the "National Humint Collection Directive." In the intelligence world, "Humint" is an abbreviation for "human intelligence."

U.S. intelligence agencies often have assigned intelligence agents to work overseas under diplomatic cover. But if foreign governments became convinced all U.S. diplomats function as spies, it could put at risk their ability to conduct normal diplomatic activities and increase the odds that they could be expelled for espionage, a retired diplomat said Sunday....
(more)

Film critic Roger Ebert adds his two cents to the conversation regarding the TSA debacle...

(suntimes)
We have created a new federal agency with uniforms, badges, a hierarchy, and a justification for its existence. We are stuck with it. Americans will put up with almost anything in the name of anti-terrorism. But it turns out we draw the line at having our genitals groped in a public place by strangers. And keep your goddamn hands off our kids.

Once, some time ago, during another time of economic downturn, a president named Roosevelt created a federal program called the Works Progress Administration. It hired unemployed people to construct buildings, dams, roads, river works, ports, bridges and schools. Is there any possibility of a program like that today? Not a dream. That would be "socialism." You can't have the federal government spending our tax dollars to fund public works. But spending them to grope our genitals? Why, that's different. It's a matter of principle...
(more)

File this one under the as long as you haven't done anything wrong category. This book may discourage future cooperation with the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department. Wouldn't want to be listed in this book as an informant!

(yomiuri)
A Tokyo publishing house has released a book containing what are believed to be Metropolitan Police Department antiterrorism documents that were leaked onto the Internet last month.

Released by Dai-San Shokan Thursday, the book contains the personal information of Muslim residents in this country, such as their names and addresses.

Akira Kitagawa, president of the publisher, said he decided to put out the book "to raise questions about the laxity of the police's information control system."

The documents in question are thought to have been leaked via file-sharing software on Oct. 28. The book is printed in the same format as the documents.

The 469-page book, titled "Ryushutsu 'Koan Tero Joho' Zen Deta" (Leaked police terrorism info: all data), is on sale at some bookstores, but several major publishing agents have refused to distribute it.

If the documents are authentic, the book contains the names and photos of foreign residents being monitored by the 3rd Foreign Affairs Division at the Public Security Bureau of the MPD, the names of people who have cooperated with the police, and the photos and addresses of police officers involved in terrorism investigations.
(more)


(smh)
A Melbourne company is meeting the global demand for personal checks as the cost of identity fraud surges.

It might smack of George Orwell's Big Brother and the spread of bureaucracy's tentacles into private lives, but, increasingly, governments, industries, companies and organisations are using sophisticated technology to check the identities and histories of, seemingly, almost everyone with whom they come into contact.

It's a trend that is giving a small Essendon company global reach as its automated police-check system is taken up around the world.


The Personnel Risk Management Group, set up in 1995 by retired Victoria Police inspector Geoff Stockton, recently completed a technology exchange agreement with Avalon Biometrics, a global German company based in Spain, and is now discussing similar alliances with the Home Ministry in India, the Hong Kong Police and authorities in South Korea.

''We developed what we believe was the first online electronic police check system in the world, mainly because of demand from the Australian aged-care and childcare industries. Aged care alone employs 100,000 people in Australia,'' Mr Stockton said. ''And many other industries have adopted it as well.''

PRM's 1500 clients can now log into a secure website and submit a request for a police check, as well as a check of credentials such as academic and professional qualifications claimed in a CV, previous employment details and credit rating...
(more)

File under: bullshit.

(timesofindia)
Two of the key measures decided after the terrorist strikes were biometric identity cards for more than four lakh fishermen along the Indian coast and transponders on all Indian fishing vessels. Both projects are nowhere near completion.

The Centre provided Rs 72 crore to a consortium led by Bharat Electronics Limited, Bangalore for data gathering and issue of biometric cards. The performance report from Maharashtra on biometric cards is embarrassing. Till date, the state has not provided biometric cards to even a single fisherman, despite several intelligence warnings of a possible repeat of the Mumbai attack and west coast being very vulnerable to terror infiltration. The state has 164,595 fishermen who are to be provided biometric cards...
(more)

File under: Sad.

(gulf-times)
GCC states are considering the idea of exchanging fingerprint and security information electronically within the six-member bloc, officials said at the conclusion of meeting of a workgroup for electronic exchange of fingerprints and security information. The two-day meeting was hosted by Qatar’s Ministry of Interior
“There was also agreement on the consideration of iris scans, face prints and DNA database in future so that will serve the security work in combating different kinds of crimes in the GCC countries,” Qatar’s Criminal Evidences and Information Department (CEID) director Col Nasser Abdullah al-Mahmoud said.
This came after GCC workgroup co-ordinator Lt Col Hamid Hamoud al-Khalidi, a director of the Kuwait CEID, explained to participants of the successful experience of Qatar, Bahrain and Emirate of Dubai in exchanging information electronically among them and called for others to join in...
(more)

Lesson: never surrender your right to self-regulate...

(cbc)
Ontario casinos and slots at racetracks are getting ready to introduce a facial recognition system for people who have identified themselves as gambling addicts, hoping to help them stay out of trouble.

In a project that has received the blessing of the Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation will install facial biometric video cameras at the entrance of all 27 of its slots rooms and casinos in 2011.

Starting next spring with the slots at its Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, the OLG cameras will link to a system that alerts staff when someone registered with the service walks through the doors.

The system makes use of an emerging technology called biometric encryption that scans a person's face. When it picks out someone who has registered with the OLG service, it alerts staff and "unlocks" information provided by the registrant.

"The security team would be alerted and would talk to the person and remind them about the requirements and counsel them to leave," said OLG spokesman Rui Brum. If the person refused to leave, security staff would then issue a trespass notice, a move the person would have agreed to in advance.

While video cameras at the entrance will scan all customers, OLG said there is no danger of misuse of that information.

"OLG will not keep [video] records of anyone not self-excluded," said Brum. "They are captured and released immediately. If there is no match, they're released right away..."
(more)


(businessghana)
Security industry professionals want biometrics, especially iris recognition, tools as the ultimate identity authentication method to make air travel more secure and pre-empt potential threats of terrorist action.

Biometrics specialist AOptix Technologies, Inc. said it backed a greater use of iris recognition to authenticate passengers on public transport,

especially air travel.

Critics of biometrics security systems say the devices and their data capture capabilities threaten civil liberties and can be subject to abuse.

AOptix said that, as an alternative to patdowns and full body scans, iris recognition will reduce waiting time at airports and help ease the anxiety associated with the security screening process.

"The traveling public is telling us that they would prefer a quick, accurate and non-invasive biometric authentication process as an alternative to full body scans or pat-downs," said Joseph Pritikin, director of Product

Marketing at AOptix.

By securely processing registered travelers with minimal effort, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration could spend "more time on passengers who are unknown and thereby pose a greater threat."

The notion of a registered traveler isn't new to domestic travel. Willing individuals register biographic information, submit to a background check and are enrolled with a biometric identifier that can be used at a later date to verify their identity as they are expedited through the typical security screening process...
(more)

(bobbarr)
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) recently has documented more than 900 complaints from passengers, whose experiences at the hands of TSA left them feeling violated and humiliated by screeners who went too far in carrying out their duties.

Sadly, these stories are becoming all too familiar as the government refuses to back down from these invasive tactics; largely a show of security theater.

Yet even as TSA and its parent agency, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), are sticking to their story that the full, naked-body scans and the intrusive manual body searches are absolutely essential to maintain the security of commercial air travel, questions abound.

Reports are surfacing, for example, that in response to a pre-Thanksgiving Day call for air travelers to “opt out” of the full-body scanners, at many TSA checkpoints the scanners were purposefully turned off in order to minimize the chance for a successful “Opt Out Day,” and to ease the PR problems faced by TSA.

In another incident, Adam Savage of the television show Mythbusters, was subjected to a full-body scan as he was making his way through security to board a flight to speak at a conference. In a video available on YouTube, Savage explains how he usually goes through his luggage to remove any items that may be potentially harmful; noting that in this particular case he forgot to do so. Savage pulled out two 12-inch steel razor blades that were accidently left in his inside jacket pocket. Holding the razor blades at the audience, he says, referring to TSA, “You’re going to look at my junk, and somehow you miss this..?”
(more)

Incredible. Tech-Goons attack law-abiding citizens who simply want to live in peace, away from the creepy eyes of Google.

Query: were they paid $10/hr by Google to do the crime? Hopefully, we will find out. Either way, we all lose.


(newsinquisitor)
German home-owners who have chosen to opt out of Google’s Street View service appear to have become the unsuspecting victims of anti-privacy vandals.

Local media reports that homes in Essen, west Germany have been pelted with eggs and had ‘Google’s cool’ notices pinned to their doors.

The properties involved have all chosen to be blurred on Google’s Street View service...
(more)

So Facebook has a trademark on the word "Face"... interesting. Sad, but interesting.
DEVELOPING: fuNctioN cReeP to obtain TM for "function" and "creep"!!!!


(informationweek)
Facebook, which has never hesitated to go after companies it believes were trying to leverage its name recognition, has received the go-ahead to trademark the word "face."

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday issued a Notice of Allowance that essentially says that based on an examination of the social-networking site's request, the company is entitled to a trademark on "face," as it applies to the name Facebook. To get final approval, Facebook now has to file a Statement of Use that says it will use the trademark in commerce...
(more)

File under: disgusting.

(spectal)
From the situation rooms of Washington, D.C. to the back alleys of the Third World, SpecTal employees have devoted their lives to handling America's most daunting security and intelligence challenges.

Our Personnel Include:

All-source regional, fuNctioNal, and technical analysts; field operations officers; trainers; software engineers; program managers; specialized government consultants; and operational support professionals.

• Intelligence Community, State and Federal Government and uniformed military service veterans.
• Cleared language analysts in over 35 languages, including Arabic (MSA and multiple dialects), Dari, Pashto, Farsi, Urdu, Kurdish, Korean, Russian, and Chinese Mandarin
• Senior Intelligence Community leaders and recipients of numerous awards and commendations for unique accomplishments and career services.
(more)

Anything to keep us safe... besides, if you don't like it, then just don't go to court! Freedom isn't free; it's radioactive!

(ap)
Taking a trip during the holidays isn't the only time that people might get a full-body scan to pass through security. People heading to court to testify, get a restraining order, pay a ticket or answer criminal charges could also face a full-body scan at courthouses.

The U.S. Marshals Service, which is in charge of protecting federal judges nationwide, is exploring their use at federal courthouses. And two state courthouses in Douglas and El Paso counties in Colorado have already deployed full-body scanners that use radio waves to detect all objects on a person, including paper...
(more)

(reuters)
TSA Protest Craps Out

An internet "Don't Touch My Junk" campaign encouraging Thanksgiving travellers to refuse airport full body searches appeared to fizzle out on Wednesday amid a charm offensive from security officials.

"The agents all wished me Happy Holidays. They must have gotten some directive to be friendlier," said Benjamin Billips, 30, of Bartlett, Illinois, who travelled from New York to Chicago.

"All of the TSA employees were nice," said Hannah Kimmel, a law student in Chicago travelling to Minnesota from Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, said of the Transportation Security Administration staff.

Many passengers arrived at airports expecting an ordeal after media and internet horror stories of aggressive patdowns, surly security officials and argumentative passengers.

Media attention to the patdowns surged after a widely viewed YouTube video captured audio of a California man, John Tyner, telling a security official during a full body search: "If you touch my junk I'm going to have you arrested..."

(more)
Wednesday, November 24, 2010


(optoutday)
It's the day ordinary citizens stand up for their rights, stand up for liberty, and protest the federal government's desire to virtually strip us naked or submit to an "enhanced pat down" that touches people's breasts and genitals in an aggressive manner. You should never have to explain to your children, "Remember that no stranger can touch or see your private area, unless it's a government employee, then it's OK."

The goal of National Opt Out Day is to send a message to our lawmakers that we demand change. We have a right to privacy and buying a plane ticket should not mean that we're guilty until proven innocent. This day is needed because many people do not understand what they consent to when choosing to fly.

The bottom line is that flyers are in a no-win situation: both the naked body scanners and the enhanced pat downs are grossly violative of our privacy rights and dignity, both make you feel like a criminal. At least when you choose a pat down you can look the at the government official eyeball-to-eyeball when you're getting touched, and there are not lingering questions about safety and just what is happening in that back room. Is there really no better way to provide aviation security than an inappropriate touching or a naked body scan?
(more)

Creep, creep, creep...

(thehill)
The next step in tightened security could be on U.S. public transportation, trains and boats.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says terrorists will continue to look for U.S. vulnerabilities, making tighter security standards necessary.

“[Terrorists] are going to continue to probe the system and try to find a way through,” Napolitano said in an interview that aired Monday night on "Charlie Rose."

“I think the tighter we get on aviation, we have to also be thinking now about going on to mass transit or to trains or maritime. So, what do we need to be doing to strengthen our protections there..?”
(more)
Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The ACLU has put out a guide designed to protect you from TSA goons...

(aclu)
This is intended as a guide to procedures and technologies you may encounter in your travels. Much of the information here is based on DHS internal policy – not law – so it is subject to change and inconsistent application. If you encounter different policies at the airport or feel your rights are being violated, please contact the ACLU...
(more)

Fuck John Pistole! Fuck the TSA! Opt Out!!! Opt Out!!! Opt Out!!!

(cnet)
A grassroots effort that began with a single Web page exhorting air travelers to decline body scans has become a full-fledged Internet sensation that has the uncommon distinction of officially irking the Transportation Security Administration.

The idea behind National Opt-Out Day is simple: on the day before Thanksgiving, when screening lines stretch so far they seem to snake back on themselves like an ouroboros, Americans should opt out of what critics call "pornoscans." Instead, they should choose a police-style pat-down instead, which will take TSA screeners far longer to complete.

TSA head John Pistole initially called the idea "irresponsible" in a statement last week. At a breakfast meeting with reporters yesterday, he moderated his criticisms and warned there was the "potential" for slowdowns if the opt-out protest is widespread...
(more)

Sue the shit outta these pieces of shit! What's next? No women, because they could get pregnant? Employers are getting too arrogant in this country. Maybe they need to be reminded (violently) how to respect people...

(kfvs12)
One of the Heartland's biggest employers is taking a huge stand against tobacco use. Starting January 1, Saint Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau will no longer hire smokers.

Sandy Duncan, operations manager for Fitness Plus, said those who apply for jobs at Saint Francis online will immediately be aware of the new policy.

"There's going to be a statement that comes up that lets them know we don't hire current tobacco users," Duncan said.

Applicants will even have to be tested to remove all doubt as to whether or not they are smokers. Duncan said the examinations will likely be blood or urine tests, much like drug tests.

"There's a lot of pre-employment testing that takes place for any employee," Duncan said. "Smoking is not a protected class, and so it's perfectly legal for us to do that..."
(more)
Perfectly legal? Someone call the fucking ACLU on these maggots!


(rawjustice)
The TSA’s notoriously bad behavior is quickly becoming the biggest hot-button topic in America since the first round of gay marriages took place several years ago, and for good reason. The people employed by the Transportation Security Administration, commonly referred to as “agents,” as though they were educated professionals such as the men and women deployed by the FBI, are all-too-often little more than minimum-wage thugs. They frequently harass innocent travelers, leaving them feeling insulted, molested, humiliated and degraded past the point that any law-abiding citizen should have to endure. Nearly anyone who has gone through an airport security gate in the last decade will likely have stories of overly-rude TSA workers, or worse, but these are 10 truly outrageous instances where the TSA has simply gone too far... 


(more)

Excellent essay detailing the fuNctioN cReeP of iris scanners...

(poststarnews)
“In the future, whether it’s entering your home, opening your car, entering your workspace, getting a pharmacy prescription refilled, or having your medical records pulled up, everything will come off that unique key that is your iris. Every person, place, and thing on this planet will be connected [to the iris system] within the next 10 years.”-- Jeff Carter, CDO of Global Rainmakers
(more)

If they would have told you ten years ago that you would voluntarily allow a third party to monitor and control your email you would have told them to go get fucked. Flash forward to Gen Face (the facebook generation), where we don't even bat an eye at our social network overlords' complete control over our messages. Disgusting.

(ibtimes)
Facebook adds its support to the fight against online piracy as it begins to block messages that contain links to a file sharing site or torrents.

The social networking site had blocked sharing torrent links on walls and news feeds since last spring, according to technology magazine Wired.com.

The site now has widened the block to include messages. An attempt to send any such links results in a message that states "This message contains blocked content that has previously been flagged as abusive or spammy..."
(more)
How about a return to the free internet, pre-facebook? Who are these fucking nazis?


(foxnews)
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says officials should try to make the new airport security measures, including full body scans and intimate pat-downs, less intrusive.

Clinton says there's clearly a need for the tighter security. But she says the government should explore ways to "to limit the number of people who are going to be put through surveillance."

She says she understands "how offensive it must be" for some people to undergo the searches. She says there's a need to strike "the right balance" and to "get it better and less intrusive and more precise."
(more)

The TSA pops a man's colostomy bag and then forces him to board the plane soaked in his own urine. Welcome to the New American Nightmare...

(clickondetroit)
A retired teacher from Houghton Lake, Mich., said he has filed complaints with several different Transportation Security Administration officials after claiming that TSA agents disregarded a medical condition while they conducted a pat down earlier this month.

Thomas Sawyer, 61, who is a bladder cancer survivor and a retired special education teacher, was selected for one of the new and controversial pat downs after body scanners detected his urostromy bag.

Sawyer is required to wear the bag to collect urine.

TSA officials broke the seal of the bag, causing urine to spill onto his clothes and body.

Sawyer said he had to board his plane before getting a chance to clean up.

He also claims that airport security never once offered to help clean him up and they failed comply with a repeated request for a private pat down.

Sawyer claims the TSA agents said they didn't want to hear about his medical condition.
(more)
Saturday, November 20, 2010

Wow, looks like it really is getting expensive to fly!

(sun-sentinel)
If you don't want to pass through an airport scanner that allows security agents to see an image of your naked body or to undergo the alternative, a thorough manual search, you may have to find another way to travel this holiday season.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is warning that any would-be commercial airline passenger who enters an airport checkpoint and then refuses to undergo the method of inspection designated by TSA will not be allowed to fly and also will not be permitted to simply leave the airport.

That person will have to remain on the premises to be questioned by the TSA and possibly by local law enforcement. Anyone refusing faces fines up to $11,000 and possible arrest.

"Once a person submits to the screening process, they can not just decide to leave that process," says Sari Koshetz, regional TSA spokesperson, based in Miami...
(more)

These stylish undergarments will help you avoid embarrassment when you go through the scanner. Or maybe they will just earn you a huge fine from the TSA...

(cbs4denver)
A Colorado man said he's invented a product that can eliminate concern about privacy in new airport screening body scanners.

Jeff Burke is an inventor and the owner of Rocky Flats Gear, the company that sells specialized underwear. The undergarments have metal inserts that are supposed to protect the wearer's health and privacy.

He claims the underwear protects your body from radiation.

"The object is not to make money but to protect the public, educate people and ultimately see these X-Ray machines put in the dumpster," said Burke.



(cbs4denver)


(mediamatters)
Fox News contributor Sarah Palin, much like many of her Fox News colleagues recently, has decided to publicly advocate for racial profiling in response to the new airport screening procedures. In two November 19 posts on her Twitter page, Palin demanded that the Transportation Security Administration do just that, writing: "we profile individuals/suspects in other situations! profile away."
(more)

TSA: "Show us your tits!" (and then remove one of them and let us make sure it's not a bomb..)

(msnbc)
A longtime Charlotte, N.C., flight attendant and cancer survivor told a local television station that she was forced to show her prosthetic breast during a pat-down.

Cathy Bossi, who works for U.S. Airways, said she received the pat-down after declining to do the full-body scan because of radiation concerns.

The TSA screener "put her full hand on my breast and said, 'What is this?' " Bossi told the station. "And I said, 'It's my prosthesis because I've had breast cancer.' And she said, 'Well, you'll need to show me that.' "

Bossi said she removed the prosthetic from her bra. She did not take the name of the agent, she said, "because it was just so horrific of an experience, I couldn't believe someone had done that to me. I'm a flight attendant. I was just trying to get to work..."
(more)

But do they give you cancer?

(abcnews)
Critics have blasted the Transportation Security Administration for putting passengers through graphic body scanners and enhanced pat-downs -- but technology and political pressure may move American scanners in a more G-rated direction even as foreign countries are getting more invasive.

The TSA is testing new X-ray technology that will show a "stick figure" instead of a passenger's full-body image. Viewers on the other end of the X-ray would see anomalies -- anything from a suicide vest to a cell phone on a belt clip -- highlighted on the anatomically-ambiguous figure...
(more)

Excellent recap of all the TSA craziness of the last week by Bruce Schneier (including a few gems you may have missed)...

(schneier)
Things are happening so fast that I don't know if I should bother. But here are some links and observations.

The head of the Allied Pilots Association is telling its members to avoid both the full body scanners and the patdowns.

This first-hand report, from a man who refused to fly rather than subject himself to a full-body scan or an enhanced patdown, has been making the rounds. (The TSA is now investigating him.) It reminds me of Penn Jillette's story from 2002...
(more)

The short answer is, no.

(slate)
Have TSA screeners ever actually prevented a terrorist attack?

Citing national-security concerns, the TSA will not point to any specific cases in which a screener stopped a would-be terrorist at a checkpoint. Nonaffiliated security experts, such as Bruce Schneier (who coined the term "security theater") argue that that's because this has never happened. It's true the TSA doesn't make a habit of keeping success stories a secret. In April 2008, the TSA touted the arrest of U.S. Army veteran Kevin Brown at Orlando International Airport as a victory for its behavioral detection program. Brown was arrested after trying to check luggage containing pipe-bomb-making materials. Airline officials insisted passengers were never in danger, since Brown didn't intend to assemble the bomb on the plane. Moreover, he did not have ties to organized terrorism, and it's not apparent what he wanted to do with the hazardous materials after arriving at his destination. Brown fits into the category of troublemakers that Schneier says the TSA does catch: random nut jobs. (Not professional terrorists with thought-out plans.)
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related: TSA's $200M Sham


(itwire)
While a new survey suggests almost a third of Australians are comfortable about providing a biometric to prove their identity when travelling on public transport, they shouldn’t according to the NSW Council of Civil Liberties. “People can catch a train with a ticket – why do they need a fingerprint?” asked president Cameron Murphy.

Unisys, which has already supplied a range of biometric identification systems in Australia, today released findings from its Security Index which found that beside the 29 per cent of people happy to provide a biometric to use public transport, 51 per cent would not object to providing a biometric to pay bills and 69 per cent agreed to the idea of using biometrics to access bank accounts.

Meanwhile 81 per cent of Australians indicated they would be happy for Medicare to access and store their biometric data, and three quarters thought it was OK for the Tax Office to have the same privileges.

Mr Murphy said that “These studies are produced from time to time by manufacturers” and that their findings often reflected the way the questions were posed, rather than painting a true picture of public opinion.

“I am sceptical about these findings,” he said, adding that in general Australians remained firmly opposed to wholesale biometric measurement and remained wary about the possibility of function creep.

“Who would object to medical records being stored on a card and taken from doctor to doctor? The problem is that governments then allow that to be used for purposes that people have not consented to...
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Predictably, everybody in the community is thrilled with the possibilities of the new vein-reading devices! No need to carry ID anymore. Well worth the possibility of fuNctioN cReeP and a complete loss of privacy. Besides, it will make it that much easier to track, label, and round us all up when they deem necessary!

(gazette.net)
Beginning in January, three Montgomery County recreation centers should be using biometric finger vein scanners to access members' recreation accounts.

The vein scanners will be implemented as a pilot program from January to March, with the goal of entirely replacing the plastic access cards used in all 33 recreation facilities, said Robin Riley, a division chief in the Department of Recreation.

The vein scanners, which look like a computer mouse, read the unique vein pattern below a person's finger to create a code.

The move is expected to save the county $50,000 annually in the materials cost of the plastic cards and printers, Riley said...
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related: 24 Hr Fitness' Fingerprint Entry System

Finally, an alternative to those annoying passwords and smart cards! They always took so long to use. With this new system, we simply let a machine track our eye movements and quick access is granted. But what happens if I'm hungover? Or sleepy?
Another scenario: "I'm quite sure they've caught the rapist; they confirmed his guilt absolutely by his eye movements!" More bad science designed to toss your ass in jail or lock you out of your own car.

(technologyreview)
The way you view the world is unique, so why not use it to identify you?

A company in Israel has developed a security system that does just this--exploiting a person's unique pattern of eye movements to identify them. Most biometric security systems measure physical features that are constant, such as fingerprints or iris patterns. An eye-tracking system has the potential to be harder to fool and easier use, its creators say.

The new system tracks the way a person's eye moves as he watches an icon roam around a computer screen. The way the icon moves can be different every time, but the user's eye movements include "kinetic features"—slight variations in trajectory—that are unique, making it possible to identify him. This is less complicated than using a long pass phrase or a smart card to gain access to a computer system or a building...
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The Green Police are quite real and they want to sniff around your garbage. As long as you aren't doing anything wrong, you have nothing to fear! Just be mindful of what you throw away, unless you want your local trash removal specialist to know exactly what you've been up to...

(theglobeandmail)
Kelowna and West Kelowna are on opposite sides of Okanagan Lake, but both participate in an automated curbside garbage and recycling program managed by the Regional District of Central Okanagan. About a year and a half ago, households in the program received new carts that are lifted and emptied by a mechanical arm on the collection trucks.

The carts have electronic tags, and the trucks are outfitted with scanners and cameras that can be used to track cart use and record evidence of bad recycling behaviour.

At the time, however, the regional district did not buy the computers and software necessary to implement a monitoring system, so last month it asked the municipalities to come up with approximately $1.70 per household to do so.

The program's manager, Peter Rotheisler, promised the investment would more than pay for itself, with less garbage going to the landfill and less contamination of recyclables.

But while Kelowna's city council enthusiastically embraced the request, West Kelowna's council firmly rejected it.

West Kelowna councillor Carol Zanon called the monitoring system “a draconian invasion of privacy.”

A retired lawyer, Ms. Zanon said in an interview that residents have a right “to a quiet enjoyment of life” without governments poking through their garbage...
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File under, WTF?

(newsinquisitor)
With the holidays fast approaching, the Transportation Safety Agency has announced new security procedures requiring passengers selected for secondary screening to go through a machine that produces a full body scan producing a nude but grainy, black and white image. Passengers choosing to opt out of the scan will face a full body pat.

The head of Homeland Security has indicated the government is considering the request of an Islamic organization that has suggested Muslim women be allowed to pat themselves down during a full body search that is part of new enhanced procedures at airports...
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(wdbo)
The backlash continues over those new TSA screening measures, and now one Central Florida airport has decided to go with a private security screening firm.

Orlando Sanford International Airport has decided to opt out from TSA screening.

"All of our due diligence shows it's the way to go," said Larry Dale, the director of the Sanford Airport Authority. "You're going to get better service at a better price and more accountability and better customer service."

Dale says he will be sending a letter requesting to opt out from TSA screening, and instead the airport will choose one of the five approved private screening companies to take over...
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(pogowasright)
The text of Rep. Ron Paul’s statement in Congress:
Mr. Speaker, today I introduce legislation to protect Americans from physical and emotional abuse by federal Transportation Security Administration employees conducting screenings at the nation’s airports. We have seen the videos of terrified children being grabbed and probed by airport screeners. We have read the stories of Americans being subjected to humiliating body imaging machines and/or forced to have the most intimate parts of their bodies poked and fondled. We do not know the potentially harmful effects of the radiation emitted by the new millimeter wave machines.




In one recent well-publicized case, a TSA official is recorded during an attempted body search saying, “By buying your ticket you gave up a lot of rights.” I strongly disagree and am sure I am not alone in believing that we Americans should never give up our rights in order to travel. As our Declaration of Independence states, our rights are inalienable. This TSA version of our rights looks more like the “rights” granted in the old Soviet Constitutions, where freedoms were granted to Soviet citizens — right up to the moment the state decided to remove those freedoms...
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Lost in the debate over the intrusive TSA tactics is the importance of the 4th Amendment and what it means to be an American. It's not about how comfortable one is with being seen naked or being groped by strangers; it's about the very fabric of our Liberty as envisioned in the Bill of Rights.

(mht)
My problem with the use of this technology is how it violates my fourth amendment rights while not leaving me much safer. Using these scanners to conduct an invasive search of my person without probable cause while still failing to protect me and my fellow passengers is troubling. Checking my bag? Fine. Metal detector to make sure I’ve left my gun collection at home? Fine. Even making me expose my feet to the gross airport floor? Still, I’ll tolerate it. But digitally stripping me for the review of a TSA agent? No thanks. I’m a human, not an object, and I’d like to be treated as though being a human being carries some value. Does having a clear arrest record and not even a single speeding ticket to my name mean anything? I guess not...
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Hey, the TSA isn't so bad, people. This brilliant essay points out how they make our world a better place!

(olegvolk)
The Transportation Security Administration at the US airports is getting their new full-body security scanners and new enhanced patdown process which is only slightly less intrusive than an autopsy, and no wonder that passengers, pilots, and flight attendants are revolting against the new rules. However, many of us tend to forget that TSA is actually making the world a better place. Here are the 10 ways how they are doing that...
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(usatoday)
Children going through airport security will no longer be subject to the aggressive pat-downs that have riled some passengers and will instead face less-intrusive hand searches from screeners, the Transportation Security Administration said Tuesday.

"After a thorough risk assessment and after hearing concerns from parents, we made the decision that a modified pat-down would be used for children 12 years old and under who require extra screening," TSA spokeswoman Kristin Lee said in a statement...
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Apparently this TSA bullshit is just another example of pork gone wild... Once again, profit trumps common sense.

(duncan.house.gov)
Congressman John J. Duncan, Jr. (R-Tenn.) blasted the Transportation Security Administration Wednesday during a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives for invasive “pat-downs” of U.S. citizens and the role lucrative government contracts played in the use of body scanning machines at airport checkpoints.

Duncan, former Chairman of the House Aviation Subcommittee and the current top Republican on the House Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, said: “Unfortunately, for the traveling public, big brother never makes a mistake, so I am not surprised they are trying to defend the purchase of these scanners...”
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They should make this guy go through a genital pat-down before he is allowed to enter the building.

(cnn)
The head of the Transportation Security Administration will likely get a pat-down on air-travel security measures as he testifies before Congress this morning.

The appearance by John Pistole was scheduled before controversy broke out over the past week about the agency's full body scans and pat-downs. But protest movements about the searches make such questioning likely when Pistole testifies about his agency's security efforts before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.



Hero pilot Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger on Tuesday joined the opposition to heightened airport security procedures, which critics have called invasive.

Sullenberger, who landed a crippled US Airways jet on the Hudson River last year, said the use of full-body pat-downs and advanced imaging scanners for airline personnel "just isn't an efficient use of our resources..."
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(prisonplanet)
The TSA’s invasive new screening measures include officers literally putting their hands down people’s pants if they are wearing baggy clothing in a shocking new elevation of groping procedures that have stoked a nationwide revolt against privacy-busting airport security measures.

Forget John Tyner’s “don’t touch my junk” experience at the hands of TSA goons in San Diego recently, another victim of Big Sis was told by TSA officials that it was now policy to go even further when dealing with people wearing loose pants or shorts.

Going through airport security this past weekend, radio host Owen JJ Stone, known as “OhDoctah,” related how he was told that the rules had been changed and was offered a private screening. When he asked what the procedure entailed, the TSA agent responded, “I have to go in your waistband, I have to put my hand down your pants,” after which he did precisely that.

Stone chose to conduct the search in public in the fear that the TSA worker would be even more aggressive in a private room.



“If you’re wearing sweat pants or baggy clothing, I was wearing sweat pants they’re not baggy, they’re sweat pants,” said Stone, adding that the agent pulled out his waistband before patting his backside and his crotch...
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"As long as you haven't done anything wrong"... Leaks like these are going to be the norm. Get used to it.

(gizmodo)
At the heart of the controversy over "body scanners" is a promise: The images of our naked bodies will never be public. U.S. Marshals in a Florida Federal courthouse saved 35,000 images on their scanner. These are those images.

A Gizmodo investigation has revealed 100 of the photographs saved by the Gen 2 millimeter wave scanner from Brijot Imaging Systems, Inc., obtained by a FOIA request after it was recently revealed that U.S. Marshals operating the machine in the Orlando, Florida courthouse had improperly-perhaps illegally-saved images of the scans of public servants and private citizens.

We understand that it will be controversial to release these photographs. But identifying features have been eliminated. And fortunately for those who walked through the scanner in Florida last year, this mismanaged machine used the less embarrassing imaging technique.

Yet the leaking of these photographs demonstrates the security limitations of not just this particular machine, but millimeter wave and x-ray backscatter body scanners operated by federal employees in our courthouses and by TSA officers in airports across the country. That we can see these images today almost guarantees that others will be seeing similar images in the future. If you're lucky, it might even be a picture of you or your family...
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The choice is really quite simple: a blast of radiation or a groping of the genitals...

(americanchronicle)
Airline passengers don't have a right to refuse security screening after placing carry-on bags on conveyor belts at airport checkpoints, according to the Transportation Security Administration.

It doesn't matter if a person worries that body scanners emit radiation or produce graphic images, or considers the alternative -- a pat-down search -- as too hands-on.

Those were among objections a California man gave when he refused to be screened Saturday in a San Diego airport. The man opted to turn around and go home but said he was threatened with legal action as he left the checkpoint area.

The TSA on Monday defended its actions, touching off arguments among travelers and legal experts.

Body scanners "safely screen passengers for metallic and nonmetallic threats to help keep the traveling public safe," said spokeswoman Ann Davis. Such screening is optional, she said, but passengers who decline must undergo alternate screening that includes "a thorough pat-down."

Independent studies showed radiation from the screeners does not present a risk, Davis said. Some pilots are concerned about cumulative effects if they pass through a scanner several times a day and several days a week, said Sam Mayer, a Boeing 767 captain and spokesman for the Allied Pilots Association.

The agency's representatives two weeks ago started using their palms and fingers to probe for hidden weapons and other devices in pat-down searches. In the past, screeners used the back of their hands to brush past sensitive body parts.

Anyone who refuses screening would be subject to civil penalty, Davis said, in addition to being denied access beyond a security checkpoint or onto a flight. She couldn't say whether the agency fined anyone for refusing to be screened, but she said less than 1 percent of passengers require pat-down searches. The TSA has 300 full-body scanners operational in 60 U.S. airports, including five in Pittsburgh, and will deploy more...
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