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Helena Airport Manager Blocks TSA From Taking Full-Body Scanner

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the not-without-my-scanner dept.

Security 221

OverTheGeicoE writes "TSA recently announced that it would remove all of Rapiscan's X-ray body scanners from airports by June. As part of this effort, it is trying to move a millimeter-wave body scanner from the Helena, Montana airport to replace an X-ray unit at a busier airport. Strangely enough, they have encountered resistance from the Helena's Airport Manager, Ron Mercer. Last Thursday, workers came to remove the machine, but were prevented from doing so by airport officials. Why? Perhaps Mercer agrees with Cindi Martin, airport director at Montana's Glacier Park International Airport airport, who called the scheduled removal of her airport's scanner 'a great disservice to the flying public' in part because it 'removed the need for the enhanced pat-down.'"

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Think you may want to look at his logs (5, Insightful)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#43007601)

I'm thinking Ron may have been doing most unprofessional things at the scanner monitor. Perhaps ween him off the free peep show slowly.

Re:Think you may want to look at his logs (2)

ron_ivi (607351) | about 2 years ago | (#43007641)

Perhaps the airports should just sell the videos from those machines to subsidize air travel.

Re:Think you may want to look at his logs (3, Informative)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | about 2 years ago | (#43008063)

Or perhaps some persons were enjoying giving the "enhanced pat-downs" even more than watching the nudie videos.

bevis and butthead now they should make a episode (5, Funny)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 2 years ago | (#43008267)

bevis and butthead now they should make a episode where they try to get jobs at the TSA.

Re:Think you may want to look at his logs (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#43007683)

I think its not quite impossible that he doesn't actually do something wrong.

If they keep telling you that for safety, you should have such a scanner at your airport, and then want to take it away from you, I don't think you would be happy.

It likely didn't prove itself in either direction, aka, it didn't show to stop terrorism a lot (since really, there isn't much terrorism), but nor did it show much really negative side effects, so if it was said to be a good thing, why suddenly stop believing in it. Certainly after you likely approved to good thing yourself, wouldn't want to acknowledge its a bad thing now, eh.

Re:Think you may want to look at his logs (5, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | about 2 years ago | (#43007793)

He says the scanner provides an excuse for them to do "enhanced patdowns".

I don't know what sort of people enjoy giving enhanced patdowns to other people, but know I don't want them in my airports.

Re:Think you may want to look at his logs (5, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 2 years ago | (#43007899)

Actually, when I go to fly, I do make sure to arrive in plenty of time ahead of flight....and when going through TSA if they don't wave me through the metal detector and instead make me go to the scanner, I refuse and politely ask for the pat down rather than be exposed to the 'radiation'.

The TSA agents have consistently told me there is no xray or radiation in these, but I smile and ask for the pat down.

It isn't any big deal so far...but I wish more people would do this as a slight form of protest. If enough people were backing up the lines for pat downs, they might have to rethink using the damned things.

Re:Think you may want to look at his logs (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#43007967)

What you should be doing is walking right through without getting scanned or patted down. Ignore the TSA completely.

Re:Think you may want to look at his logs (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#43008041)

Your comment doesn't make mucht sense. They would rethink using the machines because nobody is using them? Removing them only makes the pad down line longer.

Re:Think you may want to look at his logs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#43008391)

Removing them only makes the pad down line longer.

Which screws the works for the airlines. If nobody can make their flight, there's going to be a lot of irate customers. Most of the customers are voters. It makes things much worse on a return flight when their baggage leaves without them.

Another alternative is to bring some stickers [thekeytosurvival.com] and go through the machine a few times to make sure the dose is within limits. If it isn't, sue the manufacturer. Hand one or two of them to the guys running the scanner. They're the ones at the most risk and the most likely to get it shut down if it's provably unsafe.

Re:Think you may want to look at his logs (4, Interesting)

jittles (1613415) | about 2 years ago | (#43008503)

Your comment doesn't make mucht sense. They would rethink using the machines because nobody is using them? Removing them only makes the pad down line longer.

Incorrect for several reasons. They only do random pat downs when there is no body scanner. They only require the enhanced pat down when someone opts out of doing the body scanner. I've also personally seen them open the metal detectors and let 30-40 people through the metal detector instead of the scanner after I opted out of the scanner and the staff did not know what to do with me. They had me stand in the way of the scanner, which caused such a backup that everyone behind me didn't have to bother with the scanner or the pat down.

Re:Think you may want to look at his logs (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 2 years ago | (#43008077)

It isn't any big deal so far...but I wish more people would do this as a slight form of protest. If enough people were backing up the lines for pat downs, they might have to rethink using the damned things.

It's a government. They'll just spend more money.

Re:Think you may want to look at his logs (1)

wgoodman (1109297) | about 2 years ago | (#43008147)

I do the same thing. Last time I flew through Glacier International was in early January. They still had the scanner, but I opted for the pat down. I'd rather make them have to touch more balls so they prefer the old method as opposed to just security theater and punishment for opting out.

Re:Think you may want to look at his logs (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 2 years ago | (#43008281)

I do the same. I (truthfully) tell them I work with radio a lot, and try to minimize my non-occupational exposure.

Re:Think you may want to look at his logs (1)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about 2 years ago | (#43008333)

Yeah, no. What we'll get then is: "mandatory scans, no patdowns".

Re:Think you may want to look at his logs (2)

Virtucon (127420) | about 2 years ago | (#43008585)

I do the same thing but I make sure I'm nice and sweaty before doing so. I also push back when waiting that they have me stand over by the Bag XRay Machines. NFW am I standing next to those Radiation Hazards. Flying is bad enough exposure and frankly I still haven't seen an independent study on the safety of these machines by the people screened or by the people using them. http://www.infowars.com/cancer-surges-in-body-scanner-operators-tsa-launches-cover-up/ [infowars.com] The privacy matters are also there as well, so look, if the alternative to the scanner finding "something" is to do a pat down, then just go ahead and do it.

It's time to abolish the TSA, they're useless and could be replaced by a few well trained police dogs trained to sniff out explosives and contraband.

Re:Think you may want to look at his logs (5, Insightful)

houghi (78078) | about 2 years ago | (#43008709)

The scanners are not the problem. The patdowns are not the problem. The fact that these things are there is the problem.
Bullshit things like this airport logic [joyreactor.com] are the problem.
The fact that almost nobody complains is the problem.
Another nice read [scientificamerican.com] from scientificamerican.com

The security theater and everything that comes with it is the real problem.

Re:Think you may want to look at his logs (3, Interesting)

peragrin (659227) | about 2 years ago | (#43008763)

I just stopped flying.

Why kill your self or debase your self on technology and procedures that are so randomly enforced, that it doesn't do any good anyways.

They could replace the scanners with a motion detector and a timer, you walk in 5 seconds later it lights up green and you walk through. Every 40 people have it light up red for "enhanced pat downs"

You could build install it for $5,000 and provide just as much security.

Re:Think you may want to look at his logs (5, Informative)

jmrieger (2695923) | about 2 years ago | (#43007901)

Think you misread the statement. They liked the machine because having it installed meant that TSA officers *didn't* have to do the enhanced pat-downs.

Re:Think you may want to look at his logs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#43007941)

The presence of scanners meant that the pat-downs were optional. Removing the scanners does a disservice because now the pat-downs would have to be mandatory if they expect to provide the same level of screening.

Reading comprehension problem... (0)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 2 years ago | (#43007947)

He says the scanner provides an excuse for them to do "enhanced patdowns".

Either you are a âoetrollâ or you have a reading comprehension problem. What he said was:

...called the scheduled removal of her airport's scanner 'a great disservice to the flying public' in part because it 'removed the need for the enhanced pat-down

In any case neither "advanced pat-downs" nor this machine are actually necessary for true airport security.

Re:Reading comprehension problem... (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about 2 years ago | (#43008159)

Either you are a âoetrollâ or you have a reading comprehension problem. What he said was:

...called the scheduled removal of her airport's scanner 'a great disservice to the flying public' in part because it 'removed the need for the enhanced pat-down

It's a poorly worded sentence that could easily be misinterpreted to mean "If you remove the machines, it will remove the need for enhanced pat-downs".

Re:Reading comprehension problem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#43008523)

It's a poorly worded sentence that could easily be misinterpreted to mean "If you remove the machines, it will remove the need for enhanced pat-downs".

It is a CLEAR sentence that CLEARLY says that removal of the machine would possibly result in more "enhanced pat-downs". It is *NOT* ambiguous at all.

The OP is clearly trolling.

Re:Reading comprehension problem... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#43008577)

No, it really isn't. You might want to retake some English classes.

How is the Parent "Insightful"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#43008581)

How is the Parent "Insightful" when he CLEARLY misread (or intentioally is trolling) the actual statement?

Re:Think you may want to look at his logs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#43007775)

I'm thinking Ron may have been doing most unprofessional things at the scanner monitor. Perhaps ween him off the free peep show slowly.

They're removing the "good" machines (that are censored and aren't saveable) to be used in larger cities to replace the "bad" rapiscan machines.

Re:Think you may want to look at his logs (2)

Joce640k (829181) | about 2 years ago | (#43008143)

They're removing the "good" machines (that are censored and aren't saveable) to be used in larger cities to replace the "bad" rapiscan machines.

Quite the opposite. They're removing them because the people who promised they would (eventually) be censored have given up and said it's too difficult to do.

http://www.federaltimes.com/article/20130208/TRAVEL02/302080003/TSA-trying-sell-off-screening-machines [federaltimes.com]

Re:Think you may want to look at his logs (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#43007995)

It sounds like airports need to have large, public displays of the people in the rape-scan viewing booth.

(Who watches the watchers?)

Ron Mercer == Chester the Molester (0)

bobthesungeek76036 (2697689) | about 2 years ago | (#43007717)

<quote>... 'removed the need for the enhanced pat-down.' </quote>

Sounds like <i>someone</i> might be pat-down-happy...

Re:Ron Mercer == Chester the Molester (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#43007771)

Sounds like <i>someone</i> might be pat-down-happy...

I always opt out of scanning and go for the pat-down. The employees always seem very uncomfortable while doing it.

Wonder if it has anything to do with my Steve Jobsian approach to personal hygene?

Re:Ron Mercer == Chester the Molester (5, Funny)

wgoodman (1109297) | about 2 years ago | (#43008175)

When they're putting on the glove, tell them to double bag it because you just got back from ______ and you're pretty sure there isn't even an English word yet for the horrific STD you picked up there.

Re:Ron Mercer == Chester the Molester (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 2 years ago | (#43007937)

The complaint that it 'removed the need for the enhanced pat-down' was from Cindi Martin, not Ron Mercer. So it's quite possible that you've pinned the wrong motive on him.

Re:Ron Mercer == Chester the Molester (2)

Farmer Pete (1350093) | about 2 years ago | (#43008017)

They are complaining that if they get rid of the machines, they WILL have to do the enhanced pat-down. They aren't currently doing the enhanced pat-down. In other words, they want traffic to go through the airport faster, and the scanners speed things up.

Re:Ron Mercer == Chester the Molester (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 2 years ago | (#43008305)

Bullshit, they are doing them. You, as the screened, are allowed to opt-out. I do every time I fly.

So we are at that point now. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#43007737)

The scanner "removed the need for the enhanced pat-down".

Anyone remember the times before the scanners? There were no enhanced pat-downs, those came with the security theater of scanners. It was just a metal detector and a pat-down was only when the metal detector beeped.

It seems we're at the point now where we don't question any more whether or not a security measure is useful (haven't seen any proof yet that the pat-down or the scanner are beneficial at all), but the debate is now only about which pointless "security" measure is the preferred method of wasting time and money.

Re:So we are at that point now. (5, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | about 2 years ago | (#43007877)

(haven't seen any proof yet that the pat-down or the scanner are beneficial at all), but the debate is now only about which pointless "security" measure is the preferred method of wasting time and money.

Clue: Bad stuff can fit up people's asses. It's how people smuggle drugs through airport security, it's how cellphones get into prisons (complete with chargers!), etc.

Anybody who's really determined can get a bomb on a 'plane using this method and nothing the TSA does will prevent it. I know it, you know it, Al Qaeda knows it, even the TSA knows it.

Re:So we are at that point now. (1)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 2 years ago | (#43008005)

Dude, if you think that enough (non-nuclear) explosives to bring down a passenger jet will fit up your asshole, then you fail chemistry forever. Same for in your shoes, for that matter.

Re:So we are at that point now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#43008151)

Press an ass full of C5 against a cabin window and I think you'll see that you failed physics.

PS - "Dude"?

Re:So we are at that point now. (2)

flayzernax (1060680) | about 2 years ago | (#43008309)

Is this the ultimate form of a goatse.cx?

Re:So we are at that point now. (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 2 years ago | (#43008317)

That... would be amusing to see.

Also, WTF is C5?

Re:So we are at that point now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#43008435)

The future of transportation! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinclair_C5

Re:So we are at that point now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#43008499)

I'm thinking that's one big asshole: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C-5_Galaxy

Re:So we are at that point now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#43008345)

I'd stack the 2 oversized Li-ion batteries that are _always_ in my carry-on against your ass full of whatever.

They still aren't going to do much more than start a swell fire*, but whatever.

*yeah sure, under the perfect conditions I could blow out a window with them. This assumes that no one notices me building an enclosure around the window to direct the force of the blast.

Re:So we are at that point now. (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about 2 years ago | (#43008463)

Dude, if you think that enough (non-nuclear) explosives to bring down a passenger jet will fit up your asshole, then you fail chemistry forever. Same for in your shoes, for that matter.

Even if it can't take down a jet, a big gaping hole in the side of the plane is probably enough to meet the terrorists objectives.

I've seen enough internet porn to know that a cylinder 2" in diameter x 8" long could be hidden away, with training, a much larger cylinder could be hidden away. But even 2"x8" is 25 in^3, or 411 cm^3

At 1.63g/cm^3 density, that's 670g of explosive, or about one and a half pounds.

I think that much high explosive could easily punch a hole through the thin skin of a plane. Or blow a cockpit door off and possible disable the pilots.

Re:So we are at that point now. (1)

larry bagina (561269) | about 2 years ago | (#43008479)

In 2009, an al-quaida agent attempted (unsuccessfully) to assassinate a Saudi prince with an ass bomb [schneier.com] . The shoe bomber and the crotch bomber were very successful -- not at blowing up a plane but at allowing the TSA to implement even dumber and more invasive security measures.

Re:So we are at that point now. (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 2 years ago | (#43008715)

In 2009, an al-quaida agent attempted (unsuccessfully) to assassinate a Saudi prince with an ass bomb [schneier.com] . The shoe bomber and the crotch bomber were very successful -- not at blowing up a plane but at allowing the TSA to implement even dumber and more invasive security measures.

I'd say the crotch and shoe bombers were more successful than if they had blown up

Re:So we are at that point now. (1)

PraiseBob (1923958) | about 2 years ago | (#43008599)

Because no one could ever dream of an attack on an airplane where 4 or 5 people were acting in concert, right?

Re:So we are at that point now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#43008703)

That is what makes the whole 3 oz or less thing a total joke.

The anus, the human's equivalent of... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#43008067)

the kangaroo's pouch.

All sorts of fun stuff fits in there, but it's twice as hard to put stuff in and three times as hard to pull stuff out. :-P

Re:So we are at that point now. (5, Informative)

OzPeter (195038) | about 2 years ago | (#43008153)

Anybody who's really determined can get a bomb on a 'plane using this method and nothing the TSA does will prevent it. I know it, you know it, Al Qaeda knows it, even the TSA knows it.

Anyone who is really interested in disrupting air travel won't even try to smuggle a bomb on a plane. All you need to do is set off a bomb (*) in the middle of the security theatre at a major airport (or for fun synchronized at 2 or 3 airports) and that will scare the US public shitless.

* Or you could even do what the IRA did in 1994 when they fired mortars at Heathrow airport.

Re:So we are at that point now. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#43008769)

I'm sometimes afraid to demonstrate (conceptually, mind you) how ridiculous airport security is by suggesting things that would be easier, cheaper, and more effective. I don't want people to think I'm crazy or sit around thinking about this stuff all the time.

So please keep that in mind when I ask rhetorically, how ridiculously cheap and easy would it be for horrible people to fly a few hobby drones with small HE charges on them right into an airport. Nowadays that can be done for less than al queda spends on building and placing a roadside bomb (something like $1k, I've heard).

They could land them right on planes wings, or planes taking off or landing, fuel trucks, etc. What are we going to do, put phalanx systems [youtube.com] all around the perimeters of all our airports? And with no real signature, visually target anything that moves? That's a lot of dead pigeons.

There are things that are done on our behalf that make perfect sense to me. I do want our border security and intelligence services to know who is coming into our country, and from where. I do want them to be watching cash flow from known baddies to people inside the US. I want them to know if someone is smuggling radiological materials in shipping containers. I don't think that the goofy stuff that happens in line at security for our airports is really helping anything, other than act as a very visible attempt at diligence.

Re:So we are at that point now. (2)

MadCow42 (243108) | about 2 years ago | (#43008537)

"The time before the scanners" was last week for me. Flying back from Israel, there are no scanners, and no pat downs. But, even though they're one of the most at-risk for terrorist attacks, the have put in place actual security instead of the theater that passes for security here. They profile. They do background checks. They do risk assessment.

I refuse to use the scanners in the USA, partially due to the unproven safety levels (albeit likely much better with the "newer" ones instead of the backscatter xray ones), and partially due to privacy concerns - or at least the privacy implications.

MadCow.

Re:So we are at that point now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#43008683)

Anyone remember the times before the scanners?

I remember flying out of Bozeman, MT., in 1986 when they didn't even have metal detectors. No X-Ray machines, no metal detectors, no pat downs, nothing. You'd walk out onto the runway and up stairs to get on the plane. Oh, what a different time.

C'mon...that's a hanging curve ball. (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 2 years ago | (#43007747)

I am unqualified to suggest how the Montana version of the enhanced pat-down might be likely to go, but the Backpage girls want to charge a bit extra...

Re:C'mon...that's a hanging curve ball. (1)

wgoodman (1109297) | about 2 years ago | (#43008201)

The last one I had at Glacier International was very brief. He was clearly more uncomfortable about it than I was.

more money wasted (2)

jest3r (458429) | about 2 years ago | (#43007765)

It's certainly a huge waste of taxpayer dollars and makes you wonder why airport fees are so high when these agencies seem to be committing to the wrong technology over and over.

The TSA has to remove the Rapiscan machines because they couldn't patch the software to remove customer-specific imagery? Why use them in the first place?

I wonder how much money was flushed down the drain on those babies ... I wonder how long the new machines will last before they get replaced ... and now small airports are back to full body cavity searches which is why these machines existed in the first place ...

Re:more money wasted (5, Insightful)

characterZer0 (138196) | about 2 years ago | (#43007783)

Money was not flushed down the drain. Money was directed to campaign contributors, friends, family, and other connected members of the political class by way of contracts for unnecessary equipment.

Re:more money wasted (5, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 2 years ago | (#43007973)

Actually, in the case of Rapiscan machines, one of the people that were going to profit from the decision was Michael Chertoff, the Secretary of Homeland Security at the time that he was deciding whether to use them. No, nothing corrupt there.

Re:more money wasted (1)

spongebue (925835) | about 2 years ago | (#43007909)

The TSA has to remove the Rapiscan machines because they couldn't patch the software to remove customer-specific imagery? Why use them in the first place?

If I remember correctly, congress required imagery to be removed by a certain date. The requirement was put in place after the scanners were originally installed. Rapiscan said they couldn't meet the deadline, so TSA decided to switch to all L3 scanners, which already have the cookie-cutter image.

I'm sorry, what? (5, Insightful)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | about 2 years ago | (#43007777)

because it 'removed the need for the enhanced pat-down.

Or you could just, you know, let people pass through the metal detectors.
You know, how all airports used to do, and smaller ones STILL do?

Re:I'm sorry, what? (4, Insightful)

mythosaz (572040) | about 2 years ago | (#43007825)

That absurd. It's almost like you're saying that anyone wishing to bypass advanced screening equipment can just go to a regional airport and then catch a flight to a large airport and TA-TAH! be behind security.

Re:I'm sorry, what? (1)

Farmer Pete (1350093) | about 2 years ago | (#43008173)

I'm shocked that people haven't exploited the lax security standards in other countries more. A few years ago, I was flying with a coworker from Mexico City to Detroit. My coworker walked through the metal detector and was not stopped, questioned, or examined in any way. Why is that significant you ask? Because he has a prosthetic leg. I mean, he walked through the metal detector with several guns worth of metal, and the Mexican security didn't even flinch. I'm not sure if they're always so lax, but I can bear witness to this. I know that you get scanned by the TSA once you land in the USA (if you are going on a connecting flight), but what would have stopped someone from hijacking the flight over the USA and doing something bad?

Re:I'm sorry, what? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#43008719)

I'm shocked that people haven't exploited the lax security standards in other countries more. A few years ago, I was flying with a coworker from Mexico City to Detroit. My coworker walked through the metal detector and was not stopped, questioned, or examined in any way. Why is that significant you ask? Because he has a prosthetic leg. I mean, he walked through the metal detector with several guns worth of metal, and the Mexican security didn't even flinch. I'm not sure if they're always so lax, but I can bear witness to this. I know that you get scanned by the TSA once you land in the USA (if you are going on a connecting flight), but what would have stopped someone from hijacking the flight over the USA and doing something bad?

Fundamentally it's a matter of no one is actually trying to take over/blow up airplanes. That's the main thing that people on the more security side of the argument don't seem to understand.

It doesn't really matter how crappy your security is when no one is trying to penetrate your security.

Re:I'm sorry, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#43007855)

Not just the small ones. I've seen them using the scanners less than half the time I've flown out of Logan over the past 6 months.

Re:I'm sorry, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#43007895)

Seems to me, that that, in combination with locking the door to the cockpit is way more than enough to stop all big terrorism acts. At some point, it just stops being worth the effort of anti-terrorism if you got to protect every single person. If somebody wants to kill an individual, and we do not have everybody on a thought controlling machine, the person will be able to do it, same if a person wants to kill 2 people. I wonder at what point it becomes viable to stop them from doing it while still having everybody retain a bit of privacy.

The amount of people you can kill and still have it be a terrorist like act and not just a murder heavily depends on the matterials you have available. Without metal, you have a lot of things blocked from you, for example guns and I would assume much bomblike matterial.
Metal can be scanned for with very little privacy invasion. So its a great way to reduce possibility of big terrorist acts.

Basically, anybody know at what how many lives are on stake it becomes more terrorising to have your method of detecting the act before it takes place or the act itself?

Re:I'm sorry, what? (2)

stew77 (412272) | about 2 years ago | (#43007905)

Or you could just, you know, let people pass through the metal detectors.

You know, how all airports used to do, and smaller ones STILL do?

Smaller ones? Heathrow does the simple metal detector routine and they let you keep your shoes on. Not a small airport by my definition.

Yes, Heathrow in London/UK - the paranoid place with omnipresent CCTV that outlawed carrying a swiss army knife in public and where it's illegal to sell razor blades to minors.

Re:I'm sorry, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#43008051)

Outlawed carrying a Swiss Army Knife? WTF?

Re:I'm sorry, what? (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | about 2 years ago | (#43008299)

They trotted out the old CCTV thing, so I'm guessing they're a Mail reader.

Well, whaddya know [dailymail.co.uk] ?

It was probably just an isolated incident of a bobby getting uppity, since Swiss army knives are explicitly [www.gov.uk] categorised as legal to carry in public if you have good reason. Perhaps aforementioned bobby thought carrying one in a car in case of fruit cravings wasn't justified... personally I don't see the problem with keeping one in the glove box. In any event, this sort of sensationalism is just what we've come to expect from that squalid little rag; I wouldn't be surprised one bit to find a rant about most disabled people being benefit cheats on the next page.

Re:I'm sorry, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#43008373)

This is incorrect. You can carry non-locking blades that are less than three inches long. No copper is going to pull you over for carrying a penknife unless you're in a seriously dodgy neighbourhood. You can carry things that violate knife laws if you have reason - a chef going to work may take knives, for instance.

However, I have been ID'd on separate occasions trying to buy cutlery and wood glue before.

Re:I'm sorry, what? (1)

stew77 (412272) | about 2 years ago | (#43008757)

Swiss Army Knives come with blades > 3 inches, depending on the model.

Re:I'm sorry, what? (1)

JustOK (667959) | about 2 years ago | (#43008383)

Banned in favour of the Euroknife. It doesn't work, but it's too expensive for anyone to buy anyways.

Re:I'm sorry, what? (2)

poetmatt (793785) | about 2 years ago | (#43008587)

uh, what?

heathrow has gone full TSA. Last time I went through, I got stopped from the dreaded contact solution . I was told I could take the same solution and put it into a smaller bottle, but that large bottle? has to go.

Re:I'm sorry, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#43008789)

where it's illegal to sell razor blades to minors.

Duh; if you're not old enough to drink, you're not old enough to shave.

Re:I'm sorry, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#43008069)

umm, are you missing a few facts?
I have an artificial hip. It sets off the traditional metal detectors. TSA rules say that once the metal detector has alarmed, the traveler MUST go thru an 'enhanced pat-down'. So I want the alternative to a metal detector, so that I DO NOT have to go thru the 'enhanced pat-down'.

drugs and explosives (1)

schneidafunk (795759) | about 2 years ago | (#43008239)

How do metal detectors work against drugs & explosives?

Re:drugs and explosives (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#43008389)

How do metal detectors work against drugs & explosives?

A) It's not the TSA's job to detect drugs.

B) How many explosives has the TSA discovered in its 11(?) years of operation? I suspect the answer is zero or damn near.

Isn't this the wrong way around? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#43007811)

I was under the impression that, just as how no airplane is legally able to operate in American airspace without complying with FAA regulations, no airport can operate without complying with some combination of Department of Transport, FAA, and/or Transportation Security approval.

The idea being that an airport needs to meet the regulations for safety and security, wouldn't this sort of delay either cause fines or temporarily suspend operations at said airport?

Granted based on the article the manager may or may not be arguing that the scanner's removal and subsequent return to walkthrough metal detectors is less "safe" than using the scanners and wants to maintain quality, but that's difficult to discern.

bread and security circuses (2)

tverbeek (457094) | about 2 years ago | (#43007815)

People love their security theater. In response to employees watching too much scary stuff on 24-hour cable news about shootings, my employer recently instituted some unnecessary and ineffective "security" measures. They seem to be based on the mushy logic that greater security results in inconvenience, so any new inconvenience probably increases security, and the staff seem to find it comforting to have to jump through extra hoops to get from one part of the office to another.

The moment we've all been waiting for (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#43007819)

Suddenly the scanners are a GOOD thing.

Bad editing (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#43007829)

Read the article, he doesn't want to remove it because they don't need to do enhanced patdowns while they have the machine. If they remove the machine, they will have to do the pat downs again.

Re:Bad editing (1)

wgoodman (1109297) | about 2 years ago | (#43008259)

Enhanced pat downs came *after* the scanners. Why would going back to just metal detectors require enhanced pat downs?

Um ... context is important (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#43007853)

Perhaps the poster should read the article more carefully.

“People had become comfortable with the scanner. It certainly did speed the process and removed the need for the enhanced pat-down.”

She's stating that the scanners that are being removed had eliminated the enhanced pat-down.

You know what else... (2)

BenJeremy (181303) | about 2 years ago | (#43007883)

"'removes the need for the enhanced pat-down?"

Telling the TSA to get the fuck out of your airport and re-installing private security with more common sense than your average peanut shell.

The only reason TSA is pervasive is because it is a government handout, replacing the measures they had in place before 9/11. IIRC, there is absolutely nothing preventing airports from replacing TSA with their own security.

It's "risk management." (4, Insightful)

PhxBlue (562201) | about 2 years ago | (#43008083)

The only reason TSA is pervasive is because it is a government handout, replacing the measures they had in place before 9/11.

It's risk management. In short, no one wants to be the director of the next Logan International Airport -- the takeoff location for two of the four planes involved in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

That doesn't excuse the BS security theater, but it gives the folks in charge an out in the event their airport is the next Logan.

Re:It's "risk management." (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 2 years ago | (#43008375)

It's risk management. In short, no one wants to be the director of the next Logan International Airport -- the takeoff location for two of the four planes involved in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The real kicker: There was no failure of security at Logan. The security people at Logan had no indication that the terrorists were bad news, and the box-cutters the terrorists had were at the time allowed on board.

Re:It's "risk management." (1)

PhxBlue (562201) | about 2 years ago | (#43008461)

There may not have been a failure of security on Sept. 11, but there were numerous security failures leading up to that point, as detailed in an October 2001 New York Times article [nytimes.com] :

In 1999, a 17-year-old boy dressed as a Hasid climbed over a fence, walked to a runway and boarded a plane bound for London. That same year, an investigation by The Boston Globe found 136 security violations at Logan in the preceding two years. Last week The Globe reported that in the last decade, Logan had one of the worst such records among the nation's major airports, especially when it came to tests in which federal agents tried to get fake bombs or guns past security. It was not clear from the federal data that the newspaper analyzed whether all airports were tested with equal frequency, or if Logan was scrutinized more rigorously than others.

I have little doubt security was one of the factors behind the hijackers' choice of Logan International, along with the availability of trans-national flights that would guarantee a full load of fuel.

Re:You know what else... (5, Informative)

Hotawa Hawk-eye (976755) | about 2 years ago | (#43008257)

"'removes the need for the enhanced pat-down?"

Telling the TSA to get the fuck out of your airport and re-installing private security with more common sense than your average peanut shell.

The only reason TSA is pervasive is because it is a government handout, replacing the measures they had in place before 9/11. IIRC, there is absolutely nothing preventing airports from replacing TSA with their own security.

When Texas threatened to make "invasive screening" a misdemeanor [forbes.com] the TSA threatened to shut down all traffic out of Texas airports. I have no doubt that if an airport tried to expel the TSA and install private security that they'd do the same to that airport.

English ..., do you speak it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#43007913)

The summary is worded such that the scanner being there removes the need for the enhanced pat down. Which means that he doesn't want to do the enhanced pat down (and most people wouldn't want to be enhanced-pat-downed for fear of creepy peepz).

I probably shouldn't be shocked at how many people can't read with understanding. :/

Not Removing != Not Using (1)

spongebue (925835) | about 2 years ago | (#43007949)

Just because the machine is there, doesn't mean it will still get used if TSA says it can't be.

Misleading Headline (5, Informative)

pdbogen (596723) | about 2 years ago | (#43007957)

Wow. Misleading headline is horribly misleading. Quote from one of TFAs:

“We’re really disappointed that the TSA is removing them from our airport,” Martin said. “It is a great disservice to the flying public.
“People had become comfortable with the scanner. It certainly did speed the process and removed the need for the enhanced pat-down.”

i.e., it's not the "removal of the scanner" that "removed the nead for the enhanced pat-down," as the headline deceptively implies. Rather, the scanner itself removed the need. However, as a seasoned frequent flier, I'm quite acquainted with the fact that security checkpoints that do not have body scanners are not subject to an "enhanced pat-down," as Martin implies in the article.

Success rate. (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 2 years ago | (#43007981)

So... how many confirmed terrorist attacks have these scanners actually stopped, that previous procedures wouldn't have? How about drugs smuggling?

Re:Success rate. (2)

Rob_Bryerton (606093) | about 2 years ago | (#43008071)

>>How about drugs smuggling?

It depends. Do you mean the flying public, or the TSA smuggling drugs? Because I know TSA employees has been busted smuggling drugs.

Re:Success rate. (2)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 2 years ago | (#43008403)

So... how many confirmed terrorist attacks have these scanners actually stopped

That's easy: Zero. We don't even have to compare them to the previous procedures - they haven't caught one yet.

DEFUND THE TSA (4, Informative)

pecosdave (536896) | about 2 years ago | (#43008043)

The Iron Triangle [wikipedia.org] must be broken.

I can think of no government agency more deserving of being defunded, though many others should follow.

Hmmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#43008085)

Seems like someone woke up on the retarded side of bed.

Just to address ONE issue. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#43008125)

...it 'removed the need for the enhanced pat-down.'"

OK. I know that the TSA is security theater. Got it? Good! I wanted to get that out of the way.

Now since this theater is embedded in our culture (coming from a German-Jewish background I'm really restraining myself here), I'd rather have a person do the security "screening" than a machine that will bombard me with carcinogenic radiation - I don't give a fuck what the manufacturers say about their safety nor did I when the cigarette manufacturers said their products were safe. I've been through the the "enhanced pat downs".

Something More (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#43008641)

I bet there is more to this story. I have been to this airport and it sticks out as a very odd set-up.
There is a military base in close proximity to the airport and at this tiny airport with one or two gates you are met by DHS personnel carrying assault rifles in addition to very minimal TSA staff (1 or 2). Its pretty much all one giant room with the back 1/5 or so cordoned off by a security checkpoint with these guards standing both in front of, at, and behind the checkpoint. In fact the process is ticketing counter with the airline, security checkpoint with TSA/DHS then ticket-taker sporting a DHS seal on their uniform standing at podium with giant DHS logo on it and carrying a sidearm.
I went there before the body scanner, security level was orange that week.

Re:Something More (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#43008687)

Forgot 1 thing.
The TSA employees also wore uniforms I was not familiar with. They were much more formal, frankly it looked like a Dress Uniform for the TSA.

Solution to enhanced patdowns (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#43008699)

Favorite counter to enhanced pat down problem: spontaneous loss of bladder control.

If enough people do it, perhaps Mr Mercer will lose his fondness of the pat-downs and send the machines back so that he doesn't have to do them anymore.

p.s. loss of bowel control optional, but encouraged. just blame the airport food.

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