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11/15/2010

Airport Security vs. Privacy

A man who refused a body scan and pat-down search at a San Diego airport has become an Internet sensation in the debate weighing fliers' security versus their privacy.

On his blog, John Tyner wrote about and posted a cell phone audio recording of his half-hour encounter Saturday at Lindbergh Field.

He refused a full-body scan and wouldn't allow a Transportation Security Administration worker to conduct a groin check. Tyner tells the worker, "If you touch my junk, I'm gonna have you arrested."

The dispute that followed included police escorting him from the screening area and a supervisor saying he could face a civil lawsuit.

"Advanced imaging technology screening is optional for all passengers," TSA said in a statement released Monday. "Passengers who opt out of [advanced imaging] screening will receive alternative screening, including a physical pat-down."

But anyone who refuses to complete the screening process will be denied access to airport secure areas and could be subject to civil penalties, the administration said, citing a federal appeals court ruling in support of the rule.

What do you think of airport security?  Does it go too far or does it go far enough?  Offer your thoughts by clicking on comment below.  We may use what you write here or on Eyewitness News.

Comments

Jeznadel

It is very great when the security in one airport is very strict, that means you have a percentage that your travel is safe in any other threat. It is the same with my country aside from scanning in the airport, for finay scanning you need to separate your wallet, phone, shoes, belt etc...

Jezreel Ricafort

I think when you are in your vacation or holiday trip no need to answer those emails from work because that trip was your personal and family day trip, unless maybe you are the owner or partner of the company, that is different story.

Yehuda

Even without blowing up a plane the terrorists have succeeded in affecting the way millions of people travel. Because Reid tried a shoe bomb millions of people now have to take off their shoes before boarding a plane. Because a terrorist tried to explode a bomb in his underwear millions of people have to undergo a scan or pat down. By sending two bombs in printer cartridges, all cargo will now have to be inspected. Even when the terrorists do not "succeed" they really do succeed.

The only way to stop this is to find and eliminate the people who send the terrorists.

Concerned Flyer

I am a younger person who happens to have a pacemaker. Because of this I have to have a pat down EVERY time I go through security and always in front of everyone else. I have always been given a woman TSA agent and have been treated with respect. I feel that if you have nothing to hide, then you shouldn't mind all the extra steps that you perhaps have to go through. I am not sure if my condition allows me to go through the scanners but I have no problem doing so. As far as radiation, I believe for the few seconds we are required to spend in the machine far outweighs all the radiation we are subjected to in doses that we are unable to measure using everyday items such as cell phones etc. People need to calm down and decide whether their safety and the safety of others is important enough to be a little inconvenienced when traveling.

Nicole

idiots, idiots, idiots, realy come on and grow-up. Have we all forgot ((911)) ???? No, lets just say no to major security rather than have someone scan, wand, pat down, or strip search us. BOO HOO BOO HOO. I would much rather have armed soldiers walking the streets and driving tanks down main street wouldn't you. I guess we could afford to loose a few more thousands of americans so there is more room for over breeding illegal citizens,and give them all my hard earned money for their welfare money, great health insuance, and business loans that legal citizens can't get, they desirve to live better than me. I mean after all we must be to blame for how they trashed and overbreeding in their their their home countys. Your right lets sue some more to bankrupt our country even more, because all us other country folk that dont fly dont care about national security and the freedom it brings us.

Tyron

It all started as it normally would before the screeners were installed, except that now they hand-pat you down. I take that as a punishment (harassment, if you will)for those who opt-out of the dangerous X-Rays. Instead of going after the terrorists, they are going after us. And the terrorists are just laughing their way here and suing the TSA for harassment. Tyner is so right. If we all did what the TSA agent suggested, the airlines would not survive and neither would her job.

LT

This just goes to prove how easy our rights as American citizens have been shattered by a terrorist group that had set out to do just that. Our government has played into the hands of the terrorist. This is what they wanted the break of our system within. US citizens have lost respect for our government. Why is it okay for our government to expose us to unnecessary radiation? Why is it okay for our government to act as voyeurs in the name of public security? Why is it okay for our government to act as pedophiles if we are traveling with our children since they will be screened also? This is a total disgrace to our constitution. When our own government act as criminals and say it is okay we are homeland security we are protecting you. If that is so why do we walk away feeling violated. I have been at airports where the TSA agents gwak when they see an attractive person going through the regular security. Now that they will clearly be able to see a person's body as if they were naked leaves me totally disgusted.
The public should be against this abuse of power and the use of taxpayer money. I am sure these machines came with a hefty price tag and the maintenance fees will be equally outrageous.

Mike Vee

What is taking place with TSA is a direct violation of our Constitutional right against illegal search and seizure. Since the Patriot Act, this country has gone down hill with our rights being whittled away. Why won't the news report the truth behind the scanners and that is the fact that Michael Chertoff stands to gain a LOT of money from implementing these scanners? This isn't about security, it's about money!

Diane

It's bad enough when your doctor has to examine you, but to be groped and x-rayed by a complete stranger is a bit much. If someone really wanted to smuggle something onto a plane, they can easily use a child 12 years old and under, who are not required to be pat down, to avoid detection. If I can't get to my destination by train or car, I'm not going. Maybe they should kill 2 birds with 1 stone and employ doctors, so we can get our yearly exam at the same time we want to board a plane.

Barbara

THERE IS NO WAY I would agree to an X-RAY screening. I CHOOSE to not eat food that has been microwaved or irradiated, why on earth would I let someone force me to do this for my body? I've been traveling FREQUENTLY due to a family health emergency. No one is even thinking about the high risk involved in FREQUENT XRAY screening when someone is on a plane more than once in a while! This is an invasion of my body. When I travel, I wrap any food items or supplements in mylar and aluminum foil so they are not spoiled by irradiation. This XRAY screening can be hazardous to my health and no one should have a right to force me to be xrayed!!!!! This is NOT going to impact national security! Seriously! If 100 percent of the people are not being screened this way, how on earth do they think this will make a difference?

I have no problem with the standard metal detector...but XRAY ...NOPE!!! And don't tell me to find another way to travel because I choose to eat healthy and not subject my body to something that may be found risky!!!

Mia K. A.

The body scanners are for our safety. I am for it. The images are nothing like skin... people do not look naked. It is only a silhouette of your body. The only thing I am concerned about is the radiation exposure for people that are constantly flying. Something will eventually have to be done to protect them, which may make this whole controversy for not.

For the last person. The TSA have had the right to go under our bras before. They have been allowed to intiate even more thorough searches in the past. This is not the time to begin being more lax with existing security in this world. I have brown skin, and am often singled out from secruity after 9/11, given the current state of the world, and the fact that we are at war. I am okay with a professional performing a search. (Except a cavity search.)

Jeff Patterson

What I don't understand is, we've came so far in technology, but when it comes to our safety, we're so limited. Why can't the scanner be made to detect any foreign object on or, in the body. Thats much better than your privacy being violated.

suze

Having just traveled to Israel and Egypt it felt very reassuring that security was very tight & guns & soldiers were visible everywhere. Luggage was checked several times at numerous checkpoints. But, that being said, we did not have to remove half our clothing and shoes, or even computers. I did not see anyone have to go through the lengths we make our own citizens go through here. I think some of these machines invade our privacy and worse still is the curt attitude of the many TSA agents. There must be a better way.

JFK Supervisor

I wish to comment, but due to my position at JFK I can not use my name.

They tell us all the time that the AIT machines are safe..I wear a dosimeter badge...and its been normal all of the readings..

This new pat down procedure is to force people or the sheeple to use the AIT machines... For a minute if you believe that we are under a constant terror threat..This machine will provide us with images that help us..we are not interested in the size of your private areas..

Screening officers have to put up passengers who are rude and hostile...we are always being challenged in the way we perform our jobs... do you want safety or customer service? True TSA hires just about anyone, but many of us here are professional...

in the last 8 years there have been no acts of terrorism in the united states...thanks to TSA..

Passengers dont want to be inconvienced..is your life not worth it..true that there are many glitches in the system ...however, the public has to be more understanding...

if you dont like our procedures,,, there is always a bus , train or a car ride....

Queens Woman

This is what's wrong with America. We say we want safety, but when we are individually called on to walk the walk, we complain about it infringing on our personal rights. In some situations you have to put personal rights aside for the common good.

I’m larger woman with many bumps and rolls, I don’t really want to go through a scanner, but I’ll do it so that I can have a bit more assurance of a safer flight.

For frequent flyers, the pat down is the better option if there is a worry about radiation.

Judith Safarik

This situation is the "lesser of two evils" . Rather be safe than sorry. That's what I say. I think the authorities are doing their utmost to make the skies safe and insuring our safe arrival to our destination. Life is Good.

Carolyn Straka

I am diabetic and I object to so many rules. I need my water bottle and don't want to leave without it. I don't like the fee for checked bags, the way flight attendants treat fliers and vice versa. I might need food during a flight if it's long and don't want to carry lots of stuff that I might need and not have any emergency supply available. Last flight a child barfed (not mine) on me and the stewards were ill prepared to help me get cleaned up. I have been flying for 40 years, but we can either take a our car, a bus, train, or ship to get to places if we want. With the prices up so high, the excess rules, luggage rules I don't see us flying until it becomes pleasant. Flying has become an unpleasant hassle. The final straw would be getting groped by security. I have been hand examined every time I have flown for many years. Ugh, Please!

Lillian Dazzo Morrison

I don't understand how "True Americans" could object to this? Don't they realize stopping the screening would give the terrorists a free pass in and out of the country to bomb us? Or are "YOU" the terrorists??? Hmmmm think about that for a minute.

alvin

why some people have problems with this airport security measures,this is for our own good..and if something bad happens we will blame our airport agency for not doing their job?..common people this is just a small issue don't make it bigger.

Tyron

We all know who should be screened and how. We have to stop pretending we don't know, and start doing what is in human nature: profiling.

Arlene

What happens with pregnant women? They definitely can't be scanned! Or worse yet--what happens if you don't know you're pregnant yet. I'd be very concerned at being scanned at such an early stage of pregnancy. All hospitals make SURE you are not pregnant before taking any x-rays. The health implications can be far reaching; not to mention the law suits they are opening themselves up to if anything goes wrong with a pregnancy. There's got to be a better way. I don't think Israel does it this way, and flying El AL is always safe.

Lillian Dazzo Morrison

I don't understand the "Americans" who are objecting to this? Don't you realize the terrorists are loving this? They would love it stopped and then they could come in and bomb us freely. You are helping their cause the more you complain. Or...is it the terrorists that are complaining???? Hmmmm think about that.

Daniela

Do these idiotic people who are making such a stink about full body scanners NOT remember 911? As a New Yorker who saw those planes fly into those buildings first hand, I can tell you I would rather be safe than hijacked or dead!!!!! If you have such issue with the safety measures that have been put into place to keep Americans in the skies safe, then perhaps you shouldn't fly! I find it appalling that airports anywhere would even entertain the idea of removing these scanners that could potentially save many lives because of a few annoying people!!!!! SAFETY FIRST!

Marin Grzan

I have been traveling all my life, and was excited when full body scanner's came to this country. I have already gone through them in Europe and my own sense of security felt great. If you do not want to be scanned, then stop complaining and take Amtrak. Rules are rules and that's final. You don't like it, to bad. People complain that they don't feel safe when they are flying, and here our government has finally done something to make us feel safe, and now we are complaining that they have gone to far. Come on people, either suck it up and deal with or start walking....

Malchiram

I object to the use of the full-body airport scanners for many reasons. First, radiation exposure is of very serious concern. Second, these devices are too invasive. Third, this type of procedure is illegal under the American Constitution which forbids unreasonable search and seizure. Fourth, the use of the scanners as a primary security device at airports was rejected by Lawmakers in Washington. Fifth, the scanner cannot detect all types of explosives. Sixth, the American people should not be subjected to invasive pat-downs when not suspected or guilty of wrong-doing. Considering all the hype about terrorism, the American people must be careful not to destroy our Constitution. The Founding Fathers and signatories to the American Constitution were wise beyond that which their humanity would suggest. Let us not curse their good works, but endeavor to ensure the longevity of our Constitution. We must not let unseen forces seduce us into giving-up our freedom.

Sharon Diamond

My right to be safe overrides your right to privacy. Scanning just lends another level of protection from the crazies who are out to destroy us.

Wendy Reich

I think we also need to consider those who are doing the pat down. Many have had to get comfortable in doing so...it's a two-sided issue.

John from Toms River

When did flying become a right! It's a privilege, not a right. you don't want to get screened, WALK!

Rick

If you do not want to abide by the required guidelines for air travel, either stay home or find another means of transportation. You will all belly ache about this until someone you love is killed by terrorists who used a slight that was not screened. Will screening proved 100% safety? No, but not screening gives them an open license to kill.

Jamie

I think this is crazy. I saw the new screening regulations and I would not allow someone to go under my bra. Like this man said, that's only for doctors and your spouse. You shouldn't have to be X-rayed to travel somewhere, and as it is you have to practically get undressed to go through the metal detectors. Unless 100% of the people have to go through those x-ray machines, it's not even a fool-proof method. Terrorists could send 10 people through security and maybe 2 would get sent through the x-ray machine...that's 8 that just made it through.

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