“TSA has a de facto program of violating the rights of disabled travelers” – harassed and detained, man with neurological disorder issues FOIA request for TSA policies and procedures

March 31, 2013 by  
Filed under General News

I have a neurological disorder that causes episodic muteness and muscle spasms. I always require medical liquids (namely, juice) at hand, and sometimes I require paper to communicate.

The TSA has a de facto program of violating the rights of disabled travelers like me, and I’m fed up with it. They’re routinely violating not just clearly established law, but their own policy. I want this to stop.

I’m currently pursuing administrative & civil action against the TSA for these incidents below. If you know any good lawyers admitted to California, Massachusetts, or Federal practice, who are knowledgable in the ADA / Rehabilitation Act, §1983 or Bivens actions under the 1st and 4th amendment, and/or FOIA litigation, please email me.

I believe that the public has a right to know what the TSA’s rules are. Therefore, I’ve submitted a FOIA for essentially all of the TSA’s policy & procedures documents on public interest grounds. If these are of interest to you, please fill in my simple 3 question survey; it’ll help me a lot in pursuing this.

Right now, the TSA’s “recommended but not required” stance encourages agents to violate travelers’ rights by forcing them to disclose their disability and encouraging someone with no medical training decide whether something is “medically necessary” or not.

Full Article

TSA: X-Ray Scanners To Be Removed Over Privacy Issues

January 19, 2013 by  
Filed under General News

— Those airport scanners with their all-too revealing body images will soon be going away.

The Transportation Security Administration says the scanners that used a low-dose X-ray will be gone by June because the company that makes them can’t fix the privacy issues. The other airport body scanners, which produce a generic outline instead of a naked image, are staying.

The government rapidly stepped up its use of body scanners after a man snuck explosives onto a flight bound for Detroit on Christmas day in 2009.

At first, both types of scanners showed travelers naked. The idea was that security workers could spot both metallic objects like guns as well as non-metallic items such as plastic explosives. The scanners also showed every other detail of the passenger’s body, too.

The TSA defended the scanners, saying the images couldn’t be stored and were seen only by a security worker who didn’t interact with the passenger. But the scans still raised privacy concerns. Congress ordered that the scanners either produce a more generic image or be removed by June.

Full Article

Airport officials will increase security during DNC

September 4, 2012 by  
Filed under General News

source:wsoctv.com

Charlotte-Douglas Airport is gearing up for a busy three days of arrivals for the Democratic National Convention.

Aviation director Jerry Orr said Friday there had been no delays so far and they are ready for the expected crowds, including many who are unfamiliar with the airport.

All the arrivals mean changes in traffic.

From Sept. 1 – 3, all commercial ground transportation, including buses and taxis, will use the lower level. Drivers in a personal vehicle will drop off or pick up people in the upper level.

The locations will switch on Sept. 7, the day after the convention. Drivers in personal vehicles will drop off and pick up in the lower level.

“It kind of helps us to separate the DNC people from our normal flow of traffic,” Orr said. “The more we keep them separate, the better it’ll work.”

The only change in parking will be the cell phone lot, according to Orr. The lot will temporarily be moved to 5535 Wilkinson Blvd., across the street from business valet.  He said there will be signs up and staff to direct people.

The Transportation Security Administration will have all lanes open at security checkpoints.

According to Mark Haught, the TSA’s federal security director for Charlotte-Douglas, there are normally around 550 officers stationed at the airport, including 41 behavior detection officers who watch for anyone acting suspicious, six transportation security specialists in explosives and seven K-9 teams.

For the DNC, Haught said the TSA is adding 161 officers, including an additional 20 behavior detection officers, five transportation security specialists in explosives and 14 K-9 teams.

Traveler Patricia Duncanson said she didn’t even notice.

“There’s no inconvenience,” she said. “It’s good. I like the idea that with all the people coming in, we’re so well protected.”

read more:http://www.wsoctv.com/news/news/local/airport-bring-150-extra-tsa-agents-dnc-rush/nRQQ8/

TSA harassment sends rape victim to emergency room

August 10, 2012 by  
Filed under General News

source:

What would have likely been a routine flight out of a Florida airport this weekend ended with a woman being sent to the emergency room after TSA agents insisted on groping a traumatized rape victim in a security pat-down that put her in the hospital.

A user of the online Web forum FlyerTalk.com writes that his wife was admitted to the ER for treatment after agents with the Transportation Security Administration cited an “anomaly” in her bra as a reason to subject her to an intrusive closed-door screening on Sunday at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

The woman, described by her husband as the victim of brutal rape, was reportedly being transferred to a psychiatric ward for further treatment after what the man says was a “horrific experience.”

“Five years ago, she was violently sexually assaulted by three men and was threatened with death,” her husband writes. “She made it, and tried to bury it for three years. After nightmares, flashbacks and cutting she told me everything two years ago, and since then has been seeing professional counseling and taking medication.”

The husband adds that the rape occurred in Florida and although the couple no longer lives there, his wife is always on edge when they pass through the Sunshine State. This weekend’s incident didn’t make matters any better.

“My wife was sent towards the backscatter, and told the TSO [Transportation Security Officer] she didn’t want to go through that,” her husband writes, referring to the high-tech x-ray machines that let agents get an undercover look at what’s on a passengers person. “I then overheard the TSO graphically describing that ‘they will need to touch your privates,’” the author writes.

“That just about did it for my wife,” he adds, explaining that the TSO’s order quickly sent his wife into a fit of shakes and sweats as she was forced to let TSA agents have an x-rated look at her exposed body. Her problems didn’t end there, though.

“And then they discovered an ‘anomaly’ in her bra, so she needed to be patted down on her breasts. This freaked her out even more,” he adds. “She asked for a private room and for me to be there, and it was obvious that this pissed off the female assist TSO. As she started shaking and sobbing in the room as the TSO began to touch her breasts, I gently touched her arm. Big mistake – the TSO yelled that I couldn’t touch her and that I’d need to go through screening again

full story:http://rt.com/usa/news/tsa-rape-room-wife-179/

Don’t want to be groped by the TSA or go through a body scanner? Just pay $100!

March 16, 2012 by  
Filed under General News

 

The Sturmabteilung-like Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which is run by the atrocious Department of Homeland Security (DHS), is arguably one of the single most destructive plagues on America.   With their thoroughly reprehensible “grope-down” procedure, not to mention reportedly strip searching multiple elderly women, harassment of elderly terminal cancer patients and the severely mentally challenged, and the potentially dangerous and ludicrously costly naked body scanners (which can be circumvented with shocking ease), the TSA has become a bit of a joke in the United States.   Not to be outdone, they have now introduced a program which allows travelers to pay $100 to take part in a program where they are able to skip the degrading, dehumanizing procedures the rest of us are subjected to every time we’re unfortunate enough to travel by plane.   “It’s pay to play,” aviation analyst Michael Boyd said on MSNBC. “I don’t know how much it is going to do for security, but is a one time fee as far as I know.”   The fact that you only have to pay once has nothing to do with the absurdity of forcing people to be either groped by a TSA goon, blasted by potentially dangerous naked body scanners, or now, pay $100 to travel with dignity.   As of now, selected frequent flyers and “Trusted Travelers” as defined by Customs and Border Protection (another DHS agency) are the only people who are able to participate in the new “PreCheck” program.   Those who are accepted into the program and pay the fee are allowed to keep their shoes on along with their belts and jackets – something which us average individuals could never imagine – as they stroll through a metal detector, without any groping or naked body scanning.   These special individuals are even allowed to keep their laptops and the oh-so-dangerous liquids in their carryon baggage.   So far, almost 100,000 people on American Airlines alone have signed up for the TSA’s program, which translates to a whopping $1,000,000 in fees will be gathered just from passengers of this single airline.   The notion of allowing people to pay to get out of the insanely invasive TSA screening procedures is nothing short of laughable, but not much else can be expected from an agency like the TSA at this point.   They likely realize that this could leave massive security holes but since they also realize that there is, in fact, no terrorist threat facing the United States, making such security lapses are irrelevant.   Watch MSNBC’s coverage of this new program below and send your comments, questions or concerns (as well as your original writing, if you would like it published) to Admin@EndtheLie.com

 

 

More at EndtheLie.com – http://EndtheLie.com/2012/03/16/dont-want-to-be-groped-by-the-tsa-or-go-through-a-body-scanner-just-pay-100/#ixzz1pI0Znat6

TSA detains Sen. Rand Paul in Nashville

January 23, 2012 by  
Filed under General News

Ron Paul – Sen. Rand Paul’s father – placed a post on Facebook about the news  as well. “My son Rand is currently being detained by the TSA at the Nashville  Airport,” Ron Paul posted. “I’ll share more details as the situation unfolds
Read more:  http://dailycaller.com/2012/01/23/report-tsa-detains-sen-rand-paul-in-nashville/#ixzz1kIQLiPKW

Florida teen detained by TSA for design on her purse

December 3, 2011 by  
Filed under General News

It’s not unusual for 17-year-old to find themselves in hot water with the fashion police. But on a flight from Virginia to Florida, Vanessa Gibbs found herself detained by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) over the appearance of her purse.

And just to be clear, it wasn’t the content inside the purse that the TSA objected to. No, agency officials took exception with the design of a gun on Gibbs’ handbag.

“It’s my style, it’s camouflage, it has an old western gun on it,” Gibbs told News4Jax.com. Gibbs didn’t run into any trouble while traveling north from Jacksonville International Airport. But on her way back home, TSA officials at Norfolk International Airport pulled her aside.

“She was like, ‘This is a federal offense because it’s in the shape of a gun,'” Gibbs said. “I’m like, ‘But it’s a design on a purse. How is it a federal offense?'”

 

After TSA agents figured out the gun was a fake, Gibbs said, they told her to check the bag or turn it over. By the time security wrapped up the inspection, the pregnant teen missed her flight, and Southwest Airlines sent her to Orlando instead. The changed itinerary created no small amount of anxiety for Gibbs’ mother, who was already waiting for her to arrive at the Jacksonville airport.

“Oh, it’s terrifying. I was so upset,” said Tami Gibbs, the teen’s mom. “I was on the phone all the way to Orlando trying to figure out what was going on with her. It was terrifying.”

Less terrifying is the actual design on the purse, which is only a few inches in size and hollow. “I carried this from Jacksonville to Norfolk, and I’ve carried it from Norfolk to Jacksonville,” Vanessa said. “Never once has anyone said anything about it until now.”

Nonetheless, the TSA says the design could be considered a “replica weapon,” something that the agency has banned since 2002. Just imagine what would have happened if Gibbs had also been wearing stiletto heels.

read more:

House approves new TSA rules for U.S. military

November 29, 2011 by  
Filed under General News

By Joy Jernigan, senior travel editor

Members of the U.S. military flying on official orders while in uniform may soon see faster security screening while traveling through the nation’s airports.

The U.S. House of Representatives today voted 404 to 0 to approve H.R. 1801, also known as the ‘‘Risk-Based Security Screening for Members of The Armed Forces Act,” which will now be sent to the Senate. If passed by the Senate and signed into law by President Barack Obama, the Transportation Security Administration within six months will be required to implement expedited security screening for members of the U.S. military and any family members traveling with them.

“With all the contention and political gridlock we’ve witnessed over the past several months, what’s most important is that we come together to agree where we can,” said Rep. Chip Cravaack, R-Minn., in a statement. “In respect to our men and women in uniform and in the best interest of our national security, this bipartisan initiative is the least we could do for our military personnel and their families traveling our nation’s airports while serving our country.”

Rep. Laura Richardson, D-Calif., a member of the Committee on Homeland Security on which Cravaack also serves, urged support of the bill from the House floor. “It’s needed, it’s common sense and it’s legislation with bipartisan support,” she said.

The legislation is a step toward a more risk-based, intelligence-driven security screening system, rather than a  one-size-fits-all approach. The TSA is currently testing a “PreCheck” program for travelers who provide personal information in exchange for the possibility of faster screening at airports in Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit and Miami, with plans to expand to airports in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Minneapolis-St. Paul.

TSA spokesman Greg Soule told msnbc.com that the agency already expedites screening for wounded veterans and allows service members in uniform with proper ID to keep their shoes or boots on while passing through security checkpoints.

The TSA also is testing a military ID card-reading program at Monterey Peninsula Airport, Soule said. The pilot program is designed to test the technology necessary to verify the status of U.S. service members and could pave the way for troops to be included in TSA’s PreCheck expedited screening program.

“While this program would not guarantee expedited screening — we must retain a certain element of randomness to prevent terrorists from gaming the system — the testing of this concept holds the potential to significantly change the travel experience for members of the U.S. Armed Forces in the future,” Soule said.

Brandon Macsata, executive director for the Association for Airline Passenger Rights, said he supports the legislation.

“We contend that like pilots who have already undergone extensive security screenings and [are] put in charge of the aircraft’s overall safety and security, men and women serving in our armed services should be afford the same expedited screening,” Macsata  told msnbc.com. “U.S. military traveling on official orders are executing their sworn duty to defend the country, and as such they should not be delayed with long airport security screenings.”

However, Erica Pena-Vest, founder and travel editor for GuidetoMilitaryTravel.com, told msnbc.com that while she thinks members of Congress have their heart in the right place, she’s never heard any active-duty member of the military complain about having to go through airport security, just like any other American. “Most military people don’t like to be singled out,” she said, adding

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