Category Archives: TSA / CBP

Naked-Image Scanners to Be Removed From U.S. Airports

open quoteThe U.S. Transportation Security Administration will remove airport body scanners that privacy advocates likened to strip searches after OSI Systems Inc. (OSIS) couldn’t write software to make passenger images less revealing.

TSA will end a $5 million contract with OSI’s Rapiscan unit for the software after Administrator John Pistole concluded the company couldn’t meet a congressional deadline to produce generic passenger images, agency officials said in interviews. close quote (Read more)

Homeland Security is building a $4 billion 170-acre complex for 17,000 employees

Further proof that the fiscal cliff hysteria is sheer nonsense.

open quoteThe US Department of Homeland Security, despite budget cuts and construction delays, is planning to add 17,000 employees into its consolidated headquarters in southeast Washington. The department broke ground at their new headquarters in 2009 and was originally scheduled for completion in 2016. The new complex is now scheduled for completion in 2022.

The 4.5 million square-foot “federal mini-city for the Department of Homeland Security” on the site of the former infamous psychiatric St. Elizabeths Hospital and is the largest federal construction job since the pentagon was built in the 1940s. The construction of the project was originally expected to cost $3.4 billion but is now going to cost at least $4 billion and is expected to “create 16,000 direct construction jobs”.close quote (Read more)

Rematch: Texas takes on the TSA Again

open quoteAUSTIN, Texas (Nov. 12, 2012) – On Monday, Texas Rep. David Simpson (R-Longview) pre-filed a bill to stop aggressive TSA groping in the Lone Star State.

The Texas Travel Freedom Act, House Bill 80, would make it a criminal act to intentionally touch “the anus, breast, buttocks, or sexual organ of the other person, including touching through clothing,” without probable cause in the process of determining whether to grant someone access to a public venue or means of public transportation.

The act also provides additional protection for minors.

A public servant acting under color of his office or employment commits an offense if he…removes a child younger than 18 years of age from the physical custody or control of a parent or guardian of the child or a person standing in the stead of a parent or guardian of the child.

If passed, the law would prevent TSA agents from carrying out the most intrusive pat-down searches at airports across Texas.close quote (Read more)

TSA harassment sends rape victim to emergency room

open quoteWhat 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.”close quote (Read more)

Med Student Rescues Body Part From Airport Security

open quoteNo, said airline security, you can’t take this bottle onboard. It exceeds the 100 milliliter limit; it’s forbidden.

But wait, said professor Martin Birchall of Bristol University. This is a medical container. Inside is a trachea, a carefully constructed human windpipe, seeded with 60 million stem cells from a very sick woman in Barcelona. We have just 16 hours to get it into her body. We pre-arranged this.

We have no record of your request, said the airline.

You do have a record, said the professor. There’s a woman in Barcelona right now who needs this, and we are running out of time. It took us five months to create this organ. It is the first of its kind. We must board this plane.

At this point, the medical student who was going to take the organ to Barcelona, Philipp Jungerbluth, told Birchall that he had a pilot friend in Germany with a small jet who could come immediately to Bristol, take the container and fly it straight to Spain. Calls were made, the friend agreed to do it for “cost” — 14,000 pounds (about $21,000) and Birchall paid on the spot. (He was later reimbursed by his university.)close quote (Read more)

Man, 95, says $300 taken during humiliating airport search

open quoteA 95-year-old Michigan man says he was subjected to humiliating searches by security guards at San Diego International Airport and that his $300 went missing during the process.

Omer Petti, 95, said he believes an airport employee stole the cash that he was told to remove from his pocket and place in a bin on his way through security on March 29. He and his girlfriend, Madge Woodward, 85, were headed home after a family vacation in Palm Springs.

“I got set up, and they took my money,” said Petti, who has written letters to the Transportation Security Administration, elected officials and President Barack Obama demanding investigations.close quote (Read more)

TSA agents forced crying 4-year-old to undergo TSA pat-down at Kan. airport after hug

open quoteFrom The Washington Post:

WICHITA, Kan. — The grandmother of a 4-year-old girl who became hysterical during a security screening at a Kansas airport said Wednesday that the child was forced to undergo a pat-down after hugging her, with security agents yelling and calling the crying girl an uncooperative suspect.

The incident has been garnering increasing media and online attention since the child’s mother, Michelle Brademeyer of Montana, detailed the ordeal in a public Facebook post last week. The Transportation Security Administration is defending its agents, despite new procedures aimed at reducing pat-downs of children.

close quote (Read more)