TSA Roundup

Woah. There’s a lot of links in my reader about the TSA and I haven’t really been doing anything in light of the fact that I’ve been submerged in Nano for the better part of November. I’m going to try to divide these articles a little bit, so it’s not just a list of links, but *damn* people… While this is far from everything out there, I think it’d take days to properly sort everything. Have fun storming the net people!

General idiocy:
TSA’s all a Twitter: Gizmodo article. Actual Twitter Account
TSA pats down Adam Savage from Mythbusters but misses the razors he forgot at the bottom of his bag. Boing Boing YouTube
Congress Exempts Themselves from Scanning. This is UNACCEPTABLE.
TSA Thinks Bodyscan Boycott would be a mistake (Just a note, the right to protest is *very* important. Even if you don’t think it will work, it’s important to support the idea of peaceful protest.)
TSA Confiscates Armed Soldier’s Nail Clippers. SERIOUSLY!

General Positive Experiences: (much smaller list – sorry, my snark got out of control there.)
Reentering the States with a passport, not a pat-down: Boing Boing Original Post
TSA Exempts Pilots (took them long enough. Union tells pilots to avoid scanners)
Ron Paul introduces Traveler’s Dignity Act

Great Round-Ups

Back-Scatter Tribulations:
Possible OCI Issues? Scanner CEO flew with Obama
Rep. Holt questions scanner safety: Boing Boing Holt’s Press Release
Odds of Cancer the Same as a Terrorist Plane Attack? (Boing Boing)
US Marshals Improperly Retained Scanner Images
NJ and ID ready to ban scanners
Lobbyists Convince Gov’t to buy scanners
Feds Admit to Storing Scanner Images

Pat-Down Horror Stories:
Woman using a Glad-Rags pantyliner subjected to invasive pat-down, after going through the backscatter:
Boing Boing and original article
Cancer Survivor Left Soaked in Urine Boing Boing MSNBC
Amputee Forced to Remove Prosthetic Amputee Coalition Calls for Changes
Cancer Survivor Forced to remove breast
MommyBlogger is suing for TSA sexual assault
If you Touch my junk, I’ll Have you arrested: ONTD Boing Boing Johnny Edge

Social Commentary:
Transgender Take on the situation. This is very important. The TSA should respect the gender that you identify as. Boing Boing
A list of things the common person suffers to “protect” them from terrorism: list
People with medical conditions find the new procedures humiliating. ONTD MSN Travel News
Does the TSA Get Results? Slate examination
How do TSA Agents feel about this new screening? Remember – the front line gets crap pay and crap taining: Boing Boing Flying with Fish
TSA Tipping Point ONTD
NOW talks about male privilege

Individual Takes:
Megan McArdle says goodbye to the airlines.
Seth Godin’s Take on the issue. Time to Market Air Travel Differently
Ex-Cop Asks, Do I Have the Right to Refuse this Search?
Ralph Nader: Naked Insecurity
Striptease Protest: It’s Too bad it doesn’t work like a brothel (Video NSFW) (Boing Boing)

Tips and Tricks:
It is possible to resolve things peacefully if you get detained for taking pictures. (It’s legal folks.) Boing Boing
Rules for those refusing pat-down: Flying with Fish More here Boing Boing Thread

Other travel options:
The train. I personally recommend the train if you have the time. It’s comfortable, fairly quiet, and a lot less annoying.
Treehugger article Don’t Get Groped Take the Train
Boing Boing article This Seems Like A Good Time To Talk About Trains

Do *not* blame the TSA for this:
I’m putting this article up here because I think these things should not be annoyed, but the responsibility for this falls *completely* on the agent in question, not on the agency. Are we clear? Good. TSA Agent Abducts and Rapes Woman

On a lighter note:
TSA Madlibs (via Boing Boing)
A great slide-show from the New Yorker, showing that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Before the Junk Jokes
SpinRemover subtitles John Pistole’s interview: Video
SNL’s TSA Ad: Video
Rate My Backscatter

Anti-Photography Idiocy

Okay, so I’ve been following Boing Boing’s articles on people who are being hassled for taking pictures in public places. People are blaming the “9/11 law” (I’m guesing they mean the Patriot Act) in the states. God knows what they’re calling this idiocy in the UK and Canada, but it seems to be becoming a world-wide phenomeon.

Terrorists don’t pretend to be tourists or professional photographers. They steal their plans from architects and black marketeers.

*rolls eyes* I could have put this under the “terrorised by anti-terroism” but I thought it was stupid enough to get its own post. Check out these articles:

The Union Station Debacle: Part I, Part II, Part III

Spokane County Photographer hassled for taking a picture of a weigh station. It’s his JOB.

FBI tracks down photographer who took a picture of the Port of LA.

Terrorised by Anti-Terrorism Tactics

This is a selection of articles on the absolute stupidity, anti-American actions, Constitutional destruction and other issues that the fear-mongering ineffective anti-terrorism groups have created. It’s time to stop letting the terrorists win by making everyone scared. I’m more afraid of my government than the terrorists that it’s trying to catch. 1 terrorist attack has led to a steady erosion of the very rights we’re theoretically attempting to spread and live by. It’s complete crap.

Bush Legalizes Martial Law (via Boing Boing) (Via Slashdot) (via Toward Freedom) (– wait, don’t we invade countries for this?)

ACLU Patriot Act Analysis (via Boing Boing) (via ALCU) (– sounds like the Stasi mandate)

DOJ says FBI misued Patriot act (via Boing Boing) (link to DOJ Report) (NYTimes article) (Wired blog) (– No? really? The FBI spy on US citizens? never…)

Treasury Dept of “bad names” (via Boing Boing) (Washington Post article) (List Download) (Consumerist article)(– as irritating as the “no-fly” list)

Air Travelers can’t refuse search (via Boing Boing) (Via Wired) (Court Ruling)(–4th Amendment?)

California Police Spying w/ CCTV’s (via Wired)

The Week Reports on the NSA (via Boing Boing)

Court declares parts of the Patriot Act un-Constitutional (via Boing Boing) (via EFF) (Seattle Times article) (Court Decision) (an analysis)

Homeland goes nuts — wants “prior permission” for traveling (via Boing Boing) (via 10 Zen monkeys) (–Who in the government really thinks this is a good idea? Seriously? Get some SLEEP!)

Privacy no longer exists — 1984 is now (via Boing Boing)

Selling the threat of Bioterrorism

Selling the threat of Bioterrorism: LA Times:


“No biological weapon of mass destruction has been found in Iraq. [Dr. Kanatjan Alibek’s] most sensational research findings, with U.S. colleagues, have not withstood peer review by scientific specialists. His promotion of nonprescription pills — sold in his name over the Internet and claiming to bolster the immune system — was ridiculed by some scientists. He resigned as executive director of a Virginia university’s biodefense center 10 months ago while facing internal strife over his stewardship.

And, as Alibek raised fear of bioterrorism in the United States, he also has sought to profit from that fear.

By his count, Alibek has won about $28 million in federal grants or contracts for himself or entities that hired him.

He has had well-placed help. Some of the money has been allocated because of a Southern California congressman’s “earmarks,” controversial budget maneuvers that direct federal agencies’ spending. Moreover, two senior aides to a New Jersey congressman who also provided crucial help to Alibek left government and promptly joined his commercial efforts.

Alibek now is seeking new government contracts related to countering biological terrorism that could be worth tens of millions of dollars.”

Now, I agree that bioterroism is probably the next big attack to come down the pike. Why? Because it’s practically impossible to defend against. I know how easy it is to get my hands on germs that could easily kill from the very simple vector point of the inside of the subway train that stops at the airport. Get the people on those trains to be your carriers by spraying a simple aerosol into the air through the door or spreading a fine layer of dust down in a few areas. And if you aren’t afraid to die yourself? You become the infection vector.

Do I think this is the right way to award our contracts to people trying to research bio-terror and protect us? No.

War on Terror Wackiness

I think things are getting out of hand. “Fighting Terror” has become a government catch-phrase for, “because we want to, damn it!” And questioning the government (you know, the responsibility of every citizen according to the Founding Fathers) has become equated with being “a terrorist”. Get your heads out of your asses, boys. I’m a Federalist. You know… a Constitutional supporter like Madison.

Links to the Madness:

Heathrow Terminal 5 To Fingerprint Passengers:
Boing Boing

Original London Telegraph Link

Additional London Telegraph Link

Real ID from Homeland Insecurity:
Boing Boing: Montana Governor explains why Real ID sucks

Original Link: NPR

A Baby killed by Customs Delays:
Boing Boing: Another success in Homeland Security’s War on Babies

Original Link: MSNBC

Tacking Farm Animals (*rolls eyes*) for all the wrong reasons:
Boing Boing: Feds plan digital spying on pigs, llamas, terrorcritters

Danger Room Blog: Big Brother’s Animal Farm; Gov’t Program to Track Every Beast – Except Pigs

FBI Biometrics database. (I’m ambivalent on this one. I can see the use and the abuse.)
Boing Boing: FBI to create vast biometrics database

Original Washington Post Link

Police Taser a Man in a Coma
Boing Boing:Terror police in UK taser man in coma

Original BBC Link

Retroactive immunity to the telecommunications companies that have been participating with the National Security Agency
San Fran Chronical OpEd

Electronic Freedom Foundation