Senators want to ensure TSA protects trains, buses and ports

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AlanB

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So you believe only the Americans do this and no other country does it? Not that it makes it right, but this practice is not unique to the USA nor just to the TSA. This happened even before the TSA existed.
If you are trying to claim that Europe and most of the rest of world has airport "security" with the iron fist & draconian regime of the USA and their TSA then you are wrong on almost every level.

​Remember the US isn't the only country which has issues with terrorists and for most of us hasnt resulted in giving up all our civil liberties and privacy up like your good selves.
Jishnu's post that you quoted was in response to KmH's post at the top of the page. Knowing Jishnu IRL, and knowing that he's a frequent world traveler both for business & personal travel, I can assure you that he knows what security is like around the globe.
 

jis

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So you believe only the Americans do this and no other country does it? Not that it makes it right, but this practice is not unique to the USA nor just to the TSA. This happened even before the TSA existed.
If you are trying to claim that Europe and most of the rest of world has airport "security" with the iron fist & draconian regime of the USA and their TSA then you are wrong on almost every level.

​Remember the US isn't the only country which has issues with terrorists and for most of us hasnt resulted in giving up all our civil liberties and privacy up like your good selves.
Let's take this a step at a time.

Apparently your claim is that the rest of the world does not have "security" with iron fist & draconian regime of the US. So let me knock this claim down. First as background information. I personally have traveled through at least three dozen airports in the rest of the world over the last two decades. Second I work on international standards committees, where I frequently meet with and discuss such issues over a beer and such with colleagues who travel even more widely that I do. So all in all I would say that I have good working knowledge of what happens at around a hundred airports outside the US.

Now then.... Just to give a few examples about how non-strict and non-draconian security is at airports outside the US:

1. Milan Malpensa last week, a colleague was accosted at gunpoint on the security line at the check point for no known reason. I will point out that no one at the US security check point has ever pulled out a semi-automatic rifle to my knowledge.

2. In Israel, at Ben Gurion, if you have been to the West bank for any reason during your visit, you are more than likely to get special attention at exit security, which on occasion goes so far as a strip search in a private room because strip means strip.

3. Delhi IGI, everyone gets a free massage (i.e. gets thoroughly patted down) irrespective of what the metal detector says or not. Often, there is a second search of hand baggage at the boarding gate.

4. At Berlin Tegel I got patted down thoroughly even after passing through the metal detector clean, and then was hauled off to a special room to riffle through my hand baggage which had exactly six items in it - a laptop, its power pack and mouse, a book and my car and home keys. The guy wrote down by hand in a fat notebook, the complete inventory of those three items, plus the two items from the tray - my cell phone and my wallet - for what purpose I don't know.

5. At Heathrow - they decided that my hand bag had too many things in it for their X-Ray to work properly and so proceeded to dump the contents on a table and look through the 7 items that were in it.

6. The day I passed through Frankfurt Rhine-Main last year, inconveniently, for some unknown reason they could not use their baggage X-Ray machines, so lines ran out the door to the next terminal (along the inter-terminal transfer passage), while they hand searched everything, and people who had connections shorter than three hours or so - many missed their connections. I had a longer connection so made it.

I can go on and on .... to show that the security checkpoint almost anywhere in the world are invasive of privacy, sometimes totally silly and yet are driven by the perceived level of threat at that point in time. I am actually OK within some reasonable limits with that since I believe air travel is a privilege and those that partake in it are doing so voluntarily knowing of the potential dangers and potential for loss of privacy to guard against same.

I believe that in participating in any collective act one chooses to give up certain limited set of freedoms and rights in exchange for the value returned. So the whole oh so holy attitude of "I will never give up...." is just plain silly. Specially if you are married for example, already of your free choice you have given up a whole heck of a lot. You understand that is the price for which you get a life partner. Similarly you pay a price in freedoms when you fly. The Choice is for each to make, and no one does not have to fly if one does not want to.

But my original point was that this loss of privacy and freedom is not specific to the US. It is a worldwide phenomenon, and I will add that in many other places it is substantially more intimidating than in the US, and overt racial profiling is much more prevalent outside the US than in the US. Indeed in the US these days with TSA-Pre, it is often a considerably quicker and less unpleasant experience than in many other parts of the world.

If needed I can document many more personal experiences and those of friends to further establish my claim that airport security of varying levels of unpleasantness is a worldwide phenomenon today and has been from even before 9/11.

Your turn... to provide specifics instead of general invalid statements.
 
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JoeBas

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C'mon JIS, you and I have both traveled enough to know that anecdotal evidence is anecdotal at best.

Tell me with a straight face that you think the shoe carnival, the LGA restrictions, the patting down of BARE SKIN because the machine "Showed an anomaly", the rigid adherance to rules that make NO SENSE in the given situation, the forcing of people to private search rooms where there can't be any recordings under threat of "Do you want to fly today", and the overall general barking nature and lack of common decency shown on a REGULAR BASIS at American checkpoints, contributes dot one thing to actual aviation security...

Additionally, all of this is double nonsensical in the current rail environment in this country, as you could strip naked, sedate and strap in every single person on the train sans the engineer, and some evildoor just drives a cement truck onto a private crossing in BFE...
 

jis

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My point is I have seen all of the things that happen in this country at airports happen elsewhere too. That is my point, and yes I can say that with a straight face with specific personal experience and experience of people that I know to support that position. Note that I am not claiming the absence of anything in general. I am claiming the presence of specific things.

I have seen metal detectors in use at each turnstile bank at Metro stations in certain cities too.

I will admit that I have never been forced to a private search room involving strip search, but I have been forced to a private search room at Berlin Tegel, and never in the US. I have seen both barking nature in Europe and not so barking nature in the US, so I am loath to generalize from either. The only strip down naked search that I have heard of from someone that I know, and a single woman at that, was at Ben Gurion, not in the US.

I think all of it makes the travel experience unpleasant and I would rather not have to deal with it. But the world is what it is. I would also rather have many million dollars than not. But as I said, the world is what it is. When served with a bunch lemons, you could either choose to make lemonade, or throw it away waiting for oranges to appear instead, when there will be none in ones lifetime.

And all this completely straight face..... And life goes on....
 
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dlagrua

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As alluded to, the vast majority of air and ground transportation travelers are law abiding travelers whose only intent is to get to their destination.

That the American people allow the TSA to continue to exist, treating every law abiding traveler as a suspected terrorist, and making millions of law abiding people traverse the TSA gauntlet to board an airplane, is a tragedy.
Must agree 100% BUT the TSA gets away with their constitutional rights violations only because air travelers are submissive. I do not and will not submit and have not flown for 15 years. If it comes to installing TSA security on trains, I will drive exclusively. The DOJ, NSA, & FBI already know everything about you and me down to our underwear size. I have led an exemplary law abiding life, and have never threatened or hurt anyone. Therefore, I refuse to be lowered to the level of an animal under any circumstance.
 

JoeBas

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Yeah, but in the topic at hand (TSA expanding into AMTK), we can at least be vocal about folks wanting to rip out our Orange Tree and replace it with more pointless, useless lemons (pun intended). ;)

And as far as the Airport experiences go, TSA is a much more high frequency offender than overseas. Can bad stuff happen at any airport? Yes. Does bad stuff happen MORE OFTEN in American airports? Again, IME, yes. And all for little to no contribution to actual aircraft safety, while the back door of contractors and workers in the "sterile" environment goes unwatched...
 
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jis

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Yeah, but in the topic at hand (TSA expanding into AMTK), we can at least be vocal about folks wanting to rip out our Orange Tree and replace it with more pointless, useless lemons (pun intended). ;)
I agree. But my original message was in response to a message that said:

That the American people allow the TSA to continue to exist, treating every law abiding traveler as a suspected terrorist, and making millions of law abiding people traverse the TSA gauntlet to board an airplane, is a tragedy.
And as far as the Airport experiences go, TSA is a much more high frequency offender than overseas. Can bad stuff happen at any airport? Yes. Does bad stuff happen MORE OFTEN in American airports? Again, IME, yes. And all for little to no contribution to actual aircraft safety, while the back door of contractors and workers in the "sterile" environment goes unwatched...
For "TSA is a much more high frequency offender than overseas" could you provide specific citations to a study on the subject that came to such a conclusion? And relative to which overseas experience? There is wide variation from country to country.

In order to evaluate the statement about things based on personal experience, how broad is your experience overseas. I have already mentioned the range of my experience and sources of information, based on which I make my experience based statements and conclusions. Please give some hint on what specific things you have experienced or not "overseas". Afterall, if most of your experience is in the US and very little overseas that would implicitly make your statement based on "IME" true, but that doe not mean any more than my experience based on considerable experience overseas now, does it?

This is not to defend TSA in any way. They suck big time. But I have problem giving a free pass to so called "overseas" based mostly on nothing. There are plenty of "overseas" airport security that sucks quite a bit and some even more than the TSA and it is not at all clear that they are more secure than anything in the US, barring a few exceptions like Ben Gurion. But then again the Israelis also do not allow anyone to be out of their seats while the aircraft is in Israeli air space either. All belted down and tucked in as long as in the Israeli air space is the rule. Shall we see that instituted in the US for US air space? :p
 
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JoeBas

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To be fair, most of my overseas transits have been in either Europe or NAM, so I'm not qualified to speak on far east experiences as of yet (though I am being told to prepare for an extensive Far East tour this winter). My International airport checkpoint transits in the last 3 years have consisted of LHR (x3), AMS (x3), FRA (x2), OSL (x1), ARL (x1), BGO (x4), ABX (x1), CUN (x1), YYZ (x1), off the top of my head. Not a "road warrior", but certainly not "Ma and Pa kettle" either.

The ONLY negative experience that I've had at any of those airports was at FRA, where a security agent asked to see my BP while I was in line for a drink, and then asked where my bags were, and got a bit snooty when I told him I'd left them with my colleagues, as I was just, you know... getting a drink. My domestic travel has been along much the same lines in terms of frequency over that same period (Mainly IAH/HOU, some SJC/EWR, isolated DEN/DAL/SAN/PHX/MSY), and only here in the US do I experience the maddening "Consistent Inconsistency", the "Precheck is open, except when it's not, and when it's not your might or might not get Precheck lite", the document checker saying "Hold on to your boarding pass", followed by the magnetometer minder's "What part of EVERYTHING IN THE BIN DIDN'T YOU UNDERSTAND???", one airport saying "Why did you take your iPad out? It's not a laptop." followed by another ON THE RETURN FLIGHT yelling "Why didn't you take your iPad out???? Did you not hear me say all laptops out????", etc. And don't even get me started on the "Private Room" searches, one of which in 2004 following a "random" WTMD beep left the FEMALE screener shaking hands with Mr. Winkie... when GERMAN PASSPORT CONTROL is more friendly on a regular basis than your frontline screeners, you've got a problem.

If all of this was adding something to security, I'd STILL be against it, but at least understand it. But it doesn't.
 
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jis

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OK, I take cognizance of your experiences, and in exchange I expect you to take cognizance of mine.

I just feel irritated when people try to give a pass to so called "overseas" treatment of passengers at airport security checkpoints based on very little real life experience and hearsay, when I have personally experienced or know someone firsthand to have experienced otherwise, sometimes way worse than anything that TSA has managed to dole out so far. That's all.

I think we have beaten this horse to death already. Don't you?
 
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jis

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Must agree 100% BUT the TSA gets away with their constitutional rights violations only because air travelers are submissive.
So far the SCOTUS seems to disagree with you on the matter of "constitutional rights violation". So a second theory other than "air travelers are submissive" is that unlike you they believe in verdicts that have come down from the SCOTUS so far.

The DOJ, NSA, & FBI already know everything about you and me down to our underwear size. I have led an exemplary law abiding life, and have never threatened or hurt anyone. Therefore, I refuse to be lowered to the level of an animal under any circumstance.
All that I can say is you have a very romantic and over-dramatized notion of what information the DOJ, NSA and FBI have about your underwear size perhaps from watching too many Hollywood dramas. They really don't care about it. They may have a substantial portion of your overseas communication recorded in raw form, but no one has likely ever looked at it. They may even have some of your domestic communication, specially those that you indulged in with folks that happen to be on their watch list and for which they have obtained a secret FISA court approval. Indeed they may even have some communication stream that is illegally (they claim incidentally) captured. But the interesting thing about all this stream of raw data is that they are seldom looked at by anyone or anything. They are just stashed away in case someone needs it some day. So they have very little vetted "information" about you or anyone else recovered from the data stream until you become a specific interesting subject suspected of attempting to say blow up the tunnels into New York or something like that, or have had communication with someone who did. Hence the focus first on the meta-data (who is communicating with whom, when) rather than the data (what is the content of the communication).
 
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JoeBas

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OK, I take cognizance of your experiences, and in exchange I expect you to take cognizance of mine.

I just feel irritated when people try to give a pass to so called "overseas" treatment of passengers at airport security checkpoints based on very little real life experience and hearsay, when I have personally experienced or know someone firsthand to have experienced otherwise, sometimes way worse than anything that TSA has managed to dole out so far. That's all.

I think we have beaten this horse to death already. Don't you?
Yup, this isn't airliners.net, and I'm fine with dropping the "Domestic vs. International" line of topic and confining comments going forward to the proposed expansion into the realm of AMTK. FWIW, I think we can agree that the FREQUENCY of bad interactions is much higher in the US, while the MAGNITUDE of them can be much higher overseas (if a TSA agent pulled a submachine gun on someone in a US airport, for example, that would be... bad.).
 

jis

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At least I won't categorically agree or disagree with that position regarding frequency since I have no statistics on frequency of occurrence of anything in the US or "overseas". I have personal evidence of the severity, so I would agree with that I still have a problem with lumping all of overseas together since it covers everything from Costa Rica to North Korea and everything in between. I am loath to accepting generalizations based on lack of information. That is why I have focused on real life experience. I am OK with generalizations as long as one is able to produce some documentary evidence in support like carefully collected and vetted statistics. too much generalization happens based on warm and fuzzy feeling, anecdotes, and simply political manipulations. But again, a subject way beyond the scope of this thread.

So peace....
 

jis

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MattW

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The United States also has ironclad constitutional protections. "Overseas" does not.
 

KmH

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Ironclad?
You're joking, right?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patriot_Act#Controversy

How about our right to free speech?

Just 1 of the latest - http://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/mlb/mariners-suspend-catcher-for-rest-of-season/ar-BBwyd71?li=BBnbfcL&ocid=mailsignout

If ironclad was true there would be no need for - https://www.aclu.org/ - or the Supreme Court.
Ever wonder about TSA and the 4th amendment?

Fourth Amendment
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Unfortunately, the average person has little clue what protections the constitution actually grant US citizens.
Most people rely on urban legend and uneducated guesses.
 
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jis

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Unfortunately the Supreme Court's current interpretation of the 4th and constraints on it seem to be at variance with the learned legal experts on AU. :p Not to say that anyone is right or wrong but just being a casual observer of nature.
 

Eric S

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"Free speech" refers to government actions, not employer-employee or other private actions.
 

KmH

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The Constitution applies to everyone, not just the government.
 

tp49

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Unfortunately the Supreme Court's current interpretation of the 4th and constraints on it seem to be at variance with the learned legal experts on AU. :p Not to say that anyone is right or wrong but just being a casual observer of nature.
Thanks for the laugh you owe me a keyboard :p

The Constitution applies to everyone, not just the government.
For there to be a Constitutional rights violation generally speaking there needs to be a government actor.
 

MattW

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Unfortunately the Supreme Court's current interpretation of the 4th and constraints on it seem to be at variance with the learned legal experts on AU. :p Not to say that anyone is right or wrong but just being a casual observer of nature.
Thanks for the laugh you owe me a keyboard :p

The Constitution applies to everyone, not just the government.
For there to be a Constitutional rights violation generally speaking there needs to be a government actor.
Really the 1st amendment is the only amendment that says that. Some of the others refer to acts that only a government can undertake (like the 3rd amendment, or the grand jury clause of the 5th). But even part of the 5th amendment, eminent domain, is used by private entities, like railroads, utility companies, etc. So there's precedent for not limiting the protections of the Constitution solely to government actors.
 

Ryan

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Negative, there's still a government actor involved. A private entity can't just show up and take your stuff. They can get the government to do it on their behalf and transfer it to them.
 

tp49

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Negative, there's still a government actor involved. A private entity can't just show up and take your stuff. They can get the government to do it on their behalf and transfer it to them.
You beat me to it :)

See also Kelo v. New London for an example of an eminent domain use by a government to transfer property from one private owner to another for purposes of economic development (a case I strongly disagree with FWIW.)
 
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MattW

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Negative, there's still a government actor involved. A private entity can't just show up and take your stuff. They can get the government to do it on their behalf and transfer it to them.
Just because they go through the court, doesn't mean it's a government actor. It's still the same process used by the government, the government can't just show up and take your stuff either.
 
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