Pornoscanner roundup

'That's funny," I said, "because 'The Resistance' is the actual name I've given to my testicles."

Full Frontal Nudity Doesn’t Make Us Safer: Abolish the TSA

Bipartisan support should be immediate. For fiscal conservatives, it’s hard to come up with a more wasteful agency than the TSA. For privacy advocates, eliminating an organization that requires you to choose between a nude body scan or genital groping in order to board a plane should be a no-brainer.

Man opts out of porno scanner and grope, told he'll be fined $10K unless he submits to fondling

He opted out of showing his penis to the government, so they told him he'd have to submit to an intimate testicle fondling. He told the screener, "if you touch my junk, I'll have you arrested." After faffing around with various supervisors and supervisors' supervisors, he opted not to fly, collected a refund from the American Airlines counter, and started to leave the airport. But before he could go, the supervisor's supervisor's supervisor told him he wasn't allowed to leave the checkpoint once he entered it, that he was already in for up to $10,000 in fines, and that he would have to return and allow the man's minons to palpate his genitals before he'd be allowed to leave the airport.

Lobbyists join the war on terror

The degradations of passing through full-body scanners that provide naked pictures of you to Transportation Security Administration agents may not mean that the terrorists have won -- but they do mark victories for a few politically connected high-tech companies and their revolving-door lobbyists. [...]

But this is government we're talking about. A program or product doesn't need to be effective, it only needs to have a good lobby. And the naked-scanner lobby is small but well-connected. [har har]

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21 Responses:

  1. porphyre says:

    Someone posted this to me earlier today, Team Sexual Assault.

  2. gryazi says:

    It's interesting to watch Wonkette do the counterpoint on this one, because the guy is apparently kind of a douche as far as whatever else he blogs.

    Also interesting to know about US v. Aukai, 497 F. 3d 955 (2007) [meth-head], which bases its reasoning/lets you track the erosion back through United States v. Biswell, 406 US 311 (1972) [guns], but sort of has a point:

    The constitutionality of an airport screening search, however, does not depend on consent, see Biswell, 406 U.S. at 315, 92 S.Ct. 1593, and requiring that a potential passenger be allowed to revoke consent to an ongoing airport security search makes little sense in a post-9/11 world.[6] Such a rule would afford terrorists[7] 961*961 multiple opportunities to attempt to penetrate airport security by "electing not to fly" on the cusp of detection until a vulnerable portal is found. This rule would also allow terrorists a low-cost method of detecting systematic vulnerabilities in airport security, knowledge that could be extremely valuable in planning future attacks. Likewise, given that consent is not required, it makes little sense to predicate the reasonableness of an administrative airport screening search on an irrevocable implied consent theory. Rather, where an airport screening search is otherwise reasonable and conducted pursuant to statutory authority, 49 U.S.C. § 44901, all that is required is the passenger's election to attempt entry into the secured area[8] of an airport. See Biswell, 406 U.S. at 315, 92 S.Ct. 1593; 49 C.F.R. § 1540.107. Under current TSA regulations and procedures, that election occurs when a prospective passenger walks through the magnetometer or places items on the conveyor belt of the x-ray machine.[9] 962*962 The record establishes that Aukai elected to attempt entry into the posted secured area of Honolulu International Airport when he walked through the magnetometer, thereby subjecting himself to the airport screening process.

    ...if security theater is going to 'work' at all, TSA kind of 'needs' the authority to search people who freak out and change their minds halfway through, and the precedent says searches aren't unreasonable as long as they're, uh.. fair-and-balanced by a statutory scheme. But if the provocateur/victim doesn't have contraband and is just attempting a DoS from their perspective, TSA probably doesn't have authority to detain the kid (anyone want to play go-find-the-statute on this?), and they get the civil remedy of being able to sue him/her [in case they can't interest local law enforcement in a disturbing-the-peace kind of thing, and because it's potentially profitable in a maybe-covers-the-cost-of-bringing-in-the-government-lawyers-to-hassle-people-who-do-this sort of way?].

    ...but to serve civil process, they have to know / at-least-have-some-vague-idea-of who they're suing, and whatever other avenues they have to obtain that, it's still worth the head dick's time and ego to see if the libertarian is stupid?/ballsy? enough to cough it up directly.

    This does not mean that all this bullshit is awesome, but it does mean the 'you don't get to back out once you show up for a groping' logic is pretty well entrenched.

    Aukai also sets forth that:

    Although the constitutionality of airport screening searches is not dependent on consent, the scope of such searches is not limitless. A particular airport security screening search is constitutionally reasonable provided that it "is no more extensive nor intensive than necessary, in the light of current technology, to detect the presence of weapons or explosives [][and] that it is confined in good faith to that purpose." Davis, 482 F.2d at 913. We conclude that the airport screening search of Aukai satisfied these requirements.

    So in a world that begat one crotchbomber, junk-touching/photographing is potentially a reasonable way to implement the statute that says TSA gets the authority to do whateverthefuck to people who show up to get through the checkpoint. Making it unreasonable, if we want it to be, is going to take either some careful thinking or application of the same mob mentality that got us here in the first place. USA! USA!

    • lafinjack says:

      At first they came for the douches, and I did not speak up because I was not a douche...

    • jeremiahblatz says:

      But of course explosives can be stores in any matter of body cavities (or the stomach - if it works for drug mules, why not terrorists?), meaning that full-body x-rays are "reasonable". The court emphatically does not do cost-benefit analysis (see the lawsuit against retroactive copyright extension) so will not strike down a law for being stupidly counterproductive.

  3. _candide_ says:

    How about a mass-protest where everyone in line for one of these scanners disrobes before entering?

    Or, we get a bunch of gay men and lesbians to go through security, refuse to go through the scanner, and fake being turned on while getting groped.

    What, after all, is the difference?

    • pavel_lishin says:

      Why bother faking getting turned on? Buy a utilikilt and viagra.

      • _candide_ says:

        (The sound of me spraying my monitor.)

        To quote my E&M professor from grad school, "Oh, that's super."

  4. fantasygoat says:

    I'm thinking the TSA has finally pushed people to the point of rebellion with the recent changes. I certainly look for alternatives to flying where I can these days. The train is a very attractive mode of transport now.

    I'm all for the abolishing of the TSA. What a horrible waste of time and money for absolutely nothing. I pine for the pre-9/11 days of travel.

  5. rhino_rex says:

    in "Snow Crash" when YT was put in the 7-11 jail thing, she was asked to strip and change by two leering men. she turned it into a confidant strip tease and the men became ashamed.
    I see stripper pants in my future. and potatoes. why should the TSA have all the fun.

  6. baconmonkey says:

    Next time I fly, I'm going to be playing pocket pool while in line so that Mr. Happy is standing at full attention in case I get sent through the porn scanner.

    alternatively, it might be interesting to just start disrobing when selected for scanning.

    oh look, TSA agent gropes the screaming 3-year old kid of a news reporter:

    There was a related link in one of the articles to this
    "As for the company's other political connections, it also appears that none other than George Soros, the billionaire funder of the country's liberal political infrastructure, owns 11,300 shares of OSI Systems Inc., the company that owns Rapiscan. Not surprisingly, OSI's stock has appreciated considerably over the course of the year. Soros certainly is a savvy investor."

    It's time to call in Sphinx.

    • nolocontendre says:

      "Rapiscan?" Seriously? That's the name of the company? I mean... the jokes just write themselves.

    • netsharc says:

      Another "hack" I thought was interesting was to yell "My skin is burning, my skin is burning!" when the machine starts... let them prove otherwise, heck if people with cellphone and Wi-Fi "allergies" are taken seriously, why not skin ultra-sensitivity to porno-scanner-rays?

      So start yelling that, jump out of the machine and start accusing it of being mis-calibrated, in front of the next passengers in line...

      • baconmonkey says:

        I kinda wonder if metal-foil stickers show up on the scanners. if so, write messages on self with gold star stickers for TSA pervs.

    • j reid says:


  7. baconmonkey says:

    also, this might be a Previously, but
    -- You are 1048 times more likely to die from a car accident than from a terrorist attack

    --You are 404 times more likely to die in a fall than from a terrorist attack
    --You are 9 times more likely to choke to death on your own vomit than die in a terrorist attack

    --You are 8 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than by a terrorist

    • wisn says:

      I hate those kinds of stats because they mean nothing if I'm not in traffic, at the top of something, regurgitating, and so on.

      What would be meaningful while (I'd bet) still driving the point home is comparing the stats on dying in an airport or airplane due to terrorist activity than from:

      # Assault by security
      # Food poisoning
      # Facilities accidents (a light fixture falling on you, scaffolding collapsing, loading gangway collapsing, etc.)
      # Non-terrorist-related airplane accidents
      # Whatever happens as a result of being trapped in an airplane on the tarmac for hours

      Most of these, like terrorism, are preventable through sufficient spending on things like food safety inspection, public health services, building maintenance, and so on. Who knows, maybe they even cost less.

      • left by says:

        Discovering that what we're doing is irrational would not be remarkable at all.

        And sure, plane accidents are preventable, but we're getting our noses up against the glass of human fallibility. Achieving the last few decades improvements has required reporting and learning from mistakes which could have been accidents, but weren't. There's not a lot more barrel to be scraped when it comes to practical ways of preventing accidents.

      • baconmonkey says:

        golly, I'm sorry that nobody has bothered to create vanity death stats that address your specific lifestyle.

        here, I'll fix it thusly: Every time it says "you", change that to "Americans".

        Because it's not about you specifically, it's about perspective on how much of a threat Terrorism really is. Cars kill more people in a month than terrorists do in a decade. Just the TSA alone has an annual budget of about $7 billion. that's $70 billion dollars fighting a menace that claimed 3000 lives. imagine how safe cars would be if we spent 70 billion dollars each month on automotive safety. Add to that the middle east wars, and according to we are over 1.1 Trillion dollars spent trying to protect people from terrorists. adjusted for inflation we spent $135 billion 2005 dollars on the entire Apollo project. The current middle east wars have eaten up 8.15 entire Apollo space programs worth of money. in 2 years, the TSA spends more than the entire Apollo space program.

        • baconmonkey says:

          ack, I let a zero slip. the 7 billion TSA budget is right. I just grabbed the 10 years of TSA number by mistake when doing my 2 years of TSA math