Experiment To Expose New TSA Opt-Out Intimidation Tactic

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by FliesWay2Much, Nov 1, 2012.

  1. FliesWay2Much

    FliesWay2Much Original Member

    Folks -- I posted a similar thread "over there" and would like to pose the same question to my cyberfriends on TUG. I believe the TSA is engaging in a new intimidation tactic towards those of us who opt out and question use of the word "resistance" by asking if the clerk is going to come in contact with a specific body part. I posted about my Dulles experience a while back and I've read enough other similar encounters to believe a TSA-wide tactic is to order their clerks to be sensitive and state that they are personally offended by the use of a genital term and that use of this term in conversation equals "interfering with the screening process."

    At Dulles about a month ago, everyone from the female most dragon to the suit who told me they were offended acted as if they were reading from a script. None of them sounded the least bit offended; it was a deliberate and trained response. The threat of being arrested for interfering with the screening process was also scripted.

    So, I throw this out there to find out if anyone else has had the same experience over the last 8 weeks or so?

    I'd like to enlist other TUGers to find out if this new "sensitivity" to use of genitalia terminology is a new intimidation tactic. I encourage others who opt out to ask a question about a genital being touched, using the proper name, and see what reaction you get. I'm not looking for anyone to get into any situation in which they feel threatened. I'd just like as many others as possible to go as far down this road as they dare just to figuratively "pull the trigger" and see if the clerk takes the bait and reacts with the same script.

    If there are enough of us who report the same experience -- tough because of the reduced flying most of us are doing these days, I will try to get some media attention.
  2. CelticWhisper

    CelticWhisper Founding Member

    For those who do this, please consider watch/eyeglass/pen cameras, or phone cameras with good audio (since the phone will likely be a greater distance away), when testing. The more recorded evidence that can be gathered, the easier it will be to evaluate what's happening.

    For those who take that advice, please consider using TravelUnderground's Amazon link to send a little support to our community here.

    Alternatively, travel with a companion who doesn't mind taking one for the team and going through the checkpoint with their head down and their "Yessirs" and "Yes'ms" spoken meekly. Have this companion then begin recording, openly or clandestinely, from the MUFF (Magical Unicorns and Fairy Farts) side once they have all their gear together.

    Come to think of it, it might be best to outfit the companion with ALL the recording stuff. Have them use the phone camera (with TapIn) as a decoy and put it away when asked, recording all the while with multiple discreet backup cameras.
  3. RB

    RB Founding Member

    Would help out but not gonna fly while the Freedom Fluffers are on the job.

    Airlines, you should start paying attention to people who are so offended by your security that it could ruin your business.
  4. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Need to get this on tape. A loop of 10 or 20 Smurfchen repeating the same spiel would make a great YouTube video.

    Maybe someone with a cooler head (e.g. our Paul Sanchez) could give this a whirl and engage them? :D

    Which is why I can't help! We reduced our flying to zero after TSA assaulted my wife (screener ran her hand up under my wife's bra :td:). We haven't been on a plane for 1 year, 10 months, 5 days and counting. :D
  5. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Actually this would provide a good opportunity to write to the airline you are flying when this happens (enclose a copy of your boarding pass) and complain the TSA is refusing to explain the search in publicly, commonly understood terms and intimidating peope who ask for further clarification. Copy CATO, ACLU, EPIC.
  6. Fisher1949

    Fisher1949 Original Member Coach

    It would need to be recorded to be effective and since we are stripped of virtually every electronic device, it would require an accomplice or some fairly sophisticated surveillance equipment. I've looked for a cam disguised as a hearing aid but no luck There is an inexpensive version disguised as a bluetooth headset that might work if reconfigured and allow the pax to keep it on.
  7. worldwide

    worldwide Original Member

    Smart thinking..fisher 1949...
  8. Frank

    Frank Original Member

    Rugape: White Courtesy Phone
  9. worldwide

    worldwide Original Member

  10. CelticWhisper

    CelticWhisper Founding Member

    Yeah, this is why I'm thinking accomplice/companion.

    Make sure they go several places in front of you in line to ensure they're out the other side before you start. Wear bright colours so they can keep an eye on you to know when to start recording.

    I'd outfit them with, at a minimum, a phone camera with an auto-upload recording program, (better this than a digicam with an Eye-Fi or a tablet/PMP with 802.11, since a cellular data connection is more reliable - no worrying about preconfiguring SSIDs, paying hourly for access, etc.), a pen camera in their breast pocket, and a watch camera on their wrist.

    Make sure they put up enough of a fight to be believable when asked to stop filming with the phone camera. Smurfchen are mouth-breathing knuckle-draggers, but you don't want to risk getting one of the few where the brain-cell experiment went right and gave them some rudimentary semblance of intellect. Give up too easily and they might wonder what else your companion is hiding.

    Companions: Might also be worth a try to position yourself so you can cross your arms and face away, but have the phone pressed against the inside of your arm and pointed toward the checkpoint. The only trick bit here would be positioning the other cameras such that they'd capture the same footage but not be conspicuous. Watch camera would be easy enough (phone pressed against left arm, facing right, checkpoint to the right. Watch camera on left wrist folded under right arm, pointed right, checkpoint to the right) but a pen or eyeglass-frame camera would pose a bit more of a problem. The pen camera could hypothetically be clipped to a pants pocket, but the eyeglass camera would be a tough one.
    worldwide likes this.
  11. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Think eyeglasses,bro!

    worldwide likes this.
  12. Fisher1949

    Fisher1949 Original Member Coach

    Here is a bluetooth hidden cam from ebay.
    I have a pen cam but the aim is poor since it can rotate in the pocket. It also has a blue LED that needs to be covered with electrical tape or there is a blue light shining in your pocket that is a giveaway. I used the pen cam in MIA for an hour undetected but the video quality was poor because of inadvertent movement.

    The earpiece will aim in the direction of your view (may take some practice) and could be used in conjunction with a pen and phone using the ACLU NJ police cam app that hides the screen in record mode.
    worldwide likes this.
  13. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    From the actual details on E-bay: This is not a real Bluetooth earphone, but 100% looks like one.

    The advantage of a real Bluetooth is that the cam would be broadcasting to another device (most likely 'Droid or iPhone) nearby. It would be difficult for them to find and delete the actual video.

    Here is a real Bluetooth video cam:

    Unfortunately it might not be all that discrete. I can't find any specs on just the unit but the overall piece weighs only 1.0 oz. I did find a side view, the camera appears about as long as your ear is tall.​
  14. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    There are also plenty of wristwatch cameras available, several of which double as cell phones (unfortunately non appear to be 'droid or iPhone compatible so they can't run TapIn).
  15. Affection

    Affection Original Member

    FWIW, I always ask the screener, "So does that mean you're going to touch my balls?" Occasionally they give me an embarassed laugh and say no, and then usually the pat-down is half-assed. Other times they act serious and say no, and when challenged admit that they will.

    But, I've never been threatened with an interference charge, save for my 1 hour ordeal at FLL, which very much was not about terminology. Notwithstanding, if you can catch a pattern of this, let me know and I'll help you release it. :)

  16. RB

    RB Founding Member

  17. worldwide

    worldwide Original Member

    Now that is great....my brother would so use this.
  18. Rugape

    Rugape Original Member

    You rang?
  19. RB

    RB Founding Member

    Post #1 sets the parameters. Basically trying to find out if this scenario is in play: "I believe the TSA is engaging in a new intimidation tactic towards those of us who opt out and question use of the word "resistance" by asking if the clerk is going to come in contact with a specific body part."
    worldwide likes this.
  20. Rugape

    Rugape Original Member

    I am aware of no factor other than this is the language in the SOP and advisements. It is not an intimidation tactic that I know of, and I have had no instructions to intimidate anyone in any way, shape or fashion.

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