TSA’s naked scanner bait-and-switch - February 27th, 2013

TSA is playing hide the truth from the American public once again.

Since the agency announced that it would swap out x-ray based backscatter machines for millimeter wave-based scanners, media outlets from around the country have screamed inaccurate headlines such as, “TSA Pulls Plug on Airport Nude Body Scanners”.

Once again, TSA’s greatest achievement is duping the press and uncritical journalists.

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Review: TSA’s PreCheck expedited screening program - June 25th, 2012

Even occasional readers of this blog will know that I’m a harsh critic of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). And rightfully so; the agency’s authoritarian attitude and relentless violations of travelers’ rights are legend. However that is not to say that the TSA can’t do anything right. In fact, its PreCheck screening program is a quantum leap in the right direction.

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How to handle TSA retaliation - May 24th, 2012

In crafting the legislation that created the Transportation Security Administration, then-US Senator Tom Daschle intoned, “You don’t professionalize until you federalize.” While airport security has been federalized to the maximum, the promised professionalization never happened. In addition to regular arrests for theft and drug running, TSA agents routinely take punitive measures against travelers who dare question their actions.

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A conversation with TSA - April 16th, 2012

I recently met someone from the TSA in a social context. This was the first time I’ve ever met a TSA’er outside the context of his or her job. I tried to restrain myself – and mostly succeeded – but our discussions inevitably centered around the agency, how travelers view it, and what it could be doing differently so as to become more effective.

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Is Global Entry valid as identification at TSA checkpoints? - March 8th, 2012

I approached the ID checker at the Buffalo-Niagara International Airport, and he questioned my Global Entry card. I requested that he check with a supervisor, and she also rejected the card, claiming she had received an email earlier that week stating that Global Entry cards are no longer valid as identification.

Let’s examine this. Why would the TSA reject a card from a program that serves a basis for its own trusted traveler program? Even by TSA standards this seemed irrational.

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