Interesting audio from TSA checkpoint at San Diego Airport

It’s sad how many posts I’ve dedicated to the TSA in recent weeks, though this is totally worth another post in my opinion. As many of you know, the TSA recently revised their pat down procedure to include (for men) moving their hands up your upper thigh until they reach “resistance.” Yes, I love the way they phrase that, and I’m sure I’m not alone.

Anyway, yesterday a passenger was flying out of terminal 2 at San Diego Airport, where he got selected to go through the full body scanner. He refused, and told the TSA agent patting him down that he would sue him if he “touched his junk.” The TSA agent called a supervisor, and he was given the option of either getting the pat down or not flying. He chose not to fly, so was escorted out of the secure area. He then proceeded to the American ticket counter, where he refunded his ticket.

As he got ready to leave the airport, he was approached and told he couldn’t leave. Since he had started the screening process, he was required to finish it, despite the TSA agents specifically telling him he could leave (and even escorting him out!). Further, he was informed that he would be subject to a $10,000 fine if he left.

Anyway, see here for the full story and for the audio clips. Despite how absurd the full body scanners and new pat down procedure are, the TSA agents were remarkably professional, in my opinion. The same can’t be said for the people that approached him after the fact. Anyway, the system is clearly broken…

Filed Under: Security/TSA
  1. This is really so sad and is not only for men I do believe some TSA female agents are very touchy which make woman or girls uncomfortable.

  2. This is such a disaster. I obviously don’t like the patdowns, but I will subject myself to that so as to avoid AIT.

    Based on this and other recent experiences, I’m going to write to my congressman. I’ve actually flown with him multiple times on UX flights from (our) home airport, so its a bit of a personal connection.

    As Ben says, the system is broken, and something needs to be done about it, and enhanced patdowns are not it. No one should be subjected to treatment like this, and frequent flyers are subject to an inordinate amount of interaction.

  3. That guy just made a mistake. No, not standing up to TSA — recording these encounters. Unlike federal eavesdropping law, California state law requires the consent of all parties in most circumstances. Taping without the other person’s (or persons’) consent is a felony. (This is true in about a dozen states.)

    Some of you may have read about the similar laws in Maryland and Massachusetts, where people have beencharged, or threatened with charges, for recording interactions with police officers without the officers’ consent. Fortunately, the Maryland state AG recently issued an opinion excluding cop-citizen exchanges from the state’s all-party-consent statute, but I don’t believe there is any comparable exception — at least, not yet a clearly established one — under California law.

  4. Really Beltway?

    “California state law requires the consent of all parties in most circumstances. Taping without the other person’s (or persons’) consent is a felony”

    So do you consent when a hidden security camera video tapes you in the Airport? So again it is ok when the govt does it but illegal when a lowely citizen does it.

  5. So do you consent when a hidden security camera video tapes you in the Airport?

    Silent video does not fall within these eavesdropping statutes, as it does not involve a “communication.”

  6. @Gene, Really? He was standing up for his right to travel within his country :td:

    As far as the TSA Clerks coming back to him at the AA counter, I would have just left. I am already outside the checkpoint, and the screening does not start until you hit the TDC. In addition, they have no right to detain somebody, either at the checkpoint or the counter.. 😡


  7. He wouldn’t have to worry about the “advanced” pat down, if he just would have manned up and went through the body scanner.

  8. Saturday I experienced my first TSA crotch patdown – bingo, right in my nuts. And in front of the entire security area. This was AFTER going through the backscatter machine. I can put up with the security theatre of taking off belts and shoes and the like, but direct genital grabbing crosses the line. We should be horrified as a nation that our government has implemented mandatory choices of invasive screening/patdowns. The TSA should spend its time investigating passengers, not groping them. And the poor pilots — if we trust them to fly the plane, why must we scan them every single day? And what about women? I observed a patdown in the next lane and i would be arrested if i did this to a woman. This “gate rape” scenario should be taken up by every women’s organization. Security theatre has gone too far — and the fears created by countless tv pundits about terrorists only hides that our own domestic agencies are taking away our most basic civil liberties, not to mention basic human decency.

  9. Guys – just moan the words “Oh Daddy” as they pat your groin. That should be enough to scare off the most aggressive screener.

  10. Beltway,

    Maybe you should do some legal research, if qualified, before giving information regarding wiretap laws. Federal law applies here and only one party to the conversation has to know the conversation is being taped. I will acknowledge this is due to a recent decision.

    Caveat for all readers: Never take information written on the internet as gospel; always validate the information through independent means. This includes all my posts and news articles.

  11. for me it is simple:

    The more invasive the pat down, the more likely you are to use the scanners. The more scanners in use, the more TSA has to buy, so you can guess twice who is lobbying behind the scenes to push aggressive pat-downs…

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