TSA tales

This is the viral video of the day (so far). A young boy getting strip searched by the TSA:

Luke Tait, the person filming the scene, says TSA agents didn’t care for the video. “He started to question me: ‘Why was I recording the procedures of TSA?’ ‘What are your plans with this video?’ ” Tait told the Salt Lake Tribune. “I said it looked like something was going on; I never [before] saw a shirtless young boy getting patted down.”

On its blog today, the Transportation Security Administration says the father removed the shirt after the boy set off a metal detector.

It should be mentioned that you will not be asked to and you should not remove clothing (other than shoes, coats and jackets) at a TSA checkpoint. If you’re asked to remove your clothing, you should ask for a supervisor or manager.

“Right. We won’t be asked to remove clothing – just our prosthetic breasts, our ostomy wafers, urine collection bags,” a commenter said

Urine collection bag? CBS reports today that earlier this month a bladder cancer survivor from Michigan who wears a urostomy bag that collects his urine “says a rough pat-down by a security agent at Detroit Metropolitan Airport caused the bag to spill its contents on his shirt and pants.”

Is there a better way to do this? Israel, which some people think should be the model for airport screening, profiles passengers.

  • I do agree that the TSA has probably overreached its bounds here. But the child wasn’t “strip searched”–his father took his clothes off.

    As an aside, I don’t get why the videographer in question seems so surprised that they might have a problem with him videotaping TSA screening procedures. You don’t video or photograph anything from the start of the screening line until you’re through the entire process (without advance permission). I’m honestly surprised they actually let him keep his camera and/or the video, and that he wasn’t at least formally interrogated about his security breach.

  • MikeK

    I refuse to feed the hype by giving this video any watch. I read the story and it’s the dad who should be checked out. Sure it’s tough watching some stranger touch your kid in places where you’ve been telling the them not to let strangers touch. Of course the child is going to be nervous. Be patient, tell you children beforehand what’s going to happen, be patient if they get scared. Looks to me like the dad dropped the ball on this one. The TSA person is who puts the shirt back on the child not the dad. Maybe people traveling with extra-ordinary conditions need to be better prepared for the new air travel conditions and the TSA needs a new PR firm to get the word out.

  • BJ

    If we profile isn’t that the end of the world as we know it. it’s not like that actually is a solid tested technology.

  • Catherine

    Having just gotten back from a trip to Philadelphia with my 16 month old, I have to say that all the TSA agents I interacted were nothing but polite and helpful. I know this isn’t always the case, but I hope it’s the norm.

  • Michele

    In a week no one is going to care about all this and then what will you do to drive traffic.

    In the end I chose some form of security and some degree of inconvenience as well as a lack of privacy to get more security than we would have without the screenings.

    All the people who are think some TSA agent is will be sooo interested in their particular naked form on a screen (after seeing countless other likely better forms in a days work) needs to see a therapist for paranoia and narcissism issues. And my condolences to your spouse…