Posts Tagged Airports
The end of privacy: Government to deploy laser-based ‘molecular strip-search’ devices across airports and roadside checkpoints
Thursday, July 12, 2012
by Mike Adams
[NaturalNews] Within the next two years, a spooky, powerful and invisible new technology will be deployed by the U.S. government that can instantly scan and identify every molecule on your body or person: the cocaine residue on your dollar bills, prescription drugs in your purse, marijuana in your pocket and even trace powder residue from your practice session at the gun range.
And it can detect all this invisibly, silently, from a range of 50 meters away.
“New Homeland Security Laser Scanner Reads People At Molecular Level” declares a CBS News headline (
). “The scanner is called the Picosecond Programmable Laser. The device works by blasting its target with lasers which vibrate molecules that are then read by the machine that determine what substances a person has been exposed to. This could be Semtex explosives to the bacon and egg sandwich they had for breakfast that morning.”
Government to log every chemical on your body
These laser detection devices are slated to be widely deployed across airports, roadside checkpoints, sports stadiums and anywhere else the government wants to surveil the public. Data collected by these devices can even be tagged to your identity so that the government compiles a database of which chemicals were detected on you at each location, for each day of your life.
This information, of course, can then be used by the government to target people they call “terrorists” — anyone who believes in liberty, the Constitution, the founding fathers or limited government. Once nationwide gun confiscation orders are handed down from Washington, these scanning devices can be used to detect trace levels of gunpowder on people merely strolling through a public place. If you’re carrying ammunition or have recently practiced with firearms, you’ll be flagged, tagged and dragged into the very secret military prisons expanded by President Obama under the National Defense Authorization Act which nullifies due process and the Bill of Rights. (
Into pot instead of guns? Your days of carrying some Mary Jane are over, too, as the government can detect traces of THC on your clothing, hands or facial skin from fifty meters away. It’s not limited to marijuana, either: this device can detect and catalog your use of any recreational drugs, including cocaine, heroin, ecstasy or anything.
Not into abusing drugs? Never worry: the government can instantly know what prescription drugs you’re using, too. The laser scanning device can catalog what prescription medications you’re on and tag your profile with this data. It may even be used against you in court someday — if you’re even allowed your day in court anymore.
by: Paul Joseph Watson
July 9, 2012
“Obedience training” is part of TSA’s Code Bravo security drill.
The TSA has failed to respond to the now confirmed fact that the federal agency has introduced a bizarre new policy in which travelers are ordered to “freeze” on command by TSA screeners while passing through security, a policy described as “obedience training” by critics.
In our article on Friday, we featured the story of a man who was passing through airport security when he heard a commotion.
“We heard a “freeze, freeze” or something like this coming from the output side of (false) security (where my wife was), followed by further barking of commands. From where I was, I couldn’t see much.”
“It turns out they were doing a new drill. They want all passengers to freeze on command. My wife told me later that she didn’t follow this order fast enough, so the subsequent barks I heard were directed at her.”
We have since received numerous emails and other correspondence from other people traveling through U.S. airports who have experienced the same situation where they were commanded to “freeze” by TSA workers.
“This happened to me last year in Atlanta,” one traveler told us via email.
“It’s not new. They’ve been playing “freeze tag” with naive sheeple for at least a year. They call it a “Code Bravo.” People who have experienced it call it a “Code Bravo Sierra,” added another.
The story was also covered by Gather.com’s Jim Kane, who asked, “This anecdote has not been confirmed by the safety agency, so it should remain in the rumor zone at this point. But, considering all the crazy TSA rules, would anyone be surprised if it were true?”
However, the policy is no mere anecdote, it’s a confirmed fact. The TSA is ordering travelers to “freeze” on command as part of a security drill named ‘Code Bravo’. This is documented in a New York Times article written by Joe Sharkey in which Sharkey explains how he was caught up in the fiasco on two separate occasions in both Atlanta and Los Angeles.
When Sharkey failed to obey a TSA screener who shouted “freeze,” he was assailed by another traveler who “growled” at him, “You’re supposed to freeze!” as other passengers complied with the bizarre demand.
Sharkey later discovered that the TSA had no power to force travelers to comply with the command.
“Passengers are not required to ‘freeze’ in place like statues,” TSA spokeswoman Kristin Lee admitted.
However, in every case where the “freeze” command has been witnessed, the behavior of TSA agents has made it clear to travelers that if they don’t do precisely that, they will face the consequences.
“It was clear to me that travelers believed they were required to stop and stand motionless — even those who had cleared security and were merely within shouting distance of the checkpoint. Officers seemed to reinforce that impression, too,” writes Sharkey.
“As we were going through the security checkpoint, one of the supervisors suddenly yelled ‘freeze!’ Everyone was forced to just stand there for about a minute. We were not allowed to move, fidget, look around, speak, nothing,” commented another woman who had traveled through Atlanta Airport.
Treating passengers like naughty children or prisoners on a whim as part of a “drill’ that has no purpose whatsoever is par for the course when it comes to the TSA’s twilight zone approach to airport security.
As WeWontFly.com’s James Babb describes, this is nothing more than “obedience training.” The American people and travelers in general are being ‘broken in’ to accept their subservience in what represents the human equivalent of horse training.
Just last week the TSA admitted that it had introduced the equally ludicrous new policy of testing travelers’ drinks purchased in the airport after they had already passed through security.
Infowars contacted the TSA on Friday morning regarding the ‘freeze on command’ policy but has not received a response. In addition, no explanation or denial of the policy appears on the TSA Blog website. The federal agency presumably doesn’t want to draw media attention to the insane policy in order to protect its already savaged public image.
Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a regular fill-in host for The Alex Jones Show and Infowars Nightly News.
Sunday, July 01, 2012
By: J. D. Heyes
[NaturalNews] The Transportation Security Administration is already known for being one of the most, if not the most, inept, incompetent and criminal of all the federal agencies. Now we can add cruel and heartless to the growing list of TSA outrages.
John Gross of Indianapolis suffered unbelievable humiliation at the hands of a female TSA agent at the airport in Orlando, Fla., after she insisted on opening a jar containing his grandfather’s remains. When doing her “inspection,” she promptly spilled them on the floor.
Before the “accident,” Gross pleaded with the agent to “be careful.”
“They opened up my bag, and I told them, ‘Please, be careful. These are my grandpa’s ashes,” he told a local ABC News affiliate.
“She picked up the jar. She opened it up,” Gross said. Then she dropped them.
The remains of Gross’ grandfather, who was 91 when he passed, had been divided up among family members after he died a decade ago. Gross had been given his portion by his uncle during his trip.
Here’s the rub – the agency wasn’t even supposed to open the jar
The jar was clearly marked “Human Remains” and was in a tightly sealed jar.
Gross said one-third to one-half of his grandfather’s ashes spilled; worse, he said, the agent laughed as he worked to recover what he could.
“She didn’t apologize. She started laughing,” Gross told the station. “I was on my hands and knees picking up bone fragments. I couldn’t pick up all, everything that was lost. I mean, there was a long line behind me.”
Talk about adding insult to injury.
What’s even worse is that – as usual – checking those remains was against the TSA’s rules.
According to the TSA’s own Web site, “Passengers are allowed to carry a crematory container as part of their carry-on luggage, but the container must pass through the X-ray machine.”
Continuing, the site says: “Out of respect to the deceased and their family and friends, under no circumstances will an officer open the container even if the passenger requests this be done. Documentation from the funeral home is not sufficient to carry a crematory container through security and onto a plane without screening.”
What the agency was supposed to do was put the remains through an X-ray machine.
So why did that female TSA agent open the remains? Does she not know the rules? Does she care?
Gross wants to see some contrition, and he’s absolutely right to demand it.
“I want an apology,” he said. “I want an apology from TSA. I want an apology from the lady who opened the jar and laughed at me. I want them to help me understand where they get off treating people like this.”
As of this writing, Gross has yet to receive an apology.
TSA needs to be out of the security business
The TSA has such an awful history, it’s pathetic. Why this agency still exists is – well, Congress’ fault.
“TSA needs to immediately remove themselves from the human resource business. This report details highly disturbing cases where pedophiles and child pornographers wearing federal law enforcement uniforms are not only patting down unsuspecting travelers, but in many cases stealing valuables from their bags,” U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) said recently in a highly critical report about the agency.
“Enough is enough. It’s time for Congress to step in and demand accountability from Administrator (John) Pistole,” she said.
She wants the TSA out of the “security” business altogether, if not out of American airports.
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky wants the TSA gone as well.
“The American people shouldn’t be subjected to harassment, groping, and other public humiliation simply to board an airplane,” Paul said in May.
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
By: J. D. Heyes
[NaturalNews] What does it say when an agency is so afraid of what its own employees might say, that it is willing to invest in technology to spy on them to prevent (or, at a minimum, identify) whistleblowers? In this day and age, the Leviathan seems unwilling to stop at anything to protect its growing police state.
According to NextGov, the Transportation Security Administration - that bastion of civil rights and professionalism – top agency officials, stung by recent revelations that the TSA’s billion-dollar scanners aren’t able to detect small metal objects and other reputation-damaging incidents – are shopping around for a computer program capable of snooping on employees’ online activities.
Procurement documents posted online at FedBizOpps.gov, the federal Web site where agencies solicit bids from private firms on a range of items, software and services, say the TSA is concerned about an “insider threat,” and as such is “in need of a tool” to “monitor and detect insider threats…at the user host level.”
When all else fails, trample the rights of your own employees too
“The scope of this procurement is an enterprise insider threat software package. In order to detect an insider threat, technology is required to monitor and obtain visibility into users’ actions. TSA Focused Operations requires a tool that can monitor user activities at the user host level,” says the solicitation.
Specifically, the TSA software must be capable of monitoring activities through, among other capabilities:
– Keystroke monitoring/logging
– Chart monitoring/logging
– Email monitoring
– Network activity monitoring
– File transfer monitoring
– Document tracking/monitoring
– Screenshot capture
“All activities that are being monitored/logged must call back to a central enterprise command infrastructure and transfer its collected data,” the solicitation says.
Nice, huh? Now the agency doesn’t even trust its own employees – so little that, according to the solicitation, the program the agency eventually adopts must be secret to the employee. “The end user must not have the ability to detect this technology,” it says.
Naturally, and right on cue, the TSA defended its action.
“As the agency whose serious responsibility it is to deal with national security, TSA must remain vigilant to safeguard sensitive information in order to secure the nation’s transportation systems,” said spokesman David A. Castelveter, in a recent statement. “This software is intended to assist in carrying out that mission. This initiative will be used in accordance with all federal laws and will be reserved for specific instances that meet TSA’s qualifications for an insider threat.”
Legitimate or not – and we’re betting not - TSA officials could be setting the agency up for a repeat of a lawsuit filed by employees against the Food and Drug Administration earlier this year for – you guessed it – spying on them. In their suit, employees claimed that the FDA read employee emails and screenshots were gathered from their computers following a complaint some of them lodged with the Office of Special Counsel over agency approval of unsafe medical devices.
History of rank incompetence and cover-up
Still, a raft of bad PR obviously has the TSA on the defensive. Last November, the agency became embroiled in another of its many scandals after a whistleblower accused the agency of hiding her sexual assault, which occurred at the hands of a TSA investigator, by forcing her to sign a document disavowing the incident.
Nilda C. Marugame, a TSA worker at Lihue airport, consequently tried to notify the Assistant Federal Security Director, but she was suspended for three days and then forced to sign a statement saying the sexual advances were consensual.
“She says she is ‘at least the third woman to report unwelcome sexual advances’ from the same man, and that all of his victims were retaliated against with suspension or threats of termination,” says a report about her complaint by Courthouse News Service.
Sexual deviancy – along with rank incompetence, violations of the law and a sound trampling of the Constitution – are all characteristics of this rogue agency, which now appears willing to do anything to hide ineptitude, including spying on its own.
By David Ferguson
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
A TSA worker at an airport in Florida violated the agency’s policy when she opened a container containing the ashes of a passenger’s grandfather and spilled them on the terminal floor,according to Indianapolis, Indiana’s ABC affiliate station, WRTV Channel 6.
John Gross of Indianapolis was visiting relatives in Florida when an uncle, acting on the wishes of the family, gave Gross a portion of his grandfather’s ashes. Mario Mark Marcaletti came to the United States as an immigrant from Sicily and passed away in 2002 at the age of 91. Gross was presented with the ashes in a tightly sealed jar, marked “human remains,” which he assumed would warrant enough respect that he would be able to board his flight home unmolested.
He was wrong.
When he arrived at the TSA checkpoint, “They opened up my bag, and I told them, ‘Please, be careful. These are my grandpa’s ashes.’ She picked up the jar. She opened it up.”
The agent not only opened the sealed jar, but stirred the contents with her finger, allowing an estimated quarter to a third of the ashes to spill out on to the floor.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
By: J. D. Heyes
[NaturalNews] If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video has to be worth millions. And until millions of words expressing doubt, distrust, angst and displeasure at the ongoing multi-billion dollar scandal that is the Transportation Security Administration, don’t expect the air travel experience in America to improve anytime soon. Or security, for that matter.
An incredible new video by Jonathan Corbett, a privacy rights activist who runs the Web site, “TSA Out of our Pants” and is involved in a Fourth Amendment lawsuit against the agency, shows just how worthless the TSA’s billion-dollar body scanners really are (except, of course, for screeners to be able to scope out attractive men and women).
In the video, Corbett demonstrates how easy it was for him to take a metal object through a TSA airport security checkpoint in Cleveland in March of this year, one that was equipped with an expensive body scanner. Corbett videos the entire process, but the video he posted online at his site includes airport security video of the incident as well, which he says he obtained from the airport and the TSA after filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
Moreover, he claims the TSA became aware he was able to breach one of the most expensive pieces of airport security equipment currently in use and has spared little effort in trying to kill the story.
TSA warned media not to cover the story
“Let me tell you what the TSA has been doing since March to keep us safer - nothing, but covering this all up,” Corbett said.
After his initial video of the incident was released, Corbett says the TSA began threatening mainstream media outlets against covering the story, adding that “several” media outlets reported that a TSA spokeswoman sent them a letter “strongly cautioning” them against sharing information that the agency was, in essence, violating basic civil rights by photographing travelers naked for what turns out to be no appreciable benefit.
Corbett said that a number of outlets ignored the TSA’s plea and ran with the story anyway. A quick Google search by NaturalNews found that among them were London’s Daily Mail, the New York Daily News and Australia’s News.com.
So far, Corbett, an engineer, has been able to slip metal objects undetected through the international airport at Cleveland and the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida. He went on to say that the TSA has informed both of those airports “to withhold security videos” which show him defeating the scanners and surveillance equipment. He went on to note that the TSA “frequently releases surveillance videos when it is in their interest.”
In an interview with the Daily Mail, Corbett explained how the loophole in the system works.
Metal object in specially sewn side pocket invisible
Producing several images produced by the TSA’s body scanners, Corbett said:
“You’ll see that the search victim is drawn with light colors and placed on a black background in both images. In these samples, the individuals are concealing metallic objects that you can see as a black shape on their light figure. Again that’s light figure, black background, and black threat items.”
But, he continued, “If you have a metallic object on your side, it will be the same color as the background and therefore completely invisible to both visual and automated inspection.”
Incredulous, he said, “It can’t possibly be that easy to beat the TSA’s billion dollar fleet of nude body scanners, right? The TSA can’t be that stupid, can they? Unfortunately, they can, and they are.”
In the surveillance videos, Corbett is seen passing through the scanners in both airports with a metal object slipped into a pocket that he sewed directly on the side of his shirt. He was able to get through the checkpoint without TSA agents – or the backscatter X-ray machine – discovering the contents of his side pocket.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
By: Ethan A. Huff
[NaturalNews] More corruption at the U.S. Transportation Security Administration has led to the federal conviction of a TSA training supervisor, the voluntary resignation of three TSA workers, and the firing of seven other TSA workers at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) in Pennsylvania. This major house-cleaning at the TSA comes after a seven-month investigation uncovered a huge bribery scandal in which TSA workers were paying off the training supervisor to obtain passing grades on their annual proficiency exams.
Apparently too inept to pass the basic exam on their own, the TSA workers in question allegedly caved to demands by Shannon Gilliam, 30, a former TSA training supervisor at PHL, that they pay her $1,000 each in exchange for passing test scores. After being outed, Gilliam was later taken to court where she pleaded guilty to accepting bribes from TSA workers, and was sentenced to six months of home detention, four years of probation, and 300 hours of community service as a result.
Three of the TSA workers involved in the scheme quit their positions at the agency not too long after the sentencing, and another seven TSA workers were notified by their superiors that they would soon be terminated as well. At the end of the day, PHL lost a whopping ten TSA workers and a TSA training supervisor as part of the debacle.
“There’s a TSA disaster every week, and the security meltdown gets more and more outrageous,” said Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) in response to the outrageous case. Rep. Mica, who was actually responsible for authoring the very legislation that created the TSA in the first place (
), is now calling for the agency to be completely disbanded and replaced with a privatized security force.
“Everything they have done has been reactive,” Rep. Mica is quoted as saying by The Blaze. “They take shoes off because of [shoe-bomber] Richard Reid, passengers are patted down because of the diaper bomber, and you can’t pack liquids because the British uncovered a plot using liquids … It’s an agency that is always one step out of step.”
John Corbett, the engineer whose viral video exposed the TSA naked body scanner protocol as completely useless in detecting weapons (
), is continuing to push the U.S. Supreme Court to hear his case against the agency. His suit alleges that TSA naked body scanners and pat downs are unconstitutional because they violate the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures (
March 24, 2012
Alex talks with Jeff Lewis, the quadruple TSA amputee who was singled out for abuse by the TSA at Phoenix’s notorious Sky Harbor International airport. Mr. Lewis was interviewed by Infowars.com journalist and editor Patrick Henningsen last week.
Friday, March 23, 2012
By: Ethan A. Huff
[NaturalNews] Serving as yet another reminder of just how ridiculous the “national security” theater is in America today, a U.S. Transportation Security Administration screener at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago has been caught on tape patting down a three-year-old in a wheelchair, and swabbing the boy’s body, cast, and chair for explosives.
Russia Today reports that the boy and his parents, grandparents, and two siblings were on their way to Walt Disney World in Florida when a TSA screener decided to pull the boy aside. As captured by the boy’s father, the screener, who in all fairness was gentle and kind to the boy during the process, proceeded to pat the boy down, lift up his shirt, and swab his person and wheelchair for explosives.
Visibly shaken throughout the entire experience, the young boy is seen on camera shaking and scared while his father, who was filming the incident, repeatedly reassures his son that everything will be fine. However, the boy’s father was not allowed to get near his son and comfort him during the process, and was reportedly refused by TSA screeners from even holding the boy’s hand.
You can watch a video clip of the incident at the following link:
“My little boy wanted me to come over to hold his hand and give him a hug. He was trembling with fear,” said the father to theToronto Sun. “I was told I could NOT touch him during this process. Instead, we had to pretend this (procedure) was ‘OK’ so he didn’t panic.”
According to TSA, the wheelchair set off the alarm during “explosives screening,” an ambiguous screening that does not typically take place as air travelers walk through metal detectors or naked body scanners.
“Apparently, there’s lots of children in wheelchairs being used to bring down airplanes,” wrote the boy’s father, obviously in a tone of sarcasm, in his video’s caption, which was posted on YouTube. “It’s a brilliant plan when you think about it. PRETEND you are going to Disney, with three children, two parents, and two grandparents … when REALLY you smuggle C4 inside your toddler’s cast and wheelchair.”
In a similar incident last year, controversy erupted after TSA screeners at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport in Louisiana conducted an “intense” pat down on a six-year-old girl, which included forcing her to spread her arms and legs and be touched in “sensitive areas” (
Push continues for other States to introduce “Traveler’s Bill of Rights”
March 21, 2012
Hawaii Senators this week passed a resolution for a “Traveler’s Bill of Rights”, aimed at making the TSA more accountable and putting a stop to over reach and abuses.
Minority Leader Sam Slom, R-Hawaii, authored the legislation based on Congressman Ron Paul’s American Traveler Dignity Act, at the federal level.
Much like Paul’s bill, the resolution declares that no employee of the federal agency is immune from the law when it comes to pat-downs and the use of potentially harmful radiation scanners on Americans.
Other specific issues include constitutional rights, invasion of privacy and civil rights, child protection and fiscal issues.
Senators on the Hawaii Transportation and Public Safety/Military Affairs committees, unanimously passed the legislation, states the Hawaii Reporter.
Senator Slom is a member of a national, bipartisan legislative caucus, known as the “United States for Travel Freedom” caucus, formed one year ago specifically to oppose TSA intrusions. Slom has also introduced legislation to altogether prohibit the use of non-consensual body scanners.
Representatives from several other states are also on board with the caucus, they include Alaska State Representative Sharon Cissna and Washington State Senator Val Stevens, as well as Republican and Democrat legislators from Alaska, Hawaii, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington.
Representative Cissna, R-Alaska, has spearheaded the multi-state effort against the TSA. In her own state she has introduced legislation to criminalize both invasive pat downs and body scans that produce naked images.
Cissna, a 68-year-old cancer survivor who suffered molestation and abuse in her youth, made shock waves back in February of 2011 when she refused to submit to a TSA grope-downand was subsequently prevented from flying from Seattle, Washington to her home in Alaska.
“Ordinary citizens across this country have told us they are being treated like common criminals by the TSA.” said Cissna, in testimony submitted to the Hawaii Legislature.
Cissna also noted that the TSA’s current procedures “do not have verifiable oversight over their equipment and give very poor management and training to their employees.”
“Security is not being served by the current program. We must demand better.” she added.
These latest developments set the stage for another states’ rights battle with the government over the TSA. When Texas lawmakers tried to pass similar legislation last year, the federal government threatened to enforce a no fly zone over the lone star state, and the measure was eventually defeated after a lengthy legislative struggle.
Along with the news last week that several airports are considering evicting TSA screeners, it is now clear that the fight to crush the TSA power grab is making significant headway.