Monday, November 22, 2010

Current Events Watch: How Much Security Is Enough?


"He was a week late but not short on originality. Copycat activist and civil libertarian Samuel Wolanyk, age 39, was arrested on Friday, November 19, 2010 by Harbor Police after taking his clothes off during a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) enhanced body frisking at San Diego International Airport.

Explained Mr. Wolanyk, "It was obvious that my underwear left nothing to the imagination. But that wasn't enough for the TSA supervisor who was called to the scene and asked me to put my clothes on so I could be properly patted down."

Has airport security gone too far, or not far enough? What would you be willing to do to feel travel safe? Does this kind of search, prior to a flight intrude on our civil liberties? Explain your answer.


21 comments:

  1. I feel that this man is completely justified, and should have been aloud onto the flight. These are all for our own protection of course, but they do seem to be getting a little invasive. I do feel much safer with these new machines and policies, it may intrude on some civil liberties but its all for your protection. I feel as long as no photographs of the TSA units are being saved then this shouldn't be a problem.If you don't want to be frisked or go into the TSA machine I believe you should be able to get naked if you want. If you don't want any of the three then stay home and don't fly. Its really as simple as that.

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  2. I personally have flown on a lot of planes so i would prefer it that it's safe to fly on an airplane and not have any worries. I think it's okay to be patted down and made to walk through a metal detector prior boarding an airplane, but cavity searches and things like that would be going too far. It's better to be safe than sorry. I don't know why Samuel Wolanyk got undressed because it doesn't seem like they told him to, since they asked him to put his clothes on so he can be patted.

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  3. TSA has acted completely out of line, especially over the holiday season. Many people arriving for flights have been delayed because of the extensive searches that the TSA has been more than willing to provide. It is indeed a violation of a flyer's rights to go through such a rigorous search. They are being felt up, poked at, strip searched, and too closely observed by the TSA agents. The agents have reserved the right to pull people aside, into seperate rooms only by request, and strip search them. No proof is needed to initiate these searches, just "suspiscion". It is a shame that air travel will be delayed by this nation's growing paranoia, especially over the holiday season when travel is already hectic. TSA's motto is "Your Safety is Our Priority"- but what about our rights.
    http://www.tsa.gov/




    http://www.tsa.gov/

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  4. Every time I board on a plane, I am scared out of wits end out of constant scare tactics put on by terrorism. It is an absolutely horrifing idea.
    My mother works for United Airlines Customer service, and my father works for United Airlines as a mechanic(which means I fly a lot too), and we have always talked about security and the check in process. After 9/11 it was 8 oz of liquid not allowed on a plane, and constant harassing of flyers. After time, more and more acts of terror have occured, leading to full body pat-downs. But I believe that these circumstances are necessary in order to have a safer flight. My mom has explained to me that most people are able to get through with small things without the pat downs. For example, my father has been able to get on a plane with a lighter, and matches... Without these pat downs, they may not be able to spot these small inconsistencies in the security. Another thing that makes these security checks very efficient is the searching of suitcases and body cavaties. People have been caught with all types of knives in suitcases and checks, as well as other hazardous chemicals. This is terrifying for the others who are innocent in these acts. As long as people continue to partake in acts of terrorism, this is the way it has to be to keep the skies safe.

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  5. Samuel Wolanyk is a civil libertarian that decided to take a stand against TSA security procedures. In some aspects, libertarians such as Wolanyk think that the security procedures have gone to far, and that's why he acted out. He refused to be patted down so he made a scene by taking all but his underwear off. The police should have just told the man to put on his clothes and move on. I don't think there was a need for him to put his clothes on and then have to be patted down. If the man is in his underwear, where is he going to hide something that a pat down wouldn't find. By this man being in his underwear it basically represents that he doesn't need to have a pat down because there's nothing to pat down. Wolanyk proclaims that, "TSA needs to see that I'm not carrying any weapons, explosives, or other prohibited substances, [...], and having been felt up for the first time by TSA the week prior (I travel frequently) I was not willing to be molested again." http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/6043806/samuel_wolanyk_airline_passenger_strips.html
    I think that Wolanyk shouldn't be convicted of any felony because he was using his freedom of speech to express how he felt towards the TSA security procedures. The recording of the incident on his phone could also be deleted and thus no charges could be pressed on Wolanyk of capturing security procedures.
    I on the other hand would be okay with a pat down because it's not like it's hurting me or affecting my health. I would want this security procedure to be done to everyone to ensure everyone's safety. It is true that some may find it invasive, but all security is trying to do is promote safety so that no hazards can occur.

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  6. As a frequent flier I do get tired of the constant new security updates at the airport. I understand the metal detector and the bomb/drug sniffing dogs, that all makes sense. But what are they really looking for that those two things can't find? I don't believe that the TSA is really worried about our safety more than they are concerned with our rights. What they are doing is pushing the limit to see how far they can get before the public revolts. Only then will they back down. However that most likely won't happen due to the fact that people don't really want to deal with the consequences of revolting and will just bend over for the Airport System just to get on with their lives. It makes me feel sick how the security at the airport is but at the same time it got this way for a reason.

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  7. Personally I have not flown on many airplanes, though many of my family memebrs travel by planes a lot throughout each year. Being that my loved ones are flying constantly I do think that the cautions taken are important. However many of the inspections, searches, shoe removals and pat-downs are ridiculously unnecessary. A walk through a metal detector is okay, yet now were on to the full body scans which for many people may be uncomfortable because of the fact that it shows an actual representation of his or her body. You cannot fully protect yourself from every bad intention out there, or you risk losing everything for the illusion of safety.

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  8. I believe now a day flying is just a pain to get on board because of the excessive amount of time is spent of checking everyone i do believe it is done out of the safety of everyone but, i do believe they have taken it too far to violate a human being's personal space. TSA has been pushing it's authority around to a point where i don't even want to fly an airplane because of the security that has gone through the airport. I do understand that it done by the safety of other who are boarding the plane and other passengers but i am considered that the government should only have a personal search to only realize that they will not find anything that they were looking for and let you go when you have been violated of your personal bubble.

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  9. In my opinion flying is a pain when you have to take your shoes and everything off and get patted down occasionally. However, I believe its completely necessary whether we like it or not. Ensuring safety is the TSA job and what they do benefits all of us. This guy Samuel Wolanyk was just being unreasonable because its really not such a big deal to get patted down. I mean what civil riqht had the TSA violated ? If you ask me he violated himself more than they did.

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  10. For me personally, I do not fly that much. The current TSA job of being patted down or x-ray scans doesn't bother me but for people who fly a lot, I can see why x-rays can become an issue to them due to the radiation. I understand the arguments made against these full body x-ray scans because it does somewhat invade privacy. Also, questions have been asked if these images are recorded or stored. However, the TSA ensures " the x-ray scan photographing data is that the images cannot be printed or stored. The Office of Science and Technology called the full-body x-ray machines, safe." I believe that the TSA has the right to do x-rays and pat downs because if a terrorist were to try to come into our country and cause harm, we would not be able to stop them before they harm American citizens.

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  11. I believe that the new security measures have gone too far. Personally I believe that the previous security measures were adequate enough. I am willing to walk through a metal detector and willing to be pat down only if there is probable reason too. But the new pat downs are an intrusion of privacy, they do not need probable reason to pat you down, they can if they want to. “The ACLU, have objected to the new measures, comparing the pat-down procedures to a "groping." (http://latimesblogs.latimes.com) I believe that this is a violation of our civil liberties. These new “enhanced” security measures would not prevent terrorist activities. Yes, I believe we need better security when we fly. “The body scanners were designed to detect high-density objects, not powdered explosives like the kind used in the Christmas Day attempt. “Don’t be satisfied with the false dichotomy that you can either choose privacy or you can choose security. Demand both.’’ (http://www.boston.com) This shows that there are major flaws in the system; the T.S.A. should have thought this through with a better plan in mind, with security and privacy first. If we resort to even more intrusive and aggressive security measures just to fly, then we have let the terrorists get there way by terrorizing us into this.

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  12. The TSA are saying that they are just "dedicated to ensuring the unthinkable doesn't happen." Well I do agree that people are capable of doing strange things to get things past security but there has to been a line drawn on airport security. People are doing crazy things to stand up to the TSA's procedures. Samuel Wolanyk was one of those people he refused to be patted down and thus he removed all his clothed to show he had nothing hidden. Our Country makes a big deal about harassment in many situations and in my opinion this is border line harassment. I do understand that security is important to keep people safe but now it just appears to be overdoing it. The X-Ray is already enough to check our whole body, so why does TSA need to pat down people thoroughly. They have even said, "Every air traveler today is screened by our team using the latest screening techniques to prevent any terrorist or criminal activity." So isn't that enough to see everything that someone could potentially be hiding. Intrusion of privacy and we should be feel like we are afraid to fly because people do not want to be "groped" before flying on an airline.

    http://www.tsa.gov/what_we_do/screening/index.shtm

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  13. I feel that airport security is important for everyones safety but at the same time I feel that it has gone too far as to where people begin to feel uncomfortable and it is an invasion of privacy. The TSA has been doing full body screening and frisking. This includes going through a machine that produces radiation and/or touching you in places where you may feel uncomfortable. I feel like this is a violation of civil liberties because if you don't want to go through a machine that produces radiation and you don't want to be felt up by a random person you have never met in your life then you should be able to take your clothes off or find a different method of security. I wouldn't like it if someone patted me down and if I did accept it I could say pretty much whatever I want to them because they say they respect civil liberties on their website, which is freedom of speech, religion and assembly. This could be a violation of someones religion. Although I highly dislike all of the security procedures we have to go through while flying I don't think I would personally take my clothes off and make such a big deal of the situation like Samuel Wolanyk.

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  14. To my point of view, I believe that it is okay to go through a scanner to be checked, but I think that recently it has gone too far. Going through those new scanners is like going through a virtual strip search. It is understandable that they are doing this because of the recent incidents that have occurred in the previous year, and that they are doing it for our own safety. We really can't do anything about it, all we can do is bare with them. In order to feel safe when traveling I would do anything that is needed to be done. It is not a big pain if you do what you need to do while going through airport security check.
    What I definitely do not feel is right is being patted down, I feel that the scanners are enough, and there is no need for them to be touching people in ways that some might feel uncomfortable.
    For now all we can do is go with what the TSA has come up with, except for these people, "Privacy advocates aren't buying it. They've sued the Department of Homeland Security, asking a federal judge for a "emergency stay" of the body-scanning program. They're also calling on passengers to refuse the scans next week during a "National Opt Out Day."(http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704658204575611031585381708.html).
    We'll see what else the TSA comes up with in years to come.

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  15. I appreciate that TSA is going the distance to make sure that travelers and national security are safe. However, I think these extensive pat downs and the new body screenings are pushing it. Firstly, last Christmas, the person who managed to sneak a bomb onto a plane was by mistake of human error---airport officials failed to notice he was on the no-fly list, that his visa was expired, and that he was hiding a bomb in his pants. This was all on account of human error. These extensive pat downs and screenings are still monitored and controlled by humans so there is still the chance that humans will make mistakes. I personally do not mind these searches but I feel that some people will be greatly offended and embarrassed by them. They may feel like they are being violated. According to the 5th amendment, citizens have "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures" (http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/amendment04/). I think this would be considered an unreasonable search and it makes people feel insecure and uncomfortable.

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  16. Airport security is important. In order to fly, you should have to agree to a number of airport security procedures. However, airport security in America hardly does anything but provide a false sense of security. In Israel, they grill each person, really being able to tell who is who they say they are. They even mark up passports as people naive enough to carry something for someone else. Their security is far more reliable than ours, and people generally arent subjected to full body scans ( even though they tend to not be very revealing)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transportation_Security_Administration

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  17. I feel that airports are doing a little to much in security that it is taking to long to get onto flights. Also they are stopping people from getting on these flights due to little things. I would like my flights to be safe as possible, but at the same time be able to get on my flight in a reasonable amount of time. This may also violate the 4th amendment which states that the people have the right to unreasonable search and seizure. In exact words the 4th amendment says. "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." (http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/amendment04/). So we can see that airport security may be violating our civil liberties.

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  18. By having us remove our shoes, throw away our shampoo, xray our bags and now us, the TSA provides travelers with a false sense of security. I dont think anything they are doing goes against any of our rights. As long as they aren't racial profiling, no one should have any problem with a blurry black and white image of themselves anonymously shown in the buff. In Israel, they have effective airline security. They grill their passengers to see if they are telling the truth about where they are from. I know someone who goes through rigorous searching and questioning every time she flies in Israel. Turns out, there is a mark on her passport stating that she is naive enough to carry something for someone else. Its an effective method. If we lived in a perfect world, everybody could fly without being searched. But until then, passengers should be subjected to searches when flying.

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  19. I think that although some of the TSA’s security measures seem a bit ridiculous and overboard in the end it is all for the safety of those who are traveling. If they didn’t go to some of the extreme measures they do go to there would probably be a lot more terrorist activities going on at airports and in the air. For example, the terrorists who were caught trying to sneak IED’s in printer cartridges onto the plane had a very sneaky tactic and had the TSA not been so through with their searches a lot of innocent people could have been killed. I think that whatever the TSA does has good reason behind it and they should be allowed to continue what they are doing and the civil liberties can be compromised to a certain extent for the safety of the people.

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  20. Before stating my opinion I would like to mention upfront and foremost what TSA does/is. "Transportation Security Administration (TSA) protects the nation's transportation systems to ensure freedom of movement for people and commerce". Going off of this, I do not believe, in general, that the airport security has exaggerated their efforts in the least bit. Excluding some extreme cases, there has not been that much complaints about the procedure taken prior to an airplane flight. Sure we have to waste what seems like an eternity for our flight, removing articles of clothing, making sure we have our stuff in the right bin, and definitely, DEFINITELY, not have any liquids, I think it is worth it to ensure the safety. TSA isn't really to blame, as the main cause are the religious radicals who following their own beliefs, brought what could be a replacement as the most tedious system next to the DMV. Even so, out of the possible millions flying every single day, there have been maybe a couple of reported situations that would be deemed unconstitutional. Although, I definitely do not agree with these situations in which they go further than needed, I think the overall operation and management of security is being very well handled. One time events that happen every once in a while, probably more, are often used as a fear tactic in part of someone's incapability to see the bigger picture. As long as TSA's security measures do not involve strip searching every passenger that comes aboard, I feel like we can wait in line for a little bit. I mean, it's just for safety, nothing big.

    www.tsa.gov/

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  21. Airport security is very important and I feel that home land security is important to the safety of the people. Even though these past years have been rough on airports, I think that their state of panic/worries has reached its limit. I think that the whole body scanners have reached the point till is gone too far. In my point of view all that has happened to and through the airport lines has been scary. And to prevent such attempts of those with curious minds, put others to think of other measures that can be taken to prevent such events. I just think that there is a limit to all these new measure taken by air ports lines that have been approved by the government. Not all disasters can be prevented but the effort is to try and stop as much as we can, but not his way this is a degrading thing to put people through. Some people fly on an daily bases and to have to get through the scanning, metal detector, patting down and all those measures taken by home land security is too much to ask for. Just because a couple of people have made bad decisions through airline doesn't give the right to punish every one for it. In my opinion homeland security has crossed the limit when it comes to the full body visual scanner; airline safety can be managed without the need of drastic measure. If this continues and some other dis unfortunate event happens what else the government is going to come up? with what else are we going to have to put up with?

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