In an article making its way around the web, Jeffrey Goldberg details his recent experiences with the TSA and their new policy regarding opting out of the new back-scatter machines. In short, if you opt out of the incredibly invasive machine scan, you’ll now be subjected to a very intrusive pat-down instead, wherein the security agent assigned to you will feel up the thighs until he meets “resistance” in the form of your testicles.
Goldberg’s whole article is worth reading, and makes it clear the TSA is attempting to cow the masses into accepting the new back-scatter machines by making any alternative much worse and more degrading. As Goldberg summarizes:
…the obvious goal of the TSA is to make the pat-down embarrassing enough for the average passenger that the vast majority of people will choose high-tech humiliation over the low-tech ball check.
A “crotchal” area feel-up is certainly unappealing, there’s no question about it. However, it seems that perhaps the TSA hasn’t thought this through entirely. Their little game of molestation chicken could just blow up in their faces1.
Think about it – the pat-down won’t be pleasant for you, but the TSA agent-turned-baggage handler isn’t going to be too thrilled about it either. If enough travelers are willing to play ball, as it were, some agents are bound to quit. Those who remain will be overwhelmed by demand for their services. Given enough defiance, the TSA simply won’t have the time or manpower to cop all the required feels. Their policy will have to change2.
So let’s try to put an end to security theatre. Let’s take back our rights, along with our dignity. Let’s remember what Ben Franklin taught us, that those who sacrifice liberty for security (or worse, the illusion of security) deserve neither. Let’s find our balls, and then make them touch ’em.
The next time I fly, I’m going to have the TSA “meet the resistance”. Who’s with me?
Metaphorically speaking, of course. ↩︎
I suppose the other possibility is that the TSA will be overrun with perverts. Of course, given the nature of the images the back-scatter machines produce, that may well happen anyway. ↩︎