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TSA’s sticks to new controversial pat down techniques

Updated on March 9, 2011

It is certainly an accepted fact that changes would be a constant part of security measures adopted at every travel point in and out of the country. The government, security agencies and travel companies are always on the lookout to try out new security measures in order to foil any attempts at mischief or terrorism before such is carried out. One of the recent measures has been the adoption of full body scanners at airports. These new body scanners carry out a more intensive and revealing search than the previous scanners. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recognizes that some travelers might choose not to pass through the scanner and has outlined new pat down techniques for such travelers.

These new pat down techniques rolled out by the TSA are also certainly generating a lot of furor. Passengers who decline going through the new security scanners will have to endure a form of pat down so intensive that it becomes clearly invasive. Part of the guidelines for the pat down requests that security officials inspect the crotch of male passengers till they encounter resistance from the testicles. The resistance area is better imagined for women.

TSA has said these measures are one of the many methods they have chosen to strengthen security and keep travelers safe from those who may have harmful mischief in mind. According to TSA, the new methods for pat downs will go far in helping to detect those who have hidden dangerous devices such as explosives have in various parts of their body. This will also be further complemented with the use of canine teams, improved security scanners and other devices that will aid the detection of hidden weapons.

A few passengers who have chosen to endure the new pat down techniques have complained loudly about its invasiveness as the TSA has stuck to its intention of probing the thighs of intending passengers, right up to the region of their crotch. While the pat downs do not exactly amount to a cavity search and have to be conducted by security officials of the same sex with the passenger, there are complaints that the new search methods were as close to sexual harassment as it could get.  Some passengers have described themselves as becoming deeply disturbed and embarrassed from having to undergo such a search.

It appears that this indeed what the TSA is aiming for. While the search methods can be said to be thorough, the manner in which they are conducted is not meant to spare the blushes of passengers who chose to undergo the pat down. Instead it seems it is actually meant to make the passengers as uncomfortable and embarrassed as possible in order to get them to submit to being searched instead by the new high image definition scanners.


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