My First TSA Grope

As many of you have heard, TSA has once again over-reacted, and decided to enhance the pat-down. Known by many as a very invasive procedure, I had the opportunity to try out the groping for the first time in San Jose...

When I arrived to San Jose, I noticed that all passengers were being funneled into the Backscatter, a.k.a. Nude-O-Scope or Cancer Scope. The Rapiscan Backscatter Secure 1000 uses Ionizing Radiation to scan your body, concentrating the radiation on the first few layers of your skin. Due to this, repeated exposure can lead to skin cancer. While the TSA and Rapiscan deny that this can happen, scientists from UCSF have grave concerns over these machines. The photo below is the Backscatter device. image from images.businessweek.com

 

After having my ID and Boarding Pass checked, I walked over to the only open line. Unfortunately, they were running the Backscatter, so I would have to position myself to avoid both the cancer and the grope. Unfortunately, the TSA clerk standing guard motioned me towards the Nude-O-Scope. When I declined to be subjected to radiation, I was given a hard time, until I finally got defensive and told them that I would be opting-out. The call was made for "male assist", and a few moments later, another clerk showed up. He had me point out my items, and then carried them over to a small table for the grope.

After raising my arms, the clerk proceeded to pat down my legs, back, and chest. After he discovered that I was not carrying any weapons on me (what a surprise), he swabbed his hands and I was free to leave.

Overall, the opt-out experience was as designed, something that is treated with rudeness by TSA clerks. At first, the clerk near the metal detector tried to refuse my request for opting-out, but after standing my ground, I was allowed to skip the cancer scope.

I highly recommend that you opt-out of the Backscatter! As mentioned above, the Ionizing Radiation is very unsafe, and I would hate to see you get cancer just by exercising your right to travel.

 

Feel free to comment on this story. I'm interested in hearing your thought about the body scanners and grope!

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