Tuesday, September 26, 2006

TSA = arbitrary rules

When you're pulled over by a Police Officer for speeding, things are fairly cut and dry. He tells you you're speeding, and if you have any questions as to why this is a problem, he can cite the specific local/state laws which prohibit the type of behavior/speeds that you were engaged in.

When you're ordered to do something by TSA, or worse, told that you're breaking the rules, you're in rough shape. Mainly because most of their rules are secret. As amusing as it was to test the TSA screening rules against a bottle of sex lube, I was at least lucky enough to be testing a rule which they post on their website.

Their rules for who must or need not show ID, or who can decline to go through puffer machines (and if so, what they must submit to in exchange for this) are all covered by secret rules that the TSA keep to themselves. TSA deems these "Secret Security Directives" and as such, is not required to share these with the public. Even though you are forced to submit yourself to these rules, and in spite of the fact that the TSA employees cite the rules when telling you what to do, you have no way of keeping them in check.

Checks and balances are extremely important. Without them, we become victims of those who abuse their powers. One day, they enforce the rules, the next day, they don't. They can pick and choose who to enforce them against (i.e. males with darker skin, those who don't shave, or anyone with a foreign sounding name).

I've sent an email to Rene Harris of the Indianapolis TSA office to seek clarification for their seemingly arbitrary rules regarding who can and cannot opt out of the puffer machines. Esp. after successfully avoiding them at DCA, it'll be very interesting to see what he says.

1 comment:

Estelle Edwards said...

We can't settle for this nonsense any longer. The media will not tell you, but many Americans have begun to boycott commercial air travel until they see the TSA disbanded. I myself have started a Meetup group for this purpose. I also bring attention to other similar boycott groups: visit the link below.


For those of us who want to fly, we will have to take a free market approach. I suggest that people start doing research on the private charter companies which offer pricing based on sharing the plane with other people. One such outfit that operates from Islip MacArthur Airport on Long Island is Blue Star Jet. I've already requested them to send me pricing info, by email or snail mail.