Tuesday, April 19, 2011

TSA policy towards children

It's important to remember that last week's viral video of a 6-year old getting searched at the airport was not an anomaly. It just happened to be caught on tape.

Searching children in this manner is standard policy. The TSA has said so itself, issuing statements after the video was released that all appropriate procedures were followed. Another mother has come forward to say that the same thing happened to her 8-year old son. She only got still pictures, not a video.

After the uproar in late 2010 about child pat-downs when a couple of other videos went viral (showing a boy having to remove his shirt and a girl screaming in protest at her search), TSA assured us that they would modify their policy towards children under 13 (although why 13 years old was a magic number was never explained). They may well have modified their child version of the custody search... I didn't see the full on jab of the genitals that we've read so much about. But what is left is disturbing, nonetheless.

So now the TSA is promising to continue to review and revise their "cookie cutter" procedures (their words).

It will appease us until the next video surfaces. And it shows how important it is for everyone to document these abuses.

A request for those who haven't sworn off flying: Some parents may submissively allow their children to be molested - if you won't intervene, at least continue to expose this absurdity. Bring a video camera or prepare your smartphone for video when you fly. Before or after you pass through security, be alert for the opportunity to be a documentarian of our police state. And share your video on YouTube, Facebook, etc... (and send me the link!).