Friday, December 25, 2015

Masters of arbitrary rules

Just before Christmas travel began, TSA announced yet another "rule" that defies the traditional definition of a rule. Let's review:
When you go to the airport, you may be asked to go through a naked scanner. Unless,
a) There are no scanners installed.
b) The installed scanners are not in use due to maintenance or staffing.
c) You happen to be at the front of the line when the scanner is being used, but a metal detector is available.
d) You have Pre-check. Unless,
d1) You are directed to a scanner anyway.
e) You are randomly selected to participate in Pre-check (but see d1).
f) You opt-out, in which case you will get a physical pat-down.

And now,  the  newest rule:

f1) If you opt-out, you may still be directed to go through the scanner anyway.

Got that?  Here's the TSA's own words:

"'Passengers undergoing screening will still have the option to decline an AIT screening in favor of a physical screening,' agency spokesman Mike England said in a statement. 'However, some passengers will still be required to undergo AIT screenings as warranted by security considerations in order to safeguard transportation security.'"