Boston TSA Agents Have Their Eyes on You

Posted Aug 4th 2011 09:30 AM




Boston's TSA screeners will be watching travelers a bit more closely starting next week.

Under a new pilot program kicking off in a little more than a week at Boston Logan International Airport, TSA employees will pose a variety of questions to passengers and determine whether or not they pose a threat based on their verbal and physical reactions to the queries.

Screening Passengers by Observation Techniques is a method commonly used in Israel, where it has been fairly successful, but some doubt TSA agents, not exactly renowned for their sensitivity, are the keenest observers of subtlety.

"The question is obviously, what is the quality of the verbal interaction that is going to be implemented?" Rafi Ron, a former Logan consultant, told the Boston Herald. "If it will have a poor quality, then obviously it will be another way to waste taxpayer money and increase the hassle to passengers. If not, then this will be great."

The program will require passengers to answer several questions as they hand over their boarding passes – basic stuff along the lines of, "Where are you headed?"

The aim is to analyze so-called micro-expressions – small, involuntary emotional reactions to stimuli. People who seem tense or untrustworthy or respond by shouting "death to America!" will be given full body scans.

If this sounds a lot like the show "Lie to Me," there is a good reason. The premise is essentially the same. The key difference is that the role of detectors will not be played by the squarely, yet lovable Tim Roth, but by the TSA agents, the people behind such hits as patting down a baby, dousing a man in his own urine and, who could forget, forcing an elderly woman to remove her adult diaper.

Filed Under: Air Travel, News

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Don't worry. Soon oil will be so expensive that nobody will be able to afford to fly

August 05 2011 at 10:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

As a former "certified" Police Officer with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and also a combat-veteran of Iraq in the United States Army Military Police ---> What is their legal authority in either Federal, State, or Municipal that they can do this? Why are American's sooo weak and love to bend over every time the Federal Government - which is hyper-inflating our currency and putting more debt on us - tell the Public to do...

August 04 2011 at 8:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Now I have to be questioned at my East German Airport now... first it was the body scanners, which I will NEVER use or submit to., and now we have minimum waged police officer-wanna-bees asking me where I am going and also other personal questions? Jessie Ventura was right, we do live in a Police State...

August 04 2011 at 8:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

A few facts: #1, America has the same number of planes in the air in a day that Israel has in a year. That's more than 350 times as many planes, passengers and bags to screen. #2. Israel is comprised of 80% Jewish people and 20% "Arab-Israelis". The Jewish people walk straight on the plane, for everyone else, there is racial profiling. Airport security in Israel is ALL about racial profiling. By contrast, the US has a diverse and multicultural population, and makes an effort, at least, to treat all religions and cultures with respect. #3, the US flies to practically every country in the world. Israel has relatively few international flights, and most of those fly to 'friendly' countriies first, leaving the problematic destinations to other countries' airlines. The US has suffered one major attack in the last 10 years, For Israel to better that record, it will have to have zero attacks on it's airlines for the next 3, 500 years. Not 35, not 350, 3,500. I wish them luck.

August 04 2011 at 6:32 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Here's something to ponder:

Over 1500 additional traffic deaths occurred above normal in the year after 9/11 because Americans were afraid to fly ... so fear drove about half as many who died in the Twin Towers attacks to their deaths when air travel is one of the very safest ways to travel

Further, 2 comprehensive studies of airport security by the US gov't showed that actual security after all the new procedures and laws were implemented resulted in less than 1/100 of a single percent improvement

August 04 2011 at 5:13 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

israel is the LAST country we should emulate for anything - what next, illicit domestic spying, illegal wars and torture like they do?

... oh that's right, we've already adopted those from the zionist's "only democracy in the Middle East"

and most of the TSA agents are low-paid workers not allowed to unionize who often seem rather disinterested in their jobs or overzealous when it comes to diaper-wearing old folks ... these techniques require real skill and experience to use - and more importantly, if we were going to apply ANY part of the israeli airport screening it would be the pre-screening before the people ever get to an airport

August 04 2011 at 5:11 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to radii's comment
Natacha Correa

dear radii,
how right you are! let's instead adopt the Syrian, Libyan methods for screening. instead of asking questions at the airport, let's just take them outside ask them a few political questions, rape them if they are women, torture them, and if they get the wrong political responses, just shoot them... sounds more of your liking, right?

arab israelies would never live in an arab country if you ask them... maybe you as an arab lover should go to israel and see for yourself. i'm surprised you never went on the 'zionist plot' to take over the world... bla, bla, bla... i heard it all before.

btw, you may not be aware that a lot of the things you use every day are in fact an israeli invented... so you may want to emulate your fellow arabs and live in the dark ages and riding a camel. maybe you can trad it for a wife if you are lucky.
shalom! greeting from the land of milk and honey.

August 04 2011 at 5:56 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Natacha Correa's comment

got your hasbara talking points in front of you when you posted that? ... part of Brand Israel's attempt to distract and smooth over the endless serial war-crimes by zionists? They pay you now to troll on comments' sections (probably with US money since we have so much of it extorted by israel through its control of our Congress) ... funny you mention Syria and Libya - a little upset that your pocket dictators aren't behaving as they've been paid/extorted to and have populations fed up with their despotism often supported by israel

I'm not pro-Arab or anti-Jew, but I am against a a militarist, racist, land-grabbing, ethno-centric mafia state that is zionist israel .. I want all jews to live in peace and prosperity wherever they are (as most do these days) ... but the slow genocide they commit upon the Palestinians will be brought to a stop and israel will heel to the will of the world and behave in a civil manner

August 04 2011 at 6:40 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down

I have not flown in three years now and unless it is a dreadful Emergency I am not going to fly anywhere.

I want to make sure I do not give the airlines one dime ever again until the searching crotches and Boobs stops.

At least I have some morals and self respect

August 04 2011 at 4:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

All of this, all of it, is to protect the airlines. It is all about "perceived" safety. Your chances of being killed by a terrorist on a domestic flight is so close to zero as to not matter. We don't have this assumed level of security or safety when traveling by car. This is a protection racket for the airlines that tax payers are on the hook for.

If the airlines want to provide this level of security, fine, but let them raise the funds to do so.

August 04 2011 at 4:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to GT's comment

A car cant kill 2000 people and knock down a 100 story building.

August 04 2011 at 4:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to no's comment

Um, it was 3000 people. Over 40,000 die every year in car accidents.
You have a 1 in 135000 chance of being killed by hijacking.

That in no way addresses the fact that everyone, even those that don't fly, are paying for this air travel image protection system.

August 04 2011 at 6:49 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down

These People have compleltly lost their monds.
They show up at Highschool Proms and search and grope the kids. What in the H--- is happening to this Country.

Why are people not standing up and telling these people to screw themselves. Or boycotting the Airlines and not fly and hit them in the Wallett.

Just wait the TSa will be at your front door soon. They are already heading to bus Stations, Malls, TYrains and Sporting events.

When Power is unchecked and allowed to do what it wants.
It becomes TYRANNY.

The Champion of the Constitution

August 04 2011 at 4:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

European airports use this screening method, as well.

August 04 2011 at 3:41 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply