The Internet is helping to fuel anger over air traveler screening, but changes to what some have termed a "virtual strip search" are unlikely to materialize before the busy Thanksgiving travel period draws near.
John Tyner, a software engineer from Oceanside, Calif., became an Internet sensation after telling a TSA screener: "If you touch my junk, I'll have you arrested." Tyner had the foresight to record the exchange on his mobile phone (videos are here) and is now facing a possible lawsuit for entering a security line and then not allowing a government employee access to his crotch during a pat-down search.
Foes who had hoped a Senate hearing would lead to a privacy outcry on Capitol Hill were disappointed when Democratic senators applauded the Obama administration and Republicans offering only modest criticism. Indeed, Jay Rockefeller, chairman of the Senate committee overseeing air travel, told the TSA chief: "I think you're doing a terrific job."
An administrator with the Transportation Security Agency said the agency would be "announcing some new policies" in the "near future" that will change the screening process for pilots, who have protested being forced to choose between an X-ray machine's "virtual strip search" or a pat-down from a TSA agent.
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