Amtrak is One of Many to Start Conducting TSA Searches

With the Pope visiting next month the government has found a new reason to violate citizens by imposing airport style security on any and everyone. Don’t worry, though! Of course it is for your safety, and my safety alike.

*Laughter begins.*

First, let me refresh everyone’s memory on what the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

I realize those who invaded America and claimed it as their own; and those whom wrote everything from the Bill of Rights, the ConstitutiTSAon and the Declaration of Independence were not perfect by any means. However, there are a lot of laws that make sense which most American’s ignore; including our own legal system. They get away with ignoring these governing laws because we, the vast majority of citizens in America, allow them to get away with it.

About 5 years ago the DHS started the “Blue Campaign” to combat human trafficking. In return American citizens were all suspects; anyone could be questioned or searched. Men  A quote from their site states:

“The Blue Campaign is the unified voice for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) efforts to combat human trafficking. Working in collaboration with law enforcement, government, non-governmental and private organizations, the Blue Campaign strives to protect the basic right of freedom and to bring those who exploit human lives to justice.”

Through the Blue Campaign, DHS raises public awareness about human trafficking, leveraging partnerships to educate the public to recognize human trafficking and report suspected instances. The Blue Campaign also offers training to law enforcement and others to increase detection and investigation of human trafficking, and to protect victims and bring suspected traffickers to justice.”

The government has stepped it up to a new level now. This is just the beginning of a complete police state in the USA. But to the point.

Perhaps some of you will recall a few years back when writers and researchers were warning the people of America that the government wanted to search people before they were allowed on, say, the train? Because no one took the warnings seriously, for starting this week that is exactly what we have to deal with.

Ride Amtrak often? Soon you may feel like you’re at the airport while heading into work, school or wherever it is you may go. Amtrak’s new TSA-style policy to search passengers in the same manner as airports is an obvious violation of our privacy as American citizens. Additionally, males traveling with kids are to be subjected at a higher rate; which should be fairly clear for ‘obvious reasons’.

Just as the TSA pointlessly violates us with ‘security measures’ such as full body scans within airports, now officers for the government have the extended right to stop anyone they please be it at train stations or on virtually any other type of transportation. Again, this is a clear violation of our civil and human rights.

If we look at the “full body scan” alone, it has been independently researched and found to be nothing more than a waste of time, offering no true security. [Research report can be found here.] Why have them, then? Simple; by continuing the procedures, pointless or not, the government is either making American’s paranoid of these ninja-style terrorists, or, to the rest of us, they are laughing in our faces as they continue to rob us of our rights while building a more secure police/military state.

In short; their plans mean that EVERYONE, ANYWHERE, is a possible terrorist or suspect. You don’t have to fly or even use Amtrak to be victimized; the government is setting it up so that no matter how you’re traveling; be it by air, bus, ferry or train, you can be stopped, questioned, searched and further violated all in the name of security.

So, who will be conducting the searches? Amtrak employees and the ever reassuring police, of course. If an Amtrak employee questions you, remember that their training has taught them to suspect everyone, literally, as a suspect.

This doesn’t really seem like a smart idea given the following information:

“Private railroad police officers licensed in every state, have been accused of physical assaults, racial profiling and harassment according to lawsuits, interviews and court records. The records and interviews show that there have been numerous complaints and dozens of lawsuits filed against railroad police officers in recent years.”

Before I end this, here are some quotes regarding the findings of the ineffectiveness of the violating FULL BODY SCAN which you can read in full detail .

‟In laboratory tests with a real machine, we were able to conceal guns, knives, and explosive simulants in such a way that they were not visible to the scanner operator,” the report reads. ‟We also studied the cyberphysical security of the machine and were able to show how an attacker could subvert the operator console software so that it would be possible to conceal all types of contraband.”

They discovered that, while the machines did a good job of identifying most smuggled items, anyone with a familiarity with how the technology works—or who even just bought a unit of their own on eBay—could easily conceal weapons by hiding them in specific places on the body or covering them with other material to fool the machines into not being able to distinguish the contraband from the passenger’s body.


‟Our results suggest that while the … [machine] is effective against naïve attackers, it is not able to guarantee either efficacy or privacy when subject to attack by an attacker who is knowledgeable about its inner workings,” the authors argued.

Luckily, due to the privacy concerns, the TSA scrapped the Rapiscan machines in favor of ones based on millimeter wave technology, which likely lack many of the same vulnerabilities identified in this study.

Even so, the change doesn’t instill the report’s authors with much confidence about the overall level of security across the nation’s airline transit network.

‟The problems that we identified in our study point to a lack of rigorous public testing,” study co-author Stephen Checkoway explained in an email to the Daily Dot. ‟In particular, it demonstrates a lack of adaptive, adversarial thinking. That is, it was tested against adversaries who naively conceal contraband under their clothing but not against adversaries who adapt their concealment techniques to the detection system.”

‟I think that this sort of secret testing is counterproductive and ultimately harms security,” Checkoway added.

This study isn’t the first time someone has used similar techniques to demonstrate the insecurity of this type of body scanner. In 2012, activist Jonathan Corbett, who also filed a lawsuit against the TSA over charges that the scanners violated his Fourth Amendment rights protecting against unreasonable search and seizure, released a video on YouTube showing just how easy it is to get past the machines.