TSA Backlash Takes Its Toll: Chief Tells Today Show That Agency Will Review Screening Process

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Both on and offline, many have been up in arms about recently-enhanced airport screening methods. John Pistole, head of the Transportation Security Administration, hears your complaints.

“Clearly it’s invasive, it’s not comfortable,” he told Matt Lauer on The Today Show Monday morning, speaking about the pat-down technique. “[But] if we are to detect terrorists, who have again proven innovative and creative in their design and implementation of bombs that are going to blow up airplanes and kill people, then we have to do something that prevents that.”

(See nine things you need to know about your Thanksgiving airport screening.)

He also pointed out that the number of passengers receiving pat-downs is very small, so the typical passenger shouldn’t worry about the up-close procedure. Plus, he urged, those who oppose the process shouldn’t blame TSA agents; they’re just following policy and interrupting them just holds up the line.

(See the TSA horror story to trump them all.)

But after requests from both passengers and government officials, Pistole said he would go to the Government Accountability Office, which conducted tests previously, to see how the process could be altered without slacking on security. After last Christmas’ “underwear bomber,” privacy may have to take a back seat.

“We’re going to look at how can we do the most effective screening in the least invasive way knowing that there’s always a trade-off between security and privacy.” (via Today Show)