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Oceanside man challenges airport's full-body scan [Updated]

A recording made by an Oceanside man who refused to undergo a full-body scan at San Diego International Airport over the weekend has gone viral as Internet viewers ferociously debate whether airport security measures have gone too far.

John Charles Tyner, 31, said he wasn't trying to pick a fight when he refused an X-ray scan of his body Saturday, but he was ready to defend his rights, according to his blog, if they made him do it. He is opposed on principle to the X-ray machines because it would show an image of his naked body, said Tyner, who blogs as "Johnny Edge."

[Updated at 9:33 a.m.: At one point, as the airport screener explained that the patdown would include brushing his groin, Tyner replied, "You touch my junk and I'm going to have you arrested."

He also refused to be patted down by a TSA agent, Tyner says on a blog post recounting the details of his confrontation with airport security. Tyner recorded most of the face-off on his camera phone, and the images and audio have gone viral on the Internet.

Tyner said he wanted to draw attention to an erosion in liberties and "senseless" efforts by the government to detect terrorists before they board a  plane.

"Every attempt to blow up a plane since 9/11 has been stopped by passengers after the government failed to provide protection for them.... All I did was draw attention to this," he wrote.

Tyner said he would have gone through a metal detector but that airport security did not give him that option. Instead, they refused to allow him to board his plane and he had his ticket refunded.

As he was preparing to leave the airport, another unidentified security official told him he could be sued civilly and fined $10,000 if he exited without undergoing a search, Tyner said on his blog.

Tyner refused and left the airport.


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Comments () | Archives (291)

The more the system is scrutinized by the population the better. TSA should be working for us, and our protection - we are not their prisoners, passengers have not given up their rights and freedom in order to board a plane a travel. Since 9/11/01 we have lost so much, and despite their flailing effort and huge operating budget continue to lack an efficient and orderly screening method. (for example, it is ridiculous that we are still removing our shoes after nearly ten years - haven't we figured out how to have passengers walk over a "screening pad" yet?). Just more wasted time to push passengers into a shoeless state or submission and compliance. TSA, get your act together! Thanks to camera phones and the Internet you now know you are being scrutinized by more than your shoeless customers.

So it is OK for TSA employees to see me naked and touch my privates but it is not OK for TSA to do Israeli style profiling and background checks!?!?!?

Mr. Tyler is (a) a hero; (b) a logical, clear-thinking citizen; (c) a victim of governmental stupidity.

He deserves (a) a Medal of Honor; (b) a serious government job--like a seat on the US Supreme Court; (c) a presidental apology and a Nobel Prize.

Bert Hornback

Does anyone know about the medical risks this kind of scan may have on people? If you do this a few times a month.... ?

He is an American Hero !!

The government has no right to molested and take naked photos of citizens.

The TSA is an employer of last resort (like fast food) as anyone who could get a better job would. At least a McDonalds worker is respected for trying to earn a living and doesn't have to touch every guys penis who would like a feel.

I went through screening at Santa Fran airport 5 years ago. I sat and watched 7 people get sent to 'secondary' for 'intrusive' pat downs and inspections. they did it out in the open there/then. The TSA person was a short haired stocky woman...and EVERY SINGLE PERSON sent to her for inspection was a young (16-20 year old) attractive girl. The TSA agent made them undo their bras while she looked/felt down the girls tops, made them undo their pants while she looked down into their action...a total pervert who was being fed by disgusting cockroaches in primary inspection.

As soon as this 'womans' shift ended, the people being sent to secondary was a mix of normal poeple...suddenly the parade of young talent ended.


I understand both sides of this argument. I think having to show naked images of yourself is going too far when there hasn't been any attack in nearly 10 years.

However, if you wan't to get on a plane you need to adhere to their rules.

A $10,000 fine is absurd though. I don't know about other people but I would have to go bankrupt in order to pay a fine that heavy. That seems way too excessive. Instead of fining a innocent civilian that much money (that most people cant afford) they should just have you arrested if they honestly think you're leaving the airport with a weapon or bomb on you.

What's the $10,000 fine accomplish anyways, if someone did have a bomb on them they would have just walked away with the bomb on them, maybe detonate it outside, then what good is the $10,000 fine?

$10,000 fine just seems like a scam to make easy money.

I always refuse the full body scan. I do believe that the full body scan is an invasion of my privacy and I don't believe it makes us any safer. However, I know that when I refuse the full body scan, that they will do a pat down and it's fine. The pat down is not a big deal. As far as I can tell, this man was trying to pick a fight.

Hey Mr. Tyner, you are more than welcome to take the bus. And as for the TSA, they should begin racial profiling now.

When one travels internationally airport security is high and very thorough yet you are never herded and shouted at like cattle as we are in any US airport. Somehow the TSA equates shouting, verbal abuse and "line up here "commands with securiy. You go through rigorous screening at, for example Hong Kong, Singapore, KL, Narita, Kimpo, Shanghai, Beijing etc without any verbal abuse or long slow lines.
Perhaps TSA need to fire its present poorly trained employees and re-hire real security profesisonals who have received and are qualified to provide such a service.

Come on.... Get over it. The full-body scan is simple and much less intrusive than having to participate in a full body patdown. I travel a great deal. Sixteen months ago I had Bi-Lateral Knee Replacements (both knees at one time). I get a patdown each and every time I pass thru the airport because of my total knee replacements.

Prior to the full-body scan it would take longer to pass thru screening. The TSA agent looking at the full-body scan monitor would not know you if you tripped over them 10 seconds after he/she looks at your full-body scan.

I look for lines with the full-body scan to pass thru the screening process.
Hope to see more full-body scans in more airports.

4th Amendment rights doesn't mean anything when your plane is flying into a damn building. Everyone with zero exceptions should be made to undergo the screening for the safety of all. If you dont want to go through the screening process, simply find another mode of transportation.

The solution is obvious. Fire everyone at TSA and outsource airport security to the Israelis. They don't fool around.

Dumb.....Sexually Molested?....Felt Up?....Those are some pretty strong words to be throwing around. Come on guy, Your an idiot! Why is this even news?

Tell ya what....have a hot young college girl in a skimpy TSA uniform...and if she smiles while she's doing it....she can grope me all she wants!!

I'm sure most women wouldn't mind a young bare chested pool boy named Raul doing the same for them....

I'm done flying. Not one iota of these ever-increasing "security measures" has made anyone safer. All it has done is make travel via plane more and more uncomfortable, annoying and difficult. The full body scanner doesn't even detect much of what can be hidden. As such, it is clearly ineffectual. The Grope-a-Dope is used to embarrass and humiliate anyone refusing the backscatter x-ray. I wonder why the TSA and 'homeland security' are suddenly so gung-ho about these invasive (and in the case of the backscatter, potentially dangerous) procedures when they do not actually increase traveler safety whatsoever. Follow the money, as always.

TSA staff did a nice job - very calm and professional.

The sheepel who wrapped themselves in the flag and signed over the last shreds of any sort of privacy to a clown like GWB deserve a “digital exam” so they can see exactly how invasive the government is now legally allowed to be.

And you realize, the minimum qualifications to guard our nation’s security is a high school diploma, right? Its harder to get a license to cut hair than it is to get a job at the TSA. The TSA is so inept that hundreds of innocent people are now on no-fly lists based on stupid stuff like spelling errors.

I ride commuter rail daily, trains that run right under the city center, and end in crowded terminals. A single bomb there could kill hundreds (Madrid 2004) more than a single airliner, and there is ZERO security. We already know air freight is vulnerable but if it comes by sea into a major port? Nothing. And we’re not going to tick off a trading partner like China, who has zero security on their end, by refusing to land their goods. Look at the constitutional rights you gave up and ask yourself, what did you really get?

And no, BTW, its not like driving a car, since this falls under the equal accomidation rules in the Constitution. The airlines get money from the govt (for the mail) who are bound to address the needs of all people doing business with them. So, in some ways, you do have the "right." Yes someone could tie up the courts for years with this one, or they could just find another way to deal with this. The TSA is a joke anyway, so suck up your pride and fix this.

I have to believe this person was performing for the camera, because otherwise, I honestly do not understand his position. Random patdowns are an essential tool to help the TSA detect any anomaly that might be something taped or inserted on the body or in the clothing or underwear of a flying passenger. I would not want to be on a plane with anyone that resisted a search in this fashion and got away with it. Congrats to the TSA for not allowing him to fly. It gives me great confidence to know they didn't let him bully them over such a ridiculous position. As for the video, I think its shows that he cares more about his 5 minutes of fame than having a serious discussion about this very important and necessary topic. He's immature and naive, and this video not only proves it, but destroys his credibility. My advice to him would be to do us all a favor and take the bus next time.

I'm looking forward to having the option of taking a bullet train instead of flying.

It first started with removing of the shoes, then it was nude body scans and now it's genital groping. You can bet your boarding pass that "body cavity searches" will be next.
It should be noted that the government tests the effectiveness of the screeners everyday. In 60% of the tests, the TSA failed to detect explosive devices or components. Do a Google search for "Most fake bombs missed by screeners"

What if there were 10,000 Americans as smart as Mr. Tyner? But there aren't.

What if the US government spent all its security money on feeding and housing the poor, providing good primary and secondary school education, providing good medical care for all its citizens? And quit killing innocent civilians all over the world? And quit acting outside the law--in CIA kidnappings, in military raids in Pakistan, in "rendition camps," in the illegal concentration camp at Guantanamo Bay? What if the US government put a stop to torture, and restored our constitutional right of habeas corpus?

That would remove the terror threat. The rest of the world could quit hating and fearing us.

Actually the pat down was really sensual. Wish my husband would be that sensual. May get to LAX early next time and go through twice just for the pat down. I am afraid of radiation so will not go into that xay machine.

@Rick's comment....I guess I don't speak the language of

sheeple well enough to communicate at that level.

The government it seems can train some kinds well enough

using fear.

The trained and frightened ones make this Soviet era

nonsense possible.

Every time we get a pat down, the bad guys win

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