AUSTIN (KXAN) - There have been a lot of questions about the new security measures like why is it taking place? Does it violate my constitutional rights? And what do I do if I don't want to get an invasive pat down? Intelligence experts believe the government is doing this because of new information.
"TSA didn't wake up and say lets do full body pat downs, they are dealing with very specific and viable threat that is very serious," said Fred Burton, VP Intelligence with Stratfor .
Former CIA and Secret Service agent Fred Burton knows the inner workings of gathering secret government intelligence. As the Vice President of Intelligence at Stratfor, he's analyzed whats led to these new security procedures.
"Remember governments are reactionary, very rarely are they proactive," said Burton.
And the government is reacting after a man placed a bomb in his underwear last Christmas on a flight headed into Detroit. It never went off. And now new intelligence is finding it could happen again - but the body scanners may not be the answer.
"The vulnerability with the full body scanners is this to be blunt, you can still put an IED inside a body cavity and these machines won't find them," said Burton.
The only way to find them, outside of doing a cavity search, are bomb sniffing dogs. Austin Bergstrom International Airport is using them.
Then there's the new invasive pat down.
"It's targeting soft explosives that can be carried on the body," said Mike Scott, Federal Security Director, ABIA.
Like the Border Patrol, the Transportation Security Administration has the right to strip search based on reasonable suspicion. But when you see video of a young boy being patted down or a grandmother it's not uncommon to ask why.
"Unfortunately we can't do profiling and that's the problem," said Burton. "In essence they are looking for a needle in a haystack so they have to screen every passenger to that threshold."
That's why a Virginia man made a simple one page website asking Americans to opt-out of body scans on Wednesday. Instead he wants travelers to opt for the pat down so they will write their Congress member to call for a change. But those protests could make for a longer wait in security.
"If an individual wants to protest the people it's going to hurt are the other passengers," said Scott.
And if you opt out of the pat down -
"We'll make sure we escort them to the exit land we'll make sure they won't fly," said Scott.
You could also face up to an $11-thousand fine.
While ABIA doesn't have the full body scanners the only way travelers will likely get the invasive pat down is if they set off the metal detector twice.
Those wearing baggy clothing that make it so the TSA agents can't see the outline of the person's body will likely be selected for a pat down as well.
Additional TSA staff are being brought in to handle all of the extra passengers and in the event protesters show up.
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