We Do Not Consent to Warrantless 'Porno-Scanning' in Airports

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"We
Won’t Fly" Campaign Organizer Talks TSA Pat-Downs, Body Scanners
& Opt-Out Day

Jim Babb and
George Donnelly have started a campaign called "We
Won’t Fly
" to encourage people to "act now" and
"travel with dignity." They are asking people to understand
that Americans should not be "treated like criminals"
when going through airports and are opposed to the new full-body
backscatter x-ray airport scanner machines that have been put into
airports over the past few months.

The two call
the new machines "porno-scanners." And, they are terribly
upset with the airlines, which have allowed government to violate
customers’ rights and liberties and effectively turn airports in
the country into Fourth Amendment-free zones.

Several news
outlets have picked up this story and are covering Americans’ reactions
to the "porno-scanners" and the new pat-down procedure.
The story will only perpetuate as news media do their routine reports
about Americans traveling for Thanksgiving.

George Donnelly
agreed to talk to me over the phone about the "We Won’t Fly"
campaign and how he is giving Americans traveling on the Thanksgiving
holiday an opportunity to stand up to Transportation Security Administration
(TSA) and opt-out of being scanned by the "porno-scanners."

On November
24th, the day before Thanksgiving, Donnelly explains, "If you
haven’t already decided to stop flying to get the airlines on our
side in this matter, if you have to fly, if you decided to take
that risk, then we urge you to opt-out of the scanners for health
and privacy reasons and to take advantage of the meager choice that
the government has given us and go through the pat-down."

The main goal
of the campaign appears to be going after the control that TSA exacts
over airport security. By igniting a consumer revolt, Donnelly hopes
those participating in the campaign will push airline companies
to ask TSA or the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to break
up the government monopoly on security.

"The Philadelphia
Inquirer reported that 99% are going through the scanners and
so it wouldn’t take more than a few opt-outs to slow down these
lines significantly," says Donnelly. "If security procedures
become slow, this new procedure will not feasible anymore. And the
government will be forced to roll them back."

The "We
Won’t Fly" campaign, Donnelly says, was "started in response
to Michael Roberts, the pilot who took a stand. He refused to submit
to the scanner and he also refused to submit to this overly invasive
and offensive pat-down, this new pat-down."

Roberts blogged
about his incident with TSA and started a "Fed
Up Flyers
" campaign to promote resistance against the "air
transportation police state" that Roberts sees forming. That
Roberts was willing to put his livelihood on the line as a pilot
inspired Donnelly and Babb. They chose to put a campaign together
"to bring attention to the issue and highlight the privacy
and health risks associated with the procedures."

Since starting
the campaign, Donnelly and Babb have been following incidents like
a recent one that became a huge story – the incident with John Tyner
at a San Diego airport where he told TSA he was not going through
a scanner and then, when it was time for a pat-down, he said don’t
touch my junk. Tyner was "caught off guard," Donnelly
suggests, and that’s because this isn’t the old pat-down that passengers
may have found a bit acceptable. This one can be traumatizing, especially
for women and children.

The campaign
website highlights health risks posed by the machines, mentions
how "numerous thefts [by TSA] have been reported at security
checkpoints," and notes on how the scanners are "ineffective
and unproven."

Donnelly says
the feedback to the campaign has been "about 97% unqualified
support" with many people showing their passion for this issue.
The campaign has received personal stories from people who are upset.
They have been following people all over the nation who have seen
their campaign and plan to organize an action on Opt-Out Day.

Read
the rest of the article

November
17, 2010

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