Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010 is NATIONAL AIRPORT SCANNER OPT-OUT DAY!

It's the day ordinary citizens stand up for their rights, stand up for liberty, and protest the federal government's desire to virtually strip us naked or submit to an "enhanced pat down" that touches people's breasts and genitals in an aggressive manner. You should never have to explain to your children, "Remember that no stranger can touch or see your private area, unless it's a government employee, then it's OK."

The goal of National Opt Out Day is to send a message to our lawmakers that we demand change. We have a right to privacy and buying a plane ticket should not mean that we're guilty until proven innocent. This day is needed because many people do not understand what they consent to when choosing to fly.

Here are the details:

You, your family and friends traveling by air on Wednesday, November 24, 2010. Remember too, as the TSA says, "Everyday is opt-out day." That is, you can opt out any time you fly.

National Opt-Out Day. You have the right to opt-out of the naked body scanner machines (AIT, or Advance Imaging Technology, as the government calls it). All you have to do is say "I opt out" when they tell you to go through one of the machines. You will then be given an "enhanced" pat down. This is a right given to you by the TSA.

At an airport near you!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010. We want families to sit around the dinner table, eating turkey, talking about their experience - what constitutes an unreasonable search, how forceful of a pat down will we allow on certain areas of our body, and that of our children, and how much privacy are we will to give up for flying? We hope the experience then propels people to write their Member of Congress and the airlines to demand change.

The government should not have the ability to virtually strip search anyone it wants without cause. The problem has been compounded in that if you do not want to go through the body scanner, the TSA has made the alternative perhaps even worse by instituting "enhanced" pat downs. There are reports from travelers across the country about how the TSA now touches the genitals and private areas of men, women and children in a much more aggressive manner. We do not believe the government has a right to see you naked or aggressively touch you just because you bought an airline ticket.

By saying "I opt out" when told to go through the bodying imaging machines and submitting to a pat down. Also, be sure to have your pat down by TSA in full public - do not go to the back room when asked. Every citizen must see for themselves how the TSA treats law-abiding citizens.

If you have experienced a problem with TSA when flying, use the Electronic Privacy Information Center's incident report to lodge your complaint:

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**MEDIA NOTICE: Interviews are being granted on a limited basis. Email and I will try to accommodate your request. is an educational outreach campaign, designed to get people to better understand what they are now consenting to when they purchase a plane ticket. Many people only fly around the holidays and may not be aware of the security changes, which is why November 24 was chosen. There is no intent or desire to delay passengers en route to friends and family over Thanksgiving. Once people are made aware of what is happening, they may have reservations about the new virtual strip searches and enhanced pat downs - especially for their children or spouse or other loved one.

Before people fly, they should learn more about the new security measures, and when they are given the choice by TSA, they should opt-out of the scan and get the enhanced pat down. This is their right, given to them by the TSA. If they do not like the current procedures when they go through it, they should voice their opinion to the airlines and their Members of Congress, in addition to filing a complaint with the TSA and outside groups, if necessary. Opting out doesn't have to be done only on Nov. 24. As the TSA says, every day you fly is opt-out day if you choose. It is not irresponsible to take up the TSA on their offer to opt-out of the body scanners.

This country needs security measures in place that not only keep us safe but also do not grossly violate privacy or constitute an unreasonable search, like the current protocol. In their “Aircraft Passenger Whole-Body Imaging Limitations Act of 2009” the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation that said: "Whole-body imaging technology may not be used as the sole or primary method of screening a passenger under this section. Whole-body imaging technology may not be used to screen a passenger ... unless another method of screening, such as metal detection, demonstrates cause for preventing such passenger from boarding an aircraft." Agreed. Unfortunately, the Senate did not act on the legislation. Hopefully the current outcry over these scanners and the enhanced pat downs from the pilots, the flight attendants, and now the flying public, will instigate a change to effective security measures that keep the privacy of U.S. citizens in-tact.


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