Revolt against TSA | Pilots lead charge against privacy invasion

Airport security

Metal detectors used to be the main tool of the TSA - now pilots are revolting against the TSA for full-body xrays and heavy-handed patdowns. Image: Wikimedia Commons

In airports, getting through security is getting more and more invasive. Pilots are leading a revolt against the TSA, through unions and lawsuits. So-called “advanced screening techniques” are coming under heavy fire, being called everything from “molestation” to “unconstitutional.”

Revolt against TSA from pilot’s union

Two of the largest pilot’s unions in the United States have issued letters “urging” pilots to revolt against the TSA. In most airports across the United States, travelers, including pilots, are required to submit to either a full-body scan or “extensive” patdown. The full-body scan reveals and shows what amounts to a nude image of the traveler. Though those images are supposed to be “privacy filtered” and immediately removed, the Electronic Privacy Information Center has found that they are actually stored, and some are saved for later “training” use. The other option is a full patdown that many consider to be “sexual molestation,” including “extensive” patdowns of the groin and, for women, the chest area.

Lawsuits starting the revolt against the TSA

Though it started with just a few incidents, the pilot’s unions are taking a stand for both their members and the traveling public. One Tennessee pilot is suing the U.S. Government, citing the “unreasonable search” clause in the U.S. Constitution. He says the searches are simply too invasive. In response, the TSA is posting security videos of security screening procedures — which is not helping increase confidence in the privacy protections for travelers. In fact, the TSA website no longer states anything about the so-called “privacy algorithm.”

Revolt against the TSA questions ‘security’

The enhanced screening procedures, officially rolled out in October, are supposed to be for the “security of the traveling public.” The question is, though, whether the U.S. Government and Transportation Security Administration are simply going too far. Is “safety” worth the screenings that reveal and store nude images with x-ray radiation exposure, or are so physically invasive that some pilots say they have gotten physically ill at the thought? This revolt against the TSA is being led by pilots, but do you think passengers will join in?


ABC News

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