November 24 is National Opt-Out Day

Are you uncomfortable with the thought of having a “naked picture” of yourself visible to airport security?

Are you worried about the radiation exposure you get from the full-body scans, like a lot of airline pilots are?

Do you think a full-body scan using advanced imaging technology is breaching your privacy?

Do you think that the Transportation Security Administration has taken the wrong path in embracing the wrong technology?

Do you believe this is just another example of the federal government using your taxpayer dollars to invade your privacy?

There is a growing movement in the country of people who are opposed to the use of these full-body scanners, which leave very little to the imagination.

The TSA continues to try to assure the public regarding these criticisms:

  • The agent inspecting the images on the monitors are separated from the scanner itself and does not know who they are actually scanning. However, there is nothing stopping one agent from sneaking over and whispering to this inspector if a particularly attractive person, or a famous celebrity, is about to go through the scanner.
  • The monitors are not designed to be able to print out the images. This does not stop any agent from using a small camera (or say, a smartphone) to take a snapshot of an image.

There is no official policy regarding how TSA agents are disciplined if they behave poorly with these scanners. And like it or not, the more unusual you appear (that is, maybe you’re a hot-looking chick, maybe you’ve had a mastectomy, maybe you are very well-endowed, maybe you are morbidly obese… or maybe you’re an instantly recognizable celebrity), the more risk you take that some TSA agent is going to decide to sneak a quick snapshot on their iPhone.

This is not a comfort to very modest individuals, for whom having their “naked images” viewed by strangers or non-physicians is very offensive. Does your church want you to be modest?

There is a growing sentiment in the U.S. against these intrusive, privacy-invading full-body scanners. Recently, the official airline pilots union came out with an advisory urging pilots to avoid these scanners due to the radiation they emit.

Wednesday, November 24th, is the most busiest travel day of the day. It’s also National Opt-Out Day:

It’s the day we stand up refuse our consent to the federal government’s virtual strip search porno-scanners and enhanced groping techniques. You should never have to explain to your children, “Remember: no stranger can touch or see your private area, unless it’s a government employee, then it’s OK.”

According to the TSA, you have a perfectly legal choice: If you are asked to go through the full-body scanner, you can ask for an “opt-out”—where you instead get an “enhanced pat-down.” These enhanced pat-downs will likely feel demeaning, especially under the hands of quick-tempered TSA agents who are grumpy because you chose to do things the hard way. There is even a report from one woman who said that when a TSA agent was inspecting her breasts, they “twisted them“—that sounds more like something straight out of a porn video than even a gynecological exam.

These enhanced pat-downs are intrusive (from the Opt-Out Day Web site):

To try and make everyone comply with the naked body scanners, the government has made the alternative worse! With their enhanced pat downs, TSA now touches the genitals and private areas of men, women and children with the front of the hand! We do not believe the government has a right to see you naked or feel you up just because you bought an airline ticket.

If you are willing to deal with the indignity of an enhanced pat-down as a method of civil disobedience, however, then on November 24, ask for an opt-out. Participate.

You can also follow them on Facebook and on Twitter.

One Comment

  1. Since I live in Texas and see an uncontrolled border, I have a real problem with the efforts of the TSA to “keep us safe” when we fly.

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