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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 by Jim Babb and George Donnelly


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.

However, there is one particular canard that some citizens are repeating (in addition to the idea that one should be groped and handled in order to keep this country safe). There is this idea going around that "flying is not a right" but rather "a privilege."

Donnelly's reaction to this idea is the following:

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Kevin Gosztola is a writer and curator of Firedoglake's blog The Dissenter, a blog covering civil liberties in the age of technology. He is an editor for OpEdNews.com and a former intern and videographer for The Nation Magazine.And, he's the (more...)
 
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...to an action such as this? They are part of Hom... by Philip Zack on Tuesday, Nov 16, 2010 at 10:18:15 AM
The TSA's new genital scanner...... by zonie on Tuesday, Nov 16, 2010 at 12:41:19 PM
Hilarious!... by 911TRUTH on Tuesday, Nov 16, 2010 at 9:20:34 PM
I don't believe Rand Paul would say a word against... by maddie on Tuesday, Nov 16, 2010 at 2:57:06 PM
No.Absolute cowardly, hypocrites - the Paul's.... by 911TRUTH on Tuesday, Nov 16, 2010 at 9:22:34 PM
My family travels back and forth USA-Carribbean. I... by Osvaldo Lugo on Tuesday, Nov 16, 2010 at 4:28:27 PM
The TSA and Big Sister are freaking out over this ... by Donn Marten on Tuesday, Nov 16, 2010 at 5:53:05 PM
Bad comparison really.I understand the anger compl... by Ned Lud on Wednesday, Nov 17, 2010 at 6:28:55 AM
I'd half believe it if these scanned images were p... by stevor on Tuesday, Nov 16, 2010 at 7:14:52 PM
Please read my article:Article... by 911TRUTH on Tuesday, Nov 16, 2010 at 9:26:13 PM
I would get a job as, or buy, an aircraft mechani... by Arthur M. Howard-(Scotoni) on Tuesday, Nov 16, 2010 at 11:31:38 PM
They'd avoid airports all together.It's not the on... by zonie on Saturday, Nov 20, 2010 at 7:13:45 AM
We all have a choice: We can fly or we can use on... by Doc McCoy on Wednesday, Nov 17, 2010 at 12:18:00 AM
Hey pal, you're a real bright one aren't you?Right... by Ned Lud on Wednesday, Nov 17, 2010 at 6:20:35 AM
"But Flying is Not a Right"... by Kevin Gosztola on Wednesday, Nov 17, 2010 at 7:31:45 AM
I can choose to have my n*ts fondled or row a f*ck... by Dennis Kaiser on Wednesday, Nov 17, 2010 at 8:00:45 AM
but he is not legal expert either. All he does is... by Doc McCoy on Wednesday, Nov 17, 2010 at 8:31:45 AM
Are you a legal expert? Couldn't one say you are "... by Kevin Gosztola on Wednesday, Nov 17, 2010 at 9:08:17 AM
As the plane explodes and I'm fixing to die, at le... by Laura Roberts on Wednesday, Nov 17, 2010 at 11:14:58 AM
I think you should do some truth-seeking. Has TSA ... by Kevin Gosztola on Wednesday, Nov 17, 2010 at 11:34:44 AM
Their Military controls their airport. All are fu... by Laura Roberts on Wednesday, Nov 17, 2010 at 5:45:40 PM
In Israel you must be at the airport 3 hours befor... by Laura Roberts on Wednesday, Nov 17, 2010 at 6:48:29 PM
take away all security at Airports and replace it ... by Laura Roberts on Wednesday, Nov 17, 2010 at 9:10:12 PM
Dogs.Bomb sniffiing dogs.... by zonie on Saturday, Nov 20, 2010 at 7:20:22 AM
will all be subjective. Somehow it is not likely ... by Doc McCoy on Wednesday, Nov 17, 2010 at 11:07:49 PM
There --- I called your bluff. I'm not afraid to b... by Kevin Gosztola on Thursday, Nov 18, 2010 at 7:13:23 PM
Right. You got it....that throws the gauntlet do... by zonie on Saturday, Nov 20, 2010 at 8:11:26 AM
According to an Israeli security expert, he could ... by Carol Cleveland on Wednesday, Nov 17, 2010 at 11:43:37 AM
well trained Labrador Retrievers and other breeds ... by zonie on Saturday, Nov 20, 2010 at 7:22:56 AM
Sometimes I prefer to be less generic and holler "... by Debbie Scally on Thursday, Nov 18, 2010 at 12:46:35 AM
Whatcha gonna do when the pilot spaces out and plo... by zonie on Saturday, Nov 20, 2010 at 7:19:15 AM
Simply stated - 3 degrees. 5 years experience wor... by Doc McCoy on Wednesday, Nov 17, 2010 at 8:11:31 PM
in that the reason places like Israel have no pr... by Laura Roberts on Wednesday, Nov 17, 2010 at 11:54:21 PM
Our Founding Fathers? Or even cars? That might be ... by Kevin Gosztola on Thursday, Nov 18, 2010 at 7:19:58 PM
When make arrogant and condescending comments it i... by Doc McCoy on Thursday, Nov 18, 2010 at 8:05:26 PM
The pilot, you wrote--- "He may disagree but he i... by Kevin Gosztola on Thursday, Nov 18, 2010 at 8:11:15 PM
"Pursuant to the workings of our society, until th... by Jim Arnold on Saturday, Nov 20, 2010 at 1:13:16 PM
"unreasonable searches and seizures" were prohibit... by GLloyd Rowsey on Saturday, Nov 20, 2010 at 8:13:30 AM
If you accept that any travel is a right, then dom... by Mark Peterson on Wednesday, Nov 17, 2010 at 8:45:50 PM
you would be correct in some of what you espouse. ... by Doc McCoy on Wednesday, Nov 17, 2010 at 10:19:04 PM
Even at 50+ years old, I do tend to see laws as th... by Mark Peterson on Thursday, Nov 18, 2010 at 12:15:38 AM
Were you an air traffic controller and/or an attor... by GLloyd Rowsey on Monday, Nov 22, 2010 at 10:42:04 AM
Dear Kevin, just a small comment on your article, ... by Paul Carline on Wednesday, Nov 17, 2010 at 3:50:14 AM
The backscatter x-ray machine is manufactured by R... by Dennis Kaiser on Wednesday, Nov 17, 2010 at 7:50:09 AM
I myself have been suffering the indignities of ex... by Carol Cleveland on Wednesday, Nov 17, 2010 at 8:10:06 AM
but a privilege that is bestowed by a flying publi... by John Sanchez Jr. on Wednesday, Nov 17, 2010 at 9:10:56 AM
I quit flying 3 years ago when it reached the poin... by Donald on Wednesday, Nov 17, 2010 at 10:13:09 AM
1.) You shouldn't jump to conclusions based on you... by Sam Baker on Wednesday, Nov 17, 2010 at 4:20:25 PM
The link in a Quick Link I posted yesterday.Pastie... by GLloyd Rowsey on Saturday, Nov 20, 2010 at 7:38:28 AM