Don’t Touch My Junk!

Don’t want to go through the TSA’s full body scan or porn-o-scan? The TSA has an alternative: “enhanced” pat-downs. These pat-downs gropings have one objective – coerce you into going through the body scanner.

T-shirts with the logo on the left are available here.

If a significant number of passengers choose to opt-out of the body scanners, the time required to do a normal pat-down would cause such delays that travelers would find alternatives to flying. The airlines would raise hell. To prevent this, the TSA has resorted to the terror tactic of “enhanced” pat-downs.

There is big money at stake here. Former DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff actively lobbies for the scanner manufacturer Rapiscan via his firm the Chertoff Group. Each unit has a price tag of $25 million and the Obama administration has provided $1 billion in stimulus money for the purchase of scanners.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) has filed a petition for review and motion for an emergency stay with District of Columbia Court of Appeals. EPIC said that the program is “unlawful, invasive, and ineffective.” With this much money at stake, the Fourth Amendment doesn’t stand a chance.

I expect members of Congress to act outraged, hold hearings wherein they act outraged, and then do nothing.  Politicians will use this opportunity to get their sound bites on the evening news, then something else will come along and distract us.

If you decide to go the “enhanced” pat-down route, you could pull a Meg Ryan:

H/T: ÆtherCzar, ACLU, EPIC.
-David Drumm (Nal)

247 thoughts on “Don’t Touch My Junk!”

  1. SIx more months, and as I predicted above in my comments from November 2010:

    The “T” in TSA stands for Transportation, and what the government imposes for illegal searches at airports today will rapidly be adopted at train stations, subway stations, bus stations, ferry terminals, and eventually public buildings and public venues.

    The TSA is now talking about exempting pilots from these full body searches.

    Pilots will be exempted first. Then federal workers with a security clearance on official government business. Then police and military. Then elected federal officials. Then all federal workers. Then political families traveling on official business. Then all government workers. Then the balance of the elites.

    From December 20, 2011:

    Military may get faster airport screening

    Members of the military on official travel, and their families, would move through airport security quicker next year under legislation sent to the president on Tuesday.

    While Homeland Security would establish the new preferential system, Cravaack said he envisions troops not having to remove boots, belt buckles, bulky military jackets and medals. Troops could go to the front of the line, or a separate line could be created.

    The House gave final congressional approval by voice vote.

  2. Six more months go by, and as I “predicted above from Mother Jones:

    Surprise! TSA Is Searching Your Car, Subway, Ferry, Bus, AND Plane

    Think you could avoid the TSA’s body scanners and pat-downs by taking Amtrak? Think again. Even your daily commute isn’t safe from TSA screenings. And because the TSA is working with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Border Patrol, you may have your immigration status examined along with your “junk”.

    As part of the TSA’s request for FY 2012 funding, TSA Administrator John Pistole told Congress last week that the TSA conducts 8,000 unannounced security screenings every year. These screenings, conducted with local law enforcement agencies as well as immigration, can be as simple as checking out cargo at a busy seaport. But more and more, they seem to involve giving airport-style pat-downs and screenings of unsuspecting passengers at bus terminals, ferries, and even subways.

  3. As I predicted at the top of the thread, government is scaling illegal searches to include random stops of subway riders.

    Metrorail police officers plan to randomly select bags before passengers enter subway stations and they will swab them or have an explosives-sniffing dog check the bags, according to the Metro police.

    There is “no specific or credible threat to the system at this time,” Metro said in a statement. Passengers who refuse to have their bags inspected will be denied entry into the subway system.

    I predict that eventually those who refuse searches at these transportation points will be subject to fines and arrest. I also predict that government will extend these searches to include searches of your person and electronic contents of devices you may be carrying.

  4. puzzling,

    LOL… very funny. I almost deleted the fire/smoke story — glad that I didn’t… Very clever response.

  5. That was to you, puzzling… (A little rattled, as I nearly had a house fire. Never cook and blog at the same time, if the computer isn’t with you in the kitchen, and you’re home alone… 🙂 All the doors and windows are open… hoping that the smoke clears quickly.)

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