I feel badly. Yesterday I sufficiently freaked a lot of people out (I mean a lot of people. Thanks to everyone who retweeted the article) when I wrote about the invasive, privacy-violating, potentially-dangerous full-body scanners that are appearing in airports all over the U.S.
That’s not the part I feel badly about.
I feel badly because I told you about the problem, but I didn’t offer any solutions. And part of the reason for that was that I didn’t see that many viable ones. Unfortunately, the TSA and Homeland Security pretty much have full reign over this sort of thing, and can do whatever the hell they want (I mean, they have thus far). The other problem is that most people can’t avoid flying – a lot of us have jobs that require travel – driving or taking the train to our final destination just isn’t feasible. Still, there are a few things that you can do to make it clear to the TSA and the Department of Homeland Security that you aren’t going to stand for the full-body scanners.
1. Opt-out of the scanners, and select the pat-down option. You simply need to tell the TSA agent that you are opting out of the full-body scan, and they will give you a pat-down instead. Be warned that the pat-down is just as humiliating and invasive as the screens (perhaps more so). But it sends a message to TSA that the scanners are unacceptable. Give yourself a lot of extra time before your flight, since TSA officials have been known to keep people waiting for extensive periods of time. Their goal is to make pat-downs as unpleasant as possible for you (as it was for this blogger), in an attempt to force you back to the scanners.
2. Spread the word to your family and friends. Email them articles (like this one about the dangers of the radiation emitted by the scanners), encourage them to join Facebook groups, and do whatever you can to inform the people in your life about the b.s. we’re getting from the TSA.
3. Join my Facebook group. I’m trying to update the page with as much information as possible about the scanners and what you can do about them. And while you’re at it, why not “like” the ACLU’s Facebook page?