SOSMass

Save Our State of Massachusetts

Thanksgiving Travel Alert

Is it any coincidence that this whole TSA travel mess was introduced right before the holidays, when many a traveler would foresake standing up for their rights and privacy for the end result of getting to their loved ones for the holidays?  Just remember this;  When they take, they don’t give back, they just lessen the blunt by over reaching, and then settling for something less, never bringing it back to where it was or improving it.  Think of this when they take POWER, TAXES, RIGHTS and more.  When the dust settles from this TSA power grab designed to humiliate and disempower us, we will inevitably not have our bodies shown naked, and groped, but in its place will be something where our government will take control of yet but another aspect of our lives/freedoms.

Here is an update:

**Alert: A very thought-provoking letter to TSA by Congressman Holt.  Be sure to to read. Thank you, Representative Holt, for asking the tough questions. http://bit.ly/dEOgjl

**Alert:  61% OPPOSE NEW SECURITY PROCEDURES: http://lat.ms/ffQlOt
 
**Alert: Widespread reports from air travlers across the nation of scanners not being used as usual on November 24. A shrewd tactic by TSA to avert opt-outs?  National security implications?   http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2010/11/newark_liberty_airport_controv.html
http://gizmodo.com/5698536/fliers-claim-tsa-have-deactivated-body-scanners


THANK YOU for making National Opt Out Day a success! 

Despite claims to the contrary, National Opt-Out Day was a rousing success.  The entire point of the campaign was to raise awareness of the issues of privacy and aviation safety at TSA checkpoints, with the ultimate goal of influencing policy – to ask the question “are we really doing this right?”  In that, the campaign was a success.  It was always about getting attention to the issue, educating the public and putting pressure on to change the current procedures.  With near daily headlines on the front page of newspapers and debates on television and radio news, the mission was accomplished – our voice was heard.  By the time November 24 rolled around policy change had already been set in motion.

National Opt-Out Day was launched November 8.  Since that time, we’ve seen some common sense applied to TSA security procedures.  Congress and the Administration have also taken notice of the unease of the traveling public. Originally, the TSA Administrator said that their airport security policy would not change.  Then pilots were exempt from their intrusive procedures.  Then children 12 and under would not be subjected to the full rigors of the enhanced pat down.  Then flight crews would be spared the degrading procedures.  Then a scientist who worked on the body scanners said he made the government aware years ago about the privacy issue, and how to easily get around it, but his suggestion fell on deaf ears.  Then the TSA Administrator said he never informed the public about the pat downs as he should have.  Then TSA was forced to apologize for their egregious actions against some citizens in high-profile mishaps. Then TSA announced they would go back to see if the enhanced pat downs could be done in a different, less invasive way.  And the changes keep coming.  Indeed, there is some question as to whether there was any unofficial change in TSA procedures on November 24.  Report after report came in from travelers at airports throughout the country about the body scanners not being in operation as they usually are, allowing TSA to circumvent the problem altogether by eliminating or limiting the chance for passengers to opt-out. 

Ultimately, the hype built by the media for National Opt-Out Day turned the event into something that it could never be.  They wanted the chaos at the airports, they wanted long lines and beyond-frustrated travelers because it would make a good story.  The old saying, “if it bleeds, it leads” was certainly true in this case.   In interview after interview, optoutday.com was consistently asked: “What do you say to those people who will miss their flights?”  Consistently, our response back was that no one would miss their flights because of this, given that TSA is prepared to handle the situation, given that 80% of security checkpoints do not use the body scanners (and for those that do, they may not be operational), and given that asking people to experience an enhanced pat down was a big ask.  Further, optoutday.com always mentioned that there was never any desire or intent to delay passengers or slow the system down.  But the media would just not let it go.  So they set their own narrative and were able to draw their own conclusion. 

Optoutday.com still urges passengers to opt-out of the body scanners whenever possible, and will be keeping close tabs on any policy changes made by the TSA.  Their actions will dictate what happens next.

 

Be sure to write Congress to let them know how you feel about naked body scanners and intrusive pat downs. 

To write your Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, please visit: https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml

To write your U.S. Senator, please visit: http://senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

If you have experienced a problem with TSA when flying, file a complaint at your checkpoint, call the TSA at 1-866-289-9673, and also use the Electronic Privacy Information Center’s incident report to lodge your complaint: http://epic.org/bodyscanner/incident_report/ 

Testimonials from travelers here: http://www.thousandsstandingaround.org/

Follow us on twitter:  http://twitter.com/nationaloptout

email us at admin@optoutday.com

 

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2 comments on “Thanksgiving Travel Alert

  1. jm
    November 27, 2010

    This was an excellent letter by Congressman Holt! It will be interesting to see if TSA acknowledges it and meets with him for serious discussion. In the meantime, I for one, intend to write my US Senate & House representatives about his suggestions for less intrusive, but just as reliable screening methods.

  2. jpm01609
    November 27, 2010

    For some people getting fondled by the TSA is all the action they’re gonna get during the holiday weekend. Relax. Too bad the fondelles can’t smokle a cigarette after. Oh well.

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This entry was posted on November 26, 2010 by in Uncategorized.

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