US officials are using “invasive and aggressive” searches for those who refuse to go through their controversial full body “naked” X-ray scanners. The “front-of-the-hand, slide-down technique” amounts to an indecent assault in any other context and shows an alarming disregard for privacy by the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA), civil libertarians say.
“People want to feel safe and secure when flying,” Civil Liberties Australia director Tim Vines said.
“And that includes feeling safe from the wandering hands of transport officials. The punishment for opting-out of an invasion of your privacy is an even greater invasion of your bodily integrity.”
(…) While the TSA says it has received “very few” formal complaints about the new search techniques, Mr Vines called for a halt to the procedure until they could reveal why it was needed. “The actions of the US TSA would amount to indecent assault if performed by anyone else in the community,” he said.
US passenger Rob Webster told the Boston Herald he found himself subject to the new search after refusing the scanner during a domestic flight. “It was extremely invasive,” Mr Webster said. ”This was a very probing-type touching. Not just patting over all your areas, but actually probing and pushing and seeing if I was concealing something in my genital area. If anybody ever groped me like that in real life, I would have punched them in their nose.”
The searches are being trialled at Boston’s Logan International Airport and McCarran ahead of a planned national rollout. After conducting a similar type of search in 2004 the TSA received hundreds of complaints of sexual harassment and abuse – including the “manhandling” of private areas. (…read more, news.com.au)
Outrage over new invasive airport searches, indeed. If nonconsensual genital prodding is your kick, then it’s time to fly the friendly skies. If you decide you don’t want to go through the “naked” X-ray scanner which lets everyone see your — everything (and you can only imagine what happens with the digital images), then you too may be able to delight in one of the few ways you can be fingerbanged in the name of homeland security: seductively named by the TSA as the “front-of-the-hand, slide-down technique.” Snip: