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News Link • Transportation: Air Travel

Airline Passengers Organize "Opt-Out" Protest of Security Screening Tactics

Tom Ramstack – AHN News Correspondent

Washington, D.C., United States (AHN) – Some airline passengers are organizing a National Opt-Out Day next week to protest aggressive airport security screening techniques.

The Nov. 24 event is intended to protest Transportation Security Administration procedures that include pat-downs of airline passengers’ genital areas and use of body scanners that project their nude images onto video screens.

The organizers are asking airline passengers to “opt-out” of the body scanners to force TSA inspectors to do pat-downs on everyone, thereby slowing airplane boardings and disrupting flight schedules.

“The goal of National Opt-Out Day is to send a message to our lawmakers that we demand change,” the Association for Airline Passenger Rights, an advocacy group for passengers, said in a statement. “We have a right to privacy and buying a plane ticket should not mean that we’re guilty until proven innocent.”

The protest is part of a tide of resentment about the screening procedures that was discussed during a Senate hearing Wednesday.

TSA Administrator John S. Pistole defended aggressive screening techniques as an unfortunate but necessary means of protecting airlines from terrorist attacks.

The protests are planned at 11 U.S. airports, including New York’s JFK, Dallas, Denver and Phoenix, which are among the nation’s most heavily traveled.


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