FlyersRights is a passenger advocacy group led by Kate Hanni, with whom I was pleased to participate in a panel, along with Jim Babb from WeWontFly, at the EPIC conference
in DC earlier this month. As she mentions below, each party in attendance at the conference had a unique perspective on the TSA’s criminal airport screening policies. Indeed, it’s a testimony to the universally egregious nature of the state’s actions that they have united such an otherwise disparate group in opposition. It’s a beautiful thing when fascist high treason brings people together. -ed.
FlyersRights Position on TSA Security
The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) conference on January 6th was an inspiring demonstration of people with divergent political views coming together on an issue of national importance. Each speaker had a unique perspective, but we all agreed on one thing–the new TSA measures are wrong.
The FlyersRights.org position has always been clear. As we’ve stated in press releases and countless media interviews over the last few months, air travel security is essential, but requires measures designed to enhance security that are effective, safe, and constitutional. I joined with all the other conference speakers in pointing out that none of those things are true of the present measures.
While in DC, I visited, along with a team of FlyersRights volunteers, several senators’ and representatives’ offices. We saw that opposition to TSA measures is not a popular one amongst legislators.
The aim of the FlyersRights membership is to abolish to the new TSA measures, yet our views are tempered by the reality and knowledge that TSA is unwilling to meet with passenger-rights groups and are uncompromising in terms of changing its position.
Moreover, the FlyersRights view of the problem is based on the realities of actively pursuing the issue in the halls of Congress. Simply stated, getting TSA to abolish full-body scanners would be a colossal undertaking. More feasible is moving them to a secondary screening method.
That means that our government must stop viewing us as presumed terrorists and pursue means of finding the bombers, not the bombs. Ordinary Americans who pose no threat to our safety must be treated with dignity and respect, while those who actually do pose a threat are identified and subjected to additional scrutiny. In short, we propose very limited use, and only with probable cause.
The FlyersRights position has been misrepresented in published accounts of the conference. We are very sensitive to people with implants, mastectomy prosthetics and other disabilities, and have been working closely with disability groups to prepare them with special TSA medical device cards to facilitate passage through TSA checkpoints. We learned of these cards while our Hotline volunteers were actively assisting people with exactly these issues.
We stand ready to work with the TSA to develop procedures that take into account the needs of all flyers, and to help them understand the discontent their actions to date have caused in the flying public. FlyersRights.org runs a full time hotline where we handle issues for all air travellers, including people with special needs, every day, 24/7. We do this for free. It is a great honor to help those with handicaps and medical devices and all air travellers to navigate the very hostile waters that both TSA and air travel present for us all.