We are opposed to the full-body airport “porno”-scanners on grounds of privacy, ineffectiveness and health. We do not consent to strip searches, virtual or otherwise. We do not wish to be guinea pigs for new, and possibly dangerous, technology. We are not criminals. We are your customers. We will not beg the government anymore. We will simply stop flying until the porno-scanners are history.
We will not be abused simply for the privilege of purchasing your services. We demand the airlines make their maximum lobbying effort in support of our, your customers’, rights and liberties. We are eager to fly again, but only when this invasive threat has been contained.
Security Theater Makes us Less Safe
The federal government’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA) excels at its security theater. The new x-ray and millimeter wave scanners may make some feel safer, but in fact make all of us less safe.
- First, the scanners do not detect the kind of explosives used by the underwear bomber last December. But the machines were rolled out on the pretext that they do. And the TSA blatantly lied (until December 4, 2010) about this.
- Second, the former head of security at Israel’s largest airport says he can get enough explosives through a scanner to take down a 747.
- Third, the health effects of the scanners have not been adequately established. And re-use of blue pat down gloves by the TSA could spread contagion.
- Finally, the risk of dying from the radiation of the scanners is equal to the risk of dying in a terrorist attack.
Passengers stopped the shoe and underwear bombers but TSA theater lulls them into a false sense of security and/or humiliates and intimidates them. The TSA forces us to trade our privacy and basic human dignity for less security than we had before! It is not just outrageous, but also dangerous.
Real Traveler Security
We are committed to real traveler security that doesn’t trample our basic human dignity and rights. We will settle for nothing less than the abolition of the TSA. Traveler security efforts, in order to remain credible, must be decentralized and agile, just like the threats.
TSA Incompetent by Design
Al-Qaeda is an agile, networked organization. It’s peer-to-peer. The TSA is a top-down, lumbering bureaucracy. Al-Qaeda operatives are passionate and motivated. TSA employees are order-takers. There is simply no contest between these two types of organizational structures. It’s like David and Goliath, the Viet Cong vs the US Army, Luke vs the Death Star. The TSA is structurally incapable of defending against this threat, just as the US Army was structurally incapable of defeating the Viet Cong.
Decentralizing means a flatter organization chart and more power to those on the ground where the rubber meets the road. Those are the real experts and they need the authority and responsibility to act independently in response to the local context. This is a lesson corporations have already learned in some part. This is a lesson from the open source movement. This is the cathedral and the bazaar.
Aiports, airlines, the security industry and travelers should collaborate to create a diverse marketplace of solutions where the best for each individual context can flourish on a voluntary basis.
X-Ray Scanners Not Just at the Airports Anymore
This scanner technology has now spilled out of the airports and into the streets. Mobile scan machines may be taking x-rays of you on the way to work or while you drive out of town on vacation. Your kids may be getting x-rayed on the bus. Soon, dangerous backscatter x-ray technology may be everywhere. Resist! Not just passively, but actively with your voice, your vote, your feet and your dollars. Our future, and that of our children, is at stake.
About We Won’t Fly
We Won’t Fly was founded by James Babb ([email protected] or 610-574-1222) and George Donnelly ([email protected] or 941-538-6399) in November 2010. We’re just regular dads who don’t want our families to be put at risk because of the TSA’s security theater. Since our founding, we’ve done dozens of local and national TV, radio and print interviews, including NPR, MSNBC, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Bloomberg, Fox, ABC, CBS, NBC and so many others we’ve lost count! We’ve also done international TV, radio and print media in Mexico, Canada, Colombia, Argentina, the UK, Spain, Poland, Japan, Iran, Australia, New Zealand and others.
We founded We Won’t Fly with the help of friends who have served as advisers, organizers and donors. We Won’t Fly is an informal collaborative effort, without titles or organization charts. As of the end of November 2010, we raised approximately $2,000 from 75 donors, the majority of which has not yet been spent. This is an independent, grassroots effort. It is not affiliated with any political party, corporation, politician or think tank. We do, however, remain open to working with any interested and credible party, no matter where they may come from.
Para obtener información en Español, por favor contactar a George Donnelly en [email protected] o al 941-538-6399.
Our logo is a handshake in the form of a heart. A handshake is the meeting of two equals who agree to associate on a respectful and egalitarian basis. A heart represents love, which is what we need to work out this problem – not hate, anger, fear or blind obedience.
We Need You
In order to make this effort a success, we need bloggers. We need people to tweet with the hashtag #wontfly. We need you to post on Facebook. We need you to organize educational outreach events at your local airport. We will help you in any way we can. Without your participation, however, we just can’t be effective. Email [email protected] to join our committed team of collaborators.