We are opposed to the full-body airport “porno”-scanners and “enhanced” pat downs on grounds of privacy, ineffectiveness and health. The federal government’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is putting on a security theater and it only makes us less safe. 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 and we have real passenger security instead.
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.
The Plan is Simple
- Don’t fly. Hit the airlines in the pocketbook until the scanners and gropers are gone. Make the airlines work for us.
- If you absolutely, positively must fly, opt out of the scanners. Do it to protect your health and privacy. Demand a fresh pair of gloves for your “enhanced” pat down.
- RAISE HOLY HELL. Register your disapproval of the scanners and gropers to your airline, your hotel and all government officials who claim to work for you. Educate your community. See the list on the right side of this page for things you can do.
“It is breathtaking to witness the speed at which a mere bureaucracy has undone the dignity and freedom of Americans”, said We Won’t Fly co-founder Jim Babb. “The TSA can not continue without our consent. Act now. Opt out. Better yet, just don’t fly.”
The goal of We Won’t Fly is (1) roll back the scanners and gropers; (2) abolish the federal government’s TSA; and (3) replace it with decentralized passenger security that is competent to defend us against the terrorist threat without compromising our basic human dignity or liberty.
“If the threat is Al-Qaeda,” said We Won’t Fly co-founder George Donnelly, “the TSA will never be a match for it. Al-Qaeda is networked and agile while the TSA is a lumbering, top-down giant. We need decentralized security where those closest to the action can call the shots.”
Because they Make you LESS Secure
The scanners actually make passengers less secure. Leading Israeli airport security expert Rafi Sela says the scanners are ineffective. “I don’t know why everybody is running to buy these expensive and useless machines. I can overcome the body scanners with enough explosives to bring down a Boeing 747,” he said. The millimeter wave scanners do not detect the kind of powdered explosives used in January’s attempted underwear bomber attack. The TSA doesn’t claim that the x-ray backscatter scanners do either! Alert passengers stopped the underwear bomber, the shoe bomber and stopped an airplane from striking the white house on September 11. We passengers have a better track record than the TSA, yet the TSA humiliates us, intimidates us and lulls us into a false sense of security with their security theater.
“I don’t know why everybody is running to buy these expensive and useless machines. I can overcome the body scanners with enough explosives to bring down a Boeing 747,” said Rafi Sela, leading Israeli airport security expert.
Safeguard your Privacy
A recent article in the San Diego Entertainer on August 31, 2010 stated that “the scans are detailed enough to identify a person’s gender… to identify a passenger’s surgery scars, or to discern whether a woman is on her menstrual cycle or not.” CNN has reports that scanner images can be stored and shared by design. As CBS News recently reported, US Marshals saved 35,000 images from similar scanners at just one courthouse. The bottom line is that the TSA is forcing us to trade our privacy for absolutely no security in return. There is no balance.
“This time they’ve gone too far,” declared Philadelphia We Won’t Fly Day co-organizer Ken Krawchuk. “I have three beautiful daughters, and the last thing I want is some stranger groping them or snapping nude pictures under color of law. Every parent should be outraged at such a gross violation of their children’s privacy. Enough is enough!”
Protect your Health
As University of California scientists noted earlier this year, the airport scanners may pose a serious health risk. “Our overriding concern is the extent to which the safety of this scanning device has been adequately demonstrated. This can only be determined by a meeting of an impartial panel of experts that would include medical physicists and radiation biologists at which all of the available relevant data is reviewed,” they said in a letter of concern earlier this month. The TSA has not demonstrated the safety of these machines and it’s their own employees who are most at risk!
“Despite fearful rhetoric to the contrary, terrorism is not a transcendent threat. A terrorist attack cannot possibly destroy a country’s way of life; it’s only our reaction to that attack that can do that kind of damage. The more we undermine our own laws, the more we convert our buildings into fortresses, the more we reduce the freedoms and liberties at the foundation of our societies, the more we’re doing the terrorists’ job for them.” – Bruce Schneier
Alternatives to Flying
Each and every day, there are ten times as many general aviation flights as commercial ones. There are less than 500 airports throughout the country served by the commercial airlines. Yet there are over 5,000 airports open to general aviation. Amtrak’s premium Acela service in the northeast corridor or sleeper cars for longer rides are another option. Telephone or video conference software such as Skype, GoToMyPC or LiveMeeting may suffice in some situations. Greyhound boasts 16,000 daily departures to 31,000 destinations by bus. Consider all your options before handing over your hard-earned dollars to the airlines.
“If you or your loved ones are submitted to humiliating, rude, or indecent actions in line, please speak up to defend them. If you are suddenly confronted with an unacceptable grope, please call out loudly enough for others in line to know what just happened. Do not take this silently. I was hurt (and appalled later) that no one spoke up for me; the silence was deafening.” – Anonymous
We Can Do it
A few committed individuals are working together to effect positive change. If we don’t take action, however meager and ineffective it may seem at first, the ability to opt out may soon disappear. We may soon find these porno-scanners on our roads, in our train stations and sports stadiums. We must end this dangerous and invasive technology here and now! Join us!