For three years, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has used full-body scanners in airports, yet passengers have still had no opportunity to formally voice their concerns with the technology to the agency despite a court order instructing them to do so.
In July 2011 TSA was ordered to “promptly” begin a legally required passenger-commenting system—but a year later TSA has not even begun. Now, a growing number of conservative groups are voicing their objections to the security agency’s invasive procedures and insubordination.
The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI)— along with a former Chairman and CEO of American Airlines, the National Association of Airline Passengers, Americans for Tax Reform’s Digital Liberty, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, The Rutherford Institute, the Center for Individual Freedom, the Cyber Privacy Project, the Center for Financial Privacy and Human Rights, and the Liberty Coalition—issued a brief that aims to compel the TSA to begin complying with the court-ordered ruling within 60 days.
“The TSA is out of control,”CEI Transportation Policy Analyst Marc Scribner said in a release about the brief. “All we are asking is that the TSA follow the law. They failed to initiate a notice-and-comment rulemaking proceeding as required under the Administrative Procedure Act, and they are now failing to comply with a court order telling them to do just that.”
In June of this year, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul introduced a pair of bills to establish a passenger’s bill of rights, largely privatize TSA, reduce the invasive patting downs of small children and increase passenger options while traveling.
Most recently, Jim Harper at the CATO Institute started a petition encouraging President Barack Obama to use his authority to order TSA to follow-through with the required commenting period. As of today, the petition has more than 15,300 signatures and has received more than 60 percent of the signatures need to reach its goal of 25,000 signatures by August 9, 2012.
Millions of Americans have undergone body-scan security screening with no opportunity to comment on or participate in the TSA’s decision-making or operation of the scanners. As opposition mounts, hopefully TSA’s questionable “security” measures will be more closely scrutinized by the Obama administration.