Say “I Opt Out” of Airport Scanners on National Opt Out Day, November 24

Grassroots airline boycott effort We Won’t Fly is organizing mass x-ray scanner opt outs at airports around the nation for National Opt Out of the Airport Scanners Day, November 24 in order to highlight the health and privacy dangers of the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) backscatter x-ray airport scanners.

If you have to fly on November 24, opt out of the porno-scanners for your own health and privacy. Say “I opt out!” Tell your friends, family and community so they know how to protect themselves, too. Be prepared for delays and intimate TSA groping. But at least your skin and eyes will be safe.

If you’re NOT flying on November 24, tell your friends, family and community members who are flying to opt out. Tell them why (see below). Organize meetups at your local airport, whether it has scanners yet or not, to educate travelers about their rights and the risks of this new invasive technology. Get your meetup on our map (see right)! Here is one excellent downloadable flyer created by Jim Babb called “You Have the Right”. More coming soon. Here is a press release local organizers can send out to local media. Here is a very cool activist toolkit being sold at a reasonable price.

The Goal

The goal of National Opt Out Day is (1) to educate the traveling public about airport porno-scanners and the new “enhanced” TSA groping; (2) force positive change on the TSA; and (3) show the airlines our consumer power so that they will lobby the government on our behalf to get the porno-scanners removed. The government has failed us. We’re taking our message of individual privacy and respect for health to the airlines and the public.

How to Opt Out

Say “I opt out”. When/if TSA agents direct you to a full body x-ray scanner, tell them: “I opt out.” Be prepared for screaming, intimidation and groping. Don’t let the TSA agents move you into a back room! Keep an eye on your property and stand your ground. Let every individual see how the TSA is treating peaceful travelers.

For 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.

For your Privacy

CNN catches TSA in a lie.

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.” We Won’t Fly feels the scanners pose a risk to travelers’ privacy and modesty. As CNN has reported, the scanners include ethernet connectivity. 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.

Because they Don’t Make you More Secure

Yet the scanners add little or nothing to travelers’ security levels. In a recent Vancouver Sun article, 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.” In fact, these machines don’t detect the kind of powdered explosives used in January’s attempted underwear bomber attack!

Say “I Opt Out”

US marshals show us the scanners can save images.

We Won’t Fly believes the scanners to be a violation of individual privacy, a threat to the health of millions of passengers and, worst of all, ineffective. For these reasons we urge Americans to opt out of the scanners on November 24. Organize events at local airports to educate your community on the facts about these dangerous devices.

For More Information

For more information, visit http://WeWontFly.com/opt-out-day. You can also contact George Donnelly at 941 538 6399 or george.donnelly@gmail.com or Jim Babb at 610-574-1222 or jamesbabb@mac.com. Inquiries in Spanish are accepted by George Donnelly.

For More Information

We Won’t Fly is a grassroots effort to boycott the airlines until they join with concerned consumers in opposition to the new airport x-ray scanners and enhanced patdowns. We Won’t Fly urges travelers to stop flying until the x-ray scanners are gone. You can find more information at http://WeWontFly.com.

George Donnelly is a blogger, small businessman and father. Jim Babb is a business owner, husband and father.

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