8 Things You Can Do to Protect Yourself Against TSA Tyranny!
Knowing your options and your rights can go a long way in helping you to avoid a tyrannical overstep by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), an arm of the Department of Homeland Security. Further, determining a wise and clear plan ahead of time in light of the new TSA policies will better prepare you to protect the sanctity of you and your family as you travel. Finally, avoiding a conflict, whenever you can do so without conceding your constitutional right to privacy or violating your conscience, is usually the most prudent course to pursue, though you must determine what your plan will be should you reach an impasse with the TSA.
Here are 8 practical considerations to help you accomplish these goals:
1. If it is not essential for you to travel by commercial airplane, choosing another means of transportation to get to your destination may be your best option in light of the TSA’s new intrusive policies. Carefully consider creative travel solutions that don’t involve commercial air travel.
2. If you choose to travel by commercial flight, research which airports currently use Advanced Imaging technology. We have compiled a list from the TSA website here. Avoiding these airports should eliminate the possibility of inappropriate images of your naked body being viewed by TSA agents and may also help you avoid being pressed to experience an invasive full body handling.
3. If you choose to travel by commercial flight and you choose to use an airport or terminal with enhanced imaging technology, you may not necessarily be selected for enhanced imaging or enhanced pat downs. Current reports indicate that 20-25% of travelers are selected for this invasive treatment.
4. Be aware of Prohibited Items. Setting off an alarm or metal detector will increase the probability of you being selected for an enhanced scan or pat down. Be aware of what Prohibited Items are, and be sure to eliminate these items from being in your travel bags, carry-on luggage, or on your person.
5. Be prepared to record your experience if TSA agents seek to force you to submit to procedures that you are not comfortable complying with. The TSA Blog states:
We don’t prohibit public, passengers or press from photographing, videotaping, or filming at screening locations. You can take pictures at our checkpoints as long as you’re not interfering with the screening process or slowing things down. We also ask that you do not film or take pictures of our monitors.
Having a record of your experience may go a long way in helping you defend yourself in the future.
6. Be prepared to defend your right to audio and video record your experience with the TSA agents at the airport. The agents on hand may ask you to turn off your recording device. They are in the wrong to do so. Provided that you are not “interfering with the screening process or slowing things down” in the process, you have the right to record your experience with the TSA, and you can defend that right. You can refer to the quote above from the official TSA Blog as proof of this fact, or you may also urge the TSA agent or police officer to contact the TSA Department of Strategic Communications. This department “oversees all external and various internal communications initiatives. [They] work directly with high-level officials within TSA and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to develop strategic communications efforts that are carried out nationwide.” They can be reached at the following number: TSA Public Affairs, (571) 227-2829.
7. If you are selected to go through an advanced imaging process, we recommend that you “opt out” and avoid the demeaning and immoral process of someone looking at your nude body. This means that you will be requested to go through an enhanced pat down inspection. This is what the TSA says about the Pat-Down Inspection:
A pat-down inspection complements the hand-wand inspection. In order to ensure security, this inspection may include sensitive areas of the body. Security Officers are rigorously trained to maintain the highest levels of professionalism. You may request that your pat-down inspection be conducted in private.
If you do not want the TSA agent to touch you or your child’s “sensitive areas” — including the groin, chest, buttocks and genitals—speak clearly to the agent and indicate that he or she may not touch you or your child in this way. Be specific and explicit regarding these thresholds. The TSA agent may be reasonable and understanding when you explain your position. But be prepared to be emphatic. Clearly state: You may not touch me/him/her in the groin. You may not touch my/his/her buttocks. You may not touch my/his/her breasts. Clearly delineate what you are willing and unwilling for them to touch. Assert your rights to personal privacy and propriety.
8. If the agent is unwilling to honor your request or indicates that he or she must call a supervisor, then seek to reason with the supervisor. Indicate that you are willing to go through the metal detector just like 75-80% of other travelers do. If the TSA representatives are unwilling at this point to afford you the decency of a non-invasive pat-down, you must then make a choice: Will you acquiesce to the unconstitutional demands of a tyrannical agency seeking to fondle you or your child, or will you refuse and forfeit your commercial flying plans? We recommend that you forfeit your travel plans and continue to refuse the invasive treatment. Press your 4th Amendment right guaranteed by the Constitution:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Under Civil Enforcement Policies, the TSA website states the following:
Fines also may be imposed when passengers attempt to artfully conceal prohibited items or behave in a manner that is so uncooperative and disruptive that it physically interferes with the screening process
This means that the TSA could threaten you with a fine and seek to impose fines on you if they deem you to be uncooperative.
This policy directive provides sanction guidance for imposing civil penalties of up to $25,000 per violation for aircraft operators and up to $10,000 per violation for all other persons, including individuals, when a determination is made that civil penalty enforcement action should be taken. This sanction guidance is being issued to assist TSA personnel on the appropriate application of penalties under TSA’s present civil penalty authority.
The following link provides you with a complete Transportation and Security Administration ENFORCEMENT SANCTION GUIDANCE POLICY.