November 24, 2010 is NATIONAL OPT-OUT DAY!

The following statement from the National Opt-Out Day website says it best…

It’s the day ordinary citizens stand up for their rights, stand up for liberty, and protest the federal government’s desire to virtually strip us naked or submit to an “enhanced pat down” that touches people’s breasts and genitals in an aggressive manner. You should never have to explain to your children, “Remember that no stranger can touch or see your private area, unless it’s a government employee, then it’s OK.”

The goal of National Opt Out Day is to send a message to our lawmakers that we demand change. We have a right to privacy and buying a plane ticket should not mean that we’re guilty until proven innocent. This day is needed because many people do not understand what they consent to when choosing to fly.

Here are the details:

Who?
You, your family and friends traveling by air on Wednesday, November 24, 2010. Remember too, as the TSA says, “Everyday is opt-out day.” That is, you can opt out any time you fly.

What?
National Opt-Out Day. You have the right to opt-out of the naked body scanner machines (AIT, or Advance Imaging Technology, as the government calls it). All you have to do is say “I opt out” when they tell you to go through one of the machines. You will then be given an “enhanced” pat down. This is a right given to you by the TSA. There is no intent or desire to delay passengers en route to friends and family over Thanksgiving. People also need to remember to stay within the confines of the law and the regulations of TSA when exercising their right to a pat down. Passengers, please note there has been at least one report of long delay for people who take the TSA up on their offer to opt out of the naked body scanners, so please keep that in mind when planning your airport arrival time.

Where?
At an airport near you!

When?
Wednesday, November 24, 2010. We want families to sit around the dinner table, eating turkey, talking about their experience – what constitutes an unreasonable search, how forceful of a pat down will we allow on certain areas of our body, and that of our children, and how much privacy are we will to give up for flying? We hope the experience then propels people to write their Member of Congress and the airlines to demand change.

Why?
The government should not have the ability to virtually strip search anyone it wants without cause. The problem has been compounded in that if you do not want to go through the body scanner, the TSA has made the alternative an “enhanced” pat downs. There are reports from travelers across the country about how the TSA now touches the genitals and private areas of men, women and children in a much more aggressive manner. We do not believe the government has a right to see you naked or aggressively touch you just because you bought an airline ticket. And we would hope that Congress would act to ensure TSA respects the privacy of the flying public.

How?
By saying “I opt out” when told to go through the body imaging machines and submitting to a pat down. Also, be sure to have your pat down by TSA in full public – do not go to the back room when asked. Every citizen must see for themselves how the TSA treats law-abiding citizens.

Be sure to write Congress to let them know how you feel!

To write your Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, please visit: https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml
To write your U.S. Senator, please visit:
http://senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

If you have experienced a problem with TSA when flying, use the Electronic Privacy Information Center or ACLU’s incident report to lodge your complaint:
http://epic.org/bodyscanner/incident_report/
https://secure.aclu.org/site/SPageNavigator/TSA_Travel_Complaint

Testimonials from travelers here: http://www.thousandsstandingaround.org/

Filed under Civil Liberties by  #