ACLU Reports More Than 900 Complaints This Month Over “Enhanced” TSA Security Measures

ACLU Reports More Than 900 Complaints This Month Over “Enhanced” TSA Security MeasuresACLU Reports More Than 900 Complaints This Month Over “Enhanced” TSA Security Measures

November 24, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: (212) 549-2689 or 2666; media@aclu.org

NEW YORK – The American Civil Liberties Union has received over 900 complaints in the month of November from travelers who have been subjected to the Transportation Security Authority’s (TSA) new “enhanced” screening procedures. The procedures include sending travelers through backscatter X-ray machines that produce naked outlines of travelers’ bodies and subjecting them to thorough pat-downs that include TSA agents touching their breasts and genitals on the outside of their clothing.

Most of the complaints, which were submitted through an online form on the ACLU’s website, came from travelers who reported feeling humiliated and traumatized by the procedures. Some of the excerpts include:

  • “The TSA agent used her hands to feel under and between my breasts. She then rammed her hand up into my crotch until it jammed into my pubic bone.”
  • “I cried throughout the groping and have had intrusive thoughts since. It was humiliating.”
  • “The procedure was violating, degrading, invasive and humiliating.”
  • “It was so rough that I felt the effects of it throughout the day.”
  • “I do not feel safer. I feel violated.”

Additional excerpts can be read online at: www.aclu.org/passengers-stories-recent-travel

The following can be attributed to Laura W. Murphy, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office:

“The government must keep us safe, but it must do so in a way that is sensible, effective and constitutional. The new 'enhanced' security methods are far more intrusive than other methods but have not been shown to be any more effective. Nobody should be forced to choose between 'naked scans' and intrusive groping by strangers to keep our airplanes safe.”

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