Friday, August 26, 2011

Granted!? Really?

When will people start thinking for themselves? Here is what one reporter wrote in a local Ohio paper:
Granted, flying is a privilege, not a right, and security concerns can trump privacy. But the full-body scanners that are being used in 40 airports in the United States are an affront to personal privacy.
Why is this granted?

Flying is not a privilege. It is one of many ways that people can travel within states, between states, and between countries. Freedom of movement is a right that has been central to individual rights in the US since the Articles of Confederation. While the courts have ruled that the federal government has no jurisdiction to protect this right, there is also a clear consensus that the federal and state governments can not infringe on this right. Furthermore, US law specifically states that air travel is part of our freedom of movement.

Where exactly is the proof that security concerns can trump privacy? There have been court rulings that make exceptions for limited trumping of privacy (until the recent EPIC v DHS case, which is much more broad), but this isn't settled law and it is certainly contrary to an originalist reading of the founding documents. Again, not "granted," so why this claim?

The author continues with his or her amazing logic:
So airline passengers have to be happy that starting this week, the scanners are being replaced by machines that show a generic outline of a body instead of what amounts to a photo of an actual body.
Why must I be happy? The TSA is literally searching under my clothes. The fact that a computer converts the image does not escape the fact that I am being viewed naked by the federal government without my explicit consent or any reasonable alternative.