Sunday, January 23, 2011

Being felt-up by private security

As I've pointed out before, Rep Mica's private security "opt-out" proposals are not a step towards freer skies. SFO (San Francisco) is one of the airports that has had a private contractor doing the TSA's bidding for years. It is also one of the first airports to have installed scanners. So, how does the "customer service" of these private screeners compare with the TSA's own goons?

A friend flew through SFO over the holidays. She was selected for the scanner, and opted for the so-called pat down. She tells me this is no ordinary pat-down (as we've been hearing from numerous passengers who have gone through the same). Her main example of the incredible intrusion on personal privacy is that the screener put her gloved hands in her underwear. She also notes that the screener did not change her gloves before or after doing so.

There is no difference between the so-called privatized security that Mica proposes and TSA security theater, except that tax dollars enrich a government contractor. What we need is actual private airline security, paid for and provided by the airlines.