A large-breasted woman flying from Oakland to Boston was accosted by the TSA when the underwire in her bra set off the magnetometer. She was given a choice: allow her breasts to be fondled or give up on flying. Instead, she raised a stink:
Kates asked to see a supervisor and then the supervisor's supervisor. He told her that underwire bras were the leading item that set off the metal detectors, Kates said.
If that's the case, Kates said, the equipment must be overly sensitive. And if the TSA is engaging in extra brassiere scrutiny, then other women are suffering similar humiliation, Kates thought.
The Constitution bars unreasonable searches and seizures, Kates reminded the TSA supervisor, and scrutinizing a woman's brassiere is surely unreasonable, she said.
The supervisor told her she had the choice of submitting to a pat-down in a private room or not flying. Kates offered a third alternative, to take off her bra and try again, which the TSA accepted.
Arbitrary, no-exceptions "security" rules unduly punish innocents -- people with surgical pins in their bodies are now subject to discriminatory treatment when they fly, as are those whose names are similar to aliases used by suspected terrorists, and they're now joined by women with large breasts. Free societies shouldn't punish the innocent to get at the guilty.
Delayed by her bra, air passenger is indignant
The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Digital Security Tips for Protesters builds on its indispensable Surveillance Self Defense guide for protesters with legal and technical suggestions to protect your rights, your data, and your identity when protesting.
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