NJ, ID legislators ready to ban airport pornoscanners - your help needed!

Aaron Swartz sez, "Bold legislators in New Jersey and Idaho have introduced bills stopping the new porno-scanners, but that's not enough -- we need to pass these bills in every state! So I set up a thing to make it super-easy to contact your state legislator about it. Just add your name and zip code to our petition and we'll automatically email your state rep." Stop the TSA's Nude Scanners!


  1. And remember, every dollar spent on Body Scanners is a dollar in the pocket of a friend of George W. Bush.

    1. The last time I checked Bush has been gone for nearly 2 years. Obama can stop these if he wants to and he should stop them. The TSA is stepping all over the 4th Amendment.

    2. Exactly. The powers-that-be no longer care about using these machines. They’ve already sold them to the government and made their money.

  2. I’m neither a legal expert nor American, but can state governments really legislate the operation of a federal agency at a federal facility? Kind of seems out of their jurisdiction, doesn’t it? Doesn’t that make his whole endeavour symbolic at best?

  3. I suggest that Arizona pass a law requiring that all illegal aliens be subjected to full body scans. Then we can count on Eric Holder to seek an injunction against the procedure.

  4. I have been told that the states could “opt out” of ALL TSA presence in their airports after the first two-year “trial period”. That time has long passed. Can we get some confirmation on this? The info I was given said they could replace the TSA with private contractors and set their own security standards at any time after. Please confirm! If this is true, then EVERY state should try to boot these jerks out!

  5. How about letting me see the petition BEFORE I sign it? I am against these things, but don’t want some awful worded petition with my name on it.

    1. Swanky, from the linked web page:

      PETITION TO STATE LEGISLATORS: Boarding a plane doesn’t give the government the right to take nude photos of me or feel me up. Please join other legislators in supporting state legislation to regulate the use of nude scanners.

  6. Stopping the scanners is insufficient. The TSA needs to undergo real reforms and earn the trust of the public back.

    1. Agreed – but stopping the scanners would be a nice first step on the road to taking our effing airports back.

  7. Is there a minimum age for these machines? Wouldn’t “Precise anatomical details” of kids be considered child pornography?

  8. I am glad to see someone championing the removal of these things, but it is depressing that it’s the GOP. They are the ones responsible for putting them in.

    The Democrats should have been on this from day one. The management of the Democratic party is absolutely pitiful. How frickin’ hard is it to stand up for actual (not make-believe) freedom, distribute weekly talking points, and get everyone in the party on message? It’s so simple. The GOP has been showing them how to do it for years and they still haven’t caught on.


  9. “pornoscanners”, really? A bit of an overreach, yes?

    A clinical pic of a nude body isn’t my idea of porn – especially these glowie scanner pics

    Imo, calling them ‘pornoscanners’ serves your viewpoint a disservice. It makes it seem all about some prudish nonsense when you’re really talking about civil rights.

    And implying that a scan of a minor would be child-porn is outright foolish and would do nothing but help those who hope to restrain art and science.

    1. Medical fetishes are very real, so being clinical doesn’t disqualify them, people get stimulated by monochrome photographs and manga, so being one mass of blue doesn’t disqualify them either. Now, the fact that a person or child is exposed to a lusty gaze when they didn’t want to be? Huge turn on to a surprisingly large number of people. Probably not as the sole source of stimulation, but definitely a fetish feeder. And people are surprisingly quick to develop fetishes with frequent exposure.

      Yes, declaring any image porn just because it features a naked person is foolish, but I’ll be as squeamish and prudish as I damn well please about images being taken under threat of groping or rescinding my freedom of movement if I refuse. That’s the big point: having naked pictures made of you and stored could only be argued as not breaching privacy if we considered our naked to be part of the public domain anyway, and the fact that pretty much everyone uses naked(defenceless) rather than nude(nicely unclothed) when they talk about these devices proves beyond the most unreasonable doubt that we don’t. If you want to see me naked, you need to use some kind of force or stealth method, if you want to see me nude, ask nicely.

      It’s a lot harder to win a civil rights case if you only focus on the rules as written: how the rights violation affects the victims is what gives it the urgency that gets things done.

    2. The reason that they are called ‘porno’ scanners is that pornography is often defined as having no legitimate use.

      Using any other term for these scanners would imply that there is some actual use for them besides the removal of privacy, dignity, and civil rights from the ‘sovereign citizens’ subjected to them.

      You have already learned about ‘security theatre’ — now get used to ‘security pornography’ — nudity generated in a forced and degrading manner in order to promote an atmosphere of security theatre.

  10. My intuition is that the states cannot legislate how the TSA is going to operate in the airports. Congress, using its Commerce Clause power, can regulate pretty broadly in the realm of interstate-connected air-travel.

    However, these state laws are important for two reasons. 1) prevents the spread of these scanners to state facilities (courts, government buildings, etc.) And 2) by creating a record that courts can point to when arguing that the search is “unreasonable” for purposes of the Fourth Amendment.

  11. All the Pictures that I have seen have been less than pornographic.

    Unless you find bluish blobs sexy.

    The health concerns are important if real.

    But really what a complete waste of money these things are.

    All this money and they do less than a strip search.

    1. “All the Pictures that I have seen have been less than pornographic.

      Unless you find bluish blobs sexy.”

      Actually, if you take the time to research the pictures that have been released to the public showing what the images will look like you will find that they are actually low resolution.
      When the images are taken and stored by the AIT machines (both backscatter X-Ray and Millimeter wave technology), the images are high resolution meaning that they will likely be, in a word, graphic.

      Now other people may be accepting of individuals whom are unknown to them on a personal level looking at their naked form on a screen regardless of how ‘bluish’ the image is but I, frankly, am not. It’s a breach of personal privacy and while I dislike the idea of someone patting me down as well, I dislike the idea of my unclothed form being stored in some database (and we all know that databases are completely secure, even government ones *sarcasm*), regardless of who will be looking at it even more.

      I will say though that I fully agree with you regarding the rest of your comment that the health concerns are very important and these machines are a complete and utter waste of time and money.

      If you’re wondering where I’ve acquired some of my information: http://dontscan.us/index.html

  12. The hypocrisy here is hilarious. Most of you in favor of these state laws were opposed to Arizona’s illegal immigration law “because it’s federal jurisdiction”. Well news flash: most of aviation is federal jurisdiction. And if you don’t like “porno scanners” then lay the blame squarely where it belongs: Barack Obama.

    1. Er, no, most of us were opposed to the Arizona law because we thought it was wrong. Civil rights are something to acquire by fair means or foul, by hook or by crook. Using a questionable legislative method to advance liberty and equality only shows that the method is useful in persuing that righteous goal, not universally right and unquestionable.

  13. Remember, my democratic aligned friends, that Obama and all the other democrats are just as in bed with industry and corporations as Bush.

    OK, maybe not quite as much, but they still want to erode our liberties and they certainly are still corrupt as fuck.

  14. The federal government is fucked anyway. States rights are probably the best hope for civil rights and liberties, unless we get another person of the caliber and charisma of Martin Luther King, Jr. who can rally a national effort to geld the federal government.

    Unfortunately, the federal government retains most of the control over the armed forces and state ‘funding’ of many programs, so if push comes to shove, the state governments really can’t oppose the fed in anything the people in the federal government really cares about.

  15. You should be informed that Raul Labrador supports repeal of the 17th amendment.

    Please, DON’T feed Idaho’s politicians.

  16. It’s sick – plain and simple ===

    There’s been little discussion about the
    euphemstically-named full-body “pat downs” taking
    place in US airports as they effect CHILDREN.

    We’ve put up numerous videos now of very young children
    being stripped searched in public, touched against their
    will, and, in any other place and under any other
    circumstances, molested by TSA screeners.

    Parents are counseled to tell their children that
    these “screenings” are a game.

    The US news media’s comment on this?

    Deafening silence.

    Instead they ask us if we aren’t being “too sensitive”
    and tell us there needs to be a “balance between
    security and privacy.”

    Children are being taught that anyone in uniform
    has free access to their bodies…that they can’t
    say “no”…and that their parents are unable to protect

    In turn, parents are being taught that they
    cannot protect their children.

    The only word that comes to my mind to describe
    this enterprise is “criminal.”

    Did not the TSA, Homeland Security, and the White
    House (and the jackals in Congress that fund this
    insanity) anticipate this as an outcome?

    There are two possibilities here: either this is
    official idiocy and arrogance of the highest order
    or this outcome was anticipated and deemed acceptable.

    I don’t know the answer…but I do know that as a
    governmenty agency that works closely with the CIA
    and FBI, Homeland Security and the TSA have access
    to hundreds of psychologists and psychiatrists,
    in their employ, under contract, and available
    at the drop of a dime.

    I am not an expert in child abuse so I asked my
    friend and colleague Kenneth Wooden for his comment.

    Wooden is a former journalist and author of the
    chilling and important book “The Children of Jonestown.”

    His experience covering the Jonestown story and seeing
    the hundreds of children’s coffins that came back from
    Guyana motivated him to create a training company that
    teaches children how to identify and protect themselves
    from predators.

    I asked him what he thinks of the TSA’s policy of
    commanding its employees to strip search and conduct
    full body “pat downs” of small children.

    I specifically asked him his opinion of the TSA
    advising that young children be told that these officially
    sanctioned intrusions of their bodies are a game.

    Wooden’s answer follows…

    === The TSA has crossed the line ===

    As a national child personal safety expert, I submit the TSA
    crosses the line when it allows the patting down of children for
    security reasons, cloaked as a game.

    The most recent Gallup Poll on childhood abuse revealed that in just one
    year, more than a million children were sexually and physically abused.
    Along the same lines, the American Medical Association has referred to the
    rape and sexual exploitation of women and children as a “violent and silent
    epidemic.” Men increasingly reveal how they were sexually assaulted in
    their youth, by a rainbow of sexual predators, usually someone they knew.

    Given that background – and the number of survivors that have been sexually
    abused and exploited – it is beyond comprehension how the Homeland Security
    Agency’s TSA can conceive of such insensitive and invasive security checks
    on our children and youth. Even worse, they want to depict pat downs of
    children as a game! As an investigative researcher/reporter who has
    interviewed well over a thousand sexual offenders, I can document that one
    of the favorite ploys to lure children and youth into sexual abuse is to
    disguise it as a “game.”

    How can experts working at the TSA be so incredibly misinformed and
    misguided to suggest that full body pat downs for children be portrayed as a
    game?!To do so is completely contrary to what we in the sexual abuse
    prevention field have been trying to accomplish for the past thirty years.
    Such policy could essentially desensitize children to inappropriate touch
    and ultimately make it easier for sexual offenders to prey on our children.
    This policy is also incredibly insensitive to the countless victims who have
    already been traumatized by unwanted touching in their lives and could be
    re-traumatized by such pat-downs.

    In my judgment as a lifelong journalist and child advocate, such unapprised
    actions by the TSA borders on criminal negligence and, legally speaking,
    “deliberate indifference to the future emotional well being of millions of
    victims and the potential for far too many more young victims.”

    Ken Wooden

    Child Lures Prevention


    === What you can do ===

    Please – if you think this information is important – share this
    e-mail far and wide.

    As far as I know, this issue is not being discussed
    anywhere else in a public forum in America…not
    in Congress, not in the news media, not in the White
    House, and not in the self-justifying press conferences
    of the TSA.

    The TSA, and the entire US government White House and
    Congress, has crossed the line here.

    Think long and hard before you agree to allowing the
    small children in your care to be subjected to these

    Let the so-called public servants who conceived of and
    imposed this system – and now unashamedly defend it –
    know what you think.

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