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The TSA’s 2.5 year delayed notice and comment rulemaking, allowing them to use nude body scanners as primary screening in U.S. airports, came to a close yesterday after 3 months of accepting public feedback.

At the time of writing, the TSA has admitted to receiving 4,321 comments, a number sure to increase as they continue to post them (for example, mine hasn’t yet reached the public site). They are overwhelmingly in opposition to the proposed rule. I went through the last 100 posted, and of them:

  • 97% were in opposition
  • 2% were in favor
  • 1% did not appear to take a position

At least 20 people mentioned me by name (all in opposition, of course), a handful of others mentioned my blog or my video, and at least one likely TSA Out of Our Pants reader took my suggestion and simply told the TSA that they suck. (Thanks Kristina out in L.A.!)

What happens now? The TSA has to review and respond to the comments, and then can decide whether or not to adopt the proposed rule. They unfortunately have great leeway in their decision (for example, the USPS once adopted a rule after receiving 10 comments in favor and 8,097 in opposition). The good news is that they have to consider every comment and respond to every reason that people have given them to get rid of the nude body scanners, or else face lawsuits (for example, by me :)).

Thank you to all who took the time to get involved. You’ve ended the TSA’s gloating that poorly-worded and implemented opinion polls show that Americans don’t really mind the scanners. Your comments make a difference and allow us another avenue to fight!

My Comment – Comment of Jonathan Corbett (.pdf)