In 2010, the TSA implemented a radically invasive search program that transformed the agency from a mere inconvenience to the most despised agency in the country. Late that year, the nude body scanners and enhanced pat-down procedures were rolled out as primary screening, ensuring that the TSA would either look at or touch every inch of your body. The pat-down involves a TSA screener literally putting their hands in your pants (they call it a “waistband check”), in the name of your safety.
Is all this really necessary? For what purpose does the TSA require a hand on your genitals? Internal TSA documents leaked by a federal court a couple weeks ago provide some insight on the matter (that I’ve been ordered not to discuss, so you’ll have to click the link to find out why!), but my lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of “scope-and-grope” forces the TSA to explain itself in writing. The time has finally come, and their answer?
Sorry, that’s classified!
The TSA filed on Tuesday a motion to submit their brief — the one that explains why they “must” abuse travelers in airports nation-wide — under seal and ex parte because it will contain information administratively classified as “Sensitive Security Information.” “Under seal” means the public doesn’t get to see it, and “ex parte” means that the other side of the case (me) doesn’t even get to see it. (They were nice enough to offer to send me a redacted copy at some point, which I’m sure will resemble a stack of black construction paper.)
The TSA is, essentially, saying to the public: “Trust us, we need to use scanners to conduct a virtual strip search, touch your body anywhere we like, and anything else we deem necessary, but we can’t tell you why because then the terrorists would win.” At this point, does anyone still believe them?
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