In 2010, the TSA implemented the nude body scanners as primary screening without publishing a formal rule, as agencies are required to do in such circumstances. Thanks to the Electronic Privacy Information Center‘s lawsuit, they were ordered to do so in 2011, and started that process by soliciting public comment in 2013.
As I wrote about in January, over 5,500 people responded, and of those who took a position, 94.0% opposed the rule (with many opposing the existence of the TSA entirely). If you were a part of that 94.0%, or agree with them, the TSA has a message for you:
At the end of last week, the TSA issued a 157 page document detailing why it is going to scan you anyway (.pdf). The document devotes approximately 17 pages to the background of the issue and the actual rule itself, less than 1 page addressing the supporters of the body scanners, and the remaining 138 pages going through the opposition to the rule and explaining that it knows better than everyone else, whether they be pilots, aviation security experts, civil rights groups, or just people explaining their own personal feelings.
The notice-and-comment rulemaking that the Administrative Procedures Act required the TSA to perform was intended to make the government responsive to the people. Do you think that the TSA is demonstrating what a responsive government looks like? The TSA is hoping that it doesn’t matter what you think. But we continue the fight, because eventually agencies that overstep their bounds are humbled by our representatives or the courts. It takes a lot of pressure to build before that happens, but as the TSA continues full-steam ahead, the pressure rises.