TSA Kicks Out Passenger for Refusing to Submit to Naked Body Scanner

A 31-year-old software programmer was kicked out of the San Diego Int'l airport after refusing to go through a full-body scanner. John Tyner, who recorded the encounter with airport security on his cell phone, was also threatened with a $10,000 fine and a civil suit. Sign on San Diego has the story:

He'd been reading about the scanners and didn't like them for a number of reasons, ranging from health concerns to "a huge invasion of privacy." He'd even checked the TSA website which indicated that San Diego did not have the machines, he said in a phone interview Saturday night.

"I was surprised to see them," said Tyner.

...

During the next half-hour, his cell phone recorded Tyner refusing to submit to a full body scan, opting for the traditional metal scanner and a basic "pat down" -- and then refusing to submit to a "groin check" by a TSA security guard.

He even told the guard, "You touch my junk and I'm going to have you arrested."

That threat triggered a code red of sorts as TSA agents, supervisors and eventually the local police gravitated to the spot where the reluctant traveler stood in his stocking feet, his cell phone sitting in the nearby bin (which he wasn't allowed to touch) picking up the audio.

On a related note, scientists Friday warned that full-body X-ray scanners may pose significant health dangers. The AFP reports:

"They say the risk is minimal, but statistically someone is going to get skin cancer from these X-rays," Dr Michael Love, who runs an X-ray lab at the department of biophysics and biophysical chemistry at Johns Hopkins University school of medicine, told AFP.

"No exposure to X-ray is considered beneficial. We know X-rays are hazardous but we have a situation at the airports where people are so eager to fly that they will risk their lives in this manner," he said.

AlterNet / By Tana Ganeva

Posted at November 14, 2010, 9:50am

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