Pilot Sues TSA For Overly Intrusive Searches

from the and-here-we-go dept

Before the don’t touch my junk guy, there was Michael Roberts, the pilot who, back in October, refused both the naked backscatter scan and the intrusive groping pat-down, was not allowed to fly his plane, and was put on leave by his company (ExpressJet). He’s now suing the TSA over the search process:

“People are messed up because they touch your crotch,” pilot Michael Roberts said. “They touch your bottom, your breasts, I mean, everything.

That said, I haven’t seen the actual legal filing, so I’m not sure if he has much of an actual case here. It will be interesting to follow either way.

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Companies: tsa

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Comments on “Pilot Sues TSA For Overly Intrusive Searches”

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Jake says:

You know, I’m starting to wonder if the TSA aren’t forging ahead on this to make some kind of point about the balance between public safety and personal liberty -not to mention dignity- that they have to strike. With luck, this will be the point that a sense of proportion about the threat of terrorism is reestablished.

And I hope, incidentally, that this doesn’t result in completely scrapping the backscatter scanners. As a safer and less personally intrusive alternative to strip-searching someone detained with probable cause they’re not really objectionable.

Eugene (profile) says:

Re: Re:

While I have serious doubts that the TSA is smart enough or competent enough to play the high level game you’re suggesting, I agree about not completely removing the backscatters. If someone is targeted as a suspicious person and moved off to a separate room for interrogation, having them step into one of these scanners would be a preferable solution for all parties.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Yes, the key point is probable cause. Just because you want to fly a plane does not mean you need be scanned or felt up. If they have cause I can understand. I can also understand if the airport asks that you consent to your belongings being scanned and you going through a metal detector before boarding the plane. What I find crazy is the notion that the government thinks it can force you to consent to a search without cause and then fine you for it.

DogBreath says:

TSA now exempts pilots from screening

Looks like they’re trying to diffuse this lawsuit before it gains any traction:

TSA decides to exempt pilots from intrusive security scans

The agency said it would treat uniformed pilots traveling on business for U.S. carriers as ?trusted partners? and give them expedited screening at security checkpoints.

The action, coming before a busy Thanksgiving travel push, appeared to defuse pilot groups? complaints about the agency?s invasive new screening procedures.

It came after lawyers for Memphis pilot Michael S. Roberts sued TSA and Homeland Security this week on grounds the screening violates Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure. It wasn?t clear how the change would affect the lawsuit brought on behalf of Roberts and Continental Airlines pilot Ann Poe.

Roberts called it ?purely a political concession. By backing off crew members, they can continue to abuse the rest of the public.?

He was considering whether to return to work, but added, ?I won?t stop fighting this fight.?

out_of_the_blue says:

A "privileged" class being established...

Put that together with Congresscritters being exempt, besides that The Rich fly on private planes, and it’s a big step to a stratified “Brave New World”. Note too that it’s *only* privileges; your inherent right to travel in the ordinary conveyance of the day is being done away with. It’s a de facto no-fly list (yes, I’m repeating; you’re going to live with this tyranny, and much worse, for the rest of your life unless you join the revolt); and you’re hampered in even leaving the country.

By the way, haven’t seen it said here that the obvious next step is to make these scanners mandatory for *every* passenger not just those selected. And they want them at shopping malls too. Chertoff, former head of DHS, made purchases while in office, then went to work for the company. At over a $1M each, there’s billions to be made on a few thousand machines, and you know capitalists love profits WAY more than they value your freedom.

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