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.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 19th, 2010 @ 3:40pm

    I won't fly because of these scans and searches. If you ask me, they are using these means to just get nude photos or to feel you up, or both.

     

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  2.  
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    Jake, Nov 19th, 2010 @ 3:44pm

    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.

     

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  3.  
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    corvettekenny, Nov 19th, 2010 @ 3:45pm

    I as well won't fly until they are forced to back down. Business or pleasure. Good on this pilot for standing against the TSA's ridiculous regulations.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 19th, 2010 @ 3:46pm

    This latest stuff with TSA is so sad. The terrorists won a long time go, we've been losing ever since. Between airport security and the way airlines treat people there really is no reason to fly anymore.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 19th, 2010 @ 3:47pm

    I think TSA is just doing it to test the waters. See how far they can rape the people before they say no more. Think about it as trial and error.

     

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  6.  
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    DogBreath, Nov 19th, 2010 @ 4:00pm

    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.”

     

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  7.  
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    DogBreath, Nov 19th, 2010 @ 4:06pm

    Re: TSA now exempts pilots from screening

    When I say "exempts pilots from screening" I mean skip the security scanning and pat-downs that regular passengers face.

     

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  8.  
    icon
    Eugene (profile), Nov 19th, 2010 @ 4:24pm

    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.

     

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  9.  
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    Simon, Nov 19th, 2010 @ 4:35pm

    Ummmm?

    Wasn't there a big push to GIVE PILOTS GUNS after 9/11?

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 19th, 2010 @ 6:17pm

    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.

     

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  11.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Nov 19th, 2010 @ 6:29pm

    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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  12.  
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    Jake, Nov 19th, 2010 @ 7:21pm

    Re: Re:

    Wasn't suggesting a 'high level game' as such, more like a fit of pique on the part of the TSA's senior management when confronted with the mass panic touched off by some mook with more balls than brains filling his underpants with gunpowder, applying a lit match and leaving himself with neither.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 19th, 2010 @ 7:29pm

    Re:

    Nah. It's the airlines - people are so distracted by the TSA crap that poor service is a delight in comparison.

     

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  14.  
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    abc gum, Nov 19th, 2010 @ 8:30pm

    TSA = Those Stupid Assholes

    If you do not go thru security, you do not fly ... umm - ok what if no one flies?

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2010 @ 5:07am

    Make the pilots go through the get-naked scans/groping because... well, it's not like they are in control of a massive petrol bomb they can project against anything, really...

     

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  16.  
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    abc gum, Nov 20th, 2010 @ 7:22am

    Re: A "privileged" class being established...

    "And they want them at shopping malls too."

    That would be a mistake.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2010 @ 7:32am

    No fly. The terrorists win. I am staying home.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    FIRE ALL TSA, Aug 4th, 2012 @ 3:22pm

    TSA=Waste of money

    TSA NEEDS TO BE SCRAPPED, IT JUST CREATED JOBS..WHAT A WORTHLESS AGENCY. PEOPLE SHOULD CONTACAT THIER REPRESENTATIVES AND VOICE THERE CONCERNS.TSA DOES VIOLATE THE FOURTH AMENDMENT, ALL DAY

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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