Airport security privatization proposed

November 19, 2010 10:03:47 AM PST
One lawmaker has proposed a change amid growing opposition to more intrusive screening at the airport just before one of the busiest travel days of the year.

Just days away from the Thanksgiving travel rush, there is a full-on attack against the Transportation Security Administration because critics say the full-body scanners show screeners too much. While the pat downs can be worse for some, now there is a push for privatization.

"The complete randomness is a problem because people who don't fit any reasonable profile of a terrorist feel, you know, very much insulted that they're being the ones asked to step out of line and do this," said Thomas Mockaitis, DePaul University.

Before the full-body scanners arrived earlier this year in airports, there was considerable debate about privacy. It has risen to anger when a passenger refuses to go through and subjected to a more intrusive pat down. Some pilots, parents of little children and other passengers say they find the pat downs not only very intrusive but also without any apparent logic.

"Do I understand the sensitivity of people? Yes. If you are asking, am I going to change the policies? No," said TSA administrator John Pistole.

The TSA modified some policies, exempting children under 12 from the enhanced pat downs. Republican Congressman John Mica of Florida wants airports to hire private security contractors.

"Shoe bombers, we had to take off your our shoes, and now we are being groped because of the diaper bomber. What is next? The proctologist? The gynecologist?" said Mica.

Mica said he has received tens of thousands of dollars from companies who would benefit from privatization. There is also a national opt-out day planned, an online push to get people to refuse the pat downs and refuse the body scanners.


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