Hundreds more official complaints uncovered

Steve Watson
October 26, 2011


Americans continue to direct concern, anger and derision toward the TSA over the agency’s aggressive presence in the nations airports, newly released records have shown.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) has obtained 241 pages of passenger complaints filed with the TSA by everyday Americans, dating back to early 2010.

EPIC uncovered the documents via a Freedom of Information Act request as part of its ongoing lawsuit concerning the use of the radiation firing body scanners by the TSA.

“The documents reveal that travelers are angry and frustrated about TSA screening procedures.” EPIC states on its website.

“Travelers expressed concern about radiation risks to children, the elderly, and those with special needs.” the statement continues.

“Other travelers wrote the fact that the machines could capture naked images as unacceptable. One traveler said, “using [the full body scanners] is an extreme invasion of privacy.”

Previously, in March 2010, EPIC revealed that there had been more than 600 formal complaints about body scanners the previous year alone.

The documents revealed anger at TSA officials for refusing to offer passengers a pat-down alternative, as well as forcing children to go through machines.

The TSA attempted to downplay the issue as insignificant, claiming that over 600 complaints about body scanners, which were at the time installed in just 21 airports in the U.S., was an “infinitesimally small” number.

The agency, aided by the establishment media, suggested that the scanners were being meekly accepted by a compliant public, when the exact opposite was the case.

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Later in the year, in November 2010, the issue blew up again and the ACLU revealed that it received a monumental wave of complaints, regarding everything from gawking by TSA agents to full on groping.

The TSA continued to claim that the overall public concern over scanners and pat-downs was minimal, even suggesting that a planned nationwide “opt out” protest had been a dismal failure.

However, it soon emerged that in reality the TSA had turned off many of its naked body scanners across the country, and scaled back the invasive searches for one day in a hastily crafted PR stunt to mute the impact of the protest.

In December of last year it also emerged that TSA workers were even complaining about the agency’s procedures. Concern among workers was particularly focused on the levels of radiation they were being subjected to in having to operate the body scanners.

Further documents published by EPIC in June of this year, revealed how TSA workers became concerned over a “cancer cluster” amongst screening agents at Boston Logan International Airport, and how the federal agency tried to cover-up the complaints.

As we have tirelessly reported, the machines continue to emit radiation that respected health authorities have warned will cause cancer. Despite agency claims to the contrary, the millimeter wave machines “tear apart DNA” to produce their image, while the backscatter devices fire ionizing radiation into the body.

Numerous highly respected universities and health bodies, including Johns HopkinsColumbia University, the University of California, and the Inter-Agency Committee on Radiation Safety, have all warned that the health threat posed by the scanners has not been properly studied and could lead to increased cancer rates.


Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’, and He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham in England.

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