Mar 192011
 March 19, 2011  Posted by  Court, Featured News, U.S.

Jeremy Polofsky reports that pilots Michael Roberts and Ann Poe have amended their lawsuit against DHS and TSA over the whole body imaging (WBI) and enhanced pat-down techniques:

Two U.S. commercial airline pilots complained in a lawsuit on Friday that new screening procedures for flight crews — scaled back after complaints by pilots — were still too invasive and violated privacy rights.

Read more on Reuters. I’ve obtained the amended complaint, filed March 17th, in Roberts v. Napolitano, and uploaded it here (pdf, 19 pp.) From the complaint:

In the last year, Defendants have implemented a sea change in airport screening measures. They have abrogated effective and privacy-protecting measures such as walk-through metal detectors, metal-detecting wands, and back-of-the-hand pat-downs, and put in their place virtual strip searches and crude full-body pat-downs. Today, the modern air traveler in the United States is forced to choose between the lesser of two evils, neither of which should be constitutionally protected. Even pilots, TSA’s “trusted partners,” are not immune from this regime, as they may be subjected to random screenings at the will of the TSA, who also may amend its policies at any moment. What is worse is that pilots such as Ann Poe, who suffer from medical conditions, are effectively forced to undergo enhanced pat-downs each and every single time they fly.


These screening methods require that, in order to fly, a passenger must either allow an unknown government agent to view them nude, or alternatively, allow an unknown government agent to perform an intimate and heavy-handed pat-down of one’s most sensitive and private areas. Likewise, pilots too must undergo these screening procedures on certain occasions (as is the case with random screenings) or all of the time (as is the case for pilots with medical implants). Regardless of which of the two screening methods are applied, and regardless of whether they are applied to individuals in pilot or passenger capacities, individuals’ privacy rights, civil liberties, and freedoms are compromised by such intrusive and overreaching searches and seizures.

Given the profane, degrading, intrusive, and indecent nature of these searches, they are patently unreasonable and violative of the Fourth Amendment.

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