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Airport Security: Government In Our Pants

Publication Date: 
November 14, 2010
Source: 
Chicago Tribune
Author: 
Steve Chapman

Professor Robert Weisberg is quoted by the Chicago Tribune in the following story on privacy concerns surrounding airport security screenings. Steve Chapman writes:

When it comes to protecting against terrorism, this is how things usually go: A danger presents itself; the federal government responds with new rules that erode privacy, treat innocent people as suspicious and blur the distinction between life in a free society and life in a correctional facility; and we all tamely accept the new intrusions, like sheep being shorn.

Maybe not this time.

The war on terrorism is going to get personal. Very personal. Americans have long resented the hassles that go with air travel ever since 9/11 — long security lines, limits on liquids, forced removal of footwear and so on. But if the Transportation Security Administration has its way, we will look back to 2009 as the good old days.

...

The new policy is being challenged in court by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, which says it violates the Fourth Amendment's ban on unreasonable searches. But don't expect judges to save us. Says Stanford University law professor Robert Weisberg, with resignation in his voice, "Airports are pretty much a Fourth Amendment-free zone."