Communion Of Dreams


TSA news of the day.
March 5, 2011, 11:40 am
Filed under: BoingBoing, Civil Rights, Constitution, Cory Doctorow, Failure, Government, Privacy, Travel

Two items to share about the agency everyone loves to hate.

First, a state legislator has come up with a great idea down in Texas:

Texas Legislation Proposes Felony Charges for TSA Agents

Rep. David Simpson (R-Longview) introduced a package of bills into the Texas House of Representatives on Tuesday that would challenge the TSA’s authority in a number of ways. The first bill, HB 1938, prohibits full body scanning equipment in any Texas airport and provides for criminal and civil penalties on any airport operator who installs the equipment. The second bill, HB 1937, criminalizes touching without consent and searches without probable cause.

In theory, Texas may be able to do this, under the 10th amendment of the Constitution. In practice, I bet the federal government would threaten to pull all funding support for airports and other transportation options, as well as challenge the law in the federal courts under the Commerce Clause, and the Texas legislature would cry "uncle" in short order. Shame, really, because it would be nice to reclaim our privacy rights and stop the groping.

But not only will we not be allowed to reclaim those privacy rights, the TSA wants us to pay even more for the privilege:

TSA Wants To Increase Airport Fees Because You’re Not Checking Your Bags

To avoid bag check fees, travelers are routinely opting to carry on their bags, but the TSA says that the cost is just getting shifted to tax payers, to the tune of $260 million a year. That’s because the more bags that don’t get checked, the more bags the TSA has to inspect by hand at security checkpoints. Now the TSA is looking to get a cut of some of the checked baggage fees the airlines collect.

* * *

The TSA has also been pushing for an increase in the airport security fee travelers currently pay. Currently passengers pay up to a $5 fee each for a one-way ticket.

Five bucks? That seems low to me – don’t sex workers usually charge more for such hands-on activity? No wonder the TSA wants to increase the charge.

Jim Downey

Via Cory @ BB. Cross posted to dKos.

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