The protest on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving was called National Opt-Out Day, and its organizers urged air travelers to refuse the Transportation Security Administration’s full-body scanning machines.
But many appeared to have opted out of opting out. The TSA reported that few of the 2 million people flying Wednesday chose pat-downs over the scanners, with few resulting delays.
There have been high-profile acts of civil disobedience in response to the two controversial procedures recently deployed by the TSA for primary screening – the body-scanning machines and the intrusive full-body pat-downs – including software programmer John Tyner’s unforgettable warning to a TSA official: “If you touch my junk, I’ll have you arrested.” But the public seems less opposed to the scanners than civil libertarians had hoped. In a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll, only 32 percent of respondents said they objected to the full-body scans, although 50 percent were opposed to the pat-downs offered as an alternative.
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