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    Opinion at Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Power to strip search passengers claimed by Feds

    At his blog for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Bob Barr has written about privacy and searches of travelers. Barr is a former congressman and presidential candidate (for the Libertarian Party), and currently heads consulting firm Liberty Strategies.

    In a breathtaking statement delivered in an official court proceeding, the federal Department of Homeland Security (DHS) claims authority to strip search every airline passenger; and to begin such a practice without even soliciting comment from the public.

    This outrageous statement recently was delivered to the American people by a DHS lawyer in arguments before the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which is considering a challenge to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) nude body scanner devices. [...]

    Currently TSA, which is a component of DHS, claims authority to subject passengers to either an intrusive hand searches or to x-ray scans that reveal a nude image of the passengers’ bodies. Many, including this author and [the Electronic Privacy Information Center], consider such searches unconstitutional as violative of the the Fourth Amendment to our Constitution, which prohibits “unreasonable” searches, because they are being conducted without any suspicion at all that such passengers are attempting to bring weapons or explosives on board commercial aircraft.

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