March 25, 2010
Dear President Obama,
We represent a wide range of air travel, educational, civil liberties, human rights, religious and taxpayer rights organizations from across the country.
We are writing to ask you to suspend the further deployment of body scanners in US airports.
In addition to the privacy and health concerns that have been raised, we are becoming increasingly aware of growing doubts about the effectiveness and safety of the devices as well as the very real offense to deeply held religious views. Many religious leaders have spoken recently in opposition to body scanners. We join them in urging you to suspend this program.
We further believe that the full body scanners are contributing to a negative perception of the United States and reducing the number of foreign visitors who will travel to the US.
If the program is suspended, there is the very real possibility of saving taxpayers over $400 million this year and much more in the years ahead.
We support a proposal to undertake a comprehensive study to evaluate the effectiveness, health risks, and privacy impacts of the devices. We also ask you to consider the importance of sincerely held religious opposition to the digital undressing of air travelers by TSA officials, as well as the economic impact on the US tourism industry.
American Civil Liberties Union
Bill of Rights Defense Committee
Center for Financial Privacy and Human Rights
Council on American–‐Islamic Relations
Consumer Federation of America
Consumer Travel Alliance
Doctor–‐Patient Medical Association
Electronic Privacy Information Center
Government Accountability Project
Muslim Legal Fund of America
National Center for Transgender Equality
National Workrights Institute
Privacy Rights Clearinghouse
The Multiracial Activist
U.S. Bill of Rights Foundation
World Privacy Forum
Individual Privacy, Law, and Civil Liberties Experts
Bob Barr, Former Congressman
David Flaherty, Former Privacy Commissioner, British Columbia
Chip Pitts, President, Bill of Rights Defense Committee
Ralph Nader, Consumer Advocate
Peter Neumann, Principal Scientist SRI International
Edward G. Viltz, President, Internet Collaboration Coalition