'Don't touch my junk' passenger revolts against TSA airport searches
A man who refused a body scan and search at a San Diego airport has become an Internet sensation in the debate weighing fliers' security versus their privacy.
John Tyner posted a recording of his encounter after being told he couldn't board a flight for refusing a full-body scan that reveals what's under his clothes.
He also wouldn't allow a security worker to conduct a groin check.
Tyner states: “If you touch my junk I'm gonna have you arrested.”
He was thrown out of the airport Saturday after being threatened with a fine and lawsuit.
His confrontation spawned online sales of T-shirts, bumper stickers, hats and even underwear emblazoned with the words, "Don't Touch My Junk!"
But he does not advocate travelers following his lead, saying he appreciates that most people cannot afford to put expensive trips at risk.
"But people ought to do what their consciences say they should do," he said. "If civil disobedience is a way they think would work, I think they should do it."
Tyner's one-man protest has inspired other efforts, including an online campaign urging air travelers to refuse body scans in a "National Opt-Out Day" the day before Thanksgiving, one of the year's busiest travel days.
Brian Sodergren, 33, of Ashburn, Va., said he put up the site a week ago. Interest spiked after Tyner's video went viral.
"This issue has picked up steam more than I ever would have imagined," said Sodergren, who works in the health care industry. "The outpouring has been huge."
Sodergren stops short of urging people to refuse both the scanner and pat-down.
"The proper reaction isn't walking away and subjecting yourself to penalties," he said Tuesday. "The proper response is to write to your lawmakers and get the law changed."