Airport Body Scanners: Too Far In The Name Of “Security”?

Image from Google

As many of you have either seen on the news or had to deal with recently, more and more airports are getting these full-body scanners, as seen at right.  The problem with them is that they produce a near-naked image of you, seen below.   There have been whisperings of these scanners coming for a couple of years now, but nothing propelled them so quickly into every major airport we have as that moron who tried light his panties on fire last Christmas on a flight into Detroit.  From what the blogosphere has been seeing, you do, in fact, have the option to refuse to go through the scanner, and you’ll be subjected to a pat-down in lieu of it–but not just any pat-down.  Ooooh no, I watched right there on the news this morning as some girl who must’ve been no older than 17 or 18 years old got a “pat-down” from a TSA employee that would have landed me in suspension if I’d have pulled that in high school.  The “pat down” is looking more and more like getting “felt up.”

Image From Google

The reason these machines have drawn outrage is simple:  We humans are known to have common sense.  They tell us that, “Nooo, we would never save these images on a database,” and of course (quite rightly, IMHO) nobody believes them.  The part that makes me shudder is to think about how helpful it would be to them if they did and could refer back to them for analysis, after an incident.  Throw in a mandatory date/time stamp and name on each image, and you’ve got a fantastic tool to go through and look at whether or not Christmas Day Idiot’s explosives would have even shown up on the scan.

They have also told us, as the saying goes, to “IGNORE THE MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN.”  This is in reference to the person who got picked that day to look at the (more or less) naked bodies of the American Public.  This person reviews these images in a separate room, which I would imagine is designed to give us the sense of a professional, sterile atmosphere.  My problem with that is that it isn’t lost on me that people with foot fetishes might work in pedicure shops.

And think how bad it would be if you worked at the airport, like I do?  Lawsuits are  in play now because of the legality of it, and I am hopeful that the we can find a better, less invasive way to lull the public into the delusional state of warm-fuzzy security comfort that we crave.

Also, it begs the question: Just exactly why are these machines being forced on us?  Click this link to follow the dollar. Who’s surprised?

A quote I read recently is apt here:  “Any person who would forfeit even a small bit of liberty in the name of security deserves neither, and will lose both.” (Anon)

In the meantime, have you had to deal with these things yet?  What has your experience been with them?  Which airports do you know for sure have them around the country?  Let’s be aware, not paranoid!

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