Invasion of the Body Scanners

And here I thought removing my shoes in front of fellow travelers felt a little too intimate. 

 

Now there’s naked. 

 

As in, please keep your clothes on; we’ll just use this high-tech electromagnetic digital imagery to see through them. 

 

On your next trip through security at Miami International, at the checkpoints where two new body scanning machines are at work, you will not be able to view the images they produce.  The screen and the screener work in a little room a few yards away from the machine so screener and passenger do not see each other.   

 

That separation is a nod to mitigating what feels like a brazen invasion of privacy, by keeping the image anonymous.  More anonymity, less need for modesty.   Reminds me of those hours of topless sunbathing in Mykonos that felt perfectly natural until some guy wearing a Florida Gators t-shirt showed up on the beach.

 

The ACLU has a big problem with the TSA’s new method of virtual strip search.   And I did, too, until I saw how it works.

 

It clearly works well.  Oh, so clearly.

 

The airport worker who gamely agreed to demonstrate?  

 

I saw him naked.  The Full Monty, 3-D and rotating.

 

That’s when I decided against plans to personally demonstrate body scanning for our 6pm newscast, for much the same reasons I decided to put a shirt on in Mykonos.

 

But for security reasons, so what?   

 

So what, if the one agent examining your virtual nakedness cannot see who you are, your face, your identity.  So what, if the agent cannot save, print or disseminate the images.  So what, if appearing as a faceless, nameless, fleeting Eve-sans-fig-leaf assures my plane won’t be blown up by someone who secretly tapes C4 plastique explosive to his/her skin.

 

I find the body scanning less intrusive than cameras in public places, less intrusive than federal agents that can trace my email list or the books I’ve read.    Scan my body, not my thoughts.

 

The process certainly makes more security sense than putting little bottles of liquids into a baggie, having to fight for my 3.4 oz bottle of perfume, or allowing butane lighters on board.

 

I want to have a problem with body scanning.  I really do.

But I really don’t. 

 

Anyway, anyone who objects to going through the machine has the option to decline.   But that may lead to a pat-down. 

 

Exactly.

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9 Responses

  1. As you already know, I’m with you;-)

  2. I am totally against these things, and in my opinion, they have no business doing this. I hope they are warning pregnant women and people with pacemakers.
    Seriously, folks, we should refuse to use these things. If no one will go in one, then they will have to can the whole dumb idea.

  3. The reason we have all of these invasins of privacy today is because people never stand up for themselves. “What’s the big deal? If you have nothing to hide why do you have a problem with it?” That is the road to oppression. Why would you roll over and just give up your rights simply because you are innocent? The constitution protects you BECAUSE you’re innocent. As soon as you are guilty of a crime, that’s then when they can take them away. Until then you should guard them jealously and never give them up even for seemingly trivial things. The constitution is there to protect innocent people from a government that has stepped over the line. Don’t just roll over for them.

  4. Another thing, how many terrorists has the TSA been able to stop at air ports? Zero. And how many planes have blown up since they were formed? Zero.

    Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither and will loose both.

  5. It is great to hear that everyone has an opinion. First of all it is very important for us to first remember the scan is optional. If you decline, you move onto the next security check point. But it seems as though travelers object to a good ole’ fashioned pat down or metal detector or any other request by TSA. As intelligent members of the community, we must do our own research. I am all for new security measures, and I am ready to give the scan a try. It seems that the community is constantly asking for tighter security measures, when new technology is introduced fear and chaos sets in and those who are ill-informed are the first to speak. You can provide an intelligent opinion … but how about you also provide an intelligent solution. Being a member of the community also means being part of a team… and part of the solution..

  6. It has made the nation and those that travel within its bounds so very much safer so modesty needs to take a back seat to making us more secure when we take to the air in our travels; none of us should ever have anything to hide when it comes to national security of this nature and it is high time we all get used to this is the way it’s gonna be from now on. We all need to shed our inhibitions in this newest millenia in the name of national safety.

  7. Nice,I like your commentary.

  8. We are gradually losing our privacy rights. So this is the ‘Land of the Free’? It’s a bad joke, right?

  9. Your blog is interesting!

    Keep up the good work!

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