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  (Source: Associated Press)
Full-body scanning may be increased after terror attack on U.S. bound flight

With the failed Christmas Day attack fresh on the mind of many Americans, many are calling for increased security in our airports. Security is already increased in the post 9/11 world of air travel, but many Americans still don't feel safe.

Some lawmakers in Congress are calling for increased use of full body scanners that some claim would have detected the non-metallic explosive used by the Nigerian terrorist aboard the Detroit-bound flight on Christmas day. Reuters reports that Dutch authorities have announced that the Schiphol airport in Amsterdam -- where the terrorist boarded the flight bound for America -- will be using full body scanners within three weeks.

In America, President Obama could decree that the deployment of similar scanners in airports around the country be installed. At this point, only 19 airports around the country are using the full-body scanners and the use of the scanners is optional by the traveler. They can opt for pat down instead of using the full-body scanner.

No legislation from Congress is needed for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to deploy full-body scanners into the remainder of the 560 airports around the country that have scheduled airline service. Reuters reports that the terrorist attacks coupled with the call for increased security and additional full-body scanners in our airports is boosting the stock of some companies that build the scanners and related technology.

Whether or not passengers will be forced to go through the full-body scanners remains to be seen. That decision is not up to the TSA. TSA spokesman Greg Soule said, "That [mandatory full-body scanner use] would be a DHS decision. Clearly we would work with DHS, the White House and our congressional partners on security decisions."

Legislation limiting full-body scanning to secondary searches has passed the House of Representatives but has not passed the Senate. The ACLU says that it does not trust the safeguards in place to protect the privacy of passengers subjected to full-body scanning. The ACLU believes that unaltered images showing the shape of a person's body and genitals would still exist.

One ACLU privacy expert said, "If a celebrity goes through a scanner that kind of image could end up on the Internet."

The full body scanners blur the face and genitals of the person in the scanner and only the operator can see the images. The benefit for passengers to using the scanner opposed to a pat down is that the scanner takes 15 to 30 seconds while the pat down takes 3 to 4 minutes.

Chris Calabrese, an attorney with the ACLU, said in May 2009 when talking about using the scanner or a pat down, "A choice between being groped and being stripped, I don't think we should pretend those are the only choices. People shouldn't be humiliated by their government."

There is much research being put into developing better scanners today. Researchers at MIT have developed technology for a new breed of airport scanners that can tell the difference between items in luggage. The new scanner could for instance tell if a pill bottle holds over the counter pain medications or methamphetamines.



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RE: What are people so afraid of?
By Lord 666 on 12/31/2009 11:04:44 AM , Rating: 2
If Bill Clinton was still in office, he would volunteer time watching the "boob tube" and personally doing select pat downs.


RE: What are people so afraid of?
By Souka on 12/31/2009 11:19:02 AM , Rating: 5
I heard a report on the news that children under 18 will not undergo the scan due to child pr0nography laws...so nothings has changed.
Terrorists/crazies/bad people/etc will just use the kids as mules.

*sigh* more of my money spent.


RE: What are people so afraid of?
By Scabies on 12/31/2009 11:45:46 AM , Rating: 3
THAT'S interesting. If there is a clause to protect children against what could be used or misconstrued as Child Pornography or some form of minor-exploitation...
then the claims that the scanner renders people shapeless or with the questionable bits obscured is, indeed, bullshit?

(further, I thought the images were never saved, though I suppose if they were to hold any legal weight as evidence you would have to be able to make copies...? sounds like the 2008 election, one thing said, another thing done, amirite?)


RE: What are people so afraid of?
By Lord 666 on 12/31/2009 11:59:21 AM , Rating: 3
So whats stopping terrorists from using kids as walking bombs with PETN sewed into their Underoos?


RE: What are people so afraid of?
By Nfarce on 12/31/2009 12:04:00 PM , Rating: 2
RE: What are people so afraid of?
By Lord 666 on 12/31/2009 12:11:25 PM , Rating: 2
A PETN suppository would be completely undetectable. Would just need a place to put the catalyst; assuming a juice box to hold the liquid and use the straw to apply into PETN.

Disclaimer: Lord 666 is NOT a terrorist, but being involved in the information security business, sometimes have to think like these dirtbags that hurt innocent people for no reason


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