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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: No Way
By ClownPuncher on 12/31/2009 3:49:37 PM , Rating: 2
Should we make them sew a star of david into their jackets so we can recognize them, since Islam is not a race, but a faith? Or maybe we decide that it isn't the faith, but rather the ultraconservative radicals who are clearly chemically imbalanced.

RE: No Way
By BikeDude on 1/1/2010 6:29:21 AM , Rating: 2

Christianity and Islam are the two most violent religions out there. I hail from Scandinavia, and like England our state churches are of the Lutheran kind. Martin Luther wrote at least one book about the importance of burning Jewish synagoges. But to "our" defense, very few Lutherans realize this.

The Koran has its roots in the old testament. The muslims accepts Jesus as on of the most important prophets. The differences between Christianity and Islam are not many.

The difference however is that the Koran is quite explicit when it comes to the Jews. "Allah stamped wretchedness upon the Jews because they killed the prophets and disbelieved Allah's revelations. 2:61" (from -- you'll find plenty more).

The muslims are tought to believe that God wrote the Koran. The Koran is God's final word. To speak against the Koran is heresy. The muslims put down a council of learned men (not women of course, we all know that women are no good) to interpret the words of God. Long story short: The muslims KNOW they are right. They also know all of God's intentions and commands by heart. They base all their knowledge and science around the thesis preached by these men more than one thousand years ago. Basically time has stood still for these guys.

There are Christians that behave in similar manner too. Christians who are basically stuck in the bronze age. We all know about those cooks who think dinosaurs walked among men... These guys have mastered the usage of the 24 hour clock, but have problems interacting with a calendar.

If we look at a typical muslim society, even one as westernised as Turkey (a Nato member!), it soon becomes apparent that their level of educaton leaves a lot to be desired. 70%+ of the people do not understand that man shares a common ancestry with apes. (Granted, a great many in the US shares similar views, but many terrorists also tend to hail from the US... No abortion clinic should feel safe over there)

We need to educate these people, but in my country, they seem to stick to their old belief systems and rarely break out of their fantasy world. I've seen med school students who defend "the women's right to wear hijab" all the while refusing to realize that many of these women are beaten by their brothers and dads if they refuse to wear the hijab. It then becomes a great challenge to a somewhat democratic society to protect the rights of the many against the delusions of the few. You'd think that the muslims seeking higher education would realize a few things about religion, but apparently not so. To complete this picture, it must be said that they (in my city) have Koran-schools where children gets administered corporal punishment if they fail to memorize the bloody thing (I'm referring to the Koran).

I am a liberal at heart.


The more I learn about Islam, the more I interact with muslims, the stronger my fears grow. I do not approve of body scans. I do not approve of denying people to bring water onboard airplanes (I've been dehydrated more times than I care to count).

I am tempted to propose that every passenger is subjected to a quiz about evolution. Only those who understand this topic should be allowed to board. Problem solved.

"It seems as though my state-funded math degree has failed me. Let the lashings commence." -- DailyTech Editor-in-Chief Kristopher Kubicki

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