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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 Reclaimer77 on 12/31/2009 4:59:14 PM , Rating: -1
You know your absolutely right! It'll work, just like the patriot act and the terrorist lists and wiretaps and extra security measures so far and cameras and profiling since 9/11 which stopped this terrorist from actually blowing up the plane!

Ok you're an idiot. Those things have kept us safer, the problem is Obama is taking any efforts made under Bush to keep us safe and destroying them. He's releasing known terrorists so they can come back and try to kill us again.

I have a great idea. How about we Waterboard every single passenger for 6 straight hours! i mean you can't just ask terrorists if their terrorists, they'll just lie and say no. I'll bet, after 6 hours of torture, we'll catch a whole lot more of those terrorists dang nabbit!

What the hell, are you retarded ? We already DID catch this terrorist ! Obama freed him, stupidly, and he came back with an underwear bomb and almost killed 300 people on that plane !

All you guys fighting over profiling piss me off. You are missing the point. Good men and women did their job, and caught terrorist and locked them up. Our President slandered them, called them torturers and all kinds of things, then spit in their face and released those terrorists onto the world so they could try to kill you and me again. This is just madness ! Now who's getting the scapegoat blame ? Intelligence. Why isn't the blame being laid on the government and President that is hell bent on releasing these maniacs so they can keep trying to kill us ? Where is the accountability ? As an American, I'm completely disgusted by what's going on. If this happened under Bush it would be a media firestorm from hell, with inquiries and Congressional panels and hearings. Instead it looks like most people are completely ignorant that we already CAUGHT this guy and that we KNEW he was a terrorist and we released him anyway for fucking political reasons !

What's it going to take for some of you to wake up and see what's happening here ? These are not so called "isolated incidents"...

By thurston on 1/1/2010 12:04:56 PM , Rating: 1
Rush, Glenn and Bill must be so proud of you.

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer

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