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Airport travelers can be reassured, a new bill will make it more likely that the federal employee leering at their naked body won't share that image with his friends.  (Source: Corbis)

The federal government is spending billions in taxpayer money on the scanners, but they've been shown to be no more accurate than metal detectors at detecting dangerous materials like explosives.  (Source: Zimbio)
New law may placate some people's concerns about scanners, but does it go far enough

Every day thousands of Americans are leered at “in the buff” by U.S. Transportation Safety Administration employees.  This uncomfortable -- to some -- situation is justified in the name of national security.  Unfortunately, independent testing has shown the scanners to have trouble detecting some of the most dangerous types of materials -- low-density chemical products like explosives or plastic guns.

In a measure to placate a disgruntled public, the Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate has moved to make it illegal to share images taken in the scans.  Under the pending provision in the Security Screening Confidential Data Privacy Act, sharing such an image could land you in jail for a year or net you a $100,000 USD fine.

Supposedly the scanners don't have the capability to save or transfer pictures.  Recent documents from cases involving the U.S. Federal Marshals reveal, though, that the scanners not only have these capabilities, but they are regularly used.

The bill is sponsored by Senators Charles Schumer (NY-D) [profile] and Ben Nelson (Nebr.-D) [profile] and co-sponsored by Senators Daniel Akaka (Haw.-D) [profile], Sheldon Whitehouse (Conn.-D) [profile], Jeanne Shaheen (NH-D) [profile], Jon Tester (Mont.-D) [profile], and Robert Menendez (NJ-D) [profile].  None of the Senate's 49 Republicans and neither of its 2 Independents sponsored the bill.

The new guidelines for the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration are expected to pass through Congress relatively smoothly.  However, Democratic U.S. President Barack Obama, like the Republican President George W. Bush before him, will likely continue to push to expand the deployment and funding for the invasive body scans.

At the end of the day the question was, and still is -- how far is the U.S. prepared to go in the name of security?  With suicide bombers in places like Saudi Arabia trying increasingly unorthodox like inserting bombs in their rectal cavities [1] [2], one has to wonder exactly how intimately the federal government is willing to intimately poke, prod, and image its citizens in the name of the "War on Terror" -- and how much taxpayer money the government is willing to spend to do so.



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By callmeroy on 2/11/2011 9:29:27 AM , Rating: 1
This is one of those issues I just don't get. That is people nervous / upset/ whatever about the thought of folks laughing or doing whatever from the other side of the screen when you are getting a full body scan.

I think this is largely a self-esteem / paranoid type thing than anything else.

1 - The folks looking at the screens aren't physically in front of you or in plain sight of the public at all, so its not like you look up and see people at monitors laughing and point as they smile your way.

2 - Unless you are going to share my pics with the world and take out full page ads in newspapers or billboards....why am I going to get upset over a stranger, I don't know about, laughing or gawking at my pseudo naked image on a monitor screen. Sorry I'm just not that insecure and I have more things on my mind to worry about in any given day.

Now if you do the former -- share my image with everyone, make it public....then of course I have a problem -- but then I get to sue you. Humilation and embarrassment would suck I'm not gonna lie -- but you as the offending person would be in jail and I'd own what you once did...even if its not a lot -- to know you don't have anything at all...would make me smile a bit.

3 - If you really want to see my hairy 30 pounds over weight arse.....then you have more problems than just being a pervert collecting and sharing strangers "naked" scanned images.




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