Airport scanners see through clothes


tsa-airport.jpgThe Transportation Security Administration on Friday have announced that it will begin a run of pilot tests of millimeter wave scanning technology at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). These millimeter wave scanners enable TSA personnel to see concealed weapons and other items that may be hidden beneath clothes, a thought that will come across as uncomfortable to some folk. The first pilot test began in October at Phoenix Sky-Harbor International Airport last year, and TSA Administrator Kip Hawley has given reassurances that the agency’s main goal is to protect passenger privacy without storing any potentially revealing body scans. It’s their word that ordinary folk like you and I have to trust, so I guess it is time to hit the treadmill unless TSA employees want to throw up their lunch after seeing my six pack rolled into one.

Barry Steinhardt, director of the ACLU’s technology and liberty program, has issued a warning that the “strikingly graphic images of passengers’ bodies” were an assault on personal dignity and expressed doubt about TSA’s ability to safeguard the images – a very real fear that most people have. After all, banks themselves as well as credit card companies haven’t exactly done a stellar job when it comes to protecting their clients’ information to date with occasional news of leaks. TSA’s counter argument claims that 90% of passengers subject to secondary screening prefer to opt for a millimeter wave scan over a pat down. The agency further went on that these scans will be viewed by officers remotely, so that they won’t be able to recognize the passengers and yet have the ability to trigger an alarm as and when required.

Time to shape up, eh? I still think that leaks will happen as we’re all human, but if its for the greater good of mankind against the looming threat of global terrorism, I think going stark naked before a flight through such a machine isn’t such a big deal, right? Correct me if I am wrong.

Source: Information Week

5 reviews or comments

Sérgio Lima Says: April 21, 2008 at 7:48 am

Every country that chooses to loses a little freedom to gain security deserves neither.

Bill Says: April 22, 2008 at 7:00 am

THis seems like a great tool for airport security personnel! Lets make it mandatory for all passengers to go through!


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