Thursday, June 2, 2011

Skeptical about scanners

An writer has a skeptical take on airport security:
Summer travel approacheth, and this question will arise if you haven't traveled before or lately: will you walk through a full body imaging scanner at the airport? Personally, if I wanted TSA agents to check out my birthday suit, I'd invite 'em to the hot springs. Since I don't have the urge to do that, I don't walk through the backscatter Xray machines, but opt for the patdown which is sometimes just that -- a pat here and there -- and sometimes a more intimate squeezing than one might expect on, say, a date.
The backscatter (a term which applies to the radiation method used) machines -- also called body imaging -- transmits photos of more than a body's outline to a TSA agent in a remote (50-100 feet away) area. If one chooses the walk of shame through the backscatter scanner, know that the TSA agent viewing the images has complete authority to save them and print them (though the TSA swears that will only happen if one poses a threat to national security). On the other hand, some folks think the backscatter machines keep them safe (evidence shows otherwise, but...). So, what will you do?