Full Body Scan to Uncover More of You

You already have to take off your shoes, belt and jacket. But wait, there’s more. From now on, you’ll be asked to spread those legs, raise those arms and practically get ready for a full-body pat down.

Airport security has come to this: A full body scan.

Federal authorities must do something to close the security gaps that became public knowledge after the Christmas Day terrorist attack on board a Northwest airliner failed. Someone failed to effectively do their job in screening this alleged terrorist, the net result seems to be multiplying the number of imaging machines at the nation’s biggest airports. That means, everything you would hope to keep private will now be revealed.

TSA currently has 40 units in use at 19 airports, including Reagan National and Baltimore-Washington International. Recently, TSA ordered 150 more to be installed early this year, and have secured funding for an additional 300.

So, say you’re flying somewhere in the United States and are selected for a full-body scan. You can decline, but what you will get instead is a full-body pat down. You know, the same kind a suspected burglar or criminal gets when they’re taken to county jail.

The idea of a pat-down search is as revolting as a virtual strip search.

How much compliance is too much? The government has gone too far. The full-body scanners may, or may not, catch any criminals but one thing for certain, it does subject the rest of the flying public to an invasion of personal privacy.

It’s intrusive, but you’d better get used to it.

I’m all for security, but this measure is beyond acceptable limits. I’ve seen the full-body scan at work at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, and trust me, it works very well. The person viewing the scan can see, virtually everything. It’s a completely new twist on invasion of privacy and virtual porn.

The Netherlands, which is a magnificent place to visit and pass through, will require that all U.S.-bound passengers pass through full-body scanners before boarding flights. Airports in Britain also will introduce the technology.

I suppose the idea of having nothing to hide should provide some comfort, but a terrorist will simply introduce a “booty bomb” where it’s actually inserted inside the body, then detonate the explosive with a cell phone.

You see, it’s a little more complicated than a privacy issue.

About the Author

Ralph C. Jensen is editor-in-chief of Security Today magazine.

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