Refusing The Scan
Two women were stopped from getting on a plane at Manchester Airport in the UK for refusing to submit to a full body scan.
The women were selected at random and told to go through a new body scanning machine on February 19. One woman refused on religious grounds. She is believed to be a Muslim. The other cited health grounds.
The machines were placed in the airport last October as a trial to check for any concealed weapons or explosives.
But the machines show fairly clearly one’s body shape and vague impressions of one’s private parts. They’ve been deemed an invasion of privacy. The women were not allowed to fly.
In U.S. airports, where body scanners have been installed to find passengers such as the Christmas day underwear bomber over Detroit, passengers have the option of undergoing a pat down search.
Expect more refusals soon.
Monday Scanners Installed
CBS News is reporting that beginning Monday, the next generation of body scanners will begin to be deployed at airports across the U.S. beginning with Boston’s Logan International Airport.
That is where 10 of the 9/11 hijackers boarded the airplanes that crashed into the World Trade Center.
Altogether, 450 new machines will be installed at a cost of about $150,000 each.
The body image will be seen in a remote viewing area and TSA, Transportation Security Administration which oversees the program, has no plans to retain the images.
Not everyone agrees with that assessment.
The Washington-based Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), a public interest group focused on privacy told CNN it obtained documents from the TSA which specified in 2008 that full-body scanners at airports must have the capability to store and send images.
The American Civil Liberties Union calls the body scanners a “virtual strip search” that violates privacy rights and is ineffective against a terrorist who wants to bring something onboard one of the airports that does not have the full-body scanners.
With 490 eventually deployed and roughly 2,100 airport security lanes, there is room to bypass the scanners.
TSA plans on a random spot check with some individuals going through metal detectors and others sent for the full-body scans.
Digital Strip Search
Known as “Digital Strip Search” machines they use millimeter wave sensors of backscatter X-rays but they do not reveal anything hidden in a body cavity and UK tests find them unreliable in detecting plastics, chemicals, and liquids.
Former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, who heads the Chertoff Group, represents leading manufacturer, Rapiscan Systems, something he did not reveal when promoting their use to the media, reports the Washington Post.
Other lobbyists represent manufacturers, American Science & Engineering Inc., Smiths Detection, and L3 Systems, represented by former Sen. Alfonse D’Amato.
The puffer machines, currently in use, have not been particularly reliable even though the U.S. spent $36 million on 200 machines. #