Tag Archives: body scans

TSA’s Bad Policies Aren’t Going Away

Public outrage at the TSA’s new policies has died down. That’s a real shame. If people stop pressing the issue, full-body scanners and pat-downs aren’t going anywhere. People are still having experiences like this:

I told her I had never undergone this process and was a bit afraid, and she laughed at me and told me I didn’t know what I was talking about.

The woman grabbed my wrist and said she had to look at my plastic watch. I tried to take it off and hand it to her, and she yelled at me not to interfere with her search.

Then, with no explanation, she pulled up my shirt, exposing my stomach and the top of my underwear, and stuck the top half of her fingers inside the waistband of my pants. I yanked my shirt down and told her she was not showing the top of my underwear and my naked stomach to anyone.

She put her hand up in front of me, threatened to call security and have me arrested if I “tried to get away from her again,” and called security for a private screening.

It is well past time to abolish the TSA. The resources it squanders on security theater would be better used on security.

Regulation of the Day 97: Full Body Scans and Child Protection Laws

Sometimes, when two regulations love each other very much, they get together and have little baby regulations. This is happening right now in Britain.

Full body scans are coming into use at many UK airport security checkpoints. Since screeners essentially see all passengers naked, the scans run afoul of child protection laws for passengers under 18.

The thought of pedophiles using the body scan images for their own sick ends is decidedly creepy. So the British government is taking steps to keep that from happening. Those steps include:

-Exempting everyone under 18 from being scanned. This defeats the security purpose of the scanners.

-Moving the scanner operators out of sight of passengers. That keeps the scanner images anonymous. But it doesn’t prevent perverts from seeing things they shouldn’t.

There is an easier way: don’t do full body scans. They do more to make people feel safe than to actually make them safe.

Reinforced cockpit doors, proactive passengers, and checked baggage screening are much more effective. And they’re already in place. Besides, terrorist attacks are rare. Full-body scans are an over-reaction. The resources spent on them have other, better uses.