Body scanners

Ready or not, they’re coming to Hobby Airport.

Full-body scanners for airline passengers, the devices that have stirred controversy over personal privacy, are being deployed at Houston’s Hobby Airport this summer, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Friday.


The images generated by the advanced imaging technology devices have prompted TSA to try to reassure passengers that their privacy will be protected.

A privacy filter blurs the X-ray-style images. Images are permanently and immediately deleted after being viewed by a TSA screener.

The TSA officer viewing the images is stationed in a remote location at the airport so that the screener does not to come into personal contact with the passengers who are being screened, Napolitano’s office said.

IAH, from which I do most of my flying, has not yet been designated to get one of these yet. I’m not terribly concerned about privacy with these things. If the images shown in the Chron story are at all representative, there’s nothing there to get worked up about. I’m more concerned about whether or not they actually work as advertised, and how expensive they’re going to be. It sure would be nice to have more information about their effectiveness before we dive in like this.

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One Response to Body scanners

  1. D says:

    There is no more complete breach of personal privacy than the personal body scanner. Their use is a completely unreasonable search practice. To submit to them is an insult to every American: from the child who pledges allegiance (“with Liberty… for all”), to the men and women who have pledged their lives in defense of American ideals. Cowards who fear terrorism aboard an airplane should use a different mode of transportation or stay at home.

    The reverse argument, that Americans who don’t like body scanners should find a different mode of transportation, is to abandon the principle of Freedom. Americans should be free to fly around the country by paying cash and without a body scan.

    There isn’t a single excusable argument in support of body scanners. To claim “security” as an argument is to reveal one’s own insecurity. To claim it “catches terrorists” is to lie because no terrorist has been caught with one. To claim it “deters terrorists” is also a lie. Terrorists are not deterred, they are only diverted; they find other targets and other methods.

    Body scanners are a complete sham. They only create perceived security at the expense of personal liberty and taxpayer money. The USA is land of the free and home of the brave. All else, please leave.

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