From: Ari Silverstein on 14 Jul 2010 14:24
Growing anger over US airport scanning
A program analyst for the Transportation Security Administration,
demonstrates how to stand in the new body- scanning machine at Sky
Harbor International Airport in Phoenix.
Opposition has grown to new full-body imaging machines deployed at
international airports across the US and used for screening
passengers, a US newspaper reports.
According to USA Today newspaper, questions are being raised about
the possible effects of full-body imaging machines on passengers'
health. Many frequent fliers complain the machines are time-consuming
or invade their privacy. The world's airlines say they shouldn't be
used for primary security screening.
"The system takes three to five times as long as walking through a
metal detector," says Phil Bush of Atlanta, one of many fliers on USA
Today's Road Warriors panel who oppose the machines. "This looks to
be yet another disaster waiting to happen."
The machines, dubbed by some fliers as virtual strip searches, were
installed at many airports in March after a Christmas Day airline
bombing attempt failed in Detroit International Airport.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has spent more than
$80 million for about 500 machines, including 133 machines currently
in use at airports. It plans to install about 1,000 by the end of
TSA spokeswoman Kristin Lee says the agency completed testing at the
end of last year and is "highly confident" in the machines' detection
She also said their use hasn't slowed screening at airports and that
the agency has taken steps to ensure privacy and safety.
The TSA is deploying two types of machines that can see underneath
clothing. One uses a high-speed X-ray beam, and the other bounces
electromagnetic waves off a passenger's body.
Passengers can refuse screening by the machines and receive a
pat-down search by a security officer, screening by a metal detector,
or both, the TSA said.
Ari Silverstein, C.T.A; C.T.A.S, FREE Cruise Travel Advisory Services
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