Tuesday, December 05, 2006

In Agreement With the ACLU (Sort Of...)

So it happens every (great) once in a while that the ACLU and I agree...

Though I believe strongly in stringent airport security, the idea of full body X-rays in the age of YouTube is a BAD idea IMO. I have a hard enough time doing this border-line pornographic stretch called the "Frog stretch" in karate for fear I'll find it on one of the various online video sites, let alone a "nude" photo from the airport...

"... The "Backscatter" machine to be used at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in Arizona will enable screeners to detect non-metallic devices and objects as well as weapons on a person's body, authorities say.

But critics, including the American Civil Liberties Union, say the machine can display graphic images of nude bodies and its use will pave the way to widespread abuse of the images taken, with some possibly being posted or traded on the Internet.

Federal officials, however, have downplayed such concerns saying that screeners will be able to blur out a person's genitals and that the x-ray image will be erased from the screen once a passenger is cleared through the machine.

The Transportation Security Officer operating the system will also not be able to print, store or transmit the image and will be viewing the x-ray in an area not visible to the public.

Officials said "Backscatter" will be a voluntary option for passengers undergoing secondary screening and is an alternative to the physical pat down procedures currently conducted at security checkpoints." (source)

If this remains optional, I guess I have no complaints... but the fact that the screener CAN "blur genitals" doesn't mean they will -and though they can't print the image from the scanner doesn’t mean they couldn’t take a picture of the screen.

No comments: