Yesterday, the web was going abuzz over a man who, on Sunday, refused to be scanned by the Transportation Security Administration’s new full body imaging machines, which perform what many people would consider an electronic strip search. Now, after the buzz over the man who told security official “don’t touch my junk,” Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is getting involved.
In an interview that directly addressed the body scanners and pat-downs for people who refuse the imaging device, Napolitano said that abandoning the cameras that see through clothes would be “irresponsible” and that in no way does use of the scanners amount to an electronic strip search.
In response to this perceived invasion of privacy, civil libertarians are not buying this claim, with some even calling for a national “Opt-Out Day,”which will encourage all air travelers to skip the full body scans and go through the pat-down procedure, which will in turn greatly lengthen the processing time at airports in a deliberate attempt to create delays all over the country.
Addressing the camera controversy, Napolitano stated that the images the scanners produce are not crisp enough to invade privacy, are deleted immediately after the person steps through, and that there are strict controls to ensure that no cameras/camera-equipped devices find their way into the control terminal and that the images themselves cannot be transmitted outside the control room in any way. Speaking directly on Opt-Out Day, Napolitano said that everyone needs to be a part of security and people planning to take part in the Opt-Out Day protests are essentially saying that “we don’t want to play a part of security.”
So, is it now your patriotic duty to allow oneself to be digitally stripped and/or groped? According to Napolitano, no, as there are other means of transportation.
In all, with the Thanksgiving-Christmas travel season, the busiest time for the airlines, just around the corner, the next few weeks could be very interesting.
For more info:
Body scans are not being deleted: Gizmodo
Photographer = terrorist: Transportation Security Administration
What do the full body scanner images look like?
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