Thursday, November 11, 2010

Scanner Update

Just an update to my earlier post about the backscatter machines at airports:

I flew out of St Louis Lambert on Monday. The scanner was there, but it was not being used. Everyone in the very, very long security line was put through the old metal detectors. No drama here.

I flew back out of Phoenix Sky scanners in sight.

From stories I have read elsewhere, the TSA is dealing with the 'opt out' crowd by doing simple pat-downs. No cavity searches. No genital probing. Some of the overheated rhetoric on some websites accuses the TSA of almost demonic procedures, yet the evidence is that the TSA are being careful and respectful. I'm sure there will be exceptions, and those will be publicized repeatedly. People will 'opt out' to avoid being seen naked, and they'll fear getting a pat-down and a feel-up at the same time. I think they are worrying about the wrong stuff. They ought to be considering the fear-mongering that is at the core of the whole scanning/probing issue. They ought to 'opt out' while dreaming of the Fourth Amendment.

The good news is that the dilemma I felt in an earlier post is somewhat muted now. Of course I will 'opt out,' not because I might be seen naked, but because it's all just wrong.