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New Invasive Airport Pat-Downs

Does Invasive Airport Security Bother You?

At 65 airports around the country, travelers are getting naked without taking off their clothes thanks to new X-ray scanners. As you may have heard or experienced yourself, passengers and pilots alike are randomly selected to pass through the machines, which display a graphic photo, genitalia and all, to an agent located in another room. If you want to pass, you're subjected to a pat-down that hopes to accomplish the same thing — so you can bet it's invasive. Since the more aggressive pat-downs started three weeks ago, there have been reports of TSA agents making inappropriate comments, and one traveler told The New York Times, "I didn't really expect her to touch my vagina through my pants." She was subjected to the search after the X-ray machine detected a tissue and hairband in her pocket.

According to the TSA's blog (yes, it has a blog, and a blogroll), the media has exaggerated the problem. It says the pat-down, performed by a same-gender agent, is thorough, not invasive, and that a relatively small number of fliers complain. As for the "naked" scanners, the TSA assures the public that your face is obscured and employees are forbidden to save images or pass them on. But these promises of privacy are only as legit as the people who implement them. And after photos from similar scanners leaked this week, there's reason for concern.

If the idea of naked, yet anonymous, body scans floating around the Internet doesn't bother you, there might be another reason to skip the scanner and opt for the pat-down. Some scientists now warn that the X-rays could pose health risks. But then you're left with the option of a potentially humiliating pat-down. If you want to see what the frisk is like, Nov. 24 is National Opt-Out Day, which encourages people to refuse the scanner.

If you're traveling this Winter holiday, will the new security measures put a damper on your holiday cheer? One thing is for sure, lines aren't getting any shorter.

Image Source: Getty
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Venus1 Venus1 5 years
PS: Sugar needs an edit button. Excuse the typos above. I can write, I know my grammar and I can spell but I can't type!Stay safe people.
Venus1 Venus1 5 years
PS: Sugar needs an edit button. Excuse the typos above. I can write, I know my grammar and I can spell but I can't type! Stay safe people.
Venus1 Venus1 5 years
OK, first of all I am not interested in having a debate by email but I would like to respond to your comments as I have been accused of being “breathtakingly stupid” (your opinion which you are entitles to) and “sweety” (totally condescending especially on a site aimed mostly at women), so I would like one and only one right of reply. To try and be brief. 1. Your quote in your original post “Your liberties as an American are more important than your safety ever could be”. Life needs a balance, too much concentration on liberty leads to anarchy. 2. I am no security expert but I do work for an airline and each time I go Airside in any airport I am (and quite rightly so) subject to the same stringent security precautions as anybody else. 3. “Our great nation”. Strong words, I have live in 3 countries and would not describe any as that. All countries are equal but maybe the wealth is different. 4. *A nation that has led the world in preventing just such things that are being violently imposed on ppl who want to travel overseas?”. Current security standards in north America are being insisted upon by the US Government when people from other countries fly to the US. Not the other way round. 5. “There hasn't been a successful attack on an airplane SINCE 9/11” Thankfully true. ;et’s hoppe it continues to be so. But there was the shoe bomber who slipped the net. And in the UK a plot was foiled by security which could have downed 10 aircraft by liquid explosives. For this reason passnegers in Europe, Switzerland and Norway are restricted in carrying liquids in 100 ml containers in a 1 litre resealble clear bag. 5. “Sexual assault” Very offensive to women who have been so. I have been through security twice today, It’s not fun but human rights must be balanced with safety.
Venus1 Venus1 5 years
Re "Your liberties as an American are more important than your safety ever could be".OK then, let's abolish traffic lights, all road regulations and everything regarding safety.I am involved in the aviation industry, If the Americans had taken safety and airport security seriously a few years back the twin towers events would never have happened.What price liberty from a country keen to dictate to others about what security they should have in place. With huge apologies to the American friends I love dearly, many who feel the same as me.
Venus1 Venus1 5 years
Re "Your liberties as an American are more important than your safety ever could be". OK then, let's abolish traffic lights, all road regulations and everything regarding safety. I am involved in the aviation industry, If the Americans had taken safety and airport security seriously a few years back the twin towers events would never have happened. What price liberty from a country keen to dictate to others about what security they should have in place. With huge apologies to the American friends I love dearly, many who feel the same as me.
totygoliguez totygoliguez 5 years
I don't feel comfortable. I definitely don't wan a stranger seeing my naked body.
HollyJRockNRoll HollyJRockNRoll 5 years
I'm happy to see people upset about this. When this site first reported on this, there were a lot of commenters saying they didn't care. I'm glad that has changed. I think people should boycott the airports.
Venus1 Venus1 5 years
One of the reasons there has not been a repeat of 9/11 is because of security.I am based in the UK but have had experience of US domestic so called security checks in the past and they were totally inadequate (yes, I do have some knowledge of this area).Be safe everybody and take here.
Venus1 Venus1 5 years
One of the reasons there has not been a repeat of 9/11 is because of security. I am based in the UK but have had experience of US domestic so called security checks in the past and they were totally inadequate (yes, I do have some knowledge of this area). Be safe everybody and take here.
Burkina Burkina 5 years
^ Lol at you trying to justify racial profiling.
Studio16 Studio16 5 years
I'm OK with scanners - as long as I know that I'm safe, I'm happy. I would rather someone see me naked than get on an airplane with a terrorist. As long as the security personnel doesn't grope me, I'll be fine. Plus, the chances of getting cancer from a few minutes behind a scanner are ridiculously slim. Honestly though, I will agree this makes us look so incompetent. I'm all for some hardcore Israelification. I don't care if minorities deem it racial profiling. If it keeps my loved ones and me safe, I want it.
Studio16 Studio16 5 years
I'm OK with scanners - as long as I know that I'm safe, I'm happy. I would rather someone see me naked than get on an airplane with a terrorist. As long as the security personnel doesn't grope me, I'll be fine. Plus, the chances of getting cancer from a few minutes behind a scanner are ridiculously slim.Honestly though, I will agree this makes us look so incompetent. I'm all for some hardcore Israelification. I don't care if minorities deem it racial profiling. If it keeps my loved ones and me safe, I want it.
xxstardust xxstardust 5 years
You know what my favorite part of these scanners are? They can see if you're using a tampon. Can't tell what it is, but they can tell you've got something wedged up there. Can't wait to see how they deal with *that* popping up on a scanner screen ...
snarkypants snarkypants 5 years
no. i think it's a tad unnecessary, but i have better things to care about. the scanners don't bother me at all. i do agree with whoever mentioned the israeli system as a much more effective way though. i've been through it several times, and it's much more painless. and it actually feels like their security people care about their job!
snarkypants snarkypants 5 years
no. i think it's a tad unnecessary, but i have better things to care about. the scanners don't bother me at all.i do agree with whoever mentioned the israeli system as a much more effective way though. i've been through it several times, and it's much more painless. and it actually feels like their security people care about their job!
marcied23 marcied23 5 years
@tigr, you know you're right about the fine...it's just a whole messed up system...the fact is the last "attack" took place on an international flight, it came from denmark if i'm not mistaken...the tsa's reasoning doesn't wash with me.
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 5 years
F@ck this! this makes us look incompetent. You have to see me naked in order to board a flight? I don't have to deal with this nonsense on Greyhound. Ha!
Burkina Burkina 5 years
It is actually extremely violating the way they grab at your privates and the way people of certain backgrounds are treated.
noxcatt noxcatt 5 years
First, the radiation, in order to affect in a negative way you would have to pass through the machine like 200 times a day. Second, the reason they need scanners like this is because of the bombs that were hidden in the more recent attempts that could not be detected by a metal detector because they WERE NOT made of METAL. Third, there has been several threats of terrorists trying to take down planes like the attempted bomb from Yemen. I understand that the choices are not comfortable either way, but there's not much anyone can do since there is a danger for plane attacks everyday. The more uncooperative people are, the harder it is for us to be protected and the easier it is for dangerous people to just refuse and walk on through. Plus, I don't feel that insecure. I don't feel that my privacy is being taken from me. It's another process we are working through to get to something better that works for everyone. (or at least many). A little embarrassment is better than being blown up, in all honesty.
tigr3bianca tigr3bianca 5 years
The TSA hasn't stopped 1 terrorist in 9 years. The scanners and pat downs are unnecessary and humiliating. The position of if you don't like it don't fly, is a restriction of freedom of movement. The fact that you can't even refuse to be searched without a $10,000 fine sounds to me like guilty before innocent.
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