Thursday, January 27, 2011
The Naked Truth – Follow up to "The Virtual Strip Search"
(Photo by: Hunter-Desportes)
[Update of earlier post: The Virtual Strip Search (Jan. 11, 2011)]
There are a countless number of articles circling the internet about the controversy surrounding the full body scanners at the airport. This entry addresses what the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) has to say about them.
According to the TSA, the purpose of the Advanced Imaging Technology (full body scanners) is to expose threats that a traditional metal detector would miss (detecting both metallic and non-metallic threat items). A threat to airlines by terrorists still exists and bombs can be made the do not contain mental (the Christmas Day bomber is an example). Greg Soule, a TSA spokesperson stated “this year alone, the use of advances imaging technology has led to the detection of over 130 prohibited, illegal or dangerous items.” To see the recent video created by the TSA to inform passengers about the full body scanners click here.
Initially there was a growing concern regarding the new scanners from pilots. In an effort to prevent a backlash against the scanners from the pilots the TSA is now allowing those who present company and government photo identification to skip the scans. There were also concerns about the amount of radiation the scanners gave off and whether they could potentially pose health problems in the future. TSA’s answer is that the scanners are safe and the public should not be concerned. Only some of the scanners emit radiation and the ones that do emit very low levels, lower than the levels of radiation we encounter every day. In addition to that information the FDA, American College of Radiology and the John Hopkins University Applied Physical Laboratory have all studied the machines and declared them to be safe.
Despite all the negative press the full body scanners have been getting a recent CBS News poll stated that 81% of Americans supported the use of full body scanners and according to TSA more than 90% of passengers choose to go though the scanner rather than opting out of the scan.
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