Are New Airport Scanners a "Virtual Strip Search?"

| Thu Oct. 23, 2008 3:23 PM EDT

EU lawmakers and its civil liberties' group, along with our own ACLU, are up in arms over a new airport scanner recently authorized there. From CNN:

The new system, which the European Union plans to authorize at the bloc's airports, allows guards to see an outline of passengers' bodies beneath their clothes, making it easier to detect any concealed objects.

When I read the comments here on MoJo, I often wonder what the hell most of them are doing reading (or trying to read) our liberal musings. Now, I'm going to end up dragging some knuckles of my own. Unless the small photo accompanying the article is misleading, it looks like the screeners (of whom I am no fan) aren't seeing much. Mostly skeletons and clothing seams. I'm also noticing that many travelers approve of the new technology since it makes the post-9/11 Death March lines move much faster.

OK. Now I'll wait for the links in the comments showing exactly how invasive and revealing the scans are in real life. I can admit I'm wrong since I so rarely am.

Even so, though, given that strange women have repeatedly felt me up IN PUBLIC for no reason whatsoever, I'm not so sure I care about being just one more walking skeleton some TSA drone is none too happy to be looking at.

Perhaps, though, it's not being seen sorta naked that is bothering civil libertarians, but rather that the search is invasive merely by virtue of going beneath the clothing. Point taken. In these post-Gitmo, post-wiretapping, post-any sort of personal sovereignty world we're increasingly living in, maybe this is a stand worth taking (however miniscule the actual loss of privacy) just to oppose the mission creep of this administration's assault on our rights.

Maybe I'm becoming de-sensitized (first they came for the Jews...), but until I see some better photos, I'm going to wait this one out. I find the hand searches so loathesome at this point, I might just prefer the scan.

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