Public Service Announcement: New Airport Security Requirements – Invasion of Privacy

November 17, 2010 at 12:24 pm | Posted in life | Leave a comment
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Being a child of the eighties and all, I can remember a scene in the sitcom, Charles in Charge where Adam Powell, the younger pipsqueak brother puts on his special x-ray glasses that can see through things. He gazes toward his older sisters who are mortified and immediately run upstairs to their rooms. Never forgetting that scene, the idea of someone being able to see through my clothes leaves me uneasy. Which leads me to the TSA ruling that requires all people who are intending to fly on an airplane to walk through a machine that takes a picture of their body, naked. The device is meant to weed out potential terrorists. By doing so, it is also infringing on everyone’s most private possession–their body. This machine sends a radiation signal through the body to take a picture. Which leads me to something else that I am not OK with: radiation. There’s a reason when you go for an x-ray, the doctor blocks the areas of the body that doesn’t need a picture taken—because unnecessary exposures to radiation can lead to things like cancer down the line. But to be honest, that’s not my main gripe. And to TSA’s defense, they are claiming that the amount a radiation is negligible. The actual idea that some stranger gets to see/gawk at my naked body is not acceptable.

So, what can we do about it? We can opt out of the radiation picture in exchange for an invasive full-body frisk. And I mean touch-all-yo-junk/stuff-and-in-between. We’re talking groping of the breasts, and handcups to your nether region. As if that is a better option. There is no third choice and TSA has cited that no one is allowed to decline these measures on religious grounds. If we choose to resist, we choose not to fly. If we cause a scene, we can be arrested and charged a $10,000 fine! Hello!

There is currently a movement underway for all people flying next Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving (one of the busiest travel days of the year) for everyone to choose getting frisked over walking through radiation and having a picture of you in your birthday suit splashed on a screen. It’s obviously not ideal, but in my mind it is the lesser of two evils. And it will hopefully send a giant message to TSA that infringing on my privacy, my naked body—the most personal thing I have—is unacceptable.

Not to go one, but I will…what about babies and young people? I would imagine many mothers would not want to send their kids through radiation, but what is their choice? Allowing their kids to get their crotches brushed by a security officer? I’m sorry, that sounds like a lot of potential LAWSUITS. Even the Pilots Union is opposed to these measures. I know that TSA has only our safety in mind, but to me this seems extreme. Come up with a better solution, something that doesn’t involve sharing my private bidness with some stranger in a uniform. Not OKAY.

You must to see Jeffrey Goldberg from The Atlantic on the Colbert Report talking about this very issue. It is so, so funny and drives the point in well!

Here’s Time magazine’s “Pat Down 101” Q/A.

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