« Silent movies, Woody Allen | Home | The new Girl Talk album »

November 17, 2010


Airport scanners and civil rights

Airport Scanner at O'Hare

OK, I understand about the need to uphold civil liberties and the slippery slope that leads to sentencing people to labor camps because of a Twitter post. But can I just say that I am not really all that bothered by the naked full-body x-ray airport scanner. For some people this is a much bigger deal, I get it.

I don't want any NSA ghoul wiretapping my phone or reading my email or financial and medical records, but if someone in a room at an airport sees a hazy outline of my body for 1.5 seconds, big whoop. Much worse things are happening to us all the time, they just don't make us feel as icky and naked. Our government now has the right to invade your space in all kinds of nasty ways, for any reason, in the name of security. That kind of invasiveness just doesn't happen to involve walking through a giant machine and lifting your arms while it radiates you.

As for health concern for frequent flyers, that's another story. Roger Ebert's looking at the important issues on his Twitter page: "Does the government know the long-term effects of full body scans on frequent fliers, like airline crew or George Clooney?"

The TSA says the radiation you're exposed to by going through a full-body scanner is less than you experience by actually being on an airplane, and it's apparently also less than the radiation generated by cellphones, and we walk around all day pressing those against our skulls. But just because the TSA says they're safe doesn't make it so, as an American Airlines pilot said, "All they're telling the public is that it's fine. We're looking for some science."

Now it's going to be National Opt Out Day the day before Thanksgiving, and there will be delays and loud complaints if enough people really do start to push back on this one. While you're at it, opt-outers, could you please organize a national uprising against the Patriot Act?

categories: Politics, War and Security
posted by amy at 11:48 PM | #

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:


So glad to know I'm not the only person who feels this way. TSA scanners seem like one of the less invasive things the gov't is up to.

Posted by: That Fuzzy Bastarrd at November 21, 2010 8:47 AM

Totally. If every slimy, under-the-radar thing our government was doing in the name of security involved individual people walking through a big, scary machine that can see you naked, things might be very different.

Posted by: amy at November 22, 2010 3:35 PM

Post a comment

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)