Something to think about when flying

scanner by francoiscuccu

NPR Report on Safety Concerns Regarding TSA Naked Body Scanners
[Via Daring Fireball]

I’m adamantly opposed to these new scanners on privacy and Fourth Amendment grounds, but the health concerns alone seem worrisome. Here’s a PDF of the letter from four members of the UCSF faculty, laying out their concerns.


When 4 physicists form UCSF have serious questions about the safety of these devices, we might want to listen. It is interesting that. Additionally, Michael Chertoff, the former head of Homeland Security, started us down the path to these machines.

So, I guess to no one’s surprise, Chertoff’s lobbying company now works for the maker of these scanners. Yes, he has been giving interviews about the need for these machines, even as his company benefits from their sales.

So when our choice of air travel comes down to being examined with X-rays form a machine that may not be quite as healthy as the TSA would like us to believe but makes a lot of money for an ex-Homeland Security Director or to be groped in ways that are normally used on criminals,maybe we just won’t travel at all.

I know I’m going to give it a lot more thought.

2 thoughts on “Something to think about when flying

  1. Forget Jerkoff. Have you heard Janet on the subject of scanners and pat-downs? She says if you don’t like them, don’t fly! Great thing for a public official to say!

    1. Well, since that is pretty much what has been said about any complaints about the TSA from the beginning, that is nothing new. We are just seeing a further escalation and erosion of our rights. This view is not a Bush or Obama thing. It is an apparently critical part of air travel since the TSA was created. There are whole sites devoted to the “Papers Please” aspect of air travel and how traveling by air is not a right since you are free to travel another way. Because of some court cases, the TSA can do just about anything.

      In Gilmore v Gonzalez, a suit decided in 2006 based on a 2002 incident, the appeals court said that since there existed an alternative – full body search, etc. – it was lawful for the TSA to demand photo ID. If the person did not want to provide photo ID or be searched like a criminal, they had not inherent right to fly. The court said if you don’t like the rules, don’t fly. TSA and Homeland Security has been taking that attitude almost since the beginning. As long as they have an alternative to any hideous policy – and the full body search fits this – they can really do anything to us.

      So now, we are seeing new devices being used, ones that make a ton of money for well-connected former members of Homeland Security, being used. As long as a search alternative is provided, they can do anything.. There is a video out of a very young girl – maybe 3 or 4 – being given this intensive screening. She is screaming don’t touch me while the TSA employee is actually making inappropriate contact with her. That sure makes us all safer.

      I really hope the opt out day on the 24th comes to fruition. It would be nice to see people stand up to this. Instead I expect to hear a lot of talk about people’s trips being disrupted. No one really knows the long term effects of these new devices but I expect at least 75% of the people will just calmly follow the orders of the TSA employees.

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