Author Topic: Getting down to the facts about full body scanners  (Read 3594 times)

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Offline catholicportugalian

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Getting down to the facts about full body scanners
« on: February 10, 2010, 10:14:32 am »
Getting down to the facts about full body scanners
Do they keep you safe?  Or is it just another scare tactic excuse to take away more of our liberties?
By Ana Maggio (staff writer for The Four Marks)

    There has been talk for years about full body scanners which are machines that one walks into and takes a 360 degree detailed digital image of your naked body. 
    Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport was the first to implement a full body scanner in early 2007.   Since then a few other major airports Such as JFK, LAX, and Logan have joined the band wagon and set up the scanners. (1)
    TSA claims that this new security measure will give them the ability to screen airline passengers for any prohibited items quickly and unobtrusively.(1)  In other words,  a quick digital strip search.
    Now in light of the recent attempted Christmas day bombing of a Detroit flight, the push for full body scanners is at full blast.
    According to CNN Money, “The U.S. government is using $25 million in stimulus money to buy and install full body scanners in airports this year”.   The U.S. government has also given TSA permission to spend an addition $175 million on the scanners. (2)
    Many concerns have been raised about this new security measure.  Is this illegal search and seizure?  Is this invasion of our right to privacy?  Are our children in danger because images of their naked bodies are taken?  Does the machine expose one to a dangerous amount of radiation?  And would it have even stopped the “underwear bomber”?
   
Right to Privacy
Under the fourth amendment in the Bill of Rights, arrest and search warrants must be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause in order for anyone to perform a search and seizure. (3)
    Therefore unless TSA has reasonable suspicion that you are a threat, they don’t have probable cause to strip search you.   As a result the full body scanners are serious infringement on our fourth amendment right to privacy.
 
Child protection risk
  The Guardian recently reported that “full body scanners at british airports threatens to breach child protection laws which ban the creation of indecent images of children”. 
    The article continues to say, “privacy campaigners claim the images created by the machines are so graphic they amount to ‘virtual strip-searching’”
    The UK Department of Transport did confirm that the “child porn” problem was among the “legal” and operational issues under discussion . (4)
   
Health Risk
The mainstream media is widely saying that the scanners are safe and do not expose you to a high enough amount of radiation to cause any health risks. 
    The Internal Journal of Emerging Medical Technology (MedGadget) reports that a researchers at the Center for Nonlinear Studies at Los Alamos National Laboratory have shown that terahertz radiation may be able to do serious damage to the DNA it encounters when bouncing off your body. (5)
   Physics arXiv blog explained “resonant effects allow Thz waves to unzip double stranded DNA, creating bubbles in the strand that could significantly interfere with processes such as gene expression and DNA replication.” (5)
   
Effectiveness of Scanners
Finally would the full body scanners have detected the explosives carried by the “underwear bomber”?
    The Independent reported that “Ben Wallace, the Conservative MP, who was formerly involved in a project by a leading British defense research firm… said trials had shown that such low-density materials were undetected.”
   Tests by scientists in the team at Qinetiq showed the scanners picked up shrapnel and heavy wax and metal, but plastic, chemicals, and liquids were missed. (6)
   
    Therefore millions of dollars are spent, our fourth amendment rights are violated, our children are possibly exploited, we are placed at a serious risk of our DNA being damaged and all for nothing because the scanners won’t detect any chemical, liquid, or plastic weapons.
      1.http://www.boston.com/business/technology/articles/2008/07/01/logan_will_install_body_scanners/

2. http://money.cnn.com/2010/01/05/technology/full_body_scanner/

3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

4. http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/jan/04/new-scanners-child-porn-laws

5.http://medgadget.com/archives/2010/01/study_looks_into_potential_side_effects_of_terahertz_full_body_scanner_technology.html

6. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/are-planned-airport-scanners-
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