129
 34,339

 Let's discuss: Full body scans at airports.

  1 2 3   
Is this true about them?

Quote:
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 20 Nov 2010 8:08 PM
 2 Jan 2009
 Nunavut
MillyHa
Postaholic
6,666
I don't know much about the full body scan and have never encountered it while traveling. But I do agree with you about the body search at security. There have been times when I left feeling violated and knowing that I say anything, I will be denied access to the flight.

I can still remember the time I was asked to remove my sweater before I went through the scanner. I am not comfortable with my weight and I was only wearing a thin white tank top under the sweater. So, there I stood in all my glory and I was mortified.

Honestly, it won't keep my from flying, simply because I have no choice but to fly if I want to see my family. But it's stressful every time I go through security wondering if I'm going to have to go through it again.

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 20 Nov 2010 8:09 PM
 26 Oct 2005
 TO
Gingy
Postaholic
8,194
When I first heard about full body scans my first thought was "Good! An idea whose time has come!"

I would do the scan in a heartbeat, and since my face isn't part of the image, I could care less what happens to the picture afterward...I'd never know anyway. And the pat-down...well, I can deal with that, too. All I care about is the safety of the plane I'm about to board. A few minutes of discomfort is nothing if it means I'll live to reach my destination. smile

These things are awkward, but that's the reality of the time we live in, unfortunately.

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 20 Nov 2010 8:10 PM
 3 Jan 2009
zoobaby
Postaholic
6,506
I understand the whole civil liberties side of things, and let's be honest - there is a LOT of political fear mongering going on. The way some politicians and media carry on, you'd think death by terrorism is imminent and likely, when I just don't believe it is.

That said, the images aren't really graphic - as siorhona said, not a nudie pic or anything. As for the patdowns, I've always found them to be very brisk and professional, and always same gender to same gender. I also believe that you can request a private screening area if desired, so there's not a major invasion there, IMO.

As for kids? Well, I don't have kids, so maybe my thoughts will change if I ever have them. But right now, I'd request a female security officer if it wasn't present, accompany my kids, and explain to them that this is part of making sure that they're safe onboard the flight. I'm pretty sure the bored 40 year old lady security officer isn't interested in anything untoward, to be honest.

Also, remember that there's a BIG difference between sexual assault and a security precaution that a passenger consents to.

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 20 Nov 2010 8:10 PM
 16 Nov 2006
naween
Fan
935
Hrm, I'm still a bit undecided about this one.
1) There are come comments that they may cause cancer, or 'will in someone', but as far as I've seen, this hasn't been quantified. Is it more of a risk than x-rays for health reasons? Less? Similar chances as if you smoke? Or just if you eat unhealthy, or live a long time? (Let's face it, chance of cancer increases as you age.) So this is a 'undecided' factor for me.

2) Privacy during xray screenings. Honestly, my doc gets to see my nether regions during a pap, and Im ok with security officers seeing my boobies and crotch during a security check. They are supposed to be trained professionals, and if they dont act as such, they WILL be disciplined. So I'm OK with the 'OMG you can see if someone is wearing a tampon!' aspects of it.

3) Patdowns. The PP commented it very much felt like molestation to her. Thats not a good thing to experience, and I can definitely see it being a problem for individuals who have experienced rape or other questionable circumstances in their lifetime. However, I've also attended raves on many occasions, and being frisked is part of gaining entrance to the event. There are always ways to minimize the amount of 'searching' the guards do - avoid 'fake' belts on pants that can't be removed, take your money wallet out before the checkpoint, wear lightweight clothing that is easier to check for hidden objects, don't wear a bra (esp one with heavy underwire), etc. I'm not 100% sure, but I AM 90% sure that you can ALWAYS request a private room to be searched. The caveat is, if one isn't immediately available and you have to wait, its YOUR FAULT if you miss your flight. But that's really no different than current practice in general.

So...I still want to fly, so I'm generally OK with security checks. My only request would be that if someone does has a personal history of molestation that requires special consideration, they be dealt with properly (ie, private room, two people and maybe a spouse/partner in the room, go slow and talk through the process to make sure the person knows what is taking place) in a manner that is respectful to everyone. It would be great if the searchable places could be identified beforehand, but I also understand that it can be circumstance-based and it could compromise security if individuals knew what WASNT being searched.

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 20 Nov 2010 8:13 PM
 11 Feb 2007
MmeBruni
Addict
3,947
I think it's an unfortunately necessary evil after the underwear bomber guy from last year. But, with appropriate safeguards, of course. There is no way that any employee should be able to save the pictures without a valid reason - I can't even imagine what that would be. You should have the option of requesting a body pat-down in private and by a person of the sex of your choosing. I appreciate the fact that the screener is in a different location; it would be awful if it were the person who was right in front of you putting your hand luggage on the belt!

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 20 Nov 2010 8:18 PM
 21 Oct 2009
lastone
Postaholic
8,824
I have my hesitations. I agree with zoobaby in that this is a by-product of political fear mongering. I also know that certain religions are saying they should be exempt from it due to their modest rules/laws.

It is a double edged sword in many ways is it not?

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 20 Nov 2010 8:21 PM
 16 Nov 2006
naween
Fan
935
I 100% do NOT agree with religion interfering with security checks.
Either you comply, or you don't board. Counselors can be provided to explain why it is necessary, and ensure things are done appropriately, but violence and destruction do exist in this world, and I'd rather have everyone undergo the same checks in an attempt to prevent it.

I also don't think it's really fear-mongering. Yes, the odds are slim, but still, if 1 plane gets hijacked, and it's yours...how are YOU going to feel about being the 1 plane full of passengers in thousands that gets to DIE?

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 20 Nov 2010 8:22 PM
 13 Aug 2010
honeysher 2.0
Postaholic
6,182
I wouldn't be comfortable with the full body scanners but the regular pat downs? Not an issue at all for me. I've been frisked trying to get into nightclubs back when I was in university and back then I used to wear little or nothing.

I wear underwire bras and have yet to set off the machines you walk through.

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 20 Nov 2010 9:07 PM
 12 May 2008
 Wisconsin, USA
ruby_wi
Raving Lunatic
14,221
Doesn't bother me. Anything to make us safer while flying is fine. I figure they will see so many people, that there isn't anything special about me! So I am not bothered.

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 20 Nov 2010 9:47 PM
 29 Jan 2006
 Steveston, BC
CowgirlSissy
Postaholic
9,721


Is that REALLY something to get worked up about?
imo, no.

I'd rather be scanned than blown into a million pieces.

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 20 Nov 2010 9:55 PM
 11 Mar 2009
 the Centre of the Universe
siorhona
Postaholic
7,643
I know eh, looks like she's peeing.

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 20 Nov 2010 9:59 PM
 21 Oct 2009
lastone
Postaholic
8,824
Perhaps some of the issues is that there are so many pictures out there of what full body scanning looks like. No one really knows what they do look like but the people looking at them KWIM?

This one leaves less to the imagination


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 20 Nov 2010 10:00 PM
 18 Nov 2009
 Dartmouth, NS
city_girl
Fan
502
So at first I was like "what's the big deal" so of course, I googled it. I found and article showing how a scanner image was edited and was really surprised! Scanner image modified

I don't think so highly of my self to think that someone would want to edit my scan like this, but it's certainly an interesting aspect to think of....

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 20 Nov 2010 10:07 PM
 11 Feb 2008
rachelp
WB Devotee
2,285
I had one done in Montreal (I think or maybe it was Toronto) and it was no big deal. It lasted a second and then they were on to the next person.

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 20 Nov 2010 10:13 PM
 13 Aug 2010
honeysher 2.0
Postaholic
6,182
Thinking about it - all the good folks at Pearson would see is my extra fat. What I do wonder about, though, is what they would make of my Diva Cup if I were wearing it while travelling. I do wonder if they'd make me remove it or will they know what it is?

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 20 Nov 2010 10:20 PM
 22 Sep 2008
 Alberta
muggins
Addict
4,711
I don't like the full body scan at all. I do believe it is an invasion of my privacy. And, if you've ever been to the airport in Calgary most of the security workers do not seem like they've had any special training... In fact some of them look like they've just turned 18 and act like it too, based on situations myself and my coworkers have been involved in or have witnessed. I would much rather have a patdown instead.

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 20 Nov 2010 10:27 PM
 17 Mar 2005
 Vancouver, BC
spunkymonkey
Devotee
1,212
DH and I have been discussing and researching this for awhile, as we are both avid travellers. Here is our take.

1. Yes, security is an issue. However, we do not feel that the TSA and the US government has a right to dictate what we, as Canadians, or other countries do by way of this security. Which is exactly what has happened. I can't even fly within my own country without being subjected to secondary screening due to the TSA/USA regulations. The backscatter x-ray machines are currently being used in US prisons - why, exactly, am I being treated the same as a criminal in my own country?

2. We are not comfortable with the backscatter x-ray machines at all. Although slight, there is an increased risk of cancer due to the radiation used with the backscatter machines. As well, the images that are shown above are from a Millimeter Wave (MMW) machine, NOT a backscatter x-ray. For those pics, please click the link below.

Backscatter Imaging

The TSA swears up and down that the images cannot be saved, but we have already heard one report from the US where the images were saved and not erased from the machine.

3. The new pat-down is now open handed and very invasive (old pat-downs were typically done with the back of the searcher's hand). They frequently move and/or grope breast tissue, move male genitalia and/or touch both male and female genitalia. If done by anyone else, it would be considered assault, plain and simple.

4. The civil liberties issue is huge for us. Here are some recent reports that have come out in social media lately.

http://wonko.com/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-...o=feeds-newsxml

http://johnnyedge.blogspot.com/2010/11/these-events-took-place-roughly-between.html


Do your own research and make your own thoughtful and informed decision. But please, don't stand idly by and just "let" this be okay. What's next? Body cavity searches? Full screening for minors, where their health (mental and physical) will be put at risk (backscatter x-ray is more harmful, medically, to youth).

There are other options for airports to use that are cost-effective and non-/not-as-invasive. Why are we not using these FIRST?

Bottom line, this new, enhanced screening is not going to make anything safer. If terrorists want to blow up a plane, they will find a way...period. And now that these machines are being used, they will not be stupid enough to do what the "underwear bomber" did last Christmas and hide explosives on their body...they will start hiding them IN their bodies...or using children as mules.



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 20 Nov 2010 10:28 PM
 29 Dec 2006
 Toronto
paper_bag_princess
Postaholic
5,726
They don't bother me at all for a number of reasons:

1. The image doesn't show my face or anything distinguishing really.

2. The image does not flash on a screen for all in the security to see. The person who sees the images is in a separate room and does not see you at the same time as you are getting the image done.

3. I'm all for more measures to make flights safer. Yes I do realize there is a lot of political posturing going on here with these scanners, but, on the other hand the government has to do SOMETHING. Would we rather they do nothing and flights continue to be a target?

The thing that really bothers me is all this talk about people's rights being violated. Flying is NOT a right. If you don't like the procedures, don't do it. It is not like the government is coming into people's homes or places of work and forcing people to get these scans.

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 20 Nov 2010 11:29 PM
 8 Feb 2009
 Ottawa, Ontario
Crash
Devotee
1,612
I think what is always forgotten is that people traveling by air that use a wheelchair have been having pat down searches for the longest time. They dont seem to care ( well at least in my experience)

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 20 Nov 2010 11:38 PM
 25 Apr 2007
BridenStride
WB Addict
3,562
Geez....if one of those airport workers wants to save, blow up and post a ghostly xray image of my 40 yr.old hoochie on his wall, more power to him. geek

Here's an idea...there is a patent out there for a self-contained booth that people go into. If there are explosives they detonate. How's THAT for airport security? Bomb them before they bomb us! wink

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 21 Nov 2010 12:28 AM
 13 Jun 2005
 Toronto, ON
aw2006
Addict
3,822
This is fear-mongering at its best. I say that TSA/USA should look to countries that have more experience dealing with terrorists e.g. Israel. They do not do pat downs nor do they use full body scanners. They have several check points and various other ways of monitoring who/what is getting on their aircraft. There was an article recently on this I'll see if I can find it.

The police are not allowed to do this kind of pat down unless they have probable cause for arrest. At the airport, they can do it based on random numbers - oh you're number 100 that means you get a pat down. Perhaps the body scanner/pat down could be saved as a 2nd or 3rd level security check rather than a first level check. The guy in the States that recently refused the pat down was not even put through the metal detector before being chosen for a pat down.

According to Wikipedia - between 1988 and 1997 there are 18 flights hijacked per annum in the world. I found one site that stated that there are 49000 flights per day in the world. That is .04% of flights. So we are supposed to give up our civil liberties for something that occurs less than half a percent of the time?

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 21 Nov 2010 1:46 AM
 8 Jun 2009
Siiera
Postaholic
7,579
I agree 100% with spunkymonkey and Aw2006.

Every since 9/11 governments have continuously used the terrorist card to install its own form of fear and terror in citizens and to slowly dismantle civil liberties. All you have to say is 'terrorism' and people are willing to surrender their rights. Where do you draw the line?

Also the idea that flying is a choice is not so black and white. What about the business person who has to fly for work? Yup they can quit their job and then not be able to support their family. That's quite a choice to make. Or what about people who live far from family, they just never see their family anymore? Those images are graphic enough and I shudder to think of my DD having to undergo one of those scans when she's a young adult.

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 21 Nov 2010 1:49 AM
 5 May 2007
 Hong Kong
airborne_mama
Postaholic
7,114
Does it bother me? Nope

Do I think it will improve "security" in any fashion? Nope

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 21 Nov 2010 8:16 AM
 29 Dec 2006
 Toronto
paper_bag_princess
Postaholic
5,726
Comparing the US/North American system to Isreal is like comparing apples to oranges. For instance, in Isreal, screening starts as soon as you drive onto airport property. Further, all security employees are highly trained to be able to detect behavioural changes and irregularities then send those people for further screening.

However, in order to do this in the US and Canada would cost a FORTUNE given the number of airports we have compared to Isreal. Employees would have do expensive training and we would need a ton more of them. People aren't going to want to pay a lot more money to travel at this point and taxpayers aren't going to want to fund this either. IMO, implementing this type of system here would be next to impossible.


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 31 Oct 2012 11:59 PM
 30 Apr 2012
 buzzle.ca
buzzle
New Member
0

Want to continue the discussion?

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 21 Nov 2010 11:49 AM
 25 Feb 2009
 Ottawa
bridetobe2709
Devotee
1,947
As I said earlier - personally, I have no problems with the heightened security measures - anything to keep the flying public safe, and perhaps one step ahead of terrorism is a good thing.

I feel bad for the people that have serious issues with the screening, but I think that this is an all or nothing situation though. They CAN'T start doing random screenings/patdowns - it won't work. How long before the first person shouts "racial profiling"? I can guarantee it wouldn't be long - and do we want to open that can of worms?

It's an individual decision that each has to make on their own, but I think its proactive and in these unfortunate times, necessary.

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 21 Nov 2010 11:56 AM
 14 Jan 2009
Mariposa_10
Postaholic
5,310
I think all this extra security is great, it makes us all so safe from the bad guys.

We have been told that the level of radiation is very small and no harm to us at all. I would feel completely comfortable walking through the scanner while pregnat, as I know the governement would have told me if there was any possible harm to my fetus or my reproductive organs. I mean usually when I get an x-ray I am told to cover those areas and they won't even let me in the x-ray room in I am pregnant, but this is obviously completely different. Somoeone would have said something by now if there was a danger.

As to the new pat down procedures, I don't think they're that big a deal. I mean as PPs said Drs see this kind of thing everyday and some Doctors are barely even 30. I don't mind if people reach up my bra and feel around my ja-j-jay in an airport. It's totally public so there's obviously nothing to worry about. If you have nothing to hide then what should you be worried about.

After the shoe bomber it only makes sense to take off your shoes, and after the undearwear bomber, clearly they need to check you underwear. Or at least answer the phone if your parents call in to say you are carrying a bomb. But clearly they need to check my underwear so everyone can be safe. I don't want to get blown up. And after the guy who carried explosives onto that plane up his butt hole, well obviously, they need to rule out all these possibilities so that we could be safe.

It's a good thing a terrorist would never make it past the screening in that job ad, I would hate to think what would happen if someone had a friend working on the inside. Imagine if all the terrists got together and made a plan, they might actually have some of them get jobs at the airport. But I don't think that could happen. And besides, I feel so much safer knowing that we are all being so thoroughly checked for bombs and weapons and things.

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 22 Nov 2010 3:06 AM
 17 Mar 2005
 Vancouver, BC
spunkymonkey
Devotee
1,212
Dazed - You DON'T have to play along, that's the thing. If the people who are against this type of security STEP UP and say something about it, it will not go unnoticed.

FYI - I saw a video today of a CHILD being strip searched (top completely off in public) and being subjected to the new pat down procedures on the bottom half of him. This was after he already went through a metal detector.

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 22 Nov 2010 3:23 AM
 17 Aug 2009
 Other side of the pond
LilMrsHappy
Devotee
2,103
I've been through it in Amsterdam. It was no big deal at all, I even looked at the ACTUAL scan when I came out the other side. You could see that I had boobs, but you couldn't see the nipples or anything else that would be embarrassing. These people look at tens of thousands of passengers each day, they really aren't studying every nook and cranny on your body.

I don't see the problem. It's safer, the airport security guards are still getting the EQUAL amount of training as always, and if you're uncomfortable you can opt out and have the pat down.

As for underwire in bras? They do not set off the metal detectors, unless of course you have a steel bar in there or something wink

Dazed - Pilots and plane staff are being recommended not to go through them due to the fact that they go through at least once, sometimes multiple times per day. That is WAY different than the average Joe who travels maybe once a month or so ? That being said, I will be requesting the pat down or regular detectors this spring when I'll be flying PG. Just so I'm 100%. But I won't be standing in front of my microwave for periods of time either wink

If the images are saved, so? They can't see your face. Despite whatever 'touched up' images are floating around on the net, the ones I've seen IRL do not show very much, just an outline. My gynecologist and waxing lady see a heck of a lot more wink

If it makes air travel safer, I'm all for it. I really don't understand the hype.

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 22 Nov 2010 8:15 AM
 18 Jul 2006
Dazed
Postaholic
8,516
They say it's so they can find the potential non-metal explosives. BUT they can do this *more effectively* if they search you using the "air puff" technique similar to the special little wand thing they do to your bags (they pass that wand over and into your bags, then run it through a scanner. They can so something similar during the regular metal detector---puff a bit of air at you and analyze the result which will find out if you've been in contact with minute traces of explosives.

Why don't they do this much less invasive and more effective option? My best guess is that US politicians don't own stock in that company. Which is pathetic but likely true (since it's well-recorded that many of the ones who have pushed for these scanners have financial ties to the company who makes them).

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 22 Nov 2010 10:06 AM
 13 Jun 2005
 Toronto, ON
aw2006
Addict
3,822
The misnomer is that this will create safer flying, thwart terrorist threats. Invasive pat downs/scanners will not do this.

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 22 Nov 2010 10:32 AM
 15 Jun 2006
 Sudbury, Ontario
Shenanigan
Addict
3,199
Disclaimer: I'm at work and don't have time to read all the replies.

I'm not as concerned about the "naked images" so much as the concern that has been expressed regarding exposure to radiation:

http://articles.cnn.com/2010-11-12/travel/body.scanning.radiation_1_backscatter-radiological-research-radiation?_s=PM:TRAVEL

Now, I'm not a frequent flyer, so probably going through one of these full body scans only occasionally wouldn't probably affect me much. But I think the concern lies with frequent flyers, pregnant women, children etc. I certainly would not want my son to be subjected to it.

I have read that at least one union representing pilots has now supported a boycott of these scans, because the radiation exposure risk would be much higher given how often a pilot (or other airline personnel) would have to pass through them.

I'd take a pat down over the scan, personally, for that reason, and I hope that they continue to offer that as an option.

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 22 Nov 2010 11:09 AM
 13 Jun 2005
 Toronto, ON
aw2006
Addict
3,822
I guess I keep relating it back to the guy in the States who refused the pat down and scan. He wasn't even put through the metal detector and they didn't deem him as a person of interest/suspect. It seemed like he was chosen randomly with nothing pointing to him actually doing anything that looked criminal.

My understanding is that the pat downs/scans are a first line of defense and just like if you're pulled out of line to have your carry on luggage checked at boarding it is a completely random process. I don't believe this does anything to improve my safety.

The odds of dying in a car accident are 1 in 18585 and your odds of being the victim of a terrorist plot on a plane are 1 in 993611 (based on the numbers I quoted in my earlier post). You're safer in the plane than driving your car.

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 22 Nov 2010 11:16 AM
 22 Sep 2004
 In the Land of Misfit Toys
evil.mena
Raving Lunatic
14,430
Here's another reason to vote for Israel's methods.

Just recently there was a story about a young asian man who wore a prosthetic on his face to make him look like an old white man. Some passengers questioned this and even asked flight personnel and they never looked into it until the flight was over.

Would the full body scan or pat down reveal this? I think not. If people have something to hide these methods don't cover everything, more methodical measures need to be in place.

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 22 Nov 2010 11:35 AM
 14 Jul 2010
 Cruising around...
Ms_Roc
Duchess of the Forum
24,223
Interesting about the Israel system:

I think PBP mentioned this part:

Quote:
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 22 Nov 2010 11:37 AM
 11 Feb 2007
MmeBruni
Addict
3,947
They are much better trained and they openly engage in profiling - racial and otherwise. Some people think this is a superior system. It's certainly very expensive at the least.

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 22 Nov 2010 11:53 AM
 21 Apr 2007
 Ontario
MyGeek
Devotee
2,263
I like this method - sent to me by e-mail today but perfecting fitting for this conversation. (I have removed the country to avoid offending anyone)

A great alternative to body scanners at airports...

*Country* is developing an airport security device that eliminates the privacy concerns that come with full-body scanners at the airports.

It's a booth you can step into that will not X-ray you, but will
detonate any explosive device you may have on you. They see this as a win-win for everyone, with none of the whining about racial profiling.

It also would eliminate the costs of long and expensive trials. Justice would be swift. Case closed!

You're in the airport terminal and you hear a muffled explosion. Shortly thereafter an announcement comes over the PA system: "Attention standby passengers - we now have a seat available on flight number ____. Peace."

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 22 Nov 2010 12:35 PM
 12 May 2008
 Wisconsin, USA
ruby_wi
Raving Lunatic
14,221
I think this is a case of damned if you don't, damned if you do. People don't like to be searched, and complain. But if there is a plane blown up, people will complain that searching wasn't done. It is a no-win situation.

I honestly don't understand those who say they would choose and prefer a pat down to those full body scans. A pat down seems much more intimate to me.

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 22 Nov 2010 2:24 PM
 26 Apr 2010
finallythebride
WB Devotee
2,278
heres an article i thought the ones who are against full body scans might like
http://www.komonews.com/news/offbeat/109890209.html?ref=morestories

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 22 Nov 2010 2:37 PM
 21 Feb 2008
 Edmonton, AB
miss_cait
Devotee
1,683
I haven't read all the posts...but I couldn't care less about getting a scan. I went through security a few months ago and they offered me a choice, pat down or body scan. I asked which was faster, and they said scan, by far.
So I got it, it took 3 seconds, and I was on my way. Seriously....not a big deal at all.

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 22 Nov 2010 3:27 PM
 24 Mar 2009
Icing_onthecake
Fan
665
I doesn't bother me.. I'd rather go through the scan than be pat down in front of a hundred people. Personally I'm a little curious what I look like on one of those scans..

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 22 Nov 2010 3:58 PM
 26 Apr 2010
finallythebride
WB Devotee
2,278
theres a picture in the link i posted above! thats what the article is about.

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 22 Nov 2010 6:29 PM
 22 Sep 2004
 In the Land of Misfit Toys
evil.mena
Raving Lunatic
14,430
I find it interesting those that say the specialized training is WAY too expensive yet the cost of losing your dignity and basic human rights (people mentioned feeling assaulted) is a price they're willing to pay to fly and 'feel safe' even though these new measures most agree don't necessarily make us safer.

Why not then invest in superior methods that will ensure safety, just because it costs more? And like some PP's have said, because we don't have stock in them?

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 22 Nov 2010 6:47 PM
 16 Nov 2006
naween
Fan
935
@Dazed - I'd be curious to learn more about these 'air puff' scasnners. However, I wouldn't be surprised that it is easy to contaminate a person by standing too close to someone else who's been exposed to explosives.

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 22 Nov 2010 6:59 PM
 18 Jul 2006
Dazed
Postaholic
8,516
Naween, I'll see if I can find the link again. Meanwhile, my concern was that farmers would be getting screened in for extra checks because of fertilizer particles on their clothes. Not sure if it would happen (it was completely not mentioned as a possibility in the short article I read) but that was my second thought (the first being "why the ruddy hell aren't we buying this technology, if we're so insistent on spending the money on tech instead of training??")

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 22 Nov 2010 9:53 PM
 31 Jan 2007
 Calgary (reception in Ottawa)
amberm145
Raving Lunatic
12,007
I was actually going to create an anonymous account today to discuss my experience and ask for advice.

It's molestation. Period. I have been in tears almost constantly for the last 24 hours after the way I was treated in Ottawa last night. And there's nothing I can do about it because it's state sanctioned. It's appalling that this happens in our country.

I have been put into this line twice now. The first time, I got offered the scan or the pat down. I asked which was faster, they said the scan, so I chose that. Apparently there was a piece of paper I missed in my back pocket. So after submitting to the scan, I got a pat down as well. They only focused on my butt, and the woman was reasonably professional about it. But it was definitely not a way I would ever allow someone to touch me in any other situation. And not at all the same as a nightclub frisking.

Last night, no choice. "We're only doing pat downs." (Not to me, but in interruption to the other agent who was about to offer me a choice.) To me: "Stand here, put your arms out. Is there anywhere that is particularly painful or sensitive?" And a-patting she went. It was right out of a movie about how prisoners are treated. She was gruff, abrupt and really made me feel like I had no say in what happened to my own body. Just stand here while we lift each of your boobs, feel around under, between and beside them. And that's just the front.

As an attempt to control myself, and not get violent or verbally abusive in retaliation, I held my hands in fists with the middle finger out while my arms were extended. Not pointed in any particular direction, at anyone or anything, just a silent expression of anger, and the last form of control over my own body I felt I had.

So she got upset, called her supervisor over and claimed that *I* was being disrespectful to *her*. Apparently I am not allowed to even decide how to hold my FINGERS. The last ounce of control was being stripped away.

2 different supervisors came over and wanted an explanation of why I didn't like being groped. Seriously? They require that I *LIKE* it? And I need to explain the feeling to 2 different male supervisors? By now, the machine was apparently operational again, and they decided I was required to go through that. Again, no option, do what we tell you. BUT, I had to stand there and wait while 4 other people went through it first.

After calming down, I went back to ask the supervisor for names for my official complaint. I wasn't looking to get anyone specific in trouble, they are all just doing what they are trained and paid to do. But I figure that if anyone is going to pay attention, I need specifics. The supervisor handed me a card for the CATSA.ca website and said "I am not authorized to release the names of my guards." WTF???? "GUARDS?" No wonder the [censored] believed she was working in a prison and that I needed to show her more respect than she showed me. They are NOT "guards", and the people they are dealing with are NOT criminals. But they believe they are. Plus, I don't even get the right to a name? She can do whatever the [censored] she wants to do to my body, and I am not even entitled to a first name or a badge number?

So I get on the plane, and I am watching the news, and they are talking about what is going on in the US. They showed pictures of others going through it, and it started my tears again. Then they said "But this doesn't happen in Canada." And apparently if the situation bothers me, I can request a private room next time. Yeah, I fail to see how going into a private room with people who don't feel you are entitled to consent to touch of your own body could possibly be an improvement. I KNOW what they do with witnesses, I am not going to give them an opportunity to step it up.

And here's the irony. This is supposed to make me feel safer. I am now TERRIFIED to go back to an airport. I may have to cancel my one month trip to Africa, because I can't take the risk of going through it again. When we landed, I had to run out of the airport to avoid getting violent with the machine when we passed security or random people in CATSA uniforms. I have never had a moment's concern for getting on an airplane due to terrorists. The odds of it happening are almost immeasurable. But there's almost a guarantee being abused by security WILL happen again. And it will continue to happen to people.

Now, as I said, the first time wasn't so bad, so it's not that bad for everyone. But even once is too much. The government should not be condoning sexual abuse.

And I read an article recently that the radiation is about the same as a dental xray. But how many people do you know get dental xrays as often as some people fly? In the article, they did the math, and figured the odds of getting cancer from them is about 16 per billion. That's higher than the odds of being affected by terrorism.

So exactly HOW is this supposed to keep us safe?

avatar
 22 Nov 2010 10:00 PM
 1 Jan 2010
ScubaJan
Unregistered
0
oh amber I am so sorry you had such an awful experience. that really sucks. I dont even know what to say frown

avatar
 22 Nov 2010 10:04 PM
 31 Jan 2007
 Calgary (reception in Ottawa)
amberm145
Raving Lunatic
12,007
Oh, and according to the head of the TSA in the US claims that if they'd been doing this a year ago, they would have caught the underwear bomber. Well, #1, they DID catch the underwear bomber and he didn't hurt a single person. And #2, they'd only have caught him with the screening if he was one of the 1 in 5 who go through this. So we need to subject EVERYONE to this humiliating, dehumanizing experience. I still fail to see how this is an improvement or supposed to make me feel safer.

avatar
 22 Nov 2010 10:30 PM
 18 Jul 2006
Dazed
Postaholic
8,516
I am so, so sorry for that. It's exactly my fears---complete with no right to get the name and badge number of the person doing the grope-down. That is unprofessional and it should be illegal, if it isn't already. Either stand by your actions and proudly give your name and number or don't do them. You can't hide behind anonymity of the uniform.

I strongly suggest you contact some organizations to get charges laid. Ask your MP for suggestions of who you should contact, as well as searching yourself online (surely we have an equivalent of the ACLU?). These organizations should be able to find out who was working at that station during those hours through Freedom of Information and can charge the lot of them with harassment. If we're lucky, it'll go through to the Supreme Court and the whole thing will be removed and replaced by a sensible and effective solution.

No one deserves to be terrorized by their own governments. Especially when you haven't done anything more wrong than attempting free movement.

I am ashamed to be Canadian today.


avatar
 22 Nov 2010 10:52 PM
 18 Jul 2006
Dazed
Postaholic
8,516
I object to the scanners because they have already lied to us about them, how they work, and their "safety features". I think they are completely ineffective and using them would justify their existence.

I would rather go through a pat-down and attempt to charge them with harassment than implicitly agree that those scanners are effective. I also will not do a pat-down in a separate room---do it in public if you're going to do it at all and give me your name and badge number. If you think it's the right thing that you're doing then damn straight, you'd stand by your actions.

As well, sometimes you're not given the choice, as in AmberM's case. That is the slippery slope we're already sliding down. Heck no, I don't agree to any of this, and I hope that more people actively don't agree, too.

*** And let me say once again that I have had to go through a similar pat-down experience. But I earned it through my own stupid actions (poor packing in a carry-on). That's acceptable to me. Just doing it "randomly" with no justification whatsoever is completely, utterly different. Plus, it sounds like my guy was much, much, much gentler and more professional (explaining what he was doing and why) than this lady was. I am certain I could have asked for his name and badge number and I would have gotten it, especially since I declined him having to go find a woman to do the pat-down.

avatar
 31 Oct 2012 11:59 PM
 30 Apr 2012
 buzzle.ca
buzzle
New Member
0

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