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October 9th, 2010

My Airport Experience

Airport scanners

From Prison Planet:
Naked Body Scanners: Monumental Cover Up Exposed
“Feds admit they lied over storing images, why trust them over safety, functionality and efficiency of radiation-firing machines?

At the height of the furor over airport body scanners earlier this year, the TSA publicly stated that it was not possible to store, record, transmit or print out the images that show in detail the naked bodies of men, women and children that have passed through them. At the time we presented evidence to the contrary. Now it has been conclusively proven that the TSA and other federal agencies using the scanners flat out lied to an unwitting public.”

From Bloomberg:
Airport `Naked Image’ Scanners May Get Privacy Upgrades
“The concerns of travelers such as Powell, which led privacy advocates to sue the government, may soon be eased. L-3 Communications Holdings Inc. and OSI Systems Inc.’s Rapiscan, makers of the scanners for U.S. airports, are delivering software upgrades that show a generic figure rather than an actual image of a passenger’s body parts. The new display would mark sections of a person’s body that need to be checked.

The revisions “certainly address most of the privacy concerns,” Peter Kant, a Rapiscan executive vice president, said in an interview. Every passenger will generate an avatar that “looks like a guy wearing a baseball cap,” he said.”

During my NYC trip there were body scanners at one airport I went through. They look eery. I didn’t see anyone else opting out but then again I was feeling nervous so may have missed it.

Why was I nervous? Well, I had to walk up to a bunch of grumpy looking TSA agents and ask for a pat down. The reports of the pat downs have been creepy. I didn’t want to be groped at the airport but figure therapy could mend me up. If the reports are true about these machines fucking with people’s DNA then that’s worse than being groped. I don’t know of any therapy that can fix that.

But I calmed myself down and went up to say hello. I explained that I was “new agey” and was nervous about the body scanners. “Are those the ones that scan you and take your picture?” I asked. One TSA agent answered me by telling me that no they weren’t the ones that took my picture but that they did scan my picture. That made no sense but I hadn’t planned on trusting their answer anyway. I recognized the machines from pictures I’d seen online.

I said the machines creeped me out and that I’d like the pat down please. I smiled and was polite. The TSA agent said the machines weren’t dangerous. I said I understood but that they creeped me out and that I’d like the pat down please. (I didn’t want to argue I just wanted to request the opt out alternative.) He sighed and pointed me over to another TSA agent that was supervising the metal detectors for carry ons.

I walked over and said hello. Again I was polite and smiled. I said that the body scanners freaked me out and that I’d like the pat down please. She frowned and said they weren’t any more dangerous than a cell phone’s radiation. I said I understood but that the body scanners freaked me out and that I’d like the pat down please.

She sighed and looked around. Then she told me to go through the old metal detector. I said thank you and did just that. And that was it. I was through security. I picked up my bags and walked off to find breakfast.

If you don’t want to go through the body scanners know your rights. I knew I could ask for a pat down. They were annoyed but complied. I purposely arrived extra early in case the pat down took awhile. But the whole incident took maybe three extra minutes if that.

Posted by Vixen as News at 11:56 PM CDT

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