The TSA says to Albany: “don’t be so quick to walk away / we want to rock your body, please stay (still while we initiate the full body scan).”

All the romance is gone. (Photo: Associated Press file)

According to CBS 6, the scanners could arrive as early as the beginning of 2011.

The scans are not without controversy themselves. Ideally they’re not supposed to save images, however Gizmodo was able to retrieve (and subsequently released) 100 full body scans that were saved by a scanner in a courthouse in Orlando, Florida. The US Marshals appear to have saved the scans without legal authorization. Seeing as how the images were obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request, it appears the Marshals incorrectly assumed they were within their rights to save the images. Still, it started a firestorm online (doesn’t everything?).

Is there a possibility the images could be saved, even though they’re not supposed to be? Sure. But the X-ray images are about essentially white blurbs, and if you’re going through an airport or a courthouse you’re on-camera anyway.

So seriously, what’s the BFD here?

I, for one, would much rather have a full body scan than the current process of having a TSA agent play doctor with you in full view of everyone.

Previously: In a Post-9/11 World, There is No “No-No Place”

 
  • Em

    There are two different types of scanners they’re implementing. One type is the white-blob type and the other is a very detailed image of you in all you glory.

  • Marty

    I could care less if they want to look or even keep pictures of my private areas. I’ll be opting out due to health reasons. If the pilots union doesn’t want their members going through why would I?

    Who knows what will happen in 5 years? The TSA will apologize for causing cancer or some other illness with this radiation? Not to me they won’t be.

  • Angelos

    And they don’t really work anyway.

  • http://advantagesound.blogspot.com Andy M.

    Any type of device that can penetrate clothing to reveal “dangerous objects” cannot be good for your health. We know X-rays are carcinogenic. These millimeter wave systems have not undergone thorough enough testing to show that they’re not.

  • Em

    http://www.jaunted.com/story/2010/1/6/165831/7563/travel/Full-Body+Scanners+101%3A+How+Naked+Is+Full-Body+Scan+Naked%3F

    Pretty in-detail if you ask me…and if the UK won’t allow kids under 18 to get scanned because it violates child pornography laws….well…

    Although I AM tempted to fake an orgasm during one of their “professional security rub-downs” or whatever they’re calling it. To prove a point of course. About science.

    • http://blog.timesunion.com/marshall/ Kevin Marshall

      Em - Haven’t clicked but am assuming that link is NSFW?

  • American Girl Mommy

    I for one, do not wish to have my kids (who are young) exposed to this level of radiation due to health risks later in life. (I believe that pediatricians recommend as minimal exposure to medical tests requiring radiation as possible as well.) Unfortunately, the alternative of a full body pat down is not something I feel they need to experience either. So…. risk their physical well being, mental state – or limit their ability to travel…. What a world we live in today. It’s sad.

    • http://blog.timesunion.com/marshall/ Kevin Marshall

      Folks,

      Are these legit concerns over radiation? How much is science and how much is alarmism and fear?

      TIME doesn’t seem sure, and concludes it depends on how much radiation you’re already being exposed to. The reason it’s not recommended to pilots is because they specifically get exposure to more radiation than the average person already.

      While some scientists express concern, particularly when it comes to small children, most experts and scientists think the fear is unfounded (ABC News).

      A lot of the reaction is due to the use of the phrase “X-Ray”, which is creating in the minds of many a false equivalency with x-rays and full body scans we get at the doctor’s office. It’s actually a bit different, doesn’t penetrate as deep and emits less radiation.

      Are there concerns? Maybe, but be careful. The degree to which is being expressed here and elsewhere doesn’t seem based on science so much as speculation.

      Isn’t the point NOT to let unfounded fear overcome sense and logic?

  • PW – Paulie WalnutZ

    if they scan me and save the photo…then the image of my junk is leaked (ha ha) onto the web, I will be a SUPERSTAR…bring it on TSA.

    If your afraid of the big scary x-ray machine then sell your microwave, get the old fashioned hand rub down and SHUT THAT HOLE IN YOUR FACE.

  • http://twitter.com/jgrhodes JGR

    As a radiation expert (No BS, I really am) You would get more radiation from the flight than the scanners. Also, if you’re a smoker, you get exponential amounts more to your lungs than from these types of scanners.

  • Xen

    I’ve been reading up a lot on this stuff lately and all of it is bad news. I will be refusing to fly in all possible cases. The government does not need to be taking naked pictures of me nor do they have the right to sexually assault me. There have already been many complaints around the country of how invasive these “pat downs” are, and to peaceful citizens with no probable cause. I’ve also read the opinions of several international security experts that say these machines are useless in many ways and will not prevent terrorism. Neither are efficient. If you are okay with this invasion of privacy and attack on the 4th amendment, I suspect you would have no problems with your home randomly being raided once in a while just to make sure you aren’t a terrorist or criminal.

  • Em

    I’m a bad judge of that…I’m at work and I clicked on it….
    It looks like a photograph negative.

    • http://blog.timesunion.com/marshall/ Kevin Marshall

      Em – Hm. Just checked on my laptop during break and…I’m not sure. Some could say it is? I don’t know! This thing is confusing! Damnit TSA!

      Let’s just say check it at home, folks, just to be on the safe side.

  • MMaur

    Em made me laugh out loud :) I hope I’m behind Em in the security line!

  • Chris

    Unnecessary, both of those things, and they’re going about the idea of security the wrong way.

    http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/744199—israelification-high-security-little-bother

  • Gman

    Next time I fly, I swear I’m stripping down to my skivvies. As a patriotic gesture.

  • u2

    PC America at it’s finest…….The ACLU says you can’t look at a male wee wee, yet they also say you’re racist if you get nervous because some Muslims sit next to you on a plane and speak Arabic.

    Where does the madness end? I’m more worried about some stupid 16 year old texting whilst driving than I am about my junk being photographed at an airport.

  • ErinsDad

    Em – Looking forward to your “Meg-Ryan-In The-Carnegie-Deli” performance. I have an image of the TSA people reacting to “YES YES YES YES YES YES”.

  • Billy

    Another mindless concession of our liberty for the betterment of the “State”. Anyone ever read 1984?

  • Sherman K. Wisely

    I will not submit to body scanners.
    It is bad enough they make me take off my fine suede shoes and leather belt upon entering the metal detection check points. Radioactive naked body scanners are so outlandish I do not need to detail all the reasons why we must resist.

  • HomeTownGirl

    They should offer you an 8 X 10 and two glossy wallet photos…kinda like a ride at the amusement park. Perhaps a keychain photo.

  • Eric

    Based on existing medical understanding and taking the companies at their word the backscatter x-rays will result in 1 additional cancer death per 200 million scans ( this presume the device is in good working order and does not count tumors and cancers that do not result in death ).

    That means that the TSA will be killing 12 domestic flyers a year. They have yet to prove that the devices will actually make flying any easier and we have no moved on to technology that *will* kill people.

    It’s a moot point though, they do not have the authority for such an invasive search. In order to go about our lives irradiation, molestation, or interrogation by government agents should not be a requirement.