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Objections to TSA’s full-body scanners are rising

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Christopher Elliott
Washington Post
Friday, April 30, 2010

Having second thoughts about those new full-body scanners being used at airports by the Transportation Security Administration? The federal agency charged with protecting the nation’s transportation systems may want to take a second look — at you.

It apparently did when Karen Cummings refused to submit to a scan, which uses high-frequency radio waves to see through your clothes. Cummings, who works for a software company in Boston, described what subsequently happened to her at Logan Airport as “unnecessary” and “unpleasant.”

“The pat-down was completely thorough, as though I was a common criminal or a drug pusher,” she said. “The only place I was not touched was in my crotch — and isn’t that the one place they should be checking, after the underwear bomber?”


Cummings is part of a small but growing group of air travelers who say that they’re troubled by the TSA’s use of advanced imaging technology.

Houston-based Web developer Cheryl Wise had a similar confrontation when she refused to be scanned in Denver earlier this year. A TSA screener, who she says was upset by her decision, ordered a “level two” search of her luggage.

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

“Every compartment of my computer bag was opened and every pocket emptied,” she recalled. “Every compartment or pocket of my computer bag that held an electronic device was wiped separately with an explosives detector, as were my shoes and the inside of my purse that held no electronics at all.” Wise published the entire account on her blog, by-expression.com, under the headline, “TSA screening insanity.”

Full story here.

This article was posted: Friday, April 30, 2010 at 11:57 am

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