If You Turn Down Airport Nudie Scans, You Will Get Groped

The full body scans at airports - the ones that reveal your naughty bits in great detail - are fortunately optional, given prior abuse. But after Octopber 31, if you opt out, it looks like you'll be more thoroughly "screened" than ever.

While turning down the full body scan has always resulted in a pat-down, there's a newer "enhanced" screening procedure that's being tested at some airports if you opt out, like at Boston's Logan airport. Here's what's it like described on Daily Kos:

Two (female) TSA officers stepped over to me, and gave me the new procedure, which included touching my face and hair, and in between and directly under my breasts. Much like a medical appointment, they explained the motions they would make before actually touching me, and both women were professional and polite about the screening - even apologetic about it - but I couldn't help but think this was overly invasive overkill.

And on another blog:

Immediately, the screeners we very rude to me and ordered me to sit down, which I did. I waited with no communication and no acknowledgement that my wallet and carry-ons had long since come through their screening, and were waiting on the other side for anyone to pick up.

Finally a team came over, had me go through the metal detector, collect my things and go to a separate area. These screeners were very pleasant, if also thorough–they took every single item in every pocket of every bag and swabbed each separately, and scanned for explosives. They patted me down and asked a lot of questions.

The Transportation Security Administration confirms to Christopher Elliott that it "is in the process of implementing an enhanced pat-down at security checkpoints as one of our many layers of security", which is being tested in Boston and Las Vegas.

They're more coy about how and when the new, gropier screening technique will be implemented across the US, but the gist of Elliott's conversation with the TSA is that it's either going to roll out out nationwide on October 31, or it's going to be phased in gradually. (I would guess in time for holiday travel.) So get ready to spread 'em. Or, um, spread 'em. [Elliott.org via BoingBoing]

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    So you STILL have to take out your wallet and take off your shoes etc? I couldn't give a crap about nuddie scanning but I hate the rest of it. I'd rather JUST have nuddie scan and NOT have to take off my shoes, jacket, scarf, hat etc and then struggle to put all that stuff on again on the other side.

    Future regulations will have us all flying nude :P

    I don't care how invasive it gets no one is getting me or my loved ones into an x-ray machine unless it’s required for a medical procedure.

    Even though the dosage is low it just means the risk is minimal.
    It has long been accepted that damage from x-ray exposure is cumulative even if it is minimal damage.
    It wouldn’t surprise me to see in 10 or 15 years forms of skin cancer turning up on people in areas not normally related to sun exposure.

      Would you like some cancer with your frequent flyer miles?

    is that a promise?

    how many terrorists have actually been caught going through the screening procedure at airports? i'd like to know. why are they getting more invasive? is it because they're still getting through? or are people becoming more clever in where they hide their toothpaste?

    We really are losing this war on terrorism aren't we?

      Well i'm now terrified of having to go through airport security. How embarrassing.

    Aren't the September 11th terrorist meant to have taken over the plane without guns, bombs etc?

    So they, if they were still alive of course, could walk through this and pass with flying colours.

    Good GOD people, get a brain!

    I have a background in Radiology and Nuclear Medicine and this type of device is concerning.
    Medical use of Xrays learnt a long time ago that low energy ionising radiation is bad for people because it is more readily absorbed leading to higher equivalent dose / greater biological effect.
    So for most diagnostic procedures the energy is set high enough + filters may be used to ensure the low energy spectra that would simply be absorbed by the skin and not give you any information (just increase your dose) are removed.

    In the case of these scanners though if the beam has to show soft tissue and skin then ergo - the use of low energy radiation in these devices will be more readily absorbed and lead to greater absorbed dose per individual.

    There's potential risk here that frequent fliers could be exposed to signficant cumulative doses - has anyone done the numbers ?

    Until they do I for one would be opting for the pat down for sure as a precaution - we don't use flouroscopy technology to check if shoes fit correctly for this very reason (yes at one time this happend) !

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