Travelling through the United States in the near future? Well, consider that when going through airport security in US airports, if you cause the wand to beep, you will be offered either a pat-down or a backscatter x-ray, which will produce an image of your completely nude body... and any bombs, weapons or other terr'ist goodies you may be carrying.
Sky Harbor International Airport here will test a new federal screening system that takes X-rays of passenger's bodies to detect concealed explosives and other weapons.Of course, the Transportation Safety Agency is implementing certain safeguards to protect your privacy.
The technology, called backscatter, has been around for several years but has not been widely used in the U.S. as an anti-terrorism tool because of privacy concerns.
Some say the high-resolution images — which clearly depict the outline of the passenger's body, plus anything attached to it, such as jewelry — are too invasive.And the US doesn't do warrantless wiretapping, they don't torture and they meticulously observe all ratified international treaties and conventions.
But the TSA said the X-rays will be set up so that the image can be viewed only by a security officer in a remote location. Other passengers, and even the agent at the checkpoint, will not have access to the picture.
In addition, the system will be configured so that the X-ray will be deleted as soon as the individual steps away from the machine. It will not be stored or available for printing or transmitting, agency spokesman Nico Melendez said.
Susan Hallowell, the director of the Transportation Security Administration's security laboratory, allows her body to be X-rayed by the 'backscatter' machine at the Transportation Security Administration in Egg Harbor Township, N.J., Wednesday, June 25, 2003. Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix Arizona will test the new federal screening system that takes X-rays of passenger's bodies to detect concealed explosives and other weapons. The technology, called backscatter, has been around for several years but has not been widely used in the U.S. as an anti-terrorism tool because of privacy concerns. (AP Photo/Brian Branch-Price)
Y'know, there may be a market for a nudist airline.