TLP: Get Used To It
In the travels The Lazy Paperboy has taken in the last year, he's encountered the latest in TSA technology perhaps more than his fair share of times. Certainly more than his traveling companion has, even though, as she has detailed, he presents a far more legitimate presence at the security checkpoint. For instance, actually carrying ID.
The way things look, she may be in for the kind of bits-peeping she now finds so entertaining for TLP.
Joe Sharkey tells us to step on the yellow footprints and raise our arms, courtesy of the NYT:
You may think of this as the summer of the heat wave. I prefer to think of it as the summer of the body scanner.So far, so good. But no guarantees once the body cavity searches start.
As the Transportation Security Administration buys these machines and installs them at more and more airport checkpoints, a lot of travelers are having their initial encounters with them. And while I hear from large numbers of readers who hate the idea, it’s becoming increasingly clear that body scanners will soon be a standard part of the air travel experience.
Today, 142 body scanners are in use at 41 airports, and the security administration says it will have more than 450 installed by the end of the year.
The rationale for this is clear. Nonmetallic explosives pose a major security threat. As was demonstrated by the infamous, if inept, underwear bomber last Christmas Day, a person can pass through airport metal detectors with chemical explosives hidden in clothing. Body scanners see through clothing, detecting any mass on the body, metal or not.
While some critics claim that terrorists can defeat the technology by hiding explosive material in body cavities, the momentum for body scanners is strong. In late June, for example, legislation was introduced in the Senate to require the security administration to replace magnetometer metal detectors with body scanners at all airport checkpoints by 2013.