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Invasion of Privacy
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It was reported in the news recently that a new security scanner is going into service in the near future. This scanner looks at people, not through them to the bones, but through their clothes to their skin. In the scanner display, the person's body au naturel is clearly visible, along with the contents of the pockets (pen, change, knife, whatever). Love handles and other body formations are easily seen, as if the person were naked.

Isn't this an unreasonable search? Currently, travelers are asked to turn out their pockets and put the contents in the scanner tray. My friend has to carry a Dr's note because he has a metal plate with screws in his neck. All your luggage and shoes are scanned, your body reviewed by a handheld scanner which beeps most unmelodiously at the slightest hint of metal.

Why do security personnel need aa clothing-removal view? I think it's unconstitutional. First, the handheld scanner will pick up weapons. Likely objects for use as weapons have to be abandoned to the security trash bin. Luggage is scanned and opened if needed. Seems enough to me without a visual of my body.

The ACLU says the scanners invade personal privacy. "This leads directly to a surveillance society," said Barry Steinhardt, who runs the ACLU's technology program.

But Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff told a Senate subcommittee last month that he wants to employ the technology and doesn't want an "endless debate" over privacy issues. Excuse me? We as a democracy are supposed to debate issues which touch on our security, our rights, our responsibilities. We are not sheep to be led to slaughter or pasture, unthinking.

Side note: As personal combat experts will tell you, anything can be used as a weapon.

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