Full Body Scanners At PHL?

Philadelphia Weekly

Philadelphia, the federal government has seen your naked bike ride(s). They know you just love taking off your pants for the masses. That’s why the Transportation Security Administration is adding Philadelphia to a list of 28 airports to get full-body scanners by the end of the year.

There’s always going to be controversy over these things, but as machines pop up in San Francisco, Las Vegas, Houston, Baltimore, Seattle and Minneapolis, “wethinks” the world will seemingly catch up to your typical Labor Day Weekend bicyclist, and accept nakedness.

If you’ll remember, the full-body scanner controversy heated up after underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to explode a Northwest Airlines flight approaching Detroit – on Christmas. Many conservatives have backhandedly criticized the federal government for wanting to use these scanners (though they agreed with similar Homeland Security measures before 2009) and have insinuated Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, a single woman, wants to see women naked and store the images for personal use (true story.) The federal government has been sued before over these machines, most notably by the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

Nevertheless, the machines you’re going to get at PHL aim to subdue complaints. The company which made the scanners, Rapiscan, said the new machines will generate an avatar that “looks like a guy wearing a baseball cap.” See? No biggie.

Bloomberg News:

L-3 and Rapiscan shared a $47.9 million contract in April for 302 of the scanners. L-3 will get $31.7 million to build 202 machines and Rapiscan $16.2 million for 100. The funds were to come from last year’s $814 billion stimulus law.

The software changes are “a pretty substantial development” for the companies and “something that TSA has wanted,” said Jeffrey Sural, an attorney for Alston & Bird LLP in Washington and a former assistant administrator at the security agency. “There’s still a long way to go,” and months will be spent testing the technology, he said.

Using full-body imaging technology is voluntary, though passengers who refuse to be scanned may be frisked by U.S. security employees. The agency said data show when passengers were offered the choice of the scanner or alternate screening such as a pat-down, more than 98 percent chose scanners.

For more information and activism against this technology, there are numerous global groups opposed to the scanners, including several on Facebook.

All Facebook Against Airport Full Body Scanner

International Boycott of Body Scanners

Online Petition

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