The TSA announced
today that it is implementing a new screening procedure to replace
the so-called X-Ray backscatter machines because of concerns about
the cumulative effects of radiation on frequent travelers.
The new procedure
will be simpler, safer and quicker, a TSA spokesman told Mendax
In order to
maintain a sense of modesty and propriety, the new system will have
two lines designated "Rams" and "Ewes" in which
passengers will remove their clothing and put it on a conveyor for
scanning by a TSA professional. The use of animal terms for male
and female indicates which sex is appropriate for each line without
specifying or mandating compliance, thus avoiding an anticipated
challenge to the procedure based on sex discrimination.
clothing returned, the passengers will pass through a small glassed-in
portal that will be fitted with cameras where their images will
be transmitted to an off-site TSA professional who will look at
the passengers and note that they are not carrying any weapons.
is designed to respect individual sensibilities regarding privacy,
modesty and personal autonomy to the maximum extent possible, while
still performing its crucial function of protecting all members
of the public from potentially catastrophic events." said TSA
spokesman, Shepherd Ovis.
that the employees viewing the pictures are not within view of the
actual passengers, and are not allowed to store any of the images.
TSA is also considering a prohibition against the public bringing
cameras within range of the disrobing area.
groups have objected to the system, claiming that it is "demeaning"
and fret that it will lead to invasions of privacy and erosion of
civil liberties. TSA has assured the public that the fears are unfounded.
interviewed said that they felt a little strange taking off their
clothes in the airport, but that it was worth it to be safe.
Sullivan [send him mail]
owns a welding shop in Atlanta, Georgia and is currently working
on design of exercise equipment.