Full Body Scanners, the Ineffective Way to Fight Terrorism
The United States Transportation Security Administration recently announced its intention of introducing up to 150 new full body scanners in airports. There’s been a lot of backlash from travelers and taxpayers regarding potential health concerns, costs, and time delays. In light of this, there’s one other big question that needs answered. How effective will these machines be at eliminating the threat of terrorism on U.S. planes?
Do They Work?
Full body scanners either use x-rays or radio waves to view the first layer right under the clothes. Unlike, medical imaging instruments, they’re not designed to penetrate the skin. Do they do what they’re supposed to? The answer is yes. Unlike a metal detector, the scan can expose things hidden directly under clothes.
The bigger question is whether it’s effective or not in terms of scanning for contraband? The problem is, the scan does not penetrate enough to be able to view body cavities and/or orifices. Even a large fold of fat on an obese person can be a place to hide objects from the device .Storing items in such places has been a long time favorite of drug smugglers. Don’t expect that to change with this new initiative and look for terrorists to take up the practice.
The full body scan simply will not deter the most dangerous terrorists. Those groups that are well organized will have no problems getting around a simple system like this. Over time these scanners are likely to thwart a few threats of the mentally unstable variety but it’s likely that our most serious threats will see them as a minor obstacle in their path.
Are there alternatives?
Some feel that the TSA may be jumping the gun by putting all of its money into body scanners. Currently, there are two other alternatives that have some merit. The TSA has tinkered with the “puffer” and the “guardian”. Both use chemicals to see if there are explosive devices on a person. The guardian can even detect substances in hard to monitor places like shoes. Of course, these devices have their own weaknesses, mostly around the maintenance of the machines. Still, the TSA might want to save its money and see if either one is a viable option once improvements are made.
In conclusion one would find it very difficult to say that full body scanners will actually deter or prevent any terrorist attacks. For it to work a terrorist would have to be extremely illogical in his or her thought pattern to think that a weapon or bomb could be smuggled right under their clothes. It’s highly unlikely that the initiative will make any real dent in serious terrorist activities. As such, a better path would probably be to spend the funds on more worthwhile efforts such as intelligence.
Related News Articles
Hamilton County Sheriff's search for answers on heroin deaths in jail
Thu, 18 Dec 2014 17:55:03 -0800
Random K-9 searches and a $250,000 body scanner have not kept drugs especially heroin from getting in the Hamilton County Jail. Now another inmate is dead from an overdose and the sheriff's department is looking for answers.
Syracuse's Hancock Airport gets full body security screening machine
Thu, 04 Dec 2014 15:25:27 -0800
The next time you fly out of Syracuse’s Hancock Airport there's a good chance you'll have to go through a new security scanner. The TSA has just installed a state of the art full body scanner at the security checkpoint.
eBay lists a naked full-body scanner still at airports as for sale
Fri, 05 Dec 2014 04:13:23 -0800
The Rapiscan scanner, once used at US and UK airports, has been posted on eBay for $8,000 despite still being used at airports in Africa as well as courtrooms and prisons in America.
Naked man arrested after causing incident at Boston airport
Sun, 23 Nov 2014 11:48:25 -0800
Cameron Shenk, 26, faces a laundry list of charges after he was spotted running from women's bathroom in Logan Airport "naked and bleeding"
X-ray Scanner Prank
Thu, 18 Dec 2014 17:54:31 -0800
Pose like a pro X-ray scanner in front of your friends and family with fake scan app. This app is fun full prank to begin with children...
Apple forces Papers, Please to put on underwear before it can release for iPad [Updated]
Thu, 11 Dec 2014 13:39:56 -0800
Update, 12/12: Lucas Pope tweeted that he spoke with Apple, and said that the pornographic content classification was a misunderstanding, and suggested he resubmit Papers, Please with the body scanner nudity option. One of […]
Artec Eva Scanner Used in Creation of President Obama's 3D Portrait
Mon, 08 Dec 2014 09:00:00 -0800
Artec Group, a leading developer and manufacturer of professional 3D software and hardware, today announces the use of its Eva scanner in the creation of United States President Barack Obama's 3D-printed ...
Apple briefly censors nudity in iPad version of Papers, Please
Fri, 12 Dec 2014 14:08:29 -0800
The newly-launched iPad version of Papers, Please has briefly been censored by Apple, reports note. Players assume the role of a passport control agent in the fictional Eastern Bloc country of Arstotzka. Later into the game players have access to a full-body scanner; in the original PC title, players could toggle whether this presented characters in full (but cartoonish and low-resolution ...
Retired US airport body scanners fail to spot guns, knives
Mon, 24 Nov 2014 18:11:33 -0800
A type of body scanner in wide use across U.S. airports through last year fails to spot well-concealed weapons including guns and knives, computer security researchers contend. The Rapiscan Secure 1000 full body scanner provides only "weak protection against adaptive adversaries," according to their paper , which will be presented on Thursday at the Usenix Security Symposium in San Diego. The ...
8 children killed in northern Australian city
Thu, 18 Dec 2014 19:39:55 -0800
Eight children were found dead on Friday inside a home in a northern Australian city, police said.