In today’s Washington Post, Jeffrey Rosen presents a compelling case against the TSA’s new airport security measures. What many of us felt in our bones, he spells out in detail. If you’re still on the fence about the TSA’s revealing scans and intimate pat-downs, you owe it to yourself to read Rosen’s “Why the TSA pat-downs and body scans are unconstitutional.”
Not the least of his arguments is that the Rapiscan scanners used in the US are unnecessarily revealing and, not incidentally, do not detect the type of powdered explosive used by the “underwear bomber.” The ProVision ATD scanners used in the Netherlands, for example, preserve the individual’s privacy while still showing the location of suspicious items. They also use radio waves instead of controversial “backscatter” radiation.
It’s only public speculation, of course, that the US is using Rapiscan scanners because the manufacturer is a client of Michael Chertoff, former Secretary of Homeland Security and co-founder of the Chertoff Group, a security consulting company. After all, according to at least one source, the US is also buying the ProVision scanners. But of course this is about security, not scanner sales, right?