culture, politics, travel

Naked X-Rays at BWI

First they came to Phoenix. Then they came to New York and Los Angeles. Now they’ve come to Baltimore.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff last month unveiled a new screening system being tested at Baltimore-Washington International Airport.

The $2.1 million pilot program at BWI, called Checkpoint Evolution, features “whole body imaging” machines that give Security Screeners an eyeful including passengers’ moles, scars, sores, nipples, and genitalia. Passengers who object to giving Security Screeners a peep show can request a groping instead.

The checkpoint makeover also squanders more than $300,000 of taxpayers’ money on aesthetic improvements, including soft lighting and calming music. “By calming things down, we allow officers to interact with passengers in a way that lowers the general stress level,” Secretary Chertoff told the Baltimore Sun.

Most travelers passing through Southwest Airlines’ Terminal B checkpoint at BWI are expected to face Security Screeners trampling their Fourth Amendment rights under the Checkpoint Evolution system.

But some aren’t concerned. “As long as it’s for my safety I don’t have a problem with it,” a Baltimore woman told the Sun.

Nacktheit macht sicher.

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4 thoughts on “Naked X-Rays at BWI

  1. It’s so difficult to know where the line should be. It’s clear that in the age of VA Tech, and 9/11 we need security from terrorists and crazies wanting to make the evening news. What’s not clear is where do safety and privacy correctly intersect.
    I’m ambivalent about this now. I’m looking for a good argument either way to sway me.

    Thanks,
    Chris

  2. How long do you think it will take before the first security checkpoint images make it to the web? As long as they are doing it for my security, indeed.

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