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How dumb are people to not realize it's radiation one way or another? Do they think it's "magic" they can see through your clothes?

How can there be a class action lawsuit against printer ink, but not against radiating you for no reason with devices that have no track record?

Where are these devices for entering Congress or the Whitehouse if they are so safe?

So would the President choose the radiation naked picture method or the deep groping method for his daughters? I'd seriously like that question asked at some point by the press.

ps. Even if you opt-out, you are probably being exposed to whatever radiation method they use.

Note how in this photo the person in line, not just the person in the scanner is being exposed:


> So would the President choose the radiation naked picture method or the deep groping method for his daughters? I'd seriously like that question asked at some point by the press.

No one in the press has the guts to ask him this. But man, I'd love to see that too.

There is a meme growing on Twitter:


Mr. President: Would you send Michelle/Sasha/Malia through TSA screening? Naked photos or invasive genital groping, you get to pick.

This appears to have started on Reddit:


It will be interesting to be able to pinpoint where this started if it has any actual effect on the situation.

this Mediate article has background on the Twitter meme: http://www.mediaite.com/online/reddit-users-asks-obama-to-se...

Airforce-1 doesn't have this.

Nor do any private plane terminals for that matter, international and domestic. You own or charter a plane - you are TSA-free.

Because there are no terrorists who can afford their own planes, clearly.

For now? I wonder.

To be fair, not just the President but also any Congressperson/Senator that is interviewed for the rest of the year on any program.

Which one do you want your mother/children experiencing, naked picture radiation, deep groping, or would you instead choose the $10,000 fine for leaving (and possibly being put on the no-fly list forever)?

Maybe I'm just cynical but I'd imagine the answer would be something like, "The scanner. The devices are safe and we feel their use is important for ensuring the safety of US citizens. Next question?"

Yeah, you can give any answer when you know you'll never need to actually be put through any of the options.

If everyone who flies, and I do mean everyone (regardless of whether you'll be boarding a personal plane), had to go through this every time, we'd see this go away.

I talked with the TSA's director of privacy policy Peter Pietra a while ago, and he's a big proponent of the scanners: he thinks there aren't any radiation risks. My guess is that a lot of the people in the administrations see things the same way.

I had no idea what $10k fine you were talking about, but did some searching and found this (for anyone else who doesn't keep up on all the latest TSA news).


Utah Congreessman Jason Chaffetz has made quite a big deal about getting rid of the backscatter x-ray machines in the past, when they were first being implemented

indeed. back in May 2009, as a freshman congressman, Jason led an unexpected bipartisan outcry in the House that got the machines defunded. the vote happened right before final session of the Computers, Freedom, and Privacy conference (which was in DC that year) where we had been talking -- and tweeting! -- about this all week.

it really isn't a partisan issue.

This is something I just don't get. Congressmen are some of the most frequent flyers, and if anybody outside TSA itself has any say in the matter, it is them. Why don't they push harder? Alternatively, why does the press behave as if congressmen are simply ignorant of the issue? Why don't they discuss it publicly?

No matter what he says, he can't win. Some will blame him for keeping the scanners in place and the others will play the political game blame him for being weak on security (even if they know the scanners are useless)

It would be a waste of a question because the President will never have to experience this scanning. Better yet: ask Chelsea Clinton or the Bush daughters.

Brilliant framing of the issue. I can see the ads already. This framing is almost as brilliant as the death tax.

> Do they think it's "magic" they can see through your clothes?


"Where are these devices for entering Congress or the Whitehouse if they are so safe?"

Jackpot. Part of the trouble is that the policy makers don't have to swallow their own medicine. They have private jets and political connections that place them above their own laws. It's not even that they are "above" the law. They simply write laws that won't involve them.

As much as I enjoy picking apart irrational government actions, you're stretching it here. For example, (deceased) Senator Ted Kennedy claimed to have been on the list and detained at airports.

See https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/No_Fly_List#F... :

In August 2004, Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) told a Senate Judiciary Committee discussing the No Fly List that he had appeared on the list and had been repeatedly delayed at airports.

Of course, he was eventually able to get his name off the list, something that few mortals are able to accomplish.

The fact that he was able to remove himself from the list seems to validate my argument. The senator was able to appeal directly to the Homeland Security Secretary.

From the article: Recognizing that as a U.S. Senator he was in a privileged position of being able to contact Ridge, Kennedy said of "ordinary citizens": "How are they going to be able to get to be treated fairly and not have their rights abused?"

I'm still shocked over this incident overall. The fact that someone wouldn't be able to identify Teddy by sight, let alone his voice is shocking. Let alone, if you go to your supervisor they didn't know.

Yeah, there's also the tricky bit for the TSA that it's a particularly nasty felony to interfere with a Congressman's duties.

The fact that you can see the next person in line proves that this picture is a blatant fake. (Note how the apparent sizes of the two people are identical to the actual photo: I guarantee that the x-ray camera isn't sitting at the same position that the photo was taken from! This picture and the others like it are a bad Photoshop job, nothing more.)

I loathe the body scanner/groping policies as much as the next guy. But it doesn't help our case if the arguments against them turn out to be falsified.

They are not fake.


There are 100 of them, those are just a sampling.

I'm not interested in how many of them there are, I'm interested in what they show. And from what I've seen of those galleries, a number of these supposed scanner images show people who aren't in the scanner.

If you can explain to me how that's possible with any of the current porno scanner technologies, you've got a case. (In particular, you'll need to explain why the "scanner images" show people from the same angle and perspective as the photos that accompany them.) Otherwise, I stand by my claim: whether it's one picture or a hundred, they're faked.

Real images, but a different technology.

The EM spectrum is a big thing; presumably they thought it was infrared or something harmless like that since there aren't radiation hazard symbols everywhere.

That picture is the millimeter wave scanner, which doesn't use radiation. The backscatter scanners are the xray type and are the majority of the scanners in airports.

You didn't pay very close attention in physics class did you?

Millimeter wavelength electromagnetic waves are still radiation as much as any other wavelength.

So? If you think that all parts of the EM spectrum have the same effect then you didn't pay very close attention in physics class.

Propping up pseudoscience bullshit like "it's radiation!" is the same reason why we have to deal with morons complaining about wifi signal.

Ugh /former physics minor

>think that all parts of the EM spectrum have the same effect

Absolutely nowhere did I indicate that.

It does use radiation, and radiation is for the most part, and in this case, completely harmless.

I would assert that not understanding that all EM waves are radiation, including visible light, is the reason we have to deal with morons complaining about wifi signals.

/former physics major, and current title dropper

For better or worse, the word "radiation" carries a negative connotation. It bugs me when people who know better throw the word around knowing that they exploit people's ignorance.

Of course people not understanding that all EM is radiation is a problem but the statement that "it is a problem because people don't understand x" is true for almost every value of x.

Erm, I shoulda said "xray". My mistake. :)

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