Full-body scans aren't the right solution

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The failed terrorist attempt to blow up the Detroit-bound plane by Umar Farouk Abdumutallab has prompted the Transportation Security Administration to press on installing full-body-imaging machines in major airports across the globe. This is a typical knee-jerk reaction from bureaucrats responding to a crisis -- by pumping more money, by exerting more authority or by expanding more turf.

Pumping more money to counterterrorism by installing full-body scanners is not the right solution. Moreover, it infringes civil liberty and privacy. Asking for more authority and more funding will improve public safety only marginally, but at a big expense to the liberty we all treasure so much.

If we are willing to surrender the major stake of civil liberty that democratic societies enjoy, and live under an authoritarian hierarchy like communist countries, yes, terrorist activities can be suppressed. But is it worth it?

There is plenty of evidence that Umar Farouk Abdumutallab is a terrorist. His father had alerted U.S. authorities of his son's extreme religious views months ago; British intelligence agencies knew three years ago the accused Detroit bomber had made contact with Islamic extremists while studying at a university in London, but failed to flag him as a possible terrorist risk; and e-mails that Mr. Abdulmutallab wrote when he was a 19-year-old student appear to show him admitting to having "jihadist fantasies."

Even President Obama has bluntly admitted the failures. Intelligence agencies have spent a great deal of effort collecting data, but not enough effort in communicating, screening and analyzing the data. This is the root cause of the intelligent failures, not lacking full-body scanners.

One potential answer may lie in leveraging the talents we have in software programming to better detect and analyze communicating bits and pieces through the Internet or cell phones. Of course, don't forget good communication skills to disseminate findings to the right organizations.

Bob Chang

Martinez

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LancelotLink
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LancelotLink 01/15/10 - 04:28 am
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Mr Chang, you make repeated

Mr Chang, you make repeated claims of "violations of civil liberties" but never elaborate on how you believe full body scanners will do that. When you voluntarily (key word) choose to use commercial mass transportation, you are consenting to submit to searches of your person and belongings for public safety. As to your last paragraph, obviously you have never worked for an intelligence agency and do not comprehend the magnitude of the task and the excellent technology they already possess and use to great effect.

LancelotLink
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LancelotLink 01/15/10 - 04:30 am
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I'll leave you with this

I'll leave you with this thought - The intelligence and counter-terror organizations have to be correct 100% of the time, the terrorists only have to get it right once.

nofanofobama
6993
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nofanofobama 01/15/10 - 06:14 am
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sorry lance i have to

sorry lance i have to disagree it is one of he premises of this country that you are not subject to unlawful search..with the protection granted us by the bill of rights i ought to be able to partake in every day commerce without being literally stripped searched. airline security presents a major problem but i think we need to think it out more b/4 we give our rights to the govt on such a grand scale..especially with this administration and their many examples of violating the constitution and extreme intrusion in our lives*****

johnston.cliff
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johnston.cliff 01/15/10 - 06:31 am
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The anti-gun people, the

The anti-gun people, the anti-search, the anti-defense and the anti-military people all need to wear some kind of identifying mark so the government and all others can recognize them and treat them accordingly.

LancelotLink
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LancelotLink 01/15/10 - 06:37 am
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nofan, I'm a very strong 4th

nofan, I'm a very strong 4th Amendment proponent and supporter. The key here is that by purchasing/accepting a commercial transportation you have given your implied consent to search. You have the option of not going through the checks and not getting on the plane. It's entirely your choice. If they were installed on street corners, it would be a different situation.

nofanofobama
6993
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nofanofobama 01/15/10 - 06:49 am
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i know of no implied consent

i know of no implied consent as of now that give anyone the right to a full body scan .it is entirely different than than the metal scanners used at the present..and if we have an attack at the local mall are you willing to be stripped searched there too..our rights are not dictated by comerence and where we conduct commerence. .but are granted by the constituiton .if we are willing to changethe constituition, there are provision to amend it..but not by fiat..

LancelotLink
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LancelotLink 01/15/10 - 06:55 am
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Your privacy is not being

Your privacy is not being invaded if you have the freedom to avoid being searched. Whether it's a metal detector, a pat down, an inspection of your purse/wallet or a body scan matters not. You have the choice not to buy a ticket or go to the mall. There is no "invasion" if you choose to go to a place or activity that requires screening for public safety. That's about as clear as I can explain it.

LancelotLink
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LancelotLink 01/15/10 - 07:03 am
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Airports using/testing full

Airports using/testing full body scanners give passengers the option of a strip-search in lieu of walking through the machine (where the operator never sees the person, btw). That's your call on which one you think is more of an "invasion". You still have a choice which is what the Bill of Rights assures.

nofanofobama
6993
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nofanofobama 01/15/10 - 07:21 am
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then amended the constitution

then amended the constitution and it was not the original intent of the founding forefathers any more than having to harbor British soldiers in their times... then by your logic i can be searched at the local bar if i want a beer..you are giving to much power to the govt and i cant make it any clearer..we normally agree but intrusion by the govt in our everyday lives was taken very serious by our forefathers..there are remedies put in place to change our rights but its described by our bill of rights...if you give the govt carte Blanche rights in the name of security you have no freedoms...

LancelotLink
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LancelotLink 01/15/10 - 07:27 am
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The 4th Amendment makes no

The 4th Amendment makes no provisions as to search methods, only the circumstances where one may have their persons and possessions searched, I don't think any change is necessary. I don't understand what the big deal about using advanced technology is. I could make the same case for computer databases if I wanted to take your tangent on this. I'm beginning to wonder though if you have an implant that you are embarrassed about.... LOL (J/K man)

nofanofobama
6993
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nofanofobama 01/15/10 - 07:53 am
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lance-the fourth amenment

lance-the fourth amenment requires probable cause for search and perhaps limited search . because i buy an airline ticklet is not probable cause for search. the 4th amendment was ratified as a response to the abuse of the 'WRIT OF ASSISTANCE' which was a type of general search warrent in the american revolutin. key word general**and your attempt at humor is lame usually used by libs who cant have a honest debate**i would have thought better of you***

LancelotLink
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LancelotLink 01/15/10 - 07:55 am
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It says ON YOUR TICKET that

It says ON YOUR TICKET that you are subject to search. You are barking up a tree with no coon in it.

disssman
6
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disssman 01/15/10 - 07:58 am
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I remember when the airlines

I remember when the airlines "only wanted a few seats for a non-smoking area", I also remember a time when we wanted to "designate a parking space for people in wheel chairs" and what happened in both cases. The real question is "Is airtravel a required servive in todays society"? I can see a day coming when passengers will be expected to undress and wear a throw-away jump suit and booties. It just makes sense, given our penchant for ever increasing demands on feel good programs. As to full body scans that don't include the pelvis area, would they have shown anything in the latest attempt where the guy had explosive underware?

LancelotLink
0
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LancelotLink 01/15/10 - 08:01 am
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Again, and for the last time,

Again, and for the last time, you have an OPTION on whether to involve yourselves in activities that require this type of scrutiny. Drive every damn place and obey traffic laws and they'll never even notice you have a tin foil hat in your backseat.

Talkatoast
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Talkatoast 01/15/10 - 08:10 am
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The only reason I'd be

The only reason I'd be against it is children. I do not want to see a little boy walking through that virtual strip-search (or little girl) and see there nether regions. I'd have to wonder if that constitutes a form of child pornography.

Ayetidiosi
2
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Ayetidiosi 01/15/10 - 08:14 am
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Will we see two options for

Will we see two options for flyers:"Secure" and "unsecure"? Let the objectors fly on unsecured aircraft to protect their rights if they wish. Make sure these objectors sign a separate document releasing all from liability when their plane gets blown up. Price those flights 20 or 30 times higher than secure flights to offset the loss of aircraft which will occur. At least the terrorists will be killing people who had a choice, and isn't that more important than the life of that person?

willienelson
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willienelson 01/15/10 - 08:25 am
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Perhaps we could use children

Perhaps we could use children to monitor full body scans thus allaying any fears talkatoast has about child pornography. Lance has it right today. It can't be an unlawful search if you consent to it and you do this by purchasing an airline ticket.

willienelson
5
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willienelson 01/15/10 - 08:29 am
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One other less expensive

One other less expensive option remains. Attach decks to all aircraft. Those who comply with the rules regarding search by the airlines will be seated inside the plane. Those who do not comply will remain on the deck where they can also smoke.

nofanofobama
6993
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nofanofobama 01/15/10 - 08:30 am
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it says explicitly that

it says explicitly that search cannot been done by the private sector. if you dont want to use original intent thats fine but then admit it..the 4th amendment is very clear..if you want your rights to be further diluted..then follow the logic of a growing and breathing constitution that the libs use to create new right and laws not explicitly written in the constitution.that is why you see an erosion of the 4th**.

fiscallyresponsible
141
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fiscallyresponsible 01/15/10 - 08:34 am
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This is going to seriously

This is going to seriously hurt the airlines. Maybe they could come up with a computer program that "views" the scan and then only brings a human in to look at it if something seems odd or out of place. But personally, this will keep me from flying as much. I wouldn't want to risk my scan or my family's scan from getting into the wrong hands and showing up on the internet or something because some disgruntled employee downloaded the files & stole them.

LancelotLink
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LancelotLink 01/15/10 - 08:36 am
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TSA is a federal agency, ya

TSA is a federal agency, ya moron. You are not making any sense. I hate government intrusion probably worse than you do. But this is not a case where protecting the safety of the citizenry is overstepping the bounds of personal liberties.

LancelotLink
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LancelotLink 01/15/10 - 08:37 am
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The images are not retained

The images are not retained or transmitted, I'm not even going to go into all of that. I am going to stick with the constitutionality of ANY method when the person has the right to refuse to be searched. That is the issue Mr Change appeared to be trying to address, that is the one I'm addressing.

Ayetidiosi
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Ayetidiosi 01/15/10 - 08:49 am
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I will gladly allow my person

I will gladly allow my person to undergo full body scan if that is what's required to get my person where it needs to be when it needs to be there. Why do people think others would want their nasty scan images anyway? Child porn? Give me a break. I've got some bad news for you paranoid folks: people don't want to see the average MORBIDLY OBESE American naked.... EVER. If my full body scan image (I'm a trim, allegedly attractive person) gives someone else their jollies, that's THEIR defect, not mine. If my full body scan were to appear on the internet, I'd ask for royalties. If SOME of the usual posters on this site were to appear on the internet as a full body scan image, I'd just reach for my "blog sick bag" and vomit.

CobaltGeorge
176808
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CobaltGeorge 01/15/10 - 08:50 am
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Post all you want folks,

Post all you want folks, pro/cons. The real fact is, as long as we have a so called president that refuses to take positive action on people of his kind, no body scan will prevent future killing of American citizens by terrorist. All his actions so far shows that he will not hurt or say anything against muslin nations that have only one religious belief, Kill infidels.

LancelotLink
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LancelotLink 01/15/10 - 08:51 am
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I wonder if radiologists in

I wonder if radiologists in hospitals get off looking at X-rays. Man, I'm sure glad it was only my son that broke bones as a kid and not my daughter.

fiscallyresponsible
141
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fiscallyresponsible 01/15/10 - 08:54 am
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Lancelotlink I don't have

Lancelotlink I don't have any facts on this, this is just my opinion, but I think they will have to keep the images just for legal & safety back up reasons. Imagine if someone made it through and then blew up a plane. They are going to need to go back through the scans to see if the person scanning messed up or exactly how they got something through the system. There is no way they aren't going to save these images.

dstewartsr
20393
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dstewartsr 01/15/10 - 08:58 am
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The full body scan does not

The full body scan does not image items which have been hidden in body cavities. So, Lance, I'm sure you would have no objections to the dastardly digit check before borading? After all, you want to fly, and a body cavity search could be argued as only reasonable. Hey, I'm guessing you might not only not object; you might like it. We could make it part of the new health plan: A free prostate exam/Pap smear with every flight!

55 F-100
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55 F-100 01/15/10 - 09:06 am
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Full body scans are

Full body scans are necessary, but what is more important is to place the Muslims at the front of the line when it comes to all types of scrutiny. That is a fact of life in this day and time!

corgimom
38717
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corgimom 01/15/10 - 09:08 am
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If somebody wants to do a

If somebody wants to do a full body scan on me, it's ok with me, because I have nothing to hide. I would far rather get a body scan than get blown up in a plane.

LancelotLink
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LancelotLink 01/15/10 - 09:10 am
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wart and fiscally, it depends

wart and fiscally, it depends on the object that is inside a body cavity and the images that do not reveal suspicious activity are not retained. There are hundreds of articles explaining specifics about what the machines and procedures can and can not do. Just google and enjoy reading. The issue is the constitutionality of a search that the subject has consented to. Those advisory/warning signs before security checkpoints are there for a reason. There is no jack booted thug standing there to arrest you if you opt to simply turn around and walk out of the airport or train station or sporting event or whatever. DUI checkpoints are different I'll concede.

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