I’ve not been entirely convinced on the body scanner either way, though at this point I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. What doesn’t move me at all is the argument that this is somehow the equivalent of a strip search and some gross violation of privacy. These images of course capture your shape, but overall bear so little resemblance to an actual person, that I would happily post an image of my own scan right here. People need to get over themselves. That said, it’s not entirely clear they actually are making us safer. NYT had an interesting on-line debate on the matter and I found Bruce Schneier’s take to be the most interesting:
A short history of airport security: We screen for guns and bombs, so the terrorists use box cutters. We confiscate box cutters and corkscrews, so they put explosives in their sneakers. We screen footwear, so they try to use liquids. We confiscate liquids, so they put PETN bombs in their underwear. We roll out full-body scanners, even though theywouldn’t have caught the Underwear Bomber, so they put a bomb in a printer cartridge. We ban printer cartridges over 16 ounces — the level of magical thinking here is amazing — and they’re going to do something else.
This is a stupid game, and we should stop playing it.
I found this part most provocative:
Exactly two things have made airplane travel safer since 9/11: reinforcing the cockpit door, and convincing passengers they need to fight back. Everything else has been a waste of money. Add screening of checked bags and airport workers and we’re done. Take all the rest of the money and spend it on investigation and intelligence.
I’m not entirely convinced that Schneier is right on the above point (in part because it’s hard to know the counter-factual world without any additional steps– maybe there would have been a successful shoe bomber if we weren’t all taking off our shoes), but if he is, boy are we being stupid.