12 December 2011
After the devastating terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the United States has increased its efforts in protecting its airports. At that time, “the security scanners already in place in most airports included baggage x-rays, metal detectors, and chemical residue detectors, which help security staff search out illegal items that a passenger might have” (DiLascio). These security scanners unfortunately failed in their job. Since then, the Transportation Security Administration has been keeping American airports safe using the latest technology. Airports have now been fitted with high-tech body scanners rather than the archaic metal detectors that only detect metal objects. During the past few years, individuals have attacked the TSA with lawsuits claiming that their security methods are a health risk and an invasion of one’s personal privacy. For one to make these outrageous claims is ridiculous. The TSA is only doing their job by protecting the people from any danger of another terrorist attack. If anything, those individuals should be thanking the Transportation Security Administration for their hard work and determination to keep America’s airports safe. Even though there have been many assertions that the Transportation Security Administrations procedures are invasive and harmful, they actually do not pose serious health risks nor do they invade one’s personal privacy. One might say that the TSA should find different methods of searching people instead of using body scanners and pat downs. The problem is; how can security search people for dangerous objects without either doing a pat down or sending them through a body scanner? They cannot! People should stop complaining about “being touched inappropriately” in a pat down when they had the option of going through the body scanner. People do not realize the importance of these security measures. “‘We are frequently reminded that our enemy is creative and willing to go to great lengths to evade detection,’ the director of the TSA, Kosketz said. ‘TSA utilizes the latest intelligence to inform the deployment of new technology and procedures, like the pat-down, in order to stay ahead of evolving threats’” (“Mad as Hell”). After the terrorist attacks the Transportation Security Administration has introduced new and advanced technology, called Backscatter technology, to airports. Before the Backscatter, commonly called a full-body scanner, was introduced into the equation the metal detector was the main instrument in finding illegal objects. However, this tool was only useful in finding metal objects. The Backscatter technology has made the metal detector obsolete because it finds any illegal object or substance that may be concealed under clothes. “One of the most effective additions to airport security in the United States following the attacks of September 11, 2001, is the full-body scanner. Whereas metal detectors are only useful for locating guns, knives, and metallic weapons, full-body scanners look beneath the clothes, locating weapons and substances that are heavily concealed and not visible under a metal detector” (Auerbach). In order for the Backscatter technology to work, it has to emit a small dose of radiation. This is where the argument about heath risks comes in. “Backscatter technology requires a passenger to stand between two box panels as low-dose radiation is emitted to the body, mainly to the scalp, during its scan” (“Mad as Hell”). One may think that this is detrimental to one’s health, however it is not. The full-body scanner is giving out a small dose of radiation but it is hardly enough to harm anyone. “According to the United Kingdom’s Civil Aviation Authority, it would take about 5,000 security scans to equal the radiation dose of one standard chest x-ray” (DiLascio). Some individuals that fly frequently say that this is...
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