Full Body Scans: a Matter of National Security vs. Personal Indignities

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Kaitlin Dingess
Dr. Carena
English 102
Persuasive Research Paper
April 10th, 2012
Full Body Scans: A Matter of National Security vs. Personal Indignities
Safety and security is important and a high priority for anyone. As a result of several events, such as the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the now infamous Christmas day “Underwear Bomber” transportation security has been revamped and reinvented to protect innocent people from religious/political extremists and crazies alike. In some cases, measures of heightened security have been praised such as the hiring of more security guards or the addition of more metal detectors to airport security in particular. In other cases, controversy and outrage have erupted worldwide like in the case of the digital full body scanners, sometimes referred to as “virtual strip searches.” The Department of Homeland Security defends the scanners, reasoning that in unsafe and unsure times citizens need to sacrifice for their safety. The Transportation Security Administration, or TSA, defends the scanners the most, doing their best to dispel all rumors of misuse, invasion of privacy, and health risks cited by the scanners opponents and also have allowed an alternative pat down instead of being scanned if the passenger so wishes. The TSA also goes on further to implement strict rules and regulations for the use of the scanners, restricting all images from being saved or duplicated and training security officers extensively to be professional toward passengers with the new and extreme measures taken (Bennett). Although these new security measures have support and justification, are the measures being taken too extreme? Many are wary of the body scanners and alternative pat downs because of privacy invasions, health risks, and cost. Full body scanners used for security purposes pose serious concern to many United States citizens and citizens abroad because of potential violations of individual privacy and personal liberty due to the...
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