Those who refuse to walk through the new full-body scanners at the airport could be subject to a new style of pat-down, one that’s much more invasive and, well, probing than before.
The Boston Herald reports that the Transportation Security Administration is testing the new pat-downs in Boston and Las Vegas, but plans to institute the searches nationwide.
From man on the street Rob Webster, who said he was a subject of the new search when flying out of McCarren-Las Vegas International last week:
“If anybody ever groped me like that in real life, I would have punched them in their nose,” the 50-year-old said. “It was extremely invasive. This was a very probing-type touching - not just patting over all your areas, but actually probing and pushing and seeing if I was concealing something in my genital area.”
Webster said that bomb-sniffing dogs and racial profiling would be a better option.
“Last time I checked, on 9/11 there were no blond, blue-eyed people who caused the problems. Someone needs to stop these people,” he told the Herald.
Another search subject, Danielle Riendeau, works for the ACLU of Massachusetts, which opposes the use of the scanners.
The TSA screeners used the palms of their hands to search her face, hair, torso and directly underneath and between her breasts, she said.
The TSA told the Herald that they’ve received few complaints and will continue with the searches.
Opposition to the scanners has been part about privacy — despite the TSA’s assurances, the machines are apparently capable of storing scans — and part about the health effects of radiation.
(H/T Mother Jones)