Strip search

I know someone who is putting off travelling because of the increased security measures at airports.  It got me thinking about whether or not I would make the same decision and postpone my trip if there was a high chance that I would have to endure a strip search.  The more I thought about it, the more I was convinced that I would not change any plans to travel.

The subject came up again while talking with another friend yesterday.  She told me that she refuses to travel on commercial airlines.

What’s your opinion about travelling by commercial planes today?

5 thoughts on “Strip search”

  1. I thought they were coming out with more advanced x-ray devices that could see through everything, including clothing. I would be alright with that… an actual strip search like they give you when you’re entering prison though would be another story.

  2. I travel quite a bit on commercial airlines – at least 6-8 trips per year. I can’t imagine choosing not to travel because of increased airline security. On several occasions I have had the entire contents of my bag searched as well as my physical body, but I have never been totally strip searched. When I’ve been physically searched it has been my fault because I wear clothing the gromets and lead crystals that set off the detectors. They do a “female assist” search where a woman will come and pat me down pretty well. What I find frustrating is the inconsistency with which the searches happen. On two occasions I’ve had a fogotten bottle of water in my bag that didn’t trigger a search, and once my son forgot he had his big swiss army knife in his backpack which no one noticed. I know they have pre-determined profiles of who they are going to search so I think it’s just luck of the draw whether or not you end up matching their profile and meeting their quotas. All in all, a small inconvenience to pay for the priviledge of making memories with family and old friends and having great adventures!

  3. That’s the dilema for me. X-rays are harmful – sometimes for medical reasons they are needed and the lesser of two evils so i’m not totally against their use in certain situations. But for frequent screening, they can be harmful to the body. Many doctors now think twice before ordering scans because of the harm factor.

    I guess this topic for me has gotten me thinking so much about where as a planet we are heading. I remember that movie (name? maybe Total Recall?) with Shwartzeneger where he passes the x-ray machine at the airport (you see his skeleton and guns) and humans have embedded RFID tags… the way our animals do now. Scary.

    The reason I’m thinking about it is because I will probably not allow them to take an x-ray (i dont’ do dental x-rays either) and i will ask for another option… which will be a total flag to search me I’m sure… and that doesn’t sound pleasant!

  4. There’s an article in today’s Information Week entitled DHS rolls Out Airport Body Scanners. Here’s a quote from the article:
    “Concerns have also been raised about health issues that may stem from the technology the machines use to generate images. The TSA maintains that there are no health risks, as the AIT units use what is called millimeter wave technology that is not harmful to people.
    Millimeter wave technology uses non-ionizing radio frequency energy in the millimeter wave spectrum to generate an image based on energy reflected from the body. The energy projected by the system is 100,000 times less than a cell phone transmission, thus is not harmful to people, according to the TSA.”
    Personally, I’m not convinced. If you want to read the whole article (may need to register or login) here’s the link: http://www.informationweek.com/news/government/security/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=223101697&cid=nl_IW_daily_2010-03-08_h

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