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2003-07-01 22:44:27

What You See...

Pretty soon, when you head to the airport, be aware any secret you may be keeping hidden under your clothing won't be secret for long.

Coincidentally, just as the long-running Candid Camera TV show is being sued for a whacky airport security segment involving a fake x-ray machine that backfired, along comes a real but whacky airport security x-ray machine that functions much like a candid camera.

Pretty soon, when you head to the airport, be aware any secret you may be keeping hidden under your clothing (a gun, a bomb, a prosthetic leg or some other fake body part), won't be secret for long.

Known colloquially as the "peekaboo scanner," the backscatter x-ray machine leaves its subject totally naked to security screeners, since the scattered rays penetrate clothing and will only be deflected by denser materials, such as plastic or metal.

Obviously a major breakthrough for security, it may be a bit of a fazer for more modest travelers. That's leading to a bit of a debate within U.S. government transportation circles after the technology was tested this year at a number of airports, including Orlando.

After 9/11, however, airport security has taken precedence over individual modesty and human rights. So, in the long run, get prepared to bare all at some point in the near future when you line up to fly.

Before we get too worried about staff leering at us in security checks, it might pay for many to check ourselves out in a full-length mirror. More than a few should be prepared to commiserate with security staff for what they have to see rather than resenting them.

Editorial, The Nassau Guardian  

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