Student Blawg – PAT-DOWNS and BODY SCANS, ARE THEY REALLY NECESSARY?

By An Anonymous Student

In October of this year TSA was able to implement the new pat-downs or body scans.  Not everyone will need to do these.  There is much criticism over these new pat-downs and body scans and that is due to people feeling like their privacy is being invaded.  Not to mention, the delay associated with the search is making lines at the airport much longer then they have typically been.

I know we all can agree that we want it to be safe for us to travel by plane, but at what cost?  It wasn’t an easy decision for TSA to make in changing how they do their security checks; they had to get approval all the way up to the white house and give reasons for the change.  A lot of people seem to think that pat-downs are going above and beyond a reasonable search.  Some people feel as if they have been assaulted.

TSA already uses a method called profiling;  “behavioral and country-of-origin profiling” to be exact. This method is how they determine whom to subject to secondary screenings.  The pat-downs really only occur about 1 in every 100 passengers.  Usually, pat-downs would be done when someone refuses to go through the body scan.  They also occur randomly, or if the airport doesn’t have a scan machine.

No one is exempt from these new security checks, including kids and elderly.  Subjecting children to pat down searches raises concern to some that their children are being touched on parts of their body that they have never been touched before.  Critics argue, on the other hand, that it’s just as easy to use a child to bring a bomb on a plane as it is an adult.  One has to wonder if they are doing these new security checks on your body, then what more are they doing with your bags.

Advocates argue that while these new security measures may seem like they are taking away our rights to privacy, they are here for the point of making our country safer. You don’t hear much if any about bombs being smuggled in on a person traveling from the U.S. to another country.  The reason for this is because their security is so high there and the punishment is so harsh that it detours people from even trying.

So, what can we make of all this?  Well, it may be as simple as more people resorting to other ways we use to travel — car, train or even bus.  Leaving airlines with no ticket holders can lead airlines bankrupted and many would loose their jobs. But that is unlikely. Efficiency and speed dictate the airlines will be here to stay, and with it the enhanced invasions. Security has it’s price in one way or another.

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Comments:

  1. Your article is as useless as can be. And you just told us that the TSA is the best way for a child to be touched where he/she has never been touched before.

    Some sick thinking. This security is unnecessary. Just howm many “terrorists” have the TSA “caught”?

    Comment by Erik on November 30, 2010 at 6:59 pm

  2. I understand that having a stranger grope you publicly in the name of safety can be a bit uncomfortable. However, I fail to see what actual legal right it violates. There really isnt an ammendment that protects our right to go wherever we want regardless of necessary security measures. I can see how a select few may feel that it violates their religious beliefs. Several have complained that their religion forbids the physical contact between a female and an unrelated male. By forcing a woman who believes this to be interrogated in such a way could prove to be in conflict with their religious views. However, the first ammendment guarantees our right to worship freely. It does not specify where and how this particular right is guaranteed. Many argue that the right only refers to worship within your own home. I am not sure I agree with that, but the wording is a tad vague.

    I think this comes down to common sense more than anything else. If the governemt is going to guarantee our rights to speak, worship, and act freely then there are logically going to be sacarfices associated with protecting those freedoms. I am not saying that this power may not be abused in the wrong hands all in the name of national security. However, we hold the government responsible to protect our constitutionaly given rights and sometimes that comes at a price. I personally would rather be a little inconvienced at the airport and be safe. I think the most important part here is to make sure that in cases the power granted in the name of national security is held in check so that it is not abused.
    Jenny

    Comment by jennifer hellner on December 1, 2010 at 7:07 am

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