Tuesday, March 23, 2010

TSA X-Ray machines amid local & national legislative debates

BTC - Digital privacy advocates testified during a House Homeland Security Committee hearing about the use of backscatter X-ray machines for security screening at airports. The Electronic Privacy Information Center or EPIC asked DHS to suspend the use of the Backscatter X-ray machines in airports to ensure the machines do not violate international child protection laws and public privacy.

Since the beginning of the year 11 machines were distributed to airports to increase bodily surveillance. The increased demand for X-Ray surveillance at TSA checkpoints came at the request of DHS following a failed terrorist attempt to bomb an inbound flight to Detroit over Christmas.

The proliferation of these machines outraged privacy advocates, child protection groups and citizens concerned about how images of their bared bodies would be handled by the TSA at local airports. State and federal legislative responses followed quickly.

Last week, Idaho State passed a law limiting the use of the machines to those those who have failed other screening procedures, like metal scanners or pat downs.

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