ACLU Statement on Airport Body Scanning Machines

June 6, 2008 12:00 am

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The following can be attributed to Barry Steinhardt, Director of the ACLU’s Technology and Liberty Project:

“The TSA’s announcement, as reported today by USA Today, that it will be expanding the use of whole body scanning machines to 10 airports, is a disappointing confirmation of our warnings against expansion of this virtual strip search. Body scanners produce graphic images of travelers’ bodies and are an assault on their essential dignity. The safeguards announced by the TSA do not convince us that the technology is acceptable, and we question the supposed voluntary nature of these scanners. Ultimately, we question whether the security value of these scanners is proportional to the cost to flyers’ dignity and privacy, and whether they are the right priority for TSA.”

A backgrounder on body scanners and other materials is available online at:

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