US: 8 in 10 back 'naked' airport scans

2010-11-16 21:40

Washington - Americans overwhelmingly back the full-body scanners that produce graphic images of the body, which are being deployed in airports around the country, a poll published on Tuesday shows.

Eight in 10 Americans say airports should use the full-body X-ray machines that show the body, genitalia and all, the poll by CBS News shows.

A significant number (15%) are against the digital X-ray machines, which some rights groups have called an unconstitutional invasion of privacy, the poll said.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) began rolling out full-body scanners at US airports in 2007, but stepped up deployment of the devices this year when stimulus funding made it possible to buy another 450 of the advanced imaging technology scanners.

Some 315 "naked" scanners are currently in use at 65 US airports, according to the TSA.


Passengers and airline crew members, including pilots, are randomly selected to pass through the scanners. They have the option of refusing, but will then be subjected to what the TSA calls an "enhanced" manual search that includes a pat-down of a traveller's private parts.

Some air travellers have also refused the pat downs.

The stepped-up security measures are a reaction by the authorities to several thwarted attacks, including an attempt in December last year by a Nigerian man to detonate explosives hidden in his underpants on a flight that was about to land in Detroit.

A majority of Americans - 52% - said in the CBS poll that they are against racial profiling at airport security checkpoints.

That marked a reversal from January, a month after the thwarted "underpants bomber" attack, when 51% said ethnic profiling at airports was justified, the poll found.

More than 1 130 adults were interviewed last week by landline or cellphone for the poll, which has a margin of error of around 3%.

  • kylemhale - 2010-11-16 22:22

    Better Headline: Roughly 900 Americans Are Idiots, Do Not Deserve Freedom Or Safety.

      somacaulay - 2010-11-17 01:56

      Benjamin Franklin - "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

  • Eddie - 2010-11-16 22:55

    I am all for it. For our safety. If they see my private parts-so what. Everybody knows what it should look like. Dont take photos of it,thats all I ask.

      Barry M - 2010-11-17 09:26

      I'd be happy to prance around kalgat in the name of airport security!

  • Xram62 - 2010-11-16 23:10

    Why do you want to go to such trouble if there's a much easier solution to the problem? Just make a scanner that will detonate any explosives any passenger might carry on his or her body......not only will you save a lot of lives, prevent a number of invation of privacey law suits...but you'll also immediately get rid of the bomber. Not?

  • Harold - 2010-11-17 00:07

    I'VE thought this thing through, and all options and the why's.and the understanding of all the headlines,topics,on the "about airport,scanners and the patdowns"of i have come to the conclussion that its worth all-the fuss.our safety or tradegety.yes! we can voice our oppinnon about our civil this and that,but this is no joke, about these people aiming to kill people of the think long and hard about this.......

  • Uhuru - 2010-11-17 06:55

    @Xram62 - Excellent idea! Seriously though, I'm all for ANY device that will ensure my safety while on an aircraft.

  • Banned - 2010-11-17 09:50

    What utter kak. Every article I've seen in last few months have the yanks up in arms about the scanners. The TSA has been fondling 3 year children, submitting pre-teens to cavity searches, made a 78 year man take his pants and artificial leg off, stripped searched a nun, have made copies of body scan photographs of the kids and passed it around. Somehow this article also fails to mention that Michael Chertoff, ex homeland security boss owns shares in the one of the 2 scanner manufacturers or that he was implicated in the "underwear bomber" and of supporting some of the 9/11 bombers. I would like to see the scanners used in prisons, they give of radiation every time you pass that causes DNA damage.

      pierreedge - 2011-01-14 13:40

      yeah, but few people think, seems even here in sa people are brainwashed and accept to be treated like criminals with total disregard for their human dignity and integrity. It's all about the money and controlling the masses, and as the masses are thicker than a short plank it's not difficult, steer the paranoia and fear stick in front of them and the cat's in the bag. The stupid guy with his "if you dont like it dont fly" get the prize for dumbest comment here. he doesnt even realize the utter stupidity of this statement

  • AJ - 2010-11-18 06:53

    Way-hay! Some of us get a chance to show off!

  • GV - 2010-11-22 11:49

    If you don't like it, don't fly. Simple as that.

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