Already however, there is uproar throughout the world about the personal nature of the searches, will now entail a full scan of the body, by staff of the US Transport Security Administration, TSA. Passengers using some US airports will be required to pass through full body scanners that produce naked images of both males and females. Anyone declining to submit to the scan may be forced to engage in a very time consuming screening process that includes fingertip examinations, with agents passing their hands between the clothed genitals and breasts.
Given the objections being raised by members of the public in and outside of the US, President Barack Obama has indicated that he does understand the people’s frustration, though he has never had to experience these new measures.
The US leader said that he has asked the TSA if other less intrusive methods could be employed to screen airline passengers, but they have advised him that, for now, there is no alternative. He explained that he has indicated to the security officials that they haveto constantly refine and measure whether what they are doing is the only way to assure the American people’ safety. Obama admonished the TSA to also think through the possibilities of carrying out their work without being as intrusive.
According to reports coming out of the United States, there are nearly 400 of the advanced imaging machines located at some 70 airports and by next year, there will be another 300, to take the figure to 1,000. Not all airports are therefore currently equipped to administer the new searches.
Though the scans do not show the face of the passenger, the rest of the naked body is viewed by a screener in a different location and does not know the identity of the passenger.
Included in the long list of affected airports are: Miami International, JFK International, La Guardia International, Los Angeles International, Fort Lauderdale International, Orlando International, Jacksonville International, Newark Liberty International and Tampa International.
No word yet on when the main airports in Puerto Rico are to be outfitted.