Chaffetz proposes bill to stop 'TSA porn'

2009-04-23T00:30:00Z Chaffetz proposes bill to stop 'TSA porn'Joe Pyrah - Daily Herald Daily Herald
April 23, 2009 12:30 am  • 

Rep. Jason Chaffetz has revealed his first bill.

The Utah 3rd District Republican has been railing against whole-body imaging at airport security checkpoints and introduced legislation Wednesday that would keep the system from becoming the primary means of security scanning.

"Whole-body imaging is exactly what it says; it allows TSA employees to conduct the equivalent of a strip search," Chaffetz said."Nobody needs to see my wife and kids naked to secure an airplane."

While the system was originally considered secondary, the Transportation Security Administration has been testing the machines at Salt Lake City and other airports across the country. The New York Times reported that the TSA is considering whether to use it as a primary examination system -- at as much as $170,000 per machine.

Chaffetz was quoted in the Salt Lake Tribune as saying the system is "TSA porn."

The Aircraft Passenger Whole-Body Imaging Limitations Act would restrict the use of such scans to passengers who fail a metal detector scan. Those passengers would also have the option of undergoing a pat-down search instead of the scan in that case.

Whole-body imaging offers detailed pictures of what a person looks like under their clothes, including the sex of the person. The system requires the person viewing the image to be in a separate room so that they never see the person in question. The face of the person is also blanked out on the screen.

Chaffetz is also worried that images could be stored for an indefinite period. His bill would call for deletion as soon as the person's boarding status is determined.

"Passengers expect privacy underneath their clothing and should not be required to display highly personal details of their bodies as a prerequisite to boarding an airplane," Chaffetz said.

The American Civil Liberties Union also opposes the system.

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