Airport Security Testing Palm-Down Body Searches

With new, more aggressive pat downs being tested at Logan International Airport in Boston and McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, privacy advocates have already begun lamenting the new levels of airport-security friskiness.

The Boston Herald reported that Transportation Security Administration screeners will be using the “enhanced patdown” method that lets screeners go palm-forward on the torso—instead of the usual backhanded approach.

The American Civil Liberties Union is questioning the procedure, saying that there seems to be a constant erosion of privacy as security grows more and more invasive.

According to the Boston Herald, passengers who have undergone the new searches feel overly probed and excessively scrutinized by Big Brother.

The story quoted several Boston-area travelers who narrated the screening processes as they recalled them.

One man, named Rob Webster, said there was “probing and pushing” of his genital area, and added, “if anyone ever groped me like that in real life, I would have punched them in their nose.”

The TSA defends their position, saying that it is a needed addition to enhance the multi-layered security approach—especially when terrorists are devising bombs that are undetectable by the magnetometers.

Looking ahead most airports will give passengers the option of the “enhanced screening” or full body scanners, which take x-ray pictures of peoples’ bodies beneath their clothes.