Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Travel issues

One of my friends from work is traveling to Florida this weekend, so we were talking about flight plans and the issue of those body scanners came up. From what H heard from her friend, they don't really give you a choice on the matter. You get in a line, and if you're in the body scanner line, you have to go through. Even a pregnant lady went through because she was scared of not getting on the plane. And then, I realized something. I am much more uncomfortable with flying, especially into the US, because of the 'safety measures' than I am with the idea that someone will smuggle a bomb on board. Now, I'm not sure if that's because I'm Canadian, and I've never been robbed in any way (*knock on wood*) or even beat up (brother excluded). And, I fully support randomly testing the outside of my laptop for explosives residue, and I'm ok with putting my shoes through the x-ray machine. But keep your eyes outside my clothes.

I realize that as a small white girl, I'm low on the list of stereotypical bombers, so (fair or not) I'm probably low on the random cavity search list, but the idea of walking into a scanner and having a full body x-ray creeps me out. I know the person watching the x-rays does not get to see the people, and the security guards who see us, don't get to see the x-rays. Well, probably not. Maybe. Unless, they keep the x-ray pictures, for 'training purposes'. There's so much room for abuse, and it really creeps me out.

I can't find the link right now, but I'm sure I saw an article that said that behaviour screening is one of the more effective methods of screening. So, train up some airport security guards, make it a cool profession (come on, who doesn't want to be able to read people like the guy in Lie To Me), and make it public that you can not hide your intentions. How many people would try to get a bomb on board if some random guard at the airport would be able to see that you were anxious to get on the plane, not because you don't want to see your mother on the other end, not because you're scared of flying as such, but because you don't want to get caught. You're then pulled aside, for a conversation. Nothing intimidating, not an interrogation room, but a waiting room. This more trained guy or girl, then walks in and chats about where you're going, and the president, and how awesome this country is. And, if he sees that you are just nervous about flying, you're on your way. And, if he sees that you hate this country, well, then you get a trip through the full body scanner, and whatever other technology they can create. But, us normal travelers, us 99.9% of people who just want to go on vacation or to the conference in Vegas, why must we prove our innocence in such an invasive way? Apparently, because a handful of people every year decide they want to kill someone?

Thanks, I'll take my car.

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