I say a sign the other day at the airport that full-body millimeter-wave imaging was coming soon to the Phoenix airport. I guess this was pretty inevitable, and has certainly been predicted in many movies, including Total Recall:
I can't really decide if this is any more invasive and humiliating than what we already do, ie get undressed, put our medications and creams in clear plastic bags for all to inspect, and subject ourselves to full-body pat downs. For my part, based on this and numerous other humiliations, I am working as hard as I can to minimize how often I fly. JD Tuccille has more, and observes that body cavity searches aren't just for airplanes any more:
If you think that air travel is starting to resemble a very-expensive
East Germany-nostalgia tour and you'd prefer a less-intrusive
alternative, you might consider traveling by train. Well, except, not
on Amtrak, which implemented random bag searches, armed guards and bomb-sniffing dogs earlier this year.
Even local travel is iffy, since New York City has been subjecting subway passengers to annoying searches for the past three years. Los Angeles's MetroLink implemented a similar policy this week, apparently just so officials there wouldn't feel left out. Metrolink spokeswoman Denise Tyrrell told the Los Angeles Times
As a postscript, I had a meeting the other day with the National Park Service in Denver. To get inside - remember this is the park service, no other agency shares this building - I had to give up my driver's license, have all my bags searched, and go through an X-ray machine. Does anyone think that maybe we have lost some perspective when I have to go through full-on invasive security to discuss merchandising at a gift shop?