The Controversy Over New Airport Security Measures

2017 words - 8 pages

The country’s recently heightened airport security measures

have become a source of controversy and debate across the

Nation. Due to a recent attempted act of terrorism, where a man

on an international flight to Detroit attempted to blow up the

plane using a bomb, the department of homeland security has taken

new measures to ensure national security in the form of new high-

tech full-body scans and pat down procedures in airports. The new

body scanning machines create images of people without their

clothing, and the new pat down procedure is generally considered

too personal. Many people feel that the new airport security

screening is an invasion of privacy. A recent poll by Zogby

International claims that 61% of Americans oppose the new

security measures (Martin, Los Angeles Times). Pollster John

Zogby made a statement saying; "It's clear the majority of

Americans are not happy with TSA and the enhanced security

measures recently enacted". That being true, the only question

that needs answering it why; why are the majority of Americans

against new safety measures?

The 61% who oppose the new security measures mainly argue

that the measures are intrusive and an infringement on privacy.

Some have compared the new pat down procedure to “sexual

assault” (Mayerowitz, abc News). The issue has gone so far that

the measures of security are being called unconstitutional. One

organized interest group, the Electronic Privacy Information

Center, filed a lawsuit claiming just that. They claimed the body

scanners to be unconstitutional on the grounds that the scanners

violate the fourth amendment, which states the right of the

people “to be secure in their persons… against unreasonable

searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants

shall issue, but upon probable cause” ("The Constitution of the

United States," Amendment 4).Aside from the individual rights

issue, many argue that the new security measures are not

effective in countering terrorism anyway. They argue that

terrorists will just change their methods to fit the new security

system. Bruce Schneier, a security expert, told The New York

Times “If there are a hundred tactics and I protect against two

of them, I’m not making you safer. If we use full-body scanning,

they’re going to do something else" (Schwartz, The New York

Times).

On the other side of the argument, the TSA (Transportation

Security Administration)is more concerned with safety and

security, than with individual rights. They argue that “adopting

a full body pat down procedure helps detect hidden and dangerous

items, including explosives” (CBS New York). Full-body scanners

are able to detect non-metallic items as well as metallic items,

whereas metal detectors can obviously only detect metal items.

They help to make terrorist attacks more...

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