Scientist Offers Simple Solution to Body Scanner Protests

There may be a cheap and simple solution to the privacy invasion of so-called "virtual strip search" travelers are subjected to at airports, after all.

A scientist says the answer lies in merely modifying the computer program used so that the images captured on full body scanners looks like reflections in a fun-house mirror.

According to the Washington Post, researcher Willard "Bill Wattenburg from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California first tried to suggest the concept to the Department of Homeland Security four years ago.

The fix would distort the images captured by full body scanners enough for travelers to feel less self conscious, but potentially dangerous object would still be clearly revealed.

"Why not just distort the image into something grotesque so that there isn't anything titillating or exciting about it?" said Wattenburg, a former nuclear weapons designer.

TSA spokesman Nick Kimball told the Washington Post he could not confirm the 2006 conversation Wattenburg had with a federal official. "That was another administration," he said.

Watternburg's suggestion has come to light after a recent uproar in travelers' complaints against TSA security procedures. Passengers concerned by the intrusiveness of a full body scan are given the option of a recently "enhanced" pat-down, a more agressive form of the traditional procedure. Since the new pat-down includes the touching of clothed genital areas with the palms faced forward instead of backward, critics have likened the procedure to sexual assault.

Photo by happyworker on flickr.

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