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Are the Airport Full-Body Scanners Coming to Courthouses?

I've been following the TSA saga like the rest of the blawgosphere. I posted about it, read the bazillion articles, chuckled at the mock TSA Twitter feed, read Eric's more recent summary and finally got TSA fatigue and kind of lost interest. As I don't plan to fly any time soon I thought I could safely put the issue behind me, but no.  "Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!"

It is actually not the TSA pulling me back in but the fact that, according to The Associated Press, the controversial full-body scan now being protested at airports may be coming to courthouses. For someone like me who was hoping to sit out all future "Don't Touch My Junk" debates, this is troubling. Although far fewer people would be affected by courthouse full-body scans, we're talking now about lawyers, blawgers and litigants being subjected to this type of security -- not the most quiet, passive or forgiving bunch.

The AP reports that the U.S. Marshals Service is now exploring the use of the scanners at federal courthouses and that two state courthouses in Colorado are already deploying full-body scanners. At these two courthouses, "a guard in a separate room monitors the gray images with pixelated faces and genital areas, and the images aren't stored on a computer." 

Some commentators observed that the security risks in courthouses are different from airports and may not justify such scans. "What we are still worried about at a courthouse is angry divorce litigants with a gun," law professor Sam Kamin told The AP. "Metal detectors are pretty good at that." Court officials counter that metal detectors cannot detect things like plastic guns and knives.

The U.S. Marshals Service stated that while it believes in the technology and will continue to explore its use, it has no "current plans for deployment."

Posted by Bruce Carton on November 29, 2010 at 12:41 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)


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