Alaska Lawmaker Takes On TSA Over Airport Scanners

State rep runs ad telling people they can opt out

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 20, 2011 4:45 PM CST

(Newser) – A state lawmaker in Alaska really doesn't like the TSA's airport body scanners. Democrat Chris Tuck is running ads on local TV reminding Alaskans that they, like everyone else, have the right to turn down the scans and get a patdown instead, reports the Anchorage Daily News. "And if they touch you inappropriately, call the airport police," Tuck adds. The state representative mostly cites privacy concerns, saying that "these machines still allow TSA screeners to see through your clothes" and that the TSA then stores the images, notes CNN. The agency says he's wrong on both counts.

New machines take only a generic body outline and don't store images, says a spokesman. "Might be my mistake on that one," Tuck says of the news that the devices can't store images, but he still wants to see proof. Tuck also mentions health concerns over the scanners, which the TSA similarly discounts, but his real beef is the "unnerving" routine itself. "You have people holding their arms out like they're criminals and being treated like criminals. And it's the whole psychological effect that we're imposing on society, and instilling fear and ... breeding suspicion of one another."

A TSA officer looks on as a passenger holds up his arms while going through a full-body scan at a security check-point at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle.
A TSA officer looks on as a passenger holds up his arms while going through a full-body scan at a security check-point at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle.   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
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Rep. Chris Tuck advises Alaskans they don't have to submit to the new TSA scanners in Alaska.   (YouTube)

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