Airport's new X-rated X-rays expose your naked body through your clothes

 WASHINGTON, DC -- The next time you go to an airport, your

privacy may be invaded by "X-rated X-rays" -- new, high-tech scanners

that reveal every curve of your naked body right through your clothes,

the Libertarian Party warned today.

The machines, called the BodySearch, are already in operation

at JFK Airport in New York and five other major airports around the

country, and will be installed in every large airport in the USA by


"You can be exposed like a Playboy playmate by these new

voyeur-vision devices -- even when you are fully clothed," warned Steve

Dasbach, Libertarian Party national director. "With the BodySearch

device, airport officials can eyeball your intimate body parts as

casually as they X-ray the contents of your suitcase.

"And since airport officials don't need a search warrant to use

these X-rated X-rays, everyone from your teenage daughter to your

grandmother can be technologically stripped stark naked -- in stark

violation of their right to privacy."

The new BodySearch device does not generate photographic

quality images, but does display clearly distinguishable shapes of

intimate body parts like genitals and breasts, according to federal

officials. Portions of the display can also be enlarged by the operator

for closer examination.

Along with an image of the traveler's naked body, the device

also shows anything being carried on the body or in clothing.

Currently, the BodySearch is only being used by U.S. Customs

officials to scan airline passengers who have been singled out for

"special attention" -- but the technology could easily be extended to

every security checkpoint, noted Dasbach.

"The tendency of the government is to continually expand the

use of invasive search technology, whether it is thermal imaging scans

of private homes, gamma ray scanners at border checkpoints, or X-rated

X-rays in airports. Unless Americans protest this trend, every

traveler's naked body could soon be routinely examined by the

government's high-tech Peeping Toms."

But even if the BodySearch is only used by U.S. Customs

officials, that's still cause for concern, said Dasbach, given the

agency's alarming track record of privacy invasions.

In 1998, for example, U.S. Customs employees ordered 2,797

international airline passengers to strip off their clothes at

gunpoint, intimately groped them, and conducted humiliating body cavity

searches. The agency also faces numerous lawsuits for selecting its

strip-search victims based on racial profiling.

"The U.S. Customs agency has shown it doesn't respect

Americans' Constitutional protections against unreasonable search and

seizure," he said. "Why should we trust them with a new high-tech way

to invade our privacy?"