2010-01-15 / Top Stories

Sanders Flip-Flops On Scanners

Opposed Full-Body Scans, Now In Favor
By Howard Schwach

In a demonstration for journalists, an airport worker shows how the full-body scanner works. In a demonstration for journalists, an airport worker shows how the full-body scanner works. City Councilman James Sanders Jr. has a mind of his own, but many of his constituents think that he keeps chang ing it.

Sanders, who represents the eastern end of Rockaway, also represents John F. Kennedy Airport, and he was solidly opposed to full-body scans of travelers at that airport.

At the time, Sanders said that the full-body scans, which reveal the body under the traveler’s clothing, are an “invasion of privacy.”

Now, in light of the Christmas incident in which a man tried to blow up a plane inbound to Detroit with explosives secreted in his underwear, Sanders has seen the light.

“I think we don’t have a choice,” he told reporters. “The terrorists have already shown that they are probing us and New York is already target number one.” Sanders said that he is still concerned about the privacy issue, but that future upgrades of the technology could alleviate those concerns.

“We still have things to work out,” he said. “We have to find a way to make the technology non-obtrusive.”

There are no plans to place any of the $170,000 machines at Queens airports anytime soon, a spokesperson for the Transportation Safety Administration told The Wave on Monday.

The TSA has 40 of the body scanning machines at 19 American airports, an official said, with plans to place 150 more machines at airports before the summer. The official declined to say which airports would get the machines, although published reports say that Newark Airport would get at least one of the new installations.

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