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Underwear Invention Protects Privacy At Airport 325

Thanks to Jeff Buske you don't have to be embarrassed while going through the full body scanners at the airport. Buske has invented radiation shielding underwear for the shy traveler. From the article: "Jeff Buske says his invention uses a powdered metal that protects people's privacy when undergoing medical or security screenings. Buske of Las Vegas, Nev.-Rocky Flats Gear says the underwear's inserts are thin and conform to the body's contours, making it difficult to hide anything beneath them. The mix of tungsten and other metals do not set off metal detectors."
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Underwear Invention Protects Privacy At Airport

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  • Well... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @11:43AM (#34318120)

    When you obscure genitalia, only the outlaws will have genitalia.

  • Suspecious (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DarkOx ( 621550 ) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @11:43AM (#34318124) Journal

    A hell of allot of good that do anyone. Its not like if the TSA sees anything remotely out of the ordinary with the scanner you are not going to then get the pat-down or some other intrusive search as a result.

  • Frisking bad as it is, is unlikely to give you cancer, deform your eggs/sperm, or sterilize you. So there's that.
    • by orphiuchus ( 1146483 ) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @11:45AM (#34318158)
      I don't know, the government has assured me that there is no risk of any of that stuff...
      • It's a shame that one cannot Air Brush ones underwear with it. One could write notices like, "Tell Mama that Daddy says Hi."
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by hey! ( 33014 )

        Actually, I think this whole controversy from beginning (obtaining the machines) to end (the protest movement) is bogus.

        Why do we have this machines? Because there is a threat that has been shown to be reasonable that these machines prevent? Can anybody point to a hijacking these machines *would* have prevented, but that wasn't preventable with the technology we already had? Almost certainly not. We are doing this simply to show we *can*. This is, unfortunately, a typical American approach to any kind o

    • by blueg3 ( 192743 )

      If X-ray backscatter machines could sterilize you, you'd be sterile ten times over already from background radiation.

      • by mysidia ( 191772 ) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @12:11PM (#34318572)

        If X-ray backscatter machines could sterilize you, you'd be sterile ten times over already from background radiation.

        No, because the magnitude of background radiation is much much lower, disorganized, diffused by the Earth's atmosphere and electromagnetic field, non-directional, and not pointed in an organized fashion directly at your body, and doesn't reach nearly the energy levels of the backscatter machine. Especially when operators make mistakes with the machine that cause people to get even more exposure than they are supposed to, or to be exposed longer than the 2 seconds they are supposed to, that all the numbers validating its safety are based on -- when they make someone stand in the scanner for a few minutes with it running, the person is getting massive amounts of harmful radiation exposure, way beyond what is safe or indicated.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by afidel ( 530433 )
          If you're that worried about xray radiation, don't fly! The radiation from the backscatter xray is only equivalent to 4 minutes of flight time for the typical scan time so even if you are in the scanner for a full 2 minutes it's only equal to the dosage you are going to get on a short flight.
          • by afidel ( 530433 )
            Troll, really? I stated a fact that is on topic, how is that trolling?
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by lgw ( 121541 )

            Even if that's true, why are you defending fascism? Seriously. Is there any level of ogvernment intrusion into your privacy that you would object to? Any at all?

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by afidel ( 530433 )
              Uh, privacy concerns are quite separate from medical concerns. I object to the intrusiveness of the scans in the strongest terms possible but I also object to uninformed anti-science and technology mumbo-jumbo.
          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by mysidia ( 191772 )

            The radiation from the backscatter xray is only equivalent to 4 minutes of flight time for the typical scan time

            You are claiming an equivalency that is only based on one raw measure of the exposure, one of the least important measures of exposure (thermal energy), and misses important points.

            The higher the energy of the radiation, the deeper into the body it will penetrate before it is absorbed. The lower energy radiation you experience in flight is reflected by the skin. The higher energy of backscatt

        • by SoTerrified ( 660807 ) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @12:49PM (#34319280)

          You've hit on the main issue I have when people call these machines 'safe'. I accept that, under normal operation, they are safe. In the hands of a trained radiologist, I would not hesitate. But these machines are being operated by security people who are barely competent to work at McDonalds. I have already seen with my own eyes evidence of the machines not being used in the way they were intended and more importantly tested. And that's why I reject all claims that they are 'harmless' and will opt for a pat-down. Embarrassment I can recover from.

          • by Maxo-Texas ( 864189 ) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @01:14PM (#34319750)

            They already said based on the radiation levels and 600 million passengers that about 10 people per year will die from cancer from this screening.

            I think the number is lower. Many will die from other causes first.

            But say it is 10 and it stops 1 airplane incident per 10 years- it's a wash to a massive savings of life.

            Personally, I can't see why the terrorist don't attack the security checkin next. You are not scanned, there is high density of targets, and it would paralyze travel-- again.

    • by TheLink ( 130905 )

      Frisking bad as it is, is unlikely to give you cancer, deform your eggs/sperm, or sterilize you. So there's that.

      Has anyone done a study on that? What's the cancer risk of those scans? Say it's 1 out of X million. So can we be sure that out of X million gonad gropes they're not going to cause permanent injury to the "target"? Or the risk ( probability * impact) of injury is less than the risk ( probability * impact) of cancer?

      Apparently there are 700 million scans a year in the USA.

      Maybe they should skip the x ray scanners and use millimeter wave scanners instead?

      FWIW, apparently the Israelis don't use such scanners:

    • what if the person who frisks you is irradiated from countless of hours near a xray emitter?

  • Pat downs (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @11:44AM (#34318136) Journal

    This will just get you an enhanced pat down, which you could opt for in the first place.

    • by Andy Dodd ( 701 )

      Yup. All this does is:
      Waste your money
      Get you a dose of radiation while still ending in a patdown

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Abstrackt ( 609015 )

        On the plus side, it feels like wearing nothing at all! Nothing at all! Nothing at all!

        (Stupid sexy Flanders...)

    • I like the idea of placing "hidden" messages (metal ink or thread) in yout under wear.
  • Problem is... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by frozentier ( 1542099 )
    If they can't see ALL of you, then they take you aside and pat you down. So with this device, instead of seeing you, they are going to take you aside and feel you up.
  • I was just thinking about something like this last night. I wonder why aluminum foil couldn't just be folded and inserted in a similar manner?
    • by Dr_Ken ( 1163339 )
      Aluminum foil? There are some serious comfort issues with that choice of material.
    • Seriously? You don't think that stuffing aluminum foil into your pants would get you fast-tracked to the airport's office with no windows and a door that only opens from the outside?

  • And thus the underwear arms race began.. .. did I tell you about the nuke I'm hiding in my boxers? *wink wink, nudge nudge*

    • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

      I told them I had a rocket in my pocket, and they had me arrested.

      • I told them I had a rocket in my pocket, and they had me arrested.

        Shoulda told them it was your magic pocket. That only merits public humiliation.

        (Seriously, though, who tagged this article "magic pocket"?)

  • I wonder what your odds of dying from TSA-induced cancer vs. an airline crash are?
    • by FooAtWFU ( 699187 ) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @11:54AM (#34318296) Homepage
      Forget that. Wonder about the odds of dying from a car crash, since you and millions of Americans decided to avoid flying this year [thehill.com] because of the patdowns and since driving is much, much more dangerous than flying.

      The TSA kills Americans.

      • by Hatta ( 162192 )

        Looks like 400-500 [insure.com] people die on the road over the thanksgiving holiday each year. It will be interesting to see if this number increases in 2010.

      • by jlusk4 ( 2831 )

        Um... No. Stupid Americans kill themselves. And sometimes take some of the rest of us with them.

      • by Talderas ( 1212466 ) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @12:29PM (#34318908)

        ~520 annual increase in traffic fatalities was the estimate due to people driving over flying. I believe there was also admittance that the backscatter would cause about 16 additional cancer deaths annually.

        Net effect is an estimated 536 increase in annual deaths.

        Loss of life due to terrorist attack against westerners from 2006 to 2008 was 12 deaths annually worldwide.

        The scanners are estimated to be more deadly than the terrorists have been.

        Our trade offs are brilliant.

    • by blueg3 ( 192743 )

      Well, your odds of dying from cancer induced from sitting in the airplane are substantially higher than your odds of dying from cancer induced by the screening.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I wonder what your odds of dying from TSA-induced cancer vs. an airline crash are?

      • You are 8 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than by a terrorist
      • You are 9 times more likely to choke to death on your own vomit than die in a terrorist attack
      • You are 1048 times more likely to die from a car accident than from a terrorist attack
      • You are 11,000 times more likely to die in an airplane accident than from a terrorist plot involving an airplane

      More [newsblaze.com]. So really, can we just end the security theater?

    • If you fly enough, cancer will kill you.
      Smart terrists would just go in as a pilot or ground crew to cause planes to crash.
      Smarter ones would just avoid planes like everybody else.

  • It's unclear ... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Evardsson ( 959228 ) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @11:48AM (#34318204) Homepage

    From the article: It's unclear whether it would lead to an automatic, more intrusive pat down by federal Transportation Security Administration officials.

    No, if the image is unclear, the TSA's reaction is not. If you are not sure, check out what Dave Barry went through when the image of his groin was "blurry" http://www.npr.org/2010/11/15/131338172/humorist-dave-barry-and-the-tsa [npr.org]

  • This is a solution that causes all sorts of problems. The reason they are scanning and ball-tapping is because they're afraid of underwear bombs. If you don't think this'll get you cavity searched, you're out of your mind!
  • by Pojut ( 1027544 ) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @11:53AM (#34318276) Homepage

    "Body scans and genital fondlings would save more lives if our government was paying to have them done in hospitals rather than airports."

    This of course assumes the scans are safe, but you get the idea...

    • by blueg3 ( 192743 )

      Having a backscatter body scan done once a year is safer than having a single transmission X-ray taken.

      Of course, the resolution that the TSA uses is insufficient for proper medical imaging. A higher-resolution image would require a higher beam intensity.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Blindman ( 36862 )

      Why not do both?

      I see you aren't carrying a bomb, and you might want to get this mass checked out by a doctor. This would probably make the scanning more popular, although it might cause people without insurance to act suspicious when flying to get a free scan.

    • Hmm, why not combine the two. Not only will you get cleared through security at the airport but you'll also receive a free health screening. Just think of it... free colonoscopies, hysteroscopies, and breast exams. It'd be an incredible time saver to not have to schedule a separate examination. Heck it'd even help curb the worry about that at risk segment of the male population needing but not getting an annual mammo...
  • Apparently Omar Mohammad al-Talibani al-Q`aidi of Yemen just placed an order for one million of this new fangled thing.
  • fuck the tsa (Score:2, Insightful)

    how about a "fuck the tsa" lead paint t-shirt? Maybe some leather-studded chastity underwear and crotchless chaps, too.
    • I'm pretty sure that would earn you a very thorough body cavity search. One problem with giving security agents of any kind too much power is that many of them really enjoy abusing it when you piss them off. Besides, it's not like any of the TSA employees you would encounter at the airport made any of these decisions or have the power to change them. I actually pity the guys who have to watch the scanners and do the body searches. I wouldn't want to have to do it.
  • by yossie ( 93792 ) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @12:09PM (#34318536)

    4th amendment protects you against unreasonable search. Seems like it would apply at the airport. TSA claims that you are contractually obligated to put up with search when you enter the secure area and that your air travel ticket states this and as such is a contract. But, you aren't able to sign away your constitutional rights implying, at least, that this component of the air travel contract is illegal. How does this all square up?

    • What makes you think a TSA Gate Rape is an "unreasonable" search?

      Note: if you're not citing statute or Federal Court case law, and you don't happen to be a Federal Court Justice, then your opinion doesn't really matter, does it?

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        You don't have to be a judge to know when something is unreasonable. Waterboarding is unreasonable, because it's torture. Bailouts without prison sentences to CEOs that instantly go spend half the bailout on their workers that fucked up in the first place? Unreasonable too. It's common sense, and you don't need a commitee to tell you that. If we waited for judges to enact civil rights, Obama wouldn't even have been able to become president, much less win. It's generally the people themselves that dictate mo
      • by stubob ( 204064 ) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @12:54PM (#34319402) Homepage

        The Supreme Court. http://openjurist.org/676/f2d/379 [openjurist.org] 676 F. 2d 379 - United States v. Ek

        We hold that the stricter standard required for a body cavity search also applies to an X-ray search. An X-ray search, although perhaps not so humiliating as a strip search, nevertheless is more intrusive since the search is potentially harmful to the health of the suspect. It goes beyond the passive inspection of body surfaces. We think that the use of such medical procedures should be restricted to situations where there is a clear indication that the suspect is concealing contraband within his body.

        All of which apply to border searches and not routine air travel. There's probably very little legal standing for these searches apart from the "license with the airlines" argument.

    • by Myopic ( 18616 )

      Two-thirds of Americans think this search is "reasonable", as do apparently all elected officials and judges. Also, you are absolutely able to sign away your constitutional rights, that happens all the time, for instance every time a criminal waives his right to a speedy trial, or testifies at his own trial, or speaks to the police without a lawyer present. It also happens when you consent to a police search (they don't need consent for any reasonable or warranted search), and it definitely explicitly happe

    • It's really quite simple. The argument always goes something along the lines of it all being "voluntary." You are not required to fly, you are volunteering to fly and by doing so you are submitting to what ever rules and regulations follow along with that. You haven't set aside nor lost your 4th amendment rights, you volunteered for the process unlike a police action wherein they are doing it against your will.
      • by lgw ( 121541 ) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @12:55PM (#34319428) Journal

        And when these show up at a courthouse, and you have to walk through them to comply with your Jury Summons? The "voluntary" argument is a crock of shit, even for airports.

  • by Elegor ( 866572 ) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @12:15PM (#34318646)
    A woman could use an 'underwear insert' in the shape of a humongous cock and balls. Question is, would that mean she is more or less likely to get groped? And would she be groped by a male agent or a female one?
  • I haven't flown in many months, but I was thinking about next time I go through airport security I could use packing tape to attach strips of aluminum foil to my chest spelling out FUCK YOU. This would be clearly visible in the X-ray, but would not be visible otherwise, and an agent could not even feel it during a pat down. It furthermore would not provide any security threat, and could not possibly conceal any weapon. It would be a pure speech opportunity. How could or would TSA respond to such a thing?

  • it was only a matter of time.

  • The only real solution to by-pass the uncomfortable pad down and see thru scanner is castration.
  • There has not been enough study of ionizing radiation risks to form a clear consensus. I have a genetic immune disorder and will not subject myself to this, nor will I subject myself to being molested by a government agent.
  • if you wear it on the outside.

  • How about cutting some metal foil into letters, glue them onto your undies, and spell out a message for the TSA?
    You know, tell them what to do with themselves?

  • As in, "Fig Leaf UGLY." Has anyone actually bothered to look at the image in the article? Seriously? A fig-leaf design for men and "clasped hands" for women? WTF?

    Dude. I'd sooner let the agent grope me than be caught wearing something like that. Especially if he's cute. (I kid, I kid)

    I think the solution is simple--force everyone to wear a standard skintight full-body lycra uniform prior to entering the security area, and have designated changing areas once past security. Sure, the TSA agents would

  • That sounds like "Smooth Operator". A good sade song could be made out of this. Oooh shhhy traavellleeerrrrr ... Shhhhhy traavelleeeerrr * Pat me down with your genitaliaaa * Unnderweaaring att thee aiiir poort *
  • go naked? - strip? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bark ( 582535 ) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @12:50PM (#34319308)

    I was wondering if it is acceptable to the TSA for me to request a private room, and strip naked to let them do a visual only examination to prove that I'm not carrying anything dangerous. They can look as closely as they want, as long as they don't touch me.

    I have no concerns about privacy, but I do have a problem with xrays and a person feeling me up.

    But I have no problems about getting naked. Is that an acceptable for the TSA? I will try it next time I go through an airport.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by bhalter80 ( 916317 )
      I've been wondering what would happen if someone appeared to be visibly enjoying the pat down. Maybe instead of a boycott we should all have a mass fake orgasm day

Thufir's a Harkonnen now.