(KCPW News) The attempted terrorist attack on an international flight to Detroit on Christmas Day could have implications for Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz’s bill banning full-body scans at airport security checkpoints for domestic passengers. Some believe the technology could have detected the explosives used in Friday’s failed attack. He claims the scanners produce images akin to pornography and are an invasion of privacy.
“I think that’s the challenge for our society, and there is no simple, easy answer: How do you find that right balance between protecting your personal privacy and yet the need to secure, say, an airplane,” Chaffetz says. “And I think there is technology out there to secure that airplane, but also be less invasive.”
Chaffetz says his bill bans full-body scans as a mandatory, primary security measure. He says they should be used as a secondary measure for suspected terrorists and suspicious travelers, including the Nigerian man implicated in last week’s attack. For everyone else, he believes bomb sniffing dogs or heat sensors are more appropriate.
Chaffetz says the recent attack could derail his bill’s passage in the Senate.
“You know it passed in the House with overwhelming support on both sides of the aisle, but you know I think the Senate will be very reluctant. And I understand why,” Chaffetz says. “Again, what I want people to understand is: It doesn’t ban whole body imaging; it just bans it as mandatory primary screening. They can use it as secondary screening.”
He adds that his bill would only apply to domestic travel, not for international flights like the one involved in Friday’s attack.