90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Security and Full-Body Scans
A Transportation Security Administration officer views a full-body scan during a demonstration of passenger screening technology, Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2009, at the TSA Systems Integration Facility in Arlington, Va. (AP)

A Transportation Security Administration officer views a full-body scan during a demonstration at the TSA Systems Integration Facility in Arlington, Va., on Dec. 30, 2009. (AP)

Post your comments below

The Christmas Day terror attempt on a flight to Detroit has thrown airport security and explosive underwear into the headlines.

It has also thrown a spotlight again on the technology for full-body scans — and the question of whether they should be the norm. Routine.

These aren’t x-rays, but scans that look at the body beneath the clothes. Proponents say it’s foolish not to look — and say Christmas Day was naked proof of that.

Critics say it’s a virtual strip search and an offense to dignity and privacy that is not worth it.

This hour, On Point: privacy, air security, and the call for full-body scans.

Guests:

Joining us first from Baltimore is Benet Wilson, online managing editor for Aviation Week, where she’s reporting on airline security.

Joining us from Reno, Nevada, is Douglas Laird. He was director of security for Northwest Airlines from 1989 to 1995, and previously served 22 years in the U.S. Secret Service. He is currently president of Laird & Associates, an aviation security consulting firm.

From Washington we’re joined by Michael German, a 16-year veteran of the FBI, where he was a special agent in domestic terrorism and covert operations. He is now policy counsel on national security for the American Civil Liberties Union, a senior fellow at GlobalSecurity.org, and adjunct professor for Law Enforcement and Terrorism at the National Defense University.

Also from Washington we’re joined by James Carafano, director of the Heritage Foundation’s Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies. He is a 25-year veteran of the Army, where he rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel.

And from Napa, Calif., we’re joined by Kate Hanni, founder of Flyersrights.org, a consumer advocacy group she started in 2006 to represent airline passengers.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Nov 21, 2014
President Barack Obama announces executive actions on immigration during a nationally televised address from the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014.  (AP)

The president throws down the gauntlet on immigration. Bloodshed and new tensions in Israel. Keystone fails. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Nov 21, 2014
Laura Ingalls Wilder, an American  writer and novelist, at age 27. Her "Little House" series is a beloved semi-autobiographical take on her childhood in the Western American plains. (South Dakota State Historical Society )

A big new look at the legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder and the woman behind the Little House.

RECENT
SHOWS
Nov 21, 2014
Laura Ingalls Wilder, an American  writer and novelist, at age 27. Her "Little House" series is a beloved semi-autobiographical take on her childhood in the Western American plains. (South Dakota State Historical Society )

A big new look at the legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder and the woman behind the Little House.

 
Nov 21, 2014
President Barack Obama announces executive actions on immigration during a nationally televised address from the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014.  (AP)

The president throws down the gauntlet on immigration. Bloodshed and new tensions in Israel. Keystone fails. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
The Explicast, Episode Six: What Does A White House Press Correspondent Do?
Friday, Nov 21, 2014

We turn to White House Press Correspondents all the time for news, but we’ve never really wondered how they gather their information. Fortunately, our guest host Jessica Yellin had time to sit down with The Explicast to explain.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: November 21, 2014
Friday, Nov 21, 2014

We offer a panel of hand-drawn digital sheep, and wonder how to best lead the rest of you to programs that matter.

More »
2 Comments
 
The Explicast, Episode Five: What Is Net Neutrality?
Friday, Nov 14, 2014

The Explicast dives into tech policy territory with a quick look at the real meaning of a complicated bit of tech policy known as ‘Net Neutrality.’

More »
2 Comments