Airport Security Complaints: Officers Disrespect, Lie To Passengers At Canadian Airports, Complaints Allege By Althia Raj, www.huffingtonpost.ca | May 10, 2012
‘Canada’s airport security officers breached their own rules by placing children into “naked” scanners without the consent of their parents and often lied to travellers about the need to undergo a full body scan.
‘Complaint forms sent to the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) and obtained by The Huffington Post Canada suggest some agents who screen carry-on bags and passengers are rude, aggressive and misinform people about their right to choose a full pat down instead of the virtual strip-search machine….’
Example of elderly woman from Victoria, B.C.:
“After retrieving my belongings, I walked away trembling, found a chair and sat down and cried … I felt I was treated without respect and my dignity was violated.”
Also there is another example of a pregnant woman travelling from Toronto to Timmins who was given contradictory safety information before and after she used the scanner.
Then there is another story of a woman with breast cancer who was warned by her doctor about radiation.
The current results for an informal poll on the site “Would you use the full-body scanner or opt for a pat down?” are:
- Scanner – 17.1%
- Pat down, worried about health & pictures – 52.29%
- Don’t fly anymore – 30.61%
Health and safety assertions from the Canadian government:
Health Canada: Airport Full-Body Scanners
‘Health Canada has assessed the technical information on this device and concluded that the radio frequency energy emitted by the device is well within Canada’s guidelines for safe human exposure.’
But that assertion should be in doubt because of some research that has been done on the possible dangers of electromagnetic radiation (cell phones included) and also because these machines were not independently tested by the government. How do we know what kind of radiation is coming from them or being leaked if they’re not tested?
What about the totalitarian and human dignity concerns about personal freedom, privacy, self-ownership and mobility rights?
What about the “underwear bomber” story and how he was allowed to get on the plane in 2009? This was the excuse used to accelerate the roll-out of these devices. But eye-witness Kurt Haskell has asserted in court that he witnessed a man using his authority to get the bomber on the plane without a passport.