security theatre: bodyscanners

I generally “opt-out” and head for a manual pat down by the TSA at airports in the USA. Today, I decided to try the bodyscanner at san francisco airport (SFO). I was tired from an active night of wine drinking & mingling. I cleared all my pockets and proceeded to get scanned.

Today I was wearing my Dockers Mobile Pants. This is the older model with two zippered pockets. After spending some three seconds in that machine with my hands up, I walked out to see that the image suggested I had something on me. It turns out that it picked up my zips on the mobile pants and required me to get a manual pat down. To make matters even more fun, they swabbed my hands for residue.

I told the TSA agent that the machine is broken and he said that its very sensitive and is working. It picks up zips. I asked what about the regular zip for my pants. He had no answer.

I guess there’s absolutely no point in doing this bodyscanner thing at all. I’ll continue getting my manual pat downs and pretend to enjoy it. I don’t care if they claim its safe either.