November 20th, 2010
12:15 PM ET

Letters to the President: #670 'Can we have too much security?'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: With one of the busiest travel weeks of the year kicking off, some airline passengers are kicking back at the higher level of airport security - which is what I’m writing about in my daily letter.

Dear Mr. President,

I was thinking the other day about how I’ve never really had an uncomfortable experience with security at an airport. I’ve had plenty of inconveniences, but boo hoo, who cares? We all have to put up with some of that these days as we try to secure ourselves against terrorist threats.

But then I saw a series of photos taken in Denver of the new pat down procedures being used by TSA to check folks out and I thought, “Well, yeah, I can see how this bothers folks.” Hands on crotches. Hands on breasts. Hands in all sorts of places that would get most of us fired on our jobs. And I found myself raising questions.

November 20th, 2010
11:48 AM ET

Scans and pat-downs: What you should know

Marnie Hunter

(CNN) - Heading to the airport for the first time in months? My, how things have changed.

New security checkpoint measures, which some travelers call "groping" and "virtual strip searches," have sparked a public outcry.

The ramped up use of pat-downs and full-body scanning is needed to stop non-metallic threats including weapons and explosives from getting aboard planes, the Transportation Security Administration says. And it appears that most Americans agree. In a recent CBS News poll, 4 out of 5 Americans supported the use of full-body scans.

"Being scanned sure beats having the plane explode in mid-air," wrote a CNN.com reader who is among the thousands of commenters who have weighed in on the issue. "If something were to happen then everyone will be outraged that the TSA 'allowed' a terrorist act."

But that hasn't stopped a growing group of objectors, from civil rights and privacy advocates to scientists and pilots, from loudly claiming these measures are too invasive, ineffective and possibly unsafe.

There's even a call to declare the frenzied travel day before Thanksgiving National Opt-Out Day, urging travelers selected for full-body scanning to refuse.

Full story

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November 20th, 2010
11:45 AM ET
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