4th Amendment – Where?

Fourth Amendment WearIf you’ve been watching the news lately then you probably know about the new safety measures being used to detect anything that is prohibited beyond airport checkpoints. One of these safety measures is the Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) unit. Basically, this unit shows an “x-ray” view of your body. From the images I saw online and on the news, I noticed that you can see everything – as in, an x-ray of your naked body. However, the good news is that the people looking at you through the AIT are in a separate room, so they don’t actually see you face to face, which is less embarrassing. You can opt out of using the AIT unit, but that means that you have to take the alternative of a pat-down. Pat downs are extensive and from the clips and stories on the news it looks like they search everywhere. Obviously if they detect something on the AIT, you’ll get the pat down as well, so make sure you take everything out of your pockets and remove all of your jewelry.

Honestly, I’m not fond of either option, but if I ever have to choose I’ll probably opt for the AIT unit because it’s less embarrassing and invasive. The public doesn’t see anything; to onlookers I’m just standing in a machine. On the other hand, people can usually watch you get patted down. I’ve heard some pretty bad stories about this on the news and I would rather not experience it. For instance; I’ve heard of people’s implants being moved, and people (even children) having to remove articles of clothing. If I’m going to run the risk of having to take off some of my clothes, might as well choose the AIT, don’t you think? Plus, I would honestly rather let someone look at an x-ray of my body than have them physically touch me in awkward places. Remember, not everyone has to go through this; people are randomly chosen to be searched. Don’t take it personally though, the Transportation Security Administration just wants to keep us all safe!

If you were wondering about the image attached to this entry, cargocollective.com designed what they call “4th Amendment Wear“. The T-Shirt shown is printed with metallic ink that is readable on TSA body scanners. Accoring to the company, “The concept behind 4th Amendment Wear is simple: to get a few people to think a little more about their constitutional rights. The clothes are designed as a silent protest against the new reality of being searched to the point where we’re basically naked. We don’t intend for this to be anything more than a thought-provoking way to fuel the debate about safety vs. civil liberties. If we sell a few items, great. But the main intention is to open more dialogue. It’s more of a conceptual piece than anything else.”

-Erica & Amanda