Religion Offers No Break on Airport Screening

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 Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari) AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari

The Transportation Security Administration says airline passengers won't get out of body imaging screening or pat-downs based on their religious beliefs.

TSA chief John Pistole told the Senate Homeland Security Committee on Tuesday that passengers who refuse to go through a whole-body scanner machine and get a pat-down will not be allowed on planes, even if they turned down the in-depth screening for religious reasons.

Civil rights groups contend the more intensive screening violates rights including freedom of religion. The issue is getting new attention after a man named John Tyner posted an item online saying he was thrown out of the San Diego airport for rejecting a full-body scan and pat-down groin check and insisting he go through a metal detector instead.

"The [body image scanning] technology is sent to the airports without the ability to save, transmit or print the images," said Greg Soule, TSA spokesman, in an interview with CBSNews.com. "At airports, the images are examined by a security officer in a remote location, and, once the image is cleared, they're deleted."

More on the new TSA airport screenings:

Passenger Refuses Groin Check, Full Body Scan
Should John Tyner Worry about More Than His Junk?
Poll: 4 in 5 Support Full-Body Airport Scanners
Naked Body Scan Images Never Saved, TSA Says
Poll: Do New TSA Airport Screens Go Too Far?
  • CBSNews

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