Airport Pat Downs a Little Too 'Hands-On'?

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People who feel the government already probes too deeply into their lives may want to start avoiding the airport.

On Friday, airports across the U.S. implemented full-body pat downs as an alternative for those who aren't comfortable with the new high-tech full body scanners.

Body scanners use low X-ray levels to create an image of passengers' bodies without clothes.  But some say the pat down alternative is even worse, calling them "X-rated."

"I don't want to be violated," one traveler said.

In some cases, agents are allowed to touch body parts that were once off limits -- using the front-of-the-hand, slide-down technique on passengers.

However, security experts warn even these more invasive searches won't catch everything. 

"Would it catch someone like the underwear bomber? Not likely," said Charles Slepian of the Foreseeable Risk Analysis Center. "The underwear bomber had powder in his underpants.  You really don't know if there is an explosive there or a weapon of any kind."

While passengers will be able to request a pat down from someone of the same gender, some say the new procedure still goes too far.

"It's intrusive. It's unnecessary, and it's too much," said Kate Hinni, founder of FlyersRights.org

"It's like having to choose the lesser of two evils," Hinni added. "Both are horribly invasive."

European officials are also critical of the new security procedure. They say that overall U.S. security requirements are too strict -- including the present procedure which requires passengers to take off their shoes and remove their laptops from their luggage.

Meanwhile, the Transportation Security Administration is defending its position about the new pat down requirement, saying the step will help them more thoroughly detect hidden and dangerous items.

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Charlene  Aaron

Charlene Aaron

CBN News Reporter

Charlene Aaron serves as a general assignment reporter and helps anchor for the CBN News Channel.  Follow her on Twitter @CharNews and "like" her at Facebook.com/CharleneIsraelCBNNews.