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Officials Defend Intimate Airport Security Methods

Associated Press
Monday, 15 Nov 2010 | 8:46 AM ET

Officials are defending new anti-terrorism security procedures at the nation's airports that some travelers complain are overly invasive and intimate.

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Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says in a USA Today opinion piece that body scanners used at many airports are safe and the images viewed in private.

She says pat-downs have been used for years at airports and measures are in place to protect travelers' privacy.

The head of the Transportation Security Administration, John Pistole, said Monday on NBC's "Today" show that "everybody wants the best possible security" and the TSA is looking for a balance between security and privacy.

Some travelers fear the scanners may produce unhealthy radiation and complain the pat-downs, which can include touching the inside of travelers' thighs and feeling their buttocks, are too personal.

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