Fans attending the 2012 Super Bowl face a new level of security in addition to pat downs before they are allowed to enter the Lucas Oil Stadium – full body x-ray scanners.
Despite a congressional demand for an investigation into the machines following health concerns, the scanners will be part of the security set up in Indianapolis marking the first time that the controversial devices have been used for a public sporting event.
“I was out for a stroll with the intention of snapping some photos for our blog when my travels took me to Lucas Oil Stadium of all places,” writes Touchette. “It was there that I stumbled upon a temporary Patriots street sign put in place close to the site of Super Bowl XLVI (appropriately).
I then found myself walking into the side gates of the stadium, through intense security which included full body scanners and then down the tunnel onto the field.”
Although Super Bowl authorities and Homeland Security have announced that pat downs and bag searches will be part of security procedures before the game, they have failed to properly inform the public that x-ray body scanners, linked with cancer risks by numerous prestigious health bodies, will also be in use.
Hailing “the most technologically protected Super Bowl,” Frank Straub, Indianapolis’ director of public safety, said that “X-ray machines” would be used throughout the stadium, but didn’t specify whether this referred to devices that scanned bags or people.
Senator Susan Collins, ranking Republican on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee introduced a bill that would require an independent study of backscatter x-ray scanners, following the TSA’s about-face on a decision to test the machines.
The federal agency also backtracked on a promise to test TSA workers themselves for radiation exposure.
Numerous studies conducted by prestigious universities and health authorities, including Johns Hopkins, Columbia University, the University of California, and the Inter-Agency Committee on Radiation Safety, have warned that the x-ray scanners will lead to an increase in cancers.
Johns Hopkins’ biophysics expert Dr Michael Love warned that, “statistically someone is going to get skin cancer from these X-rays,” after conducting a study of the naked body scanners.
The Lucas Oil Stadium will be surrounded by a security perimeter that fans will have to clear before they even get to the stadium itself.
“There will be a security perimeter around the stadium through which all fans must pass before entering the gate,” reports Yahoo Sports, adding that fans should not feel “self-conscious about getting patted down” because “this is the world in which we live now.”
As well as pat downs, bag searches and full body scans, fans are again being encouraged to text in reports of “suspicious activity” to Homeland Security officials.
Trucks making deliveries to the stadium will also be forced to pass through a vehicle x-ray scanner, technology that is now being introduced at US border checkpoints and on regular highways with little regard for the health risks involved.
The NFL announced its new policy would be to conduct pat downs of all people entering stadiums nationwide, a measure required as a result of NFL’s partnership with the Department of Homeland Security.
Homeland Security is also developing technology to be used at “security events” which purports to monitor “malintent” on behalf of an individual who passes through a checkpoint.
The promotional video for the program explains how “Future Attribute Screening Technology” (FAST) checkpoints will conduct “physiological” and “behavioral” tests in order to weed out suspected terrorists and criminals.
The clip shows individuals who attend “security events” being led into trailers before they are interrogated as to whether they are terrorists while lie detector-style computer programs analyze their physiological responses.