The movement to ban the so-called "Porno Scanners" at airports got a boost today from a group of City Council members who held a press conference at City Hall in support of legislation to ban the scanners at LaGuardia and JFK airports. To back up their argument that the scanners are as useless as they are invasive, the lawmakers cited Israeli security experts' refusal to install these scanners at Ben Gurion International Airport, which is widely hailed as the safest airport in the world. Rafi Sela, the former Chief Security Officer of the Israel Airport Authority, said he could "overcome the body scanners with enough explosives to take down a Boeing 747." It's probably for the best he didn't elaborate further on that.

Councilman David G. Greenfield has introduced legislation to ban the scanners at all NYC buildings, not just airports. "The images produced by these naked body scanners are equivalent to the most intrusive strip search," Councilman Greenfield said in a statement, which noted that U.S. Marshalls at a Florida federal courthouse saved over 35,000 nude images in their scanner. "This is a dangerous precedent. First airports, now courthouses? What’s next, school buildings? After all, we already have metal detectors in some of New York’s public schools and the TSA is already routinely scanning minors in these full body scanners at airports."

But despite mounting criticism, the TSA shows no sign of backing down. At a hearing in Washington yesterday, TSA Administrator John Pistole flatly declared, "I'm not going to change those policies." NPR reports that Florida Senator George LeMieux responded, "I wouldn't want my wife to be touched in the way that these folks are being touched. I wouldn't want to be touched that way." (And certainly not until the TSA takes us out for dinner.) As for the national opt-out day protest planned for Wednesday, Pistole said, "On the eve of a major national holiday and less than one year after al-Qaida's failed attack last Christmas Day, it is irresponsible for a group to suggest travelers opt out of the very screening that may prevent an attack using nonmetallic explosives."