Airport

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An airport is a location from which flights take off and land. International airports provide useful venues for trying out social control measures, conditioning, surveillance technology and for data collection.

Standardisation

International airports have played a historical role in the global standardisation of surveillance and social control. Initially, this was centered on passengers transit across national borders, and involved passports, visas and customs checks. This has been developed into standardisation of products, such as suitcase locks (especially with the advent of the TSA), safety specifications, limits on capacities of batteries of laptops, cameras etc.

Universal surveillence

Airports have long had CCTV and Xray scanning of luggage. Since the "war on terror", surveillance has been dramatically extended, using the enemy image of "terrorism", to include microwave scanning of passengers, body heat detection (in connection with the SARS virus, in particular), collection of images including retinal scans, fingerprints, and DNA collection.

TSA

Full article: TSA

The TSA, rolled out after 9-11 is widely criticised for its contribution to the airport experience.

Customs

Passports

Other airports

Non passenger airports, such as those for the military, typically have much less scanning and monitoring technology. Some act as hubs for the illegal drug trade, notably Mena Arkansas.


References


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