TSA’s invasion of Privacy: Body Scanners

This from Slate Magazine:

“When we first checked in on them two years ago, the scanners, which see through clothing, were being deployed at a single airport. A few months later, they were upgraded to millimeter-wave technology, which delivered similar images with even less radiation—”10,000 times less than a cell phone transmission,” according to the Transportation Security Administration. At the time, TSA assured us that the scanners would be used only as a “voluntary alternative” to “a more invasive physical pat-down during secondary screening.” Only a few passengers, the ones selected for extra scrutiny, would face the scanners. The rest of us could walk through the metal detectors and board our planes.

Surprise! Two months ago, TSA revised its position. It began testing millimeter-wave scans “in the place of the walk-through metal detector at six airports.” At these airports, everyone—not just people selected for secondary screening—would face the see-through machines. Anyone who objected would “undergo metal detector screening and a pat-down.” You might even get the “enhanced pat-down,” which includes “sensitive areas of the body that are often used by professional testers and terrorists,” such as “the breast and groin areas of females and the groin area of males.” Show us your body, or we’ll feel you up.”

When you see this story you are going to hear claims for safety and that if you had nothing to hide then you wouldn’t mind. This argument is flawed because you could say the same thing about Hitler’s secret police randomly searching homes.

The simple fact is that George W. Bush created a government monopoly on security at airports. If the free market had its way you would have an efficient amount of security. It is in the airlines best interest to protect their planes. One misstep puts them into bankruptcy all over again. Some may say why chance it? But do you really think a government run bureaucracy could do this better than private businesses? If TSA screws up they will get more funding. If a private version screws up they go out of business and a more efficient company will take its place.

We think security is an important policy. If that is true then why do we let the most inefficient thing in the world run it?

The rest is here and look below the fold for some images of what the scan looks like…



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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I choose the real strip search over the virtual one I think it is alot more fun

  2. they use body scanner to steal the state of the art chip in side my head. america do this. what a waste. they seem not to understand what happen to them with WTC tragedy aren’t they. they one more worst tragedy strike them again???????????????

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