Saturday, May 21, 2005

Virtual strip search
Coming soon to an airport near you. Your homeland security dollars at work.
The agency in charge of the nation's air security expects later this year to begin using a controversial X-ray machine that will show airport screeners a clear picture of what's under passengers' clothes — whether weapons or just bare skin.

Security workers using the machines can see through clothes and peer at whatever may be hidden in undergarments, shirts or pants. The images also paint a revealing picture of a person's nude body.
And so can anyone passing by in view of the screen get a look. Wonder how the Bible belters are going to feel about complete strangers looking at them and their kids "bare naked."

There has got to be a less intrusive way to screen passengers. Not to mention it's just a ploy to catch people with small amounts of personal use drugs. They offer no proof it will actually detect explosives and it's not like their other security measures have been so effective.
...The machines are already used by U.S. Customs agents at 12 airports to screen passengers suspected of carrying drugs. They're also getting a test run at a terminal in London Heathrow Airport, the first major airport to use them.

The $100,000 machines bounce low-radiation X-rays off a person's skin to produce photo-like computer images of metal, plastic and organic materials hidden under clothes, says American Science and Engineering. The TSA is testing its BodySearch machine.
And they intend to use them.
But Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff told a Senate subcommittee last month that he wants to employ the technology and doesn't want an "endless debate" over privacy issues.

Well that's unfortunate, because I sure would like a debate about this. We would be giving away a lot of privacy for very little, if any, security. Why don't we all call our senators and tell them to pass that on to good old Mike anyway.
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