Mother Jones has an interesting post up about the movement against full-body scans that could become commonplace in American airports.
When I first read about this a year ago, I thought the idea was so ridiculous it would never happen. Would people actually submit to having a completely naked picture taken of them to enter and airplane? Of their children too? But apparently they're pilot-testing the machines all over the country this year.
The TSA has an interesting little video about the machines on their site, and I think that it's particularly interesting that they're so lax about privacy considerations related to these machines, yet in their "how Millimeter Wave imaging works" video they actually blurred out the human figure's genitalia. If they don't want to put a cartoon drawing of it up on their site, why do they think that everyone
would should be willing to submit to this in real life?
It's not prudish to say that people shouldn't be forced to strip down in front of total strangers in order to travel. There are many people whose religions would prevent them from being seen this way. I would also imagine lots of parents would have trouble with the idea that strangers would be taking naked pics of their kids. The added insult to fat people might keep them from flying. And what about people whose genitalia doesn't "match" their gender performance? Will they now get hassled at security?
Taken with the possibility that people's pictures could get out (like young women's and celebs'), it seems like a lot of people would restrict their travel to avoid this machine.
They say that the TSA people who look at these naked pics won't have recording devices with them, but I wouldn't trust them to be so professional (no offense to TSA workers who read Bilerico, but I don't trust anyone to be that professional). Consider the NSA folks who were assigned to spy on Americans' phone calls:
[Intercept operator, former Navy Arab linguist, David Murfee Faulk] says he and others in his section of the NSA facility at Fort Gordon routinely shared salacious or tantalizing phone calls that had been intercepted, alerting office mates to certain time codes of "cuts" that were available on each operator's computer.
"Hey, check this out," Faulk says he would be told, "there's good phone sex or there's some pillow talk, pull up this call, it's really funny, go check it out. It would be some colonel making pillow talk and we would say, 'Wow, this was crazy'," Faulk told ABC News.
Faulk said he joined in to listen, and talk about it during breaks in Back Hall's "smoke pit," but ended up feeling badly about his actions.
"I feel that it was something that the people should not have done. Including me," he said.
Yeah, I totally trust these people to behave professionally with their access to naked pics of everyone on a daily basis. Mm-hmm.