Monday, October 20, 2008

Bare it all for the fine folks at the TSA

I've written before about the whole-body imaging scanners finding their way into the nation's airports. A relatively new innovation, they're theoretically being implemented in a way that give airline passengers a choice between ... well ... Honestly, a choice between offering TSA agents a peep show or a grope session at airport security checkpoints.

Hey, everybody wins -- as long as you're in uniform.

But even that unpleasant dilemma may be overstating the options available to travelers. Robyn Blumner, a columnist for the St. Petersburg Times, describes her experience returning to the U.S. from Europe through the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport:

The TSA agent hadn't bothered to explain that I had the right to decline and submit to a pat-down by a female agent instead — a choice I would have taken.

Yet [Sari Koshetz, a spokeswoman for the TSA] insists that being given that choice verbally is protocol.

When I objected to having had a photo taken under my clothes, the agent snapped "it's not a nude picture" but then couldn't explain what it is.

Koshetz claims that all security officers "understand" the technology and are "able to explain it."

Either I got the most incompetent TSA agent of the bunch, or there's a gaping chasm between official claims and reality.

The image taken by the millimeter wave scanners and revealed to TSA agents (you can see an example above) isn't exactly the stuff that porn is made of. Well, it's actually not all that different from 19th-century naughty photographs, but it's not the stuff that modern porn is made of. But the images leave nothing to the imagination. If you cling to any vestigial thoughts of privacy and dignity as you enter a U.S. airport these days, whole-body scanners are certain to strip them from you -- along with your clothes.

Concerns about being bared to the skin are only exacerbated, Blumner points out, by revelations that NSA technicians -- a more elite group than the TSA personnel drowsing their way through each workday at the airport -- entertained themselves by listening in on phone sex and romantic calls between overseas military personnel, journalists and aid workers and their loved ones at home. As one NSA whistleblower told ABC News:

"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.

And in Britain, that much-surveilled country, government workers and police have repeatedly been caught using that nation's extensive network of security cameras for entertainment purposes. In one incident in Merseyside, technicians directed a camera intended to monitor streets to peer through the windows of a woman's apartment. Camera personnel in Tyneside were caught trading nude images they'd captured in local pubs.

If NSA techs can get off on pillow talk, and British cops on candid shower shots, the idea that TSA agents aren't going to have a little fun with the naked images of passengers streaming before them is preposterous.

Look, all powers are abused. All of them. The only way to approach any expansion of state authority and additions to its armory of tools and toys is to assume that they'll all be misused in the most foolish, most egregious way conceivable.

And even then, some enterprising flunkies will develop even more damaging applications than you could ever imagine.

"You can trust us, we're professionals," should be greeted with a restrained giggle and an expectation of trouble to come.

Along those lines, expect Robyn Blumner's ordeal to be a glimpse of the future.

Labels: ,


Blogger Divemedic said...

I quit flying. I hope the airlines all go out of business.

October 20, 2008 6:06 PM  
Anonymous Robb Allen said...

My favorite line so far is how it is absolutely impossible to get the pictures off the system!!!!!!

Which is funny being that I see some pictures up top.

Oh, I'm sure THAT model was different.

Tampa International just started using these, and I will be flying out of Orlando or St. Petersburg from now on instead. When they show up there, I stop flying.

It's all theater anyway. I'd be more willing to suspend my rights if in the process I got something in return, but alas I lose my rights and you STILL can carry practically anything you want on the plane.

October 20, 2008 6:15 PM  
Anonymous M.S. said...

Last time I flew out of Phoenix Sky Harbor one of the 19 year old "I have a badge and a uniform so you have to listen to me" TSA "agents" was yelling across three lanes of people to one of his TSA buddies about his sexual exploits from the night before. I think the money line was "I told that bitch I ain't no faggot". Honest truth. Oh yeah, the "supervisor" was off in the corner flirting with some other TSA "agent", completely oblivious as to what was going on.

October 21, 2008 6:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

徵信, 徵信網, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 感情挽回, 婚姻挽回, 挽回婚姻, 挽回感情, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信, 捉姦, 徵信公司, 通姦, 通姦罪, 抓姦, 抓猴, 捉猴, 捉姦, 監聽, 調查跟蹤, 反跟蹤, 外遇問題, 徵信, 捉姦, 女人徵信, 女子徵信, 外遇問題, 女子徵信, 徵信社, 外遇, 徵信公司, 徵信網, 外遇蒐證, 抓姦, 抓猴, 捉猴, 調查跟蹤, 反跟蹤, 感情挽回, 挽回感情, 婚姻挽回, 挽回婚姻, 外遇沖開, 抓姦, 女子徵信, 外遇蒐證, 外遇, 通姦, 通姦罪, 贍養費, 徵信, 徵信社, 抓姦, 徵信, 徵信公司, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信公司, 徵信社, 徵信公司, 女人徵信, 外遇

徵信, 徵信網, 徵信社, 徵信網, 外遇, 徵信, 徵信社, 抓姦, 徵信, 女人徵信, 徵信社, 女人徵信社, 外遇, 抓姦, 徵信公司, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 女人徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 女子徵信社, 女子徵信社, 女子徵信社, 女子徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信,

徵信, 徵信社,徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 外遇, 抓姦, 離婚, 外遇,離婚,

外遇, 離婚, 外遇, 抓姦, 徵信, 外遇, 徵信,外遇, 抓姦, 征信, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信,徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信, 外遇, 抓姦, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社,

March 19, 2009 2:08 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home