Big Brother sees everything … really!

Faced with their inability to detect non-metallic weapons, the US Department of Homeland Security is considering implementing a new technology that allows operators to see through clothing and uncover the weapons that would-be terrorists intend smuggling on board commercial flights.  While this seems like a good idea at first, when you consider that this technology, known as backscatter imaging, enables operators to see quite a bit of detail:

031405qinetiq_350x459Get ready for electronic portals known as backscatters, expected to be tested at a handful of airports this year, that use X-ray imaging technology to allow a screener to scan a body. And yes, the body image is detailed. Let’s not be coy here, ladies and gentlemen:

"Well, you’ll see basically everything," said Bill Scannell, a privacy advocate and technology consultant. "It shows nipples. It shows the clear outline of genitals."

The Homeland Security Department’s justification for the electronic strip searches has a certain logic. In field test after field test, it found that federal airport screeners using metal-detecting magnetometers did a miserable job identifying weapons concealed in carry-on bags or on the bodies of undercover agents.

I’m all for stopping the baddies from blowing me and my friends up but I am not too sure this is the best solution.  How long before these images wind up on the Web?  As a former FAA investigator put it:

"I have a beautiful 29-year-old daughter and a beautiful wife, and I don’t want some screeners to be looking at them through their clothes, plain and simple,"

Just the same, what are the alternatives?

(via CNET News.com)

Paul

Enthusiast, writer, strategist, web developer, and photographer. Passionate about my wife, Gina and #proudDad.

What do you think?

%d bloggers like this: