If there’s a need for “privacy sensitive” machines, the ones already in the airports that we cannot refuse to be put through are illegal
Wednesday, Feb 10th, 2010
The announcement of the invention of a new type of body screening machinery, that does not show detailed naked images of the person it scans, highlights the fact that the public was grossly misled over the scanners now in place in airports the world over.
“With full body searches becoming the norm at airports amid terror threats, a Canadian engineer has invented a three-dimensional scanner that doesn’t violate passengers’ privacy.” reports IBN Live in Toronto.
“The new 3D scanner developed by Montreal-based William Awad highlights metal or organic material on a human body without showing the body outline under clothing, according to reports.” the article continues.
“But the current scanners at airports produce a three-dimensional outline of the human body, raising a hue and cry over privacy violations.”
The Canadian inventor of the new machine, currently seeking certification from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in the US, expects sales to balloon. But if we are to believe our governments’ statements on the original scanning machines, there should be no need for any new privacy sensitive machine at all.
Apologists for the scanners have routinely described the images they produce as “ghostly” or “skeletal” in an effort to downplay the intrusion of privacy they really represent.
The passenger’s face is blurred and the image as a whole “resembles a fuzzy negative,” the TSA spokeswoman Kristin Lee told the media last year, prior to the underwear bombing attempt.
“It covers up the dirty bits,” James Carafano, a homeland security expert at the conservative Heritage Foundation told the Washington Post in January.
Former Department of Homeland Security official Stewart Verdery also dismissed the notion that the machines produce detailed naked images, describing them as not “the type of image that is going to make a thirteen year old boy very excited”.
Manchester Airport in the UK has also rejected claims that the scanners invade privacy, claiming that because they use X-rays “they do not make an image”.
The corporate media would even have us believe that being subjected to the scanning machines actually “enhances privacy”.
In an editorial last month, titled “There’s nothing to fear from the use of full-body scanners at airports”, The Washington Post poo-pooed privacy concerns and stated that the images produced by the scanners are fuzzy and blurred.
These consistent claims are clearly contradicted by readily available examples of the body scanning images that show high quality detail of naked male and female bodies.
Journalists who researched trials of the technology reported that the images made genitals “eerily visible”.
German Security advisor Hans-Detlef Dau, a representative for a company that sells the scanners, admits that the machines, “show intimate piercings, catheters and the form of breasts and penises”.
Images on the TSA’s own website produced by backscatter devices also show that genitals are visible.
The claims that sensitive body parts will be blurred out is also bunkem. When they were first being installed, Australian authorities admitted that the machines don’t work properly if sensitive areas of the body are blurred out – a fact that the British government later also admitted:
Cheryl Johnson, general manager of the Office of Transport Security, said:’ It will show the private parts of people, but what we’ve decided is that we’re not going to blur those out, because it severely limits the detection capabilities. ‘
Perhaps most significant is the fact that if there is a need for new “privacy sensitive” machines, it serves as an admission that the scanners currently in place are in breach of child pornography laws and the images produced by them tantamount to criminal evidence.
This article was posted: Wednesday, February 10, 2010 at 11:05 am