Nudes in the News
Remember how paranoid you were when you first heard about those whole body scanners at the airport? You know, the ones that make your clothes disappear so fat people in uniforms can make sure you aren’t trying to smuggle more than 3 ounces of hair gel onto a Delta flight. Remember how the Transportation Security Administration reassured you by saying “scanned images cannot be stored or recorded.” Well, it turns out that “cannot” in government speak means “Oh they totally can!” The U.S. Marshals Service admitted this week that it had secretly saved “tens of thousands” of high-tech nudie pictures recorded with a millimeter wave system at the security checkpoint of a single Florida courthouse. CNET news has got the whole freaky story. This follows an earlier disclosure by the TSA saying the government organization requires all airport body scanners it purchases to be able to store and transmit images for “testing, training and evaluation purposes.” Not to mention masturbation purposes, as well.
There are several different full body scanning systems in use today, each offering a varying degree of resolution. Millimeter wave systems are fuzzier, while backscatter X-ray machines show fairly precise anatomical detail. Defenders of the program say the computerized images are hardly erotic. Those people have clearly never spent time on the Internet—which has found ways to eroticize everything from vinyl pool toys to farting on cakes. (Those two sites are not safe for work, by the way.)
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced last week scanners will soon become standard issue in virtually every major airport in America. (We’ve had them at the Albuquerque International Sunport for some time now.) In response, the Electronic Privacy Information Center has filed suit asking a federal judge to grant an immediate injunction against the TSA’s body scanning program. Good luck with that.