Naked scanner technology may one day come to a public place near you

January 12, 2011 13:45

Welcome to the New American Panopticon, where each of us is a terrorist until a machine says otherwise.

Conor Friedersdorf at The Daily Beast


When Uncle Sam started peeking at the genitals of U.S. travelers, apologists insisted that his prying eyes were justified. Hadn’t terrorists hijacked airplanes on 9/11? John Pistole, head of the Transportation Security Administration, insisted that upset Americans could always choose not to fly.

What he neglected to mention is that his bosses at the Department of Homeland Security intend to use various kinds of body-scanning technology elsewhere in American life. That’s clearer than ever if you read the recently updated “privacy impact assessment” that the agency published.

Other times—if all the technology being tested is ultimately implemented—active millimeter waves will peek beneath the clothing of some people in the crowd, rendering graphic images for review by on-site security. And the government bureaucrat of the future will doubtless explain that anyone upset by the virtual searches can opt out by choosing not to attend large concerts or football games.


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