Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Welcome Aboard, Nice Junk!

Want to get on that plane? Hope you don't mind some random TSA employee seeing you graphically naked! Don't worry though, your face will be blurred out.

"A random selection of travellers getting ready to board airplanes in Washington, New York's Kennedy, Los Angeles and other key hubs will be shut in the glass booths while a three-dimensional image is made of their body beneath their clothes.

The booths close around the passenger and emit "millimeter waves" that go through cloth to identify metal, plastics, ceramics, chemical materials and explosives, according to the TSA.

While it allows the security screeners -- looking at the images in a separate room -- to clearly see the passenger's sexual organs as well as other details of their bodies, the passenger's face is blurred, TSA said in a statement on its website.

My first instinct, upon reading this was, "Oh hell yes! Let's get jobs as TSA workers!" Then my second instinct was to think "Oh wait, most people are fat and/or ugly. This is going to be just as bad for the TSA workers as it is for the people feeling violated" But here's the other thing. It says the face is blurred. Won't the person who's just been staring at your naked body be able to see your face as soon as you step out of the scanner?

People have no idea how graphic the images are," Barry Steinhardt, director of the technology and liberty program at the American Civil Liberties Union, told AFP.

The ACLU said in a statement that passengers expecting privacy underneath their clothing "should not be required to display highly personal details of their bodies such as evidence of mastectomies, colostomy appliances, penile implants, catheter tubes and the size of their breasts or genitals as a pre-requisite to boarding a plane."

I'd like to jump in here and say that to be fair, some of these thing can be noticed while clothed or during a routine airline security pat-down. They can tell the size of someone's breasts? Really? You need an magic millimeter wave emitting device for that? And if you are a TSA employee giving, let's say... an old man, a pat-down, you're probably going to notice the "colostomy bag-like" bag on his side. This will probably lead you to inquire as to what this "colostomy bag-like" thing is, to which he will probably respond with "WHAT'S THAT SONNY?" As for the penile implants... well, yea, that's fair, I wouldn't want them to know about my penile implants either.

Besides masking their faces, the TSA says on its website, the images made "will not be printed stored or transmitted. Once the transportation security officer has viewed the image and resolved anomalies, the image is erased from the screen permanently. The officer is unable to print, export, store or transmit the image."

No, the image of the fat, colostomy bag-wearing, single breasted woman will only be permanently etched into the brain of some poor TSA employee who then has to try and go home and lead a normal life, hugging his children while pretending he didn't have to stare at disgusting peoples' floppy genitals all day.

Lara Uselding, a TSA spokeswoman, added that passengers are not obliged to accept the new machines.
"The passengers can choose between the body imaging and the pat-down," she told AFP

Oh... Then who fucking cares?

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