No Runny Eggs

The repository of one hard-boiled egg from the south suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (and the occassional guest-blogger). The ramblings within may or may not offend, shock and awe you, but they are what I (or my guest-bloggers) think.

Trust Us!

by @ 5:20 on January 12, 2010. Filed under Politics - National, Transportation.

That seems to be what the TSA is asking us to do as they look to deploy the full body scanners.

This article at outlines a battle between a civil rights group and the TSA over the capabilities and the implications of those capabilities, that the scanners have.  The civil rights group raises concerns about the storage and security of body images that are scanned.  The TSA claims that the scanners have no ability to store or transmit the images.  “Not so,” says the civil rights group who points to the design specs of the machines which required an ability to store and transmit an image.  “Relax,” says the TSA.  The store and transmit functionality is only there for testing of the machine.  The TSA further claims that no one at the airport can put the machine into “test mode” and that the machine itself has no storage capability.

You’re kidding right?  Why is it that bureaucrats continually think that the public is so naive and gullible?

First, technologies have advanced to the point where the scanning or processing device has no storage capacity on it.  Even so, is it really so difficult to have storage devices somewhere else on the network?  What?  they claim no network?  Well, that doesn’t pass the smell test.  The TSA tells us repeatedly that the people who review the scans are sitting somewhere completely removed from the scanners themselves.  Is the TSA suggesting that the images are being sent to these people via carrier pigeon? Or, do they want us to believe that the scanner and the viewing device are hardwired across the airport?  Are there cables running across the runways to some building on the other side of the airport?

Second, does anyone really believe that the scanned images are not being stored?  No images are being stored for training purposes?  No images are being stored to review in the event of a later identified security breach? The TSA is so confident about its legal position that it will save no images to combat the ACLU lawsuits?  Like hell.

Listen, I’m not saying not to do the body scanners.  Personally if I thought they would make us safer, I, like most men, don’t care.  Hell, I’ll walk through naked and not bat an eye although there may be a few TSA folks who would scream like someone just shot them in the retina with a laser!  On the other hand, most women I know react in abject horror to the notion of their under things (and I don’t mean clothing) being seen on a scanner. 

I’ve chronicled my own travails with the TSA.  You’ll have to take my word for it (unless you were at the Christmas DR where you could have personally verified it), I’m no threat to anyone.  But, under the guise of “doing something,” the TSA has made it significantly more inconvenient for me to fly.  I’ll guarantee you that if I got on board a plane, told everyone I was on the TSA list and asked if they felt safer as a result, not a person (assuming Mrs. Shoe wasn’t on the plane) would raise their hand to say, “Yes! 

The fact is that until the TSA is willing to start doing some level of profiling, be it identity or behavior, these scanners will not make us any safer than the scanners and processes being used today.  The only thing these scanners would do is allow the Obama administration to point to them and claim that they had done something in response to the Christmas bombing attempt. In short, this looks like yet one more “solution” brought to you by the people in housed in the Alfred E. Neuman federal building. Their only request is to trust them!

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