Oppose the Porno-Scanners. Write a Letter (But Not to Washington).

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I have a friend
– very non-political – who loves to travel. But even she,
who basically trusts government to do the right thing, was nervous
about the porno-scanners now being deployed for the benefit of the
security industry and peeping Toms in the TSA.

Somehow this
topic came up while she and I were on a long drive Friday. She said
she longed to return to her favorite country in Asia but “didn’t
want anybody looking at my boobs hanging halfway down to my waist.”
But! Then she recently saw a news item on TV that included video
footage of the scans. “Oh. Not so bad!” she thought. “Those
don’t show anything too awful. Just vague fuzzy shapes with
no details.”

I had to tell
her that she was seeing doctored images, and that the real scans
were so clear that TSA porno-peepers could, for instance, tell if
a man was circumcised. Her face fell as far as the boobs she was
so worried about.

On a roll (and
having recently written an
article on the subject
), I went on about the TSA’s other
lies – about the machines not having the capacity to store
or transmit images, about possible health problems.I talked about
being singled out for extra screening the one and only time I’ve
flown in the last 13 years, and how stupid the criteria were. I
told her I probably wouldn’t be flying again. Not if I could
help it.

Then she asked
me one of those put-your-money-where-your-mouth-is questions: “Well,
did you speak up when they made you go through extra screening?”

“No,”
I said. “I didn’t think it would do any good.” (All
I did was make a flippant remark. They chose me for extra screening
because I was wearing loose cotton pants with baggy pockets. Baggy
pockets are apparently inherently suspicious, even though in my
case the fabric was so light that the single mint I carried visibly
weighed one of them down.)

“Well
have you written letters to people in charge telling them you object
to the scanners?”

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the rest of the article

October
27, 2010

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