Tuesday, November 23, 2010

In which I realize I am unable to stop thinking about the TSA...


Every time I turn around, there are more informative articles about the backscatter machines that I want to post up here. So I apologize for the inundation, but it's caught hold of my imagination and I feel it would be irresponsible NOT to make this info as public as possible. So here goes:

I found this while doing my rounds online today; it is by Patrick Smith, a pilot who is highlighting the other group of people (besides Muslim women) who are exempt from security screening -- airport ground staff. Truly though-provoking:

http://www.salon.com/technology/ask_the_pilot/index.html

This is a piece he wrote in 2005, which Smith links to in the first article. Shocking to me that this particular group ISN'T screened...

http://www.salon.com/technology/ask_the_pilot/2005/06/10/askthepilot140/


A comic that I wish I could laugh at if it didn't feel so close to being real:

http://www.salon.com/entertainment/comics/this_modern_world/2010/11/23/this_modern_world

In the past five years, the manufacturers of scanner machines have doubled the amount they spend on lobbying:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/22/body-scanner-makers-doubl_n_787275.html

A piece about how John Tyner should not be investigated, and a link to sign an anti-scanner petition:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jane-hamsher/investigate-the-tsa-not-t_b_784391.html

At least the Freedom of Information Act is still working. Or how would we have been able to access all these scanner images? Good to know they were never saved, and could never be associated with the actual person being scanned:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/16/100-body-scans-from-secur_n_784317.html

Scanners in the real world -- not just in airports:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gw-schulz/airports-arent-the-only-p_b_708291.html

Since I am honestly trying to learn what I can about this, I am checking a variety of news outlets, I promise! Here's one from The Washington Post -- though I quibble with the fact that only 3% of people choose to opt out for the gropedown -- whoops! "Patdown" -- because I am a frequent flyer and went through the backscatter because I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT IT WAS. (And as for the argument that TSA agents don't enjoy the patdowns, thus they are not gropings? Nope. It's groping, whether they get sexual pleasure from it or not. Why? Because it MAKES THE GROPEE UNCOMFORTABLE):

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/22/AR2010112205514.html

And here is a common-sense solution (though one that still makes me uncomfortable, as it does not address the underlying concerns with the machines). In Europe they are also experimenting with scanners that show a "cartoon" body instead of an anatomically correct one:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/21/AR2010112104456.html

A well-written piece from the Wall Street Journal on the controversy:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704658204575611031585381708.html?KEYWORDS=backscatter

And lastly, a wonderful round-up of the problems, containing lots of links of its own, from the BBC:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/seealso/2010/11/us_airport_security_xx.html

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