Monday, January 11, 2010

Flying Naked

Some people have laughingly said that naked flying is the logical progression for airline security. It certainly looks like that may be coming, in one form or another. The governments plans to install terahertz wave "x-ray" machines to give full body scans is proceeding at breakneck speed. So, what are they going to see when you step into one? Apparently an embarrassing amount as new scans show.

Is this something we really want to be subjected to in the name of security circus? Do we really want our loved ones, especially our kids, to have to go through this? Is being virtually strip searched really going to make anyone safer? No. We already know that there are thieves at TSA. Who is going to insure that there aren't perverts there, too? Undoubtedly there will be a mechanism to save images taken by these scanners. Do we really want people to have access to these pictures? How long till pictures start making their way onto the internet? Not long is my guess.

This is just the latest in a long train of government giveaways in the name of security. The companies that make these scanners couldn't sell them on the free market, so they're in bed with government, which is a sure thing for them. It's always about money, in the end and there's no doubt that the underwear bomber set off opportunistic alarm bells in the boardrooms of scanner companies worldwide.

And what about radiation? Do I really need to add to my lifetime exposure every time I decide to fly? How much radiation do these things give off? There's been no definitive study on terahertz wave exposure and yet governments worldwide are rushing to install these things. Maybe they're harmless. Then again, maybe they're not, but we'll be forced to accept the governments word on them or refuse to fly. I think I'll just drive from now on.

(For a look at what TSA really sees you might want to look at this de-negatived look from Freedom Flies A Black Flag)