TSA’s Naked Body Scans Are Even Worse Than You Imagined

Earlier this month, The Drudge Report posted the image above, with Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano and an example of an intrusive TSA body scan image, which the TSA plans to use in order to stop terrorists from taking weapons on airplanes.

The TSA body scanner controversy and the image above started making its rounds on the blogosphere, but the intrusiveness of the TSA’s “nude” body scanners is even worse than you thought. The image above is only a negative. With photo editing software on any computer (like Microsoft Paint), you can easily turn it into a very realistic, nude photograph.

When I first got an e-mail from some of my libertarian colleagues here in Nashville who discovered this, I was skeptical. I thought the “reversed image” made from the negative must have been photo-shopped. So I took the image from DrudgeReportArchives myself, pasted it into Microsoft Paint, clicked “Image” in the menu at the top, and clicked “Invert colors.”

Here’s the result:

You can try it yourself if you don’t believe me. Civil libertarians of every kind from the ACLU right down to the Tea Party movement should be outraged!!

Outrageous and Unconstitutional

The government has no business taking these images of innocent people without a warrant, probable cause, or reasonable suspicion that they are going to commit a violent act. Riding on airplanes does not make you a terror suspect and is not an inherently suspicious activity. So aside from being distasteful and outrageous, using these scanners is unconstitutional and illegal! It violates the Fourth Amendment.

Apologists for the police state and for institutionalized perversion will remind us that the TSA government bureaucrat looking at these pictures will be in a remote room, will not see the person at the same time that they are looking at the nude body scans, and cannot bring any photographic equipment like cell phones or cameras into the remote room. But Democrat Bill Press has the right answer to this nonsense:

TSA officials haughtily pooh-pooh privacy concerns. After all, they reassure us, the agent leering at your naked body is hidden away, out of sight, in a room nearby. So what? He’s still leering at your body or your wife’s or your daughter’s. In fact, in England, use of full-body scanners is considered a violation of child pornography laws, and the machines are banned for children under 18.

…and Ineffective

He’s right. And everything else he said in the article linked to above was spot on. What makes this violation of our privacy even more outrageous, is that it isn’t even effective at detecting hidden weapons. Reports the UK’s Independent:

“The explosive device smuggled in the clothing of the Detroit bomb suspect would not have been detected by body-scanners set to be introduced in British airports, an expert on the technology warned last night.

The claim severely undermines Gordon Brown’s focus on hi-tech scanners for airline passengers as part of his review into airport security after the attempted attack on Flight 253 on Christmas Day.

The Independent on Sunday has also heard authoritative claims that officials at the Department for Transport (DfT) and the Home Office have already tested the scanners and were not persuaded that they would work comprehensively against terrorist threats to aviation.”

Why aren’t we doing more about this?

We have got to start getting angry at the never ending torrent of abuse and stupidity coming from our bureaucrats in Washington. Let’s make some noise about this and be sure that the public is fully informed about these scanners. While you may not yet see them in every airport, the TSA has ordered over a hundred more of them, and unless we do something about it now, we will find our liberties curtailed any time we want to travel by air.