Originally published August 5 2010
Feds now admits to storing naked body images from full body X-ray scanners
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor
(NaturalNews) A few months ago, I first wrote about the TSA's naked body scanners and how it could allow Big Brother to view and store pictures of your naked body (plus the naked bodies of your children, too). At that time, my story was met with a reaction of derision from a few people outside the usual NaturalNews readership who said my story was nothing but "paranoia" and that the government had promised it would never record or store full body scan images. The very equipment used to view the body scans was incapable of storing those images, we were told. (These loons apparently think governments never lie...)
Well, as much as I hate to say, "I told ya so," it turns out I was right (and so was Alex Jones and others who spoke out against the TSA's naked body scanners). As reported today by Declan McCullagh from CNET, "The U.S. Marshals Service admitted this week that it had surreptitiously saved tens of thousands of images recorded with a millimeter wave system at the security checkpoint of a single Florida courthouse." (http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-20012583-2...)
That same story points to a recently released document (http://epic.org/privacy/airtravel/backscatte...) proving that the TSA actually requires its equipment to be able to record and store naked body images. This, despite the fact that the TSA publicly stated, "scanned images cannot be stored or recorded." It turns out they were flat-out lying.
So now we have an admission by the TSA that their equipment is, in fact, capable of storing these naked body images. On top of that, we have an admission that federal agents used that same technology to scan tens of thousands of people while secretly saving those images, too.
More naked body scanners coming to U.S. airportsJust two weeks ago, by the way, Big Sis Janet Napolitano announced that these full body scanners would be installed in nearly every major U.S. airport. So get ready have your private parts scanned and recorded by TSA agents, because that's what could be coming soon to an airport near you.
Another fascinating twist in this story concerns the current location of the more than 35,000 naked body scan images stored on the machine used at a federal courthouse. The machine was apparently returned to the manufacturer. This means the company that makes the full body scanners now reportedly possesses 35,000+ pictures showing the nude bodies of American citizens whose images were scanned and recorded without their knowledge!
"TSA is not being straightforward with the public about the capabilities of these devices," said Electronic Privacy Information Center executive director Marc Rotenberg (in the CNET story). "This is the Department of Homeland Security subjecting every U.S. traveler to an intrusive search that can be recorded without any suspicion -- I think it's outrageous."
Balancing security with privacyNow, certainly we probably need some level of security in our airports. I'm not disagreeing with that premise. There are some bad people in the world who will try to do ugly things in order to prove a point. But magnetometers (metal detector) work just fine, and even a pat-down is less intrusive than a naked image body scanner. Personally, I would much rather submit to a pat-down than a naked body scan.
The more important issue here is that our own government has been lying to us about all this. They said these machines could not record images, and now we find out they could record all along. This worsens the privacy violations by adding a level of deceit. Now how can we trust that other full body scanners aren't also recording images?
The truth is, we can't.
And besides, as I suggested before, there's one really good way to make sure we're safe in the air. I call it "Armed Airlines." We should have the choice of an airline where everybody is armed. You have to pack a firearm and a concealed carry license (or a police badge or military ID) just to board the plane. No terrorist or troublemaker in his right mind would dare pull anything on that flight -- not with 250 other passengers armed, too.
I would gladly join that flight, and I'd sleep like a baby. Why? Because it would be the safest airplane in the sky. I also know quite a few airline pilots who would gladly pilot those flights, and they'd have their own firearms on the flight control deck, too.
Because right now, what we really have is a nation of disarmed airlines where nobody can carry firearms except Federal Air Marshals. They're good guys, but there just aren't enough of them to go around. I'd like to see "Armed Airlines" flying. And besides, Armed Airlines would be the only flights guaranteed not to have screaming babies sitting right behind you.
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