Blind to Privacy

If this were a woman, would it be porn?

It looks as though “security professionals” soon will be able to see you naked as you walk through checkpoints, thanks to new technology.

Using something called millimeter-wave technology and other cutting-edge tools, security professionals can literally see through clothes to spot anything that could be potentially dangerous.

Countering terrorism is a beautiful thing for policymakers: you can use it to justify just about any infringement of civil liberty or privacy. That’s because terrorism is an ever present and unpredictable threat, so nothing is sacred.

Soon the hired guns at checkpoints will get to ogle every passenger’s naked body. Of course those promoting these inspection tools aren’t concerned:

“I don’t think it’s a Big Brother thing,” said [Neil Fisher, a vice president at QinetiQ, a British company that deals in defense technology and security solutions]. “I think with a system that can screen large amounts of people very, very quickly, who all they want to do is go about their daily business unhindered knowing that they’re actually innocent, this technology isn’t going to reveal anything.”

Fisher says that the imaging is intentionally blurred and doesn’t clearly show anything you wouldn’t want the device’s operator to see.

Fisher thinks it’s not a “Big Brother thing” because the innocent people just want to “go about their daily business.” Just give them their bread and circuses.

And I like the line about the image’s being “intentionally blurred and doesn’t clearly show anything you wouldn’t want the device’s operator to see.” So what terrorists don’t want them to see, they’ll catch. But what Jane Q. Citizen doesn’t want you to see is hidden. Amazing. So why blur the face of the man in the example photograph? As an innocent citizen, he shouldn’t have anything to hide, right?

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