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Michael Chertoff, Come On Down!

This page is sorta OBE, but it makes a point so I'm keeping it running...
Here is an open challenge for Michael Chertoff, once United States Secretary of Homeland Security, and Janet Napolitano, now MinHomeSec. You want to install x-ray machines at airports to see under everyone's clothing, right?
Well, here is our challenge:

1) Put up x-ray machines at the entrance to your office and at the entrances to all TSA offices.
2) Place video cameras to monitor the x-ray machines and then connect them to a national TV hookup (say via the internet or public access TV).
3) Each day as you and everyone in the TSA goes into the office or goes home, the citizens can watch you being x-rayed. Won't that be fun?
How can you object?
1) We are doing this to protect you.
2) If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing about which you can object.
3) We can put this on pay-per-view and retire the national debt.
So what do you say, Michael Chertoff? Are you ready to get on down?

Our Man In The DHS

Michael Chertoff Being Sworn In--Have All These People Been X-rayed?

Michael Chertoff In One Of His Rare Televised Addresses

TSA Voluntary Passenger X-Ray Screening Is Doubleplusgood

Time For Citizens To Surveil The TSA


Peekaboo — security scanner can see through clothes
Last Updated: Monday, February 26, 2007 | 8:50 AM ET
The Associated Press

The Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is the first to begin testing a controversial new U.S. screening system that takes X-rays of passengers' bodies in an effort to find concealed explosives and other weapons.

The airport started testing the new technology on Friday. It can see through people's clothes and show the body's contours with blush-inducing clarity, and critics have said the high-resolution images created by the "backscatter" technology are too invasive.

But the U.S. Transportation Security Administration adjusted the equipment to make the image look something like a line drawing, while still detecting concealed weapons.

During testing, the machine will be used only as a backup screening measure. Passengers who fail the standard screening with a metal detector will be able to choose between the new device or a pat-down search.

Passengers selected for screening by the device are asked to stand in front of the closet-size X-ray unit with the palms of their hands facing out. Then they must turn around for a second screening from behind. The procedure takes about a minute.

"It seems faster. I'm not uncomfortable with it," said Kelsi Dunbar, 25, of Seattle, who chose the machine. "I trust TSA, and I trust that they are definitely trying to make things go quickly and smoothly in the airport.

But one expert said the machine's altered image is ineffective, while the clear picture is an invasion of privacy.

"The more obscure they make the image, the more obscure the contraband, weapons and explosives," said Barry Steinhardt, director of the Technology and Liberty Project at the ACLU in Washington, D.C. "The graphic image is a strip-search. You shouldn't have to be strip-searched to get on an airplane. Millions of Americans would regard them as pornographic."

The machine will be tested for up to 90 days at a single checkpoint at Sky Harbor International Airport's largest terminal, which hosts US Airways and Southwest Airlines, the two busiest airlines in Phoenix.

The technology could be left in place after the trial period, and the TSA hopes to roll out similar machines at the Los Angeles airport and New York's Kennedy Airport by the end of the year.

The security officer who works with the passenger going through the screening will never see the images the machine produces. The pictures will be viewed by another officer about 15 metres away who will not see the passenger, the TSA said.

The machine cannot store the images or transmit them and "once we're done screening the passenger, the image is gone forever," Melendez said.

He said the device at Sky Harbor costs about $100,000 US, but is on loan from the manufacturer, American Science and Engineering Inc. of Boston.

'It's 100 per cent voluntary, so if the passenger doesn't feel comfortable with it, the passenger doesn't have to go through it.'
—Nico Melendez, TSA


Remember, Ben Franklin says-- "They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."