Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Brave New World


Millimeter Wave

So the Dutch are going to require all U.S. bound airline passengers to submit to a full body scan. Story here. Remember that scene in Total Recall, the all-the-way-t0-the-skeleton imagery?

Current models feature backscatter-radiation and millimeter wave units, and amount to a virtual strip-search, as you can see from the images above.

Of course, the authorities say, to protect privacy, operators will be in a room where they can't see the people being scanned. The images won't be recorded. And new software will stylize the images so nobody really sees anything like grampa's willie or little brother's pee-pee ...

Right. Uh huh.

How long, you figure, before those images start making their way onto the net?

Alt.binaries.naked.airline-passengers ... ?

In the U.K., they won't do it to children, because if you scan somebody underage, it constitutes child-pornography -- and the idea of paying some guy to sit in a room looking at nude images of little children is unsettling. Wonder who will apply for that job?

The laws about such things are in something of an upheaval anyway. If a fourteen-year-old girl sexts a picture of her boobs to her boyfriend from her cell phone, she can be prosecuted for child pornography.

I don't want to be blowed up real good on a jetliner, and I don't care if they scope me when I get on a plane -- seen one, seen 'em all and I'm past the age where that will bother me, but I can see how a lot of people might not want their naked images being drooled over by some minimum wage TSA guy in a back room somewhere. Not even to get into what that radiation might do to you long-term if you fly a lot ...

It's not the Beav and Wally's world any more, folks.


redcode said...


J.D. Ray said...

Meh. If that's all the resolution you get, what's the big deal? You may think me coarse, but people need to get over themselves. Isn't it a bit egotistical to think that someone has any desire to ogle you naked?

It's mind over matter: If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.

Steve Perry said...

Not me so much -- my nude modeling is out there -- but suppose somebody wanted to see a more famous form? Or, as they point out in Jolly Olde, somebody's little pre-pube sister?

Maybe somebody is wearing a colostomy bag they don't want made public, or has an implant they would prefer their co-workers not know about -- pacemaker, or brain-stim, like that?

The old argument that if you aren't guilty of anything, you should be willing to do whatever the authorities ask of you to make sure has never held much water. It's why the ACLU gets all het up about such things. An inch today, a mile tomorrow, and next thing you know, bam! the Patriot Act can find out which library books you check out.

Where do you draw the line?

redcode said...

Not only that, but some people are extremely modest and have all kinds of mental illnesses that if flying wasn't bad enough, the thought of being naked in front of strangers is even worse. The thought of public speaking is worse for most people than the thought of dying. The thought of being naked in front of strangers is definitely going to cut back on travel for old people, children, fat people, anorexics and the paranoid.

bud said...

You forgot "penile" in your "implant" exposition, Steve. Not yet, but at my age...

Nude Airways, anyone? Of course, they'd have to keep the temperature a bit higher.

Steve Perry said...

Here's the thing nobody points out -- the scanners don't look inside. So dope-smugglers who swallow a few balloons of cocaine -- or put them up their asses -- that doesn't show.

A balloon of this chem, one of that, go to the toilet, upchuck or poop 'em out, mix 'em together.


And even if it did? You could turn the human stomach into a test tube and no scanner would pick it up.

I wrote a scene in a book years ago in which a woman smuggled a potentially-deadly poison past security by swallowing it. Mixed with wine, it became a gas and was spewed to kill the guy she was after.

It's not a new notion

Dan Gambiera said...

We had the Shoe-bomber.
Now everyone has to take off his shoes.

We had the Crotch-bomber.
Now everyone gets strip-searched.

Soon we will have the Colon-bomber or the Cootchie-bomber.
I'm really NOT looking forward to that.

By the bye, when they start taking all Muslims and Swarthy Mud People aside for "special treatment" I will fly wearing tzitzit, a yarmulke and a t-shirt with a big Star of David. And I will demand to get in the line and be searched, not unlike Christian Danes wearing yellow stars under the Nazis. It might be a little melodramatic and quixotic, but I couldn't live with myself otherwise.