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Digital Strip Searches

December 30th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Have you read this article in the Times?


Its about these new-fangled scanning machines that will make us safe. Which is awesome! Except that there are some privacy concerns yadda yadda. These aren’t so real…until you consider my little anecdote.

A couple of years ago I was going through an airport I recall to be Heathrow in Moscow and encountered one of these full-body scanning machines. It whirled around me and I exited the other side feeling more than a little Star Trek Voyager. Behind me the next person to be scanned was a tall, swarthy type. Exceedingly handsome, in a beautiful hand-finished button down shirt and calf captoes. I went to collect my items from the conveyor belt and there, in front of me, was my handsome Heathrow-mate Sheremetyevo-mate. Buck naked. Not live and in person, of course. Rather, on a screen being ignored by a security guard intent on finishing his conversation with another employee. I, however, was not ignoring the screen. My mouth must have fallen agape – I could see literally everything in a manner that suggested a picture of a man wearing invisible clothes. Where his underwear made an impression on his unmentionables that impression was revealed on the monitor. But, of course, the underwear was not visible – only the privates it was meant to coddle.

So yea, these monitors are going to be in some distant room, and no one will be identified, and magically people’s faces will be blurred out. Except that doesn’t and won’t happen. What will is someone will get a iPhone picture of a screen filled with Megan Fox’s naked body on her way to an international flight and post it on Gawker and that’ll be the end of this multi-zillion dollar program.

Until then my suggestion is to muscle in front of someone really hot on line for security and spend a long time tying your shoes within eyeshot of that screen.



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