The senior U.S. Senator from New York, Charles Schumer, has introduced a bill that would make it illegal for anyone to record or distribute images obtained from TSA full body scanners. While I prefer Ron Paul’s bill that would outlaw full body scanners, I realize that passage of such a bill is slim-to-none. Schumer’s bill, on the other hand, has a decent shot at passage and the President may even sign it–especially because thse machines (wink, wink) can’t even store images…
I’m skeptical of the TSA’s oft-repeated the claim that the ability to store or print images has been disabled for two reasons. First, when the TSA ordered the machines they demanded that the capability to store images be available. If they had no intention of ever storing images, why make this demand? Second, what if the machines actually catch up something–perhaps something ingested (though it is unlikely the machines can detect such material…)? Do you really think the TSA is just going to discard that piece of evidence on their screen? Not a chance.
The Senate bill would include up to a $100,000 fine and one year in prison for each violation. It would apply even to a "rogue" TSA agent who pulled out his cell phone camera to take a picture of the screen.
On a somewhat related note, I have to share this Tom Toles cartoon featured in the Washington Post today. It contrasts Amtrak security (Amtrak just announced that were loosening their gun restrictions) with airport security. Hilarious!
The image by the commie cartoonist isn’t entirely accurate (ok, it’s just inaccurate). The policy merely makes the amtrak restrictions similar to airports where you can check a bag with an unloaded gun. I have transported firearms through airports before this way.
Keep in mind this cartoon was three years ago, but I get the point–no security checks before boarding Amtrak versus the draconian security to board an airplane. Airplanes are more expensive, but a bomb on a train can unleash identical if not greater damage in terms of lives lost.