Ever since the federal government began deploying the new-fangled, full-body x-ray machines at airports and federal buildings to make us “safer,” Uncle Sam has been assuring us that the images of essentially naked bodies that the controversial machines take would not be recorded or stored. Well, surprise — it now turns out the government has been lying. The full-body x-ray machines not only do record the images they take of law-abiding citizens (and others) but also store the images.
As a result of efforts by private organizations — most notably the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) — to uncover the truth about the government’s use of these privacy-invasive devices, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), its parent agency, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the U.S. Marshals Service, have been forced to admit publicly that the machines in fact do exactly what the feds had assured us they would not do.
Even in the face of these recent revelations, the TSA continues to “assure” the public that despite the machines’ now-admitted ability to record and store image, the agency “turns off” this capability when it installs the machines. If anyone out there (other than government employees) believes this, please raise your hands. I didn’t think so.
Small wonder that the public’s trust in government (as measured, for example, in a recent survey by the non-partisan Ponemon Institute) is at an all-time low.