Posts Tagged ‘tsa’

TSA Body Scanners Damage Human DNA

Friday, December 17th, 2010

As if the threat of totalitarianism weren’t enough, now it turns out that the full body scanners used for screening in airports cause significant damage to the DNA of those being scanned and those who operate the equipment.

Researchers from the Center for Nonlinear Studies at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico show how the radiation emitted by the TSA’s scanners “may significantly affect the natural dynamics of DNA, and thereby influence intricate molecular processes involved in gene expression and DNA replication.”

Forget that these new security measures are not very effective, what with all the 12″ razor blades and loaded guns getting through. We already knew most of these new steps amount to security theater, anyway.

But here we have a concrete reason for everyone to protest against these scanners: THEY ARE DAMAGING OUR GENETIC MAKEUP!

Security checkpoints that alter our DNA. Is there any greater threat to future generations? Yes…these toys.

Don’t stop the backlash against the TSA. The fight is part of something bigger.

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

Yesterday protesters held what they called an “Opt-Out” day, where air travelers who were selected to submit to a full body scanner would opt-out of the screening process. The protest has been called a flop, since most travelers opted out of the protests instead of the scanners, leading the TSA to feel as if the public has already spoken.

But just because most people didn’t protest doesn’t mean they are happy about it. It just means most people will shut up and take the abuse if it means reaching their destination on time.

And as disappointing as these protests may have been, a positive note is how this latest erosion of civil liberties garnered at least some outpouring of dissent.

See, the idea of strangers seeing my naked body or having my groin area searched isn’t my concern, although without a happy ending it does seem like something’s missing.  No, this latest clash against the TSA is part of an even greater battle: the fight against totalitarianism.

Totalitarianism is one of the biggest threats facing humankind today. If we aren’t careful, our entire world could end up enslaved to a system designed to protect us. When people have no rights and dictatorship reigns, entire segments of the population are left to suffer (see Hitler’s Germany, Stalin’s Russia, or today’s North Korea.)

Body scanners aren’t the problem. Face recognition cameras on every street corner aren’t the problem. Having an orbiting satellite that can read all of our thoughts directly wouldn’t be a problem, so long as the control over said device was left open to the public. In this fight against totalitarianism, technology isn’t to blame.

The real issues emerge when we have government agencies imposing regulations with little to no accountability to the public.

If the TSA were enforcing democratically agreed upon measures, then they wouldn’t be cause for concern. Just like if the information gleaned from all the wiretapping and ubiquitous surveillance were made freely available in the public commons, then we wouldn’t be at risk of losing our freedoms.

Instead, so long as organizations like the TSA go unchallenged,  we are heading towards living under shadowy overlords ruling our every waking moment.

Modern technology can already be used quite readily be used for enslavement, putting entire populations under the control of a tiny minority. As many alarmists will attest, certain forces are working diligently to strip humankind of power with each passing moment.

Our new technology can also be a great liberator, especially when it channels the will of the people. And this is precisely what we will need to do to fight totalitarianism:

Harness the community building power of the Internet, coordinate at the speed of instant messaging, and take the power away from these secretive defense agencies and place it back squarely in the hands of the general public.

Power to the People!

TSA Bans Toner and Ink Cartridges on Flights

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

So the Transport Security Administration banned Toner and Ink cartridges from permissible cargo for air travel. And if you caught  yesterday’s post about how these acts are mostly security theater, here we have a case and point example of the consistently increasing security powers.

Great, so no more toner on flights. Not like it’s a big deal. But it does make me wonder just how many people are carrying large ink cartridges on flights anyway. Is there an overwhelming number of passengers printing novels on the red-eye to New York?

Must be, because the TSA felt it was necessary to ban them. Of course, it is their job to increase safety. And every new regulation passed gives their organization a bit more control over the population, and who doesn’t love power?

Besides, it isn’t their job to worry about violating liberties or freedom, that is for other outside organizations to fight for, like the Airline Pilots who’ve been boycotting the full body scanners.

At the end of the day, it is really up to each of us to speak out against more authoritarian control. We need to first stand up to the irrational fears within our own heads. Then, we can stand up to the kinds of legislation that seeks to exploit these same fears.