"The US official leading the introduction of controversial full-body x-ray scanners and body "pat-downs" in US airports defended the practice Tuesday, insisting they were "the best technology" to protect against terrorist attacks.
Independent Senator Joe Lieberman, chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security that held a hearing on the issue, was also quick to support the "difficult" and "sensitive" effort, maintaining "it is necessary" to ensure aviation safety.
"This is unfortunately the world in which we live," Lieberman told the hearing on air cargo security, held in the wake of an attempted cargo plane bombing that originated from an Al-Qaeda-affiliated group in Yemen.
John Pistole, administrator of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), told lawmakers that he thought "everybody who gets on a flight wants to be sure the people around them have been properly screened.""
AFP - US transport official, top senator defend 'naked' scanners
"Several senators asked Pistole to address public criticism of the body-imaging machines and more intrusive pat-downs the agency is using. Pistole said the tougher screening is necessary, and that the FDA has found the imaging machines to be safe. Going through the whole-body scanning machine is similar to getting about three minutes of the radiation that passengers receive at 30,000 feet on a typical flight, he said.
Pistole said his agency was working to address pilot and flight attendant concerns about the screening."
The Canadian Press - US authorities say passengers will have body imaging, pat-downs despite religious objections
"Airline passengers who object to any type of physical screening are not going to fly anywhere, the head of the Transportation Security Administration told a congressional committee Tuesday."
Washington Post - If you won't submit to screening, you won't fly, TSA says
If you won't allow your body scanned image to be viewed and possibly recorded (and we know absolutely nothing about the databases these images, our passport information, and other information are potentially ending up in. Is this part of the beginning of biometric tracking based on body image? How long until we have to be biometrically scanned and recorded to get a passport? Drivers licenses with thumbprints and retinal scans, biometric images - voice prints any one?
Did you know that there is a semi-clandestine group of countries, led by the U.S. that monitor phone and data traffic that gets passed to and from satellites?
"ECHELON is a name used in global media and in popular culture to describe a signals intelligence (SIGINT) collection and analysis network operated on behalf of the five signatory states to the UK–USA Security Agreement (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States, known as AUSCANNZUKUS). It has also been described as the only software system which controls the download and dissemination of the intercept of commercial satellite trunk communications.
ECHELON was reportedly created to monitor the military and diplomatic communications of the Soviet Union and its Eastern Bloc allies during the Cold War in the early 1960s, but since the end of the Cold War it is believed to search also for hints of terrorist plots, drug dealers' plans, and political and diplomatic intelligence."