President Obama, After Traveling With Naked Scanner CEO, Defends Naked Scans

from the well,-look-at-that... dept

As the whole mess with the TSA scanners has received a lot more attention in the last week or so, a few folks are noticing that ex-Homeland Security boss Michael Chertoff, who's been quite busy defending the naked scanners, happens to be making a ton of money from one of the main ones, Rapiscan, made by OSI, a client of Chertoff's consulting firm. Of course, similar concerns were brought up a year ago when Chertoff was busy promoting the scanners, but it appears that many in the mainstream press continue to highlight his old Homeland Security title, while downplaying his current role making money from seeing those scanners sold.

However, perhaps even more interesting is the news that President Obama was finally asked to address the whole thing this weekend, and (not surprisingly) defended the scans and the pat downs as "the only [procedures] right now that [the TSA] considers to be effective," to prevent terrorism (while also admitting that he doesn't have to go through security to get on airplanes, so he hasn't experienced the scans.

No surprise there. Of course, what he didn't mention is that he just got done traveling with the CEO of OSI, the parent company of Rapiscan, the makers of the main naked scanner that is being purchased and put into all these airports. Apparently, OSI CEO, Deepak Chopra (no, not the new agey guy), "was selected to accompany US President, Barack Obama, to Mumbai and attended the US India Business Entrepreneurship meeting..."

Now, of course, all of this may be perfectly legit and reasonable. There may be plenty of reasons why all of these things happened. Chertoff and Obama may really believe these scanners are the best way to protect us. But, as Larry Lessig has been fond of pointing out lately with his anti-corruption project, it's these kinds of "connections" that make the American public lose trust in their government, since it can certainly be read in a rather corrupt manner.

Filed Under: obama, scans, tsa
Companies: osi, rapiscan


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  1. icon
    Richard (profile), 22 Nov 2010 @ 9:52am

    Re: Scanners

    I'd just like to point out here that the TSA is responsible for more than just airplanes. They handle security for all form of public transportation, such as trains, subways, and buses. You walk through a metal detector to get on these. There are no pat downs unless repeated attempts to pass a metal detector occur and a wand test is failed (The old airport standard). People are scared because a plane is a high profile target. That doesn't make it right to force people to give up their right to privacy because a terrorist may use it as a weapon. Truth be told, a subway would probably make a much better target. There could possibly be thousands of people in one place and it would ruin the infrastructure of the area. But killing people isn't necessarily a terroristís goal. Terrorism is defined as the systematic use of violence to achieve a goal (Dictionary.com). Take it for what you want, but a school yard bully is a terrorist. Regardless, we have the right to privacy. The military has even said that new recruits have the right to a personal space. It is unacceptable that the average person should be subjected to criminal like security screenings because of a threat of terrorism. If you want to make planes safer, make the cockpit bullet proof and securable only from the inside. Then require it to be secured before passengers board and only opened when passengers have disembarked. There are many alternatives to invasive pat downs and millimeter or x-ray scanners. These technologies havenít even really been proven to be safe for humans, even though the FDA says it is. The FDA has made numerous mistakes that have cost thousands of peoplesí lives.

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