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

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    javabri, 22 Nov 2010 @ 11:23am

    Re: Scanners

    That's BS. Even with the increase activity in terrorism, flying is still the safest form of travel. I am an active, frequent flyer, traveling over 100K miles a year both domestic and international. I absolutely understand the risks of air travel and want to ensure my safety when flying. However, these new procedures are way too excessive and expensive. There are better ways to ensure the safety of the flying public.

    We are forcing greater than 99.99% of the population to undergo humiliating procedures when there is 0 indication they have done anything wrong. At minimum this should qualify as illegal search and siezure, but the govt. continues to trample on our citizens rights.

    Under any other cirucumstances this would be invasion of privacy at the least and criminal sexual harrasment or worse. If you tried any of this on your own, you would certainly be arrested, but the government can do it in the name of "safety".

    As stated, there are better, more effective ways to catch the real threats without feeling up innocent flyers or taking naked pictures of them via these full body scanners.

    Heck, trained police professionals with trained dogs could be very effective and produce a greater intimidation factor to those that would do us harm. Sniffer systems have proven effective in catching trace particles of explosives and drugs. Better sensitivity metal detectors combined with other methods could ensure safety without undue burden on the flying population nor invading their privacy.

    By the way, the greater threat is from foriegn travel into the US, not domestic travel. With the exception of 9/11, most of the threats via air came from OUTSIDE THE US. Hmm, where do we need greater security again?

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: I Invented Email
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.