Heathrow Airport’s denial that Indian film star Shahrukh Khan’s naked body scanner images were printed and circulated by airport staff because the devices have no capability to print or distribute images contradicts leaked government documents that prove the x-ray backscatter machines do have the option to store and send images, as well as actual images of the print outs that are freely available on the Internet.
Heathrow today denied that naked body scanner images of Khan were printed and circulated by airport security staff, telling the London Telegraph the claims were “completely factually incorrect” because the body-scanning equipment had no capability to print images.
The BAA spokeswoman “stressed that images captured by the equipment could not be stored or distributed in any form”.
Heathrow are trying to avoid any investigation into the incident by claiming it “simply could not be true”.
However, leaked government documents obtained by the Electronic Privacy Information Center and confirmed as authentic by CNN show that the devices must have the ability to store and send images when in “test mode.”
“That requirement leaves open the possibility the machines — which can see beneath people’s clothing — can be abused by TSA insiders and hacked by outsiders, said EPIC Executive Director Marc Rotenberg,” according to the report.
“If you look at the actual technical specifications and you read the vendor contracts, you come to understand that these machines are capable of doing far more than the TSA has let on,” added Rotenberg.
Indeed, if there is no capability for the devices to save, distribute and print images, then how on earth have news organizations obtained print outs of such images like the one below?
This picture is a print out of a naked body scanner image taken at an airport. How can Heathrow deny this? Clearly the images produced by the scanners can be saved, distributed and printed. The public has been completely mislead about the fact that this represents a total violation of privacy and a system open to frightening levels of abuse, especially considering the fact that children are being forced to pass through the scanners.
Just like the government claimed the scanner images did not show details of genitalia, they have been caught again in another example of deception.
Journalists who researched trials of the technology reported that the images made genitals “eerily visible”.
German Security advisor Hans-Detlef Dau, a representative for a company that sells the scanners, admits that the machines, “show intimate piercings, catheters and the form of breasts and penises”.
Images on the TSA’s own website produced by backscatter devices also show that genitals are visible.
Indeed, when they were first being installed, Australian authorities admitted that the machines don’t work properly if sensitive areas of the body are blurred out – and yet the British government still denies that the scanner pictures show details of genitalia – an obvious attempt to skirt child pornography laws which have been violated with the introduction of the scanners.
With plans being readied by the Home Office in the UK as well as authorities in Europe to introduce mobile naked scanners as well as street scanners attached to lamp posts, it won’t be long before we are naked body scanned to get into public buildings, shopping malls, sports events, and even minding our own business walking down the street. Naked body scanners are already being used in courthouses across America.
It seems the only way to make this scandal go away will be for the authorities to convince Shahrukh Khan to retract his story or say it was all a joke – warning him that he might end up on a no fly list could achieve that objective.
People who work in airport security have been caught abusing their power on an almost weekly basis over the last few years. To believe that they will act with the utmost professionalism in dealing with images of our naked bodies is completely asinine. We read horror story after horror story about TSA agents and others acting like thugs on power trips, thinking they can treat the public like animals just because they hold a petty position of authority.
However, unless we vehemently debunk the denials by emphasizing that the scanners do show details of genitalia and such images can be saved, distributed and printed, our daily lives will soon begin to resemble a nightmare that far outstrips anything George Orwell could have predicted.Scridb filter