Via Dallas Morning News:
Transportation Security Administration chief David Pekoske said the agency wants to use technology to reduce the number of screening officers in checkpoints and speed up travel processes as passenger volumes increase.
At Tuesday’s panel at South by Southwest, which focused on accelerating aviation security, he boasted about the agency’s computed tomography technology and biometrics. Despite struggling with staffing a year ago, Pekoske said that nearly 2.4 million people are screened on a given day by TSA…
Pekoske said that TSA’s purpose is to make sure it maintains its security and transportation system at the same time, while staying several steps ahead of threats.
For now, passengers still theoretically have the option to forego the biometric screening in favor of a traditional All-American groping by a portly, handsy TSA agent. But, the TSA warns, that is not going to be an option moving forward, once the infrastructure is fully in place and the public has been successfully conditioned, through articles like the one in Dallas Morning News, to accept the new normal.
“We’re upgrading our camera systems all the time, upgrading our lighting systems,” Pekoske said. “(We’re) upgrading our algorithms, so that we are using the very most advanced algorithms and technology we possibly can.”
He said passengers can also choose to opt out of certain screening processes if they are uncomfortable, for now. Eventually, biometrics won’t be optional, [Pekoske] said.
Note that, in the Dallas Morning News article, there is literally no mention, even in passing, of the threat of potential abuses and privacy intrusions that biometric technology poses to innocent civilians.
It should never be forgotten, nor forgiven, that all of these Orwellian airport protocols in the name of “national security” were made possible by the nonstop fear generated in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. Prior to September 11, 2001, the American public — especially in Texas, the focus of the Dallas Morning News piece — would never have tolerated these abuses of privacy.
There are parallels to be drawn between the 9/11 fearmongering as an excuse to confiscate treasured civil liberties (which were hard-won with blood, sweat, and tears) and using the COVID-19 pandemic to achieve the same ends. The next “current thing,” such as climate change, will be used to do more of the same. It’s a never-ending transition from one permanent emergency to the next, and we’re all along for the ride, helpless spectators looking out the window on the crazy train, until enough of us #justsayno to make the social control measures logistically infeasible.