I guess a day does not go by that the U.S. moves a step closer to a police state. The creation of the DHS was just the initial move after the government sponsored terrorism that struck Washington D.C. and New York City. “Big Brother” along with “Big Sis” are just trying to make you “more secure” and raise your awareness when it comes to safety. Unfortunately some of their tactics they are implementing potential violate your 4th Amendment Right.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
In a blog today from Forbes, “uncovered documents show that as early as 2006, the Department of Homeland Security has been planning pilot programs to deploy mobile scanning units that can be set up at public events and in train stations, along with mobile x-ray vans capable of scanning pedestrians on city streets.“Though Freedom of Information Act you can read the 173-page report that includes Rapiscan (promoted by former DHS front man, Michael Chertoff), Seimens and Northeastern University.
Scanning technology would include mobile x-ray vans that could scan people on the street, while others reports have the DHS “a walk through x-ray screening system that could be deployed at entrances to special events or other points of interest.” We saw something of this nature prior to the Super Bowl this year in Irving, Texas where all individuals were scanned before entering the event.
Of course the TSA has denied this, “TSA has not tested the advanced imaging technology that is currently used at airports in mass transit environments and does not have plans to do so.” I fear to think what would become of a daily commute on the trains in the bay area. We have seen these tactics employed on a “test basis.”
In a USA Today report, Clark Kent Ervin, the Department of Homeland Security’s former inspector general says ,”Mass transit systems are much less secure than the aviation sector or certain key government buildings.” The nation’s vast network of more than 3,200 stations and more than 20,000 miles of track combined with the impracticality and cost of screening every passenger leave U.S. subways and rails exposed to the type of terrorist attacks 22 other nations have experienced the last five years (source).
DHS will continue to push a majority of funding and development to the security at aviation. Will we see further precautions taken to make our railways and subways safer? I don’t feel we will see it immediately (5-7 years). My guess it will be another knee jerk reaction by our government in response to some sort of terrorist event domestically that will heap new security procedures and regulations on the railway industry as a whole.