Mass Surveillance Is Coming to Public Venues in America

Jose Nino Comments

With how much outrage politics consumes the media cycle, issues like the growing surveillance state tend to be overlooked. Now, the TSA-style body scanners that everyone loves (sarcasm intended) could be coming to public venues.

The Salt Lake Tribune notes that the Utah Attorney General and law enforcement are teaming up with Liberty Defense, a 3D image scanning company whose business model is largely predicated on spying on people.

A Fox 13 report indicates that police will use Liberty Defense’s HEXWAVE to spy on people at public events such as concerts, malls, and stadiums.

NSA surveillance privacy

It’s no secret that the U.S. has embraced a much larger surveillance state since 9/11. Not only has the government spearheaded such efforts, but there have been a substantial number of private actors that have joined along to violate civil liberties.  

When we think about it, the name of the company in this case, Liberty Defense, is quite ironic. Its motto is, “Protecting Communities and Preserving Peace of Mind.” Nothing promotes peace of mind like having an all-seeing government spy on your private affairs. Sadly, most of the populace has accepted these types of government intrusions.

Liberty Defense’s CEO Bill Riker announced that, “HEXWAVE could be deployed at mass gatherings like concerts, malls, stadiums, public transit stops and government buildings.” It’s becoming abundantly clear that the political establishment wants to take the same airport security model provided by the TSA and use it to target suspicious people.

The Utah Attorney General’s office rolled out a “Memorandum of Understanding” which explains how HEXWAVE would be used in surveillance plans:

  1. Sporting & Concert Arenas, Stadiums and Olympic Venues;
  2. Primary, Secondary and Higher Education Facilities;
  3. Places of Worship, Facilities and Property Owned by or Affiliated with Faith Entities;
  4. Government Offices, Buildings and Facilities;
  5. Amusement Parks; and
  6. Entertainment Events, Conventions, Shows & Festivals

Police intend to use HEXWAVE to spy on the public during “non-business hours to get system exposure to the full range of potential operating conditions to include environmental, frequency/volume of use or other operating conditions to which HEXWAVE would be subjected.”

There have been rumblings that Liberty Defense is a Homeland Security or Department of Defense front group. Speculations and rumors aside, this business is becoming a willing participant in the mass surveillance state. Just like its cousins in the defense industry, Liberty Defense shows that opportunistic private actors will easily sell their soul to the state and work with it to advance anti-liberty schemes.

These new forms of surveillance are expensive forms of security theater, and in worst-case scenarios, springboards for massive civil liberties violations. Instead, we should focus more on changing our foreign policy so that it does not generate as much blowback in the form of terror attacks. Additionally, America should scale down its vast military presence and focus more on defense at home.

We don’t need an Orwellian bureaucracy to make our communities safe. 

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