Tag Archives | Body Scanners

TSA To Cease Use Of Naked-Image Scanners In Airports

The machines are being removed, but the disturbing grayscale images of travelers’ bloated bodies will continue to haunt our nightmares. Via Boomberg:

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration will remove airport body scanners that privacy advocates likened to strip searches after OSI Systems Inc. (OSIS) couldn’t write software to make passenger images less revealing.

TSA will end a $5 million contract with OSI’s Rapiscan unit. The agency removed 76 of the machines from busier U.S. airports last year. It will now get rid of the remaining 174 Rapiscan machines, with the company absorbing the cost.

Airline passengers were offended by the revealing images, including those of children and the elderly. The Washington- based Electronic Privacy Information Center sued the agency in July 2010, claiming the scanners violated privacy laws and has called use of the machines equivalent to a “physically invasive strip search.”

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Hidden Government Scanners Will Instantly Know Everything About You From 164 Feet Away

Everything about you will be written all over your face. Via Gizmodo:

Within the next year or two, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will instantly know everything about your body, clothes, and luggage with a new laser-based molecular scanner fired from 164 feet (50 meters) away. From traces of drugs or gun powder on your clothes to what you had for breakfast to the adrenaline level in your body.

According to the undersecretary for science and technology of the Department of Homeland Security, you might start seeing [these scanners] in airports as soon as 2013.

And, since it’s extremely portable, will this technology extend beyone the airport or border crossings and into police cars, with officers looking for people on the street with increased levels of adrenaline in their system to detain in order to prevent potential violent outbursts? And will your car be scanned at stoplights for any trace amounts of suspicious substances?

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A TSA Official Admits Billion-Dollar-Body Scanner Program is Worthless (Video)

Via TSA Out of Our Pants!:

My last video demonstrated how easy it is to take a metal object through TSA nude body scanners undetected. In this video, I interviewed an actual TSA screener to hear more about how these machines are an epic fail. “Jennifer,” who asked me not to use her real name or face, has been on the front lines of the TSA’s checkpoints for the last 4 years.

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The Future Of Personal Identification: Buttock Scanners?

buttApparently everyone has a unique “buttprint”. In the future, the driver’s seat of your car or your spot on the train may be reserved for a butt that the scanner recognizes. Via Yahoo!:

Put your fingerprint scanners away. Stand aside iris measurers. Buttocks are the new way to prove who you are.

A team of Japanese scientists claim their pressure sensor sheet can accurately identify an individual’s backside and when placed on a driver’s seat could be used as a last line of defence to stop someone else driving away your motor.

“The sheet has 360 sensors, which collect data for 39 features to recognise a person, such as pressure patterns and the dimensions of the buttocks,” said Dr. Shigeomi Koshimizu, who led the research.

Koshimizu, an associate professor at Tokyo-based Advanced Institute of Industrial Technology, said his device is 98 percent accurate and far less onerous than conventional biometrics as it requires nothing more than someone to sit naturally.

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EU Bans Airport X-Ray Scanners Over Health Concerns

TSA ScanReports Julia Whitty on Mother Jones:

Citing health concerns, the European Union banned from European airports this week the same kind of X-ray scanners used by TSA in airports across the US. Here’s the EU’s wording:

In order not to risk jeopardising citizens’ health and safety, only security scanners which do not use X-ray technology are added to the list of authorised methods for passenger screening at EU airports.

In How Safe Are TSA’s Porno Scanners? I wrote about the risks of using ionizing radiation in routine airport screenings. Concerned scientists have noted the health risks of X-ray scanners, where even low levels of radiation increase cancer risks. They also note that TSA’s safety testing is flawed, since:

  1. testing is not done on the skin, which receives most backscatter X-rays
  2. the devices used for testing airport scanners are not designed for testing airport scanners

Worse, as Pro Publica points out, TSA’s safety tests are strangely obtuse:

The researchers’ names have been kept secret, and the report on the tests is so “heavily redacted” that “there is no way to repeat any of these measurements.”

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U.S. Government Glossed Over Cancer Concerns As It Rolled Out Airport X-Ray Scanners

X-RayMichael Grabell reports on ProPublica:

On Sept. 23, 1998, a panel of radiation safety experts gathered at a Hilton hotel in Maryland to evaluate a new device that could detect hidden weapons and contraband. The machine, known as the Secure 1000, beamed X-rays at people to see underneath their clothing.

One after another, the experts convened by the Food and Drug Administration raised questions about the machine because it violated a longstanding principle in radiation safety — that humans shouldn’t be X-rayed unless there is a medical benefit.

“I think this is really a slippery slope,” said Jill Lipoti, who was the director of New Jersey’s radiation protection program. The device was already deployed in prisons; what was next, she and others asked — courthouses, schools, airports? “I am concerned … with expanding this type of product for the traveling public,” said another panelist, Stanley Savic, the vice president for safety at a large electronics company.

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Media Roots Radio Interview with Eyewitness to ‘Underwear Bomber’ Incident

Via Media Roots:

Abby and Robbie Martin conduct an exclusive interview with Kurt Haskell, attorney and key eyewitness to the 12/25/09 “Underwear Bomber” incident. Kurt maintains that he witnessed a well dressed man argue with security and escort Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab onto his US flight without a passport. Shortly thereafter, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab allegedly attempted to blow up flight 254 with plastic explosives hidden in his underwear, prompting the new wave of Backscatter X-ray machines in airports.

Kurt explains why he feels like the entire event was staged by the government in order to perpetrate the threat of terrorism in this country, and how being an eyewitness to a false flag attack caused him to question his entire political paradigm.

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TSA Admits Radiation from Body Scanners Is 10 Times Higher Than They Initially Stated

ScannersDavid Kravets writes in WIRED’s Threat Level:

The Transportation Security Administration is re-analyzing the radiation levels of X-ray body scanners installed in airports nationwide, after testing produced dramatically higher-than-expected results.

The TSA, which has deployed at least 500 body scanners to at least 78 airports, said Tuesday the machines meet all safety standards and would remain in operation despite a “calculation error” in safety studies. The flawed results showed radiation levels 10 times higher than expected.

At least one flier group, the Association for Airline Passenger Rights, is urging the government to stop using the $180,000 machines that produce a virtual-nude image of the body until new tests are concluded in May.

“Airline passengers have enough concerns about flying — including numerous ones about how TSA conducts its haphazard security screenings — so it is TSA’s responsibility to ensure passengers are not being exposed to unhealthy amounts of radiation,” Brandon Macsata, executive director of the group, said in a statement.

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Have TSA Body Scanners Been Used On Trains and Even Sidewalks?

Got TSA?The TSA is, off course, denying this story. Andy Greenberg writes on Forbes’ FIREWALL:

Giving Transportation Security Administration agents a peek under your clothes may soon be a practice that goes well beyond airport checkpoints. Newly 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.

The non-profit Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) on Wednesday published documents it obtained from the Department of Homeland Security showing that from 2006 to 2008 the agency planned a study of of new anti-terrorism technologies that EPIC believes raise serious privacy concerns. The projects range from what the DHS describes as “a walk through x-ray screening system that could be deployed at entrances to special events or other points of interest” to “covert inspection of moving subjects” employing the same backscatter imaging technology currently used in American airports.

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Exposing Naked Scanners In The EU And Beyond – Again

Image from FlyWithDignity.org

Image from FlyWithDignity.org

One year on from the fast tracking of digital strip searches and the hysteria over the “pants incident” [1], the push for the use of naked scanners continues. Whilst naked scanners have not been front page news for some time, the issue, like many others the mainstream media choose to ignore, forges ahead unexposed.

The delayed EU Commission green paper

In June 2010, the European Commission finally published a green paper on the use of naked scanners at EU airports [2] — a paper that was originally promised back in 2008! The Commission’s green paper refers to naked scanners as “Security Scanners” in an attempt to play down the intrusive nature of the technology and highlight the supposed security benefits.

The Commission presents the all too common argument at the EU level — that it is inevitable that scanners will be introduced, so what we need is European Regulation to create a uniform system for obedient citizens to have their private parts scanned.… Read the rest

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