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Government Privacy Transportation Your Rights Online

US Marshals Saved 35,000 Full Body Scans 712

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the look-at-my-blurry-junk dept.
PatPending writes "A Gizmodo investigation has revealed 100 of the photographs saved by the Gen 2 millimeter-wave scanner from Brijot Imaging Systems, Inc., obtained by a FOIA request after it was recently revealed that US Marshals operating the machine in the Orlando, Florida courthouse had improperly — perhaps illegally — saved [35,000] images [low resolution] of the scans of public servants and private citizens."
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US Marshals Saved 35,000 Full Body Scans

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  • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @01:01PM (#34244776)

    The more these assholes abuse their power, the less willing the public will be to entrust power to them.

    Oh god, who am I kidding?..

    • by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @01:04PM (#34244814) Journal

      the less willing the public will be to entrust power to them.

      Problem is - you're trained from day 1 to entrust your power to them. Most everyone doesn't believe there is any other way.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by causality (777677)

      The more these assholes abuse their power, the less willing the public will be to entrust power to them.

      Oh god, who am I kidding?..

      Yeah, you mean they're doing that exact thing that we knew they were going to do and abusing their power? Nope, nobody saw that coming.

      Oh, and you're some kind of paranoid tin-foil hat wearing nutter if you ever read about a not-yet-implemented proposal and say "this is dangerous because it will be abused." We must ridicule and marginalize those who aren't in denial about basic reality ... err I mean those paranoid naysayers at once. Cue the "I got nothing to hide", "why don't you want to stop terrori

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by h00manist (800926)
      The anal-drug-and-bomb-probing story has been commonly mentioned. It seems these agents wouldn't mind it after all. Soon there will be live pole-dancing naked silhouettes around airports. On-demand-real-airport-agent feel-you-up whisky bars. If this trend keeps up airports will be the new destination for people needing various sexual fantasies fulfilled.
    • Exactly. People don't care till their backs are up against the wall. It's amazing how complacent this country has become.
      • by causality (777677)

        Exactly. People don't care till their backs are up against the wall. It's amazing how complacent this country has become.

        Apparently the certain knowledge that they will have their backs up against the wall if they continue down this path doesn't move them. Until it actually happens there's lots denial to go around.

        The predictability of it all makes me want to use "stupid" where you used "complacent" sometimes.

    • by Speare (84249) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @01:15PM (#34245044) Homepage Journal

      I overheard it put this way: "If the government is going to keep groping our wives and daughters [wikipedia.org], somebody's going to go Braveheart on them." Oppressive behavior just creates terrorists, it doesn't find or defeat them.

      • by rahvin112 (446269) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @01:40PM (#34245448)

        What I would personally like to see is someone with a young child, preferably female that instructs their child to start screaming if anyone touches their genitals. After the child begins screaming at the TSA checkpoint said parent asks that the cops be called and insists that the officer arrest the TSA agent for sexual molestation of a child. Most likely the cops will refuse, at that point a civil suit against the TSA for sexual molestation of a child would be appropriate.

        And for the record, no Federal law can override state criminal statutes. If it's illegal to touch a child's genitals the DHS and TSA can't make a regulation that says it's OK. One of these days I'm praying that this happens and that either a TSA agent is charged as a sex criminal or the TSA itself is defeated in a Civil Suit for instructing their agents to sexually molest children. These "enhanced" pat downs are offensive and illegal and until someone is willing to stand up and take the damn thing to court the DHS and TSA is going to continue molesting children. And let me tell you, once a pedophile finds out he can touch all the children he wants with TSA approval the ranks of the TSA are going to be FULL of pedophiles. I wouldn't be surprised if it's already occurring!

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by bonch (38532)

      It's interesting that people here are bashing the TSA for saving body scan images, but in articles about Google "accidentally" saving emails, passwords, and other personal information, people spend their time defending Google.

  • We all knew it would happen sooner or later. So, when does Bodyscanporn.com open up? :)

  • uhuh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jav1231 (539129) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @01:05PM (#34244850)
    And they'll get about as much of a punishment as Charles Rangel.

    Like maybe: "The officers involved have received reprimands that will go in their permanent record."
  • by PhrostyMcByte (589271) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @01:07PM (#34244876) Homepage

    If someone is going to invade my privacy for pointless security theater, I might as well make it as uncomfortable and inconvenient for them as possible. In airports, I always opt for frisking instead backscatter. No pictures to save then, either.

  • I'm sure that whoever makes those machines is not happy. Whoever was the salesman and just lives off commissions might be ecstatic. Now he gets to propose a whole new line of machines, and a whole new commission, on thousands of machines worth a million bucks each.
  • HE DIDN'T RESPECT THEIR PRIVACY? INCONCEIVABLE!
    You keep using that word 'privacy.' I do not think it means what you think it means.
  • Every time the public or public advocates complain about new law enforcement technologies or powers, it is always important to remember is that it is not the ability to perform effective law enforcement that is the problem -- it is precisely to prevent the inevitable abuse of power that we seek to enjoin. Let's forget about official abuse of power (which also happens frequently) and look at unofficial and inappropriate abuse of power such as a sheriff's deputy using their police facilities to check up on h

    • by wickerprints (1094741) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @01:35PM (#34245362)

      You're absolutely correct, but at the same time, let's not forget that such abuses occur because those in power deliberately lie to the people. That is what the Gizmodo article proves--that the public is intentionally told falsehoods so that the government can continue their abuse. It isn't the individual screener or machine that is the root of corruption. Rather, the corruption is systematic, in the form of a security agency that tells people that their privacy is assured when it is not. They do this because it makes their task more expedient, and gives the impression of effectiveness. Much the same can be said of the deliberate provocation of fear as a means of gaining more power and control.

      I repeat: the corruption is systematic. Yes, you can remove the opportunity to exploit weaknesses and the lack of accountability, but this is a piecemeal approach to fixing the larger underlying problem, which is that we have a system that is accountable to no one, that is fundamentally disinterested in serving its stated purpose, and exists for the sole purpose of allowing those in power to concentrate their influence through the use of scare tactics and lies. In other words, we wouldn't need to stop individual enforcement officers from violating people's privacy, and we wouldn't need the regulations to do so, if we didn't need to subject people to these scans in the first place. This technology didn't always exist, yet people weren't being blown out of the skies every day for the lack of it. There's an unspoken, and therefore largely unchallenged, assumption that this kind of screening is necessary--which on the face of it is an absurd claim, for if it were, the only rational way to use it would be to apply it to everybody. And I need not state the myriad ways in which someone with half a brain would still find it trivial to circumvent it.

      What is needed is a drastic change, one in which the people reassert their control over the government that purports to serve them. I doubt this will happen, but nevertheless it is the only viable solution.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @01:12PM (#34244974)

    I thought that for passengers' privacy, the nude-o-scope operator was in another room with no view of the real person, but these photographs match each person with their scan so there obviously is a simple way to view person both clothed and naked! ohhh, the opportunities...

  • by beefnog (718146) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @01:13PM (#34245012)
    Did anybody else notice that in some of the images the people well behind the pad (but still in the image frame) are showing up as well? Just how much EM do these things ACTUALLY emit?
  • by fotbr (855184) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @01:15PM (#34245034) Journal

    You mean the same machines that we're repeatedly told cannot save images? The ones people don't like because of the privacy invasion and the answer is always "the machines cannot save images"?

    Who is actually surprised by this?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by timster (32400)

      Who cares whether the machines can save images or not anyway? Any screener with a camera phone could just take a picture of the screen.

  • by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @01:17PM (#34245072) Homepage
    Is anyone really surprised? Have you ever met a mall security guard, bouncer, airport monkey who wasn't a complete power abusing ass? Face it people do give them grief and it can be a shitty job so the only people that are going to take it are the type who are looking to bully the public.
  • Pie Crust Promise (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SloWave (52801) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @01:30PM (#34245278) Journal

    Saying "the pictures will never be saved" is known as a "Pie Crust Promise" - easily made, easily broken. Here is some interesting reading on similar promises from the government, especially on how the SSN will never be used for identification. http://www.scragged.com/articles/the-plague-of-presidential-pie-crust-promises [scragged.com] . The moral is never EVER trust the government .

  • by h00manist (800926) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @01:31PM (#34245292) Journal
    Trains don't fall from the sky. They run on electric power. Carry many more people than planes. Stops right in the middle of downtown, origin and destination, no trip to and from the airport needed. Sometimes you can just get on, no papers or checking at all, and buy the ticket later on board. Sometimes there is a restaurant car, or a bar car. You can see the scenery, it is less than a yard away from your window. You have long seats, tables, lots of space, walk around the cars. You can get off at the next town, walk around, and take the next train. There are almost never any accidents. Did I say it's electric?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Microlith (54737)

      Trains take multiple days to go from one side of this country to the other. Not flying is simply dodging the problem, and unchecked they'll push it on the trains too.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Aladrin (926209)

      I took a train up the east coast and back recently. It is not an experience I wish to repeat. It was loud, cramped, bumpy, uncomfortable, and long.

      Why did I take that train? Because I refuse to take airplanes since the ridiculous things they had started doing at airports... Years ago.

      After taking that train, the airports didn't seem quite so bad any more. And now they've started with the cancer-inducing scanners and groping.

      Now, I just don't travel.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Rob the Bold (788862)

      Trains don't fall from the sky. They run on electric power. Carry many more people than planes. Stops right in the middle of downtown, origin and destination, no trip to and from the airport needed. Sometimes you can just get on, no papers or checking at all, and buy the ticket later on board. Sometimes there is a restaurant car, or a bar car. You can see the scenery, it is less than a yard away from your window. You have long seats, tables, lots of space, walk around the cars. You can get off at the next town, walk around, and take the next train. There are almost never any accidents. Did I say it's electric?

      Unfortunately, in the USA, trains go from where you aren't to where you don't want to be. They are diesel-electric. They are limited to around 90mph under best conditions. The tracks are frequently shared with freight traffic, which has right of way, so passenger trains are frequently side-tracked for long delays. 2000 miles at 90mph is over 20 hours. More like 36 hours with delays, sidetracking and stops. The 250 mile trip across Missouri takes 6-8 hours -- you could drive it faster. Everything in the r

  • That's nothing (Score:5, Interesting)

    by commodore64_love (1445365) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @01:34PM (#34245336) Journal

    The TSA is now groping women's breasts and little kids genitals. (See the recent video of a girl crying, "Stop touching me!"

    And I just now heard an interview with an American is being punished $11,000 by the U.S.G. because he refused to be scanned, or groped by the TSA, so the guards told him, "You cannot fly." He then canceled his ticket, got a refund, left the airport, and was arrested for leaving the area.

    Apparently once you enter an air terminal, you no longer have any rights... except to submit to the US Gestapo and their warrantless/illegal searches.

    • Re:That's nothing (Score:4, Informative)

      by Remus Shepherd (32833) <remus@panix.com> on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @02:04PM (#34245808) Homepage

      They are charging and fining anyone who submits to examination and then backs out. This is to keep terrorists from exploring the limits of the system by bringing contraband to the examination and then backing away at the last minute so they're not caught. It is an extremely ham-fisted way of preventing a social engineering attack, but it should suffice.

      In the US, once you enter in an agreement with any corporation you lose some rights. What the TSA is doing now is no worse than what many software companies do with their EULAs, it's just more obvious because it's physical.

      I'm just waiting for a website to collect body scan pictures and post them with the travellers' names. Is the domain tsa-leaks.com taken? Aunt Mildred might put up with having one official in the airport look through her blouse, but put those pictures up on the internet and there will be fury.

      • Re:That's nothing (Score:5, Insightful)

        by clone53421 (1310749) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @02:29PM (#34246194) Journal

        In the US, once you enter in an agreement with any corporation you lose some rights. What the TSA is doing now is no worse than what many software companies do with their EULAs, it's just more obvious because it's physical.

        No. That’s bullshit.

        Certain rights can’t be contracted away. Period.

        That’s why almost any contract has a clause in it that says something to the effect that “you may have certain rights that are not listed, or we may not legally be able to indemnify ourselves from certain warranties or liabilities, in which case those claims are held void but the rest of our contract is still actionable”.

        Writing a clause into a contract that takes away my inalienable rights just makes the contract illegal.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by whoever57 (658626)

        They are charging and fining anyone who submits to examination and then backs out. This is to keep terrorists from exploring the limits of the system by bringing contraband to the examination and then backing away at the last minute so they're not caught.

        Nah, this is pure spite.

        For years, they have allowed people to walk through metal detectors and, if it goes off, to walk back, remove some metal object and try again. Any terrorist with half a brain could have used this to accurately calibrate the meta

      • Re:That's nothing (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Chowderbags (847952) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @06:03PM (#34249392)
        I do not automatically consent to a search just because I buy an airline ticket. I don't consent to a search just because I get in line with that ticket. I don't consent to a search even when I get to the front of the line. I don't consent to a search when hearing what they want to do to me. I only consent to a search when I say "Yes, I consent to be searched". What kind of fucked up situation are we in where once you're past a certain point, you suddenly cannot back out of having a TSA agent rub you down? What happened to "The right of the people to be secure in their persons...against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated..."? I'm not talking about even to the level of probable cause, but just to the standard of reasonable suspicion. Refusing to be manhandled by TSA agents is not grounds for reasonable suspicion any more than refusing to speak to the police proves your guilt.
    • Re:That's nothing (Score:5, Informative)

      by sycorob (180615) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @02:08PM (#34245880)

      The video was taken down from YouTube, but this guy has it for now:
      http://www.godlikeproductions.com/forum1/message1258192/pg1 [godlikeproductions.com]

      That was the most heart-wrenching thing I've seen in a long time. The girl wasn't being bad or anything, she was just freaking out that this strange woman was poking her all over.

      I'm driving for Christmas this year (12 hours) rather than fly. I want to visit an old friend of the family that lives in Alabama, and I'm in Chicago. I really hope they stop this BS before then. I'm just glad I don't have kids yet, I would probably assault a TSA agent if they did this to my child. You guys would write me in prison, right?

      • Re:That's nothing (Score:4, Insightful)

        by hedwards (940851) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @03:05PM (#34246778)
        I won't be flying anymore. The fact that the TSA is now allowed to grope, fondle and molest people under threat of prosecution is beyond belief.

        Newsflash to the TSA, it's not an optional screening if there are serious consequences to saying no. I wouldn't consider something optional if the alternative is paying a $10,000 fine or being arrested. Sure technically there isn't a gun to the head, but no reasonable person is going to conclude that there isn't force being applied.

        This isn't any different than when a Priest, teacher or parent pressures a child to allow touching which wouldn't normally be tolerated. There is no informed consent when the party asking for it has the power to inflict such serious consequences.
    • Re:That's nothing (Score:4, Insightful)

      by dcollins (135727) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @02:13PM (#34245948) Homepage

      I think that the $10K lawsuit and arrest was an empty threat, not actually happening. But that's still a pretty dirtbag Nazi kind of thing to threaten somebody with.

  • so my choice is (Score:5, Insightful)

    by circletimessquare (444983) <circletimessquar ... m ['l.c' in gap]> on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @01:36PM (#34245368) Homepage Journal

    1. radiation exposure and some mall cop staring at my dick. with pictures for permanent internet memories

    2. some mall cop groping my dick

    i choose 3: fuck flying. taking the airplane is a burdensome horrendous experience that just keeps getting worse and worse. it makes driving 20 hours seem more attractive than flying 4 hours

    "the terrorists have won" is a lame trite statement, but it's true. they've permanently altered our society to turn us into scared cattle and they've permanently made airplanes a hellish unattractive transportation method

  • Thats Unpossible. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by RichMan (8097) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @01:39PM (#34245414)

    So where are the political people who promised us it was "impossible" for the images from these scanners to be saved? It was clearly a manufacturing possibility that the images could be stored. And the rule of operation is that "if it can be done, it will be".

    Geeky systems observation:

    There needs to be a better political process where, when the political message is later proven to be a lie, we can shoot the original messenger. Because without negative feedback the system will continue to run amok. The current political process is not good enough and has a large enough time lag that corrective factors build up and sever oscillations occur.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phase_margin

  • by Colonel Korn (1258968) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @01:43PM (#34245480)

    Next Wednesday: http://www.optoutday.com/ [optoutday.com]

  • by gabrieltss (64078) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @01:59PM (#34245734)

    This isn't the ONLY thing either...

    Big Sis Caught Lying To American People
    http://www.infowars.com/big-sis-caught-lying-to-american-people/ [infowars.com]

    Video: Big Sis Caught Lying
    http://www.prisonplanet.com/video-big-sis-caught-lying.html [prisonplanet.com]

    'Naked' scanners at US airports may be dangerous: scientists
    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5h08khPyFPinX_4vNYd1JZwn8hV4Q?docId=CNG.442824fa7c08853af96322d7315a6f02.461 [google.com]

    Shocker: TSA Has Been Molesting Children For Years
    http://www.prisonplanet.com/shocker-tsa-has-been-molesting-children-for-years.html [prisonplanet.com]

    TSA Now Putting Hands Down Fliers’ Pants
    http://www.prisonplanet.com/tsa-now-putting-hands-down-fliers-pants.html [prisonplanet.com]

    TSA Gives Rapists And Illegals The Green Light While Groping Children
    http://www.prisonplanet.com/tsa-gives-rapists-and-illegals-the-green-light-while-groping-children.html [prisonplanet.com]

  • by fluor2 (242824) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @01:59PM (#34245740)

    Damn the people of the US are fat!

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Rob the Bold (788862)

      Damn the people of the US are fat!

      We're trying to make ourselves unattractive so they stop raping us, virtually.

  • Post-mortem (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jfengel (409917) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @02:25PM (#34246142) Homepage Journal

    Lying about this is unconscionable, but I can see a valid reason for them wanting to save such things: it lets you know how they were defeated last time.

    Suppose that somebody does manage to sneak something deadly on board. If this were a bug in a piece of software, you'd all want to leap to reconstructing the event, and you'd be irked if you knew you had deliberately thrown away a crucial piece of information. Especially since if it happened once, it could happen again. So you'd have to go on lockdown.

    I'm NOT trying to justify this. Lying bad, radiation bad, groping bad, virtual strip search bad, TSA bad, pictures always leak, terrorists winning, Orwell right, etc. I'm good with all that.

    But I'm a bit surprised that they didn't even try to make the case for saving the pictures, perhaps with an public key encryption and the private key kept only on a piece of paper locked in a safe somewhere. I guess they felt it was futile; people are uncomfortable enough about the pictures as it is.

  • Two words.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sea4ever (1628181) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @02:35PM (#34246322) Homepage
    Child porn.
  • by crovira (10242) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @02:36PM (#34246346) Homepage

    Why should I care about the low-res crap copped from some security scanners?

    Seriously, as long as they don't give me cancer (which is iffy so I'm "opting out" until "the science is in") or cause growths (like a second head,) who gives a fuck?

    Hell, if they turn the heat up in winter, I'll walk naked through the airport. It won't be pretty but neither is comedy.

  • by mbone (558574) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @03:36PM (#34247336)

    This is a scam.

    These scanners were promoted by Michael Cherfoff, Head of Homeland Security under W.

    Now he is CEO of the Chertoff Group [chertoffgroup.com], and is lobbying [wcvarones.com] for Rapiscan [rapiscansystems.com], which makes these very machines at issue here. How convenient.

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