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TSA Finishes Removing "Virtual Nude" X-Ray Devices From US Airports 172

Posted by timothy
from the now-that-you're-fully-desensitized dept.
dsinc writes "The Transportation Security Administration announced it has finished removing from all airports the X-ray technology that produced graphic and controversial images of passengers passing through security screening checkpoints. The machines, which the TSA first deployed in 2008, provoked public outrage as the technology, better able than traditional X-rays to detect hidden contraband, also created images that appeared as if they were 'virtual nudes.' Critics called this an invasion of privacy and questioned whether the scanning devices truly lacked the ability to save the images, as the TSA claimed."
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TSA Finishes Removing "Virtual Nude" X-Ray Devices From US Airports

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  • Analog hole (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 31, 2013 @06:57PM (#43879509)

    The analog hole always existed, and always will. If one of the TSA Molesters, err, Protectors, saw an image on the screen they wanted to keep, all they had to do was hold up their cell phone and snap a pic.

    Their arguments about how TSA agents aren't able to save the generated images is and always was total bullshit.

    • Re:Analog hole (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Jockle (2934767) on Friday May 31, 2013 @07:18PM (#43879673)

      Now all they need to do is remove themselves from US airports, and preferably, from the US itself!

    • Re:Analog hole (Score:5, Informative)

      by erroneus (253617) on Friday May 31, 2013 @09:03PM (#43880315) Homepage

      The TSA would NEVER use a scanning device without the ability to record and save the data. Take it from a former screener. *I KNOW* (caveat, I never used one of these backscatter machines as an operator... they weren't in airports when I was a screener.)

      Every one of the X-Ray devices I operated had the ability to save and could even print images. And to me it made sense. Evidence. Once I saw a human torso come through. I couldn't resist printing the image. We did not open the containers... Another time, a loaded pistol passed through in an inappropriate container. A screening supervisor felt confident that he could remove the pistol and unload it. I didn't feel uncomfortable about it -- I'm okay around guns. He obviously knew what he was doing as well. But people freaked out just the same. The image was saved.

      If you wanted to be able to prove something, a picture is better than testimony. What makes anyone believe the TSA when they say they aren't saving the images?!

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        What makes anyone believe the TSA when they say they aren't saving the images?!

        They probably are, but then again, the screens are no longer seeing actual scans - instead the computer is analyzing the image and identifying suspicious locations on a generic human illustration.

        Sure they can probably save the image (probably both the illustrated version and the actual scan) but said images cannot be retrieved directly.

        That's the difference in the scanners - instead of looking at actual scans, the new scanners o

        • by mysidia (191772)

          . They probably have to shut down the scanner, remove the disk then attach it to a regular PC.

          They probably upload the images to the cloud.

          So if a technician needs to review the image; they have to login to a certain Dropbox account.....

      • Another time, a loaded pistol passed through in an inappropriate container. A screening supervisor felt confident that he could remove the pistol and unload it. I didn't feel uncomfortable about it -- I'm okay around guns. He obviously knew what he was doing as well. But people freaked out just the same. The image was saved.

        you may have just posted the only known instance of the TSA doing their job...

        • by erroneus (253617)

          TSA people are NOT allowed to touch firearms. There is no training for that and the potential liability is too high. There are always LEOs available for just such events.

      • by TheCarp (96830)

        > Every one of the X-Ray devices I operated had the ability to save and could even print images. And to
        > me it made sense. Evidence. Once I saw a human torso come through. I couldn't resist printing the
        > image.

        And I worked in Hospital IT. You know what we have in common there.... being responsible for other people's stuff.

        What SHOULD have happend when you took that picture you couldn't resist?

        In a hospital, we have the same problem with medical records. Whether it was Princess Di or some Saudi Pri

        • by erroneus (253617)

          The human torso was not exactly private property. It was something for medical students or something like that. Either way, it was an MRI image.

          Yes, there was a lot of novelty involved there. Privacy? Not so much. But if I had lost my job over it, I would have completely understood. :)

        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          Though I have said all along, if there was an airline I could walk on with my bag, go through no security checkpoint at all, sit down in a seat, and pay cash right then and there for the ride, with no id. I would fly it every time, and not worry the least bit about it.

          Well, you'll probably need ID, but you can do that right now today. The flight might take longer and be a bit less comfortable (very rarely will you get even bathroom facilities), and it will cost more, but you can do that.

          How? You can learn t [aopa.org]

    • Re:Analog hole (Score:5, Interesting)

      by fredklein (532096) on Friday May 31, 2013 @10:54PM (#43880837)

      Of course it was Bullshit. The spec documents the TSA put out for the machines specifically required them to be able to save and transmit the images!

      Google for 'epic tsa spec', and find this: http://epic.org/open_gov/foia/TSA_Procurement_Specs.pdf [epic.org]

      (Not to mention, how'd they get the sample images they show on TSA.gov, if the machines cannot save and transfer images??)

    • Re:Analog hole (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Spykk (823586) on Friday May 31, 2013 @11:50PM (#43881019)
      The point is largely irrelevant anyway. Would you be comfortable allowing strangers to look into your bathroom while you use it even if you could guarantee they couldn't take a picture? If not, then why does it become OK as soon as the strangers wear a shirt that says TSA on it?
    • by g0bshiTe (596213) on Saturday June 01, 2013 @10:13AM (#43883015)

      Analog hole

      Why oh why do you have to bring goatse into this?

  • Misleading headline (Score:5, Informative)

    by dgatwood (11270) on Friday May 31, 2013 @07:02PM (#43879549) Journal

    Although the X-ray versions have been removed, the equally invasive millimeter-wave versions are still there. The only difference is that now you have to spend a little time changing the device configuration to save off the images instead of being able to see them live.

    • by Mitreya (579078)

      Although the X-ray versions have been removed, the equally invasive millimeter-wave versions are still there.

      I am pretty certain that the only reason they have admitted that X-ray devices are "bad" is because they were ready to sell the new and improved millimeter-wave devices (without paying back the money or compensating the victims for defective X-ray devices).

      I give it a couple more years -- and then the privacy/health risks of new millimeter-wave devices will probably come into question so that they can replaced by super-particle-wave devices.

    • by 0111 1110 (518466) on Friday May 31, 2013 @10:40PM (#43880803)

      Why do you say they are equally invasive? The laws of physics would seem to indicate that they are not. The few images I have seen have been much less detailed than the xray images which are nearly as good as black and white photographs.

      Removing the private wank booths is by itself a huge step forward (assuming they really do get rid of them) and the cartoonish stick figure images on the machines with the newer software would seem to eliminate the privacy issue completely. Assuming of course that the TSA is not lying again and secretly continues to monitor the images in the peep/wank booth.

      The millimeter waves are a huge improvement. No ionizing radiation. Based on our current understanding the 27-30 Ghz microwaves are not harmful.

      The millimeter wave images are orders of magnitude less suggestive and detailed than the x-ray machine images. They don't appear to be wank material. Many of the millimeter wave scanners in the US are fitted with automatic detection software which effectively illiminates the privacy issue anyway.

      The mmw machines with ATD software still have problems however. Based on independent testing they have something like a 50% false positive rate and if the machine alarms you must submit to a potentially sexually invasive procedure in order to fly. If they were to eliminate either the after-scan patdown or the false positives the scanners might be acceptable except for the fact that they don't really achieve anything. Metal detectors are far more effective at detecting real threats, much faster, and do not require any genital patdowns afterward.

      The sensible thing to do is to go back to the metal detectors and maybe augment them with explosive sniffing dogs until reliable explosive detection machines are invented.

      • by Xest (935314)

        "The millimeter waves are a huge improvement. No ionizing radiation. Based on our current understanding the 27-30 Ghz microwaves are not harmful."

        A UK report into them said there may be a slight risk of 1 in 100,000 chance of causing cancer which is okay because that means we're only giving 2 people passing through Heathrow each day cancer to save 0.0002 people per day from air transport related terrorism.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 31, 2013 @07:05PM (#43879573)

    The scanners are still there. They still get the digital data of a virtual nude. They just pass that through an algorithm that replaces the image with a stick figure before the image is shown to the operator.

    The government still gets the detailed biometric identifying information it wants, the digital 3d model of your nude body still gets stored in the databases they deny exist. They just don't show it to the operator now, so everyone feels better.

    • by Mitreya (579078) <mitreya&gmail,com> on Friday May 31, 2013 @07:14PM (#43879649)

      The government still gets the detailed biometric identifying information it wants, the digital 3d model of your nude body still gets stored in the databases they deny exist. They just don't show it to the operator now, so everyone feels better.

      I never understood why people just go through these scanners like sheep. I have never been through one despite flying periodically -- one can and should decline the scan.

      • by petsounds (593538) on Friday May 31, 2013 @07:37PM (#43879809)

        I never understood why people just go through these scanners like sheep. I have never been through one despite flying periodically -- one can and should decline the scan.

        In the USA, yes you can decline and instead get sexually groped by a TSA employee. In other countries like the UK you can't decline -- if you want to get on your flight, you go through the scanner.

        • by whoever57 (658626)

          In other countries like the UK you can't decline -- if you want to get on your flight, you go through the scanner.

          And then you get the pat-down anyway. The metal detectors at Heathrow are far more sensitive than the metal detectors at US airports.

      • by murdocj (543661)

        I go thru them because it's fast, easy, and other than paranoid speculation has no detrimental effects. I suppose I could opt for some sort of invasive pat-down but I'm really not looking for that sort of thing.

        • by fatalwall (873645)

          Yes but you know the pro's and cons of being sexually assaulted. Cant say the same for the machines that they wont run proper tests on and wont take public comment on even after court orders. Also it can be fun to make the guy patting you down mildly uncomfortable.

      • Depends on where you are. Flying though Amsterdam there was no opt-out; even for the preggers wife.

        Even in the US you an face absurd pressure from the TSA to go through the machine. I have had to wait 15 min+ on an opt-out(causing a run through ORD barefooted to make the flight); insinuations/outright declarations that I must be a "funny man" to want another man touching his "junk" and I must be some sort of queer(the TSA screeners words, not mine; this was ATL); all the opt out point are right next to th
        • by jcr (53032)

          insinuations/outright declarations that I must be a "funny man" to want another man touching his "junk" and I must be some sort of queer(the TSA screeners words, not mine; this was ATL

          Hope you got the perp's name. You can get a bureaucrat in a fair bit of trouble if they do something as un-PC as making homophobic remarks.

          -jcr

  • by schwit1 (797399) on Friday May 31, 2013 @07:10PM (#43879621)

    Security industrial complex got its billions and then guess what, it seems the machines have a problem. Ok, we'll buy the version 2 at only twice the price. A few years later ... what? They don't detect the latest terrorist explosives? Hey, we've just come out with version 3 and have we got a deal for you.

    All the while the retiring senior TSA folks are getting job offers from the security industry to lobby and sell on these same government contracts.

    • by Mitreya (579078)

      A few years later ... what? They don't detect the latest terrorist explosives? Hey, we've just come out with version 3 and have we got a deal for you.

      If only they didn't detect "latest explosives" -- that would be understandable. It had been demonstrated many times that they don't detect shit.

      I understand that these are government contractors, but still, shouldn't they pay the money back on every device that cannot detect 99%+ of dangerous items? Because I think that is all of them so far.

  • I just love to hear my tax dollars being put to good use! (And by good use I mean a HUGE inconvenience\privacy invasion, the TSA is government at its finest)

    • Re:Waste of money (Score:4, Informative)

      by NormHome (99305) on Friday May 31, 2013 @07:32PM (#43879779)

      Whoever approved this incredible waste of taxpayer money really needs to loose their job along with half of Congress.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Virtucon (127420)

        half? all.

        The DHS needs to go, the TSA needs to go along with it as well as the other bloat in the government.

        As of 3/2001 there were 2,697,602 employees in the Federal Government (682K National Defense/Relations) with a monthly payroll of $11.4B/month.
        As of 3/2011 (latest month available) there were 2,854,251 federal employees not including 192,845 in the DHS (including Coast Guard/TSA etc.) For a total of 3,047,096 with a monthly payroll of $17.2B/month. That's a 13% increase in personnel and a payrol

        • Re:Waste of money (Score:4, Insightful)

          by im_thatoneguy (819432) on Saturday June 01, 2013 @12:39AM (#43881099)

          I'm trying to think if my income has gone up 50% in the last 10 years.

          Maybe if we hadn't been duped into throwing the unions under the bus you might have had an organization negotiating on your behalf to get regular raises to reflect your increased productivity. Also it's not 50% since the number of employees increased too. It's more like 40% increase in wages assuming your numbers are correct. That means they got about a 3.5% raise every year. That's exactly in line with the private sector which also was projected to see on average about a 3.5% raise.

          • The unions threw themselves under the bus. The backlash is a direct result of the corruption among many union administrations as well as the exorbetent demands among the larger unions that have/had strangleholds on their industries such as the UAW, ILA, and ILWU, and teacher's unions. The bigger ones grow to the point where they cannibalize their industry by using cartel-like labor monopoly manipulation. They can prevent any sort of technological advancement and preserve 1970's style list-checking jobs a

        • Re:Waste of money (Score:5, Informative)

          by artor3 (1344997) on Saturday June 01, 2013 @02:47AM (#43881399)

          Your analysis contains some very important oversights:

          Your numbers are taken from the US Census Bureau: 2001 [census.gov] & 2011 [census.gov].

          First, let's look at the difference between 2003 [census.gov] & 2004 [census.gov], so that we can see the addition of the Department of Homeland Security. See how the total number of full time employees stays roughly the same, but the 2004 numbers have that extra section for the DHS with ~140k full time employees? Those people weren't all hired that year -- the DHS employees are already in the grand total on the top line. You were double counting them in your 2011 numbers. So let's revise your numbers to account for that:
          2001: 2.7M employees with a payroll of $11.4B
          2011: 2.85M employees with a payroll of $16.1B

          That's a 6% increase in headcount, and a 41% increase in payroll. Still pretty big, right? Well, we ought to adjust for inflation [wolframalpha.com]. Looks like the $16.1B would have been worth $12.7B in 2001.

          So really, we're looking at a 6% increase in headcount, and an 11% increase in inflation-adjusted payroll. It's not nothing, but it's not what you're making it out to be.

          Let's go into even more detail!

          By pulling up the 2008 numbers, we can see which parts are attributable to Bush, and which are attributable to Obama. Since Bush has more years of growth, we'll annualize the results.

          (I did this in Excel, and you're free to download the tables from the Census website and repeat my calculations. I'm tired of making hyperlinks.)

          Under Bush, the Federal Government grew at an average of 4.5% per year, with the largest contributors being National Defense, Healthcare and Law Enforcement. Under Obama, the Federal Government grew at an average of 1.4% per year, with the largest contributors being Healthcare and the Postal Service (which didn't grow much percentage-wise, but its sheer size meant that even a few percentage points put it over the top). Remember, we're talking about payroll here, so Social Security & Medicare aren't nearly as big.

          So under Obama, the government payroll has actually been shrinking in inflation adjusted dollars. And remember, this is pre-sequester. Of course, that doesn't mean all of the cuts were Obama's idea, or all of the heavy spending was Bush's. But it does show that over the past several years, the government has been trimming the fat. Your "throw the bums out" approach is unwarranted.

          • by Virtucon (127420)

            Great info! You do bring up a good point though that I had forgotten, there are very few industries that adjust for inflation and Fed jobs are one of those. I doubt though seriously that most of that increase can be attributed to that especially since most of us out here in the private world don't get those kinds of perks.
            Also the 2011 numbers are broken out so I didn't double count as Coast Guard etc. were in the 2001 numbers and you're right I didn't go in the middle, it's a 10 year comparison of what t

      • by spongman (182339)

        What, the ones whose campaigns are funded by millimeter-wave scanner manufacturers?

  • Claim: Verified (Score:5, Insightful)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Friday May 31, 2013 @07:34PM (#43879791)

    Critics called this an invasion of privacy and questioned whether the scanning devices truly lacked the ability to save the images, as the TSA claimed."

    It has always had the ability to save such images; The TSA merely claimed that such a 'diagnostic mode' was not available during normal operation. There is no way for you, the passenger, to know if and when it is in such a diagnostic mode, however. So the TSA's claim is technically true.

    But since the radiation levels have also not been published, it's also technically true that the radiation levels are safe, in spite of those cancer clusters showing up, because the TSA says they're safe and therefore there is no need to publish the emission limits.

    In other words... all you have to go on is their word in both cases. Which, given as many times as their statements haven't been found to be credible, is no assurance at all.

  • by sizzzzlerz (714878) on Friday May 31, 2013 @07:34PM (#43879797)

    We are neither safer nor more at risk with these machines gone. As long as we're limited to 1-1/2oz shampoo bottles, we know TSA is on the job.

  • by meerling (1487879) on Friday May 31, 2013 @07:40PM (#43879827)
    Can't save images? Then how is it that they have found TSA personnel with collections of images from the machine, not to mention the ones printed out and posted in the breakroom? Subjects were apparently females with better than average anatomical traits of course.

    At least they recently fired the one caught masturbating to the screens while on monitor duty.
  • by steveha (103154) on Friday May 31, 2013 @07:43PM (#43879847) Homepage

    I don't care that much about the "Virtual Nude" thing. (Although I might care more if I were an attractive young female, I guess.)

    My objection to the thing is the X-ray radiation. I am by no means convinced these things are safe.

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=us-glossed-over-cancer-concerns [scientificamerican.com]

    Four doctors from the University of California, San Francisco wrote an open letter expressing their grave concerns based on their expertise. They listed dangers of these scanners and requested to see the safety studies and get access to the raw data of the safety studies; they also asked for the names of the people who conducted the safety studies. The government's answer boiled down to "our experts have studied this and it's safe". Completely non-responsive to the listed concerns and not sharing any data.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126833083 [npr.org]

    So I never yet have let them scan me; I always have requested the pat-down. When they ask if I would prefer it in private, I tell them no. I'd rather the patdown be out in the open where anyone could watch. I have no particular reason to think any TSA agent would give me extra trouble in private, but I'd prefer as much publicity as possible.

    I guess millimeter wave isn't ionizing radiation? That's a giant improvement right there. Maybe the new machines are safe? Safer, anyway.

    • by steveha (103154)

      Hmm. Wikipedia says that the government did answer the open letter:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backscatter_X-ray#Health_effects [wikipedia.org]

      Here's the citation:

      http://www.fda.gov/Radiation-EmittingProducts/RadiationEmittingProductsandProcedures/SecuritySystems/ucm231857.htm [fda.gov]

      I still want to minimize my exposure to ionizing radiation.

    • Cheers! I do exactly the same, wish more people did... ok, being wishfully thinking already, I really wish the TSA wouldn't exist.
    • by GoChickenFat (743372) on Friday May 31, 2013 @09:41PM (#43880511)
      My last trip to the airport the pilot and crew were allowed just in front of me. There was only one open lane and it was for the body scanner. When the crew showed up they opened the old magnetic line so I tried to join right behind them (btw, the body scanner line was completely open with no one waiting). The TSA agent said "you can go over to the other line". I said no I don't want to go through the body scanner. He said why not and I simply said I don't want to. He asked again why not. I said well if it was safe why isn't the crew going through it (I got a couple funny smiles back from the crew). He said why are you asking so many questions and then added if I go through I'd get an extra pat down. At that point I just kept following the crew through and he didn't stop me. I did get just my legs checked by another TSA agent - no big deal.

      The other thing I've noticed is if you travel with young children they take you out of line and directly to the magnetic scanner. Not just your child and one parent but your entire family. For me it was four adult family members along with my 4yr old - no extra pat down needed.

      in summary - the body scanners cannot be completely safe and they know it.

    • mmW is very low frequency, relatively speaking. Remember visible light is in the 750-380nm range and it is (obviously) non-ionizing. mmW, also called terahertz radiation, since that's the range it is in, is obviously much lower frequency. It is below infrared, but above microwave.

      As such it is non-ionizing, and there is no reason to believe that it could cause any damage, other than thermal damage, and then only if done in large quantities in a short time. There was a paper that claimed it could "unzip" the

    • by Solandri (704621)

      My objection to the thing is the X-ray radiation. I am by no means convinced these things are safe.

      That's a good argument against these for terrestrial applications, but not at the airport. Your increased ionizing radiation exposure from the flight is roughly two orders of magnitude higher than from the scanners. So complaining about radiation from the scanners makes you come across as either ignorant (didn't know about radiation from flying), or hypocritical (upset about a small dose from the scanners,

      • by mha (1305)

        This is about the SCREENERS much more than about the passengers. You forgot those guys who are next to those machines all work-day long. See other articles with links right here about this very topic.

    • by chrismcb (983081)

      I don't care that much about the "Virtual Nude" thing.

      My objection to the thing is the X-ray radiation.

      I don't care much about the radiation thing. I care about the affront to our liberty and the insult to our intelligence, not to mention the waste of time and money.

  • I am just thankful that most of my air travel is NOT in the US! Security checks in other places can be onerous, too, but rarely as bad as when in the US. But security practices used worldwide are mostly at the behest of the TSA.
  • by Karmashock (2415832) on Saturday June 01, 2013 @01:52AM (#43881291)

    Pat me down.

    Had the fellow at the airport literally grab my penis last time. So yeah... that was uncomfortable. But that is how you ACTUALLY drives these machines out of the airport. Refuse to use them.

    When the TSA finds that pat downs are not effective at forcing people into the scanners they'll let us walk through a metal detector and leave us alone.

    Its not as if the xray machines have ever stopped a terrorist attack or likely ever will.

    Do you know how you stop a terrorist attack? Know who is getting on the f'ing airplane. Its not that complicated. All the people that have later gone on to do some terrorist attack were on a terrorist watch list already.

    Is it fair to profile someone WHO IS ALREADY on a terrorist watch list? That is, if you're on a terrorist watch list... would it be fair to pat YOU down or scan you you or whatever? Again, not simply because of race, national origin, or anything equally specious. But contacts and behavior consistent with someone plotting a terrorist attack.

    And if someone is clever enough to stay off those lists while also intending a terrorist attack... do you really think an xray machine is going to stop them? Xray machines would stop a moron that would jam explosives up his sleeves without understanding how an xray machine works. You might claim it would deter a smarter attacker but really all you've done is force him to disguise the weapon or bomb as something else.

    In the end, you're pitting the intelligence of someone clever enough to stay off the watch lists against a minimum wage government drone bored off his ass while he scans yet another person that he has no belief is a threat.

    When you treat EVERYONE as a threat you threat NO ONE as a threat. You have to have targeted security. Enough passive security to deter morons and really a metal detector is more then sufficient to do that. And then the FBI and CIA need to keep useful lists for the few clever ones that might try something sneaky. And when one of the sneaky ones books a plane flight... they spend an extra 10 minutes in back room as someone gropes them for... whatever. Everyone else though... don't waste our time or dull edge of your security by pretending we're a threat when we're not.

    • by kwbauer (1677400)

      Yup, or use the fairly large amount of resources and time they seem to have and get a job working for TSA (or any other airport job) and slide whatever they want past the checkpoints.

    • by chrismcb (983081)

      Pat me down.

      Yep, I always opt out...
      Last time through the airport, I opted out. As I stood their waiting, and still on the OTHER side of the machine (I hadn't been let into the secure area yet) their machine jammed or something. So they let the line of people through the metal detector... But because I opted out, I still had to be patted down. Never mind if I had NOT opted out, I would have been sent through the metal detector. So what was the point of these machines again?

      • I had a similar experience. I opted out, and then they noticed the line getting too long -- so they just let people through metal detectors. I was still waiting for my pat-down until I demanded that I be allowed through and accused them of punishing me for exercising my rights.

        My experiences with the TSA's airport security have led me to conclude the following:
        1. They hire the least intelligent people they can find. People who do not ask questions, because they lack the intelligence needed to do so.
        2. They
        • I've never been intentionally delayed by the TSA. They always deal with me pretty quickly. They're sometimes a little too touchy feely about it but its all over pretty fast.

    • This. This deserves a +10 mod. I am ok with pat downs. Just make sure they happen in public when everyone is watching. The TSA agents on the groping job that I've met so far were extra polite and careful. Most of the jerks were in the baggage screening. Another thing I never understood is why they do the extra checking of baggage (after they've passed through the X-ray scanner) if I opt for a pat down.
      • by Skreems (598317)
        I have yet to go through the scanners, but I've never had them treat my bags any different than those that do. Must be a regional or person-by-person thing.
    • by Chelloveck (14643)

      When the TSA finds that pat downs are not effective at forcing people into the scanners they'll let us walk through a metal detector and leave us alone.

      More likely, they'll continue to make the pat-down more degrading, invasive, and time consuming to ensure that people go through the machines. Yes sir, you absolutely have the right to not be x-rayed. Just step into that queue over there for the full strip-search. You do have your regulation 3 ounces of vaseline, yes? Current wait time is just under three h

      • I suspect that mass refusal to enter the body scanners would result in the use of metal detectors. The TSA is not going to punish more than a tiny minority of people, because they know that they are unpopular. They know that libertarian politicians want to ax their entire agency. They know that respected researchers like Bruce Schneier have nothing but bad things to say about their approach to security. They know that they are less popular than the IRS. Their actions now are about public relations, try
  • Every time I opt out, I am subject to TSA employees persuading me to go through the scanner instead. I always tell them: I am just doing what I can to save your job, as soon you will be replaced by the machine.
    They usually do not know how to respond to that, so they shut up.

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