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Government Privacy

Airport Scanners Can Store and Transmit Images 350

CNN is reporting on findings from a Freedom of Information request initiated by the Electronic Privacy Information Center that has revealed that, contrary to public statements by the Transportation Security Agency, full-body scanners can store and transmit images. "In the [FOIA] documents, obtained by the privacy group and provided to CNN, the TSA specifies that the body scanners it purchases must have the ability to store and send images when in 'test mode.' ... 'There is no way for someone in the airport environment to put the machine into the test mode,' [an anonymous] official said, adding that test mode can be enabled only in TSA test facilities. But the official declined to say whether activating test mode requires additional hardware, software or simply additional knowledge of how the machines operate."
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Airport Scanners Can Store and Transmit Images

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  • Re:amusing (Score:3, Informative)

    by Lunix Nutcase ( 1092239 ) on Monday January 11, 2010 @08:29PM (#30731392)
  • Re:amusing (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 11, 2010 @08:30PM (#30731400)

    The paranoia that someone may see a fuzzy resemblance of your actual body seems to have no bounds in the US. You'd think people would be more worried that the chemical scanners used in airports fail to detect most explosives, but no ...

    It isn't that fuzzy. I've been seeing reports on the wires about the scanner being refined enough to see male genitalia. These scanners won't last long. I bet one day, if they're put in place, we'll see web sites with some actor's dick showing or some other actress' tits in full view or some politicians little pee-pee and we'll see things change real fast.

    As far as chemical scanners are concerned, I don't really care. What scares me is driving on the road because I know that the odds are I'm going to get creamed by some dumbass tailgating in his SUV or t-boning me like this cunt on a cell phone did to my wife.

    Nope, terrorism isn't a worry of mine - there are about a thousand more things that will take me out way before terrorism. Then again, I'm not a typical American.

  • Re:amusing (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 11, 2010 @08:30PM (#30731404)

    It's not a fuzzy picture. It shows all dense objects in acute detail projected on large screens.

  • dogs (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 11, 2010 @09:10PM (#30731790)

    Bomb sniffing dogs are actually more effective than xrays at detecting bombs and vastly cheaper. We don't use them much mostly because dog trainers don't hire big shot lobbyists.

    If you're a frequent traveller, you should occasionally request a personal screening because these airport xray machines give you about 1/8th your yearly xray limit.

  • Re:amusing (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 11, 2010 @10:05PM (#30732264)

    a lower expectation of privacy

    You motherfucking sheep's-ass-licker -- I ABSOLUTELY DO NOT HAVE a lower expectation of privacy. It's been forcibly been removed from me.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 11, 2010 @11:57PM (#30733086)

    My 10-year-old daughter defeated the terahertz scanner by wearing her shiny shirt made out of metallic fabric []. It worked much like a Faraday cage - the care tag claims "10% metallic fiber". The TSA booth monitor requested a pat-down of my daughter - and thankfully did a very poor job. Just wait until everyone starts wearing shiny, metallic clothes when flying.

  • Re:amusing (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @01:10AM (#30733562)

    So given this issue of context, I would say that airports are already situations where we endure a lower expectation of privacy than elsewhere. I don't know if that's a legally appropriate way of saying it, but what I mean is, we already essentially allow our bags to be searched at airports. If a police officer stopped me randomly on the street and asked to look in my bag, I'd say no. If the same police officer asks to look in the same bag when I'm going through security at an airport, I'll agree. When I showed up to the airport that day, I knew ahead of time that I'd have to allow my bags to be searched (or at least viewed through an xray machine). Likewise when I pass over the border from another country, I know that I'll be expected to have a passport. If a police officer asked me for my papers while I was just walking down the street, that would seem far more sinister to me. I've also emptied my pockets, walked through a metal detector, and allowed myself to be pat down at an airport. I wouldn't approve of police doing that randomly on the streets.

    I'd agree with you, except for the fact that what is being asked of citizens has FAR surpassed reasonable measures for security. Every day people risk their lives far more than they do climbing into an airplane (yes, even before 9/11 and all this "security theater" was in place). It keeps getting worse, and, the question is, when does it stop? X-Rays of body parts? Invasive searches?

    What I also find interesting is how it's slowly breaking down. First, scanners, bags scanned. Easy-peasy. Then, 9/11. Bottles of a certain size. Carry-ons hand-inspected. Belts come off. Then, shoe bomber. Now our shoes come off (ARGH! I hate this, BTW). Then, things seemed to settle down again and a guy goes through with something in his pants. Now, people have to be screened by full body scanners. What's next? This decay is what is scary if you ask me. And, at the end of the day, how many people are TRULY scared of going down in a plane crash (other than people afraid of heights/flying in general)?! I would bet very few people even really think about it all that much. We just get to our destinations and go about life. If the government *REALLY* wanted to save lives, they would help people eat healthier (which might help some of our health problems), work to improve safety in cars, pull people over for texting and driving...all things that cause many more deaths than plan crashes.

  • Re:amusing (Score:3, Informative)

    by Facegarden ( 967477 ) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @03:22AM (#30734150)

    who needs to bring a bomb through these machines anyway?

    "We've got to face the fact that you can build a bomb in the duty free shop, after you've gone through screening.

    Source: []

    to be fair, you're pulling that quote slightly out of context. The guy was trying to suggest that body scanners are not the best idea, and profiling people is better, so he was trying to discredit the scanners. He wasn't citing any research and that's not what the article is about. You're citing an unverified quote in the article about something else.

    More complete quote:

    Philip Baum, editor of Aviation Security International, said scanners were not the only solution and profiling passengers was, in fact, the best way to prevent terrorist acts.
    "We've got to face the fact that you can build a bomb in the duty free shop, after you've gone through screening. Bearing that in mind, we need to look at what people's intent is, not what they are carrying on their person."

    Still, he's the editor of some magazine, so he may know what he's talking about, but the BBC article doesn't go into it and its possible that the magazine only has 3 subscribers and one is his mom.

Perfection is acheived only on the point of collapse. - C. N. Parkinson