Tag: body scanners

Federal Appeals Court Rules on TSA Body Scanners

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals today ruled (opinion here) that TSA's body scanners at airports were illegally implemented . But it also refused to order their suspension, directing the Agency only ".. promptly to proceed in a manner consistent with this opinion."

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., rejected arguments from the Obama administration that the TSA was exempt from laws requiring federal agencies to first notify the public and seek comments.

"It is clear that by producing an image of the unclothed passenger, (a full-body) scanner intrudes upon his or her personal privacy in a way a magnetometer does not," wrote Judge Douglas Ginsburg for the three-judge panel.

The Court rejected constitutional arguments against the use of the body scanners, including a 4th Amendment challenge. [More...]

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The Fight Over Homeland Security Budget Cuts and the Real ID Act

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is decrying the Republican cuts to the Homeland Security Budget. She testified before the House Homeland Security Committee today and said the cuts would add to delays for airline passengers. I'm not buying it. And, I think the cuts are a good thing. Who wants more of this?

The House budget "cuts technology investments and security improvements on the Southwest and Northern borders," Napolitano said.
"It cuts aviation security measures. It cuts funding to sustain the progress that has been made in enforcing the nation's immigration laws. It cuts critical cyber security tools and operations. It cuts intelligence personnel. It cuts Coast Guard funding to support our war efforts abroad. And it cuts grants that support counterterrorism and disaster-response capabilities at the local level," she added.

Sen. Frank Lautenberg joined in the fear-mongering: [More...]

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100 Body TSA Scanner Images Leaked

The TSA says it doesn't store the body images its agents scan. But the images leak out anyway.

Joel Johnson and Gizmodo have obtained a hundred improperly stored body scan images through a Freedom of Information Act request. And, of course, they promptly published them.

The scans were made by U.S. Marshals in Orlando and were apparently improperly stored. Though this particular machine does not offer the cringe-inducing resolution that some others do, it highlights a major problem with the machines more generally: these photos will leak out. Or, as Johnson puts it, "That we can see these images today almost guarantees that others will be seeing similar images in the future."

It's not just airports using the scanners. It's courthouses around the country. U.S. Marshals in Orlando stored 35,000 images from the Gen 2 millimeter wave scanner, made by Brijot Imaging Systems, Inc.

Based on each organization’s specific policies and procedures, GEN 2 offers the ability to turn on or off its recording features. In recording mode, up to 40,000 events can be recorded and stored by date and time, along with a snapshot image of the subject that shows the detection boxes, as well as the correlating millimeter wave images, for easy recall of event details. The system also offers the ability to manually initiate a video capturing session, used independently from the detection engine, such as to record the search of a specific individual for future reference.


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