Tag Archives: body scanners

Dept. of Homeland Security Releases 2012 Privacy Report

Kaye Beach

September 28, 2012

Th report touts small improvements but bigger problems are revealed.

EPIC the Electronic Privacy Information Center reports;

The Department of Homeland Security has released its 2012 Privacy
Office Annual Report to Congress. The report details the expansion of
the National Counterterrorism Center’s five-year retention policy for
records on US Persons, the agency’s social media-monitoring initiatives,
and privacy training for fusion centers personnel; however, it does not
discuss several new DHS-funded initiatives, including the Future
Attribute Screening Technology, or FAST, a “Minority-Report”-like
proposal for “pre-crime” detection. Also, according to the report the
Transportation Security Administration has still failed to adopt
privacy safeguards for airport body scanners.

Two DHS Privacy Office investigations led to the finding of agency non-
compliance. One of those investigations involved DHS’s use of social
media monitoring. EPIC filed a FOIA request on DHS’ social media
monitoring program in April 2011, then filed suit against DHS in
December 2011 in order to force the disclosure of documents related
to the monitoring program, which searched for both suspicious
“keywords” and dissent against government programs. Earlier in 2012,
Congress held an oversight hearing on the DHS social media monitoring
program, and cited the documents obtained by EPIC.

While the report acknowledges agency shortcomings, it also touts DHS
privacy and transparency training as well public engagement through
speaker series, a redesigned FOIA site, and quarterly privacy advocacy
meetings. Significantly, the report fails to address the lack of timely
notice-and-comment rulemakings, particularly the TSA’s lack of
rulemaking on body scanners, ordered by a court in 2011 in response to
a suit brought by EPIC.

The report discusses DHS’ increased use of Privacy Compliance Reviews
(PCRs), which cover programs including cybersecurity, information
sharing, and the use of social media. The DHS Privacy Office used these
reviews to fail eight of its own agency programs for their lack of
privacy compliance documentation. None of the eight programs are
identified in the report, nor are any details of their lack of privacy
compliance.

The DHS Chief Privacy Office must present annual reports to Congress
and is also required by law to ensure that new agency programs do not
diminish privacy in the US.

DHS Privacy Office:  2012  Annual Report to Congress (Sept. 2012)
http://epic.org/redirect/092812-dhs-2012-privacy-report.html

EPIC:  DHS Privacy Office
http://epic.org/privacy/dhs-cpo.html

EPIC:  Future Attribute Screening Technology (FAST)
http://epic.org/privacy/fastproject/

EPIC:  Fusion Centers
http://epic.org/privacy/fusion/

EPIC:  EPIC v. DHS (Social Media Monitoring)
http://epic.org/foia/epic-v-dhs-media-monitoring/

EPIC:  EPIC v. DHS (Suspension of Body Scanner Program)
http://epic.org/redirect/092812-epicvdhs-scannersuspend.html

 

Volume 19.18                                       September 28, 2012
———————————————————————–

Published by the
Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)
Washington, D.C.

http://www.epic.org/alert/epic_alert_19.18.html

“Defend Privacy. Support EPIC.”
http://epic.org/donate

NYC to Use Scanners to Find People Carrying Guns

Kaye Beach

Jan 18, 2012

Disturbing news about the NYPD wanting to use technology to peek under your clothes as you walk down the street.

 

Submitted by Mark Berman Opposing Views on Jan 17, 2012

New York City is looking towards high-tech scanners to find people who are carrying guns on the city streets.

The New York Daily News reports that in his State of the NYPD speech on Tuesday, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said the department wants to use technology similar to infrared imaging that detects radiation coming from a person’s body.

Read more

From Gizmodo;

The NYPD Wants Mobile Weapon Scanners for Drive-By Patdowns

The NYPD is in hot water with civil rights groups over its controversial Stop-and-Frisk policy. But, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly has a solution—handheld weapons scanners that see guns under clothing! Fourth Amendment? What’s that?

As Kelly told a State of the NYPD breakfast Tuesday, the department is developing a mobile, infrared scanner mechanism that would allow officers to detect concealed weapons similar to the way that full-body scanners at airports work. The Department of Defense is also working with the NYPD to develop the technology

DHS Ordered to Obtain Public Input on Naked Body Scanners, Refuses to Comply

Kaye Beach

Dec 23, 2011

The Department of Homeland Security was court ordered to gain public comment on the body scanners five months ago but to date, has not complied.  EPIC, the Electronic Privacy Foundation filed papers today, for the second time, seeking compliance from the DHS.

The DHS in this matter as well as others, seems to think that the agency is above the  laws of this country.

 

From the Electronic Privacy Coalition newsletter;

=======================================================================
[1] EPIC to Court: Force DHS Compliance with Public Comment Mandate
=======================================================================

EPIC has filed papers [on Dec 32, 2011] in federal court, seeking, for the second time this year, to enforce an order that requires the Department of Homeland
Security to begin a rule making on the controversial airport body
scanner program.

As a result of EPIC’s ongoing lawsuit against DHS,

  • the DC Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the agency violated federal law by installing body scanners as primary screening devices without first soliciting public comment.
  • The Court also held that travelers had a right to opt-out of the airport body scanners.

More than two years ago EPIC and a coalition of civil liberties and
civil rights organizations petitioned Secretary of Homeland Security
Janet Napolitano to provide the public the opportunity to comment on
the program.

Through Freedom of Information Act litigation, EPIC had already obtained
hundreds of traveler complaints, including instances when travelers
said that TSA officials retaliated against them for choosing not to go
through the body scanners. Privacy and traveler advocates, health
and security experts, as well as airline pilots have also raised questions
about the screening procedures.

In July 2011, the Court ordered Homeland Security to “promptly” seek
public comment, but the agency has failed to respond. The Court’s
decision held that “the TSA has not justified its failure to initiate
notice-and-comment rulemaking before announcing it would use AIT
scanners for primary screening.”

The appeals court’s decision states that “None of the exceptions urged
by the TSA justifies its failure to give notice of and receive comment
upon such a rule, which is legislative and not merely interpretive,
procedural, or a general statement of policy”, adding that “Few, if any
regulatory procedures impose directly and significantly upon so manymembers of the public.”

In the motion to enforce, EPIC highlighted a recent report by
ProPublica, which described the DHS’s failure to take account of
radiation risks posed by body scanners. EPIC also noted the European
Commission’s recent decision to limit body scanner use within the EU.
The European Commission specifically banned the use of backscatter
x-ray devices in the European airports because of public health
concerns. Meanwhile, DHS is lobbying Congress to increase the use of
these devices in the United States.

EPIC:  Motion to Enforce Order on DHS (Dec. 23, 2011)
http://epic.org/redirect/122311-epicvdhs-motion-to-enforce.html

EPIC v. DHS:  Full Body Scanner Radiation Risks
http://epic.org/redirect/110911-epicvdhs-radiation.html

DC Circuit Court:  Opinion on EPIC v. DHS (July 15, 2011)
http://epic.org/redirect/071911_circuit_opinion_epicvdhs.html

ProPublica:  Series on Body Scanner Radiation
http://www.propublica.org/series/body-scanners

European Commission:  Press Release on EU Scanners (Nov. 14, 2011)
http://epic.org/redirect/112911-eu-scanner-release.html

EPIC:  EPIC v. DHS (Suspension of Body Scanners)
http://www.epic.org/redirect/031111EPICvDHS.html

TSA, FDA, Lobbyists and Naked Scanners-Welcome to Radiation Nation

Kaye Beach

Nov. 4, 2011

 

. . .the first report to trace the history of the scanners and document the gaps in regulation that allowed them to avoid rigorous safety evaluation.

. . .

Because of a regulatory Catch-22, the airport X-ray scanners have escaped the oversight required for X-ray machines used in doctors’ offices and hospitals. The reason is that the scanners do not have a medical purpose, so the FDA cannot subject them to the rigorous evaluation it applies to medical devices.

 

A classic example of giving an inch and they take a mile and how lobbyists can grease the skids of congress.

From Pro Publica published Nov. 1, 2011

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

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. “I think that would take this thing to an entirely different level of public health risk.”

The machine’s inventor, Steven W. Smith, assured the panelists that it was highly unlikely that the device would see widespread use in the near future. At the time, only 20 machines were in operation in the entire country.

“The places I think you are not going to see these in the next five years is lower-security facilities, particularly power plants, embassies, courthouses, airports and governments,” Smith said. “I would be extremely surprised in the next five to 10 years if the Secure 1000 is sold to any of these.

Read more

Will Rogers World Airport to Install Body Scanners

Kaye Beach

Sept. 25, 2011

The Will Rogers World Airport is expecting to receive it’s naked body scanners soon.

Body scanners produce detailed, three-dimensional images of individuals. Security experts have described whole body scanners as the equivalent of “a physically invasive strip-search.” EPIC

From the Journal Record Sept 12, 2011;

. . . Tulsa was one of the first airports to receive the new technology at the time. Higgins confirmed that some travelers expressed concern or outrage that strangers with the federal government were invading their privacy by studying their bodies. Read more

The scanners are expected to be installed at Will Rogers World Airport before the end of the year.  But these scanners,  we are assured, will be less naked-izing that previous versions.

Promises, promises

In 2009 the TSA assured us that

“these technologies cannot save, print, or transmit images.”

And those assertions have proved to be patently, provably FALSE.

Information obtained through a FOIA request showed that the machines are able to store and transmit the raw images by design and furthermore this capability was required by the TSA.

Not only are the images capable of being kept,we know they have been.

Leaked Images Belie Our Implicit Pact with TSA  Gizmodo’s Joel Johnson writes, “At the heart of the controversy over ‘body scanners’ is a promise: The images of our naked bodies will never be public.” But the Florida marshals who saved 35,000 of those images, suggesting that promise may be a lie. “That we can see these images today almost guarantees that others will be seeing similar images in the future. If you’re lucky, it might even be a picture of you or your family.”

Really, do official assurances of anything mean anything after so many of them have turned out to be lies?

So, rather than your nekked body in ll it’s bald and bluish glory, the new software, we are told, will generate an image of a fully clothed, generic, genderless cartoon figure.
Will Rogers World Airport spokeswoman Karen Carney says she expects that the new and improved body scanners will be accepted by the public. (Read more from the Journal Record published Sept. 19, 2011)

Modesty aside, there are health, safety and questions about effectiveness surrounding the devices that have not yet been satisfactorily answered.

EPIC v. DHS Lawsuit — FOIA’d Documents Raise New Questions About Body Scanner Radiation Risks : In a FOIA lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security, EPIC has just obtained documents concerning the radiation risks of TSA’s airport body scanner program. The documents include agency emails, radiation studies, memoranda of agreement concerning radiation testing programs, and results of some radiation tests. One document set reveals that even after TSA employees identified cancer clusters possibly linked to radiation exposure, the agency failed to issue employees dosimeters – safety devices that could assess the level of radiation exposure. Another document indicates that the DHS mischaracterized the findings of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, stating that NIST “affirmed the safety” of full body scanners. The documents obtained by EPIC reveal that NIST disputed that characterization and stated that the Institute did not, in fact, test the devices. Also, a Johns Hopkins University study revealed that radiation zones around body scanners could exceed the “General Public Dose Limit.” For more information, see EPIC: EPIC v. Department of Homeland Security – Full Body Scanner Radiation Risks and EPIC: EPIC v. DHS (Suspension of Body Scanner Program). (Jun. 24, 2011)

Some countries have rejected the machines entirely and even scoffed at the machines, saying that they simply aren’t worth it.

For example;

Full-Body Scanners Don’t Work, Israeli Security Expert Says

The whole program has been plagued with problems from start to finish.

Federal Appeals Court: TSA Violated Federal Law, Must Take Public Comment on Body Scanners: As a result of a lawsuit brought by EPIC, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the TSA violated federal law when it installed body scanners in airports for primary screening across the country without first soliciting public comment. The Administrative Procedure Act requires federal agencies to provide notice and opportunity for comment when implementing a rule that affects the rights of the public. Writing for a unanimous court, Judge Ginsburg found there was “no justification for having failed to conduct a notice-and-comment rulemaking,” and said, “few if any regulatory procedures impose directly and significantly upon so many members of the public.”

EPIC’s brief alleged that airport body scanners are “invasive, unlawful, and ineffective,” and that the TSA’s deployment of the devices for primary screening violated the U.S. Constitution and several federal statutes. For more information, see EPIC: EPIC v. DHS and EPIC: Whole Body Imaging Technology. Press Release. (Jul. 15, 2011)

So the TSA unlawfully implemented the body scanning program, lied to the public about the capabilities of the machines, lied about safety testing, may be overstating the detection abilities but now we are supposed to be pacified by some supposed “privacy enhancing” software?

Oh, and did I mention the mobile naked body scanners that may be coming to a mall or highway near you?

DHS Refuses to Disclose Details of Mobile Body Scanner Technology: New documents released by the Department of Homeland Security to EPIC indicate the the agency continues to hide details about body scanners. In November 2010, EPIC filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the agency regarding the deployment of body scanners in surface transit and street-roving vans. In its latest document release the agency supplied several papers that were completely redacted. As a result of the agency’s failure to comply with the Freedom of Information Act, EPIC has filed suit to force disclosure of the records. For more information, see: EPIC: Body Scanner Technology and EPIC: FOIA Note #20. (Aug. 17, 2011)

Digital nudity and health risks are what we are asked to trade for dubious security value but the nekked scanners do make some people smile..

SIEGEL: In your current role as a consultant, do you have an interest in body scanners?

Mr. CHERTOFF: You know, I, to be – we consult with all kinds of firms including firms that you manufacture body scanners.

SIEGEL: You do have some interest in…

Mr. CHERTOFF: Correct. That’s correct.

SIEGEL: …in more sales of body scanners.

Mr. CHERTOFF: As well as a lot of other security measures.

NPR Dec. 29, 2009

Body Scanners Create Profits for Chertoff and Others

No, No- A thousand times NO! 

There is no satisfying the governments need to watch, track, scrutinize and control every facet of our lives.  Whatever we give up, they will always want more.

If you have an opinion on this you should share it with Will Rogers World Airport.

Karen Carney  405.316.3262 

Email:  karen.carney@okc.gov


TSA 10 Years After 9/11

Kaye Beach

Sept. 1, 2011

This is an editorial written by Gail A. Jaquish and published in the Washington Times on Aug 29, 2011.

The subheading, I think, really says it all.

Coercive treatment fosters a passive population

Ten years after Sept. 11, 2001, Americans continue adjusting to evolving Transportation Security Administration (TSA) airport safety procedures. While there is a limit to what Americans can reasonably expect TSA to accomplish to reduce the risk of terrorist attempts in an open society, there is also a limit to what TSA can reasonably expect a free people to tolerate.

At TSA security checkpoints, I used to seek the fastest-moving line. Now, I search for a line without a body scanner. Seeing no such line on a recent trip, I cued up, placed my carry-on possessions and articles of clothing onto the conveyor that moves items through X-ray and waited for the dreaded words, “Ma’am, step into the body scanner.” “No,” I replied.

Glancing at me with blatant annoyance, the TSA agent shouted, “Female pat-down!” Another TSA agent ordered me into a portable room enclosure. As I stepped inside the room, I noticed a sign taped to the door reminding TSA personnel, “Do not lock the door.” My anxiety grew as the TSA agent toyed with the lock, oddly pushing the button in and out numerous times, provoking my request for a supervisor. The supervisor arrived – a big supervisor. Big mistake. I assumed having a witness was to my benefit. I was wrong.

The supervisor immediately stated it was my “fault” I was getting a pat-down. She contemptuously added, “This was your choice.” Since I have cause for avoiding a body scanner that delivers radiation, I did not view the pat-down as my choice; but rather, the only course available in order to travel by commercial airline.

Read More

How The Radiation Lobby Puts Air Travelers At Risk

Kaye Beach

May 25, 2011

Published May 24, 2011 From Ivestors.com

How The Radiation Lobby Puts Air Travelers At Risk

Homeland Security:Why would TSA expose low-risk passengers to radiation instead of just profiling high-risk passengers? Muslim pressure groups? No, another lobby’s behind this outrage.

Led by a revolving door of ex-Department of Homeland Security and Transportation Security Administration officials, this Beltway lobby holds far more sway over such security decisions.

We’d been under the impression that the TSA chose to subject passengers to radiation-emitting body scanners at all airports (by 2014) largely because it’s politically incorrect to profile young Arab Muslim men.

But the manufacturer who landed the federal contract has a powerful lobbyist in Washington: former DHS chief Michael Chertoff. He and his partners at the Chertoff Group have been all over the airwaves touting this technology while badmouthing profiling.

Read More

That isn’t all Chertoff is lobbying for.

In 2008 the biometrics industry was elated with the work of then DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff.

Federal identity programs boost biometrics market

By Chris Strohm, National Journal 07/03/2008

In announcing major new regulations in January that set national standards for driver’s licenses under the 2005 Real ID Act, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff declared, “This is a great teaching moment on the challenges of really reconfiguring a society.”

Chertoff’s announcement was music to the ears of private companies and lobbyists who see major national security benefits, as well as the potential for big bucks, in helping agencies verify individuals’ identity. http://www.nextgov.com/nextgov/ng_20080703_8678.php?oref=search

L-1 Identity Solutions is the largest biometric company in the US and dominates the state driver’s license business.  L1 also produces all passport cards

The biometrics giant, L1, also provides ID documents for the Department of Defense and has contracts with nearly every intelligence agency within our government

In 2010 L1 announced the sale of its biometric and document divisions to a French corporation, Safran which is owned in part by the French government.

Former DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff is representing Safran.

Safran Group Enters Definitive Agreement to Acquire L-1 Identity Solutions

On September 20, 2010, the Safran Group announced a definitive agreement with L-1 Identity Solutions to purchase L-1’s Biometric, Secure Credentialing and Enrollment Services for $1.09 billion in cash on hand. Once the transaction is complete, Safran intends to incorporate these L-1 divisions as part of the Safran Group’s existing security business, Morpho, and solidify Safran’s presence as an industry leader for biometrics and identity management solutions. The transaction is expected to close during 2011, subject to regulatory approvals.

During this transaction, The Chertoff Group served as strategic advisors to Safran. The Chertoff Group members of the advisory team included: Michael Chertoff, Co-founder and Managing Principal at The Chertoff Group; Chad Sweet, Co-founder and Managing Principal at The Chertoff Group; and J. Bennet Waters PhD., Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer at The Chertoff Group. http://chertoffgroup.com/cgroup/media/press-releases/

Lawmakers express concerns about the contract with Safran

In letters to FBI director Robert Mueller, the lawmakers expressed uneasiness about granting a contract involving national security to Safran SA, partly owned by the French government. “Allowing a foreign government to provide services regarding sensitive information to our law enforcement and intelligence communities could potentially pose a grave counterintelligence threat to the U.S. government,” wrote Representative John Kline (R-Minnesota), a member of the House Intelligence Committee. “I urge the FBI to assess whether any domestic companies are capable of this work and weigh carefully the risks versus the benefits of granting a foreign government access to this sensitive data,” he wrote.

http://homelandsecuritynewswire.com/republican-oppose-safrans-fbi-contract

Read more about the sale of L1 to Safran and Michael Chertoff  “The Revolving Door That Never Stops Turning” 

Texan’s say Touche’ TSA! AxXiom For Liberty Live Friday March 11, 2011

Kaye Beach

March 10, 2011

Listening information here


Miss the show? Archive here!

Tonight 6-8 pm CST on AxXiom For Liberty special guests will be Rep. David Simpson and Norman Horn.  Two Texans who are pushing back against the out of control TSA in Texas.

Listening information here


Rep. Simpson has filed legislation in Texas to protect the freedom and dignity of air travelers and prohibit unreasonable searches.

From the Lone Star Report:

A freshman Representative filed a bill to penalize airport body scanner operators: Including TSA agents.

Can they do that to a federal agent? Bill author Rep. David Simpson (R-Longview) thinks so. And he’s not alone, with 18 co-sponsors from both parties (see list below) and a few organizations.

The bill, HB 1938, makes it a civil penalty for anyone working in a locally owned airport to install or operate whole-body imaging equipment — “including a device that uses backscatter x-rays or millimeter waves, that creates a visual image of a person’s unclothed body and is intended to detect concealed objects,” the bill read.

http://www.lonestarreport.org/Home/tabid/38/EntryId/1022/Simpson-files-anti-body-scanner-bill.aspx

Rep. Simpson writes:

Treating Travelers as Criminal Suspects without probable cause and as a condition of travel violates Section 9 of the Texas Bill of Rights and the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

In recognition of these protections I have filed three pieces of legislation:

  • HB 1937 would make it a crime in Texas for a person to touch specific private areas of the body during a search unless there is probable cause to believe the person committed or is about to commit an offense.
  • HB 1938 would prohibit whole body scanners that depict the “virtual strip” images in airports in Texas.
  • HCR 80 is a concurrent resolution expressing the Legislature’s strong opposition to unwarranted and unreasonable searches by TSA and urging the administration to cease them immediately. Read more about this legislation

Read the TSA taming bills filed by Rep. Simpson

HB 1937 Indecent Groping Searches

HB 1938 Virtual Strip Searches

HCR 80 Unreasonable Searches

Rep. Simpson’s website http://davidsimpson.com/

Press Release on the legislation


Norman Horn, Christian Libertarian and warrior in the fight against TSA Tyranny:

“Promoting individual liberty and individual responsibility through libertarianism is more than a hobby – it is a passion that excites me daily. I hope I can communicate this passion and the power of ideas to you through LibertarianChristians.com.”

http://libertarianchristians.com/

Read more about Norman Horn Here

Texans Against TSA Tyranny

Posted by J.H. Huebert on March 5, 2011 09:25 AM

This week, lawmakers in Texas have introduced state legislation to stop the government from using porno-scanners against the people.

Texas HB 1938 — featured in a story on the Drudge Report today — would impose a civil penalty of up to $1,000 per day per violation for any airport owned by a local government (i.e., all of the ones that matter) that installs or operates any device “that uses backscatter x-rays or millimeter waves, that creates a visual image of a person’s unclothed body and is intended to detect concealed objects.”

They’ve also introduced another bill, HB 1937, that would authorize state and local prosecutors to bring felony charges against TSA agents who sexually assault innocent airline passengers. . .

By the way, this bill came about thanks in large part to the heroic efforts of LRC contributor and Libertarian Christians blogger Norman Horn. And see the movement’s websites at www.tsatyranny.com, www.supportdignity.com, and www.stopaustinscanners.org

Read More

Recent TSA News:

EPIC to Testify at Congressional Hearing on TSA Body Scanner Program

The Subcommittee on National Security of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will hold a hearing on “TSA Oversight: Whole Body Imaging” On March 16, 2011. EPIC President Marc Rotenberg has been asked to testify. The hearing is expected to explore the privacy impact, health concerns, and questions of effectiveness that have been raised about the program.

Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) introduced legislation in 2009 that passed the House, 310-108, that would prevent the TSA from deploying body scanners as the primary screening technique in US airports. EPIC held a public conference earlier this that explored public objections to the TSA program. For more information, see EPIC: EPIC v. DHS and EPIC: Whole Body Imaging Technology.

Documents Reveal TSA Research Proposal To Body-Scan Pedestrians, Train Passengers

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.

The 173-page collection of contracts and reports, acquired through a Freedom of Information Act request, includes contracts with Siemens Corporations, Northeastern University, and Rapiscan Systems. The study was expected to cost more than $3.5 million.

Read more

TSA caught in more radiation lies

From the Douglass Report;

TSA claims about the safety of its radioactive full-body scanners are falling apart — and now, even the agency’s pals are backing away.

Here’s the deal: In a desperate attempt to prove those scanners are safe, the TSA named all sorts of agencies and organizations that it claimed was helping to test and maintain them.

Just one little problem: That was news to all those organizations and agencies.

Even the FDA wants nothing to do with this one — a spokesman told AOL News that, despite TSA claims to the contrary, it has no role in testing the machines or inspecting the manufacturer.

They couldn’t even do it even if they wanted to — since the machines aren’t medical devices, they’re outside of the FDA’s legal authority.

More

Getting Nekked For Nuttin

_______________________

The story (from Europe) says:

Although use of the scanners remains optional, every passenger must now also be patted down and pass through a metal detector, whether or not they have been scanned.

It’s optional and you get a pat down and have to go through the metal detector either way-Why would you go through it then?  Is it like a horsey ride at the grocery store ?


‘Naked’ scanners fooled by creased clothing

Published: 16 Nov 10

Controversial “naked” body scanners currently being tested at Hamburg’s airport are constantly malfunctioning due to folds in passengers’ clothing, broadcaster NDR reported on Tuesday.

The public radio station said the trial of the body imaging security scanners has been plagued by serious problems. The units, which have been in use since September, are apparently unable to tell the difference between foreign objects and such things like pleated clothing.

The scanners use millimetre-wave technology to produce outline images of bodies, with each scan lasting less than three seconds.

While some passengers are being asked to remove thicker clothes such as jumpers, NDR reported that the devices are regularly malfunctioning due to creases in lighter clothes such as blouses and skirts.

Read More