Tag Archives: TSA

Surprise! Rapiscan: A little more nekked than they said we were

Kaye Beach

Nov. 15, 2012

Wired.com reports today

Maker of Airport Body Scanners Suspected of Falsifying Software Tests

A company that supplies controversial passenger-screening machines for U.S. airports is under suspicion for possibly manipulating tests on privacy software designed to prevent the machines from producing graphic body images.

The Transportation Security Administration sent a letter Nov. 9 to the parent company of Rapiscan, the maker of backscatter machines, requesting information about the testing of the software to determine if there was malfeasance.

. . .The vendor has denied any wrongdoing.

“At no time did Rapiscan falsify test data or any information related to this technology or the test,” Peter Kant, an executive vice president with the company, told Bloomberg.

As I opined last fall when OKC’s Will Rogers Airport announced that they were getting the naked body scanners but assured the public that these scanners wire the new and improved not-so-naked, naked body scanners, “Really, do official assurances of anything mean anything after so many of them have turned out to be lies?”

Lies, are otherwise known in the industry as “calculation errors”

It’s not the first time Rapiscan has been at the center of testing problems with the machines. The company previously had problems with a “calculation error” in safety tests that showed the machines were emitting radiation levels that were 10 times higher than expected. Read more

One bit of good news for those who fly out of Will Rogers Airport and don’t mind public nudity of the purported cartoonized variety or the possible radiation risks in exchange for a little security theater, Will Rogers uses the L3 software to soften your naughty bits, not Rapiscan.  L3 has not been caught ‘miscalculating’, at least not yet.

Of course a recent poll showed that a third of those questioned would be willing to submit to a TSA body cavity search so this is all probably much ado about nothing anyways.

Naked Body Scanners-TSA Thinks We Should Be Seen But NOT heard!

Kaye Beach

July 28, 2012

I rarely ask people to sign petitions but I am making an exception for this one-please sign it!

An online petition posted in “We the People” demands that the White House “Require the Transportation Security Administration to Follow the Law!”

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/require-transportation-security-administration-follow-law/tffCTwDd

Remember the naked body scanners that were forced upon us by the Department of Homeland Security through the TSA a couple years ago?

The Naked Truth about TSA’s Naked Body Scanners

I remember it well because when I attempted to provide some “public input” about the devices, this is the reaction I got from a TSA agent-

TSA: “I thought maybe you might be representing a terrorist organization”

Well, EPIC, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, has been fighting DHS and the TSA tooth and nail on this issue ever since.  They have made an impact.

On July 15, 2011, in EPIC v. DHS, the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit ruled that the Transportation Security Administration violated federal law when it refused to conduct a public rulemaking over the use of whole body imaging scanners to screen airport passengers.

(Read more about EPIC’s battle against the naked body scanners http://epic.org/privacy/airtravel/backscatter/ )

In brief, the TSA has been found in federal court to be in violation of federal law because they did not include any opportunity for public input in the rulemaking process  regarding the use of these devices.

The court noted that “few if any regulatory procedures impose directly and significantly upon so many members of the public,” and then ordered the Department of Homeland Security to fix the problem.

Here we are over a year later and DHS has done nothing!  They have yet to publish their rules and they have not begun to accept public comments nor made any announcement to indicate that they intend to do so.

Please sign the public petition to help push the TSA to do what it was ordered to do and what it should have done in the first place.  The public deserves to have their voice heard. 

We are down to the wire on this petition and lack only 9,000 signatures. Yes, you have to register to sign this and that is a pain but please take the time to register so that you can sign.  We have just 2 weeks left to get the remaining signatures needed!

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/require-transportation-security-administration-follow-law/tffCTwDd

Please share this information with your friends on Facebook, twitter and through email.

Thanks!

Best Buy’s Worst Policy-Swiping ID’s and Destiny Management

Kaye Beach

April, 14, 2012

Best Buy (and Victoria’s Secret and The Finish Line and many other stores!) Requires Govt. Issued Photo ID for ALL Returns.

The ID card data is swiped, stored and shared with a third party  to track customer purchases and “to monitor the return behavior of shoppers; and warn or deny individuals flagged as questionable” Link to The Retail Equation, Inc.’s brochure

 

Best Buy’s return policy;

Returns Tracking

When you return or exchange an item in store, we require a valid photo ID. Some of the information from your ID may be stored in a secure database used to track returns and exchanges. Based on return/exchange patterns, some customers will be warned that subsequent purchases will not be eligible for returns or exchanges for 90 days. . .

Link

. . . And how do we like it so far?

I’m Done With Best Buy Thanks to The Retail Equation

03-18-2012 02:37 PM

I am a premier silver member and have been for several years.  In November of last year, I received a warning in store that I could not make any returns at Best Buy for 90 days.  So for the next 90 days I did not make any purchases at Best Buy.

Yesterday, I spent over 700.00 on the new Ipad and an Invisible Shield.  The Invisible Shield was not installed correctly and Best Buy decided to give me a refund.  Keep in mind that this was only 29.99 of the amount I spent.  This was the first purchase I have made since the 90 days had expired.  I figured that I could return something that was actually not working correctly and be fine.  However I received another warning today saying that I could not return anything for 90 days even though the product was not working correctly.

It sounds like The Retail Equation (TRE) does not take into consideration that some returns might be valid due to defective products.  All TRE looks at is how many returns and that is not a fair way to evaluate whether someone is abusing a return policy.   In the end, Best Buy has lost a premier silver member.  Amazon and other online retailers will gladly accept my business going forward.  Best Buy seriously needs to find another way to evaluate returns instead of TRE.  Their method simply does not work.

http://forums.bestbuy.com/t5/Best-Buy-Geek-Squad-Policies/I-m-Done-With-Best-Buy-Thanks-to-The-Retail-Equation/td-p/486051

Another unhappy Best Buy customer is suing them over their “swiping” policy.

How does this work?  According to the Retail Equation, Inc.,

“The technology’s predictive modeling measured the likelihood of fraudulent or abusive behavior, as well as the likelihood of a consumer’s profitability”

 Predictive Analytics

From Wikipedia  Predictive analytics encompasses a variety of statistical techniques from modeling, machine learning, data mining and game theory that analyze current and historical facts to make predictions about future events.

Data mining and predictive analytics is being used in just about every aspect of our lives.  Predictive analytics applies a mathematical formula to masses of data to predict what a person is more or less likely to do in the future.  Decisions are being made that affects our lives, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse, every day.

For example, in our schools;

“They use their technology infrastructure to gather and analyze data on the factors that are most predictive of students who are in danger of school failure and/or dropping out.  . . .As a result, the district has forged new partnerships with local law enforcement agencies”

From the Oklahoma Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development pg 26

If you think it stinks when you are misidentified as a naughty shopper, wait till you are misidentified as a “troubled individual”

Technology identifies troubled individuals

Sept 26, 2010

Imagine using the same technology to locate a lone bomber before he carries out his terrorist act and to identify a troubled veteran or first responder ground down by tragedies and violence.

Stop imagining.

A Swiss professor working with a Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientist who heads the Mind Machine Project there outlined how this program operates through computerized scanning of phone calls and electronic messages sent through e-mail and social networking mechanisms.

. . . Using character traits that have been identified through psychological profiles conducted on lone bombers following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Guidere said he and his colleagues developed programs that isolate signs pointing to a potential terrorist.

He said lone bombers, in particular, are not mentally deranged but harbor hatred and deep resentment toward government. Their emotional spikes, Guidere explained, can be identified by the computer program.

The practical side is that once the individual has been identified, the information can be passed along to authorities so surveillance can begin. . .

Read more

The burgeoning use of driver’s license scanning devices makes tracking and monitoring of the population much easier.  When these data are held in separate databases there are plenty of security and privacy concerns but if the databases are linked or matched with other databases or shared-watch out!  The negative implications explode at that point.

In case you are wondering just what information is in those bar codes on your driver’s license, here is a link for you to follow and find out.

And here is a great article from 2002 which is ancient history from a technology capability perspective, but it does a great job of allowing us to begin to consider the implications of widespread scanning of our government issued photo ID’s .

Welcome to the Database Lounge

Published: March 21, 2002

ABOUT 10,000 people a week go to The Rack, a bar in Boston favored by sports stars, including members of the New England Patriots. One by one, they hand over their driver’s licenses to a doorman, who swipes them through a sleek black machine. If a license is valid and its holder is over 21, a red light blinks and the patron is waved through.

But most of the customers are not aware that it also pulls up the name, address, birth date and other personal details from a data strip on the back of the license. Even height, eye color and sometimes Social Security number are registered.

”You swipe the license, and all of a sudden someone’s whole life as we know it pops up in front of you,” said Paul Barclay, the bar’s owner. ”It’s almost voyeuristic.”

Mr. Barclay bought the machine to keep out underage drinkers who use fake ID’s. But he soon found that he could build a database of personal information, providing an intimate perspective on his clientele that can be useful in marketing. ”It’s not just an ID check,” he said. ”It’s a tool.”

Read More

Swiping of driver’s licenses is being required for buying gas (in case you try to leave without paying), for entry to public schools (in case you might be child predator and if you are misidentified as a sex offender, which happens often enough, well, stinks for you!), for buying cold medicine, for entry to bars and casinos, San Francisco wants ID swipes for most public events, Harlem wants tenants to swipe to gain entry to their homes,  and now, the TSA is swiping  airline passengers’ ID’s .

 

TSA tests ID-scanning machines at Washington Dulles

April 14, 2012

The Transportation Security Administration began an experiment today at Washington’s Dulles International Airport to check identification and boarding passes by machine rather than just the visual check by officers.

While TSA officers have been checking identification with black-lights and magnifying glasses, the machines are geared to recognize all valid identification, ranging from driver’s license or passport to tribal identification or foreign passport.

“For efficiency, it is fantastic,” said Domenic Bianchini, TSA director of checkpoint technology. “We think it’s a valuable technology and we think over time we will see the real value added.”

The machine doesn’t store any personal information about the passenger, according to Greg Soule, a TSA spokesman.

Gee.  When have we heard that before?

Although TSA has repeatedly stated that the scanners were “incapable of storing or transmitting” scanner images, despite specification data to the contrary provided by the respective manufacturers. In August 2010 EPIC (Electronic Privacy Information Center) discovered that the TSA had stored over 2,000 images, which the agency quickly claimed were of “volunteers” without specifying who compose this group or whether any were passengers who had “voluntarily” used the scanners in the testing phase.

Read more

The TSA is conducting the driver’s license “experiment” at Dulles, Houston and Puerto Rico but hopes to eventually “expand the program to every airport checkpoint” Read more

At some point in the not-so-distant-future, we will be required to show and/or swipe our driver’s license for just about everything we as humans need to live.  As the process grows more and more automated and the data is digitized, we will find our movements, transactions and habits logged and our lives tracked and documented.    Data mining and predictive analytics will be applied to nearly everything we do.  The purpose of such credentialing processes is to allow some access and deny others, deemed unworthy by algorithm, access.

In 2010 I was repeatedly denied the ability to pay for my purchases by check due to a company called Certegy’s algorithm which decided that since I rarely write checks but had written several during the Christmas shopping season, this indicated that I was untrustworthy and that stores should not accept my checks.  The year before, I was denied the privilege of renting a car because my credit score was too low.  My credit score is low because I don’t buy on credit!  I wasn’t asking to pay for the rental with credit either.  I offered my debit card.

Chances are you have experienced similar incidents.  Chances are that we have encountered other bumps in the road of life when no explanation for the problem was ever given but likely there was some algorithm behind it.  This is our future.  In health care, travel, purchases, renting or buying our homes, anything information about us that can be digitized can be factored in to determine whether or not we measure up.  This is nothing short of destiny management.

With the governments unhealthy focus on security at all costs, we can expect things to get more and more complicated as the practice of tracking and tracing and databasing everything we do grows. Woe to those that are unfortunate enough to be perceived as a possible threat or have a data trail that makes them appear less than an ideal citizen in the eyes of Big Momma Gov. who is no longer willing to wait for us to actually do something wrong before she pounces.  This government (and its partner corporations) wants to play psychic and limit our opportunities based on some supposed prescient power that indicates that we are more likely to do something naughty in the first place.

How do we exercise our free will when it is being effectively pre-empted?

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

The Department Of Homeland Security Continues the Quest for Total Information Awareness

Kaye Beach

Nov 30, 2011

Yesterday Forbes reports;

The Department Of Homeland Security Wants All The Information It Has On You Accessible From One Place

Well of course they do.  The government knows that information is power, we should remember that power is control.

“National employment databases, national medical databases, national criminal databases, and others have already been created.

The dream is to blend all these separate resources into a single centralized one…the only real impediments to creating the database that now remain are political and cultural: the stubborn assumption of so many Americans that they have rights.”

The State’s Quest for Total Information Awareness by David M. Brown

Forbes reports that the Dept. of Homeland security, not content with its creation of a national network of state Fusion Centers, it now wants its own internal fusion center so that it can take all of the information collected by its many agencies and bring it together and make it all searchable from one central location.  The Dept. of Homeland Security absorbed some 22 agencies when it was created including FEMA, the Secret Service,  TSA, Immigration and Naturalization, and much more.

The DHS wants to be able to do searches using specific personal information rather than general searches through all of this data for the purpose of identifying patterns to prevent terrorism attacks.  The data  includes work history collected from the e Verify program, travel records from the TSA, and personal information such as your Social Security number, date of birth, email address and other personal information acquired by DHS from a wide variety of sources including commercial databases making this prospect undeniably similar to the Total Information Awareness project that so outraged Congress and Americans that it was defunded in 2003.

Although a committee of policy and privacy experts were asked to provide feedback on this proposal, DHS signed at least one contract with Raytheon for services related to this proposal before the committee could even complete its draft of recommendations signalling that DHS intends to push this operation forward regardless of any of the legitimate concerns about constitutional, legal or privacy violations.

This system will enable DHS to create a comprehensive profile on American citizens at the push of a button,  an ability  that the government has edged closer and closer to in recent years and an ability that rightfully generates grave concerns in the minds of most Americans.

Dr. Tom Connor, Assoc Prof of Criminal Justice/Homeland Security Director, Institute for Global Security Studies writes;

“The National Strategy for Homeland Security called for connecting computer databases used in federal law enforcement, immigration, intelligence, public health surveillance, and emergency management . . .and further, DARPA’s ill-fated plan for Total Information Awareness(TIA) was to merge some of these interconnections into a data mining system of systems involving the private sector, the finance/credit system, the Internet, and other databases.

With plans such as these, the goal was to obtain the capability to track every human being on the planet at any given time.” (Emphasis mine)

The government’s goal of Total Information Awareness hasn’t changed even though path to get there has taken a few detours.

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

Scientists question cancer risks of full-body scanners

Kaye Beach

August 1, 2011

The science debate aside, what really stands out in this story is that the Department of Homeland Security and the TSA’s less than forthright dealing with this issue (and many others as well)

We don’t trust the DHS and for good reason!

Scientists question cancer risks of full-body scanners

By Rebecca Ruiz, Senior editor, msnbc.com

published July 13, 2011

Millions of fliers pass through them, but scientific experts are still at odds about the safety of full-body airport scanners that use an X-ray technology called backscatter. The machines use low-level beams to create an image of the body, revealing weapons or other concealed items beneath a passenger’s clothing.

The scanners emit very small doses of ionizing radiation, which is known to cause cellular changes in larger doses.

. . .To the average flier, the scientific debate and use of different technologies can be confusing. On one hand, humans are exposed to far more naturally occurring background radiation in one day than they receive from one trip through a backscatter scanner. But critics counter that we should limit unnecessary exposure to radiation, particularly when science offers little guidance on how to value cancer risks of low-dose radiation. No extensive studies have been successfully done on animals or humans to demonstrate the effect; at such limited exposure, it becomes impossible to single out a small dose of radiation as the cause of cancer compared to other possible explanations.

The debate recently became even more muddled. The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), a privacy-rights organization, has accused the Department of Homeland Security, the agency that oversees the TSA, of concealing risks related to the use and operation of backscatter scanners. Among the group’s claims are that the scanners may be causing “cancer clusters” among security screeners and that the TSA has mischaracterized the type of testing the machines have undergone

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TSA Denies Naked Machine Radiation Level Testing for Workers

Kaye Beach

July 6, 2011