Friday, August 6, 2010

TSA Response to “Feds admit storing checkpoint body scan images”

An article from cnet has been making the rounds today about the US Marshal Service (NOT Federal Air Marshal Service) storing Advanced Imaging Technology images at a Florida courthouse checkpoint (Not a TSA checkpoint). This has led many to ask if TSA is doing the same.

As we’ve stated from the beginning, TSA has not, will not and the machines cannot store images of passengers at airports. The equipment sent by the manufacturer to airports cannot store, transmit or print images and operators at airports do not have the capability to activate any such function.

Feel free to read a post from earlier this year: Advanced Imaging Technology: Storing, Exporting and Printing of Images You can also read all of our other AIT related posts dating back to 2008 here. Our imaging technology page at www.TSA.gov has been updated as well.

Also, please note that the US Marshal Service falls under the Department of Justice, not under the Department of Homeland Security.

***Update - 12:00 - 8/6/2010***

The U.S. Marshals Service has issued a press release to clarify recent stories about the scanners they use. You can read it here.

Screen Shot of US Marshals Press Release
U.S. Marshals Service Press Release

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

204 comments:

1 – 200 of 204   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

Advanced imaging technology cannot store, print, transmit or save the image,

Why does you website state the TECHNOLOGY CANNOT store save images when the TSA provided procurement documents specify they must be able to store images? Stop lying!!!!

and the image is automatically deleted from the system after it is cleared by the remotely located security officer.

Not AUTOMATICALLY DELETED it needs to be MANUALLY DELETED by the officer in the booth. Stop lying!!!!

Please correct the blatantly misleading information posted on your website:

http://www.tsa.gov/approach/tech/ait/privacy.shtm

Sam Gross said...

I have a question: why do the TSA RFP's include requests for imaging machines that have the capability of storing and transmitting images? It seems as if the next threat will be used to justify the storage of images for reference or other recall.

Anonymous said...

If strip-search scanners are "optional for all passengers" then why is the pat-down option not verbally given by the TSO?

Every passenger the reporter spoke to in the airport did not know it was optional because there are no signs posted which I thought was mandated by congress.

WHY ARE THERE NO SIGNS POSTED IN BOS STATING THE MACHINES ARE OPTIONAL??

Anonymous said...

Sorry if we don't believe a word you say Bob.

Anonymous said...

What date and year are the TSA provided sample images from?

Are the TSA provided sample images taken with the newest type scanner with the most updated software?

If you can't answer this question please forward it to the appropriate party.

Anonymous said...

Please reconcile your claims with Gale D. Rossides statements.

“TSA requires AIT machines to have the capability to retain and export imagines (sic) only for testing, training, and evaluation purposes,” states a TSA letter dated February 24, 2010 and signed by Gale D. Rossides, Acting Administrator.

How is this storage and export prevented at the airport?

According to Rossides, engineers, training contractors, and “Z” level users will have the ability to retain and export images.

Probably Q and MacGyver will too.

How will you stop the methods used by engineers, training contractors, and “Z” level users to retain and export images from being used at the airport?

Is retaining and exporting images something an engineer, training contractor, or “Z” level could leak to the public or airport staff?

Does the plan boil down to just telling airport staff they should not do it after they learn how?

Anonymous said...

So if TSA doesn't store the images then, which agency does TSA transmit those images to for storage?

Anonymous said...

How much detail of genitalia is visible to the image viewer?

Please don't tell me the sample images are what the screener sees.

i will quote BOB:

You guys are killing me (and others) with this. These pictures were provided to TSA by the vendor. I have never claimed they are the exact size and resolution that our officers see. I have provided video examples showing what our officers see. I have requested the resolution and size and was told it was proprietary information that I could not release. I'm still looking into being able to get that info for you, but I can't promise anything.

Thanks,

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

February 3, 2010 1:22 PM

Any progress on you inquiry?

abelard said...

You mean we are to believe you after this blog maintained for two years that the images were ready for the cover of Reader's Digest and to be handed out at the local preschool? Or was Rolando Negrin at Miami International just clobbering his supervisor for giggles?

Why should we believe anything the TSA says?

Simon said...

Really? I am skeptical of your claim that your imaging machines cannot store or transmit images. Documents from the manufacturers show that the machines have the capacity to do both. You tell us that it is turned off, but we are supposed to "trust" you on this?

avxo said...

So, it is your assertion that the machines deployed at airports absolutely cannot store, transmit or print passenger images. Is that the official TSA position on this matter?

I am somewhat skeptical, especially in light of previous statements made by others (and you) on this blog.

Have these machines, and their security/privacy been evaluated by an independent body? If so, is that report available?

Xander said...

These machines are garbage, and a complete waste of taxpayer time and money.

My thoughts on my first-hand experience here: http://xanderland.com/archive/2010/08/04/my-first-experience-with-the-tsa-body-scanner.aspx"

Anonymous said...

Get ready for all of the why should we believe you comments from the people with tin foil hats.
Bob why waste your time. It's the same 15 or 20 parnoid people who think that big bad Government is out to get them who are going to respond to this in the same way they do every post. It doesn't matter what the answer is they will always say its not an answer or they just won't believe the answer.
Mr Pistole, maybe we are wasting our time. What I mean is maybe we are wasting our time doing everything we can to protect a forgetting and ungratful group of people who will never get it through their heads that they are worse than the agency they continually insult.

Rock said...

"Get ready for all of the why should we believe you comments from the people with tin foil hats."

Also get ready from the people who apologize for everything the TSA does because they are naive little sheep who think the government somehow is devoid of the all the greedy, power-grabbing, sexual and NORMAL (if base) desires of people and the inevitable consequences when they get into positions of power.

Anonymous said...

Baaaaah
"tin foil hats."
Baaaaah
"naive little sheep "
Baaaaah

Oh.

Great.

Thanks. Now I'm off to bed to count young sheep in tin foil hats.

Bah!

Anonymous said...

"What I mean is maybe we are wasting our time doing everything we can to protect a forgetting and ungratful group of people who will never get it through their heads that they are worse than the agency they continually insult."

Heh. We're not the thugs taking naked pictures of little kids.

BloggerBobRlyNeedsToGetAJob said...

So, if two entities are doing these scans, why does the TSA need to exist at all?

Plus, please respond to the *unanimous* comments that cite your own documentation's requirement that the hardware do the exact opposite of what you are saying in this post that they do.

Really, with all the money being wasted on the TSA, you would think that their PR wing could concoct a more convincing brand of doublespeak. It's almost more insulting to be addressed in this manner than it is to have to comment as "anonymous," since it is well-known that dissenting on this awful blog is a surefire way to get on the no-fly list.

Isaac Newton said...

Bob said:
As we’ve stated from the beginning, TSA has not, will not and the machines cannot store images of passengers at airports.

Bob, you've also said from the beginning that people can opt out of the WBI. Yet reports from El Paso, at least, indicate that passengers are not being allowed to opt out. Do you intend to comment, or are you just going to ignore it?

Bob, you've said "from the beginning" that signage would show the WBI image and let passengers know that they can opt out (except in El Paso, where they can't). Yet numerous people have reported that the signs in some airports are missing, in the wrong place, or have insufficient information.

Bob, you've said "from the beginning" that the WBI would be used for secondary screening. Yet many airports are now using the WBI for primary screening. The 2009 Privacy Impact Assessment is based on the assumption that the WBI is only used for secondary screening. Where is the new PIA?

Bob, your colleague Nico said "from the beginning" that the WBI images were suitable for the cover of Reader's Digest. Yet you and Nico fail to provide images in the same size and resolution as seen by your screeners.

In summary, Bob, why should we place any trust in any claim you've made "from the beginning"?

Patrick (BOS TSO) said...

Anonymous said...
WHY ARE THERE NO SIGNS POSTED IN BOS STATING THE MACHINES ARE OPTIONAL??

Ahem... but I've worked at three checkpoints (Delta, American and somedays the Int'l checkpoint) since these machines were installed... and all of them have the signage right in front of the machine stating that it's optional.

May I ask which checkpoint you traveled through Anonymous so I can verify this for myself?

Anonymous said...

Why do we now need to further undress ourselves with these machines? Now we have to remove a belt every time through security? I can't have paper such as money in my pockets? I have to remove my wallet?

If the belt scanner can see inside my bag, why can't these scanners see in the same way so that we don't have to have all this additional hassle.

Bubba said...

Bob,

The machines can store and transmit images. They have that capability. Whether we believe you are using them or not is really a question of trust.

I don´t believe you aren´t transmitting them, because you are. There is no way the image can get to the "remote location" in which it is viewed without being transmitted.

I don´t believe they will not be stored because you can store them. The TSA always does things just because they can. Privacy, scientific soundness, legal rights and all that are not a TSA concern.

And when debunked, like the SPOT program in the extensive article published in the top journal Nature months ago, the TSA simply ignores all evidence and continues harassing us and spending our money.

Why should I believe an agency that says it can spot a terrorist through "microexpressions" and insists that toothpaste is deadly?

Anonymous said...

quote from Blogger Bob: "the machines cannot store images of passengers at airports."

Is that cannot through physical means, software or will not as a matter of policy?

If not policy has this been verified by an independent 3rd party?

Anonymous said...

Bob,

Are you going to address the reports that at El Paso and Boston passengers were told that they could not opt out of these scanners?

I'm guessing you won't, or if you will you will be dismissive of the reports.

After all, TSO's always follow procedures (like not taking camera's into the AIT booth)

Anonymous said...

I think this whole debate is designed to distract people. The problem is not that the machines can store these images (obviously that capability exists); the problem is that we spend a ton of money on this stuff and it doesn't really get us much. Perhaps it might provide an incremental increase in security, but the bottom line is that it just isn't cost effective. Money doesn't grow on trees; at some point you've got to cut your losses and move on. Of course this country's debt continues to grow exponentially, so it's only the next generation that will have to worry about it. Sucks to be them.

Ethel Rosenberg said...

Bob a few notations from a post on F/T:

From Procurement and Operations Specs for WBI

3.1.1.1.2 Privacy
……
Enabling and disabling of image filtering shall (11) be modifiable by users as defined in the User Access Levels and Capabilities appendix.

3.1.1.3.1.2 Test Mode

For purposes of testing, evaluation, and training development, the WBI shall (22) provide a Test Mode.

The WBI Test Mode shall (23) be the sole mode of operation permitting the exporting of image data.

WBI Test Mode shall (24) be accessible as provided in the User Access Levels and Capabilities appendix.

(From Gale Rossides letter of 2/24/10 to Rep. Bennie Thompson:

“Any changes to privacy settings on individual machines can only be made by the "Z" users. The only people with "Z" user access for use in the lab setting are select personnel in TSA's Office of Security Technology and technicians from the manufacturer.”)

Therefore, TSA does have the capability of changing the “privacy” settings on the machines.

When in Test Mode, the WBI:

• shall (25) allow exporting of image data in real-time;
• shall (26) prohibit projection of an image to the TO station;
• shall (27) provide a secure means for high-speed transfer of image data;
• shall (28) allow exporting of image data (raw and reconstructed).

3.1.1.4.2.1 The IOCP:

….

(d) shall (72) provide image enhancement tools to have, at a minimum, the following image processing capabilities, each selectable by a single keystroke to support image review:
(i) Reverse image contrast from full negative to full positive
(ii) Zoom from 1X to 4X

3.1.1.5.1 Data Storage and transfer
The WEI system shall (98) provide capabilities for data transfers via USB devices.

2.6. Image Screening Position (ISP)

The WBI SHALL (17) provide a means to achieve the following at the ISP
position.
……

b) Communicate to the SIP display that the ISP operator wants to take
additional scans of the passenger beyond the required minimal
number of scans.

----

So many items to address, let’s start from the bottom up:

The IO can zap a passenger with more radiation than we are being told we get when going through backscatter. How does the IO know when “enough is enough?” Why is the public NOT informed of this?

Data can be transferred to USB devices.

Why has TSA not made it clear that there are “image enhancement tools” on WBI and that the IO can enlarge the image of one’s genitals by up to 4x in order to get a better look?

Images can be transferred in real time.

While IOs do not have the ability to change the mode of WBIs, other individuals from the TSA do have the capability of changing privacy settings. What assurances do we have from TSA that those settings won’t be changed from operational to test mode at the whim of one who has access to a particular machine? Or that they will not be run in “test” mode all the time? We have no such assurances.

RB said...

"The equipment sent by the manufacturer to airports cannot store, transmit or print images"

Contract specifications require the ability to save images.

Contract specifications require Network capabilities.

Also contract specifications require "The WBI shall (13) provide a means for passengers to maintain a line of sight to their divested carry-on items during the screening process."

This is not being accomplished. Passengers are totally out of sight of their carry-on items particularly when Backscatter Child Porno Viewers are installed.

Time to the pull the plug on another failed TSA boondoggle.

Anonymous said...

Does the TSO see live video of the person being strip searched or are they looking at a still picture?

If it's a still picture, it is being saved. Is it then automatically deleted?

And the machines CAN store images if they are in test mode. What if someone forgets to disable the test mode? Can the TSO see if the test mode is on or off?

And how is the image received by the TSO if these machines are supposedly not networked?

Anonymous said...

Body scanners might improve our odds from 1/16,000,000 to maybe 1/20,000,000, maybe not. Checkpoints will continue to miss things as they always have. Federal Red teams get 60% of their contraband through the checkpoints as it is. I think we are safe enough (2009 levels), that they need to concentrate on things like baggage screening (only 40-60% as of now). Like Rep Chaffitz (UT) said: Does strip-searching my mother or 8 year old daughter make flying safer?

It’s so important to keep reminding people that the government’s most important priority is to protect our freedoms, not Keep Us Safe(tm). Over the years many thousands of Americans have given their lives to secure those freedoms, and to simply hand them over now in exchange for a dubious promise to Keep Us Safe(tm) is a disgusting insult to their sacrifice.

Look here to see what the pervs see:
http://www.rupture.co.uk/Terminal%204.html

Anonymous said...

Saying that TSA has intentionally misled the public about these virtual strip search machines could easily classify as the understatement of the year. Consider the following:

- TSA has stated that the images cannot be stored, yet the specifications for these machines clearly show a capacity to store images.

- TSA has stated that the images cannot be transmitted, yet the specifications for these machines clearly show that they have this capacity as well.

And then of course there are the rather serious open questions of just how much detail these images contain... TSA still hasn't released a single image from any of these machines to prove its assertion of their family friendliness.

And we also have the even more serious question of how dangerous it is to go through them or even work around them to begin with. Considering that a number of experts in the radiological field are bringing up concerns about this, I'd say it's certainly a relevant question that needs to be answered.

And we also have other issues that TSA must address for public safety... How many screeners who are looking at these images have been screened to ensure that they're not some sort of pervert or deviant? Does TSA know for sure that screeners directing people into these machines aren't doing so for the "pleasure" of the screeners viewing the images? Who oversees this, and what sort of accountability is there?

TSA has a lot of questions to answer surrounding this technology. It is a shame that those who run the organization perceive themselves as above the law and not having the obligation to answer to anyone, when it is taxpayers who are paying their salaries. Mr. Pistole and his screener brigade should be hanging their heads in shame over the agency's pervasive bad attitude and continual problems with honesty and ethics.

Anonymous said...

Well, considering that the TSA already breaks their own rules about allowing pax a clear line of sight with their belongings while in the WBI, why should we believe you that you are not storing or saving images?

Your friend, Ethel said...

On July 24, West wrote:

"GSOLTSO said...
Anon sez - "
???

Was a lot of that post redacted?"

Nope, published as it came in. Blogger does not allow for modification of the comments as they come in. To publish or not to publish, that is the (only) question.

West
TSA Blog Team

I

July 24, 2010 9:38 AM "

If the above is true, how does it happen that Ethel Rosenberg's two posts were combined into one?

Anonymous said...

Went through IND the other day, didn't get selected to go through the AIT (not that I would have) but noticed that the machine at my line DID NOT have the optional sign. When I inquired to the TSO why not he stated it was "because it is not optional unless the machine is broken", I called over a supervisor and asked her what the situation was, she responded the machine was new and was being tested (hmmm...) and that she would have a sign put in place (didn't see it happen though)and then to her credit she did correct the TSO about the screening being optional. My only question is how many other TSO's don't know the rules...

RB said...

Anonymous said...
Went through IND the other day, didn't get selected to go through the AIT (not that I would have) but noticed that the machine at my line DID NOT have the optional sign. When I inquired to the TSO why not he stated it was "because it is not optional unless the machine is broken", I called over a supervisor and asked her what the situation was, she responded the machine was new and was being tested (hmmm...) and that she would have a sign put in place (didn't see it happen though)and then to her credit she did correct the TSO about the screening being optional. My only question is how many other TSO's don't know the rules...

August 5, 2010 3:40 PM

.................
Apparently every TSA employee in ELP thinks it is not optional!

George said...

I do wish the TSA would address the one serious concern I have about WBIs. That's the risk of theft (and even identity theft) to which the scanning procedure exposes passengers because they can't keep wallets or passports on their person.

Blogger Bob has made vague statements that we can "request" that the TSOs keep our belongings within our line of sight while being scanned. Obviously we can make that request, but is there anything in TSA operating procedures that in any way obligates the TSO to honor that request? Or is it like many other aspects of TSA screening, entirely at the whim of the TSO?

If a passenger makes a polite, respectful request to maintain visual contact with their belongings and the TSO responds with "Do you want to fly today?", what recourse does the passenger have?

While I appreciate the TSA's earnest efforts to keep aviation safe from terrorist threats, "security" means more than than just protection from terrorists. It also includes protecting passengers and their property from the far more common threat of theft. A passenger who becomes a victim of identity theft as a result of TSA screening procedures has suffered an unacceptable failure of security even though terrorism is not involved.

So Bob, what provisions does the procedure for whole-body scanning include to protect passengers from that kind of failure? I actually fear that more than terrorism, but I've seen no evidence that the TSA even cares.

vikki said...

This has been a long standing global lie regarding body scan machines.The constant justification has been that they have no storage capacity , yet now it seems they do - how long before we see the images creeping onto the web? How are they going to prevent perverted sickos having access to these machines and the images stored within?

Ayn R. Key said...

Curtis, you're not being honest here. You say the equipment sent by the manufacturer cannot store images, yet we both know the correct statement is that the capability has been disabled.

We also know that the capability has been disabled in order to convince the flying public that there will be no privacy violations in these virtual strip searches.

We also know that once the public accepts these pervert devices the capability will be restored, that is the long term plan of the TSA.

We also know that any capability that has been disabled can be enabled.

The only sentence you wrote that I agree with is that, based on hiring people willing to obey unlawful orders instead of people willing to think, is that the front line operators are highly unlikely to be able to do the enabling on their own.

By the way, this was a rather fast response, unlike the response to the Nature article about the BDOs.

Chris Boyce said...

Face it, Administrator Pistole: When you've lost Fox News, you've lost America.

Sulayman said...

Even if the machines delete the images immediately (which the vendor doesn't seem to agree is the default), What is to stop TSA officials from taking photos of the screen? Are there guidelines to prevent that? What would the punishment be for a TSA worker caught storing images?

Anonymous said...

IND has had full body scanners neatly arranged between the lanes for at least a year and a half. I saw them there. That supervisor who said they were new and being tested lied.

Buddhist Temples said...

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Anonymous said...

Good grief Charlie Brown-- and all you conspiracy theorists! The TSA specs need a machine that can store images so they can test it and make sure it does the job as intended. Once it has been proven they work as intended, they can deploy the machines. The ability to store images is then locked down and not used. If a machine needed service in the future they could conceivable turn the feature back on during service and off again when it goes back into use. Nobody from TSA at an airport can turn on the feature or use it.

About the idea of optional or not and having the officers yell out options, how much longer do we need to be delayed and how many more announcements do we need to hear? Just screen me and let me go catch my flight. Grow up people, I've spent a lot of time at airports and the only people I would ever want to see an image off from those machines are generally wearing cloths that leave nothing to the imagination anyway.

Anonymous said...

Of course, since you refuse to post accurate images of those generated by the strip-search technology and seen by the operators of your strip-search technology, we have no reason to believe any of the claims you or the Marshall Service make about those images, nor does that refusal incline anyone to trust anything you say.

Anonymous said...

Of the 141 AIT machines how many are backscatter and how many are mm wave? Also have you ever seen a backscatter screen? I have seen the backscatter screen images used by US troops in Mosul to screen local nationals coming onto a FOB and was amazed at the detail of women breasts, nipples and a men penises. Should the public ever see the level of detail contained in the images, my expectation is most folks will refuse to be scanned.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Bob, but what one agency does others often do as well. Nice try though.

RB said...

Sure seems like a lot of effort by TSA to say the AIT Child Porno Viewers are okey dokey.

They are not!

Why are Opt Outs not being honored in El Paso?

Lanz said...

What little shred of credibility the TSA had left is now gone. Crikey, how hard is it to be honest?

Anonymous said...

So I see that the US Marshalls Service is clarifying that it is not TSA in the first sentence of their press release.

Would that be because TSA specifically requested that they do so, due to fears about receiving even more backlash over unnecessary use of this invasive technology?

Why does TSA feel that the experience of using an airline should be at least as invasive as that given to a prisoner during in-processing? Even our government acknowledges that our prisoners have rights, while TSA seems to continually trample over those of the average American citizen.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear, the naked scanner scandal goes from bad to much much worse.
Now the U.S Marshals Service has admitted it not only stores and allows any security staff to access naked scans of people, it actually COMBINES these naked scans with the actual photograph of the person, therefore removing ALL PRIVACY COMPLETELY. This is utterly shocking on so many levels.
Does the TSA actually expect people to believe that they are not doing EXACTLY the same? The TSA has an appalling record on telling the truth.
Perhaps the most important question which the U.S. Marshals Service has not mentioned is why is it storing tens of thousands of images of naked people? This is deeply worrying.

Anonymous said...

If I never read this blog I obviously would never understand the *overwhelming* hatred for TSA and specifically the ATI machines.

I currently work at a checkpoint that does not have them and I am asked by passengers with prosthetics a few times a day if there's one at the checkpoint. Every time I tell them there is not they are disappointed.

MarkVII said...

This is latest example of the TSA's lack of credibility. This blog is laden with stories where "suggestions" or "recommendations" morph into requirements at the checkpoint. The shoes in the bin vs. shoes on the belt situation comes to mind.

When showing ID to fly became a requirement, there were many mentions of screeners not accepting perfectly valid ID's for various reasons. Military retiree ID's and NEXUS cards come to mind here.

Then add this -- passengers are having their hands swabbed at checkpoints, and are told it's a screening for swine flu. The swabs look suspiciously like ETD swabs and shortly thereafter, a program of taking ETD swabs of people's hands is announced. Something's fishy here.

We were told the WBI machines are unable to store images. It turns out they really can, but this feature is supposedly turned off. Any feature that is turned off can be turned back on by someone with the correct access. (I work in Information Technology. I've seen too many cases where the system administrator ID and password gets into circulation, and supposedly secure functions and data are no longer secure.)

Now add that WBI's are supposed to be optional, and used for secondary screening, but the reports are that WBI's mandatory and used for primary screening.

In light of all that, we're supposed to believe that images will not be stored, photographed, etc. The TSA's track record does not inspire confidence.

Mark
qui custodies ipsos custodes

GSOLTSO said...

Your friend Ethel sez - "If the above is true, how does it happen that Ethel Rosenberg's two posts were combined into one?"

The only option for moderation that I have had in any of the blogs I have moderated on Blogger (admittedly not that many) have been publish or delete. No other option is available that I know of.

West
TSA Blog Team

GSOLTSO said...

Patrick (BOSTSO) sez - "Anonymous said...
WHY ARE THERE NO SIGNS POSTED IN BOS STATING THE MACHINES ARE OPTIONAL??

Ahem... but I've worked at three checkpoints (Delta, American and somedays the Int'l checkpoint) since these machines were installed... and all of them have the signage right in front of the machine stating that it's optional.

May I ask which checkpoint you traveled through Anonymous so I can verify this for myself?"

Anon, any chance you can let us know which terminal so Patrick can check on it for us?

West
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

I have used the BOS AA checkpoint and there is a sign posted clearly advising passengers they can choose a pat-down instead of the scan. I chose the pat-down.

Frank
BOS

RB said...

So your saying that TSA employees can only look at naked pictures of little kids but not save the pictures.

Yeah, that makes it all better

Anonymous said...

I love the guilty until proven innocent opinions of the TSA and the WBI. Good thing there arent any bias on here.

Anonymous said...

MarkVII said:
The shoes in the bin vs. shoes on the belt situation comes to mind.
whats the big deal with shoes out of the bin? if you watch the people aroubnd you when leaving the lines i rarely see anyone returning the bins at the end of the lines. its a real shame, havent you been told to clean up your mess? i take as many bins as i need and put them away i think its a waste for the tsa people to have to clean up after me, lets give them alittle help, its the least we can do.

Anonymous said...

"whats the big deal with shoes out of the bin?"

First, shoes are no threat and should stay on people's feet. But if TSA is going to insist on its ridiculous charade, it should at least permit people to put their shoes in a bin where they'll be protected from damage that could result from loose shoes falling into the works of the conveyor belt. And note that despite the official policy being that people can put shoes in bins or on the belt, TSA's poorly trained, unprofessional workforce is incapable of applying that policy consistently.

" if you watch the people aroubnd you when leaving the lines i rarely see anyone returning the bins at the end of the lines. its a real shame, havent you been told to clean up your mess?"

It's not my mess, it's the mess TSA has created by insisting on nonsensical policies that we and they know do nothing to make anyone safer.

"i take as many bins as i need and put them away i think its a waste for the tsa people to have to clean up after me, lets give them alittle help, its the least we can do."

I use as many bins as I can and leave them for TSA's poorly trained, unprofessional workforce to deal with, because if they're stacking bins they're not groping someone's child.

RB said...

http://www.prisonplanet.com/70-in-nbc-new-york-poll-%E2%80%98furious%E2%80%99-at-arrival-of-airport-body-scanners.html



The poll is a continued indicator that widespread opposition to the use of ‘naked’ body scanners is on the rise. A series of reports show that the technology is insufficiently tested, is likely to prove ineffective, violates privacy, Constitutional rights & child porn laws, and may pose serious health risks, including cancer.

RB said...

http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig11/hjelm1.1.1.html

Our Stupid State Transportation Security


"He told me to step into the box, at which point I requested to go through the metal detector like I’d seen so many do before me. He informed me that it was TSA policy to only allow people to go through the metal detector when there were two people waiting to go through the box. If I didn’t want to go through the box, he said I’d be subject to a pat down which could take at least fifteen minutes. After discussing this for a while and being accused of trying to “hide something,” I requested to see his supervisor. His supervisor parroted the same “two people” line and went back to supervising.

So I’m left with the surly officer and he gave me the ultimatum: either go through the box, or get arrested. Needless to say, I went through the box. Here’s the thing: even though I went through the box, which was my A or B choice, I was still patted down after going through! I was furious!"

.............
What I would like to know is why people are being told on this blog that WBI Strip Search Machines are optional (passenger can Opt Out) yet in practice as reported form several airports, including ESP which TSA will not respond to questions about, Opt Outs are being denied and now TSA has escalated this to threats of arrest.

What's going on TSA?

Are Opt Outs not being permitted?

Has TSA been lying to the public again?

dutyHonorCountry said...

If, a decade ago, we were told that people would soon have to appear naked in order to board an airplane, the claim would have been met by peals of laughter and howls of outrage. But here it has come to pass, and what’s our reaction? One or two muffled complaints and quiet acquiescence.

Anonymous said...

Anon says:
"First, shoes are no threat and should stay on people's feet. But if TSA is going to insist on its ridiculous charade, it should at least permit people to put their shoes in a bin where they'll be protected from damage that could result from loose shoes falling into the works of the conveyor belt. And note that despite the official policy being that people can put shoes in bins or on the belt, TSA's poorly trained, unprofessional workforce is incapable of applying that policy consistently."
so the TSA people are apply the policy by removing the shoes from the bin as can be either way. i agree with leaving shoes on peoples feet however they will have to be screened in some fashion. that means longer lines and waits and im not for that. if i can get through faster by taking my shoes off its no sweat to me. it allows me to get to my bins faster so i can put them away.

"I use as many bins as I can and leave them for TSA's poorly trained, unprofessional workforce to deal with, because if they're stacking bins they're not groping someone's child."
well said sir/maam i couldnt agree more! and might i add God Bless America!
"It's not my mess, it's the mess TSA has created by insisting on nonsensical policies that we and they know do nothing to make anyone safer."
so you want your shoes in a bin, yet its not your mess, then you are angry when the shoes come out of the bins. im confused. Dont forget as an American, these are your bins and have been paid for with your tax dollars. so you are actually cleaning up your own mess.
I would like to see the TSA people get paid more to get help wit turning these folks into properly trained and profession people.

Anonymous said...

dutyHONORCOUNTRY said:
"If, a decade ago, we were told that people would soon have to appear naked in order to board an airplane, the claim would have been met by peals of laughter and howls of outrage."
If, a decade ago, we were told that planes on American soil would be hijacked and flow into the Pentagon and the World Trade Centers what do you thing the reaction would have been that claim? and the fact that a man tried to blow up a plane by placing a bomb on his person in areas that are not screened properly because of fear of bad publicity?

George said...

A few years from now I shall look forward to reading the GAO's report on their audit of the TSA's full-body scanners. It will probably be just as as scathing as the SPOT report in detailing the extent to which the scanners are an ineffective waste of money as well as a needless invasion of privacy. The report will get its 15 minutes of attention, after which the TSA will do exactly what they always do after one of those bothersome exercises: Ignore it and keep up business as usual. Blogger Bob will write us a cheery little post about why we should appreciate the scanners because they provide both security and privacy.

Of course, the audit report won't provide any insight into exactly what the hidden officers see and whether they can record it. That discussion will be in the classified version of the report, for National Security reasons. So as always, we'll just have to trust the TSA when they tell us that the scans are family friendly and the machines can't record images. But that won't stop people who inexplicably don't trust the TSA from writing comments.

Hal Nicholson said...

" Anonymous said...

dutyHONORCOUNTRY said:
"If, a decade ago, we were told that people would soon have to appear naked in order to board an airplane, the claim would have been met by peals of laughter and howls of outrage."
If, a decade ago, we were told that planes on American soil would be hijacked and flow into the Pentagon and the World Trade Centers what do you thing the reaction would have been that claim? and the fact that a man tried to blow up a plane by placing a bomb on his person in areas that are not screened properly because of fear of bad publicity?

August 9, 2010 5:34 PM"

I retired from the "business" not too long ago. These scenarios were discussed over & over again for many years and, from time to time, became threats as plots were uncovered by real counterintelligence and police work.

A lot went wrong leading up to 9/11. Passenger screening wasn't one of them.

Anonymous said...

Are strip-search scanners still optional?

Or do i need to cancel my flight for next month?

Cristy Li said...

I have seen your comment made regarding my post, "XXX Full Body Scanners Retain & Send Images Without Consent"

http://www.cristyli.com/?p=9695

Gale D. Rossides, TSA on the 24 Feb, 2010 admitted in a letter to Congressman Bennie Thompson that the "...TSA requires all AIT machines to have the capability to retain and export imagines only for testing, training and evaluation purposes...Images used for operating training were also recorded..."

There is written evidence from the TSA that the TSA does in fact copy/records and retain images of passengers (for testing, training and evaluations) directly contradicting what you have written in your post.

How many of the images that TSA has in their possession, custody and control are of children?

Wouldn't copying nude images of children be child pornography?

Has the TSA obtained the written consent of any passenger prior to copying, retaining and transmitting the nude images of a passenger? If not, why not?

Anonymous said...

Seems like it is not a very useful system if the scanner '...can not store, print, or transmit images'. What if those images contain evidence or provide probable cause for further enforcement action? Seems like the system MUST have these capabilities in order to be useful for it's given purpose.

The press release does not seem to pass the logic test.

HappyToHelp said...

Your friend, Ethel said...
“If the above is true, how does it happen that Ethel Rosenberg's two posts were combined into one?”

Blogger is a third party blog provider (owned by Google). Here is the moderation process. Moderators for the TSA blog can only hit publish or reject. Moderators cannot edit or combine posts. They can only decide to either reject a comment or publish it. If you have further difficulties with blogger, you can use the help section or contact them directly. You can confirm what Bob, West, and I have said by creating your own free blog and moderate your own comments. Cheers :)

Tim
TSA Blog Team

HappyToHelp said...

avxo said…
“So, it is your assertion that the machines deployed at airports absolutely cannot store, transmit or print passenger images. Is that the official TSA position on this matter?”

That is the short version, but yes that is the official position of TSA. The longer version in my opinion is the very detailed Privacy Impact Assessment (July 23, 2009). You can read our other blog post “Advanced Imaging Technology: Storing, Exporting and Printing of Images”. This information has been public since the beginning “While the equipment has the capability of collecting and storing an image, the image storage functions will be disabled by the manufacturer before the devices are placed in an airport and will not have the capability to be activated by operators.” I know for a fact that EPIC has known about this since at least October 17, 2008. You can read the old Privacy Impact Assessment from October 17, 2008 from EPIC’s own website which says the same thing on page 4. Don’t fall for the hype avxo. TSA has been very transparent about its AIT systems. Here is a cbs video (march 2010) that includes both the scan process and remote station. In the video, it is a BXR in a primary screening configuration. You can find other videos that date back as far as 2007, and which include the 4x zoom function.

Tim
TSA Blog Team

HappyToHelp said...

MARKVII said…
“In light of all that, we're supposed to believe that images will not be stored, photographed, etc. The TSA's track record does not inspire confidence.”

TSA’s track record does inspire confidence. You will not find your AIT generated image (assuming you have opted for the scan) on any website, stored, or printed. How long of a track record does TSA need in order to inspire confidence in this area? 4 years… 10 years…. 30 years….

While I cannot predict the future, TSA’s track record in this particular area is solid. If you distrust TSA for other reasons, no one is expecting you to spontaneously trust TSA now. Trust is earned and can only be fixed over time. Happy travels.

Tim
TSA Blog Team

HappyToHelp said...

MARKVII said…
“Now add that WBI's are supposed to be optional, and used for secondary screening, but the reports are that WBI's mandatory and used for primary screening.”

ATI’s are used in both secondary and primary screening configurations depending on what airport you are flying out of (or terminal) as mentioned in the Privacy Impact Assessment, on this blog, and tsa.gov. In both configurations, AIT is optional.

Tim
TSA Blog Team

HappyToHelp said...

Anonymous said...
“Look here to see what the ***** see: http://www.rupture.co.uk/Terminal%204.html”

That is not what Transportation Security Officers see. TSA uses a privacy filter. It does not matter how much detail the machines can produce without the privacy filter. TSA continues to support the use of privacy filters, and has expressed interest in AIT screening algorithms.

Tim
TSA Blog Team

Jeff said...

Imaging machines are made and used for well known purpose, no doubt in that. And all I can say: Big brother is watching you no matter where you go. From one point of view that's OK because we have to protect ourselves from what's called scum. Otherwise, the rest of us can sit and cry.

Anonymous said...

"I use as many bins as I can and leave them..."

You are rude and ignorant. You have no sense of civic cooperation.

Your petty, passive aggressive acts impact your fellow travelers as much, or more, than they impact the TSA.

You boast about your actions when you should be ashamed of your pointless ineffective childishness.

Anonymous said...

"and the fact that a man tried to blow up a plane by placing a bomb on his person in areas that are not screened properly because of fear of bad publicity?"

Why do you bring that up?

Do you think the scanners would have caught the underwear bomber?

You have been listening to too many of Chertoff's sales pitches.

DutyHonorCountry said...

Anonymous said:
If, a decade ago, we were told that planes on American soil would be hijacked and flow into the Pentagon and the World Trade Centers what do you thing the reaction would have been that claim? and the fact that a man tried to blow up a plane by placing a bomb on his person in areas that are not screened properly because of fear of bad publicity?

August 9, 2010 5:34 PM
---
You might recall in 1994 that a Cessna was stolen and flown into the Whitehouse. None of the proposed changes to general aviation post 9/11, were proposed back in '94. There was also a tourist who fired on the whitehouse a few months later.

The Oklahoma City bombing accomplished what four presidential assassinations, eight more attempts, a british invasion, a civil war, two world wars and the first gulf war couldn't: It shut down the street in front of the president's house.


President Clinton said afterwards,
"I will not in any way, allow the fight against domestic and foreign terrorism to build a wall between me and the American people." The thing to note though was that vehicle ban on Pennsylvania Avenue would not have prevented either of the attacks in 1994-1995, or most other previous breaches of security at the White House.

The President ordered the avenue closed to vehicles in the wake of the tragic Oklahoma City , citing possible security risks from trucks carrying terrorist bombs. At the time, the President said the decision wouldn't change very much except the traffic patterns in Washington--but it has. By barricading a symbol of democracy and access which dates back to nearly the birth of this Nation, we've surrendered to fear. Without striking a single match in the vicinity of Washington, the terrorists have won.

Have you been to the White House lately? You'll see what fear looks like. With all the guards, the guns, the cement barriers, the police cruisers, Pennsylvania Avenue now looks like what some are calling a war zone. Or a bunker. This is not the White House of leaders like John Adams and Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln, who defined freedom's essence and took deep pride in being its stewards.

There were precidents for this sort of attack, and the responses at the time would still have never prevented the attacks.

Anonymous said...

Wow, every time I come onto this blog, i'm amazed by the things I read. One anonymous poster says he leaves the bins behind for TSA's poorly trained, unprofessional workers to move, because that's means they are not groping someone's child. Anon: So it's your opinion that by leaving the bins on the conveyor belts and going about your buisness that you are annoying TSA employees? Or making them more useful in some regard? Here's the fact: When you walk away and leave your bins piled up on the x-ray conveyor, you slow down the passengers who are waiting in line behind you. HOW? you may say. It's very simple: too many bins on belt means belt stops while x-ray TSO either gets up to move the bins, or in some cases, because they are told not to do that, they have to wait for another TSO or a more concientious passenger to move them so the belt can start again. So, anon....you're really NOT annoying me, or making me work any harder than I already am....however you are succeeding in making your fellow passengers late for their flights. Congratulations anon, you just became the most loved person in the line.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Canada is starting to get it:
http://www.torontosun.com/news/canad.../14970656.html

“When you do a body scan, immediately you will have enemies,” said Yeffet, noting that some travellers will oppose scans based on privacy, others, including Muslim, travellers may cite modesty.

He's probably right. I expect some disgruntled father or boyfriend to go postal on the TSA, after scanning his wife/daughter/son without permission. Remember the 12 year old girl at Orlando a couple of weeks ago. The TSA boys and girls are probably in greater danger than the traveling public.

Anonymous said...

Are naked body scanners optional for all passengers? Or are they mandatory for some passengers?

if you cannot answer this question please direct me to where I can get it answered....

Myra Soble said...

As noted on Flyertalk, the procurement spec for the WBI also requires:
_________

3.1.1.3.6 Network Interface
The WBI system:
(a) Shall (52) possess an Ethernet network interface equipped with an RJ-45 connector.
(b) Shall (53) support full/half duplex data rates of 10/100 mega-bits per second to support future requirements.
(e) Shall (54) support Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP).
___________

Now, now, Bob, why would TSA REQUIRE the WBI to have Ethernet and TCP/IP capability if there is no intent to store or transmit images?

Even more intriguing, what are the "future requirements" for which data TRANSMISSION rates of up to 100 Mbps will be used?

Seriously, if you're going to make stuff up, it has to be more convincing than this...

Anonymous said...

What date and year are the TSA provided sample images from? I read a blog post that said they are from 2002 and taken from older outdated scanners. Is this true? If you cannot answer this question please direct me to where it can get answered.

Anonymous said...

Why is ELP El Paso not honoring strip-search scanner opt-outs? does the TSA want airlines to lose revenue to make their jobs easier? iI naked body scans are mandatory please tell me so I can stop flying.

RB said...

HappyToHelp said...
Anonymous said...
“Look here to see what the ***** see: http://www.rupture.co.uk/Terminal%204.html”

That is not what Transportation Security Officers see. TSA uses a privacy filter. It does not matter how much detail the machines can produce without the privacy filter. TSA continues to support the use of privacy filters, and has expressed interest in AIT screening algorithms.

Tim
TSA Blog Team

August 10, 2010 1:42 AM
............
Can the WBI operator turn off the privacy filter?

If the images is just an fuzzy outline as TSA claims then just why is a privacy filter needed in the first place?

Anonymous said...

"TSA has been very transparent about its [strip search] systems."

Then why have you refused to post a sample image that's at the same size and resolution as that seen by the operator of the strip-search technology?

Why won't you talk about El Paso?

Why aren't you informing passengers that they can opt out of being strip-searched?

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't have to use so many bins if TSA didn't have so many pointless policies that do nothing to make anyone safer.

Al Ames said...

So H2H, considering the application of the Nude-o-Scopes has changed from merely a primary to secondary and people are being forced thru it like at ELP, why hasn't the PIA been updated? It needs a serious update, and it really isn't valid anymore since the situation has greatly changed.

Al

Blogger Bob said...

I've looked into the ELP issue through their regional public affairs manager and have found what I suspected. Everybody has the option to opt out of the screening at ELP just as they do at any other airport.

Help me out a little. I was on vacation for a while. Where did all of this come? Are there links you can provide me from people who have had this happen to them at ELP?

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

Bob, given that TSA employees are poorly trained, unprofessional, and dishonest, why do you trust the word of the person you talked to at El Paso?

Anonymous said...

Blogger Bob said:

"I've looked into the ELP issue through their regional public affairs manager and have found what I suspected.'

You mean once again nobody admitted they screwed up! Wow. Who would have thought that about the "highly trained and professional" organization that is the TSA!

LOL!

Anonymous said...

Why do you bother asking Bob if you never believe him? I believe you Bobby!

Anonymous said...

http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2010/08/04/lawsuit_challenges_airport_full_body_scanners/

"...that while he was traveling through Logan Airport he was not told the full-body scan was optional. Nor did he see any signs indicating he could have a pat-down."

RB said...

Blogger Bob said...
I've looked into the ELP issue through their regional public affairs manager and have found what I suspected. Everybody has the option to opt out of the screening at ELP just as they do at any other airport.

Help me out a little. I was on vacation for a while. Where did all of this come? Are there links you can provide me from people who have had this happen to them at ELP?

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

August 11, 2010 3:47 PM
..................
Ever hear of newspapers?

A pilot reported that TSA was refusing Opt Outs at El Paso.

It made the papers.

Sebastian said...

What purpose do these machines even serve? The *chance* to catch a potential terrorist?

How is that *chance* worth it when the *chance* of preventing something that's not likely to happen has the cost of destroying the 4th Amendment rights of thousands of innocents in the name of safety?

People have an unreasonable fear of bad things happening on airplanes. Yes, 9/11 was bad, I'm not debating that. However, many more people die each year in car accidents, and yet people still drive without thinking twice about it. Why is it that air travel requires so much "security"?

Why is this even necessary? Must we all travel naked in the name of safety?

Yes, your citizens will be safe if you treat them all like terrorists, but is it worth it? This country wasn't founded on safety, but on liberty and self-determination.

Loosen up on the security. Unless you're staging events to make people think these things are necessary, there shouldn't be many more problems than there are now, and your citizenry will be much happier.

Anonymous said...

looking for an answer to this this question.

Why is the pat-down option not verbally given by the TSO?

Anonymous said...

re: "Tim, TSA Blog Team, August 10, 2010 12:23 AM":

You contradict yourself. First you agree withthe statement "the machines deployed at airports absolutely cannot store, transmit or print passenger images", but then you admit: "the equipment has the capability of collecting and storing an image". Of course you than claim these functions will be disabled.

Here's a free clue: having a function be disabled is not the same as not having that function to begin with!!

Sheesh. And it's people like you, who can't understand the difference between 'disabled' and 'not existing' that are supposedly protecting the rest of us?

HappyToHelp said...

RB said...
"Can the WBI operator turn off the privacy filter?"

Short answer: No.

Long answer: page 9 of the Privacy Impact Assessment.
“In addition to administrative controls imposed by the operating protocols, technical controls also enforce accountability since WBI technology settings are locked and cannot be changed by the TSO operating the equipment.”

RB said…
“If the images is just an fuzzy outline as TSA claims then just why is a privacy filter needed in the first place?”

A privacy filter is applied to the image to protect the passenger’s identity as outlined in TSA’s AIT video, PIA, and this blog. Backscatter images are described by TSA as resembling a chalk etching. Millimeter wave images are described by TSA as being similar to a fuzzy photo negative. You don’t have to take TSA’s word for it as you can view sample images here. What do you think they look like?

Tim
TSA Blog Team

HappyToHelp said...

Anonymous said…
“You contradict yourself. First you agree withthe statement "the machines deployed at airports absolutely cannot store, transmit or print passenger images", but then you admit: "the equipment has the capability of collecting and storing an image". Of course you than claim these functions will be disabled.”

Not a contradictory. You are taking things out of context and are sensationalizing the controversy. When you show up to the airport and submit to a scan, your AIT image will not be stored, transmitted, or printed. When you say the machine can store, transmit, or print AIT images you are absolutely right but are only correct in a certain context. However, you guys are misleading people into believing there scans are going to end up in the wrong hands or on the internet. Some of you have directly claimed so. However, these claims are completely false.

However, others here are going into extreme tech mode. Of course the imager sends the image to the resolution room. Yes they are transmitted. Is this contradictory as well? No. You have to take our public statements in context and consider our broad audience. Not everyone is technical.

If you have other privacy concerns, pleasssssssse read the Privacy Impact Assessment. I can almost assure you the answer to your question will be located there.

Thank you,

Tim TSA Blog Team

HappyToHelp said...

Anonymous said…
“Why is the pat-down option not verbally given by the TSO?”

From the PIA:
“Consent is informed by the availability of signage that explains the technology and shows a sample image.”

Tim TSA Blog Team

Robert Johnson said...

Quote from H2H: "From the PIA:
“Consent is informed by the availability of signage that explains the technology and shows a sample image.”"

Poorly placed, if even there, signs that are often ignored by TSA when someone tries to opt out.

Yeah, that's real informed consent. TSA has tons of signs about 3-1-1 and still has barkers yelling that at the airport. Why not for something that would actually educate someone?

Robert

mflight said...

you have to realize TSO's are instructing thousands if people what to do during their entire shift. There are signs stating that you can receive a patdown instead of the AIT scan. If they do not read the signs, and ask me if they have any options besides the scan, i will gladly inform then, however telling every passanger that they can receive a patdown instead, when the signs is right there before you enter the machine, is not needed.

Anonymous said...

Blogger Bob states that the images that are displayed publicly on body scanning machines are not the exact same size and resolution that the TSA officers sees. So Blogger Bob, are you saying that the TSA is deliberately misleading the public with these images? If a manufacturer of a product advertised his product with an image that bore no relation to what the product actually really looked like, he would be rightly condemned for it. Why is the TSA also not being condemned for such misrepresentation?

RB said...

HappyToHelp said...
RB said...
"Can the WBI operator turn off the privacy filter?"

Short answer: No.

Long answer: page 9 of the Privacy Impact Assessment.
“In addition to administrative controls imposed by the operating protocols, technical controls also enforce accountability since WBI technology settings are locked and cannot be changed by the TSO operating the equipment.”

RB said…
“If the images is just an fuzzy outline as TSA claims then just why is a privacy filter needed in the first place?”

A privacy filter is applied to the image to protect the passenger’s identity as outlined in TSA’s AIT video, PIA, and this blog. Backscatter images are described by TSA as resembling a chalk etching. Millimeter wave images are described by TSA as being similar to a fuzzy photo negative. You don’t have to take TSA’s word for it as you can view sample images here. What do you think they look like?

Tim
TSA Blog Team

August 12, 2010 12:22 AM
.................
So why is a privacy filter needed if the images is either an chalky outline or fuzzy negative image?

The sample images provided by TSA are not what is seen by WBI Child Porno Entertainment Viewers Operators and this fact has been admitted by Curtis Bob Burns, TSA's Blog Operator.

You ask what I think the images look like. I suggest they are extremely revealing otherwise TSA would have no reason to not publish exact images as seen by the TSA Perverts looking at images of naked children.

Anonymous said...

HappytoHelp said...
"your AIT image will not be stored, transmitted, or printed."

How does it then appear on the computer at the remote location?

Is it a live video feed being sent via a loooong cable? Or is a picture taken, a file generated which is then sent via a network to a receiving computer which will then receive that image file and display it?

Anonymous said...

"Backscatter images are described by TSA as resembling a chalk etching. Millimeter wave images are described by TSA as being similar to a fuzzy photo negative. You don’t have to take TSA’s word for it as you can view sample images here."

Are these sample images the same size and resolution as those seen by the operator of the strip-search technology?

Ayn R. Key said...

Happy To Help wrote:
While I cannot predict the future, TSA’s track record in this particular area is solid. If you distrust TSA for other reasons, no one is expecting you to spontaneously trust TSA now. Trust is earned and can only be fixed over time. Happy travels.

I actually cannot believe you wrote that. Given the TSA's track record of lying to us, outright lies, and other assorted abuses, you actually tell us that the TSA's record inspires confidence

What is so solid about their record that can inspire confidence in you? Are you confident and trust that the capabilities that the blog team swears are disabled will be reactivated? Are you confident that the machines will have the ability to store and transmit images?

Or are you required to write that you have confidence?

Bob wrote:
Help me out a little. I was on vacation for a while. Where did all of this come? Are there links you can provide me from people who have had this happen to them at ELP?

Try this:

link

OOps, same problem, different airport. I'm sure that if you ask they'll say nothing happened there either. After all, TSOs never lie.

RB said...

HappyToHelp said...
Anonymous said…
“Why is the pat-down option not verbally given by the TSO?”

From the PIA:
“Consent is informed by the availability of signage that explains the technology and shows a sample image.”

Tim TSA Blog Team

August 12, 2010 12:53 AM

..............
Happy, you do realize that the PIA you keep refering to is out of date since it only mentions "pilot operations to evaluate AIT.

http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/privacy/privacy_pia_tsa_wbiupdate.pdf

So not only is TSA not in compliance with federal regulations in regards to the PIA, TSA is also operating WBI Child Porno Viewers in a manner that is illegal.

No current PIA should require TSA to shut down ALL AIT/WBI/Strip Search machines until complying records have been publish.

TSORon said...

Robert Johnson said...
Yeah, that's real informed consent. TSA has tons of signs about 3-1-1 and still has barkers yelling that at the airport. Why not for something that would actually educate someone?
---------------------------------
One of the reasons that some airports consider it important to have a TSO giving instructions is because while we have “tons of signs” people still ignore them. Its easy to ignore a sign, just don’t read it. Its not so easy to ignore someone who is talking to you.

Anonymous said...

“Consent is informed by the availability of signage that explains the technology and shows a sample image.”

Tim TSA Blog Team


That's nice. Why is the pat-down option not verbally given by the TSO?

Anonymous said...

"One of the reasons that some airports consider it important to have a TSO giving instructions is because while we have “tons of signs” people still ignore them. Its easy to ignore a sign, just don’t read it. Its not so easy to ignore someone who is talking to you."

Ron, thank you for admitting that TSA's signs regarding its strip-search technology are completely inadequate.

Gunner said...

BB said:

I've looked into the ELP issue through their regional public affairs manager

Bob, Bob, Bob, when you are trying to obtain facts, the last person you ever want to ask is in public relations/affairs. They are the pentultimate spin masters who never let the facts interfere with their missions.

Clearly is was a post-vacation lapse in judgement. :)

Anonymous said...

TSORON spewed:

One of the reasons that some airports consider it important to have a TSO giving instructions is because while we have “tons of signs” people still ignore them. Its easy to ignore a sign, just don’t read it. Its not so easy to ignore someone who is talking to you.

Why read the signs when most of them either don't apply or are wrong?

Robert Johnson said...

Quote from ScreenerRon: "One of the reasons that some airports consider it important to have a TSO giving instructions is because while we have “tons of signs” people still ignore them. Its easy to ignore a sign, just don’t read it. Its not so easy to ignore someone who is talking to you."

Sorry, I refuse to dignify a screener as an officer.

That said, you still didn't address the point. You only affirmed that the barkers are there to "educate" people. And if they're there, why aren't the educating people about the strip searchers?

To me, it looks like a matter of convenience. TSA barks at people to make THEIR jobs easier. Get people to do what they say - less bag checks, reruns, etc. With the strip searchers, it's more work for TSA if people opt out. More patdowns, etc. It's easier not to tell people that it's optional and what it does as more might opt out. And well, why would TSA want to make its work "harder" than it is, right?

Robert

Al Ames said...

Gunner, Bob likely contacted his counterpart at ELP to ask. You know, one spinster to another?

Al

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that there is no real way to validate what level of scanning is being done by the TSA. Example images on placards at the airport only show what the government want normal people and potential terrorists to see. If terrorists knew exactly how much scanning was occurring, they could adapt likewise.

Therefore, it is implausible to expect the TSA to be honest about how high the scanning level is set. In effect, the TSA will feed the general public propaganda to stop the enemy from being more diligent in their stealth.

Nice, eh - considering this was the state of the art 4 years ago:
http://rupture.co.uk/Terminal%204.html

Anonymous said...

Anonymous TSORon said...

Robert Johnson said...
Yeah, that's real informed consent. TSA has tons of signs about 3-1-1 and still has barkers yelling that at the airport. Why not for something that would actually educate someone?
---------------------------------
One of the reasons that some airports consider it important to have a TSO giving instructions is because while we have “tons of signs” people still ignore them. Its easy to ignore a sign, just don’t read it. Its not so easy to ignore someone who is talking to you.

August 12, 2010 12:59 PM
==================================

So if you admit ppl are ignoring the signs then why wouldn't the TSO's verbally remind them they have the option to opt out? After all you verbally remind them about 3-1-1 so so why not AIT?

Anonymous said...

A post from:

3.31.2010
Advanced Imaging Technology - Yes, It's Worth It

There is some representation of the areas mentioned, but detail is a very vague question. You can see the images on this very blog on earlier posts and there are even some videos out there that can show some of the "detail" you can see with the AIT. More specifically, what level of detail are you asking about? The resolution does not go down to the hair follicle level, but there is an accurate representation of the body as it is.

West
TSA Blog Team

April 19, 2010 3:49 PM
----------------------------------

So if genital detail and nipples are visible to the image operator but not visible on the TSA provided sample images, then HOW CAN THE SAMPLE IMAGES PROVIDED BE CONSIDERED ACCURATE?????

If you think the sample images are accurate please explain why you think they are accurate.

Olivia said...

Oh for gosh sakes people, grow up! If you cant take time to read the signs maybe you should just drive! Take a train, a bus, a boat, but get out of my way when I am trying to make my flight. And 'Mr I'll take as many bins as I want and hold up the line',you need to learn some manners. Just because you are flying on an airplane does not mean you are mister special. I am on that plane too! I have an artificial knee and it is an absolute Godsend to go through one of these. I'm in and out in a minute! I dont have to stand for 3 minutes w/ my arms out. I wish they had been around long before now! Just because you are embarassed does not mean the rest of us are.

And the TSA people are always so nice to me. I cant say I have run into any real bad apples, but that may be just because I dont try and antagonise them like you lot here.

Dont pay these nasty folks any mind. You nice TSA people just know that many of us are happy to have you around.

Thank you,
Olivia

MarkVII said...

Hi Tim --

Actually, I think you hit my point exactly with "If you distrust TSA for other reasons, no one is expecting you to spontaneously trust TSA now. Trust is earned and can only be fixed over time."

WBI pictures might not be in circulation at this moment, but who knows what some rogue screener will do later? Who's watching the watchers? Too often, it seems that nobody is, and that's why I don't trust the TSA.

There can be such a disconnect between the rhetoric and the reality. The TSA says "there are no children on the NFL". Why, then, are there so many stories of children getting the third degree at the checkpoint because they have the same name as someone on the list? Can't the checkpoint workers figure out "this is a child, and there are no children on the list", and send them on their way?

These continual rhetoric vs. reality disconnects are why I can't help but ask why WBI should turn out any differently from the TSA's other endeavors. The lack of accountability stands in the way of building trust.

Thanks for listening...

Mark
qui custodiet ipsos custodes

Anonymous said...

“Consent is informed by the availability of signage that explains the technology and shows a sample image. - Tim TSA Blog Team”

Went through IND yesterday. MMW in use as well as the old metal detectors.

I saw NO signs showing a sample image.

Was there a sign saying I could opt out? Not sure. There were a couple of very small signs, not near the lines. Seemed to be the smallest sign used. Looked like less than one foot square. No way to read even the large print with out going out of the way to go up to the sign. Don't even think about trying to read the fine print with out going up real close to it.

Is this what TSA is doing? Doing a sleazy "put it on signs and print to small to easily read" routine?

If those small unreadable signs were not the postings then there was no signage. If those tiny signs and print were the signs saying passengers can opt out then TSA is playing a cheap trick.

Sandra said...

From Anonymous:

"So if genital detail and nipples are visible to the image operator but not visible on the TSA provided sample images, then HOW CAN THE SAMPLE IMAGES PROVIDED BE CONSIDERED ACCURATE?????"

TSA never tells the whole story.

At no time has TSA EVER advised the public that the voyeur, in order to hone in on an area of the body, has the ability to increase the size of the image of a body part up to 4x.


Now, I wonder how often that happens "just for kicks."

Sandra said...

Another Anonymous person wrote:

"Ron, thank you for admitting that TSA's signs regarding its strip-search technology are completely inadequate."

Robert Johnson wrote:

"Yeah, that's real informed consent. TSA has tons of signs about 3-1-1 and still has barkers yelling that at the airport. Why not for something that would actually educate someone?"

As both allude to, TSA wants to keep people in the dark about the opt-out policy, which is why the screeners are kept silent about WBI.

Aaron said...

These machines are waste of time and money.

Earl Pitts said...

Olivia, that's fine if YOU CHOOSE to go thru it, you understand it, and have no problem with it. More power to you if you want to use it.

The rest of us who DON'T shouldn't be forced to. And if you think we should, we shouldn't be forced thru because of YOUR in security and because YOU don't think it's a big deal. You're not Ms. Special either. ;)

There are much less invasive screening techniques that can accomplish screening and still ensure safety. TSA just chooses to go for the most invasive.

Also, Olivia, you also make the assumption that we go thru looking for fights. Many of us don't. If I make it thru without more than the standard hassle, I consider that a good thing. That doesn't mean I won't call a screener on something if he's out of bounds. I don't go looking for "trouble", but I won't back down from it either if it presents itself.

@ChicagoWindows "If it really helps to improve the national security situation and it's confidential, I don't mind they storing the images. So the million dollar question is does this machine really help us?"

How does storing the images improve the national security situation. There are only a few places it could help: Prosecution of a criminal and training. For training, TSA can create it's own tests with its own people and items. There's no need to use the public as guinea pigs. This also doesn't consider the fact that who knows what a rogue screener might do with the images.

And just because something is kept confidential doesn't mean it still isn't a violation of privacy. TSA has shown no respect for privacy and I don't expect them to start now.

Earl

Anonymous said...

I had my first experience with the millimeter wave scanner yesterday, along with the cheerful news that TSA wants to replace all the metal detectors with them.

Aaargh.

I don't give a hoot about the "privacy" issues, but the general annoyance and intrusiveness of the whole process just gets worse and worse.

I'd already done my normal stripdown to avoid getting jacked around at the metal detector, including wearing my titanium belt buckle, removing my watch, cellphone, and pocket change. Then the chipper TSA guy announced that everything else had to go, too: belt, wallet, bills in my pocket, couple of pens, and the dreaded tube of Chapstick.

Gee, I feel safer already.

I already spent $200 on a "checkpoint-friendly" computer bag, got the titanium buckle so I could stay more dressed, and, before it was "all shoes through the machine all the time", even changed footwear for trips.

What next? Body cavity searches? I'm about to start shipping all my stuff and showing up for screening buck naked with a tube of Vaseline and a transparent plastic raincoat - but I suspect someday that won't be enough, either.

Stop already. The terrorists that hate our freedom have succeeded by getting us to give it away. Traveling now constitutes tacit permission to be treated like criminals on a grand scale. Osama must be off in a cave somewhere laughing his tail off...

Anonymous said...

i agree with earl! who care about the people that actually see the body scanners as a good thing. this is only a place to complain so lets get some more people to complain and not pay attention to those travelers that like the technology because it helps them.

Teresa S. said...

You have other options. If you don't want to fly because it's just too much for you to handle than don't! You can drive and see our beautiful country or take the train. Oh, I know, take the bus. I bet that is much better than having to deal with TSA!

One more thing, why are you anonymous? What are you trying to hide?

TSORon said...

Anonymous asked...
So if you admit ppl are ignoring the signs then why wouldn't the TSO's verbally remind them they have the option to opt out? After all you verbally remind them about 3-1-1 so so why not AIT?
--------------------------
Because Anon, despite the level of complaint here and at FT about this issue, it is a “non-issue” everywhere else. The folks who frequent these two locations are in fact a very small fraction of a percentage point representing the total number of passengers the TSA screens every day. One or two grains of sand on the beach. Not trying to be offensive, but to be honest the complainers here are far to small a sample for the TSA to take action to placate them. Especially when we all know that no matter how TSA changes things to make them happy it will not be enough, and never will be.

Anonymous said...

>> You have other options.

No, I don't. I deal with emergency situations and often have to be 2000 miles away tomorrow. So unfortunately, I have to put up with the airport security charade. Because I have never been, am not now, and will never be a threat to the security of any aircraft, my main objective at the checkpoint is to get through while being hassled as little as possible. I do whatever I can do to play the game, because I have no choice in the matter, but from my personal point of view, screening is a complete and utter waste of time. The new machines just slow things down and make it worse.

NoClu said...

More would object if they knew the franks n beans were hanging out, detailed images of children are being viewed in remote/private locations, etc.

To be forcibly manhandled, virtually strip searched or otherwise humiliated is disgusting. You shouldn't be treated like a felon in order to fly on a commercial airline.

Anonymous said...

Bob,

Is this proper? (emphasis mine)
After a brief wait a TSO came up and had me proceed through the WTMD and then go off to another area to stand on the footprints. He seemed angry but didn't say anything other than "arms up". He did not explain anything further like using the back of his hand for sensitive areas, offering a private screening area or anything like that. He was the only TSO nearby.

He used both of his hands together and pressed *very hard* as he dragged them down my legs -- enough to pull my pants down a bit. After 30 seconds on the legs and feet HE GRABBED THE FRANK AND BEANS without warning and did a short squeeze. It was hard enough to make me jump an inch into the air. The surprise grab wasn't painful -- just unexpected.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 6:07, you should have called for a police office -- a real cop, not a smurf -- and pressed charges for sexual assault.

Anonymous said...

Teresa S. said...
"One more thing, why are you anonymous? What are you trying to hide"

What is your full name?

What are you trying to hide?

Anonymous said...

Teresa S. said...

You have other options. If you don't want to fly because it's just too much for you to handle than don't! You can drive and see our beautiful country or take the train. Oh, I know, take the bus. I bet that is much better than having to deal with TSA!

One more thing, why are you anonymous? What are you trying to hide?

August 14, 2010 1:54 PM
---------------------------------

How can i drive to Europe? i don't own a hydrofoil (joke). If you are ok with the scanners that's fine with me. But please don't advocate mandatory use of what I view as an overly-invasive strip-search just because you think it will make you safer. Terrorists already know how to defeat these machines.

A serious question:
When the next attack occurs would you be ok with the TSA saving the images with not privacy filters and associating passenger identity to the scan in case an incident happens in the air, if they promise to erase the images when your flight lands?

Anonymous said...

TSO Ron said...
'the complainers here are far too small a sample for the TSA to take action to placate them'.
This is the first truthful thing the TSA have said. Truthful, but also utterly dismissive. Just because complaints are small in number (though many more will have concerns but won't complain) doesn't mean that they should just be ignored or dismissed. By your reasoning an individual complaint should always be ignored, however serious it is, because it is small in number. This is a particularly flawed logic. Your comments also show that Mr Pistole's presumably corporate, as well as private, statement that 'the public's voice is so important.... I'm listening', only applies if there are millions of voices.

Anonymous said...

What date and year are the TSA provided sample images from? Are they taken from the newest generation scanners or an older scanner with outdated software?

If you cannot answer this question please forward it to someone who can.

Anonymous said...

Teresa S. said...

"You have other options. If you don't want to fly..."

Teresa, as I understand it, the TSA has authority to extend its operations to bridges, buses, trains and ferrys.

So the only way to avoid them would be not to fly, not to take a bus, not to take a train or ferry and not to cross a bridge.

Are you ok with an America where federal agents have such an intrusive presence on travel?

I'm not. I was brought up to believe such activity was un-American and the practice of repressive governments.

Earl Pitts said...

@Anon: "i agree with earl! who care about the people that actually see the body scanners as a good thing. this is only a place to complain so lets get some more people to complain and not pay attention to those travelers that like the technology because it helps them."

So what you're saying is that you're ok with using the most invasive techniques to detect threats and forcing everyone thru them even though there are less invasive methods that can accomplish the same goal?

Like I said, if you want to use them, go ahead. Just don't make them mandatory and punish those who opt out for having objections to them on safety, effectiveness and privacy grounds. Use them for secondary and on a voluntary basis only.

Earl

George said...

There is also the fact that the TSA no longer subjects passengers to "Whole Body Imaging." Instead, they now provide highly effective protection using "Advanced Imaging Technology."

It seems that the TSA's Propaganda Department has quietly found a Final Solution to the insignificantly tiny number of disgruntled individuals who still have concerns about the scanners and still insist on calling them a "virtual strip search." Just change the name to something high-tech and reassuring, that's completely free of any suggestion of privacy invasion, and you've solved the problem!

If passengers remain blissfully ignorant of what the scans actually involve, they'll be good docile little sheep who will happily obey when the TSO bellows the command to raise their hands above their head. And who could possibly object to Advanced Imaging Technology? We want the latest Advanced Technology, because that's the key to keeping us very very safe against those horrible, evil terrorists. I don't care what it is. As long as it's Advanced Technology, I want it! And I want it now!

And I feel doubly safe knowing that even if some unspeakably evil terrorist somehow gets something hazardous through the Advanced Technology, the SPOT officers will immediately recognize the distinctive signs of subterfuge and save us!

HappyToHelp said...

Anonymous said...
"That's nice. Why is the pat-down option not verbally given by the TSO?"

If you ask, you will be informed. However, giving you a choice verbally is not needed for consent. You should also read mflight’s post. If you believe TSO’s should present an option verbally, just say so. No need to ask questions to make hidden statements. Just my 2 cents Cheers :)

Tim
TSA Blog Team

HappyToHelp said...

Reply to MarkVII August 12, 2010 11:22 PM

Hey Mark,

You bring up a good point about accountability and how a lack there of can hinder public trust. However, I don’t agree with your example you used for rhetoric vs. reality, but I do know exactly what you are talking about. Not going to go into detail why I don’t agree with your example as I don’t want to draw away from your post, and your intended points (plus the NFL is off topic).

While I have seen many improvements from when I first started working for TSA (such as creating this blog), TSA has a long ways to go. I really do think that AIT can be one of those examples were actions speak louder than words, and could possibly bring more trust than distrust. Of course, this cannot happen overnight. Thanks for your perspective by the way. It’s a nice change from child porn rhetoric.

Tim
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

"I really do think that AIT can be one of those examples were actions speak louder than words, and could possibly bring more trust than distrust."

How is taking naked pictures of children with technology your agency is congenitally incapable of telling the truth about building trust?

Anonymous said...

HappyToHelp said...
TSA has a long ways to go. I really do think that AIT can be one of those examples were actions speak louder than words, and could possibly bring more trust than distrust.
-------------------------------------

Please explain how AIT will gain trust? The TSA will never catch or deter a terrorist using AIT (unless he is a decoy), so how will you gain trust without any results?

Anonymous said...

Please post information about how we can get a supervisor while traveling when a TSA agent claims body scanning is required. This happened to me in Phoenix. I demanded a supervisor but rather than provide one the agent simply referred me to secondary screening. I wanted the supervisor to address the blatant lie told by the screener. The screener at the second checkpoint refused to contact a supervisor and cautioned if I persisted in requesting one I would be detained for obstruction. I wish to remain anonymous. Please publish this question and your answer in the blog.

Al Ames said...

So H2H, are you saying that NOT speaking up and railroading people into the strip searches is more for TSA convenience? What's so hard about saying that it's optional?

Seems like it's about what's easier for you guys. An opt out actually makes you guys do something.

Al

Anonymous said...

My goal is to publicize to many people that the TSA plans to strip search children.

That should scare every TSO. All that is needed is a few people who still love the constitution to make a cell phone call from the other side of the screening booth.

Everyone knows your signage is inadequate. It will be entirely believable if a few dozen people say "I thought it was a metal detector, I would never have sent my kid through it." It will be up to the TSA to prove they knew ahead of time that it was a peep show booth.

HappyToHelp said...

Al Ames said...
"So H2H, are you saying that NOT speaking up and railroading people into the strip searches is more for TSA convenience?"

No.

Al Ames said...
"What's so hard about saying that it's optional?"

It’s not.

Al Ames said...
"Seems like it's about what's easier for you guys. An opt out actually makes you guys do something."

A conclusion based on your own answers to your questions.

Tim
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

"It seems that the TSA's Propaganda Department has quietly found a Final Solution to the insignificantly tiny number of disgruntled individuals who still have concerns about the scanners and still insist on calling them a "virtual strip search." "

We know what happened the last time a government devised a "final solution"
HEIL TSA!

Ayn R. Key said...

Hi anonymous copycat.

At least this time you copied my words into a different entry. Last time you copied them into the exact same blog entry

Anonymous said...

"A conclusion based on your own answers to your questions."

And also one that is incontrovertibly true, and which you don't even attempt to refute.

Al Ames said...

H2H, it's also a conclusion gathered from the screener comments and observation.

If it's easy to say "Step into this machine" it's also easy to say "It's optional." I have yet to here any explanation why it's not said. Ronnie said TSA has barkers because people ignore signs - it needs them to get the message across. Yet TSA claims that there's a sign saying it's optional, so nothing else needs to be done. So let's be real. Either signs are useless because no one pays attention or they're useful and the barkers are a waste of resources. Which is it? You can't have it both ways.

Al

HappyToHelp said...

Ayn R. Key said...
“Hi anonymous copycat.

At least this time you copied my words into a different entry. Last time you copied them into the exact same blog entry”

Looks like you have a secret admirer. Imitation is the highest form of flattery. :)

Tim
TSA Blog Team

HappyToHelp said...

Anonymous said...
“And also one that is incontrovertibly true, and which you don't even attempt to refute.”

That is not true. Why do you think it is true? Are these more unfounded accusations?

How about we skip the usual 30 posts “did you mean to say” or “did you imply” and just get to the root of the issue (take the high road). Why do you guys think that a TSO should inform verbally and why? What is the verbiage and why, if any? Will this idea slow the line down? How does it help operations? How does it help passengers? Does it improve security?

If we can work together to form some kind of suggestion for TSA operations, I would be happy to submit the idea for you guys. Please use as much detail as possible as this can only help. Thank you.

Tim
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

"Why do you guys think that a TSO should inform verbally and why?"

Because the strip-search technology is grossly invasive, dangerous, and you have been dishonest about it from the start.

"What is the verbiage and why, if any?"

Something that informs each citizen that they have the right to decline to be strip-searched would be a good start.

"Will this idea slow the line down?"

You've never asked this about any other policy you've implemented, so why start now?

"How does it help operations? How does it help passengers?"

I don't care about your operations. It helps passengers by fully informing them of their option not to be strip-searched.

"Does it improve security?"

Non sequitur. The strip-searches (like the shoe carnival, war on some liquids carried by some people, etc.) don't improve security in the first place, so I'm not sure why you're now pretending to care about that question.

Anonymous said...

"Ronnie said TSA has barkers because people ignore signs"

And I reply; "What signs?"

Are these signs in place at IND?

Are these the small signs with small print that are placed out of the way and can not be read without leaving the line and walking over to them?

Anonymous said...

Perverts! My 12 year old daughter was forced to be scanned in BOS. Yes, forced because she was not informed that it was optional and she was lead to believe that she had to be scanned to be allowed to return home to Florida. What kind of country has this become? A country of Federal perverts! Great, no sign saying it is optional. Just a sign that says you should get a job with the TSA where Federal benefits and X-ray vision come standard. Just to let you know, my 12 year old daughter is not an Islamic terrorist!

Anonymous said...

RE: 12 year old not told about OPT-OUT

Make sure you file a complaint with TSA and CC to epic.org
Epic.org is our best hope to eliminate these strip-search machines. You might also want to consult with a lawyer about possible legal action. This same thing happened to a 12 year old in Tampa about a month ago.
http://www.lawyers.com/our-blog/archives/271-TSA-Body-Scan-of-12-Year-Old-Girl-Outrages-Parents.html
Just for your reference, here's what they see (as of 4 years ago). The images have better resolution today:
http://dams.rca.ac.uk/res/sites/Show2006/Images06/John_Wild_1.jpg

Ayn R. Key said...

Anonymous wrote:
Perverts! My 12 year old daughter was forced to be scanned in BOS.

Call the Boston PD and report a sex offender. Do it before the TSA destroys the records of who was on duty that day.

Anonymous said...

i think that you are consenting to a search once you enter the line?

Daryl said...

On the subject of signage: I went to New Mexico on business in March. Going through ABQ on the return leg, the TSO was directing people to the AIT machine -- no mention of the pat-down option. When I got to him, I informed him that I was opting out of the AIT. He first told me I couldn't, then grudgingly admitted I had the right to opt for a pat-down instead. He then asked me, "Did you read that on a sign somewhere?" I told him, "No, I read it on your organization's website."

Anonymous said...

Proof that the TSA ARE Storing naked body scan images.

EPIC has published a letter from US senators and the Homeland Security Committee to the U.S Marshalls Service, 20 August, 2010.

In it it states:
'As you are probably aware, the TSA has employed PROTOCOLS for the use of AIT that include a prohibition on the storage or retention of images from whole body scans in MOST CIRCUMSTANCES'.

The crucial words here are MOST CIRCUMSTANCES. This means that SOME images ARE stored ( probably ones which cause the scanners to alarm. Most alarms will turn out to be entirely harmless and innocent). These images that are stored MUST be taken of passengers in an airport environment, and not of TSA volunteers in a laboratory environment, because you do not need privacy PROTOCOLS in a laboratory testing environment.
The Homeland Security Committee is rebuking the U.S Marshalls Service for storing images, and yet it admits that the TSA is doing the same thing. This is hypocrisy of the highest level.

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "Proof that the TSA ARE Storing naked body scan images.

EPIC has published a letter from US senators and the Homeland Security Committee to the U.S Marshalls Service, 20 August, 2010.

In it it states:
'As you are probably aware, the TSA has employed PROTOCOLS for the use of AIT that include a prohibition on the storage or retention of images from whole body scans in MOST CIRCUMSTANCES'.

The crucial words here are MOST CIRCUMSTANCES. This means that SOME images ARE stored ( probably ones which cause the scanners to alarm. Most alarms will turn out to be entirely harmless and innocent). These images that are stored MUST be taken of passengers in an airport environment, and not of TSA volunteers in a laboratory environment, because you do not need privacy PROTOCOLS in a laboratory testing environment.
The Homeland Security Committee is rebuking the U.S Marshalls Service for storing images, and yet it admits that the TSA is doing the same thing. This is hypocrisy of the highest level."

So let me get this straight, you are using a letter from EPIC to the US Marshals service asking them to use the SAME protocols that TSA uses, as proof that the agency is retaining passenger imagery? Please detail that logic chain for me. It would seem that TSA has set a higher standard in privacy regulations than may be used by other agencies. The AIT machines at the airport have the ability to retain, transmit or record images disabled as has been previously stated here in many blog threads.

West
TSA Blog Team



http://epic.org/Senators_Letter_US%20Marshals_8-19-10.pdf

Anonymous said...

TSA PROBABLY does have stronger privacy protocols than the U.S Marshals Service, but then that would not be difficult. The point is they are not strong enough.
Prohibition of the strorage or retention of images in airports in MOST circumstances is not good enough. Under what circumstances are SOME images stored? It cannot just be for research and testing because you would not need privacy protocols under these circumstances. You state the facility for storage in body scanners is disabled by the manufacturer before they reach the airport. Maybe, but there is no INDEPENDENT proof of this. We only have the 'truthful' word of the TSA for this. It may well be true, but the TSA has a perceived reputation for NOT being honest. If there was INDEPENDENT and authoritative proof that under no circumstances could scanners store images in airports then that would go a long way to address this particular concern. But there isn't, and the TSA will not allow it - why not?

Anonymous said...

Ayn R. Key said...
Call the Boston PD and report a sex offender. Do it before the TSA destroys the records of who was on duty that day.

Slightly offtopic here....
Boston PD doesn't have jurisdiction over BOS/Logan Airport. Only the Massachusetts State Police does... I kid you not.

http://wbztv.com/specialreports/boston.police.power.2.783223.html

MarkVII said...

Hi Tim -- RE your comments August 17, 2010 3:07 AM.

First off, thank you for your appreciation of my perspective. Though I'm an admitted TSA detractor, I do try to be a force for positive change. (After all, it's the bit of grit that causes the oyster to produce a pearl.)

In the middle of this discussion of trust, it's ironic that there's a new thread on the blog about ID checkers not honoring valid ID's. This is not a new issue -- it came up as soon as the ID requirement was instituted over two years ago. If the TSA has this much trouble with training and accountability with this comparatively simple situation, it doesn't inspire trust relative to more complex situations, such as WBI.

(OBTW, I just submitted my suggested solution to that thread a little while ago.)

It's also ironic that the chatter on this blog continues to mention unnecessary yelling at the checkpoint, plus threats.

I think the TSA would be better served to concentrate on mastering the basics, such as knowing its own rules, and how to do its job with civility and courtesy. Once that's taken care of, you'd probably encounter less resistance to WBI.

All that being said, I believe in two "words to live by" that NASA adopted after the Apollo 1 fire -- competent and accountable. I also believe in the Marine Corps' 11 traits of a leader. (http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/usmc/leadership_traits.htm), particularly Integrity, Knowledge and Tact.

They'd be good bedtime reading for everyone in the TSA.

Mark
qui custodiet ipsos custodes

Jerome Howard said...

Anonymous said...

Perverts! My 12 year old daughter was forced to be scanned in BOS. Yes, forced because she was not informed that it was optional and she was lead to believe that she had to be scanned to be allowed to return home to Florida. What kind of country has this become? A country of Federal perverts! Great, no sign saying it is optional. Just a sign that says you should get a job with the TSA where Federal benefits and X-ray vision come standard. Just to let you know, my 12 year old daughter is not an Islamic terrorist!

August 20, 2010 8:36 AM


I'll admit I've never been a parent. But, I am an uncle of several precious teenage young women. The TSA is absolutely distasteful.

Marsdirt said...

Ben Franklin Said that "Those who would give up liberty for security deserve neither". Your privacy is guaranteed by the Constitution. By Constitutional law (which is being ignored) Officers must present evidence of some wrong doing to a judge and obtain a search warrant before he may ask you to remove you or your wife's or your daughter's clothing (either physically or with a strip-search machine)"1984" was not supposed to be an instruction manual. These machines need to be banned.

George said...

@Anonymous, August 22, 2010 5:30 AM: If there was INDEPENDENT and authoritative proof that under no circumstances could scanners store images in airports then that would go a long way to address this particular concern.

I suspect that within a few years, some member of Congress will request a GAO audit of Advanced Imaging Technology. The audit report will very tactfully declare AIT a useless waste of billions of dollars that provides no useful security but has a significant potential for serious abuse of passenger privacy.

The DHS will vigorously defend the program against the GAO's unfounded attacks, make it clear that they have absolutely no tolerance for any outside meddling, and then exercise their Absolute Prerogative to ignore all the GAO's recommendations.

Blogger Bob will write an appropriate spin post telling us how nearly all passengers appreciate and support Advanced Imaging Technology because it provides advanced security protection as well as advanced privacy protection. Hundreds of comments will complain about "puppy post" and "liar."

And by then the TSA will be in the process of rolling out its Advanced Internal Screening Initiative, in reaction to a Ugandan plot involving explosives secreted in nether parts fortunately uncovered at a very early stage. Blogger Bob's initial post will explain that the secret SOP requires Internal Inspection Officers to put on fresh gloves and apply a classified quantity of classified lubricant before screening each passenger. So those reports in various newspapers about TSOs responding to requests for clean gloves and lubricants with "Do you want to fly today?" are therefore unfounded because that should never happen.

But there isn't, and the TSA will not allow it - why not?

Because the TSA believes that any outside interference with any part of their operation would do grave damage to National Security. And besides, their internal controls and audits are more than sufficient to ensure the effectiveness of all aspects of TSA operations. Those controls and the results of the audits are all classified for National Security reasons, so we'll have to trust them on that.

Ayn R. Key said...

George wrote:
And by then the TSA will be in the process of rolling out its Advanced Internal Screening Initiative, in reaction to a Ugandan plot involving explosives secreted in nether parts fortunately uncovered at a very early stage.

No no, that particular attack was attempted in Saudi Arabia. I was surprised the TSA didn't institute cavity searches after that.

Anonymous said...

Many people have asked the TSA to publish what the naked body scans REALLY look like. EPIC in their litigation documents against the DHS show us much more accurately than the TSA pictures what the scans really look like: Exhibit 1: Image from Body Scanner Machine. This image shows everything in graphic detail - genitals and even pubic hair. You can even tell what religion this man is. Imagine the detail when it is zoomed X4. This is what the images really look like.

Anonymous said...

Why has my last post been blocked?

Anonymous said...

If people want to know what the naked body scans REALLY look like then take a look at EPIC. In their legal action against the DHS and the TSA as part of the litigation documents they have published Exhibit 1: Image form Body Scanner Machine. This shows the body in graphic detail - genitals and even pubic hair. You can even tell what religion this man is. Imagine what it looks like when the genitals are zoomed in X4.

RB said...

I guess TSA really doesn't need to save WBI Kiddie Porn Machine images since they have started feeling the little kiddies up with the TSA GROPE CHILDRENS PRIVATES ENAHANCED PAT DOWN SCREENING policy.

planensimple said...

Hey, if you can't handle the screening process, take the bus!! Stop all your whining and your fairy tails of how you want to be striped searched. We want to make sure you don't have anything that can take a plane down, then you can get your behind outta the way so we can make sure the guy behind you doesn't have anything to bring down your flight.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Bob, your way off base here.

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=972_1262283908

Please view the link to see exactly was TSA screener's see.

Warning: Nudity at 0:40.

Anonymous said...

"Hey, if you can't handle the screening process, take the bus!!"

It won't help.

The TSA has authority to electronically strip us and grope us if we want to board buses.

They can also do this at bridges, trains and ferry's.

How long before being on a public street 'is a privilege not a right'?

Richard Weil said...

Was just at Washington National Airport (to use its proper name) and there was nothing saying the scanner was optional. Wife didn't have to use it, but I was told to. When I emptied my pockets and was done, the TSA person told me to "pick up my trash." A just lovely person doing useless work...next time somebody may hide something in a body cavity, and all the scanners in the world will be shown to be useless.

Anonymous said...

Some stranger seeing me naked even for a second is violating. I saw the picture in the paper that they printed out from the machine. You can see the image very well. I find this disturbing!

Anonymous said...

I don't trust any member of the security theater. If your lips are moving you are lying.

Nicky said...

Even if they can't be stored, nothing is stopping workers from using cell phones to snap shots. And my bigger concern is the cancer-causing radiation levels. It is strongly advised that individuals NEVER undergo more than 4 scanning of this level in their entire lifespan. Frequent flyers will experience drastic health issues later with this high dose of radiation.

Anonymous said...

The only way we (the public) are going to get these things out of our airports is a concerted effort to have EVERYONE opt out.

Stage an "opt out" day for those traveling on one of the busiest days of the year (close to Thanksgiving or Christmas) and watch the chaos ensue. You'll have the ATA screaming so loud in Washington that maybe they'll finally get the picture that we don't want or need them to make air travel safe.

Anonymous said...

I am worried about the radiation. I've had LOTS of radiation in my 20s, well beyond what I should, and there is no need to expose me to any more for nothing. I already refuse a lot of medical x-rays.

Due to a chronic illness, I also have to wear diapers most of the time. I am terrified that the TSA screeners will notice this and either pull me out of line for a stripsearch--convinced that I am smuggling something--or make fun of me.

This happened once at LAX soon after TSA started up. I don't know why, I was the only person there in line (it was a small wing of the airport). He made me stand in a little box made out of tape on the floor, forbidden to leave the "box" while he tore out the contents of my small carryon bag, the only luggage for a one-day trip.

I had my asthma inhalers, two autoinjection syringes (with prescription to me), two days worth of oral medication and two diapers in the bag.

The screener held the diapers up between thumb and forefinger and showed them to his buddies, making rude comments about me and going through everything like it was contraband. It was a big joke to them, but they kept warning me not to say anything or leave my "box".

Finally, more passengers showed up and he got bored and let me go. I was left to scoop up my belongings and try to get out of there without either shouting or crying.

What about when they can take pictures of me? We already know they do thing like this with the new machines from that TSA worker in Miami last May when they made fun of his genitals until he snapped.

Plus, this is "sham technology", the same guy who tried the "printer cartridge bomb" ALREADY blew up his own brother as a suicide bomb with the explosives in his rectum trying to kill some Saudi prince...they're not going to smuggle things you can see on a scanner like this. These machines will not help one bit, it's just hassle and abuse for the honest folks.

Now, I am NOT in ANY WAY suggesting this sort of poor behavior TSA policy or something every screener does--most have been fine, some even nice to me.

But we all know from experience now that one of them will do it sooner or later. I know it better than most.

Anonymous said...

Spent :20 typing a detailed comment, with citations and a story to have the system tell me it was too long and delete it.

Nice,

Anonymous said...

I am a US Navy veteran, hold an active Top Secret clearance, have traveled on business purposes for two decades, travel by air solely on DoD business in recent years, and have been subjected to searches on too many originating flights to count. These searches are 100% ineffective due to the specific lack of profiling.

The decision to use x-ray scans and/or invasive pat-downs on American citizens without reasonable cause and a warrant issued by a court of competent jurisdiction is an act of tyranny, plain and simple. It violates the core principles upon which this nation was founded, and adds absolutely no value to my safety as an air traveler.

In the best case scenario, the TSA serves absolutely no purpose other than to give the general populace a false sense of safety. In the worst case, as we find at hand, the TSA tears at the fabric of liberty and commits an act of domestic terror, if not outright treason, by providing aid and comfort to the enemies of the American people.

The first male of my line from Europe came to these shores in 1670 to escape persecution by tyrants. My wife's people came in 1673 as a result of continued defiance over Cromwell's conquest of Ireland. Our people have lived humbly, given much, and asked nothing but freedom.

This is not the nation that I and my father, uncles, and cousins served to protect and defend. Some of them paid with their lives; others in ways that only those who have known the true horrors of war can truly understand.

While Michelle Obama might be proud of this nation for the first time in her life, I am sorry to say that I am deeply ashamed of what we've become.

Any member of the TSA supportive of your policies is no better than the Nationalsozialismus (Nazis) of Hitler's Germany.

Anonymous said...

Having traveled often to China and Japan, what I find most striking is the difference in the way the Chinese and Japanese security personnel comport themselves compared to many of the TSA personnel. The Chinese and Japanese are courteous and professional. However, I have found many, not all, of the TSA personnel to be very discourteous, rude, belligerent, combative and abusive. Traveling in the US is very unpleasant, and for what? Has the TSA prevented any terrorist activity? I believe the answer is no.

Anonymous said...

If some terrorist puts a bomb in his anus or vagina what then? WIll we have to drop our pants and bend over in front of everyone? Where does it end? Drug mules swallow their product, what if a terrorist does the same? Will we be required to have a CAT scan to fly? How much crap are you willing to put up with? This is why I am afraid to leave home.

Anonymous said...

"TSA has not, will not and the machines cannot store images of passengers at airports."

Just using some logic; The TSA is destroying potential evidence, that would be irresponsible and if they are saving the images then they are.... surprise lying to us. My guess is they a storing a perfect 3D color head to toe image.

Anonymous said...

The TSA's response to all of this leaves a lot to be desired. Their own documents clearly state that the ability to store/save images is a requirement which was met by the hardware being used. These machines not only can save and store data, they have to before the TSA will certify them for use... Seems like either someone is flat out lying, or the left hand has no idea what the right hand is doing.

Julie said...

I don't care what TSA does/does not do regarding my clearance to fly if it keeps me and fellow passengers from falling from the sky in charred little pieces of burnt flesh. We want safety but then criticize TSA for trying to keep us safe. You will never keep everyone happy so opt for keeping everyone safe instead. Continue to do a great and thorough job TSA.

Sam said...

So, since you "can't" store images, how come the manufacturer's documents say otherwise? And how do you explain the 100 pictures released?

Anonymous said...

Does TSA implement procedures to check their agents from using the camera from their personal cellular phone to take the pictures?

Anonymous said...

If there is no "storage" of images, then why did the contracts include requirements for USB ports, virus protection software, and connections for a "constant assessment" which transfers data from field units to presumably DHS servers. All ofthese features indicate, or prove, external data connections of the e-strip machines to somewhere else. The "storage" does not have to be in the units, not with these types of design requirements.

Anonymous said...

Internet sites are abuzz about Wikileaks about to release TSA AIRPORT photos and internal TSA communications. If this happens, what will your blog group have to say about this?

Anonymous said...

Ah, the power of google...
You sir are incorrect:

User's manual states otherwise:

Q: Can the SECURE 1000 images be saved?

A: The images acquired with the system can be saved on the system's hard disk or transferred to floppy disk for training and legal documentation. The stored images can be recalled and viewed on the system monitor or on any IBM compatible personal computer with color graphics.

Anonymous said...

If the machines are unable to store or transmit images, please explain why DHS is writing standards for how images from these machines can be transmitted to analysis centers.

This is a fact.

Writing "Advanced imaging technology cannot store, print, transmit or save the image" is simply untrue. Either you have inaccurate information, or you're actively misleading the public. Which is it?

Anonymous said...

It seems to me TSA agents are now posing as sworn law enforcement officers. The only pat downs that are constitutional in the United States are administered by a sworn officer who has reasonable suspicion or probable cause to detain you for such a search. The TSA is going to have to show people the law that states their agents are sworn officers, fulling empowered to perform pat downs when a citizen is suspected of criminal activity or admit what the TSA is doing is a violation of the 4th amendment rights of each citizen attempting to board an airplane.

Anonymous said...

In short, I believe airport security is a sham. What's more it is too costly, ineffective and very inefficient. I am a very frequent traveler and am appalled at the ineffective nature of the "one size fits all" security procedures at airports. I'm 52, born and raised in the US, have ancestors who fought in every major war including the war for Independence from England, I've got a wife and 5 kids, attend a Christian, non-violent church and would be willing to submit to an annual background check and complete vetting so that my fingerprint or some other biometric data could get me past security. I know the rules and follow them and am willing to take an oath. Why are we screening everyone the same way? The odds against me being a terrorist are astronomical! This is nuts and should be stopped. Use better methods to screen high risk individuals, allow frequent fliers to have a way past all this and let's be effective AND efficient. This is wasting money. I've seen 80 year old couples screened extra because they had some metal in their body that set off the alarms. Help!

Anonymous said...

Just to throw a spanner in the works. What if the scanners do not store the photos (big IF). What is stopping the operator having their cell in the room and making a copy..
Also as the US Navy vet said, these are just ineffective. Only to make the public feel they are safe.. Guess I fly the Kangaroo route to Oz and not LAX.

Richard Weil said...

“I don’t know why everybody is running to buy these expensive and useless machines. I can overcome the body scanners with enough explosives to bring down a Boeing 747. That’s why we haven’t put them in our airport." — Rafi Sela, leading Israeli airport security expert, referring to Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport.

Here's a question for the floor: If scanners are so great, why is the TSA planning to only put them in some airports? Obviously a person who wants to hide something a scanner would allegedly find only has to enter the system through an airport without one. This is like building a dam with holes in it. Or is the long-term plan to demand billions more to put these worthless things everywhere?

Anonymous said...

Has anyone raised any "Bivins Actions" against any of the TSA agents? I believe the use of these scanners is a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment. It does not matter that the scans are not stored; what matters is that the intruding eye of the government is invading privacy without a search warrant. See Katz, and also see Kyllo v. United States (Use of Thermal imaging device was unconstitutional, despite the fact that it did not provide for "through-the-wall" surveillance. However, these scanners provide "through-the-wall" surveillance, and are likely moreover unconstitutional.

Furthermore, it seems that there are less burdensome effective alternatives for the government to achieve their ends (to deter and prevent an act of terrorism from occurring). There have been some cases that have held that liberties may bend in light of protection during times of war, but it seems that these screenings do not constitute a bend in liberty more what they appear to be a deprivation of those liberties.

Anonymous said...

Please see U.S. Supreme Court Cases U.S. v. Katz, Kyllo v. U.S. It does not matter if the images are saved or not.

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