Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Airport Testing of New Advanced Imaging Technology Software Begins Today!


Monitor Showing Alarms
Monitor Showing Alarms

***Updated 2/2/2011 to upload image showing alarms.***

I can remember the first time we blogged about Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT). It was referred to as Whole Body Imaging back then, and is now more commonly referred to by the flying public as a “Body Scanner” as well as a few other clever but inaccurate monikers.

Anyway, ever since we first started talking about them, a small percentage of travelers have had privacy concerns with the AIT machines, and we have addressed those concerns in a variety of ways. TSA has implemented strict measures to protect passenger privacy, which is ensured through the anonymity of the image. A remotely located officer views the image and does not see the passenger, and the officer assisting the passenger cannot view the image. The image cannot be stored, transmitted or printed, and is deleted immediately once viewed. Additionally, there is a privacy algorithm applied to blur the image.

We are always looking for new technology and procedures that will both enhance security while strengthening privacy protections. That’s why we worked with the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Science & Technology Directorate (S&T) and private industry to develop the software, and began testing in labs in Fall of 2010.

The software will be tested at Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS) starting today, February 1, and at Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International (ATL) and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) in the very near future.

So if you’re scratching your head at this point and asking, “What in the heck does this software do?”, it works with our AIT machines and eliminates passenger-specific images and replaces them with the generic outline of a person (see image below).

Here’s how it works: You step into the AIT machine and the new software will automatically detect potential threats and show their location on a generic image of a person. The image is on a monitor that is attached to the AIT unit in public view. Because this eliminates privacy concerns, we no longer have to staff an officer in a separate room.

If there are areas that need to be searched, the monitor will display this image.

If there are areas that need to be searched, the monitor will display this image.
If there are no potential threats, there will be no image and the monitor will look like this.

If there are no potential threats, there will be no image and the monitor will look like this.















Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team


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229 comments:

1 – 200 of 229   Newer›   Newest»
Mike E said...

If everything in your second paragraph is true, why the need to spend more money on this new technology?

Don't get me wrong, I like this idea and think it should have been in place from the beginning.

I just think it's funny how for months you guys have been saying, "There's nothing to worry about! Stop worrying about it, we promise it's not an invasion of privacy!" and then you announce this new feature that eliminates all the concerns that supposedly shouldn't have existed in the first place.

In other words, thanks for acknowledging that all the people calling them "nude-o-scopes" and such were right all along.

Anonymous said...

does ANYONE believe this?

Anonymous said...

TSA,

When are you going to publish an independent (e.g. non-government agency) study that addresses the long-term health effects of these AIT machines? Do the new scanners emit additional radiation? It's an issue that is consistently raise on this blog and the TSA just ignores the issue every week.

The TSA is a stark reminder for American taxpayers of how government bureaucrats become disconnected and unconcerned with the rights of the citizens they are supposed to protect.

SSSS for some reason said...

This begs the question of why you brought out the scanners before this bit of software was ready? It seems like you could have avoided a lot of press, some good some bad, if this would have been your starting point instead of the naked images.

And, as a follow up question.... now that you don't need the officer 'in the back room' watching the scanner images, are you reducing the overall work force? Or increasing the number of agents working the security line to move passengers through a bit faster to avoid long lines in some airports?

Raymond Woodbury said...

I'm glad you're getting rid of the moronic blurring of the very areas terrorists have hid explosives, as well as the separate room gimmick with the fiction of being sure the TSO there did not have a camera.

It will be interesting to see if, combined with the advantage of the TSO at the AIT seeing it, the lack of precision in that output image makes identifying contraband harder. It seems to me this revision to the process will always or almost always require a second scan if something alarms, something I'm not sure was the case with the current process.

Finally there is still the concern that not enough is known about radiation that all goes into, rather than through, the body. I still wonder if a typical x-ray could be a better choice.

SSSS for some reason said...

Still no addressing the Radiological Exposure concerns?

I don't like the scanners on principal. Their legality is still under debate, and their Constitutional merit will be decided much, much later.

But the radiation exposure is now.

Every passenger who steps into one of these machines. Every TSA Agent working in and around these machines is being exposed multiple times a day.

I know, I know, I read all the links and reports and stuff and the exposure level is really quite small. But it is not Zero, not even close to zero. And there are far too many questions about how the machines are maintained, what safeguards (if any) are in place to protect either the Agents or the Passengers when a machine goes out of calibration. And if the reported radiological dose is so small, why can't the Agents wear dosimeter badges to prove it?

RB said...

"09/17/2010

ATR provides additional privacy protections and eliminates the need to staff an extra officer in a private room. We’re very interested in this next generation software, but ATR in its current form does not meet TSA’s screening requirements,"


What happened in the months since September?

TSA afraid of losing Strip Search Machines altogether?

Will this ATR do anything to get rid of the unsafe Backscatter Xray Machines?

Anonymous said...

And yet you continue this radiation experiment on millions of people. Ten or twenty years from now, this may be almost as infamous as the Tuskaegee Experiment.

Anonymous said...

You state this new ATR ELIMINATES privacy concerns. No it doesn't.
For people with sensitive and highly private prosthetics such as mastectomy prostheses, to name but one, it will NOT eliminate their privacy concerns. Because their prosthesis will now be highlighted on the monitor in FULL PUBLIC VIEW it will actually increase privacy concerns for such individuals.

Anonymous said...

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Anonymous said...

You need to edit your post to explain that this software apparently only applies to MMV machines. It is not in use for backscatter.

Given that the TSA utilizes more backscatter than MMV at airports (considerably more, actually), I think the TSA blog needs to make this point quite clear.

Further, this is the same software that's been in place for over a year at AMS and other international airports. Why such a delay for the TSA??

Patrick (BOS TSO) said...

Hmmm no Boston? :(

Anyways, hurray. Hope the pilot's successful.

Anonymous said...

This makes no sense. You state that if there are areas that need to be searched, the monitor will display this image ... two full body outlines.
This raises two questions:
Are you stating that a person will then have to be searched by hand from head to toe over every inch of their body?
How will the security officer doing the hand search know where the supposed 'anomaly' is, since the image shows the entire body and not the location of the 'anomaly'? Does the security officer have to play a game of touch and seek with the passenger in the hope of locating the 'anomaly'?
This all sounds much MORE, not less, privacy invasive.

Isaac said...

But it still delivers a dose of radiation that the UCSF radiology department has warned is very likely to be harmful.

And the image of a person is still taken, and stored on the device for some amount of time.

Remember the last time the TSA said that images "couldn't be transmitted or stored", and subsequently ended up in the hands of media and police agencies?

Yeah. I'm gonna keep not flying.

TSA: Keep airplanes safer by making fewer people fly on them.

Since cars are so much more dangerous, you know, the TSA has probably actually killed people with these policies. I'm not convinced that it's prevented even a single terrorist incident.

Anonymous said...

Will the TSA still be saving images to be reviewed at a later date to ensure quality of the images?

Parkylondon said...

IN other words Bob, the TSA was wrong wrong wrong and is now scrambling to "fix" the machines before someone sues the TSA?

Anonymous said...

Does the ATR software lower the amount of ionizing X-ray radiation that gets absorbed into the passengers skin with the backscatter scanners?

Anonymous said...

If an anomaly is highlighted by the software is the image then sent to a screener in the resolution room?

Anonymous said...

doesnt matter how u do things people will be always complaining about it!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Bob thats all fine and dandy but you are still not eliminating radiation. Why we have to use the backscatter machines when the mmw is available is beyond me. Our government is concerned about health care cost, yet they are going to give more people skin, breast, testicular cancer with those stupid machines. Bob you guys fix that I will be happy to shut up and stop telling everyone about the TSA's stupid policies. However, unless I see some REAL security I will know that I am not safe getting on a plane, but I believe life is a risk, so take it.

avxo said...

Bob,

Two clarifications:

(a) Will the software simply display the generic human image or will it also overlay the location of the detected anomaly on top?

(b) Does this work with X-Ray Backscatter only, Millimeter wave only or both technologies?

Anonymous said...

just don't fly

Anonymous said...

just don't fly
no jerks, no feel ups, no dangerous scans

Anonymous said...

Does the new software make the scanners less likely to give me cancer?

No, it doesn't.

Does the new scanner make me feel any better about my Fourth Amendment Rights?

No, it doesn't.

Does it do any more to protect us from terrorists than before the creation of TSA?

No, it doesn't.

So, my choices when I'm required to fly for work is either an increased risk of cancer or the TSA grope.

USA! USA! USA! How great is it to live in a land of so many freedoms?

Anonymous said...

Why do you go out of your way to say a "small" percentage of people complained about privacy? Does it matter if 100 or 1,000,000 people complained? What's right is right, and I'm thankful the TSA is at least making a small step towards doing the right thing.

Anonymous said...

This should have been done on day 1. And the TSO viewing the image needs to be front and center next to the machine, not in a back room. If not there is no guarantee that the image cant be switched back to nude mode. Now if you will only address the health concerns.

Chris Boyce said...

To quote a famous president who is rolling in his grave, "There you go again." (Look it up.) I was going to overlook the old lies and falsehoods, but, I don't want them to be pounded into the American people so often that they become the "truth."

"a small percentage of travelers have had privacy concerns with the AIT machines," This is an interesting spin. We have refuted your numbers to the point where you now must be qualitative because you can't substantiate concrete evidence. Let's try this:
1. Reduce the number of travelers by those who no longer fly because of your intrusive, unconstitutional "administrative searches."
2. Reduce the number of travelers by those who now take the train, bus, or POV.
3. Reduce the number of travelers who, like me, are saavy enough to pick a lane without a Strip Search Machine or who fly out of an airport which is not infected by this cancer.
4. Reduce the number of travelers by those of us who opt out and endure the punitive groping.
5. Reduce the number of travelers by those who do not know ALL of the facts about the very real cancer risks you have hidden from the public.
6. Reduce the number of travelers by those who are too intimidated or afraid to complain.

Add 1+2+3+4+5+6 and it's not a small number anymore. Sorry -- why confuse you with the facts?

Let's confront a few other facts you conveniently omitted. I have to hand it to you. You are a master at the deception tactic of "omission." You're not telling an outright lie. You're simply not disclosing all the facts.

1. All you are doing is to add a software patch to the existing software. Your own procurement and performance specs require that the machines must be capable of storing and transmitting images. Nothing has changed. I'm waiting for your proof that I am incorrect. "The image cannot be stored, transmitted or printed, and is deleted immediately once viewed." I'm sorry -- this is a blatant, unadulterated lie. Your own specifications are evidence enough. Kindly give us an explanation. If the reason is to convince the public via a disinformation campaign, just tell us and get it over with.
2. The victim is still being irradiated with x-rays which are concentrated at the skin level. The real risk of cancer is not reduced. I admire you for taking the omission approach and not bringing this fact to bear.

This doesn't eliminate the causes of our outrage at the TSA, its leadership, and its public affairs apparatus. To quote another president, "We will not rest" until you are eliminated and until the cancer-causing strip-search machines are safely disposed of deep inside Yucca Flats. We can't just throw them in the recycle bin because of the residual radiation.

Anonymous said...

And yet, mere months prior to this, it was necessary to spend millions upon millions of dollars for the un-censored nude scanners, only to turn around and spend more millions on this "upgrade"?

Something smells seriously fishy here, Bob.

Anonymous said...

Why is there a need for this new format if there were no legitimate privacy issues with the present machines?

I think you would be better off simply acknowledging that the current machines are a serious violation of someone's privacy, and then making the claim that the threat to aircraft is so serious that this level of intrusion is justified. People could then agree or disagree with you on whether the trade-off was worth it based on an honest debate.

JDD said...

Believe it or not, this is a decided improvement over the previous practices of TSA. Of course, the question comes to mind: Why? Is it because there actually are problems with the recording and storage of images? Are the images too intrusive (Yes) Or is TSA actually listening to the public that they serve. My money is on the former.

Erin W said...

Credit where due. Thanks for taking pax concerns seriously and taking steps to implement a system like this. The fact that this tech runs with MMW, no X-ray, makes me happier as well, especially since that's the sort of machine I understand is at my local airports. Now if we could just keep our shoes on and lift the liquid restrictions, I dare say I might be happy to fly again.

Anonymous said...

I am glad the TSA is finally addressing the privacy concern. Although this is a step in the right direction and will eliminate my need to opt-out, there are better technologies, such as the portable sniffer, that would be more effective and cost less.

Thanks,
Chris

Anonymous said...

A good PR attempt, but sorry, TSA, we simply can't trust you -- not after everything we have seen in the last years. We can't trust that the real images are not captured and transmitted or stored. Above all, we can't trust the safety of these scanners nor their effectiveness beyond finding an irregularity caused by a forgotten pen or airline issue forks (which never could nor would cause any harm). The damage the uncontrolled behemoth organization (TSA) has done to itself and the nation cannot be easily repaired. We salute you for trying, but it really is nothing more than a self-preservation attempt of an agonizing organism. Don't count on a quick turnaround: you put your own and your associated business interests above the goals for which you were created after 9/11.

Anonymous said...

I am very glad you are testing this new program. It probably would have caused a lot less stress on the public if you had just set the machines to show images this way from the beginning. I know security is extremely important these days, but there is no getting around the psychological effect on people when they feel strangers are getting a free show. Thank you for finally realizing that and at least trying to balance security with privacy. Yes I said it. I thanked the TSA. Crazy huh? (wink)

Adrian said...

Can this software be used on both the millimeter wave machines and the x-ray backscatter ones?

Since it's just a presentation change, I assume it's still subject the limitations highlighted in the journal article that showed how to for PETN into a beveled pancake to elude detection. Is that correct?

I have yet to witness somebody going through one of these machines on one try. Typically, people are sent back two and three times and then still subject to at least a partial patdown. Isn't it faster and easier just to pat down everyone?

Shouldn't this be used in conjunction with the metal detectors rather than an alternative?

Aren't most of the missed prohibited items actually in carry-ons? Why are we spending more and more money on the front door when the bad guys have so much access through all the other doors and windows?

I don't think the generic image should have a smiling face.

Jim Huggins said...

Any chance you could start treating those who disagree with you with a little more respect? Dismissively referring to those who have problems with AIT as "a small percentage of travelers" is offensive.

Only "a small percentage of travelers" have physical disabilities, yet you're more than willing to brag about how you'll go out of your way to address their concerns. Heck, even the TSA administrator will get involved when a passenger is particularly badly treated, like the passenger with the urostomy whom TSA mistreated.

Only "a small percentage of travelers" travel with breast milk. Yet, you're willing to go out of your way to retrain your staff in order to address their concerns.

Only "a small percentage of travelers" attempted to use a TWIC ID card at the checkpoint. Yet, you're willing to go out of your way to make sure your staff knows that TWIC cards are accepted at the checkpoint.

You claim "a small percentage of travelers" have privacy concerns with AIT. Yet you seem far more dismissive of their concerns. Why? Why don't they deserve the same respect and concern you've shown to other small subsets of the traveling public?

avxo said...

Anonymous wrote: "Does the new scanner make me feel any better about my Fourth Amendment Rights?

No, it doesn't.
"

You may wish to take the matter up with the Courts. They have consistently ruled that administrative searches (the category under which TSA's checks fall under) are Constitutionally permissible and outside the purview of the 4th Amendment.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate that this new system addresses my privacy concerns! I feel much better about that, and less likely to "opt out" at airports that offer this system.

As a pregnant woman, though, I am wondering if people are still able to choose to opt-out? In my state, I am not comfortable with unnecessary radiation, and no amount of "so-and-so says it's safe" is going to change my mind. Just wondering if I can opt-out and get searched, or should I plan to forgo all travel for the immediate future?

Thanks,
Preggo

MarkVII said...

In my line of work (business process improvement and software development), we talk about People, Process and Technology. You'll notice that technology comes last, because technology by itself cannot solve problems without the right people and process.

ATR is a step in the right direction, by giving the process more transparency to the passenger and lessening the likelihood of turning screening into a gawk-fest. (Can you say "Donna D'Errico caught my eye"?)

However, the focus on technology doesn't address the long standing problem of how the passenger is treated if the scanner detects an "anomaly". There's no shortage of anecdotes where the checkpoint personnel turn a scanner anomaly into a public spectacle, complete with lots of yelling and a total refusal to listen to the passenger. (The breast prosthesis stories come to mind, along with the urostomy bag incident.) IMO, there would be less opposition to these devices if passengers were treated with ordinary courtesy, respect, and civility.

I've experienced security measures in other settings where security is maintained, while still treating the person being screened courteously and respectfully.

Why the TSA doesn't get this continues to mystify me.

Mark
qui custodiet ipsos custodes

Anonymous said...

I cannot believe the number of dimwits asking why TSA is making this change and trying to make it sound like the agency is trying to hide something. PuLLLLlease, they are trying to satisfy the army of vocal professional protestors like you. You are getting what you want and still want to whine about it! Give me a break!

As for me, I find this a step backwards unless the agency can validate that the software update is not going to lessen the detection abilities of the machine in the interest of pacifing a bunch of loud mouthed whiners afraid of government conspiracies.

Guess what guys, that bed bug epidemic you're hearing about in the news... it's really CIA and NSA trained operatives with tiny cameras filming everything you do in the those hotel beds. Shhhhh, the black helicopters are outside my door right now so I must go hide in my special room with the tin foil wall paper.

Anonymous said...

Do the "new" machines use millimeter waves or x-rays? Subjecting innocent passengers to ionizing radiation is unacceptable regardless of the image produced.

Do the "new" machines still have the ability to capture and store the raw naked image?

Do the "new" machines truly alarm only on contraband (weapons, explosives, and incendiaries) or, like the current nude-o-scope deployment, do they alarm on medical appliances, feminine products, belts, wallets, coins, keys, zippers, pocket lint, and pretty much anything other than cotton that may be on your body? TSA originally claimed that the strip-search machines would spare us the drill of taking off our coats/shoes/hats/etc, but reality has been that the strip-search machine ends up forcing us to "divest" even more stuff, greatly increasing the already high risk of theft by your screeners.

(And don't try to minimize that risk. The Ricky German case in MEM, where a screener who was also an officer in his local screeners union, is going to trial for stealing a passenger laptop, is yet another "isolated incident" among your "professional" workforce.)

Anonymous said...

After you previous blog post, one can only wonder what you have left out of this one.

Anonymous said...

"I cannot believe the number of dimwits..."

Curious that such terminology,when used against posters on this board is allowed, but if used to reference Bob, or TSO's it is not.

Anonymous said...

avxo said...
Anonymous wrote: "Does the new scanner make me feel any better about my Fourth Amendment Rights?

No, it doesn't."

You may wish to take the matter up with the Courts. They have consistently ruled that administrative searches (the category under which TSA's checks fall under) are Constitutionally permissible and outside the purview of the 4th Amendment.

February 2, 2011 10:17 AM
-----------------------------------
AVXO,

If you haven't, I would suggest (re)reading the ruling that you are referring to - it is posted / linked on the TSA website. Having read it myself, I can stipulate that the enhanced procedures can possibly be permissable as part of an administrative search; BUT, only after a valid reason can be given (that can stand up in a court of law) that justifies the escalation of the search. And even then, each time the search is escalated, it is to be to the minimum extent possible.

In essence, the ruling stipulates that administrative searches are to be as minimally invasive as possible and escalated only upon cause.

At the moment, the minimal screening process is the WTMD and items x-rayed. To go beyond this, TSA needs to be able to stipulate a reason that the search must be more invasive. Buying the ticket and showing up at the airport in itself is not cause. As well, refusal by the passenger to opt out of the alternate and (noted by TSA) voluntary AIT as the primary screening method is not just cause either.

The courts have allowed administrative searches more latitude due to the typically minimally invasive search needed for the specific limited intent. As such, anything outside of those parameters is still limited by the 4th amendment.

Anonymous said...

If the TSA is acknowledging that privacy concerns over the nude scanners are valid, then what can it say about the privacy concerns associated with requiring every passenger to consent to a federal agent touching their genitalia? This is a weak response. The TSA's entire culture is dependent on violating the innocent. It took a long time for people to realize, but the TSA's very existence is predicated on over-reaching power over innocent people. The invasions will not stop until the onus of security is placed on the airline owners, where it belongs.

Anonymous said...

"You may wish to take the matter up with the Courts. They have consistently ruled that administrative searches (the category under which TSA's checks fall under) are Constitutionally permissible and outside the purview of the 4th Amendment."

Wow, not even close to the SC's ruling on administrative searches.

Anonymous said...

avxo incorrectly said...

"[the Courts... ]have consistently ruled that administrative searches (the category under which TSA's checks fall under) are Constitutionally permissible and outside the purview of the 4th Amendment."

No ruling has ever been made regarding the reasonableness or intrusiveness of the new TSA scans and intimate touching.

Reasonableness and intrusiveness are two key elements in deciding the legality administrative searches.

There is also the matter of informed consent. Since the TSA refuses to tell us the limits of what the TSA staff can do to us when exploring our bodies and sex organs we can not give informed consent.

Anonymous said...

"uLLLLlease, they are trying to satisfy the army of vocal professional protestors like you. You are getting what you want and still want to whine about it! Give me a break!"

God forbid people ask questions about $160k machines that are easily bypassed by inserting objects in cavities. I mean our govt has lots of money to throw around. And who really cares about radiation? Only an fool would ask that a machine used on the public be independently tested.

Earl Pitts said...

@avxo: "You may wish to take the matter up with the Courts. They have consistently ruled that administrative searches (the category under which TSA's checks fall under) are Constitutionally permissible and outside the purview of the 4th Amendment."

Yes, provided the least intrusive means necessary are being used. While the overall administrative search has been carved out of the 4th amendment, that doesn't mean that everything TSA does in that administrative search is legal. Far from it. A court hasn't ruled on it either way yet. To say that the court system is fine with is is disingenuous.

Earl

Anonymous said...

"God forbid people ask questions about $160k machines that are easily bypassed by inserting objects in cavities. I mean our govt has lots of money to throw around. And who really cares about radiation? Only an fool would ask that a machine used on the public be independently tested."

I challenge you to find a solution to the problem you just postulated and present it to this audience. Stand prepared to defend it before an audience of dimwits determined to bury their head in the sand in regards to the terrorist threat. If we take the lead of most folks upset about TSA screening, we must find that Al Qieda has decided not to attack us any more because TSA has not proven who, when, where, and how they stopped a terrorist.

"Shirley you jest." Yes, I called you Shirley. Stop it with the loud complaints unless you have a truly better solution! "TSA can't find IEDs inserted in orifices!" Are you suggesting they use full power X-Rays on passengers and hire medically certified X-Ray technologists? Stand by to defend the Contstitutionality of that approach along with the privacy concerns and safety concerns, etc. etc. etc. ad nasuem. Perhaps you prefer the orifice be search manually? Can you see the point that this is the best solution currently at their disposal? If you have better, please Please PLEASE bring it forward! And don't go down the profiling behavior detection route as the experts have proven that it doesn't work (never mind the fact that it does work according to every police officer I have every worked beside in my long, sworn police career). Keep in mind that the same folks saying behavior detection does not work (Mica and company) are also suggesting that police officers get that training and that TSA begin doing business the way Israel does. Well, does it work or not?

Well, they should only screen the brown skinned people wearing turbans. Really? Take a look at the white grandmother (Jihad Jane) who just plead guilty to terrorist activities criminal charges on February 1st. Which stereotype does she fit? How about the Pheonix shooter? Can we find a good stereotype for him? Yep, he only had a gun and a gripe with the Congresswoman, but how easy is it to imagine his intended victims as the passengers on a flight and his weapon of choice an IED?

I'm serious, if you have a better way to secure the air lines please prove it and present something that will be better and not be so upsetting to the general "my freedom from embarassment cause I don't look like a terrorist trumps your right to an expectation of safe travel" crowd.

Blogger Bob said...

Mike E said... If everything in your second paragraph is true, why the need to spend more money on this new technology? Don't get me wrong, I like this idea and think it should have been in place from the beginning. I just think it's funny how for months you guys have been saying, "There's nothing to worry about! Stop worrying about it, we promise it's not an invasion of privacy!" and then you announce this new feature that eliminates all the concerns that supposedly shouldn't have existed in the first place. In other words, thanks for acknowledging that all the people calling them "nude-o-scopes" and such were right all along.
February 1, 2011 5:01 PM
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Thanks for writing, Mike. Your questions are similar to many others below, but I’ll answer yours since you were the first to comment and all… J

I can see where you’re coming from, but I and many others do not feel the machines are too invasive. It’s obvious from this blog alone that not everybody feels this way… Security is our main priority, but TSA always factors in privacy concerns when looking at new procedures and technology. This software upgrade has several benefits and yes, privacy is one of them. This new software not only benefits passengers, but it benefits the TSA by making things more efficient. We won’t have to staff an extra officer in the remote location and since we won’t need a remote location, we won’t have to spend money building the ones that don’t exist yet. We also anticipate this will increase the throughput, which benefits both TSA and the passengers.
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Raymond Woodbury It seems to me this revision to the process will always or almost always require a second scan if something alarms, something I'm not sure was the case with the current process. February 1, 2011 5:28 PM
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Hi Raymond. You are only scanned once. If there is an alarm, you will undergo a pat-down.
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Anonymous said... You state this new ATR ELIMINATES privacy concerns. No it doesn't. For people with sensitive and highly private prosthetics such as mastectomy prostheses, to name but one, it will NOT eliminate their privacy concerns. Because their prosthesis will now be highlighted on the monitor in FULL PUBLIC VIEW it will actually increase privacy concerns for such individuals. February 1, 2011 5:44 PM
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Nobody except the person being screened will know what the item is. The alarm appears as a box over the area where it is located. Once an individual alarms, the can request a private screening if they like.
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Anonymous said... You need to edit your post to explain that this software apparently only applies to MMV machines. It is not in use for backscatter. Given that the TSA utilizes more backscatter than MMV at airports (considerably more, actually), I think the TSA blog needs to make this point quite clear. Further, this is the same software that's been in place for over a year at AMS and other international airports. Why such a delay for the TSA?? February 1, 2011 5:45 PM
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Hello Anon. The same software is being being developed for backscatter and then when it meets TSA’s detection standards, it will be tested in an airport environment. This will happen in the coming months. It’s true that this software has been in use at Amsterdam’s Schiphol. Even though it’s in use elswhere, TSA still has to be sure (as with all new technologies) that it meets our strict detection standards.

Thanks!

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Blogger Bob said...

Anonymous said... This makes no sense. You state that if there are areas that need to be searched, the monitor will display this image ... two full body outlines. This raises two questions: Are you stating that a person will then have to be searched by hand from head to toe over every inch of their body? How will the security officer doing the hand search know where the supposed 'anomaly' is, since the image shows the entire body and not the location of the 'anomaly'? Does the security officer have to play a game of touch and seek with the passenger in the hope of locating the 'anomaly'? This all sounds much MORE, not less, privacy invasive. February 1, 2011 6:02 PM
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A box will appear in the area (s) where a search needs to be conducted.
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Isaac said... And the image of a person is still taken, and stored on the device for some amount of time. Remember the last time the TSA said that images "couldn't be transmitted or stored", and subsequently ended up in the hands of media and police agencies? February 1, 2011 6:09 PM
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As always, the AIT units at airports – with the new software or not – cannot store, transmit or print anything. Any images the media have used have been either provided by TSA (vendor images) or taken during a press event where a model who has signed a consent form was used. We can’t send any images to police agencies as our machines do not store or transmit images.
----------------------------------
Anonymous said... Does the ATR software lower the amount of ionizing X-ray radiation that gets absorbed into the passengers skin with the backscatter scanners? February 1, 2011 6:25 PM
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The software is not in use yet with backscatter. But when it is, it will not change radiation emissions. The new software is simply installed on the existing machines.
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Anonymous said... doesnt matter how u do things people will be always complaining about it!!!!!!!!! February 1, 2011 6:41 PM
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True, but that’s one of the things that makes our country great.
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avxo said... Bob, Two clarifications: (a) Will the software simply display the generic human image or will it also overlay the location of the detected anomaly on top? (b) Does this work with X-Ray Backscatter only, Millimeter wave only or both technologies? February 1, 2011 7:05 PM
----------------------------------
AVXO, I don’t know the answer to (a). I’ll look into it. I answered (b) above.

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Blogger Bob said...

Anonymous said... And yet, mere months prior to this, it was necessary to spend millions upon millions of dollars for the un-censored nude scanners, only to turn around and spend more millions on this "upgrade"? Something smells seriously fishy here, Bob. February 1, 2011 8:27 PM
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If upgrading technology smells fishy to you, the entire world must stink of fish.
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JDD said... Believe it or not, this is a decided improvement over the previous practices of TSA. February 1, 2011 11:14 PM
-----------------------------------
Thanks!
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Erin W said... Credit where due. Thanks for taking pax concerns seriously and taking steps to implement a system like this. The fact that this tech runs with MMW, no X-ray, makes me happier as well, especially since that's the sort of machine I understand is at my local airports. Now if we could just keep our shoes on and lift the liquid restrictions, I dare say I might be happy to fly again. February 1, 2011 11:22 PM
---------------------------------
Thanks! However, it will be coming to backscatter in the coming months. I hear you on the shoes and liquids. It will be a joyous day for all when those issues are resolved.
--------------------------------
Anonymous said... I am glad the TSA is finally addressing the privacy concern. Although this is a step in the right direction and will eliminate my need to opt-out, there are better technologies, such as the portable sniffer, that would be more effective and cost less. Thanks, Chris February 2, 2011 12:21 AM
-------------------------------
Thanks!
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Anonymous said...
I am very glad you are testing this new program. It probably would have caused a lot less stress on the public if you had just set the machines to show images this way from the beginning. I know security is extremely important these days, but there is no getting around the psychological effect on people when they feel strangers are getting a free show. Thank you for finally realizing that and at least trying to balance security with privacy. Yes I said it. I thanked the TSA. Crazy huh? (wink)
February 2, 2011 9:05 AM
-------------------------------
Thanks for commenting!

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Blogger Bob said...

Jim Huggins said...
Any chance you could start treating those who disagree with you with a little more respect? Dismissively referring to those who have problems with AIT as "a small percentage of travelers" is offensive. February 2, 2011 9:43 AM
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Jim, I’m not being dismissive at all. The statement I made was to point out that most are OK with it, but here’s what we’ve done so far for those who aren’t. Yeah, I probably could have said it better, but no disrespect was meant from it.
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Anonymous said...I appreciate that this new system addresses my privacy concerns! I feel much better about that, and less likely to "opt out" at airports that offer this system. As a pregnant woman, though, I am wondering if people are still able to choose to opt-out? In my state, I am not comfortable with unnecessary radiation, and no amount of "so-and-so says it's safe" is going to change my mind. Just wondering if I can opt-out and get searched, or should I plan to forgo all travel for the immediate future? Thanks, Preggo February 2, 2011 10:35 AM
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Hi Preggo! Congrats on the future Preggo Jr.  Even with the new software upgrade, you will be able to opt out of imaging technology screening and receive a pat-down instead.
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MarkVII said...Why the TSA doesn't get this continues to mystify me. Mark qui custodiet ipsos custodies February 2, 2011 11:07 AM
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Hi Mark. TSA does get it. Sure we have bad apples, but we have far more professional and courteous officers than we do bad apples. I know most hate that term, but it’s true. There are bad apples out there and they need to be handled. If we don’t see it, it’s important their actions are brought to our attention.

Thanks!

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Blogger Bob said...

AVXO - I read your question wrong. I do have the answer. :)

You asked:

"Does the software simply display the generic human image or will it also overlay the location of the detected anomaly on top?"

A box will appear over the area where the anomaly has been detected.

Thanks!

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

Bob is in da house!

Must be a cold day in...

...somewhere. :)

Anonymous said...

"Nobody except the person being screened will know what the item is. The alarm appears as a box over the area where it is located. Once an individual alarms, the can request a private screening if they like."

This does nothing to address one of the biggest problems with these idiotic scanners, which is the fact that they will find nothing but false positives that did not occur under WTMD protocols. All these scanners do is make travel even more miserable than it already is for people with ostomies, prosthetics, adult diapers, etc. But TSA doesn't care about that, as long as they can funnel money to Chertoff's organization. Sad and pathetic as always.

And, really, Bob, please don't pretend you or anyone else really wants to get rid of the shoe carnival -- that policy is completely pointless, we know it, you know it, and you're lying when you say you want to remove it.

Anonymous said...

Yes, but how SAFE are these machines? When my oncologist tells me to avoid them at all costs -- including never traveling by air again -- then I take notice.

Until these things are actually tested by INDEPENDENT scientists, then I simply won't comply.

Be prepared for patting me down. And I'll expect -- and demand -- that the ill-trained TSO take fresh gloves out of the box in front of me. I'll also be having the pat down in public. That way, if it goes too far, there will be lots of witnesses.

Anonymous said...

If an area (boxed) of concern shows up on the scan does this mean the passenger is then subject to a "full" "enhanced" patdown, or is the patdown used on just the area of concern until resolved.

In other words will a little common sense and tact be used?

Anonymous said...

Blogger Bob and Mr Pistole both state that this ATR will ELIMINATE privacy concerns. I have said it will not. For most able bodied people it will eliminate privacy concerns. For people with say a mastectomy prostheses it will not eliminate privacy concerns. They will still have to endure an intimate hand search. Whether this is entirely necessary is debatable, but what is not debatable is that performing an intimate hand search on someone with an intimate prostheses is an invasion of privacy, whether it is done in public or in private - there is no getting away from that. So Blogger Bob, please just be honest and do not state that ATR ELIMINATES privacy issues when it does not.

Blogger Bob said...

Updated post with monitor showing alarms.

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Blogger Bob and Mr Pistole both state that this ATR will ELIMINATE privacy concerns. I have said it will not. For most able bodied people it will eliminate privacy concerns. For people with say a mastectomy prostheses it will not eliminate privacy concerns. They will still have to endure an intimate hand search. Whether this is entirely necessary is debatable, but what is not debatable is that performing an intimate hand search on someone with an intimate prostheses is an invasion of privacy, whether it is done in public or in private - there is no getting away from that. So Blogger Bob, please just be honest and do not state that ATR ELIMINATES privacy issues when it does not.

-----------

Give Bob a break, clearly he did not mean that this or any other technology will eliminate everyone's concerns. The technology that can do that and provide perfect security does not exist. He means that most people will find this addresses at least some of their concerns. Please use some common sense before you post.

Adrian said...

Blogger Bob said: "You are only scanned once. If there is an alarm, you will undergo a pat-down."

This is not consistent with my observations at SFO or OAK. I've seen more than a dozen people scanned, and not one of them was scanned just once. There was a scan, then a partial patdown, then back into the scanner.

I saw one passenger in the SFO international terminal sent back in for a FOURTH scan while the screener on the headset kept insisting, "There's nothing there." (At that point, because the line was backing up, several passengers were redirected though the WTMD and given no additional scrutiny.)

I have always opted for the pat down, and I've always gotten through faster than the people who were ahead of me in line who opted for the scanner.

Anonymous said...

The pictures shown by Bob show nothing more than an outline of the body with no specific areas of concern, if the alarm is triggered.

This does not match up with the various news articles printed today.

Does the new software show the area of concern (via box) or not?

If a box is shown is the passenger then still subject to the full on "enhanced" pat-down?

RB said...

Why has the "Off Topic" thread been buried in TSA Blog archives?

RB said...

Blogger Bob said...
Updated post with monitor showing alarms.

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

February 2, 2011 4:14 PM

.......
If a person alarms is the area of the alarm checked by pat down or is it a full body groping pat down?

Judy said...

What are you doing to get rid of radiation exposure? How about the EXTREMELY invasive pat downs? What about all the rude and clueless people who work the front line? What about the long line of people waiting to get through security(just waiting for the next bomber?
When are you going to do something that will actually work(like profiling)?

Ayn R. Key said...

You STILL haven't addressed the Radiation issue. It is not safe.

I oppose the MMW because of the privacy issue, but I oppose the BXR because it is physically unsafe to the health of the person being scanned.

As libertarian as I am, as strong on the 4th amendment as I am, that takes a back seat to the fact that you are irradiating people.

Anonymous said...

This is a mild improvement, and that is what is so scary about it. I fear that this improvement in software that will not take a naked photo of you will create in many a relaxed feeling about the use of these scanners. But..

This does not change the potentially dangerous health effects from X-Ray technology or address the concerns related to how these machines are cared for and tested.

This does not effect privacy concerns unless your only privacy concern is that others will see you naked. There are many other things that one can be private about and should still be allowed to walk around in public while maintaining that privacy.

This does not change the fact that many TSOs are ill-equipped to work with the public in such a sensitive setting with the proper care and attitude.

This does not change the way the public are being submitted to what many feel are illegal and unconstitutional searches and seizures.

Most importantly, this does not change the fact that the TSA checkpoint is not making us appreciably safer. There are many ways around and through the checkpoint for a dedicated and resourceful terrorist. The body scanners are little more than a challenge to these people should they wish to get on an airplane, but it does appear that the checkpoint could create an inviting target.

...yet this will make many people feel at ease with the process. I fear that the public outrage may dissipate with this announcement and the TSA will feel vindicated in overstepping their bounds with the American public. You can see from many comments in this forum that people do feel that this is a significant concession, BUT IT IS NOT.

Anonymous said...

This is a step in the right direction.

BUT, a buddy of mine is a nuclear engineer. According to him, even though common items such as cell phones emit higher amounts of radiation, the AIT machines are still much more dangerous due to the ionizing properties of the radiation they use.

Also, I don't think TSA does a good enough a job informing the public that use of AIT machines are OPTIONAL. Yea, they're printed on tiny signs outside the checkpoint most people don't have time to read as they prepare for screening, but when they're ushered through by TSOs, they're DIRECTED (not asked) to go into the AIT machines. TSOs should have to explain (verbally) to each person exactly what the machine does, that its use is optional, and require explicit consent before being directed to use the machines.

TSA always has been and always will be security theater and smoke & mirrors for the average person who doesn't know any better, because a determined terrorist can easily circumvent any security procedure you come up with. So, unless you want to be policed by the courts on your unconstitutional behavior, you best police yourselves.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
'Give Bob a break. He means that most people will find this addresses at least some of their concerns. Please use some common sense before you post.'

I was using common sense before I posted, thank you. Blogger Bob states that this technology ELIMINATES privacy concerns,there is no qualification of this statement. I was making a valid point that for people with highly sensitive prosthetics this technology does little to ELIMINATE privacy concerns for them. It is a step in the right direction, but to ELIMINATE all privacy concerns these must first be openly and fairly addressed, not just ignored.

Anonymous said...

This does not address the SAFETY of these machines. Until that is addressed, I'll opt for the pat-down. And, as like another poster said, I'll have it done in plain view of the general public so there are a lot of witnesses. I trust nothing the TSA says or does. I will never allow myself to be alone in a room with these people. Period.

Anonymous said...

Will TSA publish an updated list of the airports utlizing this new technology in the AIT machines as it is rolled out versus those that are still displaying the nude images, so that I will know at which airports I need to opt out and at which I can feel comfortable knowing nobody is viewing a nude image of my body?

Anonymous said...

X-ray or MWW or both?

Anonymous said...

What I want to know is, does the image scale with the person being scanned?

A simple example- a 3-foot tall child is scanned with something in their pants pocket. Will the scanner image show an alert on the adult-sized generic image at the 'correct' location- where the pants pocket would be? Or will it show an alert around the knee area (which is the same height-above-ground as the child's pocket)??

Will an alert on the hip of a fat person show on the hip of the generic figure, or a foot to the side of the figure?

How big will the alert box be? And how much area will need to be searched? Lets say someone had something in the waistband of their pants- will the box cover their entire abdomen? Will the screener need to see/touch their abdomen (or even have them pull down their pants)??

I can see problems with acceptability if the area to be searched is overly large, and with failure to find the item if the search is too focused. (Lets say I had a penknife inside my shirt on a thread. The thread runs down my shirt sleeve to my hand. Arms up, in the scanner, the penknife is pulled up to my armpit. When I get pulled aside to be searched, I lower my arms and let go of the thread, and the penknife falls to my waist. If you only search my armpit, you'll miss it.)

Anonymous said...

A small percentage of 2,000,000 travelers each day could be tens of thousands of people.

And given that many travellers don't know exactly what the machines do, the percentage of well-informed folks could be much greater.

Andy said...

Thanks to Bob for answering all of our questions! This new software should help to reduce the privacy concerns and hopefully speed up the long lines at the ATL airport and others. I am glad to see the TSA working to improve security while keeping passenger comments anc concerns in mind. I still do not understand why when we beg for improvements and then get them why we are still so nasty with Bob. Please everyone, calm down.

frimp said...

This is all well and good except it doesn't change that all passengers are all still treated as potential terrorists and all passengers may be subject to patdowns regardless of whether they enter the AIT. At the least, there should be rules available such that if one follows them one knows they will be able to get through security with their dignity intact. AIT and patdowns should be used for secondary screening only. The probability of getting frisked does not need to be orders of magnitude greater than the probability of encountering terrorist activity. We were getting by just fine without every bosom and crotch being cleared.

Anonymous said...

Question, will wearing a loose fitting blouse make me more likely to be pulled for AIT? I have to travel with male colleagues and I am worried about what I wear because depending on what I'm wearing (business casual) it can be, well, inappropriate to raise my arms up in front of my male boss. I prefer to wear something loose, but if that makes me more likely to be selected for AIT, well I'd rather dress to avoid it and keep more dignity intact, and just opt out where I have some control over where it happens. Also will the ATR show feminine hygiene products as anomalies? I can avoid co-travelers some of the time but sometimes I have no choice and I'm nervous about an upcoming trip. Are skirt suits still not recommended? THanks for your help.

Anonymous said...

Whole body imaging is the wrong way to look for threats to airplanes, with or without automated detection. Suppose it detects something in an intimate area. It is probably just a maxipad, or maybe an adult diaper, but what do you plan to do with this finding? Pat it down? And how does that help??

Scrap the naked scanners and look into trace chemical detection - not invasive, and actually detects explosives (even where the naked scanners won´t go).

Anonymous said...

Hello Bob.

Do you see the little animated person on your image there? Note the position his hands are in.

I will not "put my hands up" for a government agent unless they have probable cause to believe I'm a criminal. As it is, until you stop violating the Fourth Amendment rights of American citizens with your unreasonable searches, count me as another person who refuses to fly.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
If an area (boxed) of concern shows up on the scan does this mean the passenger is then subject to a "full" "enhanced" patdown, or is the patdown used on just the area of concern until resolved.

In other words will a little common sense and tact be used?

-----------

Will the "area of concern" be visible to the traveller? If so, is it visible to both the traveller and the "frisker" during the additional screening?

If the "area of concern" encompasses the genitalia, how will the frisk be conducted? Front of hand? Hand always held open? Back of hand?

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez – “X-ray or MWW or both?”
Currently MMW, but coming to the BXR soon.

West
TSA Blog Team

justmyopinion said...

The new software is a beginning but the TSA should have realized the public would not like the strip-pics. Just shows the TSA has little if any respect for the flying public. Now, when is the TSA going to insist their TSOs show some respect and courtesy toward the flying public and fire the ones who feel they have the authority to act arrogant and rude?

Blogger Bob said...

I researched a couple of things that I wasn't sure about yesterday. Also, if you missed them, look further up in the comments and you can read some of my responses from yesterday.

I'm listening to Kraftwerk, so it may help your reading experience if you imagine me typing like a robot.

Some are asking why we didn't roll out this software in the beginning. Good question. It didn't exist. We started testing AIT back in 2007, and the development of this new software started in early 2010.

One of our readers asked: Now that you don't need the officer 'in the back room' watching the scanner images, are you reducing the overall work force? Or increasing the number of agents working the security line to move passengers through a bit faster to avoid long lines in some airports? We will utilize the additional officer for other positions throughout the checkpoint. The removal of the image operator in the checkpoint rotation of officers will let us send that officer to other high priority checkpoint duties, including assisting with operating the additional AIT units we plan to deploy this year. The FY 2011 budget request took the new software and the related removal of the image operator into account. We are constantly assessing and refining the tactical deployment of officers to ensure workforce efficiency and the highest level of security for the traveling public.

Thanks,

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Blogger Bob said...

Anonymous said... Bob is in da house! Must be a cold day in......somewhere. :) February 2, 2011 2:51 PM
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It’s definitely a cold day in DC!
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Anonymous said... All these scanners do is make travel even more miserable than it already is for people with ostomies, prosthetics, adult diapers, etc. February 2, 2011 3:11 PM
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You have to understand the logic behind this, right? Could an ostomie bag or a prosthetic not be filled with explosives? Terrorists look for ways to exploit these types of things. We understand it’s an inconvenience, but you have to understand why we can’t just say “oh, it’s just an ostomie bag, they’re ok to go.” TSA has established a program for screening of persons with disabilities and their associated equipment, mobility aids, and devices. Our program covers all categories of disabilities (mobility, hearing, visual, and hidden). As part of that program, we established a coalition of over 70 disability-related groups and organizations to help us understand the concerns of persons with disabilities and medical conditions.
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Anonymous said... And, really, Bob, please don't pretend you or anyone else really wants to get rid of the shoe carnival -- that policy is completely pointless, we know it, you know it, and you're lying when you say you want to remove it. February 2, 2011 3:11 PM
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And why would I not want to remove it? What’s my/TSA’s advantage? An alternative method to shoe removal would do wonders for throughput.

More later...

Thanks!

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Blogger Bob said...

Anonymous said... If an area (boxed) of concern shows up on the scan does this mean the passenger is then subject to a "full" "enhanced" patdown, or is the patdown used on just the area of concern until resolved. In other words will a little common sense and tact be used? February 2, 2011 3:24 PM
--------------------------
While I can't go into detail on what triggers what kind of pat-down, some alarms will not require a full pat-down, and others will. But no, it is not an automatic that a passenger receive a full pat-down just for alarming.

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Blogger Bob said...

Adrian said... This is not consistent with my observations at SFO or OAK. I've seen more than a dozen people scanned, and not one of them was scanned just once. There was a scan, then a partial patdown, then back into the scanner. I saw one passenger in the SFO international terminal sent back in for a FOURTH scan while the screener on the headset kept insisting, "There's nothing there." (At that point, because the line was backing up, several passengers were redirected though the WTMD and given no additional scrutiny.) I have always opted for the pat down, and I've always gotten through faster than the people who were ahead of me in line who opted for the scanner. February 2, 2011 4:26 PM
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Adrian, this should not be happening. I'll check with the airports and see what's going on. If by some chance I'm wrong, I'll let you know and you can say nanner nanner boo boo to me.

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Blogger Bob said...

RB said... Why has the "Off Topic" thread been buried in TSA Blog archives? February 2, 2011 4:40 PM
--------------------------
If you haven't noticed, I started adding a paragraph to the end of each post with a link to the off topic post. The link is also on the sidebar of the blog which is always visible on the page.

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

Blogger Bob said...
'Could an ostomie bag or a prosthetic not be filled with explosives?'

Yes they could be, but that raises a number of questions, which the TSA has so far failed to answer:

How are mastectomy prostheses resolved? Do they need to be seen and touched? Are passengers asked to remove them? Do they have to be chemically swabbed - or else how would you know what was inside them?
What about breast implants or other silicone cosmetic implants just beneath the skin? How are these resolved? Do they also have to be seen and touched? Does the skin have to be chemically swabbed?
These are legitimate questions that do not breach your posting rules so please could you address these important privacy issues and not delete this post.

Anonymous said...

I have nipple piercings, are they now going to show up as two areas that they'll need to "resolve"? What can I expect, someone pulling on the piercings? Can I just lift my shirt up?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
I have nipple piercings, are they now going to show up as two areas that they'll need to "resolve"? What can I expect, someone pulling on the piercings? Can I just lift my shirt up?
February 3, 2011 5:49 PM


They'll hand you a pair of pliers.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/03/27/travel/main3976376.shtml

Anonymous said...

Good, this is less intrusive than before. Now, let's talk about effectiveness.

How much money is being spent on these machines (with or without the new software)?

What is the threat that these are trying to eliminate?

How many of these threats do you expect to see every year?

Does the use of AIT speed up or slow down the security lines? As we have seen in Russia recently, bombing the area OUTSIDE the security perimeter is an effective terror tactic. The longer people are held up outside the security perimeter the less safe they are.

Is the use of AIT a better use for the money than, say, putting some better security on the back areas of the airport?

What is the failure rate of these machines in operation? Given a threat (like an underwear bomber) what percentage of those do you expect to catch with these machines? TSA's current failure rate of 70% on guns and bombs in screened carryon luggage does not give me a lot of confidence that these AIT machines will actually catch any threats.

Anonymous said...

A remotely located officer views the image and does not see the passenger, and the officer assisting the passenger cannot view the image.

But the two can speak to each other on a radio, right?

The image cannot be stored, transmitted or printed, and is deleted immediately once viewed.

The machines certainly CAN store and transmit images. It's just that these features are (supposedly) turned off. Why not just say that, instead of continuing the "cannot" lies??

Additionally, there is a privacy algorithm applied to blur the image.

Yeah, the crotch is blurred... unless there is an alarm in that area.

the Department of Homeland Security’s Science & Technology Directorate

O. M. G.! That name sound so... dystopian. Really- it fits right in with the Ministries of Peace and Love in '1984' and Nightwatch in 'Babylon 5'.

Anonymous said...

"Patrick (BOS TSO) said...

Anyways, hurray. Hope the pilot's successful."

Now, now. Everyone knows the TSA's objective is to make sure that Pilots will no longer be successful.

Anonymous said...

Won't the new machines alarm on objects that stand out but would obviously be seen as benign on a photographic scan?

Thus meaning more patdowns?

Anonymous said...

How come TSA has taken so long to discover this "new technology" when the European nations have used it since implementing whole body scanners? And since it only works with millimeter wave machines, what about the backscatter x ray machines? Speaking of backscatter x ray machines, why is TSA not allowing independent third parties to properly evaluate the potential health hazards associated with them since we now know it wasn't properly done before implementing them? Or better still, why is TSA is even continuing to use x ray machines since there will always be doubts about their safety?

Anonymous said...

"If by some chance I'm wrong, I'll let you know and you can say nanner nanner boo boo to me."

And if by chance the TSO's doing this are wrong?

Will their supervisors take any real action or will it be just 'nanner nanner boo boo to them'?

Anonymous said...

The TSA would not be starting to use this software if the public had not expressed outrage at the digital strip search. The TSA has tried to propagandize the public since this started with the LIE that the public supported what they are doing.

Has the TSA started screening ALL employees at the airport to prevent THEM from doing something to the planes?

Will the TSA stop arresting people for simply exercising their First Amendment Rights?

Will the TSA stop placing their hands on the breasts, buttocks and gentials of American citizens INCLUDING teenage minors?

The American people are in far, far more danger of having our rights destroyed by a govenment out of control than we are being hurt by terrorists. If we allow our rights to be taken from us, it will be a disaster for human freedom and liberty.

The TSA has lied to us before, only fools would believe them now.

Anonymous said...

I find it strange that for the first time in months that the TSA blog team is actually attempting to constructively comment on comments left by citizens.

It is kind of nice to see these remarks instead of the arrogant, abusive and defensive comments that the TSA blog staff have posted over the past few months.

Now, it you could post an article about the fact that eyewitnesses have reported that the Underwear Bomber was escorted through security by someone who appears to have been a government agent and that the Underwear Bomber was able to board the flight from Europe without a Passport.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northwest_Airlines_Flight_253

Blogger Bob said...

Judy said... When are you going to do something that will actually work(like profiling)? February 2, 2011 5:24 PM
--------------------------
Judy, if you’re talking about racial profiling, we don’t do that. It doesn’t make security sense to do such a thing. What does a terrorist look like? If you’re talking about behavior profiling, we’ve been doing that since 2007. Check out these posts - What Does a Terrorist Look Like? - The Truth Behind the Title: Behavior Detection Officer
--------------------------
Andy said... Thanks to Bob for answering all of our questions! This new software should help to reduce the privacy concerns and hopefully speed up the long lines at the ATL airport and others. I am glad to see the TSA working to improve security while keeping passenger comments anc concerns in mind. February 2, 2011 10:14 PM
--------------------------
Thanks Andy! I’m glad I could be of help.
--------------------------
Anonymous said... Will the "area of concern" be visible to the traveller? If so, is it visible to both the traveller and the "frisker" during the additional screening? February 3, 2011 1:25 PM
--------------------------
The monitor (see the image on the top of this blog post) is affixed to the exit area of the AIT and will be visible to both the passenger and the officer conducting the pat-down.

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

Blogger Bob wrote: While I can't go into detail on what triggers what kind of pat-down, some alarms will not require a full pat-down, and others will. But no, it is not an automatic that a passenger receive a full pat-down just for alarming.

In other words, the people "working" at the checkpoint can still make up their own nonsensical "rules" and the general traveling public has no way to determine whether they're real or just make-believe like so much we're already told at the checkpoint.

Anonymous said...

Blogger Bob said:

"Judy, if you’re talking about racial profiling, we don’t do that. It doesn’t make security sense to do such a thing. What does a terrorist look like? If you’re talking about behavior profiling, we’ve been doing that since 2007. Check out these posts - What Does a Terrorist Look Like? - The Truth Behind the Title: Behavior Detection Officer"

--------------------------------

So Bob, you've been profiling since 07 with your BDOs using a program that has been studied and found wanting. Two questions:

1. Why have you not addressed the study that eviscerated the BDO program? You promised months ago.

2. Exactly how many terrorists have the BDOs caught? Actual terrorists, not guys who looked "nervous".

Anonymous said...

Kudos for Bob actually answering questions in this post.

Hopefully he will answer this one for me.

I am much more concerned about the new required private secondary patdown.

Is it true that you now no longer have the option of having your secondary pat down done in public?

I have been informed that passengers are now forced to have this screening done in private.

This screams of potential abuse especially since the rules and procedures are not posted where passengers can be informed.

Concerned Observer said...

Thank you for taking an active role in the blog again, Bob!
It assuages the fears of some and gives others fodder to confirm the TSA's many shortfalls. If only we could get the policy makers within the TSA to read some of the highly intelligent, relevant comments here.

Now to address the blog post and some of your comments...
WBI is still a violation of the 4th Amendment. It is still the equivalent to a strip-search, even if you don't see the image produced directly from the MMW or the backscatter x-rays.
On the issue of full body rub-downs, these should honestly not be triggered unless there is probable cause. The full body pat-down simply changes the primary sense (from sight to touch) used in a strip search.

A final note, how are passengers supposed to follow rules at the checkpoint that aren't published? They can't. The TSA will remain in contempt of a portion of the public as long as we are expected to follow rules that nobody knows and nobody can access.

Anonymous said...

Bob,

Is it appropriate for TSO to grab a passenger's arms and move them into the correct position as a passenger asked on the 29th of January this year?

Are you checking into this incident or is it simply being ignored?

Anonymous said...

1) No one believes that this system is going to be implemented;

2) Even if it were implemented, what happens with the underlying data? After all, the nude images are still there.

Blogger Bob said...

Anonymous said... What about breast implants or other silicone cosmetic implants just beneath the skin? How are these resolved? February 3, 2011 5:32 PM
-----------------------------
Advanced Imaging Technology cannot see under your skin.
-----------------------------
Anonymous said...I have nipple piercings, are they now going to show up as two areas that they'll need to "resolve"? What can I expect, someone pulling on the piercings? Can I just lift my shirt up? February 3, 2011 5:49 PM
------------------------------
If you find yourself in a situation where your piercings need to be inspected, you will be informed that you have the option to resolve the alarm through a visual inspection or you can remove them. A private screening area will be provided.
------------------------------
Anonymous said... How much money is being spent on these machines (with or without the new software)? February 3, 2011 9:25 PM
------------------------------
As far as the software upgrade goes, it was approximately $2.7 million for L-3 to develop the software and deploy it to all of the millimeter wave units that are currently in the field. This includes maintenance costs.

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Blogger Bob said...

Anonymous said...O. M. G.! That name sound so... dystopian. Really- it fits right in with the Ministries of Peace and Love in '1984' and Nightwatch in 'Babylon 5'. February 3, 2011 9:34 PM
---------------------------
Surprised you’ve never heard it before. Many agencies have Science & Technology Directorates.
---------------------------
Anonymous said...In other words, the people "working" at the checkpoint can still make up their own nonsensical "rules" and the general traveling public has no way to determine whether they're real or just make-believe like so much we're already told at the checkpoint. February 4, 2011 9:49 AM
----------------------------
Nope. Our officers have been trained to carry out certain procedures in different ways. These procedures are considered sensitive security information and cannot be shared with the public.

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Blogger Bob said...

Adrian,

In reference to the multiple AIT screenings, I have made the Customer Support Managers aware. If you could, please contact SFO & OAK via Talk to TSA so you can give them more information.

Thanks,

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

Bob,

So when you said you were "I'll check with the airports and see what's going on." You really meant you would simply pass along the information.

If you aren't going to follow through, don't make the promise.

Anonymous said...

Bob,

Can you please respond and address the question that has been posted earlier about secondary patdowns being forcibly done in private?

TSA has stated that the traveler has the right to have a patdown done in private, but does the traveler also have the right to have the patdown done in public if he/she desires?

There has been anecdotal evidence that suggests that some travelers are being forced to undergo patdowns in private, out of sight of the public, AGAINST THEIR DESIRE.

Could you please address this? Is it true? If so, under what authority does the TSA have to force a traveler into a private room or area?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...In other words, the people "working" at the checkpoint can still make up their own nonsensical "rules" and the general traveling public has no way to determine whether they're real or just make-believe like so much we're already told at the checkpoint. February 4, 2011 9:49 AM
----------------------------
Bob replied...
Nope. Our officers have been trained to carry out certain procedures in different ways. These procedures are considered sensitive security information and cannot be shared with the public.
-------

BOB,

Your response doesn't answer the question-- How does a traveler know if the screener is following a correct procedure, or is making something up?

Are you saying, "just trust us?"

Blogger Bob said...

Anonymous said... Bob, Is it appropriate for TSO to grab a passenger's arms and move them into the correct position as a passenger asked on the 29th of January this year? Are you checking into this incident or is it simply being ignored? February 4, 2011 1:16 PM
----------------------------
I haven’t heard anything. I asked them to provide more information and provided the Talk to TSA link in the comments Here. I contacted DTW and told them that the individual might be in touch with them.

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said... Bob, Is it appropriate for TSO to grab a passenger's arms and move them into the correct position as a passenger asked on the 29th of January this year? Are you checking into this incident or is it simply being ignored? February 4, 2011 1:16 PM
----------------------------
I haven’t heard anything. I asked them to provide more information and provided the Talk to TSA link in the comments Here. I contacted DTW and told them that the individual might be in touch with them.

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

----------------------------------

You haven't heard if it is appropriate or not?

Blogger Bob said...

Go to the link I provided and read my comment. I stated it was not the norm. There is no way DTW can look into this without additional details.

Thanks,

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

"I stated it was not the norm."

The question is real simple. Is it appropriate? The question wasn't, is it the norm?

There are many things a TSO can do that is appropriate, but not the norm. Is this one of them?

RB said...

Anonymous said...I have nipple piercings, are they now going to show up as two areas that they'll need to "resolve"? What can I expect, someone pulling on the piercings? Can I just lift my shirt up? February 3, 2011 5:49 PM
------------------------------
If you find yourself in a situation where your piercings need to be inspected, you will be informed that you have the option to resolve the alarm through a visual inspection or you can remove them. A private screening area will be provided.
.....................

I'm sorry, having to expose personal areas of my body to a TSA screener is unacceptable and illegal to require.

You folks at TSA are just sick.

Anonymous said...

Blogger Bob said...
Go to the link I provided and read my comment. I stated it was not the norm. There is no way DTW can look into this without additional details.

Thanks,

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

February 4, 2011 4:21 PM

with all the spin posted here it's important that TSA be clear with situations like the one asserted about TSA employees "positioning" people with limited range of motion in their joints.

1. Does "not the norm" mean - a TSAer should not position people?
2. How do you recommend that a passenger respond if a TSAer attempts to do such a thing.

Anonymous said...

So let me get this right. A person with peircings comes to a TSA choke point and does not think they will be searched? TSA is sick? I don't think so RB. TSA does a lot of things wrong, but sometimes people are just asking for it.

Anonymous said...

Blogger Bob said,
"Nope. Our officers have been trained to carry out certain procedures in different ways. These procedures are considered sensitive security information and cannot be shared with the public. "

Well, probably not, Bob. These "procedures" are carried out in clear view of the public. If the procedures were SSI, the TSOs would be disclosing them to the public, wouldn't they?

The underlying question remains: How does a passenger determine if proper procedure is being followed? I have seen TSO misconduct on a massive scale, like the TSO at BWI who screamingly berated a passenger (me) for not remembering to pull out the quart bag of liquids.

Was this a "different way" of carrying out an approved procedure? Obviously not.

BTW, when I told him we were either going outside to resolve the situation or talk to the LEO about why he assaulted me - as he was pointing his finger at me, he poked me - he ran off.

Anonymous said...

" There is no way DTW can look into this without additional details."
------------------------------

That's just more of the TSA's "can't do" attitude.

If the TSA was serious and professional, it would AT LEAST review how TSO's are currently acting and remind them, in no uncertain terms, that doing what was claimed is absolutely inappropriate. All TSO should also be told that any TSO caught doing this to a passenger will be disciplined which should include termination.

Anonymous said...

It appears from Bobs comments that the flying public will never know the proper procedures/rules regarding the actions of its "officers". They claim it's due to it being SSI and on a need to know basis to keep terrorists from circumventing security.

I don't buy this argument, if the terrorists really want to do harm they will regardless of the SSI being held back by the TSA.

This SSI verbiage is nothing more than an attempt (generously successful) at covering their behinds and making sure the public doesn't know when they should object.

It is a shame that a U.S agency given the job of the security of it's flying citizens has become the single most hated and feared agency in the country. This includes both the IRS and terrorists.

Anonymous said...

With regard to silicone implants under the skin, Blogger Bob said...
'Advanced Imaging Technology cannot see under the skin'.

Why do you continue to lie about this? Backscatter images clearly show things beneath the skin, notably bones, but other things like implants too. There are many images released, including by the TSA, that clearly show this.
Please stop lying. It is clear that these scanners do not see inside body cavities, but they do penetrate several centimetres beneath the skin to reveal all implants at this level.
This does not breach your guidelines.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

So let me get this right. A person with peircings comes to a TSA choke point and does not think they will be searched? TSA is sick? I don't think so RB. TSA does a lot of things wrong, but sometimes people are just asking for it.
------------------------------

How is having body piercings "asking for it"?

Anonymous said...

Blogger Blogger Bob said...

Anonymous said...I have nipple piercings, are they now going to show up as two areas that they'll need to "resolve"? What can I expect, someone pulling on the piercings? Can I just lift my shirt up? February 3, 2011 5:49 PM
------------------------------
If you find yourself in a situation where your piercings need to be inspected, you will be informed that you have the option to resolve the alarm through a visual inspection or you can remove them. A private screening area will be provided.
------------------------------

How is privacy maintained if a female passenger chooses a visual inspection over removing nipple rings?

A TSO would be looking at her bare breasts.

Anonymous said...

If an anomaly is detected with ATR is the image then saved to be reviewed at a later time?

I am asking this because since the program is in the test phase that must mean the scanner is in test mode which enables the images to be saved in an airport setting.

Anonymous said...

Blogger Bob said...
Advanced Imaging Technology cannot see under your skin.

So, Bob, what's to stop a determined terrorist from inserting a weapon/explosive, either into an orifice, or surgically, and using that to take over/destroy a plane? Answer: Nothing. Therefore: AIT is worthless. It'll find some minor things, cause thousands of people to remove piercings, cause a few ostomy bags to be spilled, but it won't catch a determined terrorist.

If you find yourself in a situation where your piercings need to be inspected, you will be informed that you have the option to resolve the alarm through a visual inspection or you can remove them. A private screening area will be provided.

What's to stop a pax from simply saying they removed their piercings? According to you, they don't (or at least are not supposed to) put you through the AIT a second time, so the ONLY way to 'prove' you removed a piercing is to show the area to the screener.

As far as the software upgrade goes, it was approximately $2.7 million for L-3 to develop the software and deploy it to all of the millimeter wave units that are currently in the field. This includes maintenance costs.


Which TSA employee (or former employee) holds a large amount of stock in the software company??

Anonymous said...

Blogger Bob said...
Anonymous said...O. M. G.! That name sound so... dystopian. Really- it fits right in with the Ministries of Peace and Love in '1984' and Nightwatch in 'Babylon 5'. February 3, 2011 9:34 PM
---------------------------
Surprised you’ve never heard it before. Many agencies have Science & Technology Directorates.


I think it's more the "HomeLand Security" part. While "homeland" is technically correct, it brings to mind the German "Vaterland". (Oops, Godwinned!)

Even Wikipedia says "The term is rarely used by common United States citizens to refer to their country, which made the chosen name sound odd to many. In a June 2002 column, Republican consultant and speechwriter Peggy Noonan expressed the hope that the Bush administration would change the name of the department, writing that, "The name Homeland Security grates on a lot of people, understandably. Homeland isn't really an American word, it's not something we used to say or say now"."

And of "fatherland": "The word is not used often in post-World War II English unless one wishes to invoke the Nazis, or one is translating literally from a foreign language..."

So, it is... interesting, Perhaps even prophetic... that that term was chosen.

RB said...

Anonymous said...
So let me get this right. A person with peircings comes to a TSA choke point and does not think they will be searched? TSA is sick? I don't think so RB. TSA does a lot of things wrong, but sometimes people are just asking for it.

February 4, 2011 5:07 PM

...................


So now a person wearing body jewelery is ASKING FOR IT if they decide to fly.

Really? Really!

avxo said...

Blogger Bob wrote: "Our officers have been trained to carry out certain procedures in different ways. These procedures are considered sensitive security information and cannot be shared with the public."

Clearly no reasonable person can expect people to comply with procedures they know about; it stands to reason that at some point you will have to disclose said procedures in order to run through the protocol.

Of course, we don't live in reasonable times; we live in the times of decisions like Gilmore v. Gonzalez. We live in a time when a travesty of justice masquerades as a decision.

Who would have ever thought that a United States Court would uphold (even indirectly) the concept of secret laws; laws that the public must follow, without knowing, under threat of prosecution.

And so, we have come to this -- to the point where a Government Representative tells you "we train our personnel in procedures that will be used on the public, but which the public may not know about."

Procedures that we, the people, must submit to under penalty of law, without knowing if they are, indeed authorized procedures, or something the TSO made up on the spot.

Your trained personnel tell a parent that he needs to allow his child to be groped to clear security. Does he have to? Who knows?! After all the procedure is secret and failure to comply with the procedure carries the threat of prosecution.

Your trained personnel slip a bag of white powder in the bag of a passenger. They tell her it is part of training. Is it? Who knows?! After all the procedure is secret and failure to comply with the procedure carries the threat of prosecution.

Your trained personnel tell a passenger to stop filming and put the camera down. They tell him it's not allowed. Is it? Who knows?! After all the procedure is secret and failure to comply with the procedure carries the threat of prosecution.

Your trained personnel tell a passenger that their $50,000 vehicle key is a threat and must be surrendered. Does it have to? Who knows?! After all the procedure is secret and failure to comply with the procedure carries the threat of prosecution.

Your trained personnel tell a passenger that he must provide the password to a laptop. Does he have to? Who knows?! After all the procedure is secret and failure to comply with the procedure carries the threat of prosecution.

You can say "oh, in all these cases the rules are clear" but clearly, they aren't. Because for all your blog posts, public websites, announcements and officer retraining, the publicly known rules take take a back seat the moment a TSO utters a single sentence.

Because the procedure is secret and failure to comply with the procedure carries the threat of prosecution.

And so, in the back of our heads, we ask "do I really know that the secret procedure isn't what the TSO in front of me is telling me? Am I willing to risk prosecution? Possible fines? Perhaps jail time?" And so almost all of us simply swallow hard and submit.

And that is pretty sad if you think about it.

Anonymous said...

"avxo said...
Blogger Bob wrote: "Our officers have been trained to carry out certain procedures in different ways. These procedures are considered sensitive security information and cannot be shared with the public."

Clearly no reasonable person can expect people to comply with procedures they know about; it stands to reason that at some point you will have to disclose said procedures in order to run through the protocol.

Of course, we don't live in reasonable times; we live in the times of decisions like Gilmore v. Gonzalez. We live in a time when a travesty of justice masquerades as a decision.

Who would have ever thought that a United States Court would uphold (even indirectly) the concept of secret laws; laws that the public must follow, without knowing, under threat of prosecution.

And so, we have come to this -- to the point where a Government Representative tells you "we train our personnel in procedures that will be used on the public, but which the public may not know about."

Procedures that we, the people, must submit to under penalty of law, without knowing if they are, indeed authorized procedures, or something the TSO made up on the spot.

Your trained personnel tell a parent that he needs to allow his child to be groped to clear security. Does he have to? Who knows?! After all the procedure is secret and failure to comply with the procedure carries the threat of prosecution.

Your trained personnel slip a bag of white powder in the bag of a passenger. They tell her it is part of training. Is it? Who knows?! After all the procedure is secret and failure to comply with the procedure carries the threat of prosecution.

Your trained personnel tell a passenger to stop filming and put the camera down. They tell him it's not allowed. Is it? Who knows?! After all the procedure is secret and failure to comply with the procedure carries the threat of prosecution.

Your trained personnel tell a passenger that their $50,000 vehicle key is a threat and must be surrendered. Does it have to? Who knows?! After all the procedure is secret and failure to comply with the procedure carries the threat of prosecution.

Your trained personnel tell a passenger that he must provide the password to a laptop. Does he have to? Who knows?! After all the procedure is secret and failure to comply with the procedure carries the threat of prosecution.

You can say "oh, in all these cases the rules are clear" but clearly, they aren't. Because for all your blog posts, public websites, announcements and officer retraining, the publicly known rules take take a back seat the moment a TSO utters a single sentence.

Because the procedure is secret and failure to comply with the procedure carries the threat of prosecution.

And so, in the back of our heads, we ask "do I really know that the secret procedure isn't what the TSO in front of me is telling me? Am I willing to risk prosecution? Possible fines? Perhaps jail time?" And so almost all of us simply swallow hard and submit.

And that is pretty sad if you think about it.

February 4, 2011 11:47 PM"

FEAR, FEAR,intimidation tactics, and more FEAR.

This is precisely why there have been few complaints, and few objections at the check points by the flying public.

The people don't know whether what they are being forced, told, and yelled at to do is actually part of these hidden rules or whether it will get them arrested or at minimum miss their flight if they even say anything let alone physically object.

If TSA wants cooperation I would suggest that they give it and cease treating the people they are supposedly protecting like common criminals and terrorists.

TSA: The most feared and hated agency in the United States.

Anonymous said...

Blogger Bob,
You still have not answered the question: how are mastectomy prostheses resolved?
Do they have to be removed, or is this down to the discretion of the security officer?
Do they have to be chemically swabbed? How do you know what is inside them if they are not removed and being put through baggage x-ray?
Please address this issue because it is something that ATR does not solve, and passengers with disabilities have a right to know how much, or how little, privacy they can expect at airport screening.

Anonymous said...

Blogger Bob wrote: Our officers have been trained to carry out certain procedures in different ways. These procedures are considered sensitive security information and cannot be shared with the public.

When a screener claims that an item is prohibited despite the TSA website clearly stating that the item is acceptable, is that part of the "training" that you're talking about? Is the TSA website providing deliberately misleading information, or is the screener simply making things up and/or lying about the item?

When policies and procedures are maintained as "SSI" there is no way for a passenger to know when the screener is lying.

And "just trust us" is no longer an acceptable answer for any statement coming from the TSA.

Anonymous said...

I would just like to take a few moments and review some of the things that the TSA has tried to tell the American people.

They told us that the American people supported the new digital strip search and gential search. Then the Zogby poll clearly showed that the TSA was lying.

Then they told us that everyone had to go through the same screening process, but it came out that most if not all people who work at the airports are not screened. They lied again.

Then they told us that if we "See something, say something" Then when the pilot posted videos of the HUGE security holes that exist because the TSA does not screen the people who work at the airport, the TSA / Homeland Security attacked the pilot for telling the truth.

The TSA has been telling us that the scanners are "safe" and that independent sources have verified their claims, and then it turns out that many, many independent sources tell us that there has never been any long term clinic tests related to scanner safety and that even some of the sources that the TSA has claimed support scanner HAVE NEVER EVEN CONDUCTED ANY TESTS!!

The TSA has lied to us repeatedly and has never given us ANY reason to trust them.

Anonymous said...

Quit trying to hold on to a power that was never yours to have. Get rid of the machines! It is a human right to be secure in our persons from unreasonable search and seizure. It is not the privilege of governments to "allow" us those rights; they're ours.

No government, past, present or future has the right to take any of the inalienable human rights from anyone, regardless of whether they have done it or are currently doing it. Only we, through our individual choices, can be deprived in any way of these rights.

You want to protect the American people? Start by removing the tyrants and their tools from power.

RB said...

You want to protect the American people? Start by removing the tyrants and their tools from power.

February 7, 2011 12:31 PM

...............

Seems your calling for the removal of TSA.

Anonymous said...

Why wasn't this done from the begining? Sounds like TSA doesn't have anyone thinking too much about what public opinion might be.

Blogger Bob said...

Anonymous said...If an anomaly is detected with ATR is the image then saved to be reviewed at a later time? I am asking this because since the program is in the test phase that must mean the scanner is in test mode which enables the images to be saved in an airport setting. February 4, 2011 8:38 PM
------------------------------
No, images are only saved in lab settings during testing.

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

RB said...

Blogger Bob said...
Anonymous said...If an anomaly is detected with ATR is the image then saved to be reviewed at a later time? I am asking this because since the program is in the test phase that must mean the scanner is in test mode which enables the images to be saved in an airport setting. February 4, 2011 8:38 PM
------------------------------
No, images are only saved in lab settings during testing.

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

February 7, 2011 2:55 PM

...........
Is it possible in any way, shape, or manner for a machines to be switched to a setting allowing for images to be saved after being installed at an airport checkpoint?

This would include testing or maintenance settings or any other setting not intended for operational use.

Who exactly has the passwords or other control to make this change if it is possible?

Anonymous said...

"You have to understand the logic behind this, right? Could an ostomie bag or a prosthetic not be filled with explosives? Terrorists look for ways to exploit these types of things. We understand it’s an inconvenience, but you have to understand why we can’t just say “oh, it’s just an ostomie bag, they’re ok to go.”"

Why not, Bob? That's worked perfectly well for the last decade or so. You're claiming that the guaranteed invasive probing of private medical devices that have never been used to deliver explosives onto a plane of thousands of travelers each and every day is worth it on the one in a billion chance of a colostomy bomber, even though your latest screening protocol can't detect anything secreted in body cavities. It's insane, it shows you have no ability to measure and assess risk in a realistic manner, and it shows you don't care about people with disabilities that require the use of these devices. It's not just an "inconvenience" for the poor man left covered in his own urine last year, Bob.

"And why would I not want to remove it? What’s my/TSA’s advantage? An alternative method to shoe removal would do wonders for throughput. "

I have no idea why you're obsessed with shoes, Bob, but the simple fact that no other country on earth replicates TSA's shoe carnival, nor has suffered any ill consequences as a result -- a fact you've struggled mightily to avoid admitting in this forum time and time again -- suggests a simple replacement that could be instituted tomorrow without lessening air security: Stop making everyone take off their shoes.

Anonymous said...

anon said:
"When a screener claims that an item is prohibited despite the TSA website clearly stating that the item is acceptable, is that part of the "training" that you're talking about?"

there are ways to bring your item with you even if the tsa person says its prohibited. im assuming what you are talking about is a non-hazardous item so it can be placed in your checked luggage. you can also ask for a supervisor and ask them to confirm that it is indeed prohibited. when they say the item is prohibited im assuming that they are saying that its probited in the cabin of the plane. amost all items are allowed in checked luggage, even guns.

Anonymous said...

You know bags have to be checked BEFORE you go through security, right?

Gunner said...

So, the reports and rumors that there is a switch, or button, or command sequence, or override, or something similar that allows the operator to bypass the filters and see the unvarnished nude-o-scope images are false.

A simple yes or no will suffice.

Anonymous said...

Bob i am looking for an answer to this:



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blogger Blogger Bob said...

Anonymous said...I have nipple piercings, are they now going to show up as two areas that they'll need to "resolve"? What can I expect, someone pulling on the piercings? Can I just lift my shirt up? February 3, 2011 5:49 PM
------------------------------
If you find yourself in a situation where your piercings need to be inspected, you will be informed that you have the option to resolve the alarm through a visual inspection or you can remove them. A private screening area will be provided.
------------------------------

How is privacy maintained if a female passenger chooses a visual inspection over removing nipple rings?

A TSO would be looking at her bare breasts.

February 4, 2011 8:10 PM

Rufus Dogg said...

Sounds like the teacher talking in a Charlie Brown episode. Wha, wha, wha... c'mon, we're all smarter than this. "A small percentage"? If a small percentage got your attention, there are a whole lot more who didn't. Quit trying to warp us all to your way of thinking about security and start being more creative within our expectations of freedom... Like this maybe... http://www.dogwalkblog.com/t/tsa

Do smart stuff and quit spinning a dead horse as a unicorn. Nobody who is thinking is buying it and those who are buying it are too scared to say anything. The TSA is not painting a good picture of America. You all need to back up and think a bit differently about security that is not a strong-arm, yelling at citizens, guilty-before-proven-innocent approach.

Just do.

Chris Boyce said...

PART ONE OF TWO: RB, on Feb 7 at 3:19 PM, wrote to BB expecting an answer.

RB,

Since you (and the rest of us), don't have a prayer of getting an honest answer to your questions from BB or anyone else in the TSA, I would like to publish direct quotes from the TSA's own specifications. In this post, I will post quotes from the Operational Requirements. In a separate post, I will post relevant sections of the procurement specification.

From there, I invite everyone to come to their own conclusions whether or not Bob is telling the whole truth. OK, here it goes:

I invite everyone to read a copy of the "Whole Body Imager Aviation Applications Operational Requirements Document, Version 1.9, Final Report." It was published under the auspices of the TSA Systems Engineering Branch in July 2006.

http://epic.org/open_gov/foia/TSA_Ops_Requirements.pdf

I quote from From Paragraph 2.6. "Image Screening Position (ISP)" (This is the voyeur position. The Scanning Initiation Position (SIP) is the screener standing beside the Strip Search Machine.)

"b) Communicate to the Scanning Initiation Position (SIP) display that the ISP operator wants to take additional scans of the passenger beyond the required minimal number of scans. The exact positioning of the passenger in the additional scans will be communicated by voice."

OBSERVATION: I thought this blog said that we are only imaged once, yet the document clearly states a requirement for the possibility of multiple images of a passenger."

"c) Communicate to the SIP display that the passenger shall! (18) be detained and searched. The specific details of body areas to be searched and potential threats will be communicated by voice."

OBSERVATION: I thought the TSA didn't "detain" us, yet there is a requirement to detain passengers in the spec.

"Images shall (21) conform to the following guidelines.

g) Logging out of the control terminal clears all image data from system buffers and confirmation is given to the screener."

OBSERVATION: Images ARE STORED in the buffer for the ENTIRE time period in which the machine is in operation.

From Paragraph 2.8: "Data Logger:"

"Fielded versions of the WBI shall (24) prohibit the recording or storage of images.

The WBI shall (25) lock all media, communication interfaces, and ports, using both physical and software controls accessible only by the designated Federal Security Director (FSD) with the exception of communication interfaces intended for verbal communication between the SIP and persons managing the WBI, managing passengers, and resolving alarms.

One WBI system, identified by the Government, shall (26) have the capability, which can be configurable at the superuser level. to record images for training purposes. The superuser password shall (27) be managed by the TSA.

The capabity to retain images at the superuser level will be disabled on operational systems."

OBSERVATION: This requirement states that every machine does, in fact, have the ability to "retain," "record," and "store" images. The only safeguard preventing this is two passwords passwords and two individuals: The FSD and someone called a "superuser."

Section 8.1, Physical Security, confirms my observation:

"The Whole Body lmager shall (72) provide the means to:

Password protect access to operational configuration parameters and collected data in both operational and non·operational modes.

Incorporate a three level user and password scheme allowing supervisors and "superusers" access and override capabilities.

Chris Boyce said...

In response to RB, here is PART TWO OF TWO.

I invite everyone to read a copy of the "Procurement Specification For Whole Body Imager devices For Checkpoint Operations, FINAL, Version 1.02," published by the TSA Office of Security Technology, System Planning, and Evaluation, in June 2008

http://epic.org/open_gov/foia/TSA_Procurement_Specs.pdf

Section 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.

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)."

"3.1.1.5.1 Data Storage/Transfer

The WEI system shall (98) provide capabilities for data transfers via USB devices...A high capacity read/write drive shall (100) be installed to permit data uploads and downloads. All necessary software drivers and operating system services to support the data collection devices shall (101) be preinstalled and preconfigured."

Section 3.1.11.2, "Software Access"

The WBI:

(a) shall (182) allow user access, password protection, and capabilities per the User Access Levels and Capabilities appendix.
(b) shall (183) have a user database with a minimum capacity of 10,000 users. A user database is defined as the user ID and password combinations to access the system.
(c) shall (184) through the use of a graphical user interface (GUI) or menu, allow the user to encrypt and export a user database.
(d) shall (185) through the use of a GUI or menu, allow the user to import and decrypt a user database."

I need to point out that requirements documents contain "shall statements." Everyone of them is numbered. In order for the contractor to be paid, each one of the "shall statements" must be verified either by inspection, analysis, or test. The specs contain a "verification matrix" where this is documented.

Chris Boyce said...

Summary of my two posts which quoted the TSA's own specs:

The strip search machines in the field DO have the capability to store and transmit images. They do have the capability to have this capability turned on & off in the field. Two positions (there could be many people holding these positions) have the capability to turn storage and transmittal on & off:

1. The Federal Security Director (FSD) -- a TSA employee
2. A "superuser," defined as a contractor employee from TSA HQ.

Images are stored in the machine's buffer (identical to a temporary file on your home computer) for the entire time that a clerk is logged on and viewing images in the booth. The spec also contains a "shall statement" requiring the capability for data transfer via USB devices. An additional "shall statement" states that all the software and hardware to support this USB capability must be installed and configured.

So, the only thing protecting your naked image or that of your spouse or children from someone's personal collection or the internet is a single password.

Bob, prove to me that I'm wrong by citing chapter & verse.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous wrote: im assuming what you are talking about is a non-hazardous item so it can be placed in your checked luggage.

So it can be more easily stolen by an unscrupulous TSA employee like Randy Pepper?

No, thanks.

The problem remains - the TSA refuses to publish guidelines to which the public can hold screeners accountable, calling them "SSI."

Secret rules and secret laws are the hallmark of totalitarianism.

The American public is slowly waking up to notice that the TSA consistently oversteps boundaries, including screeners who claim that travelers have no rights at the checkpoint.

That needs to change, and soon.

Anonymous said...

Blogger Bob said:
""You have to understand the logic behind this, right? Could an ostomie bag or a prosthetic not be filled with explosives? Terrorists look for ways to exploit these types of things. We understand it’s an inconvenience, but you have to understand why we can’t just say “oh, it’s just an ostomie bag, they’re ok to go.”"

And a pacemaker could be an implanted pacemaker and explosives can be implanted in body cavities. What's the point, Bob? You're screening processes don't detect these things so you don't worry about them?

Face it, it took the TSA 10 months to try to counter the underwear bomber and it didn't even warn the public of the risk, did it?

Anonymous said...

Should we expect a real answer to the USA Today article about the TSAs non-response to lawmakers demanding more information about the previous TSA lies concerning the safety of the scanners?

http://www.usatoday.com/travel/flights/2011-02-09-tsa09_ST_N.htm

Or should we all just expect another fluff piece?

Anonymous said...

What prompted this type of invasion of privacy? What type of "terrorist plot" could be deterred by having a naked body scan?

And why is there a need to "report suspicious activity"? Anyone could be suspicious in the eye of the beholder.

All of this big brother mentality is a completely unnecessary way to prevent crime. There is no way to prevent crime. All we can do is set laws and enforce violations based on the proper penalties for breaking any law. Isn't that enough? Is there a law that prevents anyone from being suspicious? Should anyone be concerned about being a suspect?

All of this is farce. I don't believe that any of this is worth the time, money, effort or thought in regard to having civilian tattle tales.

I love having laws and a justice system that upholds the law. I hate unnecessary violations of privacy.

RB said...

So TSA is willing to expose the public to deadly xrays and will not release xray test results as ordered by Congress.

Tell me again why anyone should trust anything TSA is involved in?

"The Transportation Security Administration has told members of Congress that more than 15 million passengers received full-body scans at airports without any malfunctions that put travelers at risk of an excessive radiation dose.

Despite the reassurance, however, the TSA has yet to release radiation inspection reports for its X-ray equipment — two months after lawmakers called for them to be made public following USA TODAY's requests to review the reports."

Seems TSA could care less about the people they screen and even less about their employees who stand by Backscatter Xray units for hours on end with no radiation detection badge to warn of over exposure to deadly xrays.

Guess who will be paying the legal settlements a few years down the road, won't be TSA but us Taxpayers who TSA is abusing today.

No manner of ATR software resolves the issue of Backscatter Strip Search machines. Why has TSA bought a known deadly form of screening device? Is it because the former head of DHS, Mr. Chertoff, has a direct financial interest in how many of these devices TSA buys? You know it is!

Jim Huggins said...

almost all items are allowed in checked luggage, even guns.

And, of course, if those items happen to be stolen from your checked luggage, you're out of luck. Especially because both TSA and the airlines will claim that it was the other agency that was responsible for the theft.

RB said...

Chris Boyce said...
Summary of my two posts which quoted the TSA's own specs:

.............
Thanks for your post.

It's clear that TSA uses disinformation for almost all interaction with the public.

The Strip Search Machine specifications are clear, TSA has lied from day one about these devices. Does anyone doubt they also lie about the quality of the images? If TSA was truthful they would publish the images.

Then we have the issues with Backscatter Strip Search machines and even after Congress has demanded Inspection reports TSA stonewalls. But of course TSA tells the public the Strip Search machines are perfectly safe, but remember TSA lies about almost everything.

Are you willing to subject yourself, children, spouse or parents to a device that TSA won't even disclose radiation safety inspection reports to the Congress of the United States?

If anyone is looking for the real Terrorists they have to look no further than TSA.

Blogger Bob said...

To the individual who asked about multiple AIT screenings at SFO and OAK, I just heard back from the airports today.

"We do not “scan” people more than once. The only explanation possible is that we were training. However, without detailed information on time, date, checkpoint we cannot review our training records to see if that was the case. We have a very ambitious training schedule and use AITs at active checkpoints."

So if you have more information, please let me know here, or you can send it via Talk to TSA in the link I provided earlier.

Thanks,

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Christopher said...

I love the Time Swampland post from yesterday about rude TSA agents... The last line in the blog post is only the tip of the iceberg as to why I opt out, but it's worth reading.

http://swampland.blogs.time.com/2011/02/08/stay-classy-tsa/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+timeblogs%2Fswampland+%28TIME%3A+Swampland%29

Anonymous said...

Blogger Bob reported that SFO and OAK TSA told him:

"We do not “scan” people more than once. The only explanation possible is that we were training. However, without detailed information on time, date, checkpoint we cannot review our training records to see if that was the case. We have a very ambitious training schedule and use AITs at active checkpoints."

If I understand this, then, OAK and SFO doesn't scan people more than once except when they do. Do I have that correct?

Anonymous said...

""We do not “scan” people more than once. The only explanation possible is that we were training."

So they don't scan people more than once, except for when they DO scan more than once?

Or is the truth that they're poorly trained and don't know what they're doing and lying to cover it now that someone's asking about it in a half-hearted way?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Bob thats all fine and dandy but you are still not eliminating radiation.

EXACTLY! All we will need then is to rid ourselves of that radiation machine known as the SUN and we will finally be rid of those human killing rays once and for all! thank you for the amusement.

RB said...

Blogger Bob said...
To the individual who asked about multiple AIT screenings at SFO and OAK, I just heard back from the airports today.

"We do not “scan” people more than once. The only explanation possible is that we were training. However, without detailed information on time, date, checkpoint we cannot review our training records to see if that was the case. We have a very ambitious training schedule and use AITs at active checkpoints."

So if you have more information, please let me know here, or you can send it via Talk to TSA in the link I provided earlier.

Thanks,

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

February 9, 2011 12:55 PM
..............
"The only explanation possible is that we were training."

So the correct answer is that they do scan people more than once.

Why is it so hard for you TSA types to just answer truthfully once in a while?

Forget how?

Blogger Bob said...

Gunner said...So, the reports and rumors that there is a switch, or button, or command sequence, or override, or something similar that allows the operator to bypass the filters and see the unvarnished nude-o-scope images are false. February 7, 2011 11:13 PM
--------------------
The rumors you have mentioned here are false.
--------------------
RB So the correct answer is that they do scan people more than once. February 9, 2011 2:55 PM
--------------------
RB – AIT Training is not conducted on passengers. If that's what you were getting at...

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

Blogger Bob,
I asked several times how this new ATR will improve privacy for people with sensitive prostheses.
How are mastectomy prostheses resolved?
How are implants just beneath the skin resolved ( Backscatter scanners do penetrate several centimetres beneath the skin)?
These are important privacy issues, are you going to address these questions Blogger Bob, or not? I think, unfortunately we already know the answer.

Anonymous said...

Adrian said...
"I've seen more than a dozen people scanned, and not one of them was scanned just once. There was a scan, then a partial patdown, then back into the scanner.
I saw one passenger in the SFO international terminal sent back in for a FOURTH scan while the screener on the headset kept insisting, "There's nothing there.""

Blogger Bob said...
"I just heard back from the airports today..."We do not “scan” people more than once.""

Oh, come on, Bob. You're not even trying anymore. You can't just flatly deny it happened- you need to throw in a few buzzwords like SSI and Unpredictability first. Only then can you deny the truth.

Anonymous said...

Blogger Bob said...
"RB So the correct answer is that they do scan people more than once. February 9, 2011 2:55 PM
--------------------
RB – AIT Training is not conducted on passengers. If that's what you were getting at..."

The original poster clearly said that they saw "more than a dozen people" sent back to be re-scanned. Is AIT training done by scanning over 12 people??

They also clearly said I saw one passenger in the SFO international terminal sent back in for a FOURTH scan while the screener on the headset kept insisting, "There's nothing there.""


...so, are you calling them a liar, or what?

Wimpie said...

"We do not “scan” people more than once. The only explanation possible is that we were training. However, without detailed information on time, date, checkpoint we cannot review our training records to see if that was the case. We have a very ambitious training schedule and use AITs at active checkpoints."

So this would lead us to the fact that two or more people may be viewing our naked bodies in the perv booth?

Anonymous said...

Blogger Bob relayed: We do not “scan” people more than once.

That is an outright lie.

Multiple eyewitness reports have been published wherein passengers have been "scanned" several times between gropes, evidently because the person in the "peep booth" saw something that the repeated "pat-downs" didn't detect.

Anonymous said...

Blogger Bob wrote: AIT Training is not conducted on passengers. If that's what you were getting at...

Another lie.

A passenger at LAX reported that he was scanned then groped then told it was a "drill."

http://bit.ly/eTfHb0

"After the scan i was taken aside by 3 agents and made to wait, hearing radio messages along the lines of its on his left leg. I was then patted down. More radio chatter and another firmer pat down. A couple of minutes later someone comes from a side room. Shouts just a drill people. Stand down.

I get a mumbled you can go now. "

Anonymous said...

Third time I am asking this Bob....you still have not answered.


Blogger Blogger Bob said...

Anonymous said...I have nipple piercings, are they now going to show up as two areas that they'll need to "resolve"? What can I expect, someone pulling on the piercings? Can I just lift my shirt up? February 3, 2011 5:49 PM
------------------------------
If you find yourself in a situation where your piercings need to be inspected, you will be informed that you have the option to resolve the alarm through a visual inspection or you can remove them. A private screening area will be provided.
------------------------------

How is privacy maintained if a female passenger chooses a visual inspection over removing nipple rings?

A TSO would be looking at her bare breasts.

February 4, 2011 8:10 PM

Sandra said...

SSS for some reason wrote: "This begs the question of why you brought out the scanners before this bit of software was ready?"

The answer is because the TSA, in all its arrogance, never expected the uproar that has been raised over WBI and the assaultative pat downs. They are now scrambling to make "improvements."

Sandra said...

Chris Boyce:

Thanks for your excellent posts! BB won't respond, unfortunately, with anything other than more untruths.

Anonymous said...

Automated detection does not remove the fact that these machines are not an appropriate technique to detect explosives. They do not see within body cavities (and therefore can be circumscribed by terrorists) and cannot differentiate common objects such as maxipads from dangerous ones (and therefore create uncomfortable situations for honest people).

Scrap the machines.

Anonymous said...

Hello again. I posted a week or so ago thanking the TSA for testing this new software. I still stand by that appreciative comment. I sincerly do not think that as an organization the TSA is out to "get us". I do have one additional comment to make however. Just this week I took a friend to the Columbus Ohio airport. I watched as he made his way through security and noticed something. The security lines were clearly set up, although unmarked, so you could avoid the back scatter x-ray machines and instead pass through the old style metal detectors if you chose. Sort of a "choose your own fate" situation. This was the funny thing, despite surveys published saying that most people are in favor of the new AIT screenings, the line for the metal detectors stretched all the way back to where they check your ID and boarding pass. There wasn't much of a line for the AIT. In fact, those that chose that line were through security in about 4 minutes. I'm not claiming that the survey's are wrong, but, when faced with the situation themselves it does appear that either fear of the x-ray, or modesty, still has a powerful influence on people's actions. PLEASE keep testing your new software, it will help with the modesty issue, but, I still think you should just let independent testing of the radiation put out by the machines be published. I don't see how it would affect security and it might just make a few more people comfortable with picking that "shorter line".

RB said...

I'm not claiming that the survey's are wrong, but, when faced with the situation themselves it does appear that either fear of the x-ray, or modesty, still has a powerful influence on people's actions. PLEASE keep testing your new software, it will help with the modesty issue, but, I still think you should just let independent testing of the radiation put out by the machines be published. I don't see how it would affect security and it might just make a few more people comfortable with picking that "shorter line".

February 11, 2011 4:15 PM

...........................
Of course the surveys are wrong. The public does not accept Electronic Strip Searches or Sexual Assualt Frisks conducted by employees of the TSA.

As far as the radiation dangers of the Backscatter Strip Search Machines TSA has not provided Congress with those records.

The easy question is what is TSA trying to hide?

Anonymous said...

Yet you still have to be scanned or groped, you still have to adopt the position of arrest and compliance, and you haven't DONE anything wrong. Do you not get it?

Anonymous said...

I don't care if the software is updated. I'll still opt out.

You want me to not opt out? Then get rid of all this security theater.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said:
"I don't see how it would affect security and it might just make a few more people comfortable with picking that "shorter line"."

Nice to know that the TSA now has a way you can streamline giving up your rights.

Anonymous said...

I will ask again Blogger Bob:

How are mastectomy prostheses resolved?
How are implants just beneath the skin resolved?

These are important privacy questions and passengers have a right to know if their privacy will be protected or not.
Why do you refuse to answer Blogger Bob?

Anonymous said...

The reason that the TSA is starting to use this new software is because the public DOES NOT LIKE THE CURRENT POLICIES THAT ARE VIRTUAL STRIP SEARCHES.

Therefore, every time the TSA has told us that the public supports the scanners, they have lied to the American people.

Ayn R. Key said...

Bob, thank you for once again responding to many people and completely ignoring me.

Jeff Chisholm said...

You contradict yourself pretty blatantly.

If the image truly could not be stored, then how would it be deleted?

The only reason you would delete the picture is to prevent it from being stored.

So the images absolutely CAN be stored. The system allows for it to be stored. To prevent that from occurring, you are saying that the image is deleted. But it still COULD be stored if it weren't immediately deleted.

You see the contradiction, your phrasing, correct?

Ayn R. Key said...

Bob wrote:
To the individual who asked about multiple AIT screenings at SFO and OAK, I just heard back from the airports today.

"We do not “scan” people more than once.


Really? Are you sure the front line isn't deviating from policy? Perhaps you should write a blog entry about when the front line deviates from procedure.

Anonymous said...

Wow, major victory for the outspoken American public! I still think the existence of technology that can take naked pictures of people in airports is really frightening and inappropriate but the fact that the TSA is being forced by the strength of public opinion to modify its approach is AWESOME. Let's keep the pressure on.

Anonymous said...

Still waiting for an answer to this.


Blogger Blogger Bob said...

Anonymous said...I have nipple piercings, are they now going to show up as two areas that they'll need to "resolve"? What can I expect, someone pulling on the piercings? Can I just lift my shirt up? February 3, 2011 5:49 PM
------------------------------
If you find yourself in a situation where your piercings need to be inspected, you will be informed that you have the option to resolve the alarm through a visual inspection or you can remove them. A private screening area will be provided.
------------------------------

How is privacy maintained if a female passenger chooses a visual inspection over removing nipple rings?

A TSO would be looking at her bare breasts.

February 4, 2011 8:10 PM

Blogger Bob said...

I deleted the last comment because the link was long and disrupting the format. Here is the link Anonymous was trying to post.

http://tinyurl.com/6867n5y

Thanks,

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Blogger Bob said...

Anonymous said: How is privacy maintained if a female passenger chooses a visual inspection over removing nipple rings? A TSO would be looking at her bare breasts. February 4, 2011 8:10 PM

--------------------------

You might remember this post... TSA & Piercings

We adjusted our procedures after that incident. Like we've said before, we respect the privacy of passengers, but security comes first.

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

"we respect the privacy of passengers, but security comes first."

-----------------------------------
Why doesn't the same thing apply to TSOs?

Anonymous said...

Blogger Bob said...
'We respect the privacy of passengers, but security comes first'.

For Blogger Bob and the TSA privacy will always be a very poor second. Fact.
Why do you not answer the privacy questions:
How are mastectomy prostheses resolved?
How are implants just beneath the skin resolved?

Anonymous said...

"Like we've said before, we respect the privacy of passengers, but security comes first."

Bob, you don't respect the privacy OR the security of passengers. You just keep coming up with ever-more-invasive methods of finding things that aren't there to be found in the first place. We know it, you know it, stop lying.

Anonymous said...

Blogger Bob's statement that security must always come before privacy shows that the TSA have learned nothing over the last few years: security and privacy need NOT be mutually exclusive with one traded off against the other. This either/or paradigm means the terrorists have won. The TSA should be working to defeat terrorism by developing screening programmes that are equally security AND privacy protective ( this is already possible), that is the way to defeat terrorism and preserve freedom and liberty. Unfortunately the TSA will never understand this.

Anonymous said...

If the little box appears right where my legs meet, what do you plan on doing?

Patting down a maxipad?

How will that help determine if it isn´t an underwear bomb?

Anonymous said...

Like we've said before, we respect the privacy of passengers, but security comes first.

There you have it.

The TSA believes our rights come second.

MarkVII said...

I have to disagree that the TSA's problems are due to a few "bad apples". The ongoing problems tell me that there are systemic issues that are not being addressed.

We keep seeing the same patterns of behavior (unnecessary yelling, not knowing the rules, retaliatory screening, theft, etc.). Here's a recent news report. http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2011/02/17/tsa-agents-accused-stealing-40g-luggage/. Here's another http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/14/us-airport-bribes-idUSTRE71D72V20110214.

Google "TSA theft" some time -- it's an interesting series of articles.

The TSA could learn a lot from the gaming industry -- after all, they handle huge sums of money every day. I don't understand why the TSA doesn't use casino-style surveillance systems to cover the areas under TSA control where passenger belongings are searched. Table game dealing procedure at casinos is designed so a dealer would have a tough time pocketing cash or chips.

You might want to look into it...

Mark
qui custodiet ipsos custodes

Anonymous said...

Bob said:
"I deleted the last comment because the link was long and disrupting the format. Here is the link Anonymous was trying to post."

I don't see that as a reason to delete a comment. Explain yourself.

C from FT said...

So how does changing the picture that's displayed on the screen prevent the machines from storing or transmitting the original images? TSA's requirements for these machines included the ability to store and transmit images, so those capabilities are there.

And how does changing the picture that's displayed make the machines send out any less (or no) radiation?

While I may not like surly TSA agents at checkpoints, I still am concerned about them to an extent. As a traveller I refuse to go through these cancer causers because I care about my health too much. I hate to think about what being around that much radiation, day in and day out, is doing to TSA employees at the checkpoint.

Dental assistants at my dentist's office leave the room and stand behind a lead barrier when X-raying patients, and those machines aren't on ALL the time! If we fast forward to 10 or 20 years from now I'm sure we'll begin to see that "cancer clusters" have formed around groups of current and former TSA employees who worked around this equipment on a regular basis.

Forget privacy concerns and Fourth Amendment violations for a minute (although these are still important issues). The fact that changing an image displayed on a monitor does NOTHING to make us safer or your employees safer from these cancer causers is still plenty of reason for the American public to steer clear of them.

Anonymous said...

anon said:
"For Blogger Bob and the TSA privacy will always be a very poor second. Fact."

what you fail to see in all of this is that the terrorists that are moving against the US dont care about the rights of the US citizen. in fact, they are using those rights against you. they are turning the citizens against the govt by creating ways to hide explosives by using your fears and rights against you. so when the govt has to act on the threat they are acting against your privacy. see the big picture? perhaps its their way main objective; not to take down planes but to turn the american citizens against the govt by taking away their privacy and freedoms.

Anonymous said...

Blogger Bob said...
Like we've said before, we respect the privacy of passengers, but security comes first.

I suggest you read the Bill of Rights. It doesn't say anything about security but it does address privacy. Protecting our rights as Americans is more important than security. Sometime you have to accept risk to do what's right.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to address two issues with this post. The first one being the question asking if for all this time TSA claimed an actual person was fine looking at the image why change it? Doesn't it prove everyone doubting right?...Absolutly not! There are several reasons behind it that just a little common sense can answer. Stop thinking so negative and open your minds. What I don't understand is why complain if the problem is solved. The public should be happy that "privacy issues" are gone since no one is looking at the image anymore not complain. Actually thats mostly true. Most people appreciate it both ways. Only a handfull can't be happy and need to always complain about something. If your that person live in a world were you keep your uneducated comments to yourself.

As far as the radiation...I'm no scientist, but I do have an answer to this question and issue. Do a 5th graders science homework. Google radiation. Anything manmade and most things found in nature emit radiation. Granite counter tops, micowaves, THE SUN, T.Vs, and so much more. If your that worried...i would say don't leave the house but that won't work. Think about this. TSO's stand in it, work around it, and every pregnant TSO I know has a perfectly healthy child and no one has developed health issues or a third eye...and were not passing through it for two seconds.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
As far as the radiation...I'm no scientist, but I do have an answer to this question and issue. Do a 5th graders science homework. Google radiation. Anything manmade and most things found in nature emit radiation. Granite counter tops, micowaves, THE SUN, T.Vs, and so much more. If your that worried...i would say don't leave the house but that won't work. Think about this. TSO's stand in it, work around it, and every pregnant TSO I know has a perfectly healthy child and no one has developed health issues or a third eye...and were not passing through it for two seconds.

February 18, 2011 8:00 PM"

Yes, virtually everything emits some kind of radiation some bad some not so much. But, that 5th grade education doesn't explain why this type (ionizing) radiation is such a problem for people. This is the same type of radiation used for standard x-rays, ct-scans, etc. These things emit radiation that has been shown to be cumulative in its' negative affects on the human body. Ever wonder why doctors and nurses wear shielding or leave the room when these scans are performed?

So please, before making a 5th grade statement try educating yourself a little more.

I also wonder what the effects will be on the people (TSO's) operating these things on a daily basis with no shielding (on their persons) and no way of reading their cumulative exposure (dosimeters).

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