Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Viral Video About Body Scanners

A video is making its way around the interwebs this morning from some guy claiming he figured out a way to beat our body scanners (imaging technology).

I watched the video and it is a crude attempt to allegedly show how to circumvent TSA screening procedures.

For obvious security reasons, we can’t discuss our technology's detection capability in detail, however TSA conducts extensive testing of all screening technologies in the laboratory and at airports prior to rolling them out to the entire field. Imaging technology has been extremely effective in the field and has found things artfully concealed on passengers as large as a gun or nonmetallic weapons, on down to a tiny pill or tiny baggies of drugs. It’s one of the best tools available to detect metallic and non-metallic items, such as… you know… things that go BOOM.

With all that said, it is one layer of our 20 layers of security (Behavior Detection, Explosives Detection Canines, Federal Air Marshals, , etc.) and is not a machine that has all the tools we need in one handy device. We’ve never claimed it’s the end all be all.

However, our nation's aviation system is much safer now with the deployment of 600 imaging technology units at 140 airports. It is completely safe and the vast majority use a generic image that completely addresses privacy concerns. Also, keep in mind that is optional. Anybody can opt out of the body scanner for a pat-down. 

If you’d like to comment on an unrelated topic you can do so in our Off Topic Comments post. You can also view our blog post archives or search our blog to find a related topic to comment in. If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact a Customer Support Manager at the airport you traveled, or will be traveling through by using Talk to TSA


446 comments:

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Blogger Bob said...

If you're having trouble reading the comments or reading the captchas, please contact Google. Blogger is owned by Google, not TSA. :-)

As long as this blog has been around, after we go past 200 comments, you have to find the tiny link at the bottom that allows you to read older comments. Not our doing...

As for the difficult captchas, that issue is new, but again, it is not our doing. It's likely just an effort to decrease the ever increasing spam we get every day.

Thanks,

Blogger Bob Burns
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

still haven't fixed the problem

Anonymous said...

Blogger Bob said...
If you're having trouble reading the comments or reading the captchas, please contact Google. Blogger is owned by Google, not TSA. :-)

Billions for machines to irradiate the flying public and look at them naked, but not $100 for some REAL blogging software, huh, Bob?

Oh, and how about actually replying to the relevant issues raised here, instead of just fluff? Too much to ask?

Robert said...

This post reads like an Onion article, Bob. The fact your agency hasn't been abolished, shows just how completely ineffective our government has become, Bob. Everyone hates you, Bob. You do not make us safer, Bob.

Anonymous said...

The TSA cannot deny it. Their multi-billion dollar system is virtually useless. Just another scam to make the American sheeple comply with the whims of the government.

Anonymous said...

If you're having trouble reading the comments or reading the captchas, please contact Google. Blogger is owned by Google, not TSA. :-)

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

Typical response of TSA management

"not my problem, so I'll ignore it. Doesn't matter if it affects our customers".

"We take your feedback seriously"

No you don't.
You guys are truly clueless.

Anonymous said...

As long as this blog has been around, after we go past 200 comments, you have to find the tiny link at the bottom that allows you to read older comments. Not our doing...

--------------------------------
Took me about 30 seconds to look at other blogs using Google Blogger.

Guess what? None of them have the same problem with showing posts over 200 that this blog is having.

Is it incompetence or does the TSA simply not care?

RB said...

Why does the TSA Blog take me to "Blogger.Com" when I try to read the comments?

Shouldn't the comments stay on the TSA Blog pages?

Perhaps TSA's IT people should contact Blogger/Google instead of telling the public to complain to these people.

Gosh, if complaining about things did any good we wouldn't have the problems we have now with TSA cause lord knows TSA gets plenty of complaints. TSA just refuses to listen.

Sandra said...

Kinda silly to put up a post telling people to contact Google when many readers can't even see that post, don't you think, Bob?

Screen shot.

Anonymous said...

How does *not* discussing the technology's detection capabilities make the situation more secure? Just like software, the more open you are, the more robust the outcome.

Anonymous said...

You want to know something that goes BOOM? That's the sound of the TSA's dignity and reputation when it puts out a post like this one.

Anonymous said...

In the history of commercial aviation prior to September 11th, there was one hijacking event that resulted in fatalities. One fatal hijacking in 71 years. All without the TSA.

But we should definitely give up all our rights to prevent something from "getting us" that is less likely to kill us than a bee sting.

Anonymous said...

So basically you're saying that your billion dollar scanners can be defeated very easily by using a crude means to do so. I think it's time for you to stop spewing your propaganda and actually tell the truth for once. We all know the truth anyway...

Anonymous said...

I will quote from this:

http://www.schneier.com/crypto-gram-1201.html#1

"The TSA Proves its Own Irrelevance

Have you wondered what $1.2 billion in airport security gets you? The TSA has compiled its own "Top 10 Good Catches of 2011":

10) Snakes, turtles, and birds were found at Miami (MIA) and Los Angeles (LAX). I'm just happy there weren't any lions, tigers, and bears...

[...]

3) Over 1,200 firearms were discovered at TSA checkpoints across the nation in 2011. Many guns are found loaded with rounds in the chamber. Most passengers simply state they forgot they had a gun in their bag.

2) A loaded .380 pistol was found strapped to passenger's ankle with the body scanner at Detroit (DTW). You guessed it, he forgot it was there...

1) Small chunks of C4 explosives were found in passenger's checked luggage in Yuma (YUM). Believe it or not, he was bringing it home to show his family.

That's right; not a single terrorist on the list. Mostly forgetful, and entirely innocent, people. Note that they fail to point out that the firearms and knives would have been just as easily caught by pre-9/11 screening procedures. And that the C4 -- their #1 "good catch" -- was on the return flight; they missed it the first time. So only 1 for 2 on that one.

And the TSA decided not to mention its stupidest confiscations:

TSA confiscates a butter knife from an airline pilot. TSA confiscates a teenage girl's purse with an embroidered handgun design. TSA confiscates a 4-inch plastic rifle from a GI Joe action doll on the grounds that it's a "replica weapon." TSA confiscates a liquid-filled baby rattle from airline pilot's infant daughter. TSA confiscates a plastic "Star Wars" lightsaber from a toddler.

The TSA's Top 10 Good Catches of 2011:
http://blog.tsa.gov/2012/01/...

The TSA missed the C4 the first time.
http://www.oaoa.com/articles/...

TSA stupid confiscations:
http://www.salon.com/2012/01/04/...
The Vanity Fair article:
http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2011/12/... "

TOTAL incompetence and nothing to show for the $1 TRILLION dollars spent.

Not to mention that they don;t even followtheir own printed, rules. They're above the law.

Anonymous said...

Just like Bruce Schneier said: Security Theater

Anonymous said...

this is a typical a politician reply.
you never ever admit it does not work.

you are like the last man standing on the Titanic shouting "Come back. nothing is wrong!"

well guess what,
we, the awoken part of the 99% do know is does NOT work.

sooner or later you will have to play dead.

who is the "tsa blog team" ?

some "it" guys hiding behind a few words the upper echelon dictated?

not even the nerve to put out a name for Xst sake

Anonymous said...

Please stop with the insistence that the "generic image" that screeners see is a solution to travelers' privacy concerns. The creation of such a filter presupposes the existence of a more explicit "original" image, and what has been filtered can be un-filtered.

Ayn R. Key said...

Just making a post so that I will be capable of seeing beyond post 200.

Dave Westgate said...

The attitude and language of this blog post is stunning. We expect more from a government agency entrusted with an important part of our national security.

This blog is doing more damage to the agency's credibility than you must realize.

Either shut it down or bring in bloggers who undersand how to convey trust and credibility, because currently it's nothing but an embarrassment to everyone at the TSA.

RB said...

Dave Westgate said...
The attitude and language of this blog post is stunning. We expect more from a government agency entrusted with an important part of our national security.

................
It's TSA, they hire from pizza boxes.

Jon said...

I have come across many stories about the body scanners and personally think they are a good idea, i think the quicker they come into wider use the better, shorter check in times and less risks, must be good for everyone.

James Anderson said...

I think the bottomline is safety of the public, if there is a flaw in the system and it has been made public, why not just fix it? If there arent any flaws in the system, then all the better I guess.. Again, safety needs to be the top priority.

Clnwhittier said...

This scares me. To think that our safety procedures could be circumvented in this way makes me feel insecure as I'm sure many others do. I will take the world that this gentlemen's attempts are nothing more than that attempts and Im happy to see you guys on top of it!

Anonymous said...

Look, if you want real security, you'll create a changing set of objects that passengers can pick up and voluntarily try to sneak through. If they succeed, free flight on TSA, if they fail, $10 fine.

Same thing on the research side: Let chemist try to create explosive substances or combinations thereof that can't be detected. $50K per success.

Anonymous said...

Nice blog :)

Anonymous said...

Does this make the TSA a group of terrorists then

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised. Several of you commenters have stated that Blogger Bob had claimed the scanners had detected guns. I've copied and pasted what is on the blog now, and there is NO claim of ever having detected guns. What Bob said was that the scanners had detected objects "as large as a gun or nonmetallic weapons." No mention of even one of the 130 objects being a gun or non-metallic weapon, though the site that mentions the number 130 does specify "a ceramic knife" so that might be the non-metallic object Bob is referring to. So, did Bob (the real or generic Bob, I don't know which TSA uses) actually modify the wording since some of you posted? You'd think they would've modified some other spots too, but here at the airport I better not mention "you know...things that go [censored word]."

James said...

So I guess the question remains: did Corbett manage to "out smart" the scanner and sneak something through?

Wayne said...

This is ridiculous! No one could escape a body scan, unless you have special powers which no one has ever had. People should not necessarily believe whatever they saw in TV or internet.

Zach said...

I think it would have been better for them to actually share the video and then explain, hard to follow if you have never seen the video...

Anonymous said...

PLEASE tell me that tax money isn't being spent to run this farce of a propaganda effort to support the TSA charade.

Spago said...

It may have been a crude attempt, but it looks successful at evading detection at airports with both types of scanners. It really makes me question the amount of money spent on the scanners when metal detectors and x-ray machines do a better job at detecting threats. On the weekly roundups of prohibited items, the body scanners seem to catch very few of the items.

Anonymous said...

All you guys who can't stand TSA fly or walk to your destination,, you guys sound miserable because something probably was found on you. Get over it, if TSA longer exists, it'll be the same with private security no different because in order for change to take a effect something would have to go BOOM. #ignorance is contagious

Anonymous said...

"...such as… you know… things that go BOOM."

Seriously?

iWeb Expert said...

Wait. I smell something fishy. And actually, i'm right.

If you wanted to be recognize, then maybe you should work it out and not just talking nonsense.

Anonymous said...

:-)

Jedy said...

The new tech reactive security measures are ineffective, at best. At worst, it's an affront to our liberties. But, who cares, right?

Automated Machines said...

I'm not convinced that the TSA is completely incompetent, but they have a long way to go with policies and procedures are more friendly to the people they are trying to protect.

In this post you admit that you are profiling which has been outlawed by the courts. Another major inconsistency with constitutionality of some of your procedures.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
I'm surprised. Several of you commenters have stated that Blogger Bob had claimed the scanners had detected guns. I've copied and pasted what is on the blog now, and there is NO claim of ever having detected guns. What Bob said was that the scanners had detected objects "as large as a gun or nonmetallic weapons." No mention of even one of the 130 objects being a gun or non-metallic weapon, though the site that mentions the number 130 does specify "a ceramic knife" so that might be the non-metallic object Bob is referring to. So, did Bob (the real or generic Bob, I don't know which TSA uses) actually modify the wording since some of you posted? You'd think they would've modified some other spots too, but here at the airport I better not mention "you know...things that go [censored word]."

Anonymous said...

It was an interesting job done with a good imagination!

mulia said...

Just like everything else the bloated, insatiable government touches it's buracracy can never be streamlined to meet the evolving security needs.

karimunjawa said...

Just ask all of the potheads who've been busted at airport screening about how well those machines can see little plastic bags in your underwear.....

Sasa@top ptc said...

No doubt that this blog makes a difference. I’d say even a story is more important.

Bluestone Coupons said...

Beautiful, so instead of posting anything to refute the video and/or support it. You give us the old soft shoe and call it good. Sorry, not good enough, if someone has figured out how to bypass the screening. Then this is a cause for concern

marrant said...

The new tech reactive security measures are ineffective, at best. At worst, it's an affront to our liberties. But, who cares, right?

Ankit said...

This was such a carefully worded blog post that one can safely conclude that the vulnerability described in the video is true.

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