Terrorists Evolve. Threats Evolve. Security Must Stay Ahead. You Play A Part.

8.06.2010

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

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

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

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

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

***Update - 12:00 - 8/6/2010***

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

U.S. Marshals Service Press Release

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Labels: ,

134 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

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

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

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

Please correct the blatantly misleading information posted on your website:

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

August 4, 2010 8:52 PM

 
Blogger Sam Gross said...

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

August 4, 2010 9:08 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

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

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

August 4, 2010 9:09 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

August 4, 2010 9:12 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

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

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

August 4, 2010 9:23 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please reconcile your claims with Gale D. Rossides statements.

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

How is this storage and export prevented at the airport?

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

Probably Q and MacGyver will too.

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

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

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

August 4, 2010 9:24 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

August 4, 2010 9:27 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

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

i will quote BOB:

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

Thanks,

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

February 3, 2010 1:22 PM

Any progress on you inquiry?

August 4, 2010 9:57 PM

 
Anonymous abelard said...

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

Why should we believe anything the TSA says?

August 4, 2010 10:17 PM

 
Anonymous Simon said...

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

August 4, 2010 10:27 PM

 
Anonymous avxo said...

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

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

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

August 4, 2010 10:39 PM

 
Blogger Xander said...

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

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

August 4, 2010 10:41 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

August 4, 2010 10:52 PM

 
Blogger Rock said...

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

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

August 4, 2010 11:36 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

Oh.

Great.

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

Bah!

August 4, 2010 11:55 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

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

August 5, 2010 12:00 AM

 
Anonymous BloggerBobRlyNeedsToGetAJob said...

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

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

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

August 5, 2010 1:22 AM

 
Anonymous Isaac Newton said...

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 5, 2010 1:44 AM

 
Blogger Patrick (BOS TSO) said...

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

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

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

August 5, 2010 3:05 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

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

August 5, 2010 5:19 AM

 
Anonymous Bubba said...

Bob,

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

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

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

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

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

August 5, 2010 6:17 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

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

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

August 5, 2010 6:54 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob,

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

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

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

August 5, 2010 8:53 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

August 5, 2010 8:54 AM

 
Anonymous Ethel Rosenberg said...

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

From Procurement and Operations Specs for WBI

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

3.1.1.3.1.2 Test Mode

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

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

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

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

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

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

When in Test Mode, the WBI:

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

3.1.1.4.2.1 The IOCP:

….

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

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

2.6. Image Screening Position (ISP)

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

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

----

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

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

Data can be transferred to USB devices.

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

Images can be transferred in real time.

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

August 5, 2010 9:50 AM

 
Blogger RB said...

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

Contract specifications require the ability to save images.

Contract specifications require Network capabilities.

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

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

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

August 5, 2010 9:54 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

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

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

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

August 5, 2010 10:00 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

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

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

August 5, 2010 11:27 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 5, 2010 12:41 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

August 5, 2010 1:09 PM

 
Anonymous Your friend, Ethel said...

On July 24, West wrote:

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

Was a lot of that post redacted?"

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

West
TSA Blog Team

I

July 24, 2010 9:38 AM "

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

August 5, 2010 2:26 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

August 5, 2010 3:40 PM

 
Blogger RB said...

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

August 5, 2010 3:40 PM

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

August 5, 2010 4:41 PM

 
Anonymous George said...

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

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

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

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

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

August 5, 2010 6:24 PM

 
Anonymous vikki said...

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

August 5, 2010 7:13 PM

 
Blogger Ayn R. Key said...

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 5, 2010 7:22 PM

 
Anonymous Chris Boyce said...

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

August 5, 2010 8:46 PM

 
Blogger Sulayman said...

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

August 6, 2010 2:36 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

August 6, 2010 6:10 AM

 
Anonymous Buddhist Temples said...

hi, wonderful site and lovely contents. I must say the work is incredible and appreciable. keep it up. looking forward for more updates

August 6, 2010 6:58 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

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

August 6, 2010 11:31 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

August 6, 2010 12:19 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

August 6, 2010 12:30 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

August 6, 2010 12:43 PM

 
Blogger RB said...

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

They are not!

Why are Opt Outs not being honored in El Paso?

August 6, 2010 1:11 PM

 
Blogger Lanz said...

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

August 6, 2010 2:19 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

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

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

August 6, 2010 2:44 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

August 6, 2010 3:48 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

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

August 6, 2010 5:15 PM

 
Blogger MarkVII said...

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mark
qui custodies ipsos custodes

August 7, 2010 11:12 AM

 
Blogger GSOLTSO said...

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

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

West
TSA Blog Team

August 7, 2010 5:18 PM

 
Blogger GSOLTSO said...

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

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

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

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

West
TSA Blog Team

August 7, 2010 5:23 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

Frank
BOS

August 7, 2010 10:11 PM

 
Blogger RB said...

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

Yeah, that makes it all better

August 8, 2010 10:22 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

August 8, 2010 11:51 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

August 8, 2010 11:55 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 8, 2010 8:10 PM

 
Blogger RB said...

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



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

August 8, 2010 10:39 PM

 
Blogger RB said...

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

Our Stupid State Transportation Security


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

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

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

What's going on TSA?

Are Opt Outs not being permitted?

Has TSA been lying to the public again?

August 9, 2010 9:05 AM

 
Anonymous dutyHonorCountry said...

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

August 9, 2010 11:01 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

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

August 9, 2010 5:31 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

August 9, 2010 5:34 PM

 
Anonymous George said...

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

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

August 9, 2010 5:59 PM

 
Anonymous Hal Nicholson said...

" Anonymous said...

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

August 9, 2010 5:34 PM"

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

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

August 9, 2010 7:40 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are strip-search scanners still optional?

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

August 9, 2010 7:50 PM

 
Anonymous Cristy Li said...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 9, 2010 8:58 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

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

August 9, 2010 9:06 PM

 
Blogger HappyToHelp said...

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

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

Tim
TSA Blog Team

August 9, 2010 11:31 PM

 
Blogger HappyToHelp said...

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

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

Tim
TSA Blog Team

August 10, 2010 12:23 AM

 
Blogger HappyToHelp said...

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

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

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

Tim
TSA Blog Team

August 10, 2010 12:43 AM

 
Blogger HappyToHelp said...

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

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

Tim
TSA Blog Team

August 10, 2010 1:04 AM

 
Blogger HappyToHelp said...

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

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

Tim
TSA Blog Team

August 10, 2010 1:42 AM

 
Anonymous Jeff said...

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

August 10, 2010 3:33 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

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

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

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

August 10, 2010 7:56 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

Why do you bring that up?

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

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

August 10, 2010 7:59 AM

 
Anonymous DutyHonorCountry said...

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

August 10, 2010 2:59 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

August 10, 2010 4:35 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

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

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

August 10, 2010 5:54 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

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

August 11, 2010 3:03 AM

 
Anonymous Myra Soble said...

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

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

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

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

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

August 11, 2010 3:27 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

August 11, 2010 3:45 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

August 11, 2010 3:49 AM

 
Blogger RB said...

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

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

Tim
TSA Blog Team

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

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

August 11, 2010 2:33 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

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

Why won't you talk about El Paso?

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

August 11, 2010 2:37 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

August 11, 2010 2:38 PM

 
Anonymous Al Ames said...

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

Al

August 11, 2010 3:26 PM

 
Blogger Blogger Bob said...

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

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

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

August 11, 2010 3:47 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

August 11, 2010 3:55 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blogger Bob said:

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

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

LOL!

August 11, 2010 4:28 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

August 11, 2010 4:39 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

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

August 11, 2010 4:45 PM

 
Blogger RB said...

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

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

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

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

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

It made the papers.

August 11, 2010 10:53 PM

 
Anonymous Sebastian said...

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 11, 2010 10:57 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

looking for an answer to this this question.

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

August 11, 2010 11:01 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

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

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

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

August 11, 2010 11:18 PM

 
Blogger HappyToHelp said...

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

Short answer: No.

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

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

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

Tim
TSA Blog Team

August 12, 2010 12:22 AM

 
Blogger HappyToHelp said...

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

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

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

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

Thank you,

Tim TSA Blog Team

August 12, 2010 12:50 AM

 
Blogger HappyToHelp said...

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

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

Tim TSA Blog Team

August 12, 2010 12:53 AM

 
Anonymous Robert Johnson said...

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

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

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

Robert

August 12, 2010 8:40 AM

 
Anonymous mflight said...

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

August 12, 2010 9:59 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

August 12, 2010 10:15 AM

 
Blogger RB said...

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

Short answer: No.

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

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

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

Tim
TSA Blog Team

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

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

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

August 12, 2010 10:34 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

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

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

August 12, 2010 10:50 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

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

August 12, 2010 10:51 AM

 
Blogger Ayn R. Key said...

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

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

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

Or are you required to write that you have confidence?

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

Try this:

link

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

August 12, 2010 10:59 AM

 
Blogger RB said...

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

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

Tim TSA Blog Team

August 12, 2010 12:53 AM

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

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

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

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

August 12, 2010 11:00 AM

 
Anonymous TSORon said...

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

August 12, 2010 12:59 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

Tim TSA Blog Team


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

August 12, 2010 1:54 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

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

August 12, 2010 1:55 PM

 
Blogger Gunner said...

BB said:

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

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

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

August 12, 2010 2:25 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TSORON spewed:

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

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

August 12, 2010 2:43 PM

 
Anonymous Robert Johnson said...

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

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

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

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

Robert

August 12, 2010 3:32 PM

 
Anonymous Al Ames said...

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

Al

August 12, 2010 5:44 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

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

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

August 12, 2010 5:44 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous TSORon said...

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

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

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

August 12, 2010 7:14 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A post from:

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

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

West
TSA Blog Team

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

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

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

August 12, 2010 7:29 PM

 
Anonymous Olivia said...

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

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

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

Thank you,
Olivia

August 12, 2010 11:11 PM

 
Blogger MarkVII said...

Hi Tim --

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

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

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

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

Thanks for listening...

Mark
qui custodiet ipsos custodes

August 12, 2010 11:22 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

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

I saw NO signs showing a sample image.

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

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

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

August 13, 2010 7:44 AM

 
Anonymous Sandra said...

From Anonymous:

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

TSA never tells the whole story.

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


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

August 13, 2010 8:47 AM

 
Anonymous Sandra said...

Another Anonymous person wrote:

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

Robert Johnson wrote:

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

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

August 13, 2010 9:15 AM

 
Anonymous Aaron said...

These machines are waste of time and money.

August 13, 2010 10:38 AM

 
Anonymous Earl Pitts said...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Earl

August 13, 2010 10:45 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

Aaargh.

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

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

Gee, I feel safer already.

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

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

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

August 14, 2010 12:52 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

August 14, 2010 12:02 PM

 
Anonymous Teresa S. said...

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

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

August 14, 2010 1:54 PM

 
Anonymous TSORon said...

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

August 14, 2010 1:58 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>> You have other options.

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

August 14, 2010 5:30 PM

 
Anonymous NoClu said...

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

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

August 14, 2010 5:33 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob,

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

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

August 14, 2010 6:07 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

August 14, 2010 6:36 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

What is your full name?

What are you trying to hide?

August 14, 2010 6:59 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Teresa S. said...

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

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

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

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

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

August 14, 2010 7:19 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

August 14, 2010 7:39 PM

 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home