In light of flaring controversy over the Transportation Security Administration’s enhanced pat-downs and nude body scan imaging systems, officials have continued to stress that detailed photographs of passengers’ anatomy are not saved and do not get passed around.
But, that’s not true in all cases. An attorney for the US Marshals admitted in August that over 35,000 images from a body scanner in an Orlando, Florida courthouse were recorded and stored.
Tech blog Gizmodo published 100 of the images on Tuesday, obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request, noting that marshals had “mismanaged” the machine. The photos are not of a graphic nature as they were taken using a less advanced scanning method than what’s generally employed in airports.
The admission was first made in a letter by Marshal Service attorney William Bordley, in response to a lawsuit by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC).
EPIC calls the body scanning program “unlawful, invasive, and ineffective,” and has asked a federal judge to bring it to a halt. Complaints about the TSA’s new screenings are increasingly popular among a cross-section of Americans, partisan and not.
“Advanced imaging technology cannot store, print, transmit or save the image, and the image is automatically deleted from the system after it is cleared by the remotely located security officer,” the TSA insists. “Officers evaluating images are not permitted to take cameras, cell phones or photo-enabled devices into the resolution room.”
To the contrary, “devices are designed and deployed in a way that allows the images to be routinely stored and recorded, which is exactly what the Marshal Service is doing,” EPIC’s executive director told CNET. “We think it’s significant.”
Janet Napolitano, director of the Department of Homeland Security, has insisted in recent days that travelers who object to the new procedures still have the choice to not fly.
Michael Chertoff, the former DHS director and a vocal supporter of x-ray machines, owns a security company that contracts with Torrance, California-based Rapiscan, one of two major manufacturers of x-ray body scanners. The government ordered its first body scanners in 2005, during his chairmanship.
In 2008, under Napolitano, the DHS spent $25 million in funds provided by the Recovery Act to purchase an additional 150 Rapiscan machines, and more sales are expected.
A trial run with the machines was for a short time barred in the UK, as they were ruled to be in breach of child pornography laws. The trial only went ahead after ministers exempted anyone under 18. In the US, TSA policy does not exempt children from the screening and an opt-out by a parent is the trigger a compulsory invasive pat-down.
The Senate Judiciary Committee had scheduled a hearing on the TSA for Wednesday, during which administrator John S. Pistole was expected to testify.
Even Fox News shows Trump trailing in 2020 amid market crash and fear over COVID-19
The expanding COVID-19 epidemic and stock market crashes are not the only bad news for President Donald Trump this week.
A new Fox News poll shows Trump trailing six different Democrats in head-to-head matchups.
The poll showed Trump trailing former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
Trump is in a ‘fight-or-flight state’ over coronavirus: ‘Art of the Deal’ co-author
On Thursday's edition of MSNBC's "The Beat," Trump biographer and "Art of the Deal" co-author Tony Schwartz laid out the president's state of mind over the coronavirus crisis.
"Let's understand Trump," said Schwartz. "Trump is the chief energy officer of this land. So, in other words, his energy has a disproportionate impact on all our energy. And he already raised the anxiety of people over the last four years considerably. He'll exploit fear if he thinks that serves him, or deny fear if he thinks that serves him."
"That's an important point," said host Ari Melber. "You're arguing, as someone who worked with him, that while we just heard about a public interest approach, you're saying you don't see him using public interest?"
‘No time for being patronized,’ say youth climate leaders as UK cops warn parents over Fridays for Future protest
"Young people should not be underestimated—we have a voice and we are strong."
Youth organizers of a Friday climate protest in Bristol, United Kingdom said they have "no time for being patronized" after local police sent a letter to parents warning of inadequate safety measures for the upcoming demonstration, which teenage activist Greta Thunberg and thousands of others are expected to attend.