Yep, the agency has been caught in yet another whopper: one of its two types of porno-scanners could not detect contraband after all, despite the TSA’s vehement and repeated insistence to the contrary.
We already knew this model couldn’t thanks to Jonathan Corbett. He proved that fact a few years ago with a clear and logical explanation of exactly how to outwit the gizmos. And the TSA smeared him for it, dismissing him as “some guy claiming he figured out a way to beat our body scanners…” A propagandist on the TSA’s blog bloviated, “I watched the video and it is a crude attempt to allegedly show how to circumvent TSA screening procedures. … 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.” Hmmm. Last I heard, tiny pills and baggies of drugs don’t blow up aircraft. But I interrupted the TSA’s spokesliar. He insisted the porno-scanners were “one of the best tools available to detect metallic and non-metallic items…”
Chillingly, the TSA not only pooh-poohed Mr. Corbett’s research, it “even called reporters to caution them not to cover his video.” One told Mr. Corbett he’d received an email from the agency saying that “you’re a man that ‘clearly has an agenda’ and should not ‘be aided by the mainstream media.’” Can you imagine anything more Stalinesque or un-American? On the other hand, this is the corporate media we’re talking; playing patty-cake with the Feds is second-nature. (Nor were the TSA’s insults to and censoring of Mr. Corbett Our Rulers’ only revenge: the Department of Injustice ganged up on him, too.)
Nonetheless, a year after Mr. Corbett’s revelations, the TSA removed this particular type of porno-scanner from airports (the other version still haunts concourses). In addition to lying about the machine’s effectiveness, the agency had also claimed that the “images” it created of passengers weren’t naked and intimately detailed ones but merely “gingerbread-man outlines” – yet another huge falsehood. Congress finally ordered the TSA to recalibrate its mechanical Peeping Toms so they no longer denuded passengers. When it couldn’t, the agency sold the scanners to prisons (yes! Says a lot about how Our Rulers view passengers, doesn’t it?) and other of Leviathan’s enterprises.
Now “a team of security researchers from the University of California at San Diego, the University of Michigan, and Johns Hopkins” have “test[ed] that same model of scanner [that Mr. Corbett did]. And not only did they find that Corbett’s weapon-hiding tactic worked; they also found that they could pull off a disturbing list of other possible tricks, such as using teflon tape to conceal weapons against someone’s spine, installing malware on the scanner’s console that spoofed scans, or simply molding plastic explosives around a person’s body to make it nearly indistinguishable from flesh in the machine’s images.”
But since the contraptions no longer curse airports, isn’t testing them irrelevant? On the contrary: “the glaring vulnerabilities the researchers found in the security system demonstrate how poorly the machines were tested before they were deployed at a cost of more than $1 billion to more than 160 American airports.” Ahem: can anyone say, “Crony capitalism”? “The findings should raise questions regarding the TSA’s claims about its current security measures, too.” Yep, they sure should.
And the answer to every one of those questions is, “Abolish the TSA.”2:12 pm on August 21, 2014 Email Becky Akers