[IRP] Body scanners can store, send images, group says
Mon Jan 11 18:55:00 EET 2010
While Privacy organizations are doing their part to oppose body scanners in
airports, the proponents ( Government / TSA / Security Agencies ) are
engaged in propaganda, that air travelers strongly approve of body scanners
This report says that e "most [passengers are] OK" with body scanners.
Privacy campaigns need to be stepped up, and all that it would take the
Governments to brush aside the opposition would be a bit more of such
On Mon, Jan 11, 2010 at 6:29 PM, Katitza Rodriguez <
katitza at datos-personales.org> wrote:
> Body scanners can store, send images, group says
> By Jeanne Meserve and Mike M. Ahlers (CNN)
> STORY HIGHLIGHTS
> * 2008 documents indicate machines must have image storing,
> sending capabilities, group says
> * Electronic Privacy Information Center says requirement
> could lead to abuse
> * Written guidelines appear to contradict assurances made by
> * A TSA official says image saving can be done only in TSA
> test facilities
> Washington (CNN) -- A privacy group says the Transportation
> Security Administration is misleading the public with claims
> that full-body scanners at airports cannot store or send their
> graphic images.
> The TSA specified in 2008 documents that the machines must have
> image storage and sending abilities, the Washington-based
> Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) said.
> In the documents, obtained by the privacy group and provided to
> CNN, the TSA specifies that the body scanners it purchases must
> have the ability to store and send images when in "test mode."
> That requirement leaves open the possibility the machines --
> which can see beneath people's clothing -- can be abused by TSA
> insiders and hacked by outsiders, said EPIC Executive Director
> Marc Rotenberg.
> EPIC, a public-interest group focused on privacy and civil
> rights, obtained the technical specifications and vendor
> contracts through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.
> The written requirements also appear to contradict numerous
> assurances the TSA has given the public about the machines'
> privacy protections.
> "The machines have zero storage capability," the TSA Web site
> A TSA video assures passengers "the system has no way to save,
> transmit or print the image."
> And the TSA has distributed numerous news releases with similar
> language as it lobbies for public acceptance of the machines as
> a less intrusive alternative to pat-downs.
> A TSA official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the
> official is not authorized to speak on the record said all
> full-body scanners have "strong privacy protections in place"
> and are delivered to airports "without the capability to store,
> print or transmit images."
> "There is no way for someone in the airport environment to put
> the machine into the test mode," the official said, adding that
> test mode can be enabled only in TSA test facilities. But the
> official declined to say whether activating test mode requires
> additional hardware, software or simply additional knowledge of
> how the machines operate.
> The controversy arises as the TSA is promoting the machines as a
> possible way to prevent assaults on U.S. airliners, such as the
> Christmas attempt on Northwest Flight 253.
> About 40 machines are already in use at 19 airports, and the TSA
> says it will deploy 150 more nationwide this year, while
> appropriating money for an additional 300 machines for 2011.
> "I don't think the TSA has been forthcoming with the American
> public about the true capability of these devices," EPIC's
> Rotenberg said. "They've done a bunch of very slick promotions
> where they show people -- including journalists -- going through
> the devices. And then they reassure people, based on the images
> that have been produced, that there's not any privacy concerns.
> "But if you look at the actual technical specifications and you
> read the vendor contracts, you come to understand that these
> machines are capable of doing far more than the TSA has let on,"
> he said.
> The TSA should suspend further deployment of the machines until
> privacy and security questions are resolved, Rotenberg said.
> TSA officials say they have taken sufficient measures to protect
> The TSA officer viewing the image cannot see the actual
> passenger. No cameras, cell phones or other devices capable of
> capturing an image are allowed in the room where the image is
> displayed, according to the TSA. The agency adds that images are
> deleted from the system after the operator reviews them. And
> employees who misuse the machines are subject to serious
> discipline or removal.
> Further, the TSA says, the machines are not networked and cannot
> be hacked.
> EPIC said it is pursuing a lawsuit to obtain additional
> documents about the machines from the TSA.
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