Catherine Forsythe

Catherine Forsythe
know a bit about computer security, dogs, horses, skiing, medicine and making risotto. My nickname in real life/online is "Noggie" - I'm on Twitter, with the @dogreader account.

AUGUST 5, 2010 12:20PM

Government Lies About Full Body Scan Images

Rate: 8 Flag

Backscatter technology is a form of security to allow a full body image of a person. The images captured are beneath clothing and reveals security threats such as explosives, weapons or contraband. These images have raised arguments about the balance between privacy and security. The government had advanced the argument that the security scan is momentary and the images are not stored in any manner.

Recent evidence has demonstrated that such claims are erroneous:

"For the last few years, federal agencies have defended body scanning by insisting that all images will be discarded as soon as they're viewed. The Transportation Security Administration claimed last summer, for instance, that "scanned images cannot be stored or recorded." 

Now it turns out that some police agencies are storing the controversial images after all. The U.S. Marshals Service admitted this week that it had surreptitiously saved tens of thousands of images recorded with a  wave system at the security checkpoint of a single Florida courthouse."

This begs the question of why these images are stored. What useful purpose do the images have, once an individual passes through the security screening process? 

Certainly such practices will become public knowledge eventually. Why does the government think that it is necessary to be misleading and deceptive? Admittedly this is an age where guilt is presumed and innocence must be proved. However, those who are being protected should have a valid understanding of how that security is achieved. The age old argument about how the end justifies the means rings hollow in a democracy.

Catherine Forsythe 
some additional links
CHICAGO - MARCH 15: A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) worker demonstrates the monitoring station which will be used with full-body scanners at O'Hare International Airport on March 15, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Backscatter Advanced Imaging Technology scanners are scheduled to be put into use at the airport today. Twenty airports nationwide are now using full-body scanners. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Full body scanner at O'Hare International Airport: Chicago, March, 2010
[Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images]

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They probably have a file on each that includes the body scan, a voice sample, fingerprints and the video clip of it all. I hope they leave nice comments in my file. B*st*rds! (and in case they read this... I am SO kidding! I love my government, am proud to be in a fairly free society and am waving a mini flag on a toothpick!)
This should be cover! Front and Center! Over 35,000 images they said, you know it's more! And they should NOT allow children to be scanned in this way. This is exactly why people did not want this technology.
To all federal agencies, video of Amanda singing and dancing can be found here:  'Old high school musical clips'...  but then, I am sure you knew that.
Thanks, MAWB... I am sure the government realizes that this story will be buried in a few news cycles. It shouldn't be but that may be the reality of the current flood of news stories and the chase to be first with a fresh story.
Yikes. Sometimes I think they keep these things because they don't know what to do with them otherwise. But mostly, I'm with Amanda.
Where's that EP pick?

Excellent, thoughtful, timely, cogent, well documented.
All around, quite good, worthy of posting on any of the cover space I know of online.
--naturally, this deserves a Rate!
snort - I enjoy you so but lament not finding any clips in your blog to link here in riposte, save something about butter balls. I'll keep looking.
This is outrageous. Does working at a security work become the job of choice for perverts? I know that there are good people doing an honest day's work but how carefully do they screen the security people?

I agree that this should be on the cover. This is important. Good that you posted this, Catherine.
My family is so interesting and sexy that I can see why people would want to watch us, from Google Earth, GPS, and naturally at the airport. Fat, white people sitting in recliners reading, munching multi-colored Goldfish, and listening to NPR. Damn communists.
the government? lie? say it ain't so.
I'm shocked. just shocked.
Thanks for all the comments and encouragement. It is much appreciated. I have been following this issue for years. Most countries will not exempt children. For example, in Britain, children are screened through the full body scans. The fear is that children will be used to hide banned materials. Further, if there are personal or religious objections to the scans, the British authorities do not offer alternative screening. Those passengers who object to the full body scans have been told that they are not allowed to fly.
Full body scans, facial recognition software, etc.... Hell the gubnit knows more aobut us than we do. Wait! What's so different about that now???