Judge Says TSA Doesn't Have to Turn Over Body Scan Images to Civil Liberties Group

Categories: Transportation
TSA Doesn't Want to Reveal What It's Revealing
As it turns out, when Big Brother is watching he doesn't have to reveal what he sees.

In the latest chapter of TSA v. The rest of America, a federal judge ruled that the Transportation Security Administration doesn't have to turn over the 2,000 images of passengers to a civil liberties group that was demanding to review the full body images.

In 2009, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a San Francisco-based civil liberties group that monitors federal activities, submitted requests to view contracts between the TSA, which is part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and Whole Body Imagining, the company that makes the scanners. The group filed its request using the Freedom of Information Act.

Members also wanted all complaints related to the technology and unfiltered or unobscured body images that were recorded using the scanner technology, according to the lawsuit.

The Department of Homeland Security handed over all requested documents, except the training documents and 2,000 images of body scans taken of passengers prior to boarding their flights.

The agency withheld the specific images that its uses to train employees on how to spot threatening objects on a passenger. The images were also created for the purpose of testing out vendors, to determine which body imaging scanners would pick up on these threats.

The Department of Homeland Security claims it has already turned over a limited number of photos, and any more would threaten security, according to the lawsuit.

U.S. District Judge Ricardo Urbina, agreed, saying "their disclosure would reveal the rule or practice itself."

It would probably reveal much more than that.

Hat tip: Courthouse News

Follow us on Twitter at @TheSnitchSF and @SFWeekly  
My Voice Nation Help
Hudson Valley Chronic
Hudson Valley Chronic

That's lovely, but what's really wrong is not that underemployed cop wannabes are leering at your junk. The backscatter scanners -- foisted on the TSA by Rapiscan lobbyist/former DHS secretary Michael Chertoff -- are dangerous and, according to a number of experts, can be easily thwarted by anyone with a slab of foam latex and a can of FX-grade putty. Even a large pancake can disguise a handgun. Although such issues were intentionally not addressed for security reasons, the video posted below from After the Press (afterthepress.com) has broken through the major media hyperbole barrier to answer the real questions about what’s wrong with these machines. Neither of the interviewees, two of the most reputable scientists in the field of radiation physics and technology, will step into one. So whether or not you’re offended by the prospect of becoming the subject of a live peepshow for blue-gloved agents, or care about your rights being abrogated, you’ll still want to be cognizant of the danger in subjecting your or your children's bodies to backscatter radiation.



I thought the TSA categorically denied preserving images scanned at airports. Yet there were two thousand images of passengers which TSA successfully denied to EPIC? I must be missing something here.


Of course . .. a real terrorist could put explosives in "ahem" body cavities, in breast implants ... and what is to stop a "manchurian employee" from blowing things up? And then, as we;ve seen, even our own intelligence officers are not immune to bribery.


the problem with treating passengers as potential terrorists, guilty until proven innocent, is that the watchers are at least as dangerous. This is insanity, costs us a fortune, and does nothing about the more real risks to our safety, such as home grown thugs, illegals dealing death and drugs.

Now Trending

From the Vault


©2014 SF Weekly, LP, All rights reserved.