“Liar, liar, pants on fire” — Feds keep x-ray images

Ever since the federal government began deploying the new-fangled, full-body x-ray machines at airports and federal buildings to make us “safer,” Uncle Sam has been assuring us that the images of essentially naked bodies that the controversial machines take would not be recorded or stored.  Well, surprise — it now turns out the government has been lying.  The full-body x-ray machines not only do record the images they take of law-abiding citizens (and others) but also store the images.

As a result of efforts by private organizations — most notably the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) — to uncover the truth about the government’s use of these privacy-invasive devices, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), its parent agency, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the U.S. Marshals Service, have been forced to admit publicly that the machines in fact do exactly what the feds had assured us they would not do.

Even in the face of these recent revelations, the TSA continues to “assure” the public that despite the machines’ now-admitted ability to record and store image, the agency “turns off” this capability when it installs the machines.  If anyone out there (other than government employees) believes this, please raise your hands.  I didn’t think so.

Small wonder that the public’s trust in government (as measured, for example, in a recent survey by the non-partisan Ponemon Institute) is at an all-time low.

44 comments Add your comment

Karl Marx

August 11th, 2010
6:45 am

They also said they would not track DNA samples from non felons which is a lie. What’s next microchips for those convicted of running a stop sign?

Drifter

August 11th, 2010
6:53 am

Of course they’re saving the images. If a terrorist gets through somehow, they’ll want to see why the machine didn’t pick it up. I’m convinced that the vast majority don’t care though. Once you get people scared enough, they’ll let you trample their rights and rape their wallets as long as you can make them feel safe again. That’s the main purpose of the DHS.

Ahhnuld

August 11th, 2010
8:04 am

So what? The typical american is fat and overweight. Who cares that they store a bunch of images of skeletal blobs. Politicians and bureaucratic leaders lie everyday. There is no revelation here. No one is going to do anything about it anyway.

Partoftheproblem

August 11th, 2010
8:36 am

Oh, like the public trusts ex-politicans like Barr much.

Billy Hill

August 11th, 2010
8:37 am

Ahhnuld: Have you seen the example pictures that these machines take? They are not skeletal blobs. You can see full genitalia in detail.

Ahhnuld

August 11th, 2010
8:58 am

Aw shucks Billy, you gonna need glasses if your not careful, son. What differnece does that make? They don’t match names to the images…you think their going look at your x ray down there and say “Oh look…I recognize that guy…that’s ‘ol Billy Hill”.

politicosux

August 11th, 2010
9:47 am

I’m guessing that most of you don’t care about this because you’re not the ones being scanned. I have a knee replacement and have to be frisked/scanned/fondled every time I fly. Now I have to think about security agents getting their rocks off while I’m being scanned.

Jefferson

August 11th, 2010
10:21 am

Just don’t fly.

2 Real 4 U

August 11th, 2010
10:23 am

The Feds mainly focus on keeping the naked images of the ATTRACTIVE people, but they store all of them for good measure.

When you have the undereducated, unqualified-to-do-anything-else, Affirmative-Action hires Terrell and Laquisha at the Atlanta Airport being given undeserved badges and TSA authority over their fellow citizens, they like to “keep it real” by helping themselves to free naked images of attractive people (provided to them for free at taxpayer expense, like most everything else in their lives) to do with as they please in addition to abusing their newfound authority by belittling people they don’t like with said empowerment.

Oh, the government also gets to keep those dirty little pictures, too.

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

August 11th, 2010
10:26 am

Well, I might of knowed. That woman that heads up DHS won’t stop till she’s got a photo of me buck-nekkid! I expect she’s had her eye on me for a long time. I just hope my Pile-on Cyst don’t show up in the picture. It might could make her lust after me a little less.

Now I know I ain’t never going to get on a plane. There’s some things that only my missus should see.

Richard

August 11th, 2010
10:33 am

Follow this logic:

1. Your image is put into a computer with a hard drive.
2. The image is sent electronically to another site.
3. Part of the image is blurred.
4. Someone reads the image.

If anyone out there thought for an instant that these were the first computers in history without the ability to store information, please let me know. I have a foolproof lottery number predictor to sell you.

sam

August 11th, 2010
11:11 am

This is a tempest in a teapot. Who cares? I don’t care if they post my scan on a billboard, if it helps keep a terrorist off my plane. I am not ashamed of my body, and I wonder if the complainers are the fat or just the plain stupid.

ButtHead

August 11th, 2010
11:53 am

sam, i agree just everybody lose the clothing…

Cedric

August 11th, 2010
11:56 am

The government is not entitled to invade my privacy. I stopped flying since I cannot afford to fight then in court. If they eventually demand my DNA, fingerprints etc. it will do them no good as the “information” will belong to a dead man and I’ll take as many of them as I can.

sam

August 11th, 2010
12:38 pm

Cedric, just please start your protest at the capitol building in D.C. where it will do the most good.

ROY BARNES for GOVERNOR

August 11th, 2010
12:39 pm

Karen Handel bit the dust.

Disgusted

August 11th, 2010
12:52 pm

Karen Handel bit the dust.

Now will her campaign staff bother to pick up the campaign signs. There were twelve of them—count ‘em, twelve—within 100 yards of my polling station yesterday.

jconservative

August 11th, 2010
1:07 pm

Bob this is just another example of the government never wanting to give up anything. We spend billions anually just on record keeping.

Gerald West

August 11th, 2010
1:09 pm

Bob, you left out an essential element: the scanners record images for training and maintenance purposes. The recording capability is turned off when the machine is used for security screening.

How can a technician maintain an imaging machine without viewing the images the machines creates? What’s the big deal, anyhow? Who wants to look at crude, fuzzy electronic nudies of ugly people in an airport security line? Anyone who gets his jollies over naked bodies will find them in abundance, in minute detail and glowing color, on the internet.

Just more pointless “ain’t the government awful”, Bob!

barking frog

August 11th, 2010
1:34 pm

We should not be surprised when the government
lies. We should expect it for our own protection.

barking frog

August 11th, 2010
2:22 pm

It appears that the combined endorsement ,of
gingrich and huckabee ,is is only worth about
3000 votes more than the endorsement of palin.

Jo

August 11th, 2010
2:33 pm

You have misstated the case in your blog and the conspiracy theory sheep have followed you down the path. The TSA said they will not and cannot save those images. The US Marshalls (not the Federal Air Marshalls) have a similar machine they are using at a court house (not an airport) and their machine saves images. Please get the facts before shooting up your warning flares. US Marshalls are not even in DHS.

nelson

August 11th, 2010
2:51 pm

This electronic imaging is good. Terrorists will stop at nothing including hiding IEDs in their bodies, these imaging devices will discover this and keep them from boarding. Very, very noble and proper for the FEDs to stay on the alert. Now, as for storing these images, I do not see the need. Ofcourse, if they are capable of being recalled, they will give added information about how the person has changed since the last time. Which brings me to the next issue, electonic imaging discovered that a man had pea sprouting in his esophogus. If it were not for these electronic scanning, where would this guy be now, pea sprouts send out runners and he could have an entire pea patch.

Hadd E. Nuff

August 11th, 2010
3:13 pm

The Obama administration is turning out to be the most corrupt in history and the most adept at chipping away at our personal and civil rights.

barking frog

August 11th, 2010
3:35 pm

Hadd E. Nuff, and you had expected what?

Bennie

August 11th, 2010
3:47 pm

We should thank our lucky stars we have Pres. Obama. If not for him there would be no AJC as it would be out of business and all you people would be in soup lines. He has saved this country from depression, passed health care reform, regulated wall st., getting us out of Iraq and making our country great again after the previous jerks drove the country into the ditch.

Hadd E. Nuff

August 11th, 2010
3:59 pm

Bennie – where do you do your stand up show? You are a comedian, right?

Bennie

August 11th, 2010
4:04 pm

America “Love it or Leave It”.

barking frog

August 11th, 2010
4:05 pm

Prez is cool, sends his wife to Spain so he can spend
birthday night with Oprah. Tough on the taxpayer though.

Barack

August 11th, 2010
4:13 pm

Bennie – I have a couple of tee times this weekend. Why don’t you join me for a round of golf and we can talk socialist agendas at the 19th hole. We’ll be playing at a new government run golf course where you make par on every hole, so that way everyone is equal…no sandbaggers here buddy! If you get hurt we’ll pay for your medical expenses. Don’t worry about the greens fees either. We can come up with a new tax for that that only the rich will pay. FORE!!!

Hadd E. Nuff

August 11th, 2010
4:13 pm

Oh – I love it alright. I just don’t drink Obama’s Kool-aid.

Bennie

August 11th, 2010
4:16 pm

Make jokes if you will, it is all true and if you face the facts the country will be better for it. Think for yourself for a change.

Fred Upp

August 11th, 2010
4:57 pm

Mr. Barr demonstrates either a tremendous lack of awareness of differences between the various agencies that comprise DHS, or is just shooting his mouth off journalistically speaking to drive some traffic to his blog. The types of machines the US Marshall Service used were NOT the same type of machines used by TSA. The machines in use by the US Marshall Service are NOT in use in an airport, whereas TSA’s machines are very obviously used in an airport. DIfferent environments, different machines, different circumstances. Once a passenger has been cleared, there is no further need of that passenger’s image – so it is *not* stored. And for the record – have you SEEN one of these images? Let’s put it this way – if you’re addicted to porn and order a bunch of these images, you’d want your money back. Yes, you can tell if it’s a male or a female, but you can’t tell how “satisfied” the person’s spouse probably is. Get over it.

Barack

August 11th, 2010
6:17 pm

Bennie – Unlike you I do think for myself and earn a living while creating jobs for others and actually don’t need to be on the government dole like yourself. It is people like me that get taxed to oblivion with our businesses to take care of mindless sots who aren’t capable of being productive. Go back to your Oprah show.

Drifter

August 11th, 2010
7:42 pm

Yes Fred, you’d have to live under a rock to have never seen these images and most people would disagree with your assessment. You say the image is not stored, so you must not know anything at all about computers. If that image is taken, it is stored. Period. You can make it not visible and you can even write over that storage, but I seriously doubt that is happening with these images…simply because you can make a case for keeping them. I work in the computer industry in an environment where the security is not nearly as critical and we keep everything. The average schmuck using the computer can’t see it, but it’s out there. You either don’t get it or you are incredibly naive.

hydraulic winch

August 12th, 2010
2:49 am

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August 12th, 2010
2:50 am

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Bob

August 12th, 2010
8:46 am

I wonder if they have a scan of Janet for training purposes.

Bennie

August 12th, 2010
11:00 am

I work every day and earn a living for my family, just like millions of Americans. Don’t assume everyone that supports America and it’s President is like the sterotype you unhappy people describe. Things are improving and some of you folks act like crybabies because of your own problems that have nothing to do with the leadership of our great nation. Its appathy,pettiness and those condescending attitudes that is hurting the USA. Walk around mad all day if you want to, but you will just be mad. Life will go on, be the best person you can be.

Joan

August 12th, 2010
11:25 am

Say it, Bennie!

hung knee lo

August 12th, 2010
7:49 pm

wait till they check out ”Dexter”….

[...] Barr wrote in an op-ed on the issue: As a result of efforts by private organizations — most notably the Electronic Privacy [...]

[...] images. Additionally, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the US Marshals Service “have been forced to admit publicly that the machines” have these capabilities. However, TSA claims the storing and recording function is disabled when [...]

[...] Barr Code [...]