USA Flag

Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Transportation Security Administration

Safety & Privacy Concerns Regarding the Millimeter Wave Whole Body Imager

Thursday, April 24, 2008

We've received many questions on the safety and privacy of the Millimeter Wave Whole Body Imager. As you can see from the chart above, the Millimeter Wave emits a smaller dose than simply walking outside on a sunny day.

I’ll quote a few noteworthy items from the Privacy Impact Assessment for TSA Whole Body Imaging. (PIA) I suggest you read the entire assessment for more information.

The Millimeter wave technology uses non-ionizing radio frequency energy in the millimeter wave spectrum to generate an image based on energy reflected from the body. The energy projected by the system is 100,000 times less than a cell phone transmission (.00000597 mW/cm2 for millimeter wave technology compared to 37.5 mW/cm2 for a cell phone)

The images created by whole body imaging technologies are not equivalent to photography and do not present sufficient details that the image could be used for personal identification.

While the equipment has the capability of collecting and storing an image, the image storage functions will be disabled by the manufacturer before the devices are placed in an airport and will not have the capability to be activated by operators.

The TSA is not the first organization to use Millimeter wave technology. It's currently used in various government locations across the United States, as well as international aviation and mass transit environments including:

Domestic locations Federal Court House (VA), Colorado Springs Court House (CO), Department of Corrections facility (PA), Los Angeles County Court House (CA), Cook County Court House (IL)

International airports U.K., Spain, Japan, Australia, Mexico, Thailand, Netherlands

The results in the first week of use at LAX and JFK speak for themselves.

LAX: 544 passengers were screened from 4/18 to 4/22 using Millimeter Wave technology. Only 18 passengers chose not to undergo the screening.
 

JFK: 1212 passengers were screened from 4/17 to 4/22 using Millimeter Wave technology. Only 33 passengers chose not to undergo the screening.
Bob
TSA EoS Blog Team
-----Update 5/25/2008-----7:00 PM EST-----
These are the signs that are displayed in front of the millimeter wave whole body imagers.

Bob

TSA EoS Blog Team

 

Comments

Submitted by Anonymous on

Bob, please post MMW images from one of TSA machines as has been requested many, many times.

Front and Rear please.

Submitted by Anonymous on

two things:

1) post some real images of what a TSO will see when both a man and a woman walk through the detectors.

2) I think I will opt for a pat down as I no longer trust any initial assertion that X isn't harmful. (DDT and saccharin come to mind as safe at one time but not after further scientific research)

Submitted by Anonymous on

Bob,

You didn´t really address any of my privacy concerns in this post. Telling me that the technology is adopted elsewhere and that few people refused it does not make me feel good about the frontal pictures of women I saw. I would like to be assured that:

1. Passengers are well informed that they have the option to refuse the scan, and will not be submitted to any extra hassle other than the pat down when they refuse. I suspect the reason that most people agree to the scans is because they think they will not be allowed to fly or will be mistreated and super searched if they refuse.

2. Passengers are well informed as to the nature of the images generated. I also believe that front and back scans of men and women should be posted on the scanner. And please choose random, normal, pictures (preferably of yourselves, taken that week), not the one you find least offensive of all.

3. Faces will be blurred - could you please provide a reference to the technology used for this process? It is not mentioned in the assessment document you provide a link to. Please do not answer this is classified. There is no reason for this technology to be classified. Terrorists cannot use face blurring for anything.

4. Officers who use these images inappropriately will be prosecuted. Please also provide procedures that will be adopted to ensure these officers are behaving. For example, will their activities be filmed, and will they be searched for cameras before entering their area?

5. The scans will ALWAYS be optional, and not become mandatory after a "trial" phase. I still remember when removing shoes was optional, and can see this new procedure going in the same direction.

6. In a decent amount of this trial phase you will publish actual data about how effective this technology is in detecting things not found though other procedures. Please remember that this costs a lot of our tax money, and many of us doubt if it is useful.

Submitted by Sandra on

Same old, same old.

Were the pax at LAX and JFK shown images, front and rear, of what the screener would be seeing before they decided to opt for the virtual strip search?

If not, your number are meaningless.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Again, the TSA's logic doesn't work. I don't want to hear that only a few people opted out so it must be great. What if they had other reasons for not opting out (they didn't know they could, they weren't told they could, they were afraid to, etc)? The TSA does have an image of retaliating against passengers.

More importantly, can you share the third party tests that prove the safety of these devices? Are we sure they don't cause cancer, tumors, etc? Are they more safe or less safe than the current X-Ray technology or metal detecting technology used? How do they compare to the amount of radiation from a microwave, etc? That's the kind of data that tells us if its safe or not.

The TSA needs to move beyond PR as evidence and start actually trying to convince the American flying public (their bosses) with logic and fact.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Resolution is roughly 1mm or .04 inches (1/32) approximately. It would be a grainy image if it weren't blurred by software and yes it does have the resolution to be able to identify people.

TSA please stop urinating on my shoes and telling me it is raining. That's a double insult. Lying while expecting me to be naieve enough to believe it.

Most likely they will classify the images as SSI so as to not be required to show those images. The man behind the curtain sure yucks it up at our expense.

Submitted by Alan on

I have been told that passengers undergoing this screening must remove their wallets from their pockets when stepping into this machine.

Is that true?

Where are passengers supposed to put their wallets as they go through?

Are they allowed to leave the machine as soon as they see something happening to their valuables?

Submitted by Steve on

The posted image is NOT a chart. At best, it is a cartoon. It provides absolutely no actual information.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I saw the frontal female picture from the other thread! You can identify everything from the type of underwear, bra and breast shapes including nipples. I will NOT submit to being strip searched to enter an airplane.

Submitted by Ned on

Is the only alternative presented to passengers refusing this device (who want to fly) a pat down?

Submitted by Anonymous on

The numbers that "speak for themselves" are meaningless without more information. For example, were the passengers who agreed to millimeter wave scanning told something like "If you don't want us to pat down your body, we'll let you go through that nice friendly scanner over there. It will take an inoffensive picture that won't violate your privacy at all."? Or were they told "You can let Officer Buster (or Brunhilde) pat down your body, or let that machine over there give you an electronic strip search. If you want to fly today you'll have to choose one or the other."?

Unless the choice is an informed one, without the sort of spin we've seen in the TSA's blog posts, the numbers are meaningless. If they don't know that the millimeter wave scanner amounts to a strip search, they likely will choose it over being groped by Buster or Brunhilde.

The statements about millimeter wave scanners being deployed at courthouses and prisons are more frightening than persuasive. First, the Bush administration seems to be very keen on strip searching people. Second, it merely promotes the belief that the TSA treats its "customers" just like prisoners and criminals. Not very convincing PR, I'm afraid.

In the end it doesn't matter what we think of it. If we choose to fly, we also choose to be strip searched and/or to have our belongings confiscated at the whim of Buster or Brunhilde. Presumably we should just accept that and stop complaining, since it's the "new normal" in the (perpetual) Global War On Terror. But if that actually ever happens, I think it will be a very tragic day for the United States of America.

Submitted by Anonymous on

TSA, why should we the traveling public trust you with anything? We've seen our luggage go from reasonably secure to insecure since you took over luggage screening with no one responsible for our luggage after we give it to TSA. We've got a liquids policy that defies science on several fronts. We've got out of control (possibly even criminal) TSO screeners doing pretty much anything they want to do to the traveling public all in the name of security and now you want to foist this technology on us?

Give us a break and for once in your miserable existance be honest with the traveling public. TSA you've rightfully earned the scorn and distrust by the American people. You've got to come clean with the American people on this and several other issues.

Submitted by Txrus on

I find it very interesting that, embedded the PIA document you linked to in your original post, Bob, is the exact same image that is posted in the 'Catch a Wave' thread. While it's nice to know where that image came from originally, neither address' the issue that was of primary concern in the 'Catch a Wave' thread-the FRONTAL images.

I am also quite disappointed that you would even try to use the #of passengers screened by MMW WBI @ LAX & JFK; surely you've been doing this long enough to know that unless you can provde, beyond a reasonable doubt, that those passengers:
1. Knew what their images would look like, front AND back in advance and
2. Knew screening by this technology was voluntary

these statistics wouldn't carry any weight w/your very skeptical readers.

Try again, please, Bob.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Unfortunately I don't live anywhere near to these new machines. If I did, I would prepare pamphlets with the actual front and back pictures I have seen and an explanation saying the scan is not mandatory. I would then distribute them to people entering the security line. I think this experiment would certainly increase the number of persons refusing very significantly.

Any volunteers living in the LA or NY area???

Submitted by Anonymous on

The image that is out there of a woman scanned with a “backscatter” X-ray, like that which is reportedly being used in Phoenix, is extremely detailed and revealing. There is NO WAY you can spin that. I can easily imagine an operator viewing something that piques their interest (and I do not mean for security reasons) and giggling or gawking, somehow capturing/saving the image for later viewing, telling a coworker “hey, check this out” or the operator leaving the station or asking a coworker to try to see what the person looks like. You can’t guarantee this won’t happen. You can’t deny it WILL happen.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Found this CBS Story on the millimeter wave tech at Phoenix http://tinyurl.com/345vqc The image is small, but you see a frontal shot of a man and can make "see" just about everything. I don't particularly care if the screener can't see my face while it's happening, this crosses the line.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Bob, now that you've been caught with your hand in the proverbial cookie jar, how are you guys going to spin this to your advantage? Tell us it is security at any cost? Tell us that it is SSI? Tell us to shut up and that it is for our own good? Perhaps tell us that you civilians have no idea of who you are dealing with? This is disgusting on the part of TSA.

Submitted by GI on

Some very easy questions were not answered:

Where are the front and back pictures?
Are there useful, clear and understandable informations at the airports that explain these machines?
(with all pro and cons)
Where to put and protect your personal belongings? (CC, Cash, ID's ...)
What about cleaning of the machine?
Are you allowed to stop a running screening?
Will the doors be locked?
Who is responsible for stolen items while you are in the box?
How long does the screening last?

You see, simple questions that were not answered!
So no useful information in your new blog entry.
Try again....

Submitted by NoClu on

You have entered a "No Fly Zone" with this lame PR spin. Post full frontal and rear scans. Ask newspapers around the country to publish them as a public service. Run TV commercials with the images at 6:00 pm during the news, or perhaps during family shows and ask for input from parents on having their children subjected to these scans.
This is a horrible invasion of privacy. The potential for mis-use is significant.

Submitted by Winstonsmith on

Bob, I find the numbers coming out of LA and NY also to be misleading. How many of those people understood what they were getting into? You may have posted signs, but how many languages were they in? There are many people in both LA and New York who do not speak English well or at all, either because they are tourists or because they are recent immigrants or because they just don't. Foreigners in a foreign land don't tend to raise much of a ruckus when they're trying to get from point A to point B, choosing instead to go through the path of least resistance. What were the numbers coming out of Phoenix? Your strip search machine is in the Southwest Airlines terminal there.

Or perhaps the TSA deterred people from requesting pat down searches rather than virtual strip searches by making them wait. Let's see, I have 5 minutes to get to the gate, I know I'm not carrying anything and I'll pass this search with flying colors. I don't like it, but unless I want to wait 15 minutes not to be stripped down by a machine and miss my flight I'm going to have to put my dignity on a shelf and just do it.

As for posting what other countries do, bully for them. As sovereign nations they have a right to do what they see fit to do. If we as US Citizens choose to travel to those countries then we also choose to abide by those countries' rules. They do not answer to the American people. The US government (including the TSA), at least in theory, does. So far, at least from what I've seen here, we're telling you no -- and in no uncertain terms.

The fact that a few courthouses have chosen to try these scanners out does not make them any more palatable to the public at large. You cited 5 courthouses where they are in place. It will not be long before at least 5 privacy lawsuits are filed against those courthouses. It should take only slightly longer for the lawsuits claiming injury to show up.

I don't envy your job, Bob. You have the thankless task of trying to make BS smell like roses and no matter what you do it's still gonna stink. Get your bosses to come clean with us, give us the honest facts and information we want to know without the spin and let's have a real dialog here.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Found a screenshot from CBS piece. It's a grainy video capture. http://twitpic.com/jx1 In the video, it's actually a 3D image the twirls around. Don't know if this is the same example as mentioned in the text below....

"Reporters were only shown an example of a female body image, which was a three-dimensional image of a very fit woman in her brassiere and underwear. TSA describes this as similar to a "fuzzy photo negative."

Privacy advocates say the images are more graphic than that.

"If you want to see a naked body, this is a naked body," said Barry Steinhardt, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's program on technology and liberty.

Steinhardt also received a demonstration of the new machine, which he says shows the same graphic image as the backscatters.

"I continue to believe that these are virtual strip searches," Steinhardt said. "If Playboy published them, there would be politicians out there saying they're pornographic."

Submitted by Anonymous on

Bob,

Could you please answer all points posted at 4:01 PM, not only one?

Also, I thank you for posting a link to the modified version of the frontal view of a woman that the TSA finds acceptable. Could you please show us the study that determines that this image is considered acceptable by the public?

I do not find it acceptable at all, and in a fast study here in my workplace have determined that no women who have seen this image and 60% of men who have would prefer this to a pat down. I imagine my study group is smaller and less randomly chosen than yours, so I would very much appreciate seeing your data.

Submitted by Dave on

More propaganda and lies from the TSA.

Where is the frontal unadulterated image? Where are the hard numbers from an independent source for the emissions from both backscatter and millimeter wave machines?

For that matter, where is your privacy act statement?

If you showed a full, un-obscured image to each participant of what they would be seen as to the operator, I'm sure your rate of refusal would skyrocket.

Good job TSA - keep deceiving the traveling public. When are you going to stop wasting money on this nonsense and invest in technology that will let us leave our shoes on and bring liquids with us?

Submitted by Marshall on

No, Bob, you do not post signs. You physically HAND your victims a picture - signs are useless, the TSA knows that, so don't say that people are informed because you've posted signs.

You guys just keep digging yourselves a deeper and deeper hole. The good thing about that is that one day it will collapse upon you.

Submitted by Yangj08 on

Hmmm... I've noticed Japan's on the list. You've put up a very high bar to compare yourself to in that case.

America: Arrive at security screening at least one hour before departure in order to get to your flight on time.

Japan: Arrive at security screening 15 minutes before departure, be on the plane in 5 minutes.

Not a pretty picture.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"There is a sign located in plain view in front of the machine with an image and another really large sign in plain view explaining that it’s optional. "

Bob, would these signs you talk about be near the ones that state that ID is required to enter the checkpoint? Thats another TSA lie isn't it?

Where are the front and back images that have been requested. You guys already have said that they are non-offensive so lets have'em.

Submitted by Anonymous on

TSA has apparently mis-respresented exactly how the images from the MMW WBI appear. Otherwise they should have been happy to promptly provide images as has been asked for.

I usually am against actions from organizations like the ACLU but in this case I dearly hope someone from one of these organizations will take action. If they do I will get my checkbook out and pay my share.

DHS/TSA has done more in its short lifetime to errode civil rights and cause harm to the constitution than any other agency in recent times. Yes we need security but not at this cost!

I have and will continue to let my elected members of congress know that I find what TSA is doing is unacceptable. I ask others to join me and make so much noise that ignoring this problem will be impossible.

My goal is for Bob and all the other DHS/TSA people out looking for a job because this agency has been shut down,

Submitted by Ayn R Key on

Dear Blog Team,

The demonstrations about imaging technology only shows an image of a man from the rear as proof that frontal images will not show any intimate details. To further support the promise that intimate details are not shown, the viewing screen used by the TSA is carefully protected from view by the public. Given the track record of the TSA on "just trust us" issues, do you really feel yet another "just trust us but don't verify" is a way to increase public trust in the TSA? What measures are being taken to ensure that images from your new advanced technologies are not overly invasive and do not ever leave the TSA?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Would you please post a MMW images of George Bush, his wife and daughters? How about yours, Bob? And all the top level TSA officers too. For that matter, let's post MMW images of all TSOs at the airports using these machines, and we'll see how long it lasts then.

This is a horrible invasion of privacy and I don't see how it can be at all legal or constitutional to tell innocent people that they must either be viewed naked or be felt up by a TSO just to get on a plane. Disgusting!

Submitted by Chris Boyce on

Bob, I assume Kippie is paying you enough to take the heat from your fellow citizens because they are too afraid to take the heat. Actually, that translates into $149K per year in DC (capped, of course).

You people just don't get it. We, THE PEOPLE, are fed up with your fertilizer. Take out tax dollars and shove them up the posterior of the MWW.

Why are you afraid to publish the full frontal pictures of one of your colleagues that appeared in the LA Times last week?

Submitted by Chris Boyce on

OK, I have read the Privacy Impact Assessment for this device. I have had as much, or more, experience in government that anyone in the TSA. (TSA, you'll just have to accept that on faith, unless you are presently tapping my phone and internet connection.)

This is the most poorly written PIA I have ever seen. I was going to say that you should be ashamed, but, since the TSA is not accountable, shame isn't even in your vocabulary.

Kip, I will fight you at the checkpoint. I will fight you in court. I will fight you in the halls of Congress. Kip, before I am done with you, I will be your worst nightmare. I guarantee it.

Submitted by Trollkiller on
Blogger Bob said…

There is a sign located in plain view in front of the machine with an image and another really large sign in plain view explaining that it’s optional. Passengers have been allowed to request a pat down in lieu of walking through the metal detector since the beginning, so I doubt this will cause much of a fuss.

Blogger Bob, do they have these at your airport?

Here is the wording for the sign that tells people they can opt out. I found it at the LA Times site.

21st Century Technology
Security Innovation Privacy

TSA is deploying Whole Body Imaging equipment at this checkpoint. The Whole Body Imager uses millimeter technology to detect metallic and non-metallic threats.

If you are directed to the Whole Body Imager but do not wish to be screened by the Whole Body Imaging equipment, notify the Transportation Security Officer and you will instead continue screening with alternative procedures such as a pat down.

Addition information about the Whole Body Imaging technology is available upon request and at www.TSA.gov

As you will notice the wording is far from informative. It says the device can detect metallic and non-metallic threats, but it does not say that the screener can see your boobs. Strip down to your birthday suit and I can do the same thing with my naked eyes. (no pun intended)

Here is the wording for the sign with the picture.

Procedures for Millimeter Wave Portal

REMOVE EVERYTHING from your pockets before entering.

Put items in the security bin or carry-on luggage.

This includes all paper, plastic items, pens and wallets.

Safety Information
Millimeter wave technology is safe for all travelers including children and pregnant women. The radio frequency energy it transmits is 10,000 times less than an average cell phone.

Please note the picture is NOT one from the MMW device, instead it is a disco man with his pockets turned inside out. I really expected somewhere on the sign for it to say "Keep on Truckin!!"

Blogger Bob, I really am hoping that your airport does not have one of these machines and you called an airport that does and asked them if any of the signs had a picture on it and they were confused what you meant or that the LA Times just did not run a photo of the sign you mentioned.

If there is a third sign that does show a REAL picture of a scanned body, please post it. BTW in order to believe that the sign is in place, please make the photograph so we can see some background. Sorry I don’t trust your management not to send you a dummied up photo.
Submitted by Trollkiller on

Whoa, Blogger Bob, hold the cell phone a sec. According to the PDF document and what you repeated on your blog post;

"The Millimeter wave technology uses non-ionizing radio frequency energy in the millimeter wave spectrum to generate an image based on energy reflected from the body. The energy projected by the system is 100,000 times less than a cell phone transmission (.00000597 mW/cm2 for millimeter wave technology compared to 37.5 mW/cm2 for a cell phone)

Now just yesterday that number was 10,000 (TEN THOUSAND) not 100,000 (ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND).

The 10,000 number is the one stated on your Broke Disco Stu sign, it is also the number stated on this web TSA web page.

What is the correct number? And show your work.

Submitted by Trollkiller on

 

 

Anonymous said...
Resolution is roughly 1mm or .04 inches (1/32) approximately. It would be a grainy image if it weren't blurred by software and yes it does have the resolution to be able to identify people.

TSA please stop urinating on my shoes and telling me it is raining. That's a double insult. Lying while expecting me to be naieve enough to believe it.

Most likely they will classify the images as SSI so as to not be required to show those images. The man behind the curtain sure yucks it up at our expense.

If you have a problem with someone urinating on your shoes, you may want to get some of these.

 

Submitted by Anonymous on

Having seen the front pictures of these scans, I have decided I will refuse them, however, I can understand some people may prefer them to being patted. It is thus imperative that we get an assurance from the TSA that the scans will ALWAYS be optional, and not become mandatory in the near future.

Also, I think the British way of doing the scans deals much better with privacy concerns. Instead of having someone unseen looking at your scan, and having the person being scanned in front of everyone, they send the persons selected to a private room with a same sex officer. The officer then does the scan in and analyzes it in front of the scanned person. If I were to undergo this scan, I would much rather be able to see the person analyzing it then have them hidden and possibly up to seedy activity in a "remote location".

Summing up: I suggest the TSA assure us scans will always be optional, and do them privately, where the person can see his own image, the way the British officers do it.

Submitted by Joe Physicist on

Bob, can you help me out? When dealing with physiological effects of radiation, it's more common to use specific absorption rate (SAR) rather than power per area. SAR is measured in W/kg--the amount of power absorbed by a given amount of tissue.

As I recall, cell phones emit in the 0.3 - 1 W range. If I take your 37.5 mW/cm2 estimate, this implies a cell phone held 0.8 - 1.5 cm away from the head (i.e., 1 W divided by 4*pi*r^2 for 37.5 mW/cm2 gives a radius of 1.5 cm). So I guess that's a reasonable estimate of power, but it still doesn't address the SAR.

What's the SAR of the millimeter wave scanner? Alternatively, can you give me the FCC grantee code and product code for the device? Then I can just look it up in the FCC database (gullfoss2.fcc.gov/oetcf/eas/).

Submitted by Jim Huggins on

As recommended, I read the PIA, and I have a nitpick ...

Under item 7, "Principle of Security", DHS notes that millimeter wave images are "transmitted in a proprietary format that cannot be deciphered without the proprietary technology." With all respect, this is "security by obscurity" at its finest; it assumes that the images are secure because the format used to transmit the images is "secret" (or "proprietary"). Secret formats rarely remain secret for long; eventually, someone will figure them out, and then your defense is blown. (Look at how easily proprietary formats for music and video are broken on a daily basis.)

It would be better if the transmitted images, even if they are in non-obvious proprietary formats, were also encrypted using
well-tested, well-analyzed encryption protocols (of which there are many).

Submitted by Bob on

Anonymous said... I think I will opt for a pat down…April 24, 2008 3:50 PM

By all means. Since the beginning, you have always been able to request a full body pat down.

Anonymous said... Passengers are well informed that they have the option to refuse the scan, and will not be submitted to any extra hassle other than the pat down when they refuse. I suspect the reason that most people agree to the scans is because they think they will not be allowed to fly or will be mistreated and super searched if they refuse. April 24, 2008 4:01 PM

There is a sign located in plain view in front of the machine with an image and another really large sign in plain view explaining that it’s optional. Passengers have been allowed to request a pat down in lieu of walking through the metal detector since the beginning, so I doubt this will cause much of a fuss.

Ned said... Is the only alternative presented to passengers refusing this device (who want to fly) a pat down? April 24, 2008 5:04 PM

Yes.

Anonymous said... The image that is out there of a woman scanned with a “backscatter” X-ray, like that which is reportedly being used in Phoenix, is extremely detailed and revealing. There is NO WAY you can spin that. April 24, 2008 5:28 PM

That is what the original backscatter image looked like prior to being adjusted. It is very revealing and the public did not accept it. Therefore, the TSA changed it to look like this.

Bob

TSA Eos Blog Team

By the way, check out our new Twitter Blog Team Update on the lower portion of the sidebar. It will help us announce quick updates that aren’t worthy of a blog post. April 24, 2008 6:19 PM

Edited to add updated backscatter link.

April 25, 2008 9:43 AM

Submitted by Anonymous on

Again with the rear images. Bob, will you just tell us that you're never going to post a frontal image so we can move on? This is silly, and you're not tricking anyone by the way you're avoiding questions, so just say you're not going to answer it so we can move on to the next topic you won't answer.

Submitted by Anonymous on

For Bob;

"There is a sign located in plain view in front of the machine with an image and another really large sign in plain view explaining that it’s optional. Passengers have been allowed to request a pat down in lieu of walking through the metal detector since the beginning, so I doubt this will cause much of a fuss. "

Do these signs have actual front and rear images that this machine displays to the screener?

Why will TSA not post those perfectly ok for school children images here?

Is the expectation that a lie repeated often enough eventually becomes the truth?

Does TSA have a code of ethics? I suspect that it does and you have violated them by posting false statements in this blog.

As a responsible citizen I think I must call for you to resign from government service!

Submitted by Ayn R Key on

Wow, Bob, that was blatant.

Usually you bloggers stop posting after I post. This time you are playing "If I pretend I don't see it then it isn't there."

If that's your game, I'm not going away. Eventually my quesitons will spread to other commenters. I've even recorded them in my own blog (linked to through my user name).

Submitted by Anonymous on

Put me down on the permanent "won't do it" list.

And if I get a jury duty notice and find they use one of those machines, they better have ways around it too.

Bet you'll see the number of people refusing to go thru it increase too.

Either find a way to get a totally passive device to work, or give up.

Submitted by Marshall's SO on

From Peggy Noonan's column in today's WSJ on line:

"America is in line at the airport. America has its shoes off, is carrying a rubberized bin, is going through a magnetometer. America is worried there is fungus on the floor after a million stockinged feet have walked on it. But America knows not to ask. America is guilty until proved innocent, and no one wants to draw undue attention. America left its ticket and passport in the jacket in the bin in the X-ray machine, and is admonished. America is embarrassed to have put one one-ounce moisturizer too many in the see-through bag. America is irritated that the TSA agent removed its mascara, opened it, put it to her nose, and smelled it. Why don't you put it up your nose and see if it explodes? America thinks.

And, as always: Why do we do this when you know I am not a terrorist, and you know I know you know I am not a terrorist? Why this costly and harassing kabuki when we both know the facts, and would agree that all this harassment is the government's way of showing "fairness," of showing that it will equally humiliate anyone in order to show its high-mindedness and sense of justice? Our politicians congratulate themselves on this as we stand in line.

All the frisking, beeping and patting down is demoralizing to our society. It breeds resentment, encourages a sense that the normal are not in control, that common sense is yesterday. Another thing: It reduces the status of that ancestral arbiter and leader of society, the middle-aged woman. In the new fairness, she is treated like everyone, without respect, like the loud ruffian and the vulgar girl on the phone. The middle-aged woman is the one spread-eagled over there in the delicate shell beneath the removed jacket, praying nothing on her body goes beep and makes people look."

http://online.wsj.com/article/declarations.html

You ain't fooling anybody, TSA.

Submitted by Al on

Our we required to remove our wallets when we enter this machine?

Where do we put them?

Are we allowed to immediately exit the machine and run after our wallet if we see it being stolen?

Submitted by Bob on

Wow, you folks know how to make a guy feel loved. :) Contrary to popular belief, I will do my best to answer what I can as soon as I can.

Here are a few answers to some of your questions.

The rear millimeter wave image is the only image that has been released. Therefore, that is all I can show you. It is displayed on our blog as well as the checkpoints using the MMW.

There are two signs in front of the millimeter wave. One shows the back image. The other explains the MMW and informs passengers of their option for a pat down.

Personal belongings are kept in a bin, in clear view, with no other passengers nearby. There is no opportunity for somebody to steal something based on the set up.

The machine is cleaned nightly or as needed.

The screening lasts 45 -60 seconds and you cannot stop screening once it has begun.

As far as the doors being locked, if you are referring to the control room, yes the door is locked. If you are referring to the millimeter wave, it does not have doors.

Thanks,

Bob

TSA Eos Blog Team

Submitted by Marshall's SO on

"The screening lasts 45 -60 seconds and you cannot stop screening once it has begun."

Oh, so once again the TSA has been less than truthful with us - look at the video on the TSA's website titled something to the effect of "see how MMV technology detects threats."

The actors are in and out of the machine in less than 10 seconds.

And why has the frontal picture not been released? Because TSA knows it would cause an uproar.

Submitted by Txrus on

I see you are making your national tv debut this weekend on 'Good Morning America', Bob, according to your twitter (I'll refrain from 'twit' comments for now, btw). Two burning questions in response to this:

1. What tie will you be wearing?

2. Since GMA is filmed in NYC, home of one of your spiffy new MMW's @ JFK, will the segment feature a live demo of the machine & the images created? I'll even let you pick the model, but the front image MUST be shown. Don't care about the settings or all the other SSI (super secret info); pictures will suffice.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Chris Boyce said...
OK, I have read the Privacy Impact Assessment for this device. I have had as much, or more, experience in government that anyone in the TSA. (TSA, you'll just have to accept that on faith, unless you are presently tapping my phone and internet connection.)

This is the most poorly written PIA I have ever seen. I was going to say that you should be ashamed, but, since the TSA is not accountable, shame isn't even in your vocabulary.

Kip, I will fight you at the checkpoint. I will fight you in court. I will fight you in the halls of Congress. Kip, before I am done with you, I will be your worst nightmare. I guarantee it.

April 25, 2008 12:17 AM

First of all Chris Boyce you are not very bright. Threatening a Federal Offical isn't the smartest thing to do.
I'll bet you are all talk because you want to sound big on the blog. it won't work. As many have said the TSO's on here make their point that TSA shouldn't exist. You on the other hand make us passengers who really want to make ligimate complaints sound like we are the idiots.

Submitted by NoClu on

bob said "Wow, you folks know how to make a guy feel loved. :)"

Bob, Your agency really knows how to make a citizen/traveler feel loved :)

Pages