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What’s Wrong With This Picture?

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010
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What’s wrong with this picture? Put quite simply, it’s a fake. The picture (minus the black boxes) has been gaining popularity ever since it was used on several popular web pages and blogs.

The TSA Office of Information Technology (OIT) was able to determine that the original images used to make these pictures were taken from a stock photo website and doctored to mimic Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) images. The doctored images are nothing more than full frontal photos (hence the black boxes) with the colors inverted. The image of the gun and belt were superimposed. This can be done with any basic image editing software.

It’s obvious that the woman shown on the left is not the woman in the doctored photos on the right. Notice that the bracelet on the right wrist in the clothed image does not appear in the doctored images. Her arms and legs are also in different positions in the clothed photo. It can be argued that maybe the photo was taken before she entered an AIT machine. Even so, just like X-ray images, hair does not show up in authentic AIT images and faces are blurred with a privacy algorithm.

Please take a look at this blog post to see larger versions of the images below and video of what AIT images actually look like.

Thanks,

Bob Burns
TSA Blog Team

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Comments

Submitted by Mr Gel-pack on

Also take a look at the zoom-in portions of this video--TSA can view a whole lot more detail than TSA indicates with its reluctant postings of little pictures.

Submitted by Chris Boyce on

So, Bob, this means we should believe you and line up in front of the nude-o-scope like a bunch of lemmings?

You've got to do better than regurgitate something which has been on Flyertalk for about a week. The blogger realized it was fake a week or more ago.

Since you've obviously viewed the entire Youtube broadcast, we'd like TSA commentary on the performances of the screeners, SPOTnik Jeanette, the airport cops, and the plainclothes guy.

Go for it.

Submitted by RB on

Are the images that this post links to the exact same size and resolution that a WBI operator would view?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Bob, why do you refuse to say whether the images you've just posted are of the same size and resolution as those seen by the operator of your strip-search machines?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Why does TSA insist on implementing these machines even though they have been shown not to work?

Submitted by Anonymous on

You know, I really don't think having people like the drug-planting TSO in Philly look at naked pictures of people makes anyone safer.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Why has the contrast on the woman picture been raised so much? We all know from the videos that the quality is much better than that.

And when can we see each picture individually at full resolution? You don't even have to give us the magnifying tool that the TSOs get to use. I bet it won't be necessary to see every single detail in the genital area.

Submitted by Anonymous on

What's wrong with this picture? Well, I'd say the first thing that's wrong is that it's being used in a discussion of a how a government agency plans to view naked (albeit blurry) pictures of me and my family. How about you respond to some of the more than reasonable questions that have been posed?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Can WBI see a tampon? Because if it can, it is definitely an invasion of privacy. If it can't, it serves no purpose as a security measure.

Imaging technologies are not adequate for the job at hand. Work on detecting traces of explosives.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Why did you censor the fake image, Bob? What makes that picture indecent, but the actual nude images that you will produce acceptable? Please tell us at what resolution naked pictures become acceptable to post? Furthermore, you have given us no indication that if there was a nude scanner that produced images like the fake one that you have posted that you wouldn't be pushing for it.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Also take a look at the zoom-in portions of this video--TSA can view a whole lot more detail than TSA indicates with its reluctant postings of little pictures.
----------------------------

Wow-- just, wow... I looked at the video, and these images are far more detailed than I had feared. I don't want TSA employees to see my genitals. It has nothing to do with the fact that they work for TSA-- except for my wife and my doctor, I don't want anyone to see my genitals. That is why I wear pants.

Submitted by TSOWilliamReed on

RB said...
Are the images that this post links to the exact same size and resolution that a WBI operator would view?

January 27, 2010 4:23 PM


Anonymous said...
Bob, why do you refuse to say whether the images you've just posted are of the same size and resolution as those seen by the operator of your strip-search machines?

January 27, 2010 4:25 PM
---------------

Bob has said it before so I will say it again. YES they are the same size and resolution.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Why does TSA insist on implementing these machines even though they have been shown not to work?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
They work! the argument is that they don't detect explosives. They detect hidden objects on the body. Secondary screening determines if the hidden object is an explosive or not.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Just to be sure can we see the 30 to 50 sample images that the TSA requires manufacturers to provide them with. Unaltered in their full size & resolution, as a TSA screener would see? Call me paranoid, but the TSA did say the machines were "incapable" of storing images, yet the TSA documents state that storage is "required". PS here is a link so you guys can check the definition of incapable and required:

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/incapable

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/required

Submitted by Anonymous on

640 x 480?
800 x 600?
1024 x 768?

Resolution and size?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Thanks, but don't want my children in either photo shoot. Nor groped. Don't need to fly under those conditions.

Submitted by Anonymous on

These pictures are bigger, but still much smaller and lower resolution than the full-screen images viewed by the TSA, much less those viewed using the "zoom" tool on the image viewing workstations.

The difference in resolution between these images and the actual ones is far greater than any difference between actual images and those your previous blog entry labeled "inaccurate".

Submitted by Anonymous on

Anonymous said...
Why does TSA insist on implementing these machines even though they have been shown not to work?

January 27, 2010 4:26 PM

WHo hath shown that to not thou worketh? Ye shall give forth evidence pleaseth. Oh, and if you're talking about the machines that failed to detect the undie-bomber, he did not go through the body scanners. So do ye have another example?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Fake or not, you can clearly see the guy's penis on your version.

Submitted by Ayn R Key on

Bob, is it against the rules to refer to the WBI as "child porn machines"? Is that why you are censoring my post? Or is it because I ask you about TSOs planting drugs in order to find them?

I notice that once an entry accrues a lot of comments you allow comments that are identical to ones you rejected - trying to bury me?

Submitted by Anonymous on

"Bob has said it before so I will say it again. YES they are the same size and resolution."

Bob has never, ever answered this question. And you're not an official representative of TSA. We deserve an official answer to this question, just as we do to the many reasonable and sensible questions Bob would like to ignore.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Are WBI screening operators able to disable any privacy features on images? If not who in the airport has the security clearance to do so?

Submitted by Anonymous on

TSOWilliamReed said...

Bob has said it before so I will say it again. YES they are the same size and resolution.

-------

Launching Photoshop.... looking at individual picture....

Are you telling me that the pictures that TSOs see are 240 by 575 pixels at 72 dpi?

No. No way. You are lying. Sorry to be so blunt, but you are lying.

Submitted by Anonymous on

So how come that we urgently need these machines that are forbidden in some countries due to health concerns and others (like the very thorough Germans) decided against them since they don't work?

I know the TSA's answer will be that they work since they can produce nude pictures of us. I maintain my point that they don't work. If you need a secondary after WBI to be sure then what are WBIs for?

And shouldn't the TSA start with basics first before getting yet another set of gear? (Hint: Try not to leave your post while being on duty, also don't let people with hand-guns on planes etc.)

Submitted by Sandra on

WilliamReed, where is your head? You truly believe that the pictures posted here are the same size that the voyeur in the secret hidden booth sees?

Get real!

Submitted by Anonymous on

What´s wrong is not that the picture was doctored, but the simple concept that we should be viewed nude in order to catch an airplane.

Submitted by TSOWilliamReed on

http://www.tsa.gov/blog/2009/08/imaging-technolgy-bigger-picture.html

For all those that disagree with me here is the blog post that bob posted the actual sized images in. They are the actual size. They have to be that size because placed around them are image tools and system information bars that take up the rest of the screen. There is also a zoom function that zooms in on those pictures in the same size and resolution that those are in.

Submitted by Anonymous on

William, you're not a spokesperson for TSA. Bob is a big boy and can and should respond to simple, direct questions about TSA's desire to see passengers naked.

Submitted by RB on

TSOWilliamReed said...
RB said...
Are the images that this post links to the exact same size and resolution that a WBI operator would view?

January 27, 2010 4:23 PM


Anonymous said...
Bob, why do you refuse to say whether the images you've just posted are of the same size and resolution as those seen by the operator of your strip-search machines?

January 27, 2010 4:25 PM
---------------

Bob has said it before so I will say it again. YES they are the same size and resolution.

January 27, 2010 5:53 PM
.....................
The images sett Bob has link to contain 4 seperate images in one pane covering 12 inches by six and one half inches.

I just can't buy that this is what an Operator of the TSA Porno-Viewer is seeing.

How about some evidence to support your claim.

Submitted by RB on

TSOWilliamReed said...
http://www.tsa.gov/blog/2009/08/imaging-technolgy-bigger-picture.html

For all those that disagree with me here is the blog post that bob posted the actual sized images in. They are the actual size. They have to be that size because placed around them are image tools and system information bars that take up the rest of the screen. There is also a zoom function that zooms in on those pictures in the same size and resolution that those are in.

January 28, 2010 11:00 AM
............
That blog post does not say those images are actual size. And I am refering to the large view images after you click on the smaller image.

Here is what Bob says; "Many have asked to see a bigger picture than what we had on our TSA.gov web page. So, we're not only showing you the bigger pictures here on the blog, we also updated them on the web page as well. They are male/female – front/back – Millimeter Wave/Backscatter."

So they are just bigger images, but still not actual full size, full resolution images.

You can keep on calling a skunk a cat but it still stinks like a Skunk!

Why won't TSA just man up and post some real unaltered images?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Why won't TSA just man up and post some real unaltered images?
___________________________________

Wow you people are annoying. It doesn't matter how many images are posted, you are never going to be happy!
And by the way RB, I am a frequent reader of this blog. And usually when I come to your posts I just skip right over them. Your posts are so repetitive & monotonous I can't even stomach to read them anymore!

Submitted by Anonymous on

"Wow you people are annoying. It doesn't matter how many images are posted, you are never going to be happy!"

The question at hand is not about the number of images; it is a simple request for Bob to answer a reasonable yes-or-no question about the images he has posted. Bob's reasons for this refusal are known to him alone, but the fact of the refusal speaks volumes about TSA's lack of trustworthiness.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Would love to see what the agents see.

Submitted by RB on

Anonymous said...
Why won't TSA just man up and post some real unaltered images?
___________________________________

Wow you people are annoying. It doesn't matter how many images are posted, you are never going to be happy!
And by the way RB, I am a frequent reader of this blog. And usually when I come to your posts I just skip right over them. Your posts are so repetitive & monotonous I can't even stomach to read them anymore!

January 28, 2010 1:50 PM

.............
Anon, I could care less what you choose to read or not read.

What I do care about is the TSA conducting a disinformation campaign.

I suggest for each person to make their oun decisions.

If you think TSA has published the real full size, full resolution images and also believe that WBI technology makes you safer when flying then step right into the machines.

However, if you do not think TSA has been truthful about WBI images and capabilities then refuse WBI screening until satified you understand just what you are agreeing to.

TSA lied when they stated the machines have no network capability.

TSA lied when they said the machines cannot store images.

Why would they do that if they were being honest and upfront about the machines.

Submitted by Anonymous on

What in the world is everyone up in arms for? This machine is voluntary. You don't want to go through it? Don't! You don't have to! From cops, to border patrol to TSA...the average American citizen despises security workers who keep them safe and continually brings up the few "bad apples" that make the news. Suck it up. One day we'll be like El Al in Israel, where you have to check in 4 hours early just to clear through because security is so tight. THEN you can complain.

Submitted by Anonymous on

The double-wide images on Bob's linked post are 1044x604 pixels. Compared to the height of a cheap 1024x768 LCD screen, you get 164 pixels left over. At 0.297mm/pixel, that gives about 2" of margin, which seems compatable with the http://www.daylife.com/photo/05OFe7Rab40YG?q=scanner image.

However, the video shows the TSO zooming in maybe 2x bigger to portions of the woman's body. If the zooming isn't pure theater, they've got the pixels to support it.

Representing a 2.5m tall body with 604 pixels gives you an imaging resolution of about 4mm (~1/8in) per pixel. Doubled resolution would get you down to 2mm per pixel, or up to an image of 1044x1208 pixels, about 4 times the pixels of a 640x480 webcam.

If you want to see what TSA could see through your clothes, use your own webcam and a photoshop filter to make a picture much like Bob's posting. Would you give that picture to a security guard?

Submitted by TSOWilliamReed on

Sandra said...
http://www.daylife.com/photo/05OFe7Rab40YG?q=scanner

Now try to tell us they are the same size, WilliamReed.

January 28, 2010 12:46 PM
-------------------

Judging by the size of the TSO and his/her keyboard the monitor he is viewing those images on is about a 15" monitor. The size of that monitor and the resolution of the image on such a monitor would match with the images bob posted on a previous blog. For some reason everyone thinks we are going to be viewing these images on a big screen tv with HD 1080p or something.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Anonymous said... "Wow you people are annoying. [and a lot more which is cut for readability]"

-------
Are you a TSA employee that feels the heat?

I think most of these "annoying" questions would disappear in an instant if the TSA would explain in an honest and straightforward way what they are up to, why their up to it and drop the ridiculous stuff.

I like air security. As a passenger I rely on it. And I like my privacy, my dignity and being treated with respect.
In my experience the TSA is neither particularly good in the area of air security and horribly bad at the other one.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I think the video in the first post here is probably what the screeners see. It is MUCH more revealing than the pictures on this blog.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"Wow you people are annoying. It doesn't matter how many images are posted, you are never going to be happy!
And by the way RB, I am a frequent reader of this blog. And usually when I come to your posts I just skip right over them. Your posts are so repetitive & monotonous I can't even stomach to read them anymore!"

I am sure that RB is just totally crushed by that personal attack.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Bob,

I appreciate the information as always as I travel frequently.

I have to say i get aggravated more than not during my travels because of the screening procedures in place and differences in procedures at different airports- shoes in the bin, shoes out of the bin- and your workforce could be a little friendlier-

But when it comes to situations like the Dec 25th incident i have absolutely NO issue with the technology that you have in place. EVERY airport should have the advanced imaging tech in place- it's not like the images are stored or shown to the world! If it's going to keep me and my family safe- then its worth it! You can see worse on the internet if you really wanted to see actual "pornography".
You commenters need to stop abusing your power of freedom of speech here and realize we are far better off than ANY other country involved in air travel.

If i were given two lanes, one with TSA screening and one without any screening whatsoever- i would choose the lane with screening. Those extra few minutes of waiting and complying with rules is worth it when you think of what could happen without!!

Submitted by Anonymous on
And by the way RB, I am a frequent reader of this blog. And usually when I come to your posts I just skip right over them. Your posts are so repetitive & monotonous I can't even stomach to read them anymore!

We're looking for some straight answers and since very few are forthcoming the same questions get repeated over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again.
Submitted by Anonymous on

Are the sample images provided in this post the same exact size and resolution that the newest generation scanners produce?

Also what date or year are these images from? I ask this because the very first image most people saw was Susan Hallowell, the former director of the Transportation Security Administration was from June 25, 2003. link: http://www.livescience.com/technology/061201_ap_airport_xray.html

And as we all know from this blog's mantra: "Terrorists Evolve" but so does technology. Does the TSA plan to post new example images every time the technology is upgraded, which will produces more detailed images?
Please reply if only to say you can't comment. Thanks!

Submitted by Trollkiller on

Riddle me this. If the Nude-O-Scopes (WBI, ATI, Full Body Scanners) are so effective, why does the White House security use explosive detection dogs instead?

Submitted by Trollkiller on
Anonymous said...

They work! the argument is that they don't detect explosives. They detect hidden objects on the body. Secondary screening determines if the hidden object is an explosive or not.

The do not detect anything, it is up to the operator's skills to determine if anything is hidden.

Of course it does not matter how skilled the operator is if the item is secreted in a fat fold or under the breast and therefore invisible to the device.

The only way around this is for the TSA to profile large people or women with large breasts for an extra groping after they have been viewed nude.

The Nude-O-Scopes do not work as well as dogs would for detecting explosives. If the Nude-O-Scopes are used for primary screening you will also miss any metal weapon secreted under the breast or fat fold that the WTMD would have alarmed on.

In short the Nude-O-Scope opens up more security holes than it closes.
Submitted by GSOLTSO on

I have been posting this info on blogs for about 2 weeks now, and it amazes me that so many people believe this is an actual image from a WBI... Crazy!

West
TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Online Saavy on

The amount of detail you can get with these machines is increadible. What is posted here is not the best that can be obtained with this machines. I understand the need for security, but let's look at it this way. If I were to implement this system to allow people into my bar or club, I would be answering to the FBI if I posted these images on the internet. Yet the TSA can?

Submitted by Gunner on

>>And by the way RB, I am a frequent reader of this blog. And usually when I come to your posts I just skip right over them. Your posts are so repetitive & monotonous I can't even stomach to read them anymore!<<

How did that pass moderation?

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