TSA's backscatter X-Ray defeated by pockets...

TSA's backscatter X-Ray defeated by pockets...

This is a discussion on TSA's backscatter X-Ray defeated by pockets... within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I disagree that it's about our rights, I think it's about the $1Billion+ contracts for junk. Very good video and something I'd suspected myself...

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Thread: TSA's backscatter X-Ray defeated by pockets...

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array wdbailey's Avatar
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    TSA's backscatter X-Ray defeated by pockets...



    I disagree that it's about our rights, I think it's about the $1Billion+ contracts for junk. Very good video and something I'd suspected myself


  2. #2
    Senior Member Array Chad Rogers's Avatar
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    Just goes to show that backscatter should not replace metal detectors, but merely supplement them.
    "People who take an Internet handle of a great warrior, are usually the first to go fetal when crunch time comes." - Me

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    VIP Member Array hogdaddy's Avatar
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    Wow, They know it & Always known about it. Just spend,spend,spend.
    H/D
    A Native Floridian = RARE


    IT'S OUR RIGHTS>THEY WANT TO WRONG
    H/D

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    Member Array MisterAvis's Avatar
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    Shows me what I already know. It's a complete scam. And the John Hopkins data they lean on is a total farce. It doesn't exist. It's not safe. It's designed to degrade you. And as an added bonus kill you. Double bonus Micheal Chertoff, former Homeland Security Secretary... conveniently got hired by Rapiscan. Thanks for spending those taxpayer billions, Mike.
    Hopyard likes this.
    "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined." -Obligatory Founding Father Quote

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    Well, I can probably guess that he just made it onto a "No Fly List" as soon as they identify who he is.
    msgt/ret and DMan like this.
    -Bark'n
    Semper Fi


    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

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    I personally don't buy this video. I think it's propaganda and the video is not conclusive. He uses old images that are out of date, not to mention that the scanners do not just profile the front and back, they do multiple angle scans. The scanner is not a metal detector, and he was carrying a small case. That doesn't imply "dangerous item". If he actually did go through the scanner with the item, it is very possible that the agent screening was aware of it and did not see an issue. The case is very similar to a cigarette tin or cell phone cover.

    I work on similar systems and I am very familiar with the technology. If this issue were to exist, it would have been dealt with years ago. This type of security flaw would not go unnoticed through the DHS/TSA certification process. For those that fear the radiation from backscatter X-ray systems/CT scanners, they are certified safe by a plethora of international & federal governments, as well as several private labs.

    See FAA 14 CFR 108.17; FAA 14 CFR 108.20; FAA 14 CFR 129.26; CDRH 21
    CFR 1020.40; FCC 47 CFR Part 15; NRTL, UL, CSA approved; CEmarked,
    conforms to CE directives and standards; complies with U.S.
    and European radiation safety standards

    You are likely to face more radiation in the aircraft during flight than you would from the scan.

    He says that he is not concerned about the terrorists getting this info, because he assumes they already have it......if this issue were legit, he has no verification that they know and just gave them the exploit on a silver platter. Yet, he thinks the scientists (under contract and supervision of DHS) from several certification labs, who do nothing BUT exploit these systems, did not figure it out before the slapping of a seal and processing orders?

    Say this issue did exist, one very easy modification would be to change the color backdrop in the scanned image to rolling color and add an additional couple steps in the algorithm process. I cannot speak specifics on the system he used here, but I know for a fact that this is a non issue with several of the offerings out there. My personal experience with the TSA/DHS certification process on these systems, leads me to bet it's a non issue with the Rapidscan.

    His statements about no explosives brought on a US plane in 40yrs is false, let alone the many verified cases where they were detected before loading on the plane.

    I agree that the TSA is overboard on several issues and fear-exploits on the public occur. However, these systems detect far more than a metal detector will ever be capable of. I'm sure my opinions are unpopular, but I have knowledge gained from both sides of the isle and not just as a traveler fighting for privacy (privacy is not really an issue with the scanners today). I would rather be scanned by this than patted down.
    “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
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    Quote Originally Posted by discoboxer View Post

    His statements about no explosives brought on a US plane in 40yrs is false, let alone the many verified cases where they were detected before loading on the plane.
    To my recollection there has been only ONE actual incident in which a US domestic airliner was blown out of the skies
    in-flight within the continental US. My recollection is that it happened in the pre-Jet age; but I could certainly mis - remember
    the details.

    I can't speak to incidents in which explosives have been brought on board and how common or rare that might be,
    and no doubt it has happened; but we don't seem to have had a serious issue with this as we did with hijackings during the
    time when it was "fashionable" to go to Cuba for free.

    I too am skeptical of the thesis of the film for some of the reasons you mentioned; but even if the machines are
    great and wonderful, I still find the process cumbersome, demeaning, and inefficient. And I still think there
    was something filthy about what the prior admin at TSA did in the business side of deploying these devices.
    If the Union is once severed, the line of separation will grow wider and wider, and the controversies which are now debated and settled in the halls of legislation will then be tried in fields of battle and determined by the sword.
    Andrew Jackson

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    VIP Member Array Guns and more's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by discoboxer View Post
    For those that fear the radiation from backscatter X-ray systems/CT scanners, they are certified safe by a plethora of international & federal governments, as well as several private labs.

    See FAA 14 CFR 108.17; FAA 14 CFR 108.20; FAA 14 CFR 129.26; CDRH 21
    CFR 1020.40; FCC 47 CFR Part 15; NRTL, UL, CSA approved; CEmarked,
    conforms to CE directives and standards; complies with U.S.
    and European radiation safety standards
    I understand no serious testing was done. The machines were declared "safe" because the Government said so.
    I'd be more willing to believe the TSA if they didn't have a long history of lying. Remember when the machines first came out? We we told "they were not capable of saving scans". Oops, some were saved. "Okay, they can, but we don't". Oops, we do. "Well, they can't be transferred". Oops they can.
    Add to that Rapidscan's are marketed by Michael Chertoff, and CEO Dupak Chupra (not the CNN guy), a very large Obama contributor, and you have the perfect transfer of tax dollars to donors.
    There are two main suppliers of machines. Rapid scan, where it looks like two blue slices of bread and you're the meat. And Pro-Vision where you enter a round chamber for your nude picture. Both use different technology. The backscatter X-ray Rapidscan is the one newly banned in some European countries. The other is Millimeter wave, using radio waves.
    In either case, it is a horrible violation of your constitutional rights.
    Still, a guy in Nigeria, with no passport, and no visa, who's father turned him in to the CIA twice, was able to board a Delta flight to Detroit with a load of explosives in his undies.
    How could this happen?
    Meanwhile, granny and the 18 yr. old Swedish girl are being patted down..

    You are likely to face more radiation in the aircraft during flight than you would from the scan.
    So it's okay to be irradiated twice?

    I have always been an "Opt out" I will continue to be one on principles. There is no probable cause to suspect me of
    endangering an aircraft.

    Here's the American future, since the TSA/DHS will grow exponentially. Someday, a TSA agent will knock on your door.
    "I'm with the TSA, I'd like to search your house for dangerous things. If you have nothing to hide, you won't mind."
    Will you let him in? You already let him take nude pictures of you, why not?


    The TSA needs to stop looking for weapons, and start looking for terrorists.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Array wdbailey's Avatar
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    I believe that the real motivation for things like this are summed up in a line by the character Dick Jones in the movie RoboCop

    I had a guarantee military sale with ED 209. Renovation program. Spare parts for 25 years. Who cares if it worked or not?
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    @Guns and more.

    I don't recall exactly the statement TSA said regarding images being saved, but there is a big public misunderstanding about this. Firstly, lets address the image: For US based machines, the image the agent sees is not your body. It is your scan's abnormalities, superimposed over a generic cartooned figure. The only privacy you are giving up is what you may have on your person that you did not disclose already.....not your anatomic gifts.

    They are computer controlled systems and the images are always saved. It is a required part of the process for the system to analyze the image. Huge misconceptions exist over the length of time these images remain in the drive and are accessible. Once the agent "releases" the image after viewing, they cannot recall it. The image is typically placed in a secured directory and very limited people can make access to the file after that. Over a specific period of time, the image is overwritten.

    Now, lets say that a person did go through the scanner with a banned device. The image will be removed from the terminal and handed over to the prosecuting authorities. Only select supervisory agents have access to this feature.

    With that said, lets look at a similar situation. A woman is beaten or raped and the police take photographs of her injuries for evidence. The police are required to secure the photos and only view/display where absolutely appropriate. The photos are crucial during prosecution to prove intent of the criminal and illustrate the crime. Not much different in my eyes, except for the fact that in the images from the scanners, it's not your body, its a graphic.

    I personally don't see the reason for fear any more in regards to privacy on this one, but to each his own. The specific incident where a TSA agent was screened and his fellow counterparts viewed the live image and acted unprofessional was before the change to a generic graphic and new guidelines for image retention. A couple foolish agents do not represent the whole of the TSA. Just like one bad cop incident should not tarnish a whole department.

    You are correct about political influence and financial support coming from companies that manufacture this type equipment. I would bet that they support both sides of the isle not just Obama. This is nothing new and with lobbying and campaign contributions full of loop holes, there is nothing we can do about it. This happens even with manufacturers of equipment for frying french fries at your local McDonald's.

    Please explain the violation of your constitutional rights when flying? Flying is not a right, it's a privilege. It IS a right to do so safely. When you go to court you have to disarm & scan. Visit someone in jail, disarm & scan. Are you violated here too?

    These systems are tested thoroughly for their radiation output in the lab for certification as well as a required minimum monthly radiation scan in the field. They have to meet safe tolerances or they are pulled from service. This is supervised not just by TSA, but private citizen groups as well.

    My statement regarding the radiation doses are minimal and less than the radiation exposure on-board the aircraft during flight, was to illustrate the over blown fear of exposure with these machines. They do not put out anywhere close to the same doses you get from a healthcare type CT scan. That image resolution is not needed in this application. My point is that many people fly multiple flights regularly and sometimes close to daily. Yet there is no fear of them reaching the maximum recommended dosage levels on the planes, when that dosage level exceeds that of the scanners.

    I don't have my table here in front of me, but if you are typing near your desktop tower and 20" computer monitor for 3 hours and then later go to sit in front of your 55" plasma TV for another 2 hours, then talk on the cell phone for 45 min., you have likely already exceeded the radiation doses of the scanner at the airport, by at least twice.

    Please understand I am not intending to attack, just intending to have a civilized discussion.
    “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
    ― Albert Einstein

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    Quote Originally Posted by discoboxer View Post
    @Guns and more.

    Please explain the violation of your constitutional rights when flying? Flying is not a right, it's a privilege. It IS a right to do so safely.
    Though I recognize that courts have so ruled, by this logic scanners could be placed in front of any and all commercial
    locations.

    I've never been impressed by the legal logic that
    since you are free to walk or ride a horse, flying becomes a privilege not protected by your right to travel between
    the various states. Flying is quite unlike driving which requires a license. Would you be willing to accept that you have no
    right to get into a car driven by someone else and travel between the states unless you were willing to be subjected to a search?
    If the Union is once severed, the line of separation will grow wider and wider, and the controversies which are now debated and settled in the halls of legislation will then be tried in fields of battle and determined by the sword.
    Andrew Jackson

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    VIP Member Array Guns and more's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by discoboxer View Post
    @Guns and more.

    Firstly, lets address the image: For US based machines, the image the agent sees is not your body. It is your scan's abnormalities, superimposed over a generic cartooned figure.
    This is a relatively new adaptation. The original scans showed details down to "pore" level. It wasn't until TSA agents were caught fighting over 18 yr. old girls, "I saw her first, she's mine" That the TSA decided to come up with a "fix".
    Quote Originally Posted by discoboxer View Post
    @Guns and more.
    You are correct about political influence and financial support coming from companies that manufacture this type equipment. I would bet that they support both sides of the isle not just Obama.
    Yeah, but Obama took Depac Chupra on his tour of India, did Bush?
    Quote Originally Posted by discoboxer View Post
    @Guns and more.
    Please explain the violation of your constitutional rights when flying? Flying is not a right, it's a privilege.
    I hear this all the time.
    Do I have a right to drive? No. I need to get a license, obey the rules of the road, and pay for insurance, etc. Then I'm allowed to drive, right? But what if I'm walking down the side of the raod, and a guy with a car stops and picks me up? I'm just riding. There is no prohibition to ride. Dogs ride, babies ride, they don't have licenses. Same with aircraft. I don't want to own an airplane, file flight plans, follow all the FAA rules, or maintain the plane. I just want to ride in the plane. Do I have that right? Luckily, there is a company who owns the plane and is willing to let me ride.
    There is no probable cause to suspect me of harming a plane. I have 2 million frequent flier miles, for god's sake. It's not rocket science. Yet I'm constantly searched.
    Please understand I am not intending to attack, just intending to have a civilized discussion.
    I love it. I'll be having this same discussion with the TSA agent who will be torturing me in a couple days. BTW, I fly through Detroit often, home to the largest muslim population in the US and guess what? I've never seen a muslim getting "additional screening." It's always grannys, me, blind guys and 18 yr old Swedish girls.

    Want to hear silly? I was flying out of Birmingham, Al. last year. I walked through the metal detector, didn't set it off. But when I was about 20' beyond the machine, it beeped.
    "Sir, you have been randomly selected by the machine for additional screening". I got patted down. I said, "You've got to be kidding, if the guy behind me is wearing a turban, is sweating profusely, and is wearing a vest loaded with plastic explosives, but the machine doesn't beep, he skates right through?"
    TSA, "Yes."
    That was the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

    If you fly often, and I do, you realize that TSA is security theater, making sure no, ahem, groups are offended, except maybe Tea Party members.
    Brass63 likes this.

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    Sorry, I was traveling and could not take the time to respond. Luckily, I only had to go through a metal detector and breezed through security.

    Many former defense department officials and high level government folks have transitioned over to the private market. Companies like Rapidscan, L3, AS&E, Northrop Grumman, SAIC, Lockheed Martin, etc., all recruit these folks. It has been claimed that one of these companies has enough generals and post military citizens that they could start their own war. There are several reasons for this.

    1) They have active high level security clearances in place before employment.
    2) They have experience with facets of the project already.
    3) Experience with regulation compliance and inter department agencies.
    4) Some have established relationships with potential clients domestic and OCONUS.
    5) Some have political connections to expedite processes.

    All of these are assets in any industry, and are even more valued here. There are many men and women in these "transition" roles who do maintain integrity a limit the amount of influence they have from their previous public office position, but there are also some bad seeds who could care less and are for sale.

    This type of thing is not limited to Obama, or any one administration. It has always gone on, because it makes sense in the most ethical of ways as well as those who will exploit their positions for financial/political gain. Obama is just really good at flaunting it in front of the American public. Every time an administration changes, these companies are on the phone recruiting as many people as they can in a bidding war against other companies.

    I hate the statement about it being a privilege to drive/fly as well. Our taxes fund a large portion of these operations and therefor, you would think that would grant you rights to a product you purchased. But, the way it is stated in my previous response is that it is a privilege as determined by the courts. While we may not like it, that is how it is.

    Like firearms, if you commit a felony, you don't get a gun. With airlines, you commit certain felonies, you don't get access to fly on general airlines. You still have access to go private, but it will cost you.

    I have seen some pretty goofy stuff when going through the screeners at the airport. Almost weekly I get irritated by some TSA attitude I get when traveling. However, I still think today that I have more issues with the cramped aircraft, poor service of the airlines, temporary lost luggage, and other citizens on the plane than I will ever have with TSA. Makes me wish I was high enough to fly the corporate jet and surpass all this other crap.
    “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
    ― Albert Einstein

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopyard View Post
    Would you be willing to accept that you have no
    right to get into a car driven by someone else and travel between the states unless you were willing to be subjected to a search?
    I would have issue with this as I do with the TSA. If cars had to go through a terminal, they would be screened. There is no easy and affordable way to screen all those vehicles. If it were possible, the government would be all over this. There are projects for rapid automated detection of vehicles on the highway that are being explored.

    While I love technology and love to be fascinated by human ingenuity, I don't like "Big Brother" mentality. People do need to wake up and make their voices heard about the interference of freedom in exchange for security. My point to engage in this post was not to object to that, it was to object specifically to the video.
    “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
    ― Albert Einstein

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    These so-called scanners don't work. If they did, we wouldn't need to take everything out of our pockets, including wallets and paper. And take off our belts. And take off multiple layers of clothes. And ask me if there is anything in my cargo pocket on the outside of my pants. Hundreds of millions or billions of dollars for scanners that don't work. And you can still defeat them with a little imagination. Same with the liquid limitations. Have you gone through the "sniffers"? They seem to have problems with them as well, despite the fact they worked in nuclear power plants 30 years ago.

    As far as radiological safety, the x-ray backscatter is still exposing you to additional radiation (radiation exposure is cumulative and most damaging to the young), and the surface of the eyes is the most sensitive part of the body to ionizing radiation. Has anyone ever told you to close your eyes during those scans? As far as the millimeter wave scanners, no one has ever done long term studies on exposure to that radiation. I suspect it isn't really an issue, but there it is.

    Besides, the next attack on the air transportation industry will most likely be setting off a bomb or spraying rounds at a bunch of people standing in line at one of those security lines or some other attack TSA hasn't thought of yet.

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