Jonathan Corbett, who runs a struggle against the scanners installed at airports, transfer a metal box through the scanner freely; Security expert: It is not the only loophole.
A new video uploaded on YouTube by a blogger brought up a storm around the TSA Nude body X-ray machines at airports. The new machines, brought into use in the U.S. airports, drew sharp criticism because they reveal the bodies of the subjects. Now, a new clip of the active blogger against the machines claims that aside from impacting the users’ privacy the machine does not necessarily improves the security.
The person who saw the problem is Jonathan Corbet, active blogger against the machines for a long time and involved a lawsuit against them. Corbett, running the blog TSA Out of Our Pants noticed a very basic problem in the new x-ray machines: in the photos produced by the machines the body looks white shades while the more difficult objects appear dark. Subject is filmed in front and rear on a black background, so you can hide objects at your sides, and they will disappear in the background color. Corbett examined the idea by seaming a pocket on the shirt sides which hid a small metal box. He says transfer the object freely through the scanners in two different airports.
In his video Corbett quoted the criticism voiced on the system by Rafi Sela, partner and managing director of “R Challenges” which deals with airport security. Sela confirmed that the method presented by Corbett video really makes it possible to hide metallic objects. If not enough, Sela added that the criticism he gave about these scanners, was due to other and not less dangerous problems. Sela said that the approval of the systems is “one of the biggest blunders of the TSA in all years of its existence”.
As mentions, the machines sustained criticism even before the entry to use because they reveal a complete picture of the body, but it does not end there. The American media reported that one of the major cause to using this technology – despite the criticism – is Michael Chertoff, former Minister of Internal Security in President Bush administration. His consulting firm, Chertoff Group, vigorously promoted this technology at the media while representing manufacturers of these body scanners at the same time.
In addition, a storm broke last March around the concern that passengers tested in this machines absorb higher amount of radiation. Now Republican Senator Susan Collins is blaming that although U.S. lawmakers request of new tests, the agency preferred to show the old studies already cited in the agency website. This is despite the new allegations that led to the demand for further study and the claims that these old studies are incorrect and in fact, the radiation is 10 times higher the radiation reported.
The machines also caused a storm in the EU, and Britain faced the dilemma of the using full scanners. However, London Heathrow airport chosen experimentally scanners that maintain the privacy of the passengers. Instead of revealing the reflection of the body, the machines present cartoon characters pictures. The new machines may also stop the use of measures like metal detectors and full body search. The machines are based on Millimetres waves, not x-ray.
In another incident that was reported recently in the American media, TSA was forced to apologize to a nursing mom after an employee of the agency forced her to use a breast pump in the toilet to prove that the empty bottles she carrier are designed for this purpose.
TSA has responded to claims by saying that “the video is a clumsy attempt to show how to circumvent its test methods. For clear security reasons, we can not discuss the detection capabilities of our technology though the TSA manages extensive tests of all search technologies in the laboratory and the airport, before running then in the field. The technology has found many objects, large and small, and is one of the best methods available to identify metallic and metallic objects, such as explosives, which constitute the greatest threat to aviation”.