Group Trying To Get Backscatter Airport Scanners Banned

from the good-luck-there dept

EPIC, the “privacy” activist group, is apparently asking a court to ban the new full body “backscatter” airport scanners, saying that they’re violating the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on unreasonable searches. The group is also claiming that the unilateral decision to start using those scanners also violates the Administrative Procedures Act, which would require public review of the plans before the government could implement them. I honestly doubt that this will win in the courts, but it’s about time someone went a bit deeper in questioning the TSA’s security theater.

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Comments on “Group Trying To Get Backscatter Airport Scanners Banned”

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Keybored says:

Look you imbeciles, do you really want to be blown out of the sky never to see your loved ones again? Get over it. The idea here is to keep us SAFE.

btw -the dude watching the screen is in another area so he doesn’t even know “who” “you” are, nor does he even care. Quit complaining and enjoy the freedom you have to move about the cabin.

Dawn (profile) says:

Re: Re:

And what are the real probabilities that there will be someone carrying a bomb onto the plane under someone?s clothes? I think that the risk is such that I would rather my personal privacy not be invaded. However, if they would like to run me past some kind of explosive ?sniffer?, that would be fine with me. Airplanes are still the safest method of travel.

Gabriel Tane (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“Look you imbeciles, do you really want to be blown out of the sky never to see your loved ones again? “

Yeah, because terrorists are more likely to use the same method again after it’s been tried (and failed more times, statistically). Instead of, you know, using an unforeseen and original method of causing terror. Like our government is doing, for example.

“The idea here is to keep us SAFE.”

Ok… but it doesn’t even work. Go do some research online where these scanners FAILED to find the numerous items that the demonstration “terrorist” had on him. Including a detonator, plastic explosive material, and a cigarette lighter, just to name a few.

“btw -the dude watching the screen is in another area so he doesn’t even know “who” “you” are, nor does he even care.”

And the government officials who illegally wiretap you and search your computer aren’t in the room with you either… so that’s OK too?

“Quit complaining and enjoy the freedom you have to move about the cabin.”

We have the ‘freedom’ to move about the cabin after we bow down to the government’s agents and give in to their control in exchange for the (false) illusion of safety. No thanks. I’ll walk. And when more and more THINKING consumers (yes, oxymoron, I know) start doing the same thing, the airlines will help us do away with this farce themselves.

Bengie says:

Re: Re:

If you look up the “safety” on these back-scatter xray machines, they caused about one death per ~200mil people.

About 2 billion people fly every year. If you assume half of these are at airports that may actually use this kind of tech, then about 5 people will die every year to cancer caused by backscatter xrays and countless others will just get regular cancer that won’t kill them within the year.

Ohh, and don’t have sex for several days after getting on of these. They greatly increases the chance of having deformed babies.

There goes your honeymoon.

James Ryan (profile) says:

Re: @keybored

Yes, we want our loved blown out of the sky. What an idiotic statement. I suppose if they told you that from now on you could only travel in hospital gowns, you’d be for that too? Well, I work with scanners – this is not some amorphous, fuzzy picture they come up with. These are recognizable (in color, no less when the software is adjusted) nude photos. And as far as the guy not caring – why do you think porn is soooo very prevalent on the web. This about what works, what doesn’t and, most importantly, how far do we bend over in the name of “security”. I am no libertarian but people taking naked pictures of the public (and so what if they are in another room – if nothing else, it gives them the opportunities for mischief that the public can’t see).

MAC says:


The Israelis use dogs.
When was the last time one of their airliners was hijacked?

This country is too stuck on technology; a dog?s nose is 40,000 more sensitive than any human or machine sniffer.

Also, a well trained dog can spot a nervous person and, dogs make terrorist nervous…
And, dogs are a whole lot cheaper than the gazillions of dollars that we are spending on trying to implement a technological solution to a problem that has already been solved.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Backscatter

The Israelis also use semi-automatic machine guns and don’t give a rat’s ass about your rights. Either you comply (at gunpoint) with the search or get your head blown off. Travelers need to remember (and understand) that you can’t have your cake and eat it, too. Something’s gotta give. Either it’s your safety or your privacy.

ChadBroChill (profile) says:

Re: Re: Backscatter

Having been through the Tel-Aviv airport 5 times, I have found their security to be very thorough and long, but not invasive at all. They have armed soldiers on guard, but I have not experienced anyone being threatened, even a friend of mine with a Syrian stamp in his passport who got held up and questioned. They are very security-conscious (with good reason) but they don’t invade your privacy on a whim like they do here in the good ol’ USA. They are courteous and respectful until you lie to them or do something threatening yourself (such as my dumb dad forgetting about the knife in his bag). So it seems you can have privacy and security at the same time. But never safety, no one has that.

And what’s a semi-automatic machine gun? You mean the M-15 assault rifles they use (and bought from us)? or maybe the AR-15’s? Because those weapons have many fire configurations, but I wouldn’t describe any of them as a “machine gun”.

darryl says:

But if it was Google streetview it would be 'OK' by Mike.

Oh I see, I get it now, its not Ok for the Government to take pictures of you and invade your privacy. But its OK for Google to do it, why is that ? is it because the Governnment is trying to stop bombs and smuggling, and Google are trying to extract more money from the entire population.

So its OK for google but bad for the government to invade your privacy. I guess you would consider it free speech if the Government decided to post all the captured pictures under a CC license and posted them to “Google backscatter pics”..

Hey they could even tie it to street view and enable you to see naked pictures of the residents of the house, (great for rapists).

Then we can post assasination clips on youtube, so that your 11 year old daughter, can EASILY stumble across some person having their head cut off with a big sword !!!..

Great, If that is what you want Mike… Well I just dont know..

You might want to be a bit carefull with what you wish for, it might just come true..

nasch (profile) says:

Re: But if it was Google streetview it would be 'OK' by Mike.

Not too hard! If someone wants to host this somewhere, go for it. If you use Firefox, install Greasemonkey and then add a new script using this script below. It could probably be adapted to some other browsers, feel free to experiment.

Mr.Paul says:

Bull SH**

If ANYONE came up to me or especially my wife and said to submit to one of those,Id be outraged and Refuse to do so..They dont kno what kinda problems people have with that!! It’s all crap,and the poor people who accually have to work there in the airports.Im sure they have tons more of sexual harrassment there now..How unfortuanate that this country(USA) is going to shit..I’m totally outta here,screw this government..bunch of ignorant politicians..

wakawaka (user link) says:


backscatter images are extremely precise. sometimes on tv we see deliberately altered backscatter images designed to hide genitalia, but that deliberate alteration is done because the actual image is completely accurate picture of you without clothes. and as for backscatter porn–i’ve already seen some. to do backscatter porn you take a video camera, videotape the person standing on the backscatter machine, then walk over to the video display of their naked image, and video tape their naked body. This technology is going to destroy the morality of the people who monitor it–they are going to see every conceivable body type completely naked, children, men, women, old men, old women. backscatter is bad.

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