TSA Insists That There's Been No Delay In Public Hearings Over Nudie Scanners; It Just Hasn't Held Them

from the got-that dept

A few weeks back, we noted that a court had ordered the TSA to explain why it had failed to obey the court's earlier order that, while the nudie scanners being used in airports were legal, the TSA was required to hold public hearings on the purchase and use of the machines. Yet no such hearings have happened. The TSA has now responded and essentially said that since there's no deadline on when the court told them to hold a hearing, there's no problem. Basically "we can hold a hearing whenever we get around to it."

It also blames the fact that there had been "significant personnel losses" in the group of folks responsible for obeying the order, but insisted that everyone else in that group was really (really!) focused on obeying the order, and they'd get around to it at some point. Really. They promise.
Petitioner offers no basis whatsoever for its assertion that TSA has delayed in implementing this Court’s mandate. On the contrary, as the Sammon Declaration demonstrates, TSA has been keenly aware of the importance of implementing the Court’s directive, and has given high priority to the AIT rulemaking. Despite “significant personnel losses” in the group of economists within TSA charged with completing the regulatory analysis... the agency began on the heels of the Court’s ruling the process of preparing the documents necessary for notice-andcomment rulemaking, and has devoted almost all of the staff available to conduct the required economic analysis to its expedited completion, even going so far as to hire contract consultants to accelerate its completion despite unforeseen personnel losses
Later, it claims:
In sum, there has been no "waiting" and no "delay."
Other than the fact that we're still waiting, you mean?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    kenichi tanaka, Aug 31st, 2012 @ 11:13am

    This is an in-genius way of re-interpreting the court order but it's just an excuse. They only had a selected, limited, number of people assigned for these hearings? The TSA has never heard of a backup plan in case someone couldn't be in attendance at the hearing?

    It's like being court ordered to hold a meeting and you need 3 people from the TSA to hold that meeting but that you only assign 3 people for the hearing and those 3 people no longer work at the TSA?

    WOW!

    That's not the fault of the court, that's due to mismanagement on the part of the TSA to delay holding the hearings as long as possible. Unfortunately, I don't think the court is going to side with the TSA. It doesn't take over a year to schedule a hearing on the issue of the scanners.

    You get out your calendar and you set a hearing date. That's all there is to it and you get those employees to set the time aside for it. You also have a plan to substitute other TSA staff in case something unforseen arises.

    It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this out.

     

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    Ninja (profile), Aug 31st, 2012 @ 11:15am

    We'll gladly hold the required hearing in the next February 30th. Now please proceed peacefully to our world famous free of charge (you get one with your airplane ticket)!

     

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    weneedhelp (profile), Aug 31st, 2012 @ 11:23am

    What? Well do it sometime maybe kinda not really.

     

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    A. Traveller, Aug 31st, 2012 @ 11:38am

    It's the radiation that bothers me

    My objection to the scanners is that we don't know how much radiation we're being exposed to.

    Some scanners utilize ionizing radiation (which can cause cancer in sufficient doses) and others don't.

    As for the "nudie" aspect ... I don't care. Avoiding cancer is worth far more than hiding my genitalia.

     

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      Gwiz (profile), Aug 31st, 2012 @ 12:04pm

      Re: It's the radiation that bothers me

      My objection to the scanners is that we don't know how much radiation we're being exposed to.

      The radiation exposure issue brings a whole new meaning to the phrase "significant personnel losses".

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 31st, 2012 @ 12:54pm

        Re: Re: It's the radiation that bothers me

        Indeed, it seems rather convenient that the people who were supposed to organize and/or hold these hearings have gone missing...

         

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      PCMcGee, Sep 1st, 2012 @ 1:04am

      Re: It's the radiation that bothers me

      Forget about the radiation, its the fact that I have no choice. Where is the airline that offers my free-market choice to fly without getting ogled?

       

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      Jeremy Lyman (profile), Sep 4th, 2012 @ 6:07am

      Re: It's the radiation that bothers me

      I'm not really sure if the radiation is a danger, but I opt out of the scanners more to remind myself and (hopefully) others around me of how invasive these searches are. The equivalent to standing in the scanner is having every inch of your body touched by a (polite, in my experience) stranger in public. Just because the technology allows them to intrude on more people with less visibility does not make the intrusion less unwarranted.

      With no hearings for people to express their concerns, this is the only method left for us to object.

       

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    BentFranklin (profile), Aug 31st, 2012 @ 11:43am

    Wasn't the deadline supposed to be some time prior to the purchase and use of machines? So of course they have missed the deadline!

     

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      BeaverJuicer (profile), Aug 31st, 2012 @ 11:59am

      Re:

      Purchase first, decide if we should later.

      If the judge disagrees, we will just give him a good once over on his next vacation.

       

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      Another AC, Aug 31st, 2012 @ 12:10pm

      Re:

      To be fair, although they should have known they had to hold hearings before they purchased them, they weren't ordered to until after they did, then they still didn't, but now they will... maybe.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 31st, 2012 @ 11:56am

    Leave the alone, Pirate Mike. They're all busy studying to get their GEDs.

     

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    DogBreath, Aug 31st, 2012 @ 12:01pm

    Later, it claims:

    In sum, there has been no "waiting" and no "delay."

    Other than the fact that we're still waiting, you mean?


    Somehow I think they are still waiting for some high and mighty organization, like the RIAA, to get back to them with the info they need. I mean just like how the RIAA came through in the Dajaz1.com case for the government... oh, wait, never mind.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 31st, 2012 @ 12:28pm

    they are doing something that bothers you, if they were not told a date to hold a hearing by, they have done nothing wrong, get over it, go cry about something else

     

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      John Fenderson (profile), Aug 31st, 2012 @ 12:55pm

      Re:

      They've done nothing illegal (maybe), but they've certainly done something wrong.

      In any case, arguing that because something is legal it should not be objected to is, simply, ridiculous.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 31st, 2012 @ 12:35pm

    as per usual, USA law enforcement and other official government bodies get to do what they want, when they want. what sort of response would there be if it was a private individual performing like this and/or using the same sort of excuses/reasons?

     

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    kenichi tanaka, Aug 31st, 2012 @ 12:42pm

    The next time I go through one at an airport, I'm going to fake a heart attack just as I'm going through the naked scanner. Then, I'll claim that I'm susceptible to radiation scanners.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 31st, 2012 @ 12:56pm

      Re:

      Better yet, do something effective and just opt-out, and remind them that until they prove the scanners are both safe *and* effective, you refuse to go through them.

      I opt out every single time I fly (which is several times a month).

       

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        Jeremy Lyman (profile), Sep 4th, 2012 @ 6:12am

        Re: Re:

        Yup, "safe and effective" are the words on my mind when I opt out every time, just in case the agent asks why. They never do, but I feel like I have to have a reason; like I'm being disobedient. There's something a little effed up about feeling that way while exercising your rights.

         

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    Fisher1949, Aug 31st, 2012 @ 1:09pm

    Prosecute Pistole

    Pistole should be jailed for contempt of court until TSA completes the public comment process. TSA has consistently lied to Congress, the courts and the public about virtually every aspect of their procedures without any repercussions.

    The Europeans donít allow the backscatter scanners to be used on children because the image is so graphic it violates child pornography laws. These pose a cancer risk and still produce a naked image which Denver TSA area director Pat Ahlstrom, admitted "were graphic, no doubt about it.".


    The backscatter scanners have not been tested for radiation exposure despite testimony by radiologists that these pose a risk. These lack privacy software and a screener is viewing the nude image of every passenger who passes through in violation of multiple State and federal laws.


    The government also said that Agent Orange was safe and we all know how that ended up. If TSA won't allow testing and install privacy software they should not be allowed them to use them.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 31st, 2012 @ 5:50pm

      Re: Prosecute Pistole

      By that logic shouldn't everyone who passes through one in the presence of children be required to register as a sex offender?

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 31st, 2012 @ 2:59pm

    Grow up TSA officials

    Sounds like some responsible, mature adults run the TSA.

     

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    relghuar, Sep 3rd, 2012 @ 3:46am

    ...we're still waiting...

    Well, actually from TSA's point of view, you're still being screwed, they're not waiting for anything.
    Whether you're still waiting is your personal decision they basically don't give a s$%t about ;-)

     

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    Jeremy Lyman (profile), Sep 4th, 2012 @ 6:21am

    They just don't know about the hearings

    There's a public hearing on these scanners open 24 hours a day at most major airports. Just walk up to the scanner wherever you are, just walk in say "You can get Anything you want, at Alice's restaurant."

    Or maybe "I choose to opt-out" if you don't like getting weird looks.

     

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