Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


TSA Violates Your Privacy, Ties themselves in Little Knot of Lies

There’s a story in InformationWeek about the latest TSA privacy violation, “TSA Promises Privacy For Subjects Of Clothing-Penetrating Scans:”

milimeter wave radar image

“We are committed to testing technologies that improve security while protecting passenger privacy,” said TSA administrator Kip Hawley in a statement. “Privacy is ensured through the anonymity of the image: It will never be stored, transmitted, or printed, and it will be deleted immediately once viewed.” (Emphasis added)

Ensuring privacy, as the TSA describes it, involves having security officers view images from remote locations. Thus, the security officer cannot identify the passenger, visually or by some other means, but can send word to fellow officers if a threat is detected.

Hey Kip, precisely how do images go to a remote location to be viewed without being transmitted?

Call Congress and ask why TSA is allowed to outright lie to people.

There’s other good analysis of the proposal in the Information Week article. I simply wanted to comment on the obvious inconsistency in what TSA is claiming.

5 comments on "TSA Violates Your Privacy, Ties themselves in Little Knot of Lies"

  • Andy ITGuy says:

    Hey, I know that girl.

  • beri says:

    A new form of pornography for the viewers at the remote locations. Since when did anyone care about the face of the naked person in the porno magazines?

  • Chris says:

    Elementary logic.
    IF it isn’t transmitted, and IF it is viewed at a great distance, THEN it must be on a huge screen (or viewed with a telescope).
    I, for one, welcome our new baggage-screening drive-in movie operating overlors, and remind them that I can be useful in identifying passengers to toil in their popcorn mines.

  • Dissent says:

    The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation is holding an oversight hearing on TSA on Tuesday morning to examine TSA’s progress (or lack thereof?) in complying with H.R.1. If your Senator is on that committee, this might actually be a good time to call.
    Neither of my Senators are on that committee. They’re too busy doing nothing on other committees….

  • albatross says:

    You’re assuming that Kip and his PR droids actually understand anything about how this system works. PR people mostly use technical terms (for them, “transmission” is a technical term) the way the writers of Star Trek use them; they sound good, so they’re in. Our remote-image-viewing system doesn’t transmit images. Our warp field is distorted by a spacial anomaly.
    These guys don’t bother getting their facts straight for the same reason that politicians and salesmen and journalists don’t–being caught lying or talking through your hat has no consequences. So long as this continues, so will the lying.

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