Is There a Fatal Flaw in the TSA Nude-Body Scanners?

By Jeffrey Goldberg

A lone blogger seems to have discovered a fatal flaw in the TSA's whole-body imaging scanners (the ones that take pictures of you naked while you stand in a machine posing like a victim of an armed robbery). Watch this video and see for yourself. I'm waiting for a TSA explanation, which I hope is a good one. In the meantime, I would remind Goldblog readers that, a few years ago, I discovered an easy way to bring long knives onto airplanes, by reconstructing a roller bag so that lengths of its metal frame could detach while in flight and form 18-inch swords. Also, I reported on a method to bring box-cutters and knives through security by simply taping them to the metal components of carry-on bags.

But, whatever, right?


Update: Here is the TSA's response to this video:

The video is a crude attempt to allegedly show how to circumvent TSA screening procedures. For obvious security reasons, we can't discuss our technology's detection capability in detail, however TSA conducts extensive testing of all screening technologies in the laboratory and at airports prior to rolling them out the field. Imaging technology has caught many items large and small, and is one of the most effective tools available to detect metallic and non-metallic items, such as the greatest threat to aviation, explosives.

TSA deploys a layered, risk-based approach to security through screening technologies and applying intelligence to our security measures in real time. Our nations' aviation system is safer now with the deployment of 600 imaging technology units at 140 airports. It is completely safe and the vast majority use a generic image that completely addresses privacy concerns. 

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/03/is-there-a-fatal-flaw-in-the-tsa-nude-body-scanners/254126/