Joel Johnson and Gizmodo have obtained a hundred improperly stored body scan images through a Freedom of Information Act request. And, of course, they promptly published them.
The scans were made by U.S. Marshals in Orlando and were apparently improperly stored. Though this particular machine does not offer the cringe-inducing resolution that some others do, it highlights a major problem with the machines more generally: these photos will leak out. Or, as Johnson puts it, "That we can see these images today almost guarantees that others will be seeing similar images in the future."
At the heart of the controversy over "body scanners" is a promise: The images of our naked bodies will never be public. U.S. Marshals in a Florida Federal courthouse saved 35,000 images on their scanner. These are those images.
A Gizmodo investigation has revealed 100 of the photographs saved by the Gen 2 millimeter wave scanner from Brijot Imaging Systems, Inc., obtained by a FOIA request after it was recently revealed that U.S. Marshals operating the machine in the Orlando, Florida courthouse had improperly-perhaps illegally-saved images of the scans of public servants and private citizens. We understand that it will be controversial to release these photographs. But identifying features have been eliminated.
And fortunately for those who walked through the scanner in Florida last year, this mismanaged machine used the less embarrassing imaging technique. Yet the leaking of these photographs demonstrates the security limitations of not just this particular machine, but millimeter wave and x-ray backscatter body scanners operated by federal employees in our courthouses and by TSA officers in airports across the country. That we can see these images today almost guarantees that others will be seeing similar images in the future. If you're lucky, it might even be a picture of you or your family.
Read the full story at Gizmodo.