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August 03, 2012

The TSA's Naughty Behavior Over Nude Scanners

By Julie Griffin, Contributing Writer

The Transportation Security Agency (TSA) will seemingly stop at nothing to protect the public from the nefarious underwear bomb – even the order of a federal court. The agency that is known for tenaciously searching members of the Sikh community as well as high-profile libertarians – with equal fervor – has been spotlighted recently after they proposed nude body scanners as an alternative to stripping and frisking.

Last year, after the TSA publicly addressed its awareness that many passenger complaints stem from the stripping procedure and escalate with the frisking procedure, it proposed an alternative solution they call “advanced imaging technology.” However, a federal court ruled that there is one crucial stipulation the TSA must abide before continuing with this naked surveillance project: discuss these plans with the public first. The TSA has not.

Ginger McCall of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) told the press on Monday, “A year has passed. The agency has not demonstrated any steps to indicate that they have taken that notice-and-comment rule making. We are filing a motion with a court to ask the court to enforce their own order.” The motion was filed at the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals later that week.

In addition to efforts from organizations such as EPIC, are online petitions such as the one seen at WhiteHouse.gov, that has collected over 13,000 signatures requesting that President Obama force the TSA to comply with the court’s ruling.

EPIC has identified a couple of the most pressing issues the public would like the TSA to address. One of these concerns is over radiation risks. The other concern, over whether the scanners are even effective, was explored by a blogger whose video, “How to get anything through TSA nude body scanners,” has already generated 1,989,737 hits.



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Edited by Brooke Neuman
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