I came across an article the other day that was talking about a supposed "improvement" in the TSA body scanner software.
With the large uproar over the detailed images that are produced by the scanner, the TSA had to do something to respond to the public. But, and make no mistake about this, despite what the TSA claims, the scanned images have been shown to be able to be converted into full images of YOU or anyone else that has been scanned and they are saved on the scanning units. Of course, the TSA says that no one will be doing this. Well, if they are not going to do this, they why is the capability there in the first place? Care to answer TSA?
If you have a possible "problem", then I could see why that particular image would need to be recorded for future use, but every image and no one knows what happens to them or what database they may be put into. How is this protecting the public TSA – to have a naked image of regular Americans and even small children in some government database for who knows who to be looking at? You do not seem to be able to give any answer to this other than "we will not be doing that" and we should certainly believe what you say.
So the TSA has been testing some new software for about six months that will supposedly show only a silhouette of the scanned person on a screen about the size of the average laptop.
So, it has taken you how long to develop software to make a "generic" image. Just what software engineers do you hire? This is so simple a high-school computer science student could figure it out and just now after all this mess you finally get it. Nope, there is a lot more going on behind this that we are not being told, otherwise this would have been done in the first place. In fact, it was a lot harder to produce the actual image than a simple one in the software, not the other way around. I’m not a software engineer, so if I am off in left field, please let me know. But in my experience, more detailed anything requires a lot more work to develop than a simple something. Think about your own software you use, it did not come out of the box with all the bells and whistles already done. They came along as it was worked on year after year and improved – they did not go backwards to something more simple like the TSA is now claiming the new software does.
With this new software, someone who has nothing unknown is cleared and a suspicious item is outlined in red on the screen. Then they will be subjected to and will receive a through pat-down as will anyone who refuses to go through the scan at all.
Now I really had a laugh at this statement by Mr. Pistoe, the TSA administrator. He said the software upgrade enables us (the TSA) to continue to provide a high level of security through the imaging screening and improve the passenger experience at checkpoints.
REALLY Mr Pistoe – continue to provide security – hmmmm, can you give us even one instance of you having stopped a potential threat – anywhere?
So far, every single instance that has been reported as a problem has been shown to be a staged problem done by the TSA themselves!
Also, there is report after report of people who have tested the system – both known by the TSA and those who were sent by other agencies or were independent testers – and in 95% to 100% of the cases they were successful in getting dangerous items completely past the scan. The items included knives, sharp objects, and even guns!
So Mr. Pistoe – just how has your scanner provided good security with this kind of results? Results that the TSA refuses to acknowledge or discounts when they can not completely ignore them.
As to improving the "passenger experience" at the checkpoint, just how is this going to lessen the impact of you 8 year old son getting his privates felt-up by the TSA goon and he is supposed to accept this abuse as being ok. How about those people in wheelchairs who were made to stand up for the pat-down but could hardly get up out of the chair. And how about those who had medical appliances from legs to arms to colostomy bags torn off to make sure they were not a problem when any moron could figure that one out. Yes the professionalism of your TSA agents is really superior – a ROCK would have better sense than many of your idiot TSA agents.
The scanners and the ridiculous, invasive pat-downs were the subject of congressional investigation, but when asked about this, Pistole remained stalwart and insisted that the scanners and procedures were necessary for the safety of all of us against a terrorist potential attack.
Well, of course he would say that. He wants to keep his very well paid job and all of his minions do too. Besides, just where would all those people go that like to "touch your junk" if they did not work for the TSA?
This sounds like a joke, would that it actually were. I simply don’t understand how anyone would want to work at a job that would require you to fondle the private areas of adults, teenagers, and even children. If that was done anywhere else, the person would be arrested on abuse charges, but the TSA gets a pass on that one.
And if this is not bad enough, still the TSA refuses to address the real and dangerous question of just how much radiation you are getting from this whole body scan.
Their claims of this being low-level and harmless fall flat with the few reports that have been done. These independent tests showed the scanners to be way out of the safe range of radiation, at least 10 times higher than it should be.
The response of the TSA was that the technician who did the testing was not "qualified" and made some math errors. Oh, really, the technician was from the manufacture of the units themselves. They are not qualified to do the testing?
Ok, so let’s do the test over again. In fact, let’s get an independent agency, qualified to test radiation on all the other X-ray and such equipment, and test ALL of the units you have TSA. How about that? Don’t see you saying that would be ok – we are just supposed to accept your word that it is safe for us.
And this is from an agency, the TSA, that LIED to congress about the initial tests. They claimed that they were tested by the manufacturing company – but they were NOT. The company only ran some tests on a mockup of the units and not on any of the actual units in production.
The TSA also refused to even give those reports to the Congress for almost a year after they were requested. What TSA, are you so incompetent you can’t even get the reports compiled and sent to the Congressional committee that oversees you? Or are you so arrogant that you think you don’t have to listen to Congress either?
What really needs to be done is that we simply need to completely disband the TSA. It is not keeping anyone safer, has not protected us from anything and is very likely to be causing harm to anyone that is going through a scan.
Even low-levels of radiation can have an effect on people. Especially when they are exposed a number of times a year. Even if it would be at a low-level, the fact that you are being exposed over your entire body, places this in an entirely different category than say a dental x-ray or chest x-ray.
But does the TSA examine that issue – not at all. They ignore anything that might impact them in their ability to continue to illegally do what they do. The constitution prohibits this type of search, but the TSA and the Obama administration feels that they are above the constitution from their actions and statements.
When will we wake up and put a stop to all of this nonsense. We are not safer, and even if something might happen, that would be tragic, but not as harmful to all of us and what the TSA has done.
Any radiation also causes a reduction in the immune system of our bodies. That is a know and established fact, so repeated scans are going to cause a problem for that person and could leave them much more open to contracting something they don’t want like MRSA, CAMRSA, CRKP, or Cdif.
Also, does anyone care that the gloves the TSA uses are not changed between pat-downs? Do you want someone touching your private area directly as they are doing with a glove that has touch who knows how many others? That is a recipe for disaster just waiting to happen. Hope your medical plan is up to date.
Since the TSA, the airline industry has been impacted in a negative way with a lot of people deciding to simply not fly and subject themselves to the TSA. That is not good for the airlines or the economy.
But that is not going to work as the TSA is going to soon be at all transportation areas like the trains and buses. And they will be on the road with their whole car scanners that are far stronger than the ones at the airport. There will eventually be no place that has any public gathering that will not be subject to their abuses.
Want to enjoy a pat-down before you go to your football and basketball game? Like your kids being felt-up by the TSA before the game? Think that is stupid and not going to happen – think again – they are already starting to do just that.
It’s up to each person to choose where they will draw the line. Decide for yourself or the government will decide for you.