jump to navigation

Naked Body Scanners: Not Just for Airports November 23, 2010

Posted by scmla in Article.
trackback

As these two articles show, the government has so many new wonderful uses for those naked body scanners. As a bonus, check out the LA Mayor supporting the federal talking point and even goes through the back-scatter scan twice.

— Silver



Next step for body scanners could be trains, boats, metro

Jordy Yager
TheHill.com
November 23, 2010

The next step in tightened security could be on U.S. public transportation, trains and boats.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says terrorists will continue to look for U.S. vulnerabilities, making tighter security standards necessary.

“[Terrorists] are going to continue to probe the system and try to find a way through,” Napolitano said in an interview that aired Monday night on “Charlie Rose.”

“I think the tighter we get on aviation, we have to also be thinking now about going on to mass transit or to trains or maritime. So, what do we need to be doing to strengthen our protections there?”

Napolitano’s comments, made a day before one of the nation’s busiest travel days, come in the wake of a public outcry over newly implemented airport screening measures that have been criticized for being too invasive.

The secretary has defended the new screening methods, which include advanced imaging systems and pat-downs, as necessary to stopping terrorists. During the interview with Rose, Napolitano said her agency is now looking into ways to make other popular means of travel safer for passengers and commuters.

Napolitano isn’t the only one who’s suggested that advanced scanning machines could be used in places beyond airports.

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, introduced legislation this past September that would authorize testing of body scanners at some federal buildings.

Napolitano’s comments were in response to the question: “What will they [terrorists] be thinking in the future?” She gave no details about how soon the public could see changes in security or about what additional safety measures the DHS was entertaining.

The recently implemented airport screening methods have made John Pistole, who heads the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the focus of growing public ire.

On Monday, Pistole said he understood peoples’ privacy concerns and that the TSA would consider modifying its screening policies to make them “as minimally invasive as possible,” but he indicated the advanced-imaging body scans and pat-down methods would remain in place in the short term, including during the high-volume Thanksgiving period of travel.

Lawmakers from both parties have received hundreds of complaints about the new methods — some have likened the pat-downs to groping — and have called on Pistole to address the privacy concerns of their constituents, who were not informed about changes ahead of time.

Many lawmakers say the public should have been informed before the pat-downs and body-imaging techniques were put into practice. As a result, any move to implement new security screening measures for rail or water passengers is likely to be met with tough levels of scrutiny from lawmakers.

Pistole, who spent 26 years with the FBI, told reporters Monday that he rejected the advice of media aides who advised him to publicize the revised security measures before they took effect. Terrorist groups have been known to study the TSA’s screening methods in an attempt to circumvent them, he said.

Napolitano said she hoped the U.S. could get to a place in the future where Americans would not have to be as guarded against terrorist attacks as they are and that she was actively promoting research into the psychology of how a terrorist becomes radicalized.

“The long-term

is, how do we get out of this having to have an ever-increasing security apparatus because of terrorists and a terrorist attack?” she said. “I think having a better understanding of what causes someone to become a terrorist will be helpful.”

DHS and intelligence officials are not as far along in understanding that process as they would like, Napolitano said, adding that until that goal is reached, steps need to be put in place to ensure the public’s safety.

“We don’t know much,” she said. “If you were to try and devise a template about what connects this terrorist to this terrorist and how they were raised and what schools they went to and their socioeconomic status, or this or that, it’s all over the map.

“I think there’s some important work that’s being done on that but … the Secretary of Homeland Security cannot wait for that.”



Full-body scanners popping up at courthouses
Associated Press

November 23, 2010

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (AP) — Taking a trip during the holidays isn’t the only time that people might get a full-body scan to pass through security.

People heading to court to testify, get a restraining order, pay a ticket or answer criminal charges could also face a full-body scan at courthouses.

The U.S. Marshals Service, which is in charge of protecting federal judges nationwide, is exploring their use at federal courthouses. And two state courthouses in Douglas and El Paso counties in Colorado have already deployed full-body scanners that use radio waves to detect all objects on a person, including paper.

A guard in a separate room monitors the gray images with pixelated faces and genital areas, and the images aren’t stored on a computer. officials said. All visitors to the Douglas County Courthouse in Castle Rock, Colo., undergo full-body scans, while guards at the El Paso County Judicial Center in Colorado Springs use the scanners during peak hours.

Angela Hellenbrand received a quick pat down Tuesday by security guard Mike Couts at the Castle Rock courthouse about 30 miles south of Denver. A guard in another room monitoring the full-body scans alerted Couts to an object in Hellenbrand’s left rear pocket. It was the paper backing of a “Junior Deputy Sheriff” sticker that one of the guards had given her two young boys.

“It’s OK,” Hellenbrand said. “It’s how they do security here. It’s my second time through.”

TSA officers, who handle security at airports, have been called molesters and threatened as they try to carry out patdowns called for in security measures for people who refuse to go through full-body scanners, including some that use X-rays.

The new security techniques are meant to thwart plots by would-be terrorists to use liquid explosives and bombs hidden in shoes and inside underwear. Court observers note that the threat in a courtroom is somewhat different.

“What we are still worried about at a courthouse is angry divorce litigants with a gun,” said Sam Kamin, a law professor at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. “Metal detectors are pretty good at that.”

Still, court officials note that evolving technology in materials, including plastic guns and knives, aren’t detected by the 1970s technology of metal detectors.

“Although we have no current plans for deployment, the U.S. Marshals Service believes in the technology,” said Washington-based Michael Prout, assistant director for judicial security for the U.S. marshals. “We will continue to explore the use of body scanners as a security measure for the federal judiciary.”

Prout declined to discuss the results of a full-body screening test, citing sensitive law enforcement and procurement information.

In a statement, the marshals said they didn’t receive any complaints from people passing through the scanners during the tests. The images of the full-body scans were saved on a computer hard drive, but weren’t accessible without an administrative password and weren’t reviewed by the marshals, according to the agency.

However, privacy became an issue when it was learned the images were stored. The Marshals Service received a request for the information under the Freedom of Information Act, but it wasn’t immediately known who made the request.



L.A. Mayor Demonstrates Airport Body Scanners

L.A.’s mayor is imploring those expected to pass through the airport for the Thanksgiving holiday to not put up a fuss if asked to go through body scanners. To show just how easy it is, he twice stepped inside a scanner as reporters watched. (Nov. 22)

Advertisements

Comments»

No comments yet — be the first.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: