For the last few years, federal agencies have defended body scanning by insisting that all images will be discarded as soon as they’re viewed. The Transportation Security Administration claimed last summer, for instance, that scanned images cannot be stored or recorded.”

Now it turns out that some police agencies are storing the controversial images after all. The U.S. Marshals Service admitted this week that it had surreptitiously saved tens of thousands of images recorded with a millimeter wave system at the security checkpoint of a single Florida courthouse. This follows an earlier disclosure (PDF) by the TSA that it requires all airport body scanners it purchases to be able to store and transmit images for “testing, training, and evaluation purposes.” The agency says, however, that those capabilities are not normally activated when the devices are installed at airports. This privacy debate, which has been simmering since the days of the Bush administration, came to a boil two weeks ago when Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that scanners would soon appear at virtually every major airport. The updated list includes airports in New York City, Dallas, Washington, Miami, San Francisco, Seattle, and Philadelphia.

“TSA is not being straightforward with the public about the capabilities of these devices,” Rotenberg said. “This is the Department of Homeland Security subjecting every U.S. traveler to an intrusive search that can be recorded without any suspicion–I think it’s outrageous.” EPIC’s lawsuit says that the TSA should have announced formal regulations, and argues that the body scanners violate the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits “unreasonable” searches.

Yes, I’m as shocked as you are. So basically they lie through their teeth, and once the policy is in place, do anything they want to do. By the time the truth comes out, no one cares anymore. Heckuva job Barry.

  1. Glenn E. says:

    Ah the old bait and switch deal. My state pushed for legalizing Slot Machines, to help our ailing Horse Race industry survive the economic slump. Too bad it’s not equally concerned about saving more productive industries from failing. Anyway, the measure finally got passed. And then the renigging started. The Tracks couldn’t come up with the seed money. So they changed the measure to allow casinos in or near some shopping malls. WITHOUT A NEW VOTE!!! So now various citizen groups are opposing the slots in their neighborhoods, as it wasn’t what was voted on. Surprise, surprise, the government lied to us. And changed the rules. Say yes to almost anything, and they’ll stretch it to fit what they really intended to do, all along, but wouldn’t say.

  2. Glenn E. says:

    If I wanted a body scan for cancer, it’d cost me hundreds of dollars. But just to get on a plane, without a pat down? It costs nothing (to me). The airlines seem to be happy to pick up the cost. So why aren’t health scans a hell of lot more cheaper, than they are? I’ll bet they are dirt cheap in those Guam resort hospitals?

  3. anOPINIONATEDsob says:

    Just to correct the “libertard” comments with a fact, the laws and technology discussed herein are the work of the Bush/Chaney administration and were inacted in 2006 prior to the democratic takeover of congress. Regardless of talk radio morons comments to the contrary, all cessation of civil rights being argued today as Obama’s fault were part and parcel of the “patriot” act which removed constitutional freedoms in the relentless march toward communism began by Nixon/Agnew and legalized by Reagan/Bush 41 in 1983. The skull and bones society had discovered that the use of God would provide them credibility to sway the believers into anything as long as they passed it off as the word of “God” and the fools and weak thinkers followed without question. This is the exact reason Fox “news” survives not being sued into extinction when caught deliberately falsifying known facts and making patiently sedisionist statements in direct violation of black letter law.