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EPIC Files Lawsuit To Suspend Airport Body Scanner Use

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the shut-up-it's-cold-here dept.

Transportation 559

nacturation writes "The Electronic Privacy Information Center filed a petition for review and motion for an emergency stay, urging the District of Columbia Court of Appeals to suspend the Transportation Security Administration's full body scanner program. EPIC said that the program is 'unlawful, invasive, and ineffective' (PDF). EPIC argued that the federal agency has violated the Administrative Procedures Act, the Privacy Act, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and the Fourth Amendment. EPIC cited the invasive nature of the devices, the TSA's disregard of public opinion, and the impact on religious freedom."

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another Obama disappointment... (5, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137372)

Add the embrace of these devices to my list of disappointments in the Obama administration. Not that I'm surprised -- he telegraphed himself very plainly on civil liberties when he backtracked on FISA -- but I'm still disappointed.

Re:another Obama disappointment... (1)

bchickens (255621) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137392)

Well we shall see what these mighty midterm elections change, if anything.

Re:another Obama disappointment... (5, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137470)

Well, they MIGHT make a change. If they do it will be because they are afraid of Obama wielding more power, not because they have suddenly decided to embrace civil liberties. Such is what passes for "checks and balances" these days -- we don't check the other branches of Government but we do check the other political party because by god they are out to destroy America as we know it.

Think about all the Republican ranting and raving about Bill Clinton when he was in office. Then Bush came into office and they rolled over and played dead. GOP Congress-critters accused Clinton of wagging the dog when he took us into the Balkens. Those same Congress-critters were silent when Bush took us into Mesopotamia....

Washington was dead on about political parties.

Re:another Obama disappointment... (5, Insightful)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137606)

The (R) and (D) don't care about civil liberties. They pay lip service, but when push comes to shove, both sides are the same. Obama is just like Bush, Clinton, Bush before him. If you don't like the power of the Bush's but you like the power of Obama and Clinton (or visa versa) you're just a tool for those seeking more power.

The best defense we (the citizens) have is to limit power of ANYONE in office.

Re:another Obama disappointment... (5, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137778)

The (R) and (D) don't care about civil liberties. They pay lip service, but when push comes to shove, both sides are the same.

That's not true. By voting for (R) or (D) you are expressing a preference for WHICH civil liberties you want to lose first.

Want to lose your 1st and 2nd amendment rights? Vote Democrat.
Want to lose your 4th and 5th amendment rights? Vote Republican.
Want to lose your 10th amendment rights? Vote for any of the above....

Re:another Obama disappointment... (1)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137934)

+1 Deeply Insightful! Or, I dunno... +1 Deeply Informative!

I really fucking hate you for pointing out what is so, so sadly true! Damn you!

A two party system is stupid! There are real ways to change things but almost none of it has anything to do with voting for an R or a D.

Ugh...you've made me sad...damn you!

Re:another Obama disappointment... (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137772)

Clinton of wagging the dog when he took us into the Balkens...

As a diversionary tactic, the Monica hearings were much more effective in drawing attention than the Balkans were. It did a good job of covering up other legislative atrocities that he was busy signing off.

Hardly any fuss over the democrats? (1, Insightful)

electrosoccertux (874415) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137798)

Something that amuses me about you Americans is that most of your internet media outlets like /. are so rabidly against the Republicans, but instantly run to the defense of your party of Democrats. Surely they do wrong things, too?

Re:another Obama disappointment... (2, Insightful)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137818)

That's because Republicans and Democrats are a difference without distinction. For starters, a two party system is beyond idiotic. Anyone who believes we ONLY need two parties is a certifiable idiot.

The sad, sad truth is, everyone moans and groans about their pet project and party x or y not supporting it but the real problem is, neither party cares. They only care about what issues who pay them the most. The ONLY way you can hope to begin to change things to is drastically change election laws, change lobbying laws, strike down the recent anonymous campaign and advertising laws, and stop allowing companies to be represented twice (company and the people of the company).

As a starter, until we stop empowering a system which gives companies twice the political clout of every day people, there is zero hope for any real change; no matter how much the word, "change", comes out of their mouth. So everyone get that through your head. Any politician who isn't seriously talking and working for serious reform in Washington, by default, is doing nothing but pandering lip service which promoting the status quo. Period.

If your candidate talks about change and improvement but does not *actively* work to change lobbying and election laws and rules, he's lying to you. Period. The sad fact is, this is literally, almost everyone in office today.

Re:another Obama disappointment... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34137484)

Add the embrace of these devices to my list of disappointments in the Obama administration. Not that I'm surprised -- he telegraphed himself very plainly on civil liberties when he backtracked on FISA -- but I'm still disappointed.

So all of this will be cleaned up now that the Republicans did so well in the election?

Re:another Obama disappointment... (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137760)

Nah, I have no grand delusions about that with Congress in a stalemate and the President still wielding the veto pen. But at least everything will hopefully grind to a halt... that would be an improvement over the past 2 years.

Re:another Obama disappointment... (2, Interesting)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137846)

It's a sad state of affairs when the Republicans can gridlock congress intentionally, then get rewarded for it the next election by morons that are doing it because politics in D.C. has gotten too partisan. With Sen., McConnell openly stating that he's going to intentionally gridlock the Senate so that a Republican candidate has a better shot at the 2012 Presidential elections, you really have to wonder about these guys' patriotism.

It's a really neat trick to refuse to engage in bipartisan politics then attack the guy that went way out of his way to work with you. Then have the voters reward you with more seats.

Re:another Obama disappointment... (3, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137552)

Me too, but I don't think we're going to get anywhere on that without voters really being outraged about it. Seems like everyone outside of slashdot regards them as no different from the metal detectors.

One time when flying with a friend, they had the backscatter machine. I decided to take a stand for privacy and said I didn't want to be scanned and submitted to a patdown. Everyone looked at me strange, and my friend loudly commented "Dude, you must have an embarrassingly small penis." Which was just plain mean and hurtful and totally not true at all (my gun collection is for defense, not compensation). But anyway, I don't think most people care about this. Naturally we're not going to get a politician shutting it down if no one cares abougt it

Re:another Obama disappointment... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137580)

Don't be an idiot.
Do you think Obama ordered these? do you think the president makes all the decisions in all departments? How about he discuss thinks Obama does that's in his realm or responsibly? Plus, the order to go to this technology was made during the Bush administration; however even then it would be stupid to blame Bush. I can g on and on with factual reason on why Bush was a terrible president, but I will not put blame on him for things outside his responsibility, and for things he did not do. Rise above the memes, catch phrases, and lies brought to us by uncivilized people screeching at us.

OMG, my school board made a decision I don't like, that damn Obama!

Re:another Obama disappointment... (5, Informative)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137634)

do you think the president makes all the decisions in all departments?

You know it was a Democrat that said "The Buck Stops Here", right?

How about he discuss thinks Obama does that's in his realm or responsibly?

TSA comes under Homeland Security which is a part of the Executive Branch the last time I checked. Guess who is in charge of the Executive Branch?

OMG, my school board made a decision I don't like, that damn Obama!

That's a stupid analogy. My school board is a local agency that's independent of the Federal (and State, for the most part) Government. TSA is nothing of the kind. Obama could fire the director of TSA tomorrow and end this bullshit policy if he was so inclined.

Re:another Obama disappointment... (5, Informative)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137792)

Department of Homeland Security is a Cabinet level department, which means President Obama personally picked Janet Napolitano to be Secretary and she answers to him.

On November 5, 2008, Napolitano was named to the advisory board of the Obama-Biden Transition Project. On December 1, 2008, Barack Obama introduced Napolitano as his nominee for United States Secretary of Homeland Security, she was confirmed on January 20, 2009. Janet Napolitano assumed the office of Secretary of Homeland Security on January 21, 2009.

This isn't some minor functionary of the Federal Government deciding this, she has been pushing backscatter X-ray since the day she got her job.

Re:another Obama disappointment... (5, Insightful)

Cornelius the Great (555189) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137972)

Don't be an idiot. Do you think Obama ordered these? do you think the president makes all the decisions in all departments?

Here's a small lesson in American government for you: the TSA reports to the Department of Homeland Security, which is a cabinet department of the Executive Branch. For anything under the Executive, the buck stops at the person residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. If the President makes an order not to use full-body scanners, the TSA would have no choice but to obey.

While Bush was responsible during his term, don't pretend that Obama has nothing to do with current policies of TSA/DHS. He's been in charge for the past two years.

Chamberlain (2, Insightful)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137638)

He may look like Wilt, but he plays like Neville.

Re:another Obama disappointment... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34137800)

As a long time left-wing-nut I none the less have to agree with parent. This was disgraceful. I am disipoint.

Congrats! (3, Insightful)

bchickens (255621) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137378)

I'm glad to see not everyone is taking this issue laying down. Seems like technology is getting more and more invasive as time goes by. Pretty soon everyone is going to be tracked even in there own home. Some already are!

ALERT (5, Funny)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137600)

The GRAMMAR BOT 9001 has determined you have confused the words "their" and "there". An infraction has been added to your permanent record and your mother has been notified.

Re:ALERT (0)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137788)

The GRAMMAR BOT 9001 has determined you have confused the words "their" and "there".

“Their” and “There” may have been confused, but the word “they’re” merely indicated amusement over the whole fiasco.

Re:ALERT (3, Funny)

zero_out (1705074) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137900)

GRAMMAR BOT 9001 didn't recognize the laying vs. lying error. It must be time to update the database of lexical errors in GRAMMAR BOT 9001.

Re:Congrats! (5, Insightful)

aztektum (170569) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137734)

Technology isn't becoming more invasive. The use of technology by people in power is become more invasive.

Re:Congrats! (4, Interesting)

raddan (519638) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137940)

My opinion runs contrary to most of Slashdot on this matter, so I don't expect this post to be visible for very long, but-- what's the big deal? I don't think you could make the case that airports don't have a legitimate interest in screening passengers. I usually agree with EPIC, but I don't in this case.

Clearly, what offends people here is the invasive nature of the screening. But is it really all that invasive? They get what's essentially a contour map of your body. Big deal. The really invasive alternative is the pat down, or worse, the strip search. With these screeners, you just walk through, no clothing removal necessary.

The problem is that you have an extremely low-probability event which causes a large amount of damage. This is where most Slashdotters have their heads in the sand. You are right that the amount of physical damage is minimal, but actual physical damage is not the goal of terrorists: spreading the message is the goal, and the spreading of that message is greatly heightened by a dramatic delivery, such as the deaths of innocent people. I think it's understandable that people would want to prevent that from happening as much as they want the physical harm from happening. In that light, I think a non-invasive (as in, you just walk through it) scanner is a nice technological solution. It's not perfect, of course, but it's a heck of a lot better than hoping something won't happen.

I eagerly await your civil responses.

Where can I sign up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34137390)

How can I help this cause?

Re:Where can I sign up? (3, Informative)

pla (258480) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137440)

Supporting EPIC [epic.org] .

It's either full body scanning (5, Insightful)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137398)

or having you genitals felt up. Seriously that's their policy [marco.org] . They think if they subject everybody to public humiliation that people will opt for private humiliation instead.

Personally, I'll go for the public. If they're going to be obnoxious, authoritarian jerks, they should be forced to do it where everybody can see them. I'll act like I'm gay and I enjoy it. I will act like I think they're gay, and they enjoy it. I will turn the humiliation tables around and ask them if they like feeling people's balls and vaginas up in public, if it turns them on.

If enough people take my stance on it, they will quit this garbage in a hurry.

Yeah, all you scaredy cat cowards people who think that somehow this will come back on me and make my life miserable. You know what, up yours. It's people like you that've gotten us where we are, and you should be ashamed of yourselves. For once in your life, show a little backbone and self-respect.

Re:It's either full body scanning (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137434)

Agreed. If they insist on humiliating me, let me at least give them the task of feeling up my balls.

Re:It's either full body scanning (5, Informative)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137462)

I've gotten around every single pat down without having my genitals felt up by simply making eye contact with the security guard, eyeing him up and down once, and cocking an eyebrow.

I'm sure one day I WILL come across a homosexual security guard and that will eventually backfire, but to this day I haven't had them reach more than 6 inches above my knees.

Re:It's either full body scanning (2, Interesting)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137564)

I've gotten around it by not flying anymore. Road trips for the win. Drove all the way to Salt Lake City last year. Drove all the way to NOLA this year. Sure, it limits me to visiting Canada and 49 of the 50 US States but it's better than the alternative, IMHO.

Re:It's either full body scanning (1)

zero_out (1705074) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137970)

Too bad I can't drive between the U.S. and Europe. Or between Hawaii and anywhere. That would handle 95% of my travel needs.

Re:It's either full body scanning (5, Funny)

devitto (230479) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137890)

"I haven't had them reach more than 6 inches above my knees."

Well, that might be fine for you, but I'm still outta luck. :-)

Re:It's either full body scanning (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137912)

It's not optional, or at least not for long. As soon as the devices are in all the airports, it'll be "assaulted with radiation so some perv can view you naked" or "let somebody fondle your bollocks." This is straight up sexual abuse on a scale that not even the Catholic Church has been able to manage.

Re:It's either full body scanning (2, Interesting)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137510)

or having you genitals felt up. Seriously that's their policy [marco.org]. They think if they subject everybody to public humiliation that people will opt for private humiliation instead.

I loved the guy around here (and I wish I could find his post) that said something like: In 200 years we've gone from "Our lives, our fortunes, our sacred honor" to "Sure, you can pat me down, I don't want to miss my connecting flight."

Re:It's either full body scanning (1)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137524)

there is one simple alternative: DO NOT FLY. When the Airlines see massive drop off in passengers when they feel this intrusive buttinsky security in the pocket book THEY will step in to help. Need to go to a meeting? do it online, going on vacation? see the local sites. If you must go overseas, try going by liner... Freedom begins when we all stop being cattle.

Re:It's either full body scanning (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34137698)

I am always amused and disgusted by the stupidity of the "DO NOT FLY" contingent, who apparently don't realize how many tens of thousands of fliers are not doing so by choice, but because it is a job requirement. Do you honestly expect several hundred thousand people to quit their jobs so they don't have to fly? Where are we going to get new jobs that don't require flight? How much of a pay cut do you expect us to take (my salary cut would be no less than 40%)? How many airline and airport employees would you prefer to see unemployed because everyone chose not to fly, therefore the airlines lay off thousands more employees -- if they don't go out of business altogether?

"Drive for vacation instead of flying." When you only have two weeks' vacation time per year to begin with? Even if you haven't burned through half of that thanks to family care requirements, or the odd special occasion that you want to attend?

Sorry, folks, but we no longer live in a world where "do not fly" is an option for the majority of people.

Re:It's either full body scanning (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137950)

And we are amused and disgusted by the stupidity of the people who are willing to let themselves be sexually abused in order to fly on a plane.

Re:It's either full body scanning (1)

Enry (630) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137728)

No, the airlines will get a bailout from the government, like they always do.

Re:It's either full body scanning (1)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137742)

there is one simple alternative: DO NOT FLY.

Fuck that. It's not the airlines screwing you in this case, why punish them*?

Let's make the TSA employees feel like the assholes their bosses are instead. I find that much more agreeable.

TSA is a joke. A former co-worker of mine accidentally carried a large box cutter, very similar to those used to hijack the planes on 9/11, through TSA security about six times before he realized it was in there and removed it. If there was one thing they should have figured out how to spot, it was that. But hey, they'll get your nail clippers every time!

It's all theater to make you feel safe, and this is just more theater. Nobody sneaks anything particularly dangerous on their person these days, it's much easier to hide it in a bag and let security miss it. And miss it they shall. They've shown over and over again just how good their security is.

*I could certainly get behind punishing the bullshit Airlines do themselves, don't get me wrong, but punishing them for something the Feds are doing is stupid and isn't going to help. The Feds don't give a rat's ass what the airlines think, if they did they wouldn't be doing any of this.

Re:It's either full body scanning (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137868)

THEY will step in to help.

No they won't. The government will bail them out.

Re:It's either full body scanning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34137548)

Completely agreed this Country needs to grow a pair and stop posting as Anonymous Cowards you limp Dicks!!! Err.... I mean do as I say not as I do!

Re:It's either full body scanning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34137566)

Genitals - pfffft - the fuckers are gonna be feeling up the contents of my ileostomy pouch.

Re:It's either full body scanning (1)

ckeo (220727) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137568)

Your Honour, he touched me in a sexual way !!

I can see the alternative generating wealth in the form of lawsuits.

Re:It's either full body scanning (2, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137620)

Ok, your a smart ass, the remove you out of the public areas for holding, and the social service to take care of the child you were traveling with. You're not allowed to talk to your child or call a lawyer. You might be held for 72 hours.

Think about that a bit.

Re:It's either full body scanning (1)

steve6534 (809539) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137990)

This is absolutely false ! The "security clerks" at the airport with a fake badge cannot take you anywhere.

Re:It's either full body scanning (1)

mikestew (1483105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137998)

I have thought about it. I've spent a few days in a cell for things far less noble than standing up to authority. It's boring, but survivable. If three days in solitary and some rough lines of questioning is all they've got, it doesn't do much to deter me from not lying down.

Re:It's either full body scanning (4, Funny)

boristdog (133725) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137764)

I want to make a pair of pants where I can make the fly pop open automatically. Then I'll go commando so my wing-wang will flop out when they touch my crotch.

I can scream "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING!" at that point.

Re:It's either full body scanning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34137784)

Another approach would be to get in the scanner, then act like you're getting electrical shocks, or are in pain from it...

Or if you opt for the feel-up, a loud "Ouch!" at the appropriate moment...

Re:It's either full body scanning (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34137786)

My planned response is to say "You can play with my balls all you like, but you can't take a picture of them."

Re:It's either full body scanning (2, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137922)

This often happens in oppressive regimes like governments... you offer a new taboo practice / a majority of people will be extremely uncomfortable with at first as an "OPTION", so the majority who would resist authority will not object.

For example... voting, jury duty, institutional schooling, legal representation, keeping money in the bank, alimony/child support, charitable donations, armed forces recruitment (draft), auto insurance, social security, full body scan, health insurance / gov't health care public "option", abortions, filing 1099s for people you pay money to, . Our history is full of things becoming mandatory or de-facto mandatory that were at first snuck in as something else, using it's actually just optional as an excuse to introduce it to placate any objectors, until the thing becomes well-entrenched. This isn't even the tip of the iceberg, it happens over and over and over again, reliably. Options can easily be made the only way with some simple manipulation; it can be fought, but it is an uphill battle and a long fight... I hope EPIC succeeds, but you know, they are fighting a gov't who believes they have a legitimate security interest in their policies. The gov't think they are security experts, and picks arbitrarily oppressive policies, even though they are obviously not using sound mathematics and science to evaluate the risk VS cost...

Presumably if body scanning is accepted, the message is clear there will be little the gov't cannot do. It would be almost impossible to fight "backscatter machines", since that is just a furtherance of the 'body scan option' which can become mandatory.

The way these things get introduced is the gov't answers any objection with "You don't have to submit to X. You can opt for Y instead." Where Y is less invasive, but less convenient for authorities.

At first Y may be on equal footing, but is increasingly and intentionally made less convenient, discouraged by officials, OR officials [unofficially] are directed to implement things counter to policy -- for example, refusing option Y, but doing so in a way that will diffuse or deflect criticism away from the government... such as denying it in private, and in public denying that they denied the option.

The less convenient option Y becomes, the greater the portion of the population will opt for the uncomfortable but more 'convenient' or faster option.

This means, that eventually the societal norms are adjusted. So many people opted for the convenience over time that full body scanning is considered "the norm", and is therefore socially acceptable.

Now all the government has to do is take option Y away, by making it unpallatable.

All they have to do is ensure anyone who picks option Y is embarrassed or harassed, and the people who see it will learn a lesson to never pick option Y.

The final stage is to make option Y socially unacceptable, and then do away with it altogether.

4th Amendment (3, Interesting)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137406)

Took long enough. I though it would be the ACLU but they seem to have really dropped the ball when it comes to the TSA. Here is the problem with all airport security theater. A dogs are better bomb sniffers than any machine. And B you can put a bomb up your ass. I suspect that the ACLU didn't go after the TSA because they too are turning into a bunch of ass covering bureaucrats and worried about the optics of them shutting down half this airport crap and then some dickweed blowing up a plane and their getting the blame.

the ACLU has been calling for a ban since 2002 (3, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137680)

/. is broken and I often can't paste into the text box, so no link. However go to ACLU.ORG and search for TSA.
IN fact, they have been calling for a ban of this kind of scanner in airports since 2002

Re:the ACLU has been calling for a ban since 2002 (3, Interesting)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137986)

Fellow chrome user!

See this bug here: http://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=60057 [google.com]

Based on comment #10, I made a little bookmark in the bookmark bar called "Fix /." with the site

javascript:document.body.appendChild(document.createElement('div'));

And now I can click that whenever I want to reply.

Re:the ACLU has been calling for a ban since 2002 (1)

zero_out (1705074) | more than 3 years ago | (#34138006)

/. is broken and I often can't paste into the text box, so no link.

So it's not just me and my Chrome browser? Good to know.

But... (1)

rotide (1015173) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137410)

But, you don't have to go through the scanner. You can always opt for a genital pat down instead! You can trade _seeing_ your genitals for _touching_ them if you want!

So creepy...

http://tech.slashdot.org/story/10/10/31/0234232/TSA-To-Make-Pat-Downs-More-Embarrassing-To-Encourage-Scanner-Use [slashdot.org]

Full body scanners up in the club (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34137444)

This Friday night, come on down to Club Big Brother! We got a full body scanner, some disco balls, strobe effects, and some kickin' bass! The crowd will go wild when you step into the full nude scanner and it's shown on our 2 story high video wall! No cover for ladies and half-price drinks! Club Big Brother-because privacy violations are one big party!

Re:Full body scanners up in the club (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137816)

This Friday night, come on down to Club Big Brother! We got a full body scanner, some disco balls, strobe effects, and some kickin' bass! The crowd will go wild when you step into the full nude scanner and it's shown on our 2 story high video wall! No cover for ladies and half-price drinks! Club Big Brother-because privacy violations are one big party!

No no no no no .. no no ...you cannot advertise this event this way."No cover charge for ladies and half-price drinks!" is sexist and not allowed under anti-sexual discrimination laws.

Oh no! (1)

CasualFriday (1804992) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137482)

In other news, the Exhibitionists Society of America has filed a counter-claim...

My plan.... (2, Funny)

wiredog (43288) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137518)

Salon and the Atlantic report that you have to take off your belt when you go through these things. And that you have to raise your hands.

So my plan (which all slashdotters should copy) is to wear loose pants and go commando.

Re:My plan.... (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137740)

Last week, I was going into Terminal 7 at LAX (United), and they were funneling people through a scanner. Eventually, the line got backed up (only one scanner for two lines) and they had to switch back to the metal detector about four people before I got to it. However, the requirements for the scanner got a little irritating beyond privacy issues. The TSA staff (who were actually being pleasant and helpful for once) said that everything had to be removed from the pockets: no wallets, cash, coins, jewelry, receipts, or whatever. I had a jacket with me, so I was able to tuck all of this into the jacket pockets ahead of time so that it could go through the X-ray, but if I didn't, I would have been annoyed that my wallet would have been sitting in the open in a tray, especially if for some reason the tray got to the other side before I did.

On the very minor plus side, they no longer require showing the boarding pass when going through the detector, so there's slightly less to juggle around when putting things in trays. This is, I'm sure, a byproduct of mobile boarding passes, which I'm very happy to be able to use.

About Time (1)

cobrausn (1915176) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137534)

I'm amazed they got away with it this long. This is just another thing in a long list of overreactions to 9/11 that will finish the job they started.

Huh? (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137540)

Given the purpose of this machine, how can it be both invasive and ineffective?

Are you really this fucking retarded? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34137616)

really?

Re:Are you really this fucking retarded? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34137702)

Do you have an answer to his question?

Security Theater (1)

a.phoenicis (1026040) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137716)

Simple: It is invasive in that it invades your privacy, and ineffective in that it is all about the perception of security as opposed to actual security. All this does is look under your clothes. If someone really wanted to smuggle a weapon aboard, they'd carry it inside a bodily orifice. Until the TSA starts doing full-body X-rays of all passengers, then this check-point security is entirely for show.

Re:Security Theater (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137896)

And the alternative is a pat-down. I agree completely that everything introduced since 9/11 is theater, at best. (I think it's the Federal government taking over where the terrorists failed.)

But, still, in context, the scanner cannot be both invasive and ineffective. The purpose is to allow TSA personnel to see under your clothes. If it is effective, it is invasive. If ineffective, it's also not invasive.

Re:Huh? (1)

Game_Ender (815505) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137754)

It's not a body cavity search.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34137980)

It's not a body cavity search.

Yet.

Re:Huh? (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137834)

It seems like it doesn't penetrate very well and is better suited to finding spare change instead of explosives buried under the fold of a beer belly. You occasionally see shin bones or lungs, but nearly everything else below the skin is too diffused to see. And it doesn't work on shoes, either.

I personally don't mind, especially the ones that display a generic image instead of the actual image, I just think it is a waste of resources.

Flying is a privilege, not a right. (-1, Troll)

GrBear (63712) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137596)

Flying is a privilege, not a right. If you concerned about your freedoms and privacy, then drive or take the train instead of flying. It's not like you don't have options.

I for one am happy they are taking a more proactive roll in screening passengers on flights. It's also MY RIGHT to feel some assurance that the guy sitting next to me isn't planning on hijacking the plane.

Re:Flying is a privilege, not a right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34137642)

This society is not obliged to indulge your irrational fear, even if some of the extremist elements of this society have encouraged you to cultivate your irrational fear.

Re:Flying is a privilege, not a right. (1)

rotide (1015173) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137650)

You honestly think hijackings will still work? Seriously? Every time there has been a peep of insurrection on a plane the passengers all but kill the assailant. General screening for bombs is fine (although that doesn't even work, Shoe Bomber, Underpants Bomber). But the days of box cutters equaling destroyed sky scrapers is _gone_.

Re:Flying is a privilege, not a right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34137664)

Surely Sir you Jest... So I spend my hard earned Cabbage to be molested by a flashlight Cop herded like a Sheep into a Coral warned not to even sneeze while enroute to my destination lest the claim I am causing a disturbance and the plan diverted where I am greated by the TSA bouncers. This is what the Privelege of being American has come to? Really? Hmmm... Anyone know when the next Boat to "Anywhere but here" leaves?

Re:Flying is a privilege, not a right. (1)

Barrinmw (1791848) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137706)

So you are saying that if something is a privilege they can do whatever they want to you? How about organ transplant, the doctors give you a new lung but to get it you have to donate a kidney, is that acceptable to you?

Re:Flying is a privilege, not a right. (1)

Peeteriz (821290) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137806)

Shopping in Walmart is definitely not a right, but I *do* have a right to not have my balls scanned or grabbed by Walmart staff when using their services.

Re:Flying is a privilege, not a right. (1)

Enry (630) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137824)

It's my right to tell you to quit being afraid of your own shadow.

Re:Flying is a privilege, not a right. (1)

phyrexianshaw.ca (1265320) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137840)

I'm with you.

if you don't like how the system treats you for flying: you have a pair of legs for a reason. start walking.

Re:Flying is a privilege, not a right. (2, Insightful)

NetNed (955141) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137876)

Even the Air Marshall on planes have been shown to be a over priced ineffective program that is nothing more then a ego feed for people like you who feel the need to have a false sense of security. The full body scanners are the same. Cost a lot and don't really have any effect on security.

Your right, flying is a privilege, but your argument is straw man at best. That is like saying if a restaurant want people to take off all their clothes to enter it should be done because it's a privilege not a right to eat there.

Re:Flying is a privilege, not a right. (5, Insightful)

cobrausn (1915176) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137968)

Hijackings won't work anymore. We (as passengers) are all well too aware of what could happen if they do.

Hijackings used to be about money. Passengers would sit them through and get let go when it was all done with a pretty good chance of making it.

Nobody holds to that illusion anymore. Myself (and I'm sure many others) would curb stomp to death anyone who tried to hijack a plane I was on, or die trying. That, and the staff and pilots are better prepared for this now.

These things are just unnecessary.

Re:Flying is a privilege, not a right. (1)

xipxero (1910958) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137982)

Flying is a privilege, not a right. If you concerned about your freedoms and privacy, then drive or take the train instead of flying. It's not like you don't have options.

I for one am happy they are taking a more proactive roll in screening passengers on flights. It's also MY RIGHT to feel some assurance that the guy sitting next to me isn't planning on hijacking the plane.

Troll much? >:D Flying is required for some people. It's not fun and time consuming taking a train from Boston to San Fransisco, and how else are people supossed to get from NYC to Tokyo... Take a cruise? The point is these machines do not effectively protect you, they are there to give you the illusion that you are being protected. There are much better (and more effective) ways of doing it. The point of this suspension is because these machines are capturing and storing images of people's exposed bodies. Think of it as some TSA employee who is a college student, copies some of these images and puts them online? Wouldn't be much different than a stranger taking pictures of you in the shower and putting them online too. These machines are also ineffective, they do not show everything that you could conceal.

Another Option (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34137656)

Simple... just don't fly

EPIC WIN! (3, Funny)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137666)

,,,

There is a religious law against body scanners? (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137686)

Just curious to see the "religious freedom" point in there.

Re:There is a religious law against body scanners? (1)

Barrinmw (1791848) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137758)

Probably something about nudity...

Re:There is a religious law against body scanners? (1)

rotide (1015173) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137774)

Last I checked certain religions don't allow women to show their faces in public let alone submit to naked pictures. Pretty sure there are less extremes than that particular religion that also frown upon getting nude shots taken of you.

Re:There is a religious law against body scanners? (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137906)

let alone submit to naked pictures.

They can have nekkid pics taken of themselves, but only their husbands are allowed to see them

Re:There is a religious law against body scanners? (1)

Ryanrule (1657199) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137984)

i think most religious texts ban women from looking at themselves when you go down to it.

Re:There is a religious law against body scanners? (2, Interesting)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 3 years ago | (#34138034)

There are modesty requirements for several religions, including forms of Islam (well-publicized) and Judaism (not as well-known). Any sort of display of the flesh other than face or hands (and sometimes limits on those) is a violation of the religion, with narrow exceptions for family and doctors.

TSA guards not at fault here (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34137768)

Making the guards feel gay is great and all, but you realize that it's not the guards at the airport that make the rules, right? It's the assholes at corporate headquarters that come up with this shit. The guard just wants to get his paycheck and go home every day, just like everyone else. If he doesn't act like a prick, he'll get fired.

Re:TSA guards not at fault here (2, Interesting)

canesfan (607211) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137976)

How many "Guards" have you met, known, dealt with? Most are just twisted enough or suck at lying to the point they fail the psychological or poly or background check for any Law Enforcement position. The pay is McDonalds grade, the job is boring, most of your co-workers have sub standard personal hygien and as a bonus the public pisses on you every chance they get. When you fail to present them the opportunity they create one for themselves. Another words only a sick twisted sociopath with an authoritarian complex works in the Guard industry. Want to guess what I do for a living? Muah Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!!

Same problem as cameras (1)

Odinson (4523) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137776)

The only way to keep it fair is to keep it symmetrical. They are either acceptable to use in a public space by anyone, or they are not.

Personally I am fine with these. I don't care who appears naked on the screen, myself included. I won't loose my mind if attractive woman is scanned or if an unattractive man is either. I consider that part of being a grown up.

People are way too uptight about both their sexuality and their 'security.' This is best thing that could happen to American hypocrisy. IMO this IS an effective technique, but how much do you REALLY care. LOL.

Re:Same problem as cameras (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137996)

The only way to keep it fair is to keep it symmetrical. They are either acceptable to use in a public space by anyone, or they are not.

What exactly are you saying? That the TSA staff should run around naked? Have you actually been to an airport in the last decade?

I'm not sure I want to continue this conversation....

Transsexuals (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34137842)

What about cross-dressers and pre-op transsexuals? (I am neither.) Don't these people have a right to privacy? (I'm not going to get into the "which restroom should they use" argument.) What about someone who is a pre-op transsexual and is pretty close to having the operation to finish the job, so to speak. This person has done everything else - cross dressing, (functional) name change, etc, and is only waiting now for the "plumbing" to be "fixed". Is it anyone's business other than perhaps the individual's doctor? I'm sorry, but having known a few people who fall under those categories, this bothers me for their sakes.

Whats the big deal,, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34137888)

,,,, its just a wee thing

We have done this to ourselves (0, Troll)

dvltash (1916586) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137932)

Civil liberties aside, these are necessary to protect us from our selves. People who have nothing to hide, hide nothing. If ya wanna fly, deal with it. If not, get there another way. Not sure why so many replies are fixated on the pat down and junk touching though. Sounds like people are going to miss it if these scanners are put in place.

Nobody is forcing anyone to fly against their will (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34137954)

If you dont like it, then dont fly.

What would their reaction be if... (1)

gboss (968444) | more than 3 years ago | (#34137988)

You just dropped trou before the pat down. As long as you still have underwear on, it's not indecent. It would, however, serve to show how ridiculous the whole operation is.

Stale headline (1)

ColoradoAuthor (682295) | more than 3 years ago | (#34138032)

The news isn't that EPIC filed a suit--they did that in July, and the request for an emergency stay was denied. The news is that now they've proceeded to file their opening brief.
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