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Researchers Find Security Flaws In Backscatter X-ray Scanners

Soulskill posted about 2 months ago | from the raise-your-hand-if-you're-surprised dept.

Security 146

An anonymous reader writes: Researchers from UC San Diego, University of Michigan, and Johns Hopkins say they've found security vulnerabilities in full-body backscatter X-ray machines deployed to U.S. airports between 2009 and 2013. In lab tests, the researchers were able to conceal firearms and plastic explosive simulants from the Rapiscan Secure 1000 scanner, plus modify the scanner software so it presents an "all-clear" image to the operator even when contraband was detected. "Frankly, we were shocked by what we found," said lead researcher J. Alex Halderman. "A clever attacker can smuggle contraband past the machines using surprisingly low-tech techniques."

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Frankly (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47714357)

I am shocked

Re:Frankly (4, Funny)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 2 months ago | (#47714727)

No, that's just the X-ray scanner malfunctioning.

Re:Frankly (1)

pkinetics (549289) | about 2 months ago | (#47715493)

Hmm.. I wonder what would happen if this company developed teleporters

Re:Frankly (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47716103)

"I teleported home one night,
With Ron and Sid and Meg.
Rons stole Meggie's heart away,
And I got Sydney's leg."

Re:Frankly (1)

Bite The Pillow (3087109) | about 2 months ago | (#47716525)

I hate to be an advocate for security through obscurity, but I figured these things would be ultra super restricted, and "laboratory tests" would be irrelevant because they had access to a device that attackers do not have access to.

The systemâ(TM)s designers seem to have assumed that attackers would not have access to a Secure 1000 to test and refine their attacks,â said Hovav Shacham, a professor of computer science at UC San Diego.

That's actually kind of reasonable, given the amount of spending given to DHS and cetera.

However, the researchers were able to purchase a government-surplus machine found on eBay and subject it to laboratory testing.

Super hot fuck! Who does that? Who the fuck surpluses a secret government machine? Seriously, who the shit did this? Did no one account for the surplus process?

Terrorists get surplus cheese, worst case they don't shit for a few days. Surplus scanning devices? Didn't you fucking retards in Congress think about that when you signed away shitloads of your childrens' dollars for these things?

Holy dick-licking super stupid fuck! Literally the only chance in shit that you have is to keep this shit secret!

"...said J. Alex Halderman, a professor of computer science at the University of Michigan"

God bless you, or whichever divinity you do or do not believe in grant you some additional benefit over and above the opportunity to be a collection of electrically connected cells, J. Alex Halderman. Bake yourself some cookies, on us.

and yet (3, Informative)

halfEvilTech (1171369) | about 2 months ago | (#47714363)

Nothing will change most likely.

Re:and yet (2)

TWX (665546) | about 2 months ago | (#47714537)

Actually they're already being replaced with millimeter-wave scanners. But unfortunately they're being sent to places like prisons, and I expect that they'll be abused there too.

I never quite knew how to pronounce the name of the device. It kind of looks like it should be "Rape igh scan" to me...

Re:and yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47714663)

But unfortunately they're being sent to places like prisons, and I expect that they'll be abused there too.

These machines came from the prison system. Where do you think they were first deployed over 10 years ago? Prisoners could opt for backscatter x-ray, or cavity search, because you know, if you are unwilling to get x-rayed you must be hiding something.. There were "crackpots" (like prisonplanet.com) saying that prisons are first, and then they will be deployed everywhere, including airports after some incident is used to justify privacy invasion ignoring any health dangers from active x-raying of the public. These were ignored, as crackpots and "this could not happen in America, we have guns!" idiots. Well, it happened and what was the reaction? "Thanks for x-raying me. Now I feel safer".

Re:and yet (1)

danbert8 (1024253) | about 2 months ago | (#47715323)

I've always thought it was "Rapey scan." I don't know how the people that named it couldn't see it that way...

Re:and yet (1)

worf_mo (193770) | about 2 months ago | (#47715711)

They probably saw it. And laughed all the way to the bank.

No great surprise. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47715693)

It is pronounced like "rapid" since it's supposed to imply that the scanning process is quick and painless. Although these man-sized scanners get a lot of press, their primary product was (and remains) fixed and vehicle-mounted (boom-arm) scanners bit enough to scan entire cargo containers in a single pass. It has been know for quite some time that those could be fooled, so it's not much of a surprise that the man-sized ones can too.

Posting anonymously because I have inside knowledge of their products, I used to represent them in a certain field (not sales).

Re:and yet (4, Funny)

i kan reed (749298) | about 2 months ago | (#47714567)

Oh of course something will change.

All security researchers will mysteriously find themselves on the no-fly list.

Re:and yet (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 2 months ago | (#47715167)

So you think that's why fewer and fewer of us go to cons?

In Soviet... (1)

Mal-2 (675116) | about 2 months ago | (#47715709)

In modern America, you don't go to cons. You become them.

Re:and yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47716033)

Oh of course something will change.

All security researchers will mysteriously find themselves on the no-fly list.

now i think like that http://infobisnisonline-telecommutergroup.blogspot.com this my blog to get

Re:and yet (1)

QuantumPion (805098) | about 2 months ago | (#47715055)

Nothing will change most likely.

Sure they will. They will quickly be replaced with an improved model, generating large profits and campaign contributions for all involved, just like in the broken window parable [wikipedia.org] . Everybody wins!

This is ridiculous. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47714367)

We're supposed to be the land of the free and the home of the brave, and yet we allow our government to violate people's fourth amendment rights in broad fucking daylight every single day just because people want to get on a plane. Land of the free? Home of the brave? I think not. Disgusting.

Re:This is ridiculous. (1, Informative)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 2 months ago | (#47714425)

I'm not sure voluntarily going on a plane is the government violating your right to privacy.

Re:This is ridiculous. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47714495)

I'm not sure voluntarily going on a plane is the government violating your right to privacy.

Well then, what about a government restricting your freedom of movement by forcing you to give up your right to privacy if you desire to travel? I am not saying it is not a nuanced issue — it is, and needs to be debated — but typing a flippant comment as you have done does not end the discussion.

Re:This is ridiculous. (3, Informative)

TWX (665546) | about 2 months ago | (#47714579)

Unfortunately for your position, the courts have always provided interpretation to the Constitution, and many instances of limits on the defined words of the Constitution are found in law.

If you want to get all strict-constructionist on this matter though, planes, cars, buses, and rail didn't even exist when the Constitution was written, so one could argue that there's no Constitutional protection when travelling by anything beyond horseback, carriage, or walking.

Then there's the other side, where airlines were allowed to be in charge of their own security, letting "the market" set the balance, but then nineteen men decided to kill about 3500 men, women, and children one day, and our society realized that it wasn't gonna work to let the airlines be in charge of security.

Re:This is ridiculous. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47714689)

Yes, and from the article, nothing they have done (short of locking the cockpit door, not from the article) would prevent 19 more men from doing the same thing tomorrow.

Re:This is ridiculous. (3, Insightful)

danbert8 (1024253) | about 2 months ago | (#47714695)

It wasn't a failure of security that caused 9/11, it was a failure of policy. The by the book way to deal with a hijacking was to comply with the terrorists with the idea that they just wanted the passengers and plane for ransom, not to use the plane itself as a weapon. Today the pilots would intentionally crash the plane before they would allow the hijackers control over the aircraft.

Re:This is ridiculous. (5, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 2 months ago | (#47714931)

Today the pilots would intentionally crash the plane before they would allow the hijackers control over the aircraft.

Passengers had also been conditioned to just stay in their seats and be calm. That would never happen today. Even on 9/11, the passengers on Flight 93 figured out that it was fight back or die trying.

One of the reasons that AQ did all four hijackings simultaneously, is that they knew they would never be able to exploit the same vulnerabilities again.

Re:This is ridiculous. (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 2 months ago | (#47715273)

This.

9/11 was much like the trojan horse stunt Odysseus pulled. Worked great back then. Won't work again, ever.

The reason 9/11 worked out was because people were used to other kinds of plane hijackings. Hijackers that steal a plane, fly it somewhere, then demand something to be fulfilled before returning plane and passengers. That was the standard of plane hijackings before 2001. That's why it worked. Everyone expected just that. That's why the pilots opened the cockpit doors, that's why the passengers stayed in their seats.

Today, neither would happen. Nothing you would threaten the pilot with could make him open that door, and if you have anything short of a machine gun you'll certainly find passengers willing and able to come to the conclusion "if I fight I have a chance, if I don't I'm dead for sure". In a 300+ passenger plane, if only one out of fifty people gets that idea it's enough to make the whole hijacking very unlikely to succeed.

Face it, flying is safer than ever. Security theater or none, one thing is certain: 9/11 will not happen again. Simply because the people involved will react very, very differently.

Re:This is ridiculous. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47715987)

The perpetrators of 9/11 succeeded by declaring they had a bomb. All they had was box cutters but nobody called them on the bluff except for flight 93 which came to late to save the people on the plane. If someone tried to do the same thing today they would be mobbed by the passengers all looking to get a boot in. And the government was not totally responsible for airport security and all the inconveniences that entails. It was the public who demanded the government "do something" to prevent the problem from happening again. When's the last time the government did anything that wasn't a total cock up from start to finish? If the government eliminated the most bothersome aspects of airline security they would be crucified when the next attack happens. And the loudest critics would be those people who today are complaining about too much security in the first place. And didn't this article say they needed to modify the scanner software to show "all clear" to the operators? That's a pretty high barrier to overcome in order to exploit the scanner.

Re:This is ridiculous. (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 2 months ago | (#47716403)

Really? The public demanded? Who? Where? When? All I remember is scaremongering from the press and politicians telling us that the sky is about to fall and how they need to protect us.

I honestly cannot remember a single instance where anyone demanded to trade his liberties for "safety".

Re:This is ridiculous. (1)

redeIm (3779401) | about 2 months ago | (#47716845)

And the loudest critics would be those people who today are complaining about too much security in the first place.

I never asked for these unconstitutional violations of our fundamental rights on 9/11, and I sure as hell wouldn't ask for them in the future. I believe that freedom is more important than safety, and in 'the land of the free and the home of the brave,' I would think everyone else would, too.

So don't pretend to know what others wanted, want, or would want.

Re:This is ridiculous. (2)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 2 months ago | (#47715415)

Even if one accepts a failure of security, the only "tightening of security" that would have made any difference today versus on 9/11 are the locked, reinforced cockpit doors. Had the planes had those on 9/11, the hijackers could have threatened or even killed all of the passengers/crew (except for the pilots), but the plane would have landed safely without crashing into any buildings.

We could roll back the "enhanced security" to pre-911 levels, keeping only those cockpit door improvements, and we'd be just as safe as we are right now.

Re:This is ridiculous. (4, Insightful)

GlennC (96879) | about 2 months ago | (#47714697)

Let's look it up....http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights_transcript.html [archives.gov]

        "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

Since there is no "Right to Travel" listed earlier in the Constitution, it is not explicitly denied here.

Unlike most codes of law in the United States, the Constitution does not generally apply to individual citizens. Rather, the Constitution defines and codifies the Federal government, and is generally accepted to be the limit of Federal and State powers and responsibilities.

Finally, I remember that when I was younger (mind you, this was back in the 1970's), having to provide identification and being subjected to searches before being able to travel was the scope of godless Communists and tinpot dictators.

That we have come to this point is a sad commentary on the United States. That many others not only accept this but actively defend it is even more disappointing.

Re:This is ridiculous. (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 2 months ago | (#47715401)

The argument here is that denying efficient travel subverts freedom of assembly as well as the right to (effectively) petition my government for redress of grievances.

Re:This is ridiculous. (1)

bored_engineer (951004) | about 2 months ago | (#47715455)

Article four, clause 1 includes the text:

the right of a citizen of one State to pass through, or to reside in any other State, for purposes of trade, agriculture, professional pursuits, or otherwise;

This is the basis for the conclusion that we have a specifically protected right to travel.

Re:This is ridiculous. (1)

BringsApples (3418089) | about 2 months ago | (#47715927)

That we have come to this point is a sad commentary on the United States. That many others not only accept this but actively defend it is even more disappointing.

It is sad. As an American, I have to admit defeat in a war that I did not know was being fought, despite endless, constant mention of it.

I guess we could start practicing things like forgiveness and piety any time we want though.

Re:This is ridiculous. WRONG WRONG WRONG (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47714707)

The constitution is not a 'whitelist'!

9th Amendment:

        The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

10th Amendment

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people

Re:This is ridiculous. WRONG WRONG WRONG (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 2 months ago | (#47715439)

Or, more specifically, it's a "white list" of what the government is allowed to do. If the government wants to do X and X isn't white listed in the Constitution, they can either not do X or try to amend the Constitution to allow X. (Or, in the real world, do X anyway as secretive as possible and hope the courts don't order them to stop.)

It is both white- and black-lists (1)

apraetor (248989) | about 2 months ago | (#47715951)

The US Constitution is both. It is a "white list" of powers assigned explicitly to the Federal government, with the remainder falling under "state's rights". It also contains a "black list", in the form of the Bill of Rights, which enumerates certain areas as being explicitly off-limits to both the Federal and State governments.

Re:This is ridiculous. WRONG WRONG WRONG (1)

NormalVisual (565491) | about 2 months ago | (#47716237)

Or, in the real world, do X anyway as secretive as possible and hope the courts don't order them to stop.

The courts don't mean much to these people - the FISA court's own statements about being misled by the NSA proves that. The only thing within the law guaranteed to stop them is to start jailing those responsible or cutting off their funding.

Re:This is ridiculous. (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 2 months ago | (#47715187)

Our society? Citation needed...

Re:This is ridiculous. (4, Informative)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 2 months ago | (#47715275)

If you want to get all strict-constructionist on this matter though, planes, cars, buses, and rail didn't even exist when the Constitution was written, so one could argue that there's no Constitutional protection when travelling by anything beyond horseback, carriage, or walking.

No you cannot argue that. The Constitution says nothing about technology and everything about how humans behave.

Then there's the other side, where airlines were allowed to be in charge of their own security, letting "the market" set the balance, but then nineteen men decided to kill about 3500 men, women, and children one day, and our society realized that it wasn't gonna work to let the airlines be in charge of security.

That strategy ceased to be effective at 9:03AM on 9/11/2001 over a field in Shanksville, PA. And you know who figured that out? Ordinary Americans, doing the security calculus themselves, where the government had completely failed to protect them, despite having many opportunities to do so.

To be double-sure the airlines all secured their cockpit doors. That risk no longer exists, which is why the TSA has never caught a terrorist. They do violate the human rights of Americans all day, every day. In an effort to stop the terrorists, they have become the terrorists, all because they consciously choose to violate the highest law of the land.

Re:This is ridiculous. (5, Informative)

redeIm (3779401) | about 2 months ago | (#47714501)

I'm not sure voluntarily living in a certain city is the government violating your right to privacy.

Using this ridiculous, draconian logic of "You voluntarily decided to do X, so you implicitly surrendered right Y to the government." is just stupid. The government has no power to make you implicitly surrender your constitutional liberties merely because you wish to do something. Of course, people who want the government to have unlimited power and to be able to violate your liberties whenever they please would disagree.

Re:This is ridiculous. (1)

TWX (665546) | about 2 months ago | (#47714595)

Any branch of government has all of the power that another branch of government allows it to have. As long as two branches agree then the third branch can be worked-around even if they object.

Re:This is ridiculous. (1)

redeIm (3779401) | about 2 months ago | (#47714605)

The government has no constitutional authority to force people to implicitly surrender their rights in exchange for being able to do something completely innocuous. They might be traitors who claim they do and just ignore the constitution, but that's a different matter.

Re:This is ridiculous. (2)

TWX (665546) | about 2 months ago | (#47715563)

It may not have constitutional authority, but might makes right.

Andrew Jackson force-marched indigenous people thousands of miles from the ancestral lands that they'd continuously occupied for longer than this nation had existed to open that land up to settlers of European ancestry, even against court-order, because Congress didn't join with the Supreme Court and force his hand.

Andrew Jackson is featured on our money, despite falling into your definition of a traitor.

Re:This is ridiculous. (2)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 2 months ago | (#47714741)

The government has no power to make you implicitly surrender your constitutional liberties merely because you wish to do something.

It's not implicit, it is pretty explicit. There are signs in every security checkpoint line I've been through that clearly say that by entering this line your person and property are subject to search. I've also seen those signs at the exit of the checkpoint telling people that by being in the secured area they are subject to search. Right or wrong, it isn't implicit.

I don't know about you, but I am not upset that those who "wish to do something", when "something" means "enter a jail or prison to visit a prisoner", are forced to waive their fourth amendment rights in order to do so. Ditto those who want to enter a military facility.

Now, you might have a very strong argument when "something" means "mandatory appearance for jury duty" and you are instructed to put your bags and property through an x-ray machine while passing through a metal detector. You are being ordered under threat of force to appear and then searched when you do.

Re:This is ridiculous. (2)

redeIm (3779401) | about 2 months ago | (#47714977)

No. The government absolutely does not have the power to force people to surrender their constitutional liberties (either implicitly or explicitly) just because someone wants to do something completely innocuous. If you feel the government should have unlimited power, then try to amend the constitution. Otherwise, screw off.

The implicit part is because they technically haven't explicitly said that they want to. Instead, it's said to be implicit in the fact that they want to get on a plane.

Re:This is ridiculous. (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 2 months ago | (#47715427)

No. The government absolutely does not have the power to force people to surrender their constitutional liberties (either implicitly or explicitly) just because someone wants to do something completely innocuous.

You've now substituted the word "innocuous" for the fourth's "unreasonable" and are applying your own subjective definition to it. Nineteen people taking out 3500 was not an innocuous act.

If you feel the government should have unlimited power,

I don't believe any rational person could read what I wrote and come away with the idea I think the government should have unlimited power. I pointed out that the claim that rights were being waived "implicitly" was wrong, and even went so far as to specifically say I was not talking about "right or wrong".

The implicit part is because they technically haven't explicitly said that they want to.

It is quite explicit, if you can read simple English when you pass by the sign. They've said "they want to" search you before you ever reach a point where they actually search you.

Instead, it's said to be implicit in the fact that they want to get on a plane.

I can "want to get on a plane" all day long and I'll never be subject to a search, UNTIL I walk past that sign that says explicitly that by passing this point I am subject to search. There is no "implicit" involved. There may be "inherent" (i.e., "as a part of"), but "implicit" ("not specifically stated"), nope.

Re:This is ridiculous. (1)

redeIm (3779401) | about 2 months ago | (#47715931)

You've now substituted the word "innocuous" for the fourth's "unreasonable" and are applying your own subjective definition to it.

General warrants are unconstitutional, and yet somehow, magically, it's okay to molest everyone at airports without even so much as a warrant or suspicion? Yeah, right.

Nineteen people taking out 3500 was not an innocuous act.

Oh, screw off. You know that I'm talking about the many innocents who have their rights violated by the TSA.

It is quite explicit, if you can read simple English when you pass by the sign. They've said "they want to" search you before you ever reach a point where they actually search you.

I'm not talking about *them*, I'm talking about people 'consenting' to the search. TSA apologists sometimes make the argument that you implicitly consent to waiving your constitutional rights by trying to get on a plane when you know the TSA is going to try to search you.

I can "want to get on a plane" all day long and I'll never be subject to a search

Man...

Re:This is ridiculous. (1)

redeIm (3779401) | about 2 months ago | (#47715949)

Nineteen people taking out 3500 was not an innocuous act.

Or are you saying that because some people are bad, nobody should have rights? I doubt it, but who the fuck knows. Either way, in the land of the free and the home of the brave, violating everyone's rights and privacy merely because some people are Bad Guys is unacceptable.

Re:This is ridiculous. (0)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 2 months ago | (#47716681)

General warrants are unconstitutional,

Warrants have nothing to do with this. Just because they are also part of the fourth amendment doesn't make any issue involving the other parts also an issue with warrants.

and yet somehow, magically, it's okay to molest everyone at airports

Who said that? You? It wasn't me.

You know that I'm talking about the many innocents who have their rights violated by the TSA.

I know you are substituting a different subjective word for the one really found in the fourth amendment and are now arguing based on your personal definition of that different word.

I'm not talking about *them*, I'm talking about people 'consenting' to the search.

"Them" are told before they get in line they are subject to search if they go past that point. It's explicit.

TSA apologists sometimes make the argument that you implicitly consent to waiving your constitutional rights by trying to get on a plane when you know the TSA is going to try to search you.

I am neither a TSA apologist nor have I (incorrectly) argued that there is an implicit waiver. I was quite explicit in saying that there is an explicit waiver involved. "Go past this point and you are subject to search." You see that explicit statement and then choose to go past that point. That's an explicit waiver.

I can "want to get on a plane" all day long and I'll never be subject to a search

Man...

You claimed that people were waiving their rights just for wanting to get on a plane. Now you refuse to stand behind your own statement. I showed you were wrong. It is the act of passing the entry point of the security line that triggers the waiver, whether or not you want to get on a plane. Thousands of airport employees go through security every day without wanting to get on a plane, and I can want to get on a plane all day and never be subject to search. Man, yourself.

Re:This is ridiculous. (2)

redeIm (3779401) | about 2 months ago | (#47716825)

Warrants have nothing to do with this.

For fuck's sake. The point was that general warrants are unconstitutional, so why the hell would it be okay to search everyone *without even so much as having a warrant*? It was to demonstrate just how absurd this situation is, not to say that warrants are somehow involved in this situation.

Who said that? You? It wasn't me.

In that case, hopefully no one.

I know you are substituting a different subjective word for the one really found in the fourth amendment and are now arguing based on your personal definition of that different word.

I'm arguing that the idea that the government has the power to force you to surrender rights if you try to do something (in this case, travel on a plane) that isn't illegal (merely because some people could do something illegal) is absurd. I thought that would've been clear, but if it wasn't clear, I think it should be now.

But I see where this is going. Rather than focusing on my fundamental points, you're just being pedantic and nitpicking at my usage of the English language.

I am neither a TSA apologist nor have I (incorrectly) argued that there is an implicit waiver. I was quite explicit in saying that there is an explicit waiver involved. "Go past this point and you are subject to search." You see that explicit statement and then choose to go past that point. That's an explicit waiver.

The implicit part is supposedly your acceptance of being searched, not the idea that you will be searched (which is spelled out explicitly).

You claimed that people were waiving their rights just for wanting to get on a plane.

Dude, you're pedantic as fuck. I don't know if you've ever heard of exaggerations or how normal people use language (which is rarely 100% precise), but you should get acquainted with those things, and fast. Just my opinion.

Re:This is ridiculous. (1)

aaarrrgggh (9205) | about 2 months ago | (#47716927)

Nineteen people taking out 3500...

...out of some 5+ billion that have walked through US airport security checkpoints since. Out of (pessimistically) 50,000 people with the will or propensity to inflict ill will via items contained on their person or in their luggage on others. (And arguably 5 that could be successful on a given trip.) ...At a cost of countless millions of wasted hours, billions of wasted dollars, and fundamentally liberty lost.

Pretty good for the contractors though...

Re:This is ridiculous. (1)

JohnFen (1641097) | about 2 months ago | (#47714513)

If flying were always voluntarily, I'd never fly again. As it is, I fly about twice a year, involuntarily. Regardless of that, though, it absolutely is the government violating my privacy. That I technically "consent" to it doesn't make it any less of a privacy invasion.

Re:This is ridiculous. (0)

TWX (665546) | about 2 months ago | (#47714615)

You fly involuntarily? Someone kidnaps you and forces you on to a plane and it takes off before your objection to being there is realized by the cabin crew?

Or do you mean, "work requires me to fly even though I don't want to, but I want to keep my job so I do it anyway"?

Re:This is ridiculous. (2)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 2 months ago | (#47714745)

Yes. That's what he said. He didn't volunteer to go. It was a requirement. I really wish idiots would stop arguing for totalitarianism with stupid son sequiters and a complete lack of understanding of the English language.

Re:This is ridiculous. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47715103)

I realize English is not your first language and has many subtleties that can be difficult to parse. "Involuntarily" means "under coercion." In most English-speaking countries, we recognize many forms of coercion. Certainly, I can understand how, from the media representations of the US, one might come to the conclusion that the literal point of a gun is the only form of coercion, but that fails to give Americans and other English speakers proper appreciation of power. In fact, many forms of coercion lack any form of overt or implied violence at all. As a powerfully capitalist state, citizens of the US are especially vulnerable to economic coercion. Many violate their morals or sense of right and wrong under threat of lost wages or lost employment. People have even been known to violate their values under threat of social ostracism.

It's a funny world, isn't it, where friends and money can be as powerful a physical violence?

Re:This is ridiculous. (4, Insightful)

Anon-Admin (443764) | about 2 months ago | (#47714601)

Yes, it is. The 4th amendment says

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects,[a] against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

They are not getting warrants, there is no probable cause unless getting on a plane is probable cause to believe you are going to destroy it. There is no Oath or affirmation and no description of the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.

People do not seem to realize that your rights are given to you by your creator and the constitution only reaffirms that and states that the government can not violate those rights. It does not give you the rights and does not say anything about permission to violate because you enter a store, airport, car, train station, or the bathroom of your own house.

There is a right way and a wrong way to do this, if they wanted it to be Constitutional they could have created an amendment that allowed the acceptation, voted on it, ratified it amongst the states, and then enforced it. Instead they ignored the Constitution, threw the existing law of the land out the window and the government did as they pleased. It is wrong, it is a violation of law, and a violation of the Constitution!

BTW, this would not be an issue or illegal if it was still private security at the airport. The second they put Government Security Agents (TSA) in place it became unconstitutional.

And now I bet I am on the no-fly list for this post. Another unconstitutional action the government takes.

Re:This is ridiculous. (2)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 2 months ago | (#47715511)

BTW, this would not be an issue or illegal if it was still private security at the airport.

So it is perfectly acceptable to you if a large corporation wants to search you and your effects prior to letting you buy their product (which you need to buy to be able to exercise other rights you have), but is not acceptable if a government does it for the very same reasons?

I pointed out the "need to buy" part because so much of the argument about TSA searches includes the idea that travel by air is an essential part of the freedom to travel and that taking other modes is not sufficient to provide "choice" in the matter. I.e., one needs to travel, and travel by other-than-air is not a reasonable mode to accomplish that.

Would you be comfortable with Comcast, e.g., assuming the right to search your computer to make sure you did not use or had not used their internet service for illegal activity? By the way, part of the contract you sign with them includes a section prohibiting use of their service for illegal activities.

Re:This is ridiculous. (1)

apraetor (248989) | about 2 months ago | (#47716061)

This argument is a bit disingenuous. The 4th Amendment prevents searches when you have a reasonable expectation of privacy. As you are in public in an airport/on an airplane, and there is an overriding public interest in preventing weapons from being brought on-board an aircraft, it is legal to require consensual searches before boarding to look specifically for weapons -- because an aircraft en route is very isolated and in an emergency there would be no way to get help on board, short of landing -- which tips the "public good vs. right to privacy" scale toward "public good". Now, if you want to argue that requiring photo ID for domestic flights is unreasonable I'd agree.

Re:This is ridiculous. (1)

Anon-Admin (443764) | about 2 months ago | (#47716261)

So your argument is that if you are in public you do not have an "expectation of privacy"? There is no such statement in the 4th amendment and no exception for public interest. I find it funny that you said "require consensual searches" If it is required it is not consensual!

You are wrong, you can refuse to be searched when walking down the street, you can refuse to allow a cop to search your car when you are pulled over. Your right is to be secure in your PERSONS, PAPERS, and EFFECTS. That includes your shoes, luggage, and your clothing. What you are doing is justifying a trade of others rights on the believe that it will bring you some security. Now, your next point will be a cop stopping you and patting you down on the street being legal. It is only legal when there is a reasonable suspicion of involvement in a criminal activity. Getting on a plane is not a criminal activity.

BTW, There were guns on planes prior to the 1970's Hijackings did not start tell they banned them. Go figure.

Re:This is ridiculous. (1)

apraetor (248989) | about 2 months ago | (#47716371)

Huh? It's perfectly legal to require a person to consent to a search in order to enter a private business. Plenty of stores have signs saying that they reserve the right to search your backpack/purse upon entering. Most rarely do, but they COULD do it to every person. You are correct, you can refuse the search -- and the business has the right to refuse you permission to enter if you decline. You have every right to fly without being searched, in your own airplane. Airlines have an interest in protecting their passengers and their property. Most of us can't afford our own airplanes, but that doesn't mean that we get to pretend we have the same rights on a commercial aircraft as we would on a privately-owned one.

Re:This is ridiculous. (1)

Anon-Admin (443764) | about 2 months ago | (#47716163)

My argument is that they are government agents bound by the restrictions of the constitution. The reason that it is not an issue with private security is because it can be a contractual stipulation of purchase.

Just like being searched on the way out of a store is voluntary and you can simply decline, where as being searched on the way out of Sam's or Cosco is a stipulation of the contract and can not be declined without giving up your purchase and membership.

Re:This is ridiculous. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47716281)

I claim the TSA search is "reasonable", hence not in violation of the 4th (which only protects against "unreasonable" searches) -- and also, there is very clear indication of what is being searched: your person and your belongings, specifically to find the weapons that are banned inside the secure zone.

The TSA are not searching your financial / medical records, they are not searching your house, they are searching the physical things you are trying to bring into a relatively tiny secured area.

Re:This is ridiculous. (2)

redeIm (3779401) | about 2 months ago | (#47716887)

I claim the TSA search is "reasonable"

Then you don't exactly belong in 'the land of the free and the home of the brave,' now do you?

The idea that general warrants are unconstitutional, while having government agents search everyone who tries to get on a plane without even so much as a warrant merely because some people criminals/terrorists, is absolutely absurd. No, it's not "reasonable" in any way, shape or form. This issue is black-and-white, and settled. No amount of authoritarian 'logic' will show otherwise.

Re:This is ridiculous. (1)

redeIm (3779401) | about 2 months ago | (#47716899)

But hey, let's just give the government unlimited power. Wow, suddenly it's "reasonable" to search everyone's houses at random, and entire cities are now secured areas! Therefore, it's 100% constitutional.

Re: This is ridiculous. (1)

TheGavster (774657) | about 2 months ago | (#47714619)

What activity would the TSA need to install body scanners at to cross the line for you? The train? Subway? City bus? Terrorists have blown up far more cafes than airplanes, so logically you should need to be scanned to buy coffee. And it wouldn't be an imposition, since you're there voluntarily!

Re: This is ridiculous. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47715287)

Airports...and anywhere else.

Re:This is ridiculous. (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 2 months ago | (#47714713)

Well then allow me to assist you in getting a clue. Suppose government agents surround your house with scanners. At some point you might choose to go to the store. Of course, they didn't violate the 4th amendment. You chose to go to the store. You chose to excercise your right to unfettered travel as guaranteed by the constitution. You chose to be searched!

Re: This is ridiculous. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47714723)

But considering the way Repukians destroyed the Interstate system, we are forced to fly.

Re: This is ridiculous. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47715145)

When I was little, my family used to be able to drive on the Interstate system to Florida. Now, attempting to do that would destroy your car. It's sad how far fifty years off Republican rule has destroyed our infrastructure. All their kind does is take money from us at gun point to put in their own pockets.

Re:This is ridiculous. (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 2 months ago | (#47715195)

I'm not sure voluntarily going on a plane is the government violating your right to privacy.

Be sure.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated

Your houses have privacy, and so do your papers, and so do your effects, and so does your person. You do not need to keep all your things, including your body, in your house to keep your privacy. Traveling is *expected* behavior of people - it does not remove your civil rights.

Well, in theory. The Bill of Rights only says what the Government may do and not do - if it behaves otherwise it's behaving illegally, but so what? Complain and get violated some more. Just don't fool yourself into thinking the Constitution is more than a relic of a long-lost Republic. If you don't care about rule-of-law, then just go about your business and submit to virtual strip searches. Just don't act surprised when a right you do care about is violated.

Re:This is ridiculous. (1)

alen (225700) | about 2 months ago | (#47714825)

we have had metal detectors for years if not decades. this is just a better metal detector

Re:This is ridiculous. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47715175)

The TSA does not stop at metal detectors, and the TSA is a government organizations. The government cannot just search everyone merely because they want to get on a plane.

Don't like it? Fuck off. The constitution won't magically change just because you want it to.

And yet, still no 9/11-2 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47714371)

Even more evidence those things aren't worth the paper they were drafted on. They're garbage, shitcan them already.

Re:And yet, still no 9/11-2 (0)

redeIm (3779401) | about 2 months ago | (#47714433)

Even if they did keep us safe, we should reject them; the TSA is 100% unconstitutional and must be eliminated. Truly free and brave people wouldn't allow this to happen, and yet only some people vote and protest based on their principles.

Re:And yet, still no 9/11-2 (1)

m1ss1ontomars2k4 (1302833) | about 2 months ago | (#47716769)

The implication of your statement is that if these devices _did_ work, we would expect that 9/11-2 would have happened by now. Think about that for a minute.

Belly Fat (2)

maxrate (886773) | about 2 months ago | (#47714397)

What if you have an enormous gut? If it hung over your waste/belt line you could probably fit a small weapon in the fold.

Re:Belly Fat (1)

TWX (665546) | about 2 months ago | (#47714627)

I believe that exact flaw in the tech was demonstrated some years ago.

Belly Fat (1)

ne0n (884282) | about 2 months ago | (#47714653)

As demonstrated here [photobucket.com] using a small dog?
Gary Larsen ahead of his time as usual.

Belly Fat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47714773)

I didnt read the linked article but I'm guessing this is really nothing more then a slap-a-bullshit-story on slashdot. I would guess you need access to the machine in order for it to be "hacked" good luck trying to do that in front of TSA agents, and hidden video cameras.

duh. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47714399)

people are idiots.

all of them.

The x-ray machines are very successful (3, Interesting)

Trailer Trash (60756) | about 2 months ago | (#47714405)

They're successful when you consider that the point was to move tax revenue to crony pockets:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/... [huffingtonpost.com]

Rapiscan (0, Flamebait)

fnj (64210) | about 2 months ago | (#47714417)

Rape-a-scan?

Re:Rapiscan (1)

TWX (665546) | about 2 months ago | (#47714631)

Rapey-scan
Rape-igh-scan

...etc

Re:Rapiscan (0)

danbert8 (1024253) | about 2 months ago | (#47714753)

No, Rapey-scan.

I can just visualize the conference room where they decided the name of the product:

Hey guys, we need to name this unconstitutional search device that shows nude images of disgruntled people who will hate us. Any ideas?

Well we want it to sound fast so they don't blame lines on it... How about "rapid scan".

Hmm, that doesn't sound very awesome... How about "Rapiscan?"

But doesn't that look a bit like it has the word "rape" in it?

No! Get your mind out of the gutter Simmons. No non-pervert would ever pronounce it that way!

Well basically something like this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

hehe (4, Funny)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 2 months ago | (#47714471)

"A clever attacker can smuggle contraband past the machines using surprisingly low-tech techniques."

Please, God, Tell me it's tinfoil... plz plz plz plz

Re:hehe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47714583)

Great finds! They truly are.

It's sad to see that this kind of research is done when they are decommissioned.
There should have been room to do this research prior they went in production.

Re:hehe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47714807)

Yes, but first I think you must fashion it as a hat! Oh no, wait, that's to protect from another type of machine.

Re:hehe (1)

Minwee (522556) | about 2 months ago | (#47715067)

"A clever attacker can smuggle contraband past the machines using surprisingly low-tech techniques."

Please, God, Tell me it's tinfoil... plz plz plz plz

Didn't you ever wonder why every time you go to the store to buy tinfoil, The Government has replaced it with aluminum?

2 years later (1)

s.petry (762400) | about 2 months ago | (#47715715)

Jon Corbett was reporting on this at least 2 years ago. Video here [youtube.com] and articles in numerous locations. If I remember correctly, he was threatened by the DOJ and put on a no fly list for his trouble, in addition to being ignored by MSM.

What devices *don't* have security flaws? (3, Insightful)

RobinH (124750) | about 2 months ago | (#47714561)

At this point nobody's going to be surprised if any device tested has blatant security flaws. The only interesting story would be if someone found a device with no actual flaws. That would be news.

Magic government security tools (1)

swb (14022) | about 2 months ago | (#47714655)

What's worse about this is that the government buys into these security technologies as if they were magic, both financially and from a security perspective, treating them as if they were prima facie proof of guilt/innocence.

Yet at the same time they classify the technologies, prohibiting anyone from gaining any information about them or validating whether they work. The cynic of course knows this is just to hide their failings for political and commercial reasons "to prevent terrorists" from exploiting them.

Re:Magic government security tools (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47714797)

Of course. You see, if another incident happens and it is just because the technology 'failed' - they get to blame the people who sold them the magic lantern. The politician gets re-elected because it 'twernt *their* fault. But if another incident happens and they didn't buy the magic lantern.... the politicians get blamed and not re-elected because they didn't care about safety enough.

Re:What devices *don't* have security flaws? (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about 2 months ago | (#47715937)

At this point nobody's going to be surprised if any device tested has blatant security flaws. The only interesting story would be if someone found a device with no actual flaws. That would be news.

A machine without flaws? No, that just means it wasn't tested well enough.

A truly clever attacker ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47714731)

... would casually stroll across the Mexican border. The low-tech solution.

Theaven't changed the name yet? (0)

gurps_npc (621217) | about 2 months ago | (#47714787)

I mean really, calling your company rapiscan? Do they not care at all about public opinion?

How is that news? (1)

YoungManKlaus (2773165) | about 2 months ago | (#47714919)

I remember people successfully demonstrating tricking those things since they were first released.

Curiosity (1)

pkinetics (549289) | about 2 months ago | (#47715523)

Probably a rhetorical question

Has any technology that was rushed / pushed after 9/11 actually worked as promised?

Or has it been the usual over hyped marketing pitch "We can solve your problems! And even ones you don't even have!"

Re:Curiosity (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about 2 months ago | (#47715967)

Rushing any new technology pretty much makes it a given that it won't work as advertised. This is even more true when the buyer is the government and they are trying to calm fear.

Just an excuse for posting dick pics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47715697)

This is what happens when material scientists get banned from Grindr.

He's surprised... (1)

koan (80826) | about 2 months ago | (#47716107)

That airport security and personnel are one giant joke, but of course not the kind you laugh at or with.

The Inconvenient Truth (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 2 months ago | (#47716731)

The inconvenient truth is that there is no actual way to stop a highly trained and capable team of individuals from weaponizing most things already INSIDE an airplane, and any trained individual could easily construct passable materials that could be easily reassembled on any airplane anyway.

You're doing it wrong.

Get rid of the TSA and stop wasting our time with this farce.

Want to stop terrorism on planes? Drill into passengers that they must throw coats and blankets and jump on all terrorists or they will all die.

That works.

The rest is crap.

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