This blog will focus on political images I have found all around the Internet, though I will intersperse some commentary and quotes that I find interesting.
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Department of Homeland Security sued for storing full body scanner images
* November 6th, 2010 2:10 am PT
We’ve all been told that the whole body scanners are being implemented for our own good. We’ve been assured that our misapprehensions were unfounded. Body scanners penetrate clothing to provide a highly detailed image so accurate that it has been likened it to a virtual strip search. Technologies vary, with millimeter wave systems capturing fuzzier images, and backscatter X-ray machines able to show precise anatomical detail.
During Department of Homeland Security hearings, Janet Napolitano assured the Congress (and this writer who was present at the hearing) that all images collected by the full body scanners are not stored, cannot be stored and are discarded as soon as they're viewed. Just last summer the Transportation Security Administration claimed that "scanned images cannot be stored or recorded." Privacy advocates (including yours truly) cried foul. Turns out, they were right. Yet again we’ve been lied to by the government. Of course, as usual, the official take is that we were bamboozled for our own good.
Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the United States Marshals Service to obtain information about the agency's use of full body scanners for courthouse security. EPIC pursued the case in federal court, EPIC v. Department of Justice, Case No. 10-1157.
EPIC lawsuit against the Department of Justice
In the course of that litigation, EPIC has obtained an admission by the agency that a single machine has stored "approximately 35,314 images" of the full body scans of courthouse visitors over a six month period. It turns out that the U.S. Marshals Service had surreptitiously saved tens of thousands of images recorded with a millimeter wave system at the security checkpoint of a single Florida courthouse. EPIC also obtained a representative sample of the images stored by the devices.