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Tue, Dec. 21st, 2010, 08:32 pm
High-resolution scanners and the airport perverts.

As we know from comparing instant capture digital sensors to scanning camera backs, scanners usually have much higher resolution. 3D scanners have higher effective resolution yet because they can supersample each pixel. We now have a confirmation that the scanners used by TSA have high enough resolution for a Penthouse centerfold spread and are being used for similar purposes.

This message came in the email a couple of day ago:

Yesterday my 5'2" 140# 38 DD-fiancee had to go through the pervoscan to go to the gate to pick up her daughter. She was stopped and questioned about the T shaped object in her abdomen; the scan was so detailed it showed her IUD-not to mention her unmentionables!
Each part of the "T" of the intrauterine contraceptive device is 3mm thick. In other words, the scanners used by TSA are detailed enough to detect a 1/8" object inside a passengers' genitals -- at which point TSA agents question them about the details of their privates! Seems to me that this is far beyond the most depressing predictions by Orwell or Kafka.

If you have technical details of the scanners used by the TSA, I would like to see it to confirm my guesses as to their capabilities. In the absence of such information, we can make certain assumptions about the potential for misuse. We do know that TSA is lying to us by claiming that their equipment shows little detail and only of the skin surface. 

Wed, Dec. 22nd, 2010 03:03 am (UTC)

That smacks of a hoax.

Wed, Dec. 22nd, 2010 03:05 am (UTC)

It could be a hoax but it does come from someone I consider reputable. "Trust but verify" principle requires an independent confirmation, which is what I am seeking. I am not going to get that info from Baghdad Bob of the TSA blog, but others may be more helpful and trustworthy.
saved image - (Anonymous) - Expand

Wed, Dec. 22nd, 2010 04:13 am (UTC)

Lining my underwear with metal duct tape suddenly seems like the best idea ever.

Thu, Dec. 23rd, 2010 04:53 pm (UTC)


Until the tape comes loose and starts sticking to hair.

Then, nazzomuchagoodidear.

Uh, so I've heard.

Fri, Dec. 24th, 2010 12:16 am (UTC)

I meant on the OUTSIDE, sir. Or should I have said "covering" instead of "lining", in this case?

Wed, Dec. 22nd, 2010 05:43 am (UTC)
Ken Ostos

Thanks for posting Samara's experience Oleg. I would have emailed the full details, but my blackberry has locked me out of my Gmail. This incident took place on 12/19/10 at the Corpus Christi, Texas airport. We were picking up Sam's nine year old daughter from the airport. The child flew from Lawton, Oklahoma to Dallas, Texas, then on to Corpus arriving at 5:06 pm. Sam was instructed to stand on the blue mat and submit to a scan in order to go to the gate to retrieve my soon to be step-daughter. She was not allowed to leave the mat until she explained what the "T" shaped object in her abdomen was. (Mirena for those who really want to know) More interesting and more damning of the pervoscanner operators is that no mention of the titanium rod in her knee was made; the knee surgery was done after a ballroom dancing accident while she was stationed as a military wife in Kaiser Slautern, Germany with her ex-husband. We return the child to the airport at 6 am this Friday; I will let you know if there are any further incidents. PM me on Facebook and I will give you her name so you cab ask her for more details.

Wed, Dec. 22nd, 2010 08:38 pm (UTC)

I'd be interested in talking to Samara about this; I blog for http://iwilloptout.org. As commenters above have pointed out, it should not be possible for these devices to penetrate into the abdominal cavity. However, if the machine is not calibrated correctly and the power levels are higher than advertised, it's certainly possible — this raises additional health concerns as well as challenges to the official statements on the way these devices work.

Wed, Dec. 22nd, 2010 09:25 pm (UTC)

What's damning about that?

A knee pin is pretty obvious, and it's really hard to put something kaboom-y in someone's knee... compared to putting it in The Ladyparts.

Most men, and probably many women, have absolutely no idea what a Mirena IUD *actually looks like*, and "random T-shaped object in the abdomen" is more plausibly a threat indicator (antenna for a detonator, say?) than a pin in the knee is.

(Anon 'cause there's no Google login and I'll be damned if I'm going to look up an OpenID URL for LJ's stupid comment system.)

I mean, it's still pretty ridiculous to get excited about, but not mentioning the reconstructive pin in the knee? Not damning.
antenna - (Anonymous) - Expand

Thu, Dec. 23rd, 2010 04:29 pm (UTC)
Jesse Justiss: TSA let the cat out of the bag?

What is your take on it in hindsight and reflection? Bullying or genuine concern? Personally I would think a week couldn't go by without seeing several IUD's. Training should have taken care of this assuming they saw the pins in her knees.
The images I can find online DO NOT show anything under the skin.
One question I have is where is the detector in relation to the emitter? Is this truly a reflected image?
If I were searching for contraband hidden on or inside as smugglers have done for centuries then I would have a traditional X-ray image to work from.

Thu, Dec. 23rd, 2010 04:02 am (UTC)
(Anonymous): Penetration below the skin

I'm confused. I thought that part of the argument against this type of scan was that it was very intrusive yet did not prevent terrorists from using body cavities to hide bombs, etc?

So, it DOES see beneath the skin? Seeing all the way to the uterus seems to be a pretty powerful xray. Wouldn't that be dangerous to pregnant women, at the least?

Thu, Dec. 23rd, 2010 07:42 am (UTC)
abno: Re: Penetration below the skin

Of course not, all that high powered radiation is for SAFETY!

Thu, Dec. 23rd, 2010 07:49 am (UTC)

Oh, while you're on the subject of those nude-scanners, when I worked as a SatCom/Wideband tech (old AFSC 2E1X1), it was pointed out to us that a majority of the children fathered by people in that job were girls.

Frequent and repeated exposure to RF waves can and does cause reproductive harm.

If you want to follow up on this (or you ...know someone that might), a good place to start would be a Google search string of "electromagnetic jobs offspring gender", sans quotes.

Keep up the good work, sir.

Thu, Dec. 23rd, 2010 12:14 pm (UTC)
(Anonymous): x-ray vs backscatter

There are two formats X-Ray and Backscatter... the xray machines do exactly what the ones in the doctors office do... they x-ray. Both machines emit radiation, the xray machines are being operated by a non-radiation trained worker, do you want to know the truth about your radiation dose? There is a reason why when you get a legitimate x-ray the nurse hides behind a lead shield. The backscatter ray isn't much better, in about 20 years frequent fliers are all going to see a spike in melanoma's and the gov't will say 'we didn't know, but hey you are safe now...

Yes, xrays can see inside you, as well as making a nice picture of all the naked people which is saved to a hard disk and server for training along with the video of the people who are in the scanner, you really think the guy in the machine control room can't see you?

Fri, Dec. 24th, 2010 01:07 am (UTC)

The X-Ray machines are 50 KV medical units that would make excellent clinical machines. They are "backscatter" machines, in that the X-ray beam is rasterized and the reflected energy is metered to provide the final image. Of course, only a small amount of radiation is "scattered," actually reflected, to provide the image. The more intense the beam the more reflection, so the better the image.

So an untrained or careless scanner operator would have a reason to crank the voltage up to improve visibility. And to essentially square the damage done to the operator and to the victim.

In addition, I have been told there is a jumper in the TSA machines to double the anode voltage to 100KV on the X-ray tube, but I do not know that to be the case. I do know of two reported cases of blackened dental X-ray strips that were exposed when they were accidentally left in a side pocket, where the outline blended with the body outline.

Bluntly, I cannot see how the Gropers can be much more than 30% effective with the chosen equipment. They would be much better off with low powered millimeter wave (very low powered radar) machines that actually distort passengers images while showing up "anomalies" in their natural form. And the flying public and the crews would be much better off with the system used in Israeli airports.


While the X-Ray machines are far more dangerous to the operator than the victim, you still do not want to take the equivalent of a full body X-

Fri, Dec. 24th, 2010 03:53 am (UTC)

MMW not without controversy either. I spen a year at temple University, looking for therapeutic effects of MMW. Yes, they has beneficial effects. Indeed, frequency and power should be right.
But, too much of good thing, may be bad, indeed.