Monday, February 7, 2011

The failure of journalists

As I keep up on TSA news, I am finding article after article parroting the TSA's sales pitch on the new scanner software they are testing. I won't link to any, but do a search for yourself and you'll see headlines boasting of the "modest" scanners that "protect passengers' privacy."

Wrong. The millimeter wave scanners are still capable of looking underneath a person's clothes, meaning that a very personal search is being done without a warrant.

I will link, however, to this silly reporting on the TSA's "response" to Drs. Carlson and Kaufman's article from last year:
Nonetheless, the TSA says, “Advanced imaging technology is a proven, highly-effective tool that safely detects both metallic and non-metallic items concealed on the body that could be used to threaten the security of airplanes.”

“TSA employs many layers of security that work collaboratively to form a system that gives us the best chance to detect and disrupt the evolving threats we face,” the agency’s statement says.
Note that the TSA is not saying anything it hasn't said already, and it is also not specifically addressing any of the data or interpretation put forward by the UCSF researchers. Nice try!