Since the TSA began rolling out its full-body scanners a few years ago, much has been made about possible safety and invasion of privacy concerns, but one blogger claims the devices are completely ineffective because all you need to do to sneak something past security is to place it along the side of your body.
The blogger’s rationale, captured in detail in the below video, is this:
-When your body is scanned by the device, your person shows up as a light, naked outline on a black background.
-Metallic objects show up as black on the scanner.
-If you place a metal object (knife, gun, box cutter) so that it is along the side of your body, it will appear to be part of the background.
In the video, he shows two test runs at two different airports. Both times he placed a heavy, metal carrying case in a pocket sewn onto the side of his shirt. The blogger says that in both cases he went through full-body scanners — one backscatter, one millimeter wave — without raising an alert.
Of interest to us is that the TSA began rolling out a scanner software upgrade for millimeter wave devices last summer that replaced the naked body image — the white body on a black background — with a basic outline of the passenger.The scanner operator is not looking at an actual picture of the subject but at a diagram that highlights areas where contraband might be located. Thus, his metal case should have shown up as a yellow blob on the screen at the one airport.
Of course, given the not-exactly-cheetah-like speed at which our government sometimes works, it’s possible that this software update had not been installed, and testing of the software for backscatter devices did not begin until this past fall.
Any experts on full-body scanner technology out there? We’d love to hear your opinion on this man’s theory.