How to get ANYTHING through TSA nude body scanners: Blogger exposes loophole in $1billion fleet
Jonathan Corbett claims he could easily smuggle explosives onto a plane
Strip-search scanners banned in Europe over cancer fears
By LEE MORAN
Last updated at 1:09 PM on 7th March 2012
Cracked: Jonathan Corbett’s video shows how he smuggled a metal case through scanners at two airports
Controversial nude body scanners used at U.S. airports have come under fire again – after a blogger claimed he could easily smuggle explosives through them onto a plane.
Engineer Jonathan Corbett has published a video where he shows how he took a small metal case through two of the TSA’s $1billion fleet in a special side pocket stitched into his shirt.
This is because, he suggests, the scanners blend metallic areas into the dark background – so if an object is not directly placed on the body, it will not show up on the scan.
The metallic box, he claims, would have set off an alarm had he passed through the old detecting system.
His revelation comes just weeks after Europe banned the ‘airport strip-searches’ over fears the X-ray technology could cause cancer.
MailOnline has decided not to publish the video because it details exactly how to circumvent the safety procedure – but it is freely available to watch online.
Corbett, standing in his living room as he speaks to the camera in the video for his ‘TSA Out of Our Pants’ blog, acknowledges the technique could be used by terrorists.
But he believes they would already know about the loophole, and took the steps to show ‘how much danger the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is putting all us all in’.
Usual: In this TSA scan the metal items, located on the traveller’s body, can clearly be seen as the body appears against a black background
Contrast: In this image, the metallic object is not directly placed on the body and so does not show up on the scan as it blends into the background
Europe banned the controversial airport ‘strip-search’ scanners last year over fears the X-ray technology could cause cancer.
They emit low radiation doses and the European Union told members in November not to install them until the potential risks are assessed.
The TSA, in contrast, has continually defended their safety, saying they expose passengers to the same radiation as two minutes on a flying plane.
Britain’s Manchester Airport, which has 16 of the $125,000 ‘backscatter’ machines, was told it can continue using them for another year.
But no new machines will be allowed there. They were once used at London Heathrow but scrapped amid complaints over privacy invasion.
They have also been tested in Germany, France, Italy, Finland and Holland but will be completely banned in April if experts rule they are dangerous.
The body scanners were introduced in a security crackdown after incidents such as the attempted ‘underwear bomb’ plot in 2009.
Around 250 X-ray scanners and 264-millimetre-wave scanners are currently used in America’s airports.
Corbett, who is suing the TSA for rolling out the scanners, explained how the loophole worked.
He said: ‘Here are several images produced by TSA nude body scanners. You’ll see that the search victim is drawn with light colours and placed on a black background in both images.
‘In these samples, the individuals are concealing metallic objects that you can see as a black shape on their light figure. Again that’s light figure, black background, and black threat items.
‘Yes that’s right, if you have a metallic object on your side, it will be the same colour as the background and therefore completely invisible to both visual and automated inspection.
‘It can’t possibly be that easy to beat the TSA’s billion dollar fleet of nude body scanners, right? The TSA can’t be that stupid, can they? Unfortunately, they can, and they are.’
He said he put his theory to the test by buying a sewing kit to sew a pocket directly onto the side of his shirt. He then took a metallic case and walked through a backscatter X-ray at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport – all of which he recorded on film.
He said: ‘While I’m not about to win any videography awards for my hidden camera footage, you can watch as I walk through the security line with the metal object in my new side pocket.
‘My camera gets placed on the conveyor belt and goes through its own x-ray, and when it comes out, I’m through, and the object never left my pocket.
‘Maybe a fluke? OK, let’s try again at Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport through one of the TSA’s newest machines: a millimetre wave scanner with automated threat detection built-in.
‘With the metallic object in my side pocket, I enter the security line, my device goes through its own x-ray, I pass through, and exit with the object without any complaints from the TSA.’
He added: ‘While I carried the metal case empty, it could easily have been filled with razor blades, explosives, or one of Charlie Sheen’s infamous seven gram rocks of cocaine.
‘With a bigger pocket, perhaps sewn on the inside of the shirt, even a firearm could get through. ‘
Dangerous? A demonstration of a full body scan (left) and a screen showing the results of the scan (right)
While Corbett’s actions have not been independently verified, and the TSA have not commented on the video, he said it proved the organisation’s ‘disregard for safety’.
He added: ‘Now, I’m sure the TSA will accuse me of aiding the terrorists by releasing this video, but it’s beyond belief that the terrorists haven’t already figured this out and are already plotting to use this against us.
‘It’s also beyond belief that the TSA did not already know everything I just told you, and arrogantly decided to disregard our safety. The nude body scanner program is nothing but a giant fraud.’
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:19 am
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