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Appeals Court Caves To TSA Over Nude Body Scanners 169

Posted by timothy
from the privilege-of-free-movement-and-assembly dept.
OverTheGeicoE writes "The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) recently filed a petition to force the Department of Homeland Security to start its public comment period on body scanners within 60 days or stop using them entirely. The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has issued its ruling (PDF), and has refused EPIC's petition. DHS told the court earlier that it expected to have a formal rule proposal on body scanners by the end of February, so the court denied EPIC's motion on the expectation that public comment period would start by late March. TFA and this submission have a pessimistic headline on this ruling, but other sources seem to think the glass is half-full, and that EPIC in effect got what it wanted. Is this a victory or a defeat? Will the rulemaking process start on time, or will a TSA dog eat the proposed rule in late March and force further delay?"
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Appeals Court Caves To TSA Over Nude Body Scanners

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  • Sounds like defeat (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @01:52PM (#41466433)

    If it means we still have the TSA and their nudie scanners then we all lose, whether we realize it or not.

    • by arth1 (260657) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @02:00PM (#41466561) Homepage Journal

      Yes, we'll all lose, but the problem isn't nudity.
      The problem is that the TSA acts as an extended arm of the DHS, and as such are constitutionally bound to the 4th amendment.
      The border search exception does not apply to domestic flights, and the constitution always trumps federal law in the view of the Supreme Court, should there be discrepancies.

      • by isorox (205688) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @03:00PM (#41467261) Homepage Journal

        the constitution always trumps federal law in the view of the Supreme Court, should there be discrepancies.

        Aren't you being a little naive?

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          I think he/she meant "the constitution is SUPPOSED to trump federal law...."

          The reality of the situation is different, as we know.

      • by Hatta (162192)

        Unfortunately, the SCOTUS trumps the Constituion whenever they feel like it.

      • by BlueStrat (756137)

        Yes, we'll all lose, but the problem isn't nudity.
        The problem is that the TSA acts as an extended arm of the DHS, and as such are constitutionally bound to the 4th amendment.
        The border search exception does not apply to domestic flights, and the constitution always trumps federal law in the view of the Supreme Court, should there be discrepancies.

        Except that the SC doesn't always "get it right".

        Like the Kelo case as the most recent example.

        They just shift the interpretation slightly, and suddenly there's a whole new paradigm to the law.

        Strat

  • by mumblestheclown (569987) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @01:55PM (#41466485)

    Impartial: "Appeals Court Rules that..."
    Slashdot: "Appeals Court Caves To TSA Over Nude Body Scanners"

    I have no dog in this fight, but the idea that some court "caved" to an agency rather than ruling on the merits of the case based on their particular principled and reasoned views (which you or I might not happen to personally like or agree with) sounds like conspiracybabble that should have no place on slashdot.

  • by ohnocitizen (1951674) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @01:59PM (#41466541)
    Is there an updated list of the airports that use the scanners, so we can avoid giving them our business?
    • by Githaron (2462596)
      Do the airports have any choice in the matter?
      • I don't know, nor do I care. I want to put economic pressure on the airports and airlines. I already avoid air travel as much as possible. When I absolutely have to fly, knowing which airports have the scanners (and therefore the molestation-pat-down searches for people who refuse to go through them) would help me decide how to plan my business travel.
        • by Githaron (2462596)
          How can you avoid an airport if you have to travel for business? Everywhere you go and come from has multiple airports?
          • Take the bus or the train. If you travel to the DC area, and know one airport (Dulles) has scanners, maybe find out if BWI or DCA doesn't. Maybe you fly for part of your journey, and take the train or rent a car for the last leg. I've flown to Charlotte, NC, and driven to SC for business.
        • by Talderas (1212466)

          So let's say you live in Chicago and have business in Miami. Let's also say that Miami has scanners while Chicago doesn't. How are you going to plan your business? Fly to Miami from Chicago then rent a car and drive back?

    • Is there an updated list of the airports that use the scanners, so we can avoid giving them our business?

      Here I have the set of airports that do not have the body scanners:

      { }

      Opt out if they concern you, just get there 30 min early (just in case, it usually doesn't take that long).

      If your goal is really economic pressure that is the way to pressure them, travel normally but do not use the scanners and if enough people do so the use of them is economically impractical. I hope to see them vanish within five

  • Bad Track Record (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Githaron (2462596) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @01:59PM (#41466547)
    What happens when the TSA does not turn in their formal report in February?
    • by kiriath (2670145) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @02:07PM (#41466643)

      It'll get moved back to the February after... duh...

    • by arth1 (260657) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @02:16PM (#41466747) Homepage Journal

      What happens when the TSA does not turn in their formal report in February?

      Why, the DoJ Inspector General police force will promptly confiscate all scanners, and the DHS Inspector General will take authority over the TSA during senate investigations of the TSA overstepping their authorities.

      • by Githaron (2462596)
        According to TFA, by the time February comes around, 19 months would have passed since the court order. So far, there has been little bark and no bite.
    • by Baloroth (2370816)

      What happens when the TSA does not turn in their formal report in February?

      They'll get a very stern talking to and told they "better not do it again, and I mean it this time!" while getting a few more (b/m)illions from Congress to funnel towards some congressman's drinking buddy. So, same as always happens.

  • by jd659 (2730387) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @02:04PM (#41466607)
    The problem is not the specific ruling, but rather the media’s brainwashing of population that body scanners somehow increase the security. Most people do not know that you can opt out of body scanners and the general thinking now became that the scanners are good.

    I fly about three times a week and I have never gone through a body scanner. A little known fact is that once more people opt out of body scanners, the security lines grow quickly and the scanners get closed in favor of faster metal detectors. As long as the people are OK with body scanners at the airport, there’s very little that can be done in a court.
    • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @02:21PM (#41466811)
      Not sure the media is "brainwashing" people into accepting them so much as "Most people have accepted them and none of the media really cares to beat a dead horse, they'd rather focus on which politician said which soundbite, because that's what people pay attention to."

      It's not a conspiracy, it's just apathy.
      • by garcia (6573) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @03:11PM (#41467401) Homepage

        I was out in Orlando for work in April and LA in May. At MSP (my home airport) and MCO we had a choice in scanner methods, in LA we didn't. I refused to use the scanner, instead opting for the manual pat down.

        At MCO I was through the "traditional" scanner method quickly, 10 minutes faster than my coworkers who got their chromosomes scrambled. In LA, I was 30 seconds behind my coworker.

        It's not fucking worth it to use the scanners. IMO we should all be opting out and forcing the TSA to work harder to get the job done. If people stood up against the intrusion it would be far more effective than the courts telling them to do X and them ignoring it.

        They can't as easily ignore an airport full of VERY angry passengers waiting in long lines to do it the "hard" way.

        • by jd659 (2730387) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @03:44PM (#41468073)
          The opt out process is not bad at all in the US. I always do that. The airport in Amsterdam may get nasty, I had to spend five minutes to explain that I do not want to go through a body scanner (I was the only one opting out).

          Regardless of that, every time I go through security I have my video cameras ready along with the printouts from TSA site authorizing the use of video equipment:
          http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/taking_pictures.shtm [tsa.gov]

          I take it as my civil duty to record any irregularities.
          • by Kittenman (971447)

            Regardless of that, every time I go through security I have my video cameras ready along with the printouts from TSA site authorizing the use of video equipment: .

            Ha. Whenever I fly to the States I always take along nude photos of my body to save them scanning me or patting me down. Saves me no end of troubles of that kind.

    • same here. (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I opt out too.

      And, when it was in the news that the TSA were looking for people who act "suspiciously" - like avoiding eye contact - I started going out of my way to make eye contact - I stare them down until THEY turn their heads. I do the same to cops.

      I go in with the attitude of "go ahead fuck with me" because you fuckers step one toe out of line, we're on the 5 O'clock news and internet with a headline along the lines of "TSA fucks over yet another innocent traveler with their stupidity".

      And I'd like

  • by Maximum Prophet (716608) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @02:18PM (#41466771)

    Will the rulemaking process start on time, or will a TSA dog eat the proposed rule in late March and force further delay?"

    For the answer to this, just ask if there is any penalty to any decision maker at the TSA sufficient to motivate them? If so, it will start on time. If not...

    • by mr1911 (1942298)

      For the answer to this, just ask if there is any penalty to any decision maker at the TSA sufficient to motivate them?

      Considering the government is shielding the AG who illegally ran guns in to Mexico and was found in concept of Congress but his minions at the DOJ refused to do their duty and prosecute, it is certain no one in the TSA will receive so much as a harsh word if the current administration remains after November.

      If the administration changes in November, there is still little hope of the TSA being reigned in. Your freedoms do not bear weight in the agenda of politicians

  • In MARCH!!!!

  • by JestersGrind (2549938) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @02:34PM (#41466971)
    As a result, the group is changing their name to Electronic Privacy Information Center, For All Is Lost.
  • Civics: What a joke (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wcrowe (94389) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @03:03PM (#41467321)

    I wish I could sue my old high school for wasting my time with civics class. It was there I was taught that we had three branches of government, and that part of the job for each branch was to keep an eye on the other two branches in a system of "checks and balances". Clearly this was just a lot of sentimental BS.

    • by steelfood (895457)

      Instead, you should read up about J. Edgar Hoover and how he controlled the entire U.S. government by using the FBI to wiretap everybody who was anybody and then blackmailing them with the dirt he found.

      I smell a similar thing with Chertoff and DHS, only instead of covering up indiscretions, he wants money.

  • Sample survey (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jd659 (2730387) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @03:14PM (#41467431)
    Public opinion gathering? Huh? Here’s a survey:

    "Would you jeopardize the lives of our children and the American citizens by asking us to remove Advanced Imaging Technology scanners from the airport?”

    [NO! I want to keep people safe] [yes, allow terrorists blow up the planes]
    • What about foreigners who used to fly to the US multiple times per year, and have instead decided to spend their money elsewhere?

  • One arm of government decides in favour of another.

A CONS is an object which cares. -- Bernie Greenberg.

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