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Security Transportation

Researchers Find Security Flaws In Backscatter X-ray Scanners 146

Posted by Soulskill
from the raise-your-hand-if-you're-surprised dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Researchers from UC San Diego, University of Michigan, and Johns Hopkins say they've found security vulnerabilities in full-body backscatter X-ray machines deployed to U.S. airports between 2009 and 2013. In lab tests, the researchers were able to conceal firearms and plastic explosive simulants from the Rapiscan Secure 1000 scanner, plus modify the scanner software so it presents an "all-clear" image to the operator even when contraband was detected. "Frankly, we were shocked by what we found," said lead researcher J. Alex Halderman. "A clever attacker can smuggle contraband past the machines using surprisingly low-tech techniques."
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Researchers Find Security Flaws In Backscatter X-ray Scanners

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  • and yet (Score:4, Informative)

    by halfEvilTech (1171369) on Wednesday August 20, 2014 @01:59PM (#47714363)

    Nothing will change most likely.

  • by NatasRevol (731260) on Wednesday August 20, 2014 @02:04PM (#47714425) Journal

    I'm not sure voluntarily going on a plane is the government violating your right to privacy.

  • by redeIm (3779401) on Wednesday August 20, 2014 @02:11PM (#47714501) Homepage

    I'm not sure voluntarily living in a certain city is the government violating your right to privacy.

    Using this ridiculous, draconian logic of "You voluntarily decided to do X, so you implicitly surrendered right Y to the government." is just stupid. The government has no power to make you implicitly surrender your constitutional liberties merely because you wish to do something. Of course, people who want the government to have unlimited power and to be able to violate your liberties whenever they please would disagree.

  • by TWX (665546) on Wednesday August 20, 2014 @02:20PM (#47714579)
    Unfortunately for your position, the courts have always provided interpretation to the Constitution, and many instances of limits on the defined words of the Constitution are found in law.

    If you want to get all strict-constructionist on this matter though, planes, cars, buses, and rail didn't even exist when the Constitution was written, so one could argue that there's no Constitutional protection when travelling by anything beyond horseback, carriage, or walking.

    Then there's the other side, where airlines were allowed to be in charge of their own security, letting "the market" set the balance, but then nineteen men decided to kill about 3500 men, women, and children one day, and our society realized that it wasn't gonna work to let the airlines be in charge of security.
  • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Wednesday August 20, 2014 @03:29PM (#47715275) Homepage Journal

    If you want to get all strict-constructionist on this matter though, planes, cars, buses, and rail didn't even exist when the Constitution was written, so one could argue that there's no Constitutional protection when travelling by anything beyond horseback, carriage, or walking.

    No you cannot argue that. The Constitution says nothing about technology and everything about how humans behave.

    Then there's the other side, where airlines were allowed to be in charge of their own security, letting "the market" set the balance, but then nineteen men decided to kill about 3500 men, women, and children one day, and our society realized that it wasn't gonna work to let the airlines be in charge of security.

    That strategy ceased to be effective at 9:03AM on 9/11/2001 over a field in Shanksville, PA. And you know who figured that out? Ordinary Americans, doing the security calculus themselves, where the government had completely failed to protect them, despite having many opportunities to do so.

    To be double-sure the airlines all secured their cockpit doors. That risk no longer exists, which is why the TSA has never caught a terrorist. They do violate the human rights of Americans all day, every day. In an effort to stop the terrorists, they have become the terrorists, all because they consciously choose to violate the highest law of the land.

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