FOI At Work: Gizmodo’s TSA Scan Images

Millimeter wave technology
Image via Wikipedia

Amidst the furor surrounding the TSA’s controversial new full-body imaging technology, Gizmodo filed an FOI request for the images saved (perhaps illegally) by the U.S. Marshals..

Here is the story.

Its intro:

A Gizmodo investigation has revealed 100 of the photographs saved by the Gen 2 millimeter wave scanner from Brijot Imaging Systems, Inc., obtained by a FOIA request after it was recently revealed that U.S. Marshals operating the machine in the Orlando, Florida courthouse had improperly-perhaps illegally-saved images of the scans of public servants and private citizens.

We understand that it will be controversial to release these photographs. But identifying features have been eliminated. And fortunately for those who walked through the scanner in Florida last year, this mismanaged machine used the less embarrassing imaging technique.

The interesting part? The “leak” the story references was no leak — it was an FOI request!

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Scanners yield FOI fruit

An example of Airport security.
Image via Wikipedia

It’s official: a full-body security scanner can theoretically store your blurry nude picture. After a Freedom of Information Act request from the advocacy group Electronic Privacy Information Center, the U.S. Marshals Service released 100 of 35,314 stored images taken by a scanner at an Orlando, Florida, courthouse. Though airport security scanners use similar radio wave technology to get a hazy peek under your clothes, whether these scanners can store your image still seems unclear.

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