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Weapons are easily concealed from TSA's X-ray body scanners


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(NaturalNews) The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has been under plentiful scrutiny since installing X-ray scanners back in 2007. These new scanners replaced metal detectors at a cost of more than $1 billion across 160 American airports. The cost is exorbitant, and there is also the worry of radiation. Some individuals opt out, choosing to receive a pat down instead of walking through the X-ray scanner. The majority of Americans, however, have resigned themselves to this newer technology, thinking that this is a small price to pay for improved national security. It's a small inconvenience, but it's improving our safety and making our country more a more secure place to live, right? Not necessarily. It may be time to rethink this security measure.

TSA scanners are easily fooled

A couple of years ago, Jonathan Corbett, made a YouTube video depicting a simple way to sneak metal objects through an X-ray scanner in two different airports. The method is so simple that it makes one wonder if the TSA could really be that oblivious. In the video, Jonathan Corbett states that the TSA "arrogantly decided to disregard our safety: anything to force Americans to give up our liberty to the federal government and our tax dollars to companies that are in bed with that government." New research shows these scanners can be easily fooled in a number of ways.

New studies not only found that Corbett's weapon-hiding strategy worked but also found a number of other ways to easily conceal weapons from the X-ray scanner. The research comes from a team of security researchers from the University of California at San Diego, Johns Hopkins and the University of Michigan. The Rapiscan Secure 1000 scanner was tested in the new research and is the same model as the one that Corbett used in his study. While this model was replaced by millimeter wave scanners last year, they are still in place around the country inside courthouses, jails and other government security checkpoints.

Numerous ways to conceal weapons from scanners

The team used simple methods such as taping a gun to the side of a person's body, sewing a gun into the leg of some pants and taping a folding knife to a person's lower back with a thick layer of teflon tape. They even molded a 200-gram lump of putty, designed to conceal plastic explosives, onto a passengers torso, with the detonator in the passenger's belly button. All three of these methods were successful in easily getting these dangerous devices past the X-ray scanner.

We should question current TSA security tactics

A computer science professor and one of the study's authors, J. Alex Halderman, argues about how poorly the scanners were tested before being installed with a price tag of over $1 billion. Apart from being easily sneaked past with weapons, the machine is susceptible to malware. The team found that malware could be installed and programmed to "selectively replace the scan of any passenger with a fake image if he or she wore a piece of clothing with a certain symbol or QR code." The glaring vulnerabilities in the security system should raise concern in regard to the TSA's claims about it's present security measures. Halderman also states that, while these scanners may stop a naive attacker, anyone with a little bit of intelligence could render these machines useless.

Click here for more articles written by the author, Jeanette Padilla.

Sources:

http://www.popsci.com

http://www.wired.com

http://tsaoutofourpants.wordpress.com

About the author:
Jeanette Padilla is an experienced herbalist, writer, and co-creator of Sunshine Natural Healing. Read more of her work at Sunshine Natural Healing, or follow her on Facebook
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