An investigation into the actions of TSA staff has uncovered a series of complaints from self-described “semi-attractive” female travelers who claim they were targeted for scanning based on their figures, and not on the likelihood of them being terrorists.
CBS News investigated formal complaints to Texas authorities made by passengers traveling through Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport and Love Field – an airport named not for possible TSA shenanigans, but for early US aviator Lt. Moss Lee Love – and found a pattern of accusations that they were being selected for the full nude scan treatment based on looks alone.
“The screener appeared to enjoy the process of picking someone rather than doing true 'random screening',” said one of the 500 complaints about the TSA’s conduct. "I felt this was inappropriate. A woman behind me was also ‘randomly' selected."
One complainant, attractive blonde housewife Ellen Terrell, said that she’d been forced to go through the scanner three times after the operators claimed that the first two attempts were unreadable due to poor image quality. She claimed the female TSA screener became annoyed at the repeated requests for more scans, eventually waving Hill thorough security in spite of another request for her to bare all for the boys in the scanner room again.
"She’s talking into her microphone and she says, 'Guys, it is not blurry, I’m letting her go'," Terrell said. "I feel like I was totally exposed. They wanted a nice good look.”
When it comes to personal searches, TSA rules insist that only members of the same sex may search passengers, but this rule does not apply to operators of the infamous nude scanners. Based on this hack’s experience at the Secure 1000 units used at Heathrow, the images the millimeter wave scanners produce may well have produced images of interest to the horny-handed sons of toil at the TSA.
The TSA has said that it has since upgraded the software used in the scanners so that it only displays stick figures and just highlights potentially dangerous objects rather than bodily features. It has said it is looking into specific cases where abuse may have taken place.
“All of our millimeter wave technology units including those in Dallas have been upgraded with additional privacy enhancements that no longer display passenger-specific images," the TSA told the station in a statement. "To further ensure passenger privacy and anonymity, a privacy filter was applied to blur all images." ®