back to article Feds admit storing pervscanner pics

US Marshals have built a collection of more than 35,000 "virtual strip search" body scans at one Florida courthouse in just six months, despite wider assurances the technology cannot store images, it's been revealed. The service has installed a millimetre wave scanner at a federal court in Orlando to detect concealed weapons …


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  1. Brett Brennan 1
    Big Brother

    This'd fix 'em!

    Force them to store 35,000 images of us old, fat, ugly guys and make them look at all of 'em sequentially. THAT would put them off their feed for a week or so!

    1. Tom 35

      No, some of them

      would like that.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Some of them would like that

        If they are women, and passable, do you have phone numbers?

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Insert Title

    Is anybody in the least bit surprised? Nope? Didn't think so. We all know our governments are run by a bunch of lying *******s, and there is nothing we can do about it. They are the ruling class and get to do what they want, we are the peasants and get to be abused. It really is quite simple, deal with it.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    For what possible use?

    For what possible use? Very blurry images for whacking off to?

    Pervscanner indeed.

    Kind of makes you think of the Jeff Goldblum is watching you poop posters.

    1. Wize

      It might not be somtething that stimulates you...

      ...but there are plenty of perverts that are turned on to things that don't stimulate me. Take children and animals for example.

  4. DI_Wyman

    In the UK...

    ........the Department of Transport recently closed a consultation on a code of practice for using body scanners. It, like the TSA, says the machines will not be capable of storing images.

    Yep and the Met will stop harassing amateur photographers…….Oh look a flying piggy!

    1. Chris 35

      Flying piggy! .....

      with handcuffs :D

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    I don't give a shit if they store images or not. No one is scanning me, my wife or my kids.

    I've said it before, I'll say it again, they can get fucked.

    1. alien anthropologist


      > I don't give a shit if they store images or not. No one is scanning me, my wife or my kids.

      All right then sir.. please proceed to "The Room" while I snap on these gloves... and my colleagues and I poke our fingers up your ass, your wife's ass, and your kids asses....

      Is that what you want as an alternative? Don't be an idiot.

      The issue is about *correctly* using technology to ensure some crazy bastard does not do what crazy bastards tend to do. Yes, it is a balance acting between privacy and individual rights and public safety - but you mouthing off as you are simply reeks of stupid arrogance and utter ignorance.

      1. Wize

        @ Alien

        But at least no one is filming when the gloves are on. There won't be pictures of his family doing glove puppet impressions going round the net.

        Besides, the scanner doesn't go 'up your ass'. One of the points regularly made is a terrorist could have a stick of dynamite up their bum and you'd only have the fuse wire as a clue on the scanner.

        You have a cheek to call anyone else an idiot.

    2. It wasnt me

      Oh really ?

      Enjoy butlins while you can then.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    well what a surprise

    "not capable of storing images" actually means "we store the images".

    You'd have to be desperately naive not to have suspected that form the off. And you're certainly an idiot if you believe that a machine built in the information age can't store information.

    I wonder how people would have reacted if Henry Ford had said "yes my cars burn fossil fuels but they are not capable of producing any kind of emissions". No one would have believed it.

    Tell a similar lie today on the other hand and people are far too stupid, lazy or just plain apathetic to call you out on it. Yet test scores go up year on year. Everyone is getting smarter. A new race of super-geniuses are only just around the corner if the stats are to be believed.

    How do you reconcile these facts?

    1. Radelix


      You see that is a measure of intelligence vs commom sense. Unfortunately they are not directly proportional

      1. I didn't do IT.

        Re: Reconciliation of test scores

        Simples. Reduce the tests to 50% being the correct name on the test front (even if it is misspelled), and scores go through the roof no matter how much drool gets on the sheet...

    2. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      How do you reconcile these facts?

      How do you reconcile these facts?

      Easy - with statistics. They never lie.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @How do you reconcile these facts?

      They are afraid to stand up to perceived authority figures. This has always been the case, although certain periods have been a teensy bit more promising (basically the '60s and the '70s). In the '80s youth was once more brought mostly back under control and has been too self-absorbed ever since. Yes you could characterise that as stupidity, laziness, apathy, but it still reduces to a smokescreen for blind obedience.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        Not necessarily blind obedience.

        Peaceful protests, writing to newspapers, writing to MPs. All of these have been reduced to a useless, easily ignored nuisance. Vote the old lot out and have them replaced by a slightly different instantiation of the problem. Not a solution.

        So what is the other option? Violent rebellious protest of the type the commenters on this board pine for merely ruins one's future. If I'm going to get CRB checked for almost every job I apply for I'm sure as hell not risking a smudge on that just to have the protest ignored.

        You want the smarter, more involved, youths to throw away their future just so that you can preserve privacy? Sod off. This is the paranoid, terrified mess that the generation above us has created. And I'm not risking my future to save you from yours.

  7. ratfox

    Funny how this keep happening

    Google street, and now this...

    Though in this case, they can at least plead incompetence and clicking the wrong option. Google would have more problems.

  8. Edwin

    Ho hum

    I see thumbnails of hi-res imagery on every page and poster on this topic, but a quick scroll through the 100 images EPIC got suggests that if you get off on these pics, there's something seriously wrong with your vision.

    I'm not defending lying guvmint types, but is this really such a big deal?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Big Brother


      >>I'm not defending lying guvmint types, but is this really such a big deal?

      Yes. Which part of lying government did you miss?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You just said it

      Lying from government types should be reason enough to get them sacked and blackballed. And I don't mean just the goons on the ground. Every clerk, every plod, every politician, has a function serving the public, and the least we could expect from them is a modicum of integrity.

      As to your judgement on others' "vision", well, I call rule 34 and that's all the troll wrote.

    3. David 105
      Big Brother

      you've missed the point somewhat

      I don't think anyones overly concerned about randy airport staff whacking off to grainy, ghostly images of the people who walk through the airport scanner (lets be honest, if they were going to, their imagination would work just fine for that), what I'm concerned about is the fact that privacy concerns were dismissed with the now obvious fallacy that the scanners couldn't record any images. With that in mind, what other comforting lies have we been told about surveilance equipment that we haven't found out yet?

      That's my concern, and I think it is a big deal

  9. Aaron Em

    well that didn't take long

    Of course we all knew it was a lie from the start, but I figured it'd be at least a little while longer before that became obvious to everyone...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      It still won't be to, eg, my sister and all her friends and colleagues. A year from now and she'll not have seen the story, ie looked away, switched over, turned the page, failed to register.

      Or by 'everyone' do you mean Reg commentards? In which case my bad!

  10. CADmonkey


    ...a lot of cock

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "What a lot of cock"

      That's what SHE said.

      1. DrunkenMessiah
        Paris Hilton

        That's what...

        ...the machine operator said.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    It, like the TSA, says the machines will not be capable of storing images. ®


    That is all.

  12. JaitcH

    It's not the fact that governments consistently lie ...

    but what in earth do they want with disembodied images that cannot easily be linked to live bodies and serve no apparent purpose?

    The only reason they are able to do this because storage is so cheap.

    Maybe we should claim copyright infringement after all our body image is our property.

    Another answer might be to have a persons national flag embroidered on the underwear in the genitalia area(s) using metallic thread which should prove impervious to these government perverts.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Assurance == govspeak for "We're bullshitting you"


    Yes, it's a big deal, people were "assured" that images would not be stored, and they have been. So yes it's a big deal.

    1. Tom 35
      Thumb Down

      Ass urances

      "Yes, it's a big deal, people were "assured" that images would not be stored, and they have been. So yes it's a big deal."

      It's worse then that. They didn't just say "we will not do it" knowing no one would trust them not to.

      They claimed that they were "not capable of storing images" so even if you don't trust them it's ok because they can't do it.

      So they can't say we didn't lie, we had to change our mind because of... Think of the Children... oh wait that didn't sound so good, terrorists... yes that's it terrorists made us do it.

      They said that they were "not capable of storing images" and that was clearly a big fat whopping lie.

    2. Edwin

      Missing the point

      As I said in my original post, I'm not defending lying. But perhaps I was a little unclear.

      When i look at the media coverage (including El Reg here) it's about banning the machines (perv scanners? puh-lease!) because they store nude pics of pax. Which, as far as I can see, is patently not true. They store vague, low-res grainy images.

      Let's try to focus on the lying, and not on the tech please.

      1. DrunkenMessiah


        How about focusing on the blatant disregard for a person's right to privacy?

  14. James 47

    The point isn't blurry pictures

    but the fact the authorities were not believed from the start and this has proven to be correct. What is a government agency doing lying to its citizens? Stupidly lying?

    Besides, could these images not be classified as 'Extreme Porn'? People get off on a lot of weird shit. The Government continually reminds us that there are paedos out there we need protecting from, yet breaks its own rules when its in its own interest.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ***SOON!*** Coming to an internet near you...


    "I iz in ur aerport, assaultin' ur retinaz". etc.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    who is the person to be on the sex offender list

    so the name of the minister responsible for this fiasco should be on the sex offender list

  17. Paul Smith
    Big Brother

    is this really such a big deal?

    So if the images are too blurry to whack off too so we should not be upset? Hmm... If someone want's to enjoy themselves looking at a blurry image of me, why should I care. Even if the images were much sharper then the ones we have seen, it still doesn't bother me.

    If a public official wants to take a picture of me for clear public safety reasons and catagorically states that the picture can not be stored, and that checks and safeguards have been put in place to ensure that my trust is not abused, then I will reluctently give my consent.

    If that public official turns out to have been lying through there teeth about not storing the image, then I have to assume that they were also lying about the uses that image will be put to. And while I do not know what they have in mind, I do not think I am being paranoid in assuming it is something I am not going to like, otherwise why risk lying.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I'm going to take a bunch of pork sausages and carve them to look like additional penises. That way when I walk through it should look like I have a multitude of sexual organs.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      A nice idea

      However, it could cause problems with the Customs officials if you're carrying meat products on you through an airport.

      It's something to do with foot and mouth/other animal diseases.

  19. Maty

    It's against terror and for the kiddies

    Can't you people get that?

    If having her body image scanned and preserved for later study by some pervo keeps just one kid safe - then it's worth it!

    er ..., that is ... um ...

    1. John G Imrie

      I'm glad

      I got to the end of your post before hitting the reply button.

      Just think of my blood pressure <g>

  20. tom 24


    They said the machines can not store images, therefore they can't, therefore this is just an attempt to slander the TSA's good name!

    Anyway, if they are storing naked images (which may be blurry today, but advancements in technology will certainly improve them, so the precedent is important here) it's in a good cause. As Dr. Necessiter said, "If the murder of twelve innocent people can help save one human life, it will have been worth it." The end always justifies the suspension of any inconvenient human rights.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Do I care?

    Speaking as an overweight, unattractive, middle-aged male I'd be absolutely delighted if some degenerate were stroking off over a picture of my flabby arse. More power to you Sir, I say.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Will you stand in for me at the airport?

      Oh, and lend me your passport too please. I haven't quite yet mastered boarding without a passport before clumsily setting my pants on fire.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I suppose

        if one is trumping like Nellie the Elephant while boarding they stop you? In which case drinking a gallon of cabbage water and eating a multipack of baked beans before setting out wouldn't be much help.

        Unless you go with United and book the flight _before_ the one you want to light that fart on...

  22. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    How long

    before it turns out someone has been flogging these pics to the health insurance industry, or gymnasium telemarketing scum?

    Naturally linked to your passport ID, name, age, telephone number, address, and biometrics for good measure. Oh and travel history too.

    In fact, given the risk of death by terrorism is currently so minuscule it is on a par with a fatal lightning strike... and the 'monetization' of personal data so attractive to corrupt civil servants and politicians... one could be forgiven for thinking it was the whole purpose from the outset.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters


    <-- cuz the black choppers really are here.

    "We do not store images of your body scans"

    ... you mean, like:

    "We do not torture people"

    "We do not spy on US civilians"

    "We do not shoot at innocent civilians"

    "There are WMDs!"

    "Secret detention centers? What secret detention centers?"

    "Secret human experiments? What secret human experiments?"






    ( ^ anyone remember this bbc doc? made virtually NO news in the US back in 2005)


    "Vote for change"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      While not entirely unfamiliar with the subject, just reading the wikipedia page I genuinely felt nauseous. Kind of like the first time I saw footage of the liberation of the concentration camps that as a young adult changed my life forever as the complacency was savagely beaten out of me.

  24. JMB

    Perv scanner

    It's obvious that they are going to store images whatever assurances they give. If someone gets on a plane with a "device" then they are going to want to be able to retrieve the image to see why they did not spot it.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      ffs think before you post

      the pervscanners don't link images to identities and boarding passes. at least not yet. so far all these do is maybe let a minimum wage security goon know if you've got a nuclear bomb or an uzi stuffed up your arse.

      even if the pervscanners did match images to an individual, this isn't likely to be much use at working out how a suicide bomber managed to hide their bomb at the security checkpoint. assuming the bomber did that. what if they collected their bombs and weapons *after* that check? or swapped boarding passes and/or bombs with someone inside the terminal? maybe the bomb was already on the plane?

      checking after the fact will only work if everyone carrying a bomb goes through the pervscanner. that doesn't happen. yet. this will also be hard to do at any airport which handles connecting flights. lots of these don't check transit passengers who are already air-side and were checked at their departure airport: eg connecting at lhr from a domestic flight. and even if everyone does go through the pervscanners, terrorists will just change tactics and find another way to blow up a plane.

  25. Argus Tuft

    won't someone think of the children

    wonder how many tour groups of school kids have gone through that court?

  26. Anonymous Coward

    WAKE UP!

    What the hell? Did anyone with even an ounce of sense believe these lying scum from the beginning? No, course not! Most people here have an IQ in excess of their show size at the very least, so we won't get fooled.

    The problem is with the other 85% of the apathetic voters who still think Santa is real, the ToothFairy visits little kids and their pension is safe. Those people are the real danger as they blunder through life believing all the "Gubmint" double-speak, the BS and lies. These are the one the governments love. These are the dopey sods that keep ministers stealing, yes expenses are stealing in my book, from the public purse to pay for Wacky J's bongo-flicks!

    Trying not to get all geeky and Slashdot, but these sorts of stories always reminds me of the end of the film, The Matrix. Neo emerges from the phonebox and the dulcet tones of RATM's "Wake Up" rises to a crescendo.

    Need to lie down for a in my tin-foil covered room, keeping one eye open of course...

  27. Magnus_Pym

    How long before...

    ... perv scanner pictures of 'celebrities' start making the rounds?

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Typical lying government orgs

    they have no right to use these technologies and definately no right to lie about what is done with the images.

    Filthy, dirty, perverts .

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    UK and USA

    are Governed by LIARS, we know that much. The thing is what ,if anything, is anyone going to do about it ?. Nothing as usual I guess. Apathy rules.

    1. CD001


      People will get pissy and vote blue instead of red without realising the utter futility of doing so. The days of direct action/civil disobedience ended almost 30 years ago.

  30. Winkypop Silver badge

    No big deal...

    ...I'm off to check out

  31. Martin.Hale
    Black Helicopters

    Eerily Prescient

    Maybe that Orwell chap was on to something.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why the big deal ?

    Everyone KNEW that they were either grossly mistaken or lying.

    It is now endemic that government spokespersons lie through their teeth.

    If one ever got caught telling the truth he/she would probably be shot for treason.

    Quite simply:the images were always going to be stored, if only for evidential reasons.

    Next: The body-cavity scanner.

    Bend-over and think of England/USA/Canada/etc......

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Trains good, 'planes bad?

    Surely these scanners are against human rights laws?

    Specifically forces of authority are not allowed to subject humans to degrading acts... having to walk through, what is in essence, a technological strip search qualifies as a degrading act, not to mention an intrusion into your privacy.

    While you may not be technically removing any clothing, the application of technology is doing this in effect and yet this is supposed to be perfectly fine?

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    until they arrive at the entrance to the shopping mall..............

    After all, when was the last time you noticed that a private security "guard" had the intelligence of a deceased rabbit ?

    Loads of them get sacked every year for "inappropriate" use of the equipment....two got jailed not long ago for using the cctv to spy on a woman in her flat....

  35. Anonymous Coward


    Has anybody filed a FOIA request for the images?

  36. M. B.

    I wonder if...

    ...a request to release the photos under the Freedom of Information Act would be approved.

  37. Anonymous Coward

    Wires crossed

    All the people mentioning that the authorities are lying, you have no idea whether or not the US marshalls stated the same as the TSA, yet you all tie the quote to both.

    I'm sure some will then jump in saying it means that the TSA ones must be capping pictures as well, I can't remember reading that they are using the same equipment either. Alot of assumptions going on in here I feel.

  38. Captain Thyratron

    Hey, all this TSA stuff is great.

    It might teach more people to start keeping an eye on their government.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    new law required

    "Misleading the public while public office", without the caveat of "knowingly" as if people were forced to stand behind what they say they would damn well make sure they were correct or if not they would be more honest in how they said it e.g. "we think iraq may have wmds to fire at us in 45 minutes, but we really are not very sure and have no evidence for it".


    "We're been told by the PR people that these scanners do not store images, but based an IT expert's advice we should tell you that they might be able to and in fact they probably do."

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    market opertunety

    think of all the profit you can gain from selling these images with the contact info; sort them on sex, age, weight ect so.

    You could even charge more for images of underage females for example.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    me too

    Allow me to join the chorus of those deprecating the lying bastards in government

  42. Bernard M. Orwell
    Big Brother

    FOIA vs DPAR

    Folks, the airport is not a 'public body'; ie, it's not run the government, and is therefore not subject to Freedom of Information Access requests.

    Instead, you need to look at the Data Protection Act and issue a "Data Protectection Access Request" against the private company.

    They are entitled to charge you a fee of up to £10, but they MUST comply with your request within a fixed period (28 days I believe). The only other choice they have is to destroy all such data and then state that they have "no records matching the request."

    However, whilst they have a legally binding duty to provide all records associated or identifiable with your name or person, the bottom line is that these "Rapiscan" systems (allegedly) don't link your boarding pass/passport/tickets with any image from the scanner.

    Still, such a request should prove the point one way or the other... shouldn't it? Make sure when lodging your DPAR that you specifically request "all identifiable images taken by CCTV or any other electronic system".

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