An anti-TSA blogger from Miami Beach announced yesterday that he'd defeated the Transportation Security Administration's controversial "nude body scanners" by simply sewing a pocket onto the side of his shirt -- and that he tested his terror-pocket at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
The weakness, he said, is in how the images are displayed -- on the screen, people are light-colored and metal objects show up black. The problem? Black is also the background of the image, so if you're looking at an image of someone from the front and back, metal on the person's sides might not show up.
So, he says, he stuffed a small metal case into a little armpit pocket and walked through a Fort Lauderdale body scanner -- and nobody cared.
"While I carried the metal case empty," he said, "it could have easily been filled with razor blades, explosives, or one of Charlie Sheen's infamous 7-gram rocks of cocaine. With a bigger pocket, perhaps sewn on the inside of the shirt, even a firearm could get through."
A call to the TSA's after-hours media line late Tuesday was returned by duty officer Jon Allen, who said, "I'm not sure this fits into the breaking news category" and directed me to call a Miami TSA contact in the morning.
Jonathan Corbett runs a blog called "TSA Out of Our Pants!
" that appears to have a large following -- his post
had dozens of comments an hour after posting, and the video
had hundreds of views. He appears to take glee in causing a spectacle by flouting well-established security measures he happens to disagree with -- though he knows exactly how it works, for example, he blogged about getting kicked out of Southwest Florida International Airport
last week after refusing to consent to a pat-down. He used the "don't touch my junk" line, and, after what sounds like a very long time to be distracted from actual security threats, a cop booted him.
It's the same scenario that he says went down last August in Fort Lauderdale
-- he opted out of the body scan in favor of a pat-down. The TSA agent explained the pat-down, and Jon basically just said, "Nope, don't touch my balls." He calls it the "double opt-out" -- authorities call it "get the hell out of the airport, moron."
Breaking news -- you have to go through security even if Rand Paul told you it was unconstitutional. This video, however, might effect actual change.
"I'm sure the TSA will accuse me of aiding the terrorists by releasing this video, but it's beyond belief that the terrorists haven't already figured this out and are already plotting to use this against us," he said. "It's also beyond belief that the TSA did not already know everything I just told you and arrogantly decided to disregard our safety."
He noted early Tuesday that he sent an advance copy of his post to authorities.
"The TSA is worse than ineffective," he says in the video. "They are an epic fail placing us all in danger."