Security Goes Down Under

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Private aviation is looking better all the time, especially for those who like to travel in comfortable clothes. Separate reports from different parts of the country suggest the TSA is ready to get down and dirty in the name of security and is conducting full-contact pat-downs of passengers' genitals and buttocks. Owen JJ Stone, a radio personality known as Ohdoctah, appeared on the Alex Jones talk show in Austin, Texas, Tuesday and said a TSA airport screener put his hand inside his sweat pants and ran it around the full circumference of his body, pausing at everything along the way. Meanwhile, in Orlando, a Missouri man wearing shorts had a similar experience. Stone said he was told it was a new rule that applied to those wearing baggy clothing. At many airports, the alternative is a full body scan, which is supposed to take a "for their eyes only" peek under the clothing of those who get the extra security treatment. Well, apparently some of those machines have hard drives that will save at least 35,000 images, as recent visitors to the federal courthouse in Orlando are discovering.

For whatever reason, U.S. Marshals saved the images, and they were available to Gizmodo via a freedom of information request. The images are remarkably low-resolution but they were nevertheless retained despite assurances by security officials that there is no way for the machines to store or transmit the pictures and that they are deleted as soon as the subject has been cleared.

Related Content: Click to listen to AVweb's podcast interview with an ExpressJet Airlines pilot whose decision to opt out of the screening may cost him his job.