and Mona Goldwater, Gen X Desk
To no one's real surprise, an underground market for body scan images taken by the TSA has popped up. In fact, the All This Is That editors were able to purchase explicit, nude "backscatter" images of George Clooney, Angelina Jolie, Presidential Candidate Michele Bachmann, Glee's Dianna Agron and Jessica Alba, among others. We purchased these images 50 minutes after we began searching--from an underground, but fairly easily found website, with a room labelled "TSA's Hottest And Greatest Hits." Jack hooked us up with an email reference and we were in.
Jack Brummet, our arts, paranormal, and animal husbandry editor, began this story with a sonic boom and then bugged out. He was off the story (with a bogus excuse about needing to focus on blah blah blah), handed it off to us and hooked us up with his contact in TSA management, who--surprise!--denied everything. You could tell he was lying because he really sucked at it. Jack's contact (a guy just below the top exec, level of the TSA) told him the TSA had discovered that employees were trading high quality TSA screening scans--digitally enhanced photos of celebrities and of "hot" men and women, often in categories like "grotesque" "hot jailbait" "long dong silvers" "great racks" or "belugas." Not long before TSA security swept in, the images began appearing online, and finally, for sale online.
The TSA and other government agencies often tout the quality of "Advanced Imaging Technology" like the Gen 2 millimeter wave scanner from Brijot Imaging Systems, Inc., while assuring customers that their operators "cannot store, print, transmit or save the image, and the image."
what you see in a digitally reversed backscatter body scan
Gizmodo busted them on that set of lies, by requesting (under the Freedom Of Information Act) 100 scans from among the 35,000 federal agents had saved on the scanner that "cannot store. . .or save the image." The images Gizmodo released were less explicit images from the older scanning technology, not the new "backscatter" X-ray technology. The backscatter images leave nothing to the imagination, which is how the trading and then black market for the celebrity and other images emerged.
The TSA, natch, posits that the leaked photos on Gizmodo were fakes. The TSA announced on their blog that the images they look at (but do not save!) look like this (click here to visit the TSA blog):
what the TSA claims you see in a body scan