Professional Troublemaker ®

 Jonathan Corbett, Civil Rights Attorney


TSA – Video Journalism

Official Response & THANK YOU!

First, thank you. All of you. The support has been crazy. My e-mail has not stopped making noise, nor has my phone. I know when my original lawsuit came out, the response was largely positive, but there were many who didn’t think the scanners were a big deal — “anything for our safety.” A year and a half later, I’m very pleased to report that America is awakening, and comments in support outnumber comments against by 20 to 1 on every site I’ve seen. Making not only Drudge Report, but also #1 spots on Slashdot, Y Combinator, and Reddit is an unbelievable honor as a tech person. We’ve had nearly one million hits here at this blog and who knows how many more via YouTube and the plethora of mirrors. Thank you also for the donations — it makes it much easier for me to get my legal fight against the TSA accomplished!

I’ve had a few requests for the full versions of the hidden videos that I took in the airports. I’ve posted them here (audio didn’t sync well, but oh well):


The TSA’s official response (from Blogger Bob — was that “some guy” posted a video that was “a crude attempt to allegedly show how to circumvent TSA screening procedures.” The response then went on to say that they “can’t discuss” it and that the nude body scanners are just “one layer” of security so not to worry.

¿Que? You just spent $1B on a system that makes us LESS safe than the system you replaced — invading our privacy and rights in the meantime — and all you’re going to do is make fun of my research, which put your agency to shame, for being “crude?” Which “layer” do you think is going to address the fact that it’s trivial to bring a gun through AIT? Is it the “behavior detection” program that failed to detect me taking (not very) hidden camera footage while bringing a metallic object through the AIT?

This “layer” is broken, in SO many ways, and not another dollar should be spent on it. Sell the scanners, and buy dogs. I do hope that my video is the last straw for Congress in funding this agency, and I am optimistic that we’ve reached that turning point!

Edit: One more thing, guys! The TSA could have chosen a lot of ways to respond to this, and they selected “downplay it.” The only way they can win with this method is if we all let it go. Keep at them! Opt-out of the scanners at the airports (I *ALWAYS* do — the two times you see me going through AIT in the video are the only two times I’ve ever been through a TSA scanner — and in fact, I opt-out of having my genitals touched during pat-downs, which often gets me kicked out of airports), and PLEASE KEEP AT YOUR LEGISLATORS! I know it often times seems like you’re talking to deaf ears, but the message, slowly, surely, does get through! –Jon

$1B of TSA Nude Body Scanners Made Worthless By Blog — How Anyone Can Get Anything Past The Scanners

This video is here to demonstrate that the TSA’s insistence that the nude body scanner program is effective and necessary is nothing but a fraud, just like their claims that the program is safe (radiation what?) and non-invasive (nude pictures who?). The scanners are now effectively worthless, as anyone can beat them with virtually no effort. The TSA has been provided this video in advance of it being made public to give them an opportunity to turn off the scanners and revert to the metal detectors. I personally believe they now have no choice but to turn them off.

Please share this video with your family, friends, and most importantly, elected officials in federal government. Make sure they understand that your vote is contingent on them fixing the abuse that 200,000 passengers face from the TSA on a daily basis.

My legal battle against the TSA’s nude body scanner and pat-down molestation program continues in court, soon with a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court. If you’d like to donate to this effort, send PayPal to: jon [at]

I’d like to thank:

Travel Underground –

Freedom to Travel USA –

Legislators who have stood up to the TSA – especially Dr. Ron Paul & Sen. Rand Paul

…and all those who have both publicly and privately stood up to the TSA.

Add me on Twitter: @tsaoutourpants (no “of”)


I’m publishing this video because I want the world to know how much danger the American Transportation Security Administration is putting all us all in with their haste to deploy the expensive, invasive nude body scanner program. When the machines came out, we were told that the invasion on our privacy, doses of radiation, and trashing of our Constitution were necessary because the old metal detectors weren’t good enough. That “non-metallic explosives” were a threat, even though no one has boarded a plane in the US with any type of explosive in nearly 40 years. But while America was testing these devices, Rafi Sela, who ran security for Ben Gurion airport in Israel, which is known for being one of the most secure airports in the world, was quoted saying he could “overcome the body scanners with enough explosives to take down a Boeing 747,” and Ben Gurion therefore refused to buy scanners. The US ignored this warning, and Mr. Sela never publicly explained his statement. But it stuck with me.

As a scientist, engineer, and frequent traveler, as well as the first person to sue the TSA when they rolled out the scanners as primary in Nov. 2010, I studied and learned about both kinds of scanners currently in use by the TSA. Here are several images produced by TSA nude body scanners. You’ll see that the search victim is drawn with light colors and placed on a black background in both images. In these samples, the individuals are concealing metallic objects that you can see as a black shape on their light figure. Again that’s light figure, black background, and BLACK threat items. Yes that’s right, if you have a metallic object on your side, it will be the same color as the background and therefore completely invisible to both visual and automated inspection.

It can’t possibly be that easy to beat the TSA’s billion dollar fleet of nude body scanners, right? The TSA can’t be that stupid, can they?

Unfortunately, they can, and they are. To put it to the test, I bought a sewing kit from the dollar store, broke out my 8th grade home ec skills, and sewed a pocket directly on the side of a shirt. Then I took a random metallic object, in this case a heavy metal carrying case that would easily alarm any of the “old” metal detectors, and walked through a backscatter x-ray at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. On video, of course. While I’m not about to win any videography awards for my hidden camera footage, you can watch as I walk through the security line with the metal object in my new side pocket. My camera gets placed on the conveyer belt and goes through its own x-ray, and when it comes out, I’m through, and the object never left my pocket.

Maybe a fluke? Ok, let’s try again at Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport through one of the TSA’s newest machines: a millimeter wave scanner with automated threat detection built-in. With the metallic object in my side pocket, I enter the security line, my device goes through its own x-ray, I pass through, and exit with the object without any complaints from the TSA.

While I carried the metal case empty, by one with mal-intent, it could easily have 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. It’s important to note that any metal object of any size can use this technique. …and I don’t urge you to try to bring contraband through security, as the nude body scanners often have false positives: so while the metal on your side might get through, a button on your shirt or a sweaty armpit might “look suspicious” and earn you a pat down anyway.

Now, 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. It’s also beyond belief that the TSA did not already know everything I just told you, and arrogantly decided to disregard our safety: anything to force Americans to give up our liberty to the federal government and our tax dollars to companies that are in bed with that government. The nude body scanner program is nothing but a giant fraud, which should come as no surprise after the Fast & Furious scandal that sent thousands of guns to Mexican drug cartels and cost a Customs and Border Patrol agent his life. THIS is a disgrace. So let’s fix this problem — now — before the terrorists take this opportunity to hurt us: the TSA must immediately end the nude body scanner program, and return to the tried-and-true metal detectors that actually work, and work without invading our privacy, as well as implement better solutions for non-metallic explosives, such as bomb-sniffing dogs and trace detection machines.

The TSA is worse than ineffective: they are an epic fail placing us all in danger. Beyond the scanners, Demand of your legislators and presidential candidates that they get rid of this $8B a year waste known as the TSA and privatize airport security. Ask for their commitment to our rights in exchange for your vote. And no matter which party is in the White House or holds on to Capital Hill, the issue of ending TSA abuse is of interest to all Americans; it’s NOT a partisan issue. We must all stand together and demand an end to the organization that molests our families while placing us in danger by directly ignoring blatant security flaws.

Thank you.

I Hope You Guys Are Ready :)

I just sent the TSA their advance copy of my blog post so that they can act on it to “keep us safe” (I hear that’s their job ;)). The big post will go up in 2 hours! Nervous & excited! 🙂

Huge Announcement on Tuesday

Guys, I have really exciting news to share with you no later than Tuesday.  I do believe this will be the end of the nude body scanner program.  If you’re not already following/subscribed, now is the time to do so.  Please stay tuned…

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