Jonathan Corbett standing in front of the U.S. Court of Appeals
Jon Corbett standing in front of the U.S. Court of Appeals

Jonathan Corbett is a technology expert turned civil rights advocate.  Trained as a computer scientist and having consulted in that capacity for Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and the like, his career took a change after his frequent traveling brought him regular encounters with the Transportation Security Administration.  Jon noticed that the number of rules, the invasiveness of the searches, and the general lack of respect for the public had been increasing while no real security benefit was gained.

When the TSA announced in 2010 that it would make its body scanners used as primary screening, Jon was the first to file a lawsuit to enjoin the practice.  TSA body scanners use electromagnetic radiation to create images of your body without your clothes, a highly intrusive “digital strip search” with questionable (at best) health risks.  Worse, the scanners fail to improve security, as they can only spot differentials in density, leading to the failure to detect items carried by anyone who had studied the technology and adjusted the placement of objects on his or her person.  Jon proved this in his 2012, “How to Get ANYTHING Through TSA Nude Body Scanners,” video, where he demonstrated that objects on his person could not be detected by real TSA screeners using body scanners at airports across the country.  His work was studied and confirmed by top university researchers (.pdf) in 2014.

Since 2010, Jon has expanded his civil rights advocacy, fighting against NYPD stop-and-frisk, NYPD street body scanners, NSA warrantless wiretaps, and gun rights.  To enhance his efficacy, Jon has also enrolled in law school and is currently a third-year law student at Northwestern California University School of Law.