Dec 4, 2010
Comment: The picture above is the TSA-approved scanner image that the agency says is an accurate representation of what is produced by the naked scanners. Note that it shows intricate details of genitalia and more invasive content than the images that the TSA says are not representative of their body scanners.
We knew the TSA was sensitive about this whole scanner thing, but not this sensitive: This morning, SF Weekly got a phone call and a wrist-slap from the Transportation Security Administration’s press department. It turns out the TSA doesn’t like the image of body scans we used with our piece last week about how the scanners do not bombard people with an unhealthy dose of radiation.
The call was a bit odd coming from a government agency being widely accused of acting like Big Brother run amok. Especially when the story quoted U.C. San Francisco radiation experts defending the scanners as safe. But I guess we could say the agency’s true feelings about this public relations debacle have now been laid bare.
The woman on the phone told SF Weekly that they were not accurate images of the scanner, and urged us to either indicate to readers that those aren’t accurate pictures or use the officially approved scanner images.
We called TSA regional spokesman Nico Melendez for clarification, and he told us the agency is simply trying to keep the information given to the public about the scanner images accurate. “We’re not monitoring, but when we come across [an inaccurate image] we try to let them know it might be misleading.”
Full story here.