TSA Expands Body Scanner Searches to NYC, L.A. Train Stations

By Derrick Broze

Visitors to New York’s Penn Station will now be subjected to random searches via body scanners courtesy of the Transportation Security Administration and Amtrak Police.

Train and bus riders in New York City and Los Angeles have recently been subjected to random virtual searches from new body scanner technology being rolled out by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration. The body scanners use “passive millimeter wave” technology that detects heat coming of an individual body and supposedly can help detect when an individual has something strapped to their body. The technology currently in use is part of a system called Stand Off Explosive Detection Technology developed by QinetiQ, and Digital Barriers from Thruvis.

CNBC reports that the TSA and Amtrak began testing the equipment at New York City’s Penn Station. “An alarm would go off on the equipment operator’s laptop, triggered by an individual’s ‘naturally occurring emissions from the human body,'” CNBC writes. CNBC also reports that TSA Administrator David Pekoske stated in November 2017 that the agency would not introduce “airport-like security” at other public transportation stations.

New Yorkers were not the only population facing invasions of privacy. Metro riders at the Metro Center Station in downtown Los Angeles recently faced the same body scanning technology. KTLA reports:

The portable passenger screening system was being tested as part of a partnership between L.A. County’s Metro and the federal Transportation Security Administration. Metro previously tested two other systems in August and December of last year as part of a pilot program to evaluate security technology.

The American Civil Liberties Union is among the critics of the TSA’s expansion of invasive technology. The ACLU says it is not yet clear whether the use of the technology is even constitutional since the Fourth Amendment requires a warrant to perform search of an individual. An exception was previously made for airports, but it is not yet clear if that will hold for the general public space. The ACLU also says that government is not being transparent about the technology and “how they will be used, on whom, and where they will eventually be deployed. We also don’t know who will have access to the information they collect or for how long.”

The ACLU also draws attention to the fact that we do not know whether individuals will be allowed to opt-out of being searched. It seems obvious that the government is not spending taxpayer money on the devices just to allow the public to opt-out. The ACLU wonders what will happen when an alert is triggered; will this allow the TSA to detain someone or search them further? The ACLU expands upon this concern:

Once an anomaly is detected, a computer algorithm determines whether the abnormality presents a “green,” “yellow” or “red” risk level. We don’t know what happens if someone provokes a “yellow” or a “red” alert or if even some “green” alerts will still cause further scrutiny. Does a security official make a judgment call on whether to interrogate or otherwise hassle that person?

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These latest expansions of the TSA from airports to trains follow a disturbing report from 2017 detailing how the TSA tested new measures that require passengers to remove books and paper goods from their carry-on luggage. According to reports from The Wall Street Journal and Sacramento Bee, the TSA had already begun to roll out these new invasive policies.

“While I expect going through airline security to be time-consuming and mildly annoying, my attitude changed recently as I prepared to board a flight out of Sacramento International Airport in the days after Memorial Day weekend,” the Sacramento Bee wrote. “As I stood in line, Transportation Security Administration officials announced at SMF that everyone was to take books, magazines and food out of their bags and put them into a separate bin for inspection. That was it. A line was crossed for me.”

When the body scanners and TSA searches began in the years following the 9/11 attacks, civil liberties advocates warned that the measures would eventually expand beyond the airport to all public areas. Anyone who warned of this possibility was called a conspiracy theorist or fear monger. Now, we see the TSA at the Super Bowl and other high-profile events, bus stations, train stations, and soon they will be installed on every street corner.

Only when the notion of privacy has been erased and smothered under the weight of America’s impending collapse will the submissive populace feel secure. Only once all liberty has been lost will the tyrants finally stop expanding their operations.

Derrick Broze is an investigative journalist and liberty activist. He is the Lead Investigative Reporter for ActivistPost.com and the founder of the TheConsciousResistance.com. Follow him on Twitter. Derrick is the author of three books: The Conscious Resistance: Reflections on Anarchy and Spirituality and Finding Freedom in an Age of Confusion, Vol. 1, Finding Freedom in an Age of Confusion, Vol. 2 and Manifesto of the Free Humans.

Derrick is available for interviews. Please contact [email protected]

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12 Comments on "TSA Expands Body Scanner Searches to NYC, L.A. Train Stations"

  1. The Hill Newspaper | March 9, 2018 at 7:44 am | Reply

    The US Government was the perpetrator of 911.

  2. sounds like every body is guilty until proven innocent,

    • Dr. David Kaplan | March 11, 2018 at 12:42 am | Reply

      A thorough security search is necessary at the airport. It’s very simple I want to arrive at my destination in one piece. One nut Job can take down an entire plane. I understand it’s a nuisance but necessary. If TSA does their job correctly without prejudice I am all for it. Stop complaining.

      • those that give up liberty for security deserve neither…you would rather be bothered than to profile muslims and stop them

  3. Terry Harnden | March 9, 2018 at 5:07 pm | Reply

    Details of every body scan should be recorded as part of your personal health record.

  4. Dr. David Kaplan | March 11, 2018 at 12:45 am | Reply

    Strict airport security is critical. It’s plain and simple. No pun intended.

  5. whistleblower predicted Vegas massacre:

    –it’s called the “high incident project”. they want to make the american public think that places with extremely high security aren’t safe. ..if their plan is successful the state of nevada will pass a law making all casinos have mandatory metal detectors and backscatter machines. soon after a federal law will be passed to put these machines in universities, high schools, federal buildings, you name it. OSI systems and Chertoff are the main producers of these machines. sometime around 2020 chertoff and osi will merge into a single company. after they merge the owners will sell off all their stock and make billions in profit.

  6. Laurence Almand | March 16, 2018 at 4:08 pm | Reply

    If the bureaucrats had their way, we would have scanners on every front door. (Don’t laugh – they have the technology to do this.) The day will come when every child is implanted with a tracking device, and given drugs from the day they enter kindergarten.

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