Kauai Tests for Terrorists

SUBHEAD: Lihue Airport first in state with high-tech all-body security scanner.

By Dennis Fujimoto on 17 June 2010 in The Garden Island -  

Image above: Example of a full body scanner to be used by TSA in airports. From (http://whyy.org/cms/radiotimes/2010/01/26/airport-security).  
Lihue Airport marked a major milestone in secure air travel Thursday.

Within just a few minutes of the dedication of an Advanced Imaging Technology scanner, the first passengers were guided through the new, all-body scanner at the airport.

Lihue Airport is the first in the state with the new technology.

“We always try to do it this way,” said Sharlene Mata, the federal Transportation Security Administration director for Kauai. “There’s no fanfare, we just dedicate the machine and go live.”

Advanced-imaging technology safely screens passengers for both metallic and non-metallic threats, including weapons and explosives, states a release from TSA.

The technology can detect items which may be concealed under a passenger’s clothing and allows TSA to screen without physical contact with the passengers.

“The installation of this screening and security technology became a congressional mandate and a priority of President Barrack Obama following the Dec. 25th security incident in Detroit, Michigan,” said Mata in an e-mail.

“It is a great achievement of the state of Hawai‘i and the County of Kauai to have this technology installed with the first deployment of 32 major airports across the nation.”

The TSA plans to deploy a total of 450 imaging-technology units in 2010, Honolulu International Airport being scheduled to receive units during the next deployment.

Obama’s fiscal-year 2011 budget requests funding to purchase and deploy an additional 500 AIT scanners.

“From what was presented at a Wednesday briefing by TSA, I strongly believe this system offers a greater level of security for our traveling public and will discourage those with malice in their hearts to use Kaua‘i as a staging area for violence,” said Kauai Police Department Chief Darryl Perry in an e-mail after attending the briefing on the new equipment.

Advanced-imaging technology, described as “backscatter technology” utilizing the projection of low-level X-ray beams over the body to create a reflection of the body which is displayed on a monitor, is completely optional for all passengers.

Passengers who opt out of imaging technology screening will receive alternate screening which includes a physical pat-down.

Passengers using the AIT equipment will be asked to remove objects from their pockets before entering the portal.

Once in the portal, another security officer in a walled-off, remote location views the black-and-white image resembling a chalk etching, and once any anomalies are resolved, the image is immediately deleted and the passenger exits the portal.

Mata said because of equipment is new, TSA’s estimate for processing a passenger is about 20 seconds.

To address passenger concerns, Mata said TSA has implemented strict measures to ensure passenger privacy.
Additionally, the image cannot be stored, transmitted or printed, and is deleted immediately once viewed. There is also a privacy algorithm applied to the image.

“This system has been years in development to allay concerns of competing groups with respect to individual rights and safety concerns,” Perry said.

Backscatter technology screening is safe for all passengers, states the TSA release.

The technology meets national health and safety standards, including applicable American standards for radiation safety.

This technology was evaluated by the federal Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, with results confirming that radiation doses are well below those specified by the American Standards Institute, the release states.

Comparatively, the amount of radiation from a backscatter scan is equivalent to two minutes of flight on an airline, and the energy projected by millimeter-wave technology is 10,000 times less than a cell-phone transmission, states the TSA website.

Passengers with joint replacements or other medical devices that would regularly trigger the alarm of a metal detector often prefer this technology because it is quicker and less-invasive than a pat-down, the website states.

“This is not the silver bullet,” said Mel Carraway, the TSA area director who has been on Kaua‘i since Sunday overseeing the final stages of the installation of the AIT.

“It’s a wonderful addition to the security and health of the passengers, and it supports the aloha spirit that I have experienced while on Kauai.”

Mata said because Hawai‘i is a visitor-industry state, it was important that we were one of the forerunners using this new technology.

The traveling public’s health and security is a collaborative effort between the airports, TSA and the various security agencies, front and back, Carraway said.

“The TSA’s mission is to protect the traveling public by deterring and preventing acts of violence against innocent travelers,” Perry said.

“Therefore, and by extension, it will have a huge impact on everyone here on Kauai, and in the state, because we’re surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, and I would venture to say that 95 percent of our population uses commercial airlines, not only to travel inter-island but globally.”

Visit www.tsa.gov for more information.

All 'American' airports where this 'terror' technology is so far being installed [Lihue Airport is the smallest, most remote airport on this list]:  

Where It Is
Airports receiving technologies soon:
  • Boise Airport
  • Brownsville/South Padre Island International Airport
  • Buffalo Niagara International Airport
  • Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport
  • Harlingen/Valley International Airport
  • Houston William P. Hobby Airport
  • La Guardia International Airport
  • Laredo International Airport
  • Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport
  • McAllen Miller Airport
  • Oakland International Airport
  • Orlando International Airport
  • Pittsburgh International Airport
  • Reno-Tahoe International Airport
  • San Diego International Airport
  • Spokane International Airport
  • T. F. Green International Airport
Airports who currently have technologies:
  • Albuquerque International Sunport Airport
  • Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport
  • Boston Logan International Airport
  • Charlotte Douglas International Airport
  • Chicago O'Hare International Airport
  • Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport
  • Corpus Christi International Airport
  • Denver International Airport
  • Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
  • Detroit Metro Airport
  • El Paso International Airport
  • Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport
  • Fort Wayne International Airport
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
  • Indianapolis International Airport
  • Jacksonville International Airport
  • Kansas City International Airport
  • Lihue Airport
  • Los Angeles International Airport
  • McCarran International Airport
  • Miami International Airport
  • Mineta San José International Airport
  • Omaha Eppley Airfield Airport
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
  • Port Columbus International Airport
  • Raleigh-Durham International Airport
  • Richmond International Airport
  • Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport
  • Salt Lake City International Airport
  • San Francisco International Airport
  • Tampa International Airport
  • Tulsa International Airport
From: http://www.kitv.com/news/23961225/detail.html "Lihue Airport First In State To Use Body Scanner" Controversial Device Uses X-Ray Technology Keoki Kerr, KITV4 News Reporter POSTED: June 18, 2010 UPDATED: June 19, 2010 HONOLULU --

Lihue Airport is the first in the state to use a controversial body scanner to check passengers going through security. The new technology has raised concerns with some civil liberties groups because it's a virtual strip search. The Transportation Security Administration began using the new X-ray scanner at Lihue Airport Thursday.

A TSA spokeswoman told KITV4 Friday Lihue is the first airport in the state to have the new technology because of logistics, not threat level. The TSA installed the scanners at airports that could accept the new machines quickly, a spokeswoman said. At the relatively small Lihue Airport, there’s only one security checkpoint, making it easier to convert, she said. Passengers boarding flights at Lihue Airport now must go through a new X-ray scanning machine, raising their arms over their heads as the scanner checks for hidden weapons, explosives or other threats. While the technology sees through their clothes, the TSA claimed it provides an X-ray like image that doesn't expose people's private parts clearly.

A TSA spokeswoman said another officer in a walled-off remote location watches the images that are not saved, copied or transferred, and passengers' faces are blurred out. Travelers returning to Honolulu from Lihue Friday night weren't concerned about any invasion of privacy. "I think that security comes before privacy. You got to look at the whole. And everybody getting there safe is the number one issue. So, it doesn't bother me in the least," said David Almquist, of Greenfield, Wisc. His wife Maria said, "I think it's great.

I'd rather be safe and be happy on the plane and be comfortable. It doesn't bother me at all." The Almquists and their two children were arriving on Oahu after a weeklong vacation on Kauai. The TSA said passengers can decline the X-ray scan and instead walk through the regular metal detectors, but they will be subject to pat-down searches. 

 TSA officials said if the new technology causes some delays, they will re-open metal detector lanes to keep passengers moving through in a timely manner. "As privacy advocates, we're always concerned anytime the government says it wants to take naked pictures of every single traveler going through an airport," said Dan Gluck, senior staff attorney for American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii.

 "The government has an obligation to keep us safe, but it also has an obligation to honor our civil liberties. So we want to make sure that they are respecting individuals' privacy," Gluck said, noting that London’s Heathrow airport removed similar technology after several years after deciding it didn’t work well enough and wasn’t worth the invasion of privacy. Kauai is one of the first 32 airports nationwide to have the new technology. Each scanner costs $170,000. A TSA spokeswoman said Honolulu International Airport should have similar X-ray scanners installed by the end of the year. -------------------------------- Other TSA stories in the news courtesy of Wikileaks:
See also:
Ea O Ka Aina: Elephant Traps for Kauai 12/1/10



Anonymous said...


samumano said...

It is a disgrace for the community of Kauai to be selected for the installation of these machines on our beloved island, which is not for our protection and not for our security here on the island, but for the "protection" of other air destinations from Kauaians. The outgoing passengers are being screened, not the incoming ones who might be troublemakers on Kauai. Mayor Carvalho and governor Lingle shame on you for agreeing to this obviously fearmongering and senseless project. According to the report the ease of installation made Lihue airport the primary "beneficiary" for these machines, not any past record of terroristic plans or activities. It tells us all about the "credibility" of war on terror. It is a clear-cut case of misleading the public. It is almost like setting up flood shelters in the Gobi desert. It appears that the big America is afraid of the little Kauai. Based on the priority used in selecting Lihue for this project, after this "achievement" I wonder what the profiling will be like at Lihue airport for full body screening? Perhaps T-shirts, earrings, tatoo or Pidgin English.
And the area TSA director Mel Carraway had the face to connect this disgrace with the aloha spirit. Anyone making such a connection belongs to an asylum.
János Samu

Anonymous said...

Janos hit the nail on the head. Of all the thins we should be buying with our tax dollar. This is not borderline, this is certifiable. Bettejo Dux

Anonymous said...

This fall I spent 3 weeks and over $3000 dollars on a vacation to Kauai - one of my most favorite places on the planet.

I was shocked, upon leaving the island, to see the naked body scanner at the airport. I told tsa I did not want to go through. The servant said I would then have to be patted down. He called over a female servant. She said ... "and when I get to your breasts..." , also, "three hands length up the inner thigh.." I was so shocked as I had no idea of this new, enhanced pat down. There were no signs up at the security point explaining the options.

Since I did not want this servant touching my privates, I went through the scanner. I felt horrible in doing that. It was humiliating. Both "choices" were humiliating. This is flat wrong. What are even the stats of how many "weapons" are actually found? How effective is this scanner / enhanced pat down really? In trying to stop terror, our tax dollars are going towards programs that are, in turn, terrorizing innocent citizens.

Until Lihue airport takes away their backscanner machine and these absurd enhanced pat-downs, I will take my travel dollars elsewhere. I encourage others to travel to locations where the are treated with respect and dignity and not subjected to harmful radiation and embarrassing procedures. That's where our money should be spent.

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