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TSA responds to claims of hole in airport security system

March 11, 2012|By Hugo Martin
(Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles…)

When an online video gets more than a million views, it’s hard to ignore.

That may be the reason the Transportation Security Administration took the unusual step last week to address an online video that claims to show how to circumvent the full-body scanners that the TSA has installed at 140 airports across the country.

Jonathan Corbett, a blogger and TSA critic, posted a video this month on YouTube and his own Web page, www.tsaoutofourpants.wordpress.com, titled "How to Get Anything Through TSA Nude Body Scanners."

To prove that his method works, Corbett’s video shows him sneaking a small metal box past full-body scanners at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida and Cleveland Hopkins International Airport in Ohio. "The TSA can’t be that stupid, can they?" Corbett asks in the video.

The TSA responded on its own blog site, calling the video "a crude attempt to allegedly show how to circumvent TSA screening procedures."

The TSA does not dispute that Corbett found a way to sneak items past the screening machines but added that the scanners are one of many techniques the TSA uses to keep weapons off planes. The TSA also uses pat-down searches, behavior detection experts, explosive detection units, specially trained dogs and armed federal marshals.

The scanners, the TSA says, are "not a machine that has all the tools we need in one handy device. We’ve never claimed it’s the end all, be all."

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