Court to TSA: Hey, what about your nude scanners?

A federal court wonders why the TSA hasn't held public hearings or issued rules about its nude scanners, even though it was ordered to a year ago.

Jonathan Corbett/YouTube Screenshot; Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

I've been flying a lot lately and it's become harder to find security lines that don't have nude body scanners.

They seem to be proliferating like Zuckerbergs at Google .

Worse, they become ever more spectacularly demeaning, as people take up a submissive pose -- like bending over at the proctologist's -- and hope it will be over quickly.

One assumes that all the powers that were, be, and are were happy with these things.

It appears not. For the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is grousing that the TSA hasn't stood with its arms up in front of the public and explained itself on the subject of these machines.

As Wired reports it, the court tended towards the apoplectic because the TSA had failed, for whole year, to hold public hearings.

A year ago, in a case brought by the Electronic Privacy Information Center , the court explained politely that it would like Americans to hear the TSA's reasoning and to, well, answer back in public.

It also asked for the rules and regulations of the scanners to be made public.

Neither seems to have happened. This despite the court being very clear that the Administrative Procedures Act had been broken, for it requires a 90-day public comment period.

The court has been very patient. However, it has now demanded that the TSA respond by August 30.

There remain those who believe that the scanners might be a health risk, or merely that they don't actually work .

There was the very fine and upstanding tech consultant who became so frustrated with the whole of TSA's handiwork that he turned himself into a nude body scanner , by removing all his clothes. And there was the nude protest organized by the Pirate Party in Germany (video safely embedded here.)

TSA's Blogger Bob is very good at revealing the perils that lurk in luggage and on persons. But he has yet to offer comment on these more legal matters.

The tired and tormented citizens of the Unites States will have to wait until August 30 to see whether they might be able to have a word on the subject of the machines that look like they were first built for a prime-time game show.

 

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