A lot of people don't like those full body scanners at the airport. They've been the center of controversy and criticism since the TSA began using them.
From charges that screeners saw too much, as in anatomical parts, to screeners not seeing enough as in bomb parts.
But aside from the grousing as you step barefooted and stand there spread-eagled wondering if they can see you're not as color coordinated underneath as you are on the outside, no one has done much about the scanners.
Cue Jonathan Corbett of Florida who is suing the TSA, claiming the body scanners violate his constitutional rights.
He's also accused the agency of deliberately misleading the public as to the dangers of terrorism in the air.
As part of his lawsuit, the TSA was forced to give him access to classified documents. Of course, it was for his eyes only and he wasn't allowed to make public what he saw.
Cue the court clerk who was charged with posting information regarding the lawsuit online with instructions that sensitive TSA documents be redacted to cover up the sensitive parts.
Cue what appears to be the big boo-boo.
The clerk with the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals mistakenly placed the full, un redacted brief online, sensitive information and all.
Can you say "oops"? Yeah.
Including one where the TSA seemingly admits the actual risk of an airline bombing or hijacking is low.
The TSA saying "As of Mid 2011 terrorist threat Groups present in the homeland (USA) are not known to be actively plotting against civil aviation targets or airports instead their focus is on fundraising, recruiting and propagandizing."
That's a good thing, no doubt about it, but it has Jonathan and others asking once again, are the scanners that so many consider invasive really necessary if the threats are so low?
Were they ever necessary? Spokesman Nico Melendez with the TSA tells me the agency cannot comment on this story precisely because of the pending lawsuit with Corbett.
From Susan Hirasuna:
A court goof apparently reveals the way the Transportation Security Administration really feels about the terrorism risk when we fly. The good news is there's minimal risk, but that assessment wasn't meant for the public to see probably because the TSA was already under fire for buying those pricey, full body scanners. The TSA's threat assessment was a part of a document used in a legal brief filed by Jonathan Corbett. The clerk of the 11th Circuit Court of appeals was supposed to post the legal brief but with the TSA statements redacted.
Here are some of the TSA statements that were meant to be redacted. "As of mid-2011, terrorist threat groups present in the Homeland are not known to be actively plotting against civil aviation targets or airports; instead their focus is on fundraising, recruiting, and propagandizing." Also, in the document, the TSA seems to admit there's not only been no attempted domestic hijackings of any kind since 9/11 but that there's not much value in hijacking a plane these day"…due to hardened cockpit doors and the willingness of passengers to challenge hijackers." We asked TSA for comment but were told the agency doesn't comment on pending litigation.