The Transportation Security Administration, the US agency responsible for airport-passenger screening, responded to activist Jonathan Corbett's "How To Get Anything Through TSA Nude Body Scanners" video today, calling it "a crude attempt to allegedly show how to circumvent TSA screening procedures."
But in doing so, Bob Burns, a social-media spokesperson for the TSA also known as Blogger Bob, failed to debunk the notion that Corbett's sneak-through tactic—a simple procedure that involved putting a metal box inside of his side pocket—did in fact work.
"[The body scanner] is one layer of our 20 layers of security and is not a machine that has all the tools we need in one handy device," Burns wrote. "We've never claimed it's the end all be all."
Readers of the blog post were unconvinced by Burns's reaction.
"Jonathan Corbett defeated a $200,000 body scanner with a sewing kit," wrote Sommer Genry. "Your blog post pointedly does NOT deny this fact."
Historically, it’s been hard not to cringe when the Transportation Security Administration goes into crisis-management mode.
This is not the first time the TSA has come under scrutiny for operating a broken system.
In October, bloggers erupted when they discovered that TSA workers left a note saying "Get your freak on girl" when they came across a miniature vibrator in traveler Jill Filipovic's luggage. Two months later in January, Twitter and Reddit came down hard on the TSA when the agency denied that it detained Rand Paul for refusing a pat-down.
Its handling of Corbett's video, however, may have sparked the starkest opposition.
"What a truly pathetic response," wrote one commenter named Paul. "using words like 'crude' and 'allegedly' do nothing to change the truth. Bob, how do you sleep at night? Your response makes me sick."
The TSA is about as good at screening blog comments as it is at screening passengers, in other words.
Photo by nedrichards