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Leaked U.S. Marshal body scan images revealed

New evidence shows that body scanners used in airports and public buildings definitely are capable of storing and transmitting pictures. Following a Freedom of Information Act request, the U.S. Marshals released 100 censored body scan images taken from an Orlando, Fla. courthouse.
Image: Body scan record of a woman
This body scan record contains both a photograph and a millimeter wave scan image of a woman. It was taken at an Orlando courthouse using a system from Brijot Imaging Systems, Inc.U.S. Marshals, courtesy of Gizmodo

After news hit that U.S. Marshals operating a body scanner machine in a courthouse had stored 35,000 images — despite the fact that the machines were supposed to be incapable of saving them — Gizmodo made a Freedom of Information Act request and received 100 of the shots.

The images, which arrived with identifying features already removed, depict the millimeter wave technique. This is considered to be the "less embarrassing" body scan, since, as you can see, it doesn't depict the body with much clarity.

But Gizmodo's writer Joel Johnson makes a point of saying that the higher-fidelity x-ray backscatter systems, the "naked scanners," are also in use, and may very well have the same image retention capabilities:

"That we can see these images today almost guarantees that others will be seeing similar images in the future," writes Johnson. "If you're lucky, it might even be a picture of you or your family."

We originally reported on the widespread story back in early August, where we repeated the TSA claim that body-scanner images "cannot be stored or recorded." Gizmodo has proof that, at the very least, the claim doesn't pertain to all devices currently in use. Check that site for more pictures and a paranoia-inducing video montage.