RateMyBackscatter.com (Thanks, Random Tangent)


  1. Damn. Looks like this dude has had more than one drunk tat night, Mom.

    So, like… can this machine see tampons n’ shit?

  2. Does anyone know if there’s an ink that will actually show on the scanner?
    I guess it would have to be X-ray opaque….

  3. Don’t click the link, it is just an placeholder ad page.

    someone either screwed up the actual link or deliberately switched out the page for search ads.

    also- today is November 16, WHOIS search shows this domain registered in California on November 17 2010 How does that work? Is it GMT for whois?

  4. If the scanner is millimeter-wave, I recommend adding chaff to your outfit and/or body to make a pretty picture.

    Chaff is lots of little pieces of metal that are 1/2 wave long, so they resonate at the scanner’s RF frequency. The millimeter-wave scanners run at about 95 GHz, according to the Googlotron. So your chaff would be 300/92/2 mm long, or about 1.5mm, or about 1/16″.

    If you can find some metal or metalized plastic glitter of that size, it should work quite well.

    By the way, I work on millimeter-wave telescopes for a living, so I am familiar with this sort of thing.

  5. Apparently the site was published on here so fast the domain was still switching over. Link works fine now!

  6. Ok so now that such screening has transcended the realm of outrage stemming from privacy concerns, I hope no one will have any further objections to backscatter scans, gropes etc. Why? Because now its funny!! You have this funny website and soon lolcats and other memes will follow.

    Seriously, its stupid stunts like this that dilute the conversation and renders acceptable what was just a few minutes ago a serious issue of one’s freedoms and privacy.

      1. When you parody something or joke about it has the unintended consequence of making a lot of people think that its really no big deal anymore. Different people react differently. Say I’m standing in line fuming at the prospect of getting scanned. The guy standing in front of me makes a wisecrack or two and declares how he’s going to refuse the scan and instead opt for a grope so he can ‘pretend’ getting aroused as he’s touched etc etc – now all this is sarcasm and outrage concealed as humor. But I start thinking “Hey if this guy can be so cool and funny about it, am I being stuck up and unreasonable? Maybe I should man up and take it in stride and just get it over with”.

        Once people start thinking like that, the mentality (that its a) a necessary evil, so b) we better put up with it and c) other’s are being so cool and funny about it!) becomes pervasive and then gradually everyone just accepts it.

        There are generally 3 kinds of people:
        1) Those who don’t care either way
        2) Those who are rigid in their beliefs and convictions and
        3) Those who can be influenced/swayed

        Political cartoons and late night stand-up acts, humor in general can be used to sway those in the third category. Once you laugh about something, you are basically not going to take it with the same seriousness as you might have earlier.

        1. Once you laugh about something, you are basically not going to take it with the same seriousness as you might have earlier.

          Nor are you as likely to be (even momentarily) paralyzed by fear of it.

          A need to take it all so seriously, you share that in common with the oppressor.

  7. @adam H: I won’t completely dispute your claim, but I think that people are certainly LESS worried about the health risks of the mm machines. All of the privacy and security theater issues still remain though. I think those are the ones the average person is more concerned with. The health risks are much more relevant to pilots who already get a much, much larger dose of radiation than the average passenger.

  8. I love the concept.

    However, I don’t love the fact that it requires a login and password. Isn’t it ironic that a comment on a privacy-invading procedure requires you to give up your name, birthday, gender, location?
    Wouldn’t a capcha be much better to get people to submit their images? – which by the way, since I haven’t given up my email and personal details, I can’t see an ‘upload image’ anywhere… and I wonder how many people feel likewise.

    1. @marco
      I would have to disagree with you on the idea of just requiring a captcha for submissions. This site is the same format as all the other lolcat-style “ratemy” sites, which keeps your image submissions related to your profile. If you could submit via anonymous, then the images would have no association and thats not the model of the site. Plus, if you could submit with just a captcha, then it gives the site greater possibility that content will completely sway away from the point since no ones profiles own the image. It uses submitters profiles as part of search-ability

  9. Some random questions:

    Fluids show up similarly as metal in backscatter x-ray scans. What happens if a really sweaty person goes through? Will their entire body glow?

    If you make out text with Salonpas or Tokuhon around your body, “naked”, will it show up on the scanner? How about if you use metal tape to make a peace sign? Metallic body paint?

    If you go commando and decline the scanner for a full body pat down including being felt up your skirt and down your pants, wouldn’t it be amusing to have a friend photograph the reaction of the agent when you tell him/her that you might have crabs?

    1. Think it’s time to call in the Mythbusters for some testing.

      Then they should blow it up at the end of the show.

  10. Sure you can, the TSA goon asks to feel my junk, my response would be “Ha, ha, ha, seriously? No.” You see I can laugh at the absurdity of it and still be objectionable.

  11. Is anyone else at all skeptical about the lo-res nature of the published/leaked backscatter images we’ve seen?

    I think we haven’t seen what these devices are really capable of showing, and that it’s no accident.

  12. Against privacy, pervy OTT and completely outageous! They can’t make you and should NOT be allowed, against human rights. This isn’t Hitler’s reign!

  13. Am I the only one was a little surprised that ratemybackscatter.com had nothing whatsoever to do with 2 girls and a cup?

  14. I think the TSA did this one themselves. It keeps evolving in response to comments here and elsewhere. Clever.

  15. I don’t have any insider information, but someone suggested this yesterday on slashdot (in the comments on an article about the body scans) as a joke. I seriously considered making it myself – ratemybodyscan.com is still available – but now it’s too late :(

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