Body scanners to be removed from nation’s airports (at least the nude-imaging ones)

The TSA is dropping the use of it’s naked-imaging body scanners after the manufacturer said it couldn’t mask passengers’ naughty bits.

From Bloomberg:

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration will remove airport body scanners that privacy advocates likened to strip searches after OSI Systems Inc. (OSIS) couldn’t write software to make passenger images less revealing.

TSA will end a $5 million contract with OSI’s Rapiscan unit for the software after Administrator John Pistole concluded the company couldn’t meet a congressional deadline to produce generic passenger images, agency officials said in interviews.

Wired notes that these were the scanners that exposed passengers to a small dose of X-rays:

The move away from Rapiscan machines is more than a boost to privacy.

Unlike the competing millimeter-wave technology produced by L-3 Communications that employ radio waves to to detect metallic and non-metallic substances, the Rapiscan machines expose travelers to a small X-ray dose. The TSA and Rapiscan maintained the machines are safe, despite some academics telling the White House (.pdf) that the government did not adequately study the backscatter X-ray devices.

We’ve written about this issue a lot. Here are a few of the images these scanners can take:

tsa porno body scanners naked images tsa porno body scanners naked images tsa porno body scanners naked images tsa porno body scanners naked images porno scanner naked images

Here are a few of the more interesting stories:

German TV highlights failings of body scanners.

Man confronted over his suspiciously large “package”.

Why is the porno scanner picking up people in line who aren’t even IN THE SCANNER?

The day the TSA grabbed Penn’s (of Penn & Teller) crotch.

Porno-scanner agents accused of picking out hot women for multiple scans.

TSA fires baggage handler for joking about vibrator in woman’s luggage.

Michele Bachmann: Nude pics of me could show up on Internet.

TSA humiliates cancer survivor.

TSA confiscates cupcake.

TSA bans cream cheese, unless it’s on a bagel. (But what if it’s on a cupcake?)

Taiwanese animators cover the body scanner imbroglio.

Video shows worthlessness of porno-scanners:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olEoc_1ZkfA]


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    I wish Michael Moore would do a post Bush version of Fahrenheit 9/11.

  • Naja pallida

    This has been one of the primary complaints all along, by the expert analysts and even the people who make the machines. They have never once asserted that these machines are really more effective than traditional metal detectors and existing pat down procedures. And have even admitted that they wouldn’t have caught things like the shoe bomber or underwear bomber. They’re just another layer of expensive toys, so the TSA, as an agency, doesn’t actually have to have consider itself with any real security training or knowledge, and can continue to hire bully mall cops for long hours and low pay, and continue to claim success, because they’ve been lucky no one else has attempted a serious attack. In the end, it is all just kickbacks to the people who make ridiculous amounts of tax payer money off these sort of things.

  • samizdat

    Well, that whore Michael Chertoff and his buds got their money, so…WIN!

  • nicho

    Apparently, the people who make the new scanners that the TSA will buy to replace the ones they bought from Michael Chertoff have given bigger bribes — er, donations, excuse me — to politicians. Basically, more money down the toilet for security theater.

  • rerutled

    But I just got my abs!

  • nicho

    The rich and famous fly in private jets and aren’t subjected to scrutiny.

  • RepubAnon

    Darn, and here I was waiting for the paparazzi to start selling porno-scan pictures of the rich and famous… But then, that’s probably what lead to the shut-down.

  • Brad Cerenzia

    Notice that there’s nothing in the demo photos that wouldn’t already get caught by a simple, cheaper, safer metal detector. Image 1? Gun. Image 2? Gun. Image 3? Gun. Image 4? Gun. But boy do I feel safer being x-rayed nude and exposed to radiation each week as I fly for work.

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