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TSA Terminates Its Contract With Maker of Full-Body Scanner 268

Posted by samzenpus
from the time-to-go dept.
McGruber writes "The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has ended a contract with Rapiscan, a unit of OSI Systems Inc., manufacturer of about half of all of the controversial full-body scanners used on air passengers. TSA officials claim that Rapiscan failed to deliver software that would protect the privacy of passengers, but the contract termination happened immediately after the TSA finally got around to studying the health effects of the scanners, and Congress had a hearing on TSA's 'Scanner Shuffle'."
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TSA Terminates Its Contract With Maker of Full-Body Scanner

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  • alpha test? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by OffTheLip (636691) on Friday January 18, 2013 @08:09AM (#42624723)
    Why wasn't this determined during the test and acceptance phase for this product. Perhaps it's my cynical nature tempered by years of working for the government but this type of thing happens far too frequently.
  • Re:alpha test? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 18, 2013 @08:12AM (#42624737)

    Because by the time that scientists can get through all of the obfuscation, the administrators that approved it will be retired. And the current administrators can simply say that it wasn't their decision. Everybody wins! (except almost everybody)

  • Re:alpha test? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 18, 2013 @08:18AM (#42624763)

    I'd sooner trust the terrorists than the TSA. At least the terrorists are up-front about their agenda.

  • Re:alpha test? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 18, 2013 @08:30AM (#42624825)

    Because if you respect people's privacy and safety, the terrorists win.

    Based on the way the West has acted in "The War Against Terror", the terrorist *have* won. They have us jumping at shadows, wasting millions of dollars on useless schemes, and all they have to do is make scary noises from time to time.
    How many plane/bomb threats have been averted by DHS vigilance in the last ten years? The few that have been found have all been foiled by traditional counter-terrorism techniques: the security theater in airports is just a way for certain groups to siphon off public money into their own pockets.

  • Re:alpha test? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RoTNCoRE (744518) on Friday January 18, 2013 @09:10AM (#42625089) Homepage

    Yep, just you. Remember what flying was like pre-9/11? We're no safer now, aside from the fact that the cabin is now inaccessible to passengers.

    Also, just because it isn't on the congressional record doesn't mean it didn't happen - maybe a sweetheart deal like, if you push these through, we'll give you a sweet consultancy gig afterwards? Like his current role as head of a consultancy firm for the industry called the Chertoff Group? Do you think just maybe Rapiscan has even been a client? Similar to how generals become board members for the defense industry the second they leave service. Crony capitalism (corruption) at it's best. These postings need to have 20 year non-compete and NDA type clauses. I'm sure the pension isn't lacking...

  • by show me altoids (1183399) on Friday January 18, 2013 @09:14AM (#42625113)
    Do a Google search on "security theater." That's all these scanners are.
  • Re:alpha test? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JeanCroix (99825) on Friday January 18, 2013 @09:30AM (#42625229) Journal

    The few that have been found have all been foiled by traditional counter-terrorism techniques: the security theater in airports is just a way for certain groups to siphon off public money into their own pockets.

    Heh. Passengers dogpiling on anyone who starts acting fishy on a flight has now become, indeed, a traditional counter-terrorism technique.

  • Re:alpha test? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 18, 2013 @09:39AM (#42625291)

    Posting AC to keep my mod points.

    > The other x-ray scanners ...

    I think you're overlooking the timeline. Those "powerful x-ray scanners" were in use long before the full-body scanners were, and yet, the reported decline in TSA employees' health occurred *after* the full-body units were installed.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 18, 2013 @10:01AM (#42625459)

    No, the objection has absolutely nothing to do with cost (other than that *any* money spent on these machines is a complete waste).

    The primary objection has to do with being subjected to an illegal, unconstitutional search of my person and effects by a government agency.
    The other objection is that this illegal, unconstitutional search, is being done *despite* the fact that it has absolutely no measurable impact on safety or security.

  • Re:alpha test? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SecurityGuy (217807) on Friday January 18, 2013 @10:35AM (#42625709)

    This is a ridiculous assertion, and completely wrong. They have us jumping at shadows and wasting billions of dollars on useless schemes.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 18, 2013 @10:38AM (#42625731)

    not everything done for us is for our rights or safety....is that all bad? In this case, I think that all the airport security is for the general public's peace of mind. Sure, its irritating, but the general public 'feel' safer once they are through it. If they never did anything after 9/11 and it happened a second time, so many would stop flying it could kill the industry. If they took steps to only stop knives (like was used on 9/11) and some next used a stick, everyone would be mad that they didn't think to look for stick. Since we are trying to protect the public for some in the public, we need to allow a level of inspection of us all. Personally, I have nothing to hide at anytime. I don't care what they watch, track or see. They got nothing on me. Big whoop.

    The only thing needed to prevent another 9/11 was a good strong door to keep passengers out of the cockpit. Combine that with the fact that passengers now assume they are going to be murdered instead of held hostage and it gets extremely difficult to take control of an airliner.

  • Re:alpha test? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by berashith (222128) on Friday January 18, 2013 @10:39AM (#42625739)

    A bigger element than the planes not being blown up is the nothing else being blown up. If the terrorists were as determined as we are beig told, then why havent they been thwarted by our awesome new security doodads and moved on to other things. I am sure that in a few minutes I can think of at least 15 places where people can be successfully killed in large numbers that could have ripples through the economy. As these havent been blown up, then the terrorists as presented arent out there.

    Unfortunately the TSA knows all this and is working to protect those other places so that the lack of successful terrorist plots remains at the hands of our saviors in the TSA, and no one will discover that the narrrative is bullshit.

  • by IndustrialComplex (975015) on Friday January 18, 2013 @10:45AM (#42625799)

    If they never did anything after 9/11 and it happened a second time,

    If they never did anything, 9/11 couldn't happen a second time. Examples include the times that someone DID try to rush the cabin, pretty much everyone on the plane lept to action.

    The rest of your post... It's an anathema to democracy. But I suppose that someone posting as 'anonymous' should be taken seriously when they state they have nothing to hide at anytime.

  • Re:alpha test? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Joce640k (829181) on Friday January 18, 2013 @12:09PM (#42626507) Homepage

    The moment after a terrorist blows up a bomb hidden in his anus (on a plane or just while in the queue before security check), flying will become a whole lot worse...

    He has to get caught, not succeed. Otherwise we won't know it was up his ass.

    We need a guy sitting in a plane seat with his trousers down using a bic lighter to light a piece of string poking out of his ass. It's the best thing that could happen to the world right now because the TSA would have to admit in public that they're powerless and all those machines were a waste of money.

  • Re:alpha test? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Mitreya (579078) <mitreya&gmail,com> on Friday January 18, 2013 @03:41PM (#42628901)

    The health effects were well-studied long before they even tried to sell them to the government. They did ensure the health effects were acceptably small,

    Do you care to cite a study that back it up? The time to approve/deploy this machines was probably insufficient to do an extensive health study.

    but nobody believes them, because it combines the TSA and radiation.

    More exactly -- it combines minimum-wage people (TSA) managing medical-grade machines (radiation). The concern was -- if the machine was less-than-perfectly calibrated, no one would notice. A medical device that would trim nose-hair in a hospital would go through a far more rigorous evaluation than those monstrosities have.

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