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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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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 18, 2013 @09:05AM (#42624701)

    is the first 'a' in Rapiscan pronounced as just a regular 'a' or like 'ae' ?

  • alpha test? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by OffTheLip (636691) on Friday January 18, 2013 @09:09AM (#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 @09:12AM (#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 @09:18AM (#42624763)

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

    • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Friday January 18, 2013 @09:19AM (#42624767)

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

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

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 18, 2013 @09:30AM (#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.

        • by Jason Levine (196982) on Friday January 18, 2013 @10:11AM (#42625095)

          It's almost to the point where the terrorists don't need to actually pull off an attack. They just release "chatter" about an attack and watch the West scurry around. I wonder how long until the terrorists try to see just how outrageous they can be and still have the West react. "There are reports that a terrorist group has come up with a nose bomb. Everyone will now submit to a TSA-enforced sinus inspection before boarding their planes."

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

            by Zemran (3101) on Friday January 18, 2013 @10:39AM (#42625285) Homepage Journal

            I think the real irony is that if you want to blow up a plane you need to use the tried and tested methods as they are the only ones that we do not protect against. No one has ever blown up a plane with a bottle of water, it was theoretical, but you cannot take a bottle of water onto a plane. Most planes were blown up with bombs made to look like ordinary objects. The bomb that blew up the plane over Lockerbie was made to look like a radio and the explosives were disguised as batteries, this would still work today as no one stops you from having a radio in your suitcase in the hold.

            The security theatre has only served to frighten the people into letting our rulers do as they wish. The lack of real terrorist events is because no one is really trying to kill us. If a group started up today with the brains of the IRA we would be just as screwed today as we were back then. Although most of their success was due to American help which might not be as easy to get today.

            • by dthx1138 (833363)
              I think it's reasonable to believe that the bag scanners at security are more advanced by now, and would be more likely to detect chemicals in certain kinds of explosives.

              That being said, you do raise a good point that all of the other additional security measures like full-body scanners and shoe removal would be pointless against such an attack.
            • by cdrguru (88047)

              The Lockerbie bomb was sloppy and would fail today for two reasons: detection of nitrates in luggage (yes, it is screened on most flights) and the fact the bomber got off the plane. It is against international regulations to have luggage for a passenger carried on a plane where the passenger isn't flying.

              Try sometime getting off an international flight at the last minute. They will pull your luggage, whatever it takes to do this.

              Another Lockerbie scenario is impossible today because of both the nitrates s

              • by Gr8Apes (679165)

                You are partially incorrect. Luggage can fly on a flight you're not on.That's how luggage that doesn't make it to your plane gets to your destination. Or, during connections, how you can miss a flight but your luggage doesn't or vice versa. (both have happened to me - too long). What you can't do is leave a plane once you're on it - in that case, they will remove your luggage. So luggage can be on a plane without the passenger, and it happens frequently.

                The nitrate screening and improved luggage containers

            • I think the more delicious irony (and I accept that this is a frequently-made point and in no way original) is that the terrorists, who are of course everywhere, now have a new ready-made target in security scanner lines. What better way could they get across the message that no-one is safe from them? And yet...
          • Re:alpha test? (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Agent0013 (828350) on Friday January 18, 2013 @11:39AM (#42625737) Journal

            It's almost to the point where the terrorists don't need to actually pull off an attack. They just release "chatter" about an attack and watch the West scurry around.

            It's pretty close to how the U.S. brought down our big enemy during the cold war, U.S.S.R. We made these big plans about Star Wars, and having satellites that would be able to shoot down any missile. Our side was mostly talk. On their side they spend enormous amounts of money trying to keep up with what they thought we were doing. Our president actually hired science fiction writers to come up with some of these fantastic ideas that sounded plausible and expensive. If the terrorists figure this out they can just up the chatter until we spend ourselves into bankruptcy and fall like Rome. Then the terrorists win.

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

              by jafac (1449) on Friday January 18, 2013 @03:13PM (#42627921) Homepage

              uh - no.
              This is FoxNews fantasy.
              The way the USSR was brought down was:
              Their party mukity-muks were getting rich off of illegally selling Soviet oil on the black market, and rigging prices by manipulating OPEC. (1970's).
              The US did the same with KSA, getting them to open the spigots; (by playing Iraq and Iran off of each-other, dating back to 1953, and Operation AJAX - and keeping KSA, UAE, and Kuwait, terrified that Iraq was going to come in and invade them and take over. . . as long as the US protected KSA, UAE, Kuwait - they did our bidding).
              So when KSA opened up oil production in the 1980's, oil prices collapsed, Soviet revenues collapsed, and their economy collapsed. The problem of how to pay their massive army while they were engaged in the ongoing occupation of Afghanistan, and operations in Chechnya, became a practical issue, and elements began to desert (and rebel).

              This is what caused the USSR to fail.

              Those same corrupt party members who were privately profitting off of selling Soviet oil? They became the heads of the privatized oil industry in the 1990's. Some of them actually went to jail; (but this was the result of political infighting, not actual law enforcement - the LOSERS went to jail). The winners - well some of them went on to con Iceland into privatizing their national banking system in the 2000's. They walked away with billions, and Iceland's economy collapsed. Julian Assange has information to expose these guys; but guess what happened to Julian Assange?

          • by 0123456 (636235)

            I read a news article a while back about how some Al Qaeda guy under torture said their agents were stuffing explosives in birds' butts in Central Park, leading to the FBI running around looking for birds who were walking funny.

            So I think we've already passed that point.

          • It's almost to the point where the terrorists don't need to actually pull off an attack. They just release "chatter" about an attack and watch the West scurry around. I wonder how long until the terrorists try to see just how outrageous they can be and still have the West react. "There are reports that a terrorist group has come up with a nose bomb. Everyone will now submit to a TSA-enforced sinus inspection before boarding their planes."

            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...

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

              by Joce640k (829181) on Friday January 18, 2013 @01:09PM (#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:5, Insightful)

          by JeanCroix (99825) on Friday January 18, 2013 @10:30AM (#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:5, Insightful)

          by SecurityGuy (217807) on Friday January 18, 2013 @11:35AM (#42625709)

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

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

          by berashith (222128) on Friday January 18, 2013 @11:39AM (#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.

          • 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.

            My favorite of these would be the giant trash can for drink bottles in the security line at the air port. Just toss in a 2 liter with a timer in it surrounded by liquid explosives. Bonus points because you could have multiple people with similar devices drop them in over the course of several hours for a bigger effect and no one would be the wiser. I am also fond of the roller bag packed with gun powder and ball bearings or nails detonated in the the middle of the security line.

            • Mr. Hamster, sir. Would you please move away from your computer and put your hands where we can see them. No not there.

              We will be along presently.

              Thank you.

          • by rsborg (111459)

            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.

            The most dangerous place ripe for attacks is now is the security gate (single point of failure for an entire airport corridor)... a bomb going off there would be mass carnage. Thanks, TSA and terror-paranoia.

        • by cdrguru (88047)

          What you are missing is insurance. After 9/11 happened it would have been impossible for airlines to fly because without swift action the insurance companies would have said that the airline's own screening was defective and allowed terrorists to crash the planes. This cost the insurance companies big money. There would be no way that airlines would have been flying on 1/1/2002 without some big changes.

          So we got the TSA. By removing the screening from the airlines the insurance companies couldn't point

        • by jafac (1449)

          um. Not millions. Trillions. (when you factor-in Iraq, and Af-Pak; beyond the initial overthrow of the Taliban and when we could have taken-out bin Laden.)

          And we BORROWED this money.

          And we rigged our whole credit system to even make it possible. (well - to sustain it for a couple more years).

          And now we're (congress is) debating on whether we're going to pay back the lenders. We really do not have the means. A few of us do. But in general, the broader working, middle-class American public do not.

          At leas

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

      by lorenlal (164133) on Friday January 18, 2013 @09:20AM (#42624771)

      Because Chertoff was the principal lobbyist for Rapiscan was a former DHS head. They were able to just get the contract in without any sort of vetting. It's one of the more shameful episodes in shady government contracts, except those involved seem immune to shame.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by will_die (586523)
        Please try to be truthful about this, you know that Chertoff or his organization was never a lobbyist for Rapiscan. You can verify that with US Congress records on lobbyists. If you don't know this then please stop reading stupid sites like huffington post that don't inform you of the truth. If you were mistaking them for the Daschle family who were lobbyists for the company then I apologize.
        While Chertoff was head of DHS he did, and still does, push for contactless scanners as the means for providing sa
        • Re:alpha test? (Score:5, Informative)

          by h4rr4r (612664) on Friday January 18, 2013 @09:52AM (#42624937)

          Chertoff Group, which he founded represents scanner makers. They are a security consulting group that sells the things as well. How does that not look like a revolving door?

          Personally I would prefer something that did not use ionizing radiation or waste everyone's time. If that means going back to metal detectors that would be fine.

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

          by RoTNCoRE (744518) on Friday January 18, 2013 @10:10AM (#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 0123456 (636235)

            We're safer now because if anyone ever tries to hijack a plane again, everyone on board will jump up and beat them to death with whatever object comes to hand rather than sit quietly and hope nothing bad happens.

            The TSA is irrelevant in comparison.

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

          by lorenlal (164133) on Friday January 18, 2013 @10:56AM (#42625417)

          Huffington Post? Try Washington Post, oh and he disclosed it on CNN.
          http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/31/AR2009123102821.html [washingtonpost.com]

    • by will_die (586523)
      It was determined to be a problem in early testing however the FDA signed off on the usage of them as being being Ok for your health.
      Some of this acceptance was later pulled then it just took the stanard government time for the process to sit around and be processed.
    • This was the test phase. Everyone who went through one of these machines (including myself) was a guinea pig.

      By the way, the test phase was a complete success. Rapiscan was paid tons of money. Wait, you thought the test was about the machines being safe for the people operating them or the people in them? *falls over laughing*

      • by berashith (222128)

        hahahah
        i am sure if we saw the contracts that the money was made on delivery of the device, not some long running concept of small profit ( or loss ) on the hardware delivery, but updates, service, and maintenance fees (nearly pure profit) extending over the next 5 or 10 years.

    • by Comboman (895500) on Friday January 18, 2013 @10:12AM (#42625097)

      Why wasn't this determined during the test and acceptance phase for this product.

      It was. You, me and millions of others have been alpha testing this product for years. Now, bend over and get ready the beta testing phase.

      • by Stargoat (658863)

        Uh... This goes in your mouth. This one goes in your ear. And this one goes in your butt.

        Shit. Hang on a second.

        This one... Uh... This one... this one goes in your mouth.

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

      by blueg3 (192743) on Friday January 18, 2013 @10:20AM (#42625161)

      What's "this"?

      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, but nobody believes them, because it combines the TSA and radiation. One is always scary and the other is always incompetent (only one of the two deserve the label), and so the combination can't possibly be good.

      You say you work for the government -- do you really think that "we're agreeing to study the health effects (again)" turned into cancelling their contract in less than a month *and* they dug up an excuse?

      As far as the stated reason for cancelling the contract -- which is probably really the reason -- without additional information, I'm going to assume incompetence over malice. They probably simply did not realize that people would view it as such a big privacy problem. Surely the engineers didn't -- it's easy to get blinded into thinking your product has no flaws. I don't know about the government folks, but it can be hard to resist flashy new technology that will Totally Stop The Terrorists(tm).

      • The health effects were well-studied long before they even tried to sell them to the government.

        Maybe.. maybe not.. Shades of the taser... [wikipedia.org]

        • by blueg3 (192743)

          Maybe.. maybe not.. Shades of the taser... [wikipedia.org]

          Don't give me that bullshit just because you don't know. Not only is the analysis in the original patent, it's much-discussed in the scientific literature back when they were first trying out Compton-effect backscatter scanning of humans in labs. (I did research at an X-ray lab and have done backscattering, but not of anything living.)

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

        by Mitreya (579078) <mitreya@gmMENCKENail.com minus author> on Friday January 18, 2013 @04:41PM (#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.

        • by blueg3 (192743)

          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.

          I don't, because I don't care to do a literature survey at the moment. :-P But what I was actually referring to is that the health effects of the technique (Compton backscattering) were well-studied long before anyone tried to make and sell a machine that would actually do it. What I really mean there is that the X-ray dosage necessary to do useful Compton backscattering, compared to safe dosages for humans, was studied. That's coupled with the effects of X-rays and other ionizing electromagnetic radiation

  • Just another day. (Score:2, Informative)

    by vinehair (1937606)
    It's a shame that nothing will really change despite having this validate almost everything that was ever said by the anti-crowd against these things. Health and privacy concerns, a nice double-whammy. I was tempted to skip these the last time I flew, but I'm a Brit and I was trying to get into the USA, and I was already having trouble with people not believing my passport photograph (oh no, new hair styles, you're a different person!!!) and I think I would have just gotten immense grief from security if
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by isorox (205688)

      It's a shame that nothing will really change despite having this validate almost everything that was ever said by the anti-crowd against these things. Health and privacy concerns, a nice double-whammy.

      I was tempted to skip these the last time I flew, but I'm a Brit and I was trying to get into the USA, and I was already having trouble with people not believing my passport photograph (oh no, new hair styles, you're a different person!!!) and I think I would have just gotten immense grief from security if I'd have asked for the extended groping session. Plus, my balls are for my fiancée only.

      There are no scanners on the way into the U.S. You were either in the U.S. leaving (or an internal flight), or you encountered the scanner in the UK.

      In the UK you are not allowed to opt-out from these scanners. You don't go through, you don't fly.

      The same happens in Russia and Israel

      • Re:Just another day. (Score:4, Informative)

        by vinehair (1937606) on Friday January 18, 2013 @10:17AM (#42625137)

        There are no scanners on the way into the U.S. You were either in the U.S. leaving (or an internal flight), or you encountered the scanner in the UK.

        Didn't know Schipol, Amsterdam was really in the U.S.A. That's some good-ass weed, right there.

        No, seriously, they had them and they had people choosing not to use them, but the representatives just prior to that had refused to believe my passport photo and my drivers license photo, so I wasn't going to press it.

      • by 6Yankee (597075)

        There are no scanners on the way into the U.S. You were either in the U.S. leaving (or an internal flight), or you encountered the scanner in the UK.

        That must have changed recently, then. In May, I flew MAN-IAD-SLC (via SFO - thanks United! - and an epic TSA screw-up, but that's another story). On arrival at IAD I did indeed have to go through security again, and was indeed directed towards a pornoscanner. I opted out - at least the US gives you the option - and was yelled at. For opting out, then again for

        • by 6Yankee (597075)

          CPH-IAD, even. They're all starting to blur into each other....

          • by isorox (205688)

            CPH-IAD, even. They're all starting to blur into each other....

            Arrive on plane
            Get into strange bus
            Get to immigration
            Queue for 90 minutes
            Collect bag
            Pass through customs
            Walk out of airport

            Where are these scanners? Or do you go to a different iAD to me?

        • by vinehair (1937606)
          No, it's just crap. Scanned on arrival to the US at MSP, 26th December 2012.
      • by Githaron (2462596)

        There are no scanners on the way into the U.S. You were either in the U.S. leaving (or an internal flight), or you encountered the scanner in the UK.

        Not sure if your statement is true but I just returned from Brazil. They might of not had the scanners coming in to the US but they did have them for people taking a connecting domestic flights. Some people travel beyond cities with international airports.

  • reasons (Score:4, Interesting)

    by stoolpigeon (454276) * <bittercode@gmail> on Friday January 18, 2013 @09:24AM (#42624789) Homepage Journal

    I wish I were optimistic enough to believe that this change had something to do with safety or people's rights.

    My guess is that the right people made enough money or the right favors were repaid and now it's time to move on to making someone else richer.

    • by Rogerborg (306625)

      Most likely. But it's also possible that some TSA bigwig's family was herded through a PornScanner, and their dim intellects finally grasped that Operative Sweaty McPerv gets to stare at their offsprings' junk.

  • Everyone and everything's name is hilarious, but RAPEYSCAN really takes the proverbial cake, and eats it too.

    • See this name, I assume this is a prank and not an actual name. http://cheezburger.com/6981818880 [cheezburger.com]

    • One of the major Canadian federal parties that merged to form the current Conservative party was officially announced as the Canadian Conservative Reform Alliance party.

      Yes, Canadian CRAP or CCRAP ("see crap"). Even if "party" wasn't officially part of the name, it's amazing how that slipped past all the highly-paid PR spinsters they had at their disposal.

      The name lasted a day before they switched some letters around.

  • by SomeoneGotMyNick (200685) on Friday January 18, 2013 @09:33AM (#42624841) Journal

    The real reason is that the agents have a deep rooted "touching fetish" that they need to keep satisfied.

  • If I made a scanner that looked through your clothes I sure as hell would make sure not to call my company "Rapey-scan". You would think they would have gone with something friendlier.

  • by ahecht (567934) on Friday January 18, 2013 @09:49AM (#42624919) Homepage

    From the TFA:

    "The TSA plans to remove 174 Rapiscan machines from U.S. airports, with the company absorbing the cost, according to TSA officials. The machines will be replaced by L-3 scanners."

    It's not like the scanners are going away. They're just replacing the backscatter X-Ray scanners from Rapiscan with the millimeter radio-wave scanners from L-3 Communications.

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      The ones that use ionizing radiation are going away. Which I thought was the major health complaint here.

      I don't care if you see my balls, but I would like to prevent my thyroid condition from getting any worse. What exactly is the rational objection to millimeter wave? Just the slow down at the airport? Or the cost not being worth it?

      • by show me altoids (1183399) on Friday January 18, 2013 @10:14AM (#42625113)
        Do a Google search on "security theater." That's all these scanners are.
        • by h4rr4r (612664)

          Which if it was fast and free it would be fine to do as far as I can tell.

          So your real objection is cost? Or are you opposed to pretending?

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            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.

            • by h4rr4r (612664)

              I do not believe these are illegal or unconstitutional according to the courts. If you believe they are you should file a suit to find out.

      • by tgd (2822)

        The ones that use ionizing radiation are going away. Which I thought was the major health complaint here.

        I don't care if you see my balls, but I would like to prevent my thyroid condition from getting any worse. What exactly is the rational objection to millimeter wave? Just the slow down at the airport? Or the cost not being worth it?

        And, as someone who travels a lot, its a huge benefit just because the old ones were both dangerous, useless AND slow. At least the new ones are safe(r), and fast(er), if still as useless.

      • by Tridus (79566)

        Well, I do care if some random jackass wants to see my balls.

        I also have a problem with wasting time and huge amounts of taxpayer dollars on security theatre.

        What's the rational reason for paying a fortune on security devices that don't improve security?

      • I don't care if you see my balls, but I would like to prevent my thyroid condition from getting any worse.

        I'm not particularly shy but I don't particular care to show my stuff either. It's just none of their business and doesn't make anyone safer.

        What exactly is the rational objection to millimeter wave?

        My fourth amendment rights. The fact that it doesn't improve safety. That it is expensive. That it is security theater. That while we logically can infer that it is safe we do not have much in the way of credible data backing up our logical assumptions.

    • by Fesh (112953)

      Hmm. Maybe the Rapiscan was introduced PRECISELY to make the L-3 machines look better by comparison? I smell boiling frog...

  • by kannibal_klown (531544) on Friday January 18, 2013 @10:01AM (#42624993)

    I flew for the first time in a while a couple of months ago and gave it a try. The line was shorter and if they want to go blind seeing me nekkid then so be it, and I doubt one time would mean much with the health concerns (frequent flyers another story).

    I'd gone to the airport prepped accordingly and took of my slip-on shoes, my thinner belt, emptied my pockets entirely... ready to just go through quickly.

    STILL... they had to pat me and a bunch of people down.

    W T H I thought the whole point of this thing was to go through quicker AND not have to be man-handled!?

    • by Jason Levine (196982) on Friday January 18, 2013 @10:14AM (#42625119)

      My wife went through one and needed to get the pat down too. They found an "anomaly" on her that required further inspection. Note to any women out there: Spanx are an anomaly to the TSA and you will get the patented TSA Feel Up to make sure that your undergarment is what is causing the issue.

      • by dkleinsc (563838)

        Are you sure they didn't just think she was hot? There have been documented cases of TSA agents putting people through scanners repeatedly and otherwise performing extra searches on good-looking people just for kicks.

        • Well, I certainly think my wife's hot.

          The TSA lady who did the pat down, though? She had an attitude the whole time beginning when my wife didn't put her arms in EXACTLY the right position. It was 5am at the time, could we have a little understanding? Oops, sorry. Forgot we were talking about the TSA.

      • Spanx are an anomaly to the TSA

        Hell to the idiots at the TSA a metal bodied SLR film camera with some lenses is an anomaly. Every time I bring that through, case open out of the bag, I get pulled aside for extra screening for explosives. They really get confused by the bulb cable, external flash, and ND filters.

    • W T H I thought the whole point of this thing was to go through quicker AND not have to be man-handled!?

      That's why I always opt-out. If I don't opt out, I get scanned... AND they will probably pat me down too.

      At least with the pat-down I get to skip the scan entirely, and my privacy violation lasts only as long as the memory of a single TSA screener.

  • Interesting name. It's the same as the Office of Strategic Influence, the psyops department of the DOD. The OSI was later renamed for PR reasons, but apparently it lives on.
  • So the question now is: will ere be an ongoing service contract to repair the existing scanners? How about ongoing safety testing?

  • by flyingfsck (986395) on Friday January 18, 2013 @12:24PM (#42626115)
    Actually, the purpose of the scanners is to increase cancer in the general population, so that Big Pharma can make more money with chemotherapy drugs...

APL is a write-only language. I can write programs in APL, but I can't read any of them. -- Roy Keir

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