More good news:
Unfortunately, they are getting rid of only the backscatter x-ray machines, sold by Rapiscan, but not the millimeter-wave body scanners. So, we're still saddled with slow, highly expensive, and not very effective technology (*). But the good news is that X-rays are known to be dangerous; the only scientific debate is how safe the possible exposure levels are (**). So, it's good to get rid of those. Millimeter waves have not been well studied, but at least we don't know of any reason why they'd be dangerous.
The decision is apparently due not to abstract scientific safety concerns, or cost effectiveness, but because Rapiscan couldn't get their software right in time to do the automated target recognition. So, this is a win for privacy, as only a computer will see the "nude" images. I'm sure politics had nothing to do with this at all. (***)
(*) The whole "enhanced imaging device" nude scanner thing was driven by the Underwear Bomber, but the scary thing is that al Qaeda has already used a rectum bomb in an assassination attempt:
(**) With a properly functioning and calibrated scanner, assuming the X-rays are absorbed uniformly by the body, the dosage level is tiny and poses extremely low risk. The concerns are that the backscatter X-ray frequencies tend to be absorbed concentrated in and near the skin, increasing the dose; that the machines might not always be maintained or calibrated properly (and TSA forbids agents from wearing radiation badges, reducing safety in an effort to make people feel safe); and that the software controlling the scanning might fail, resulting in a concentrated X-ray dosage.
TSA Eliminates Backscatter X-Ray Nude Body Scanners
More good news:
Recent ActivityView all Air Travel activity »
- 1 Purchase Real/Novelty Document for all countries
- 2 787-9 Dreamliner
- 3 What are Level 1 and, especially, Level 2 on AmAirlines Advantage tickets?
- 4 Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia Baggage Limits
- 5 La Compagie
- 6 Biz lounge in Toronto
- 7 Which is better-Quatar or Emirates?
- 8 Passengers in fight over reclined seat
- 9 Flying business class, friend in economy
- 10 Turkish airline denying boarding and not fly us to final destination
- 11 Baggage transfer on two separate tickets
- 12 Does O'Hare Terminal 5 have Special TSA Precheck for Security?
- 13 Dubai 96 hour transit visa
- 14 Best seat AA transcon Airbus - first Class
- 15 90 minutes at Brisbane airport - enough time?
- 16 Hotels around JFK Airport
- 17 Best time to redeem AA miles?
- 18 Get a refund or credit for economy United tkts?
- 19 Questions about: Open Ended Airplane Ticket?
- 20 Flying from East Coast to Italy - Strategy for Cheap Flights?
- 21 Ins and Outs of Paying for Extra Legroom in Coach
- 22 HELP ME TO CHOOSE A BEST CONNECTION TO AVOID ROAMING CHARGES IN AUSTRALIA
- 23 Where are All The After Labor Day Airfare Sales to Europe?
- 24 Virgin Australia VS OneTravel
- 25 San Francisco to East Coast-morning or red eye?