Air Travel Forums

Post New Topic

Recent Activity

View all Air Travel activity »
  1. 1 Sun Country Flight Booking Number (1844-8721285)
  2. 2 To pass the time on long haul flights..
  3. 3 Connection time at Heathrow
  4. 4 Air Berlin flight rebooking fiasco
  5. 5 Hypothetical question
  6. 6 Would you use frequent flier miles for an Alitalia ticket for next May?
  7. 7 "This route is pending regulatory approval."
  8. 8 Headphones on planes
  9. 9 redress number question
  10. 10 London to Morocco/stopover; Passport? Ideas?
  11. 11 Has anyone flown Wow Air from the east coast to Paris?
  12. 12 Getting Seat Assignments on Iberia (American Airlines Ticket)
  13. 13 Customs, Immigration, Passport Control
  14. 14 Seeking feedback on Royal Air Maroc nonstop IAD-CAS
  15. 15 Detroit to London to Croatia
  16. 16 Toronto to Malaga to Toulon to Athens then back to Toronto via Malaga!
  17. 17 Fastest route between JFK terminal 8 AA and JFK terminal 5 JetBlue
  18. 18 Segment-by-segment searching for award travel? t
  19. 19 Best time to book internationsl flights on United, using FF miles
  20. 20 Does anyone know what's happening with United in November?
  21. 21 From Riyadh, (KSA) to London, (UK)
  22. 22 Bravofly issue
  23. 23 How Many Stamps in Your Passport?
  24. 24 AA Aadvantage Website is Making Me CRAZY!!!
  25. 25 First time traveler in need of serious advices
View next 25 » Back to the top

TSA Eliminates Backscatter X-Ray Nude Body Scanners

Jump to last reply

More good news:

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/01/tsa-abandons-nude-scanners/

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:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abdullah_Hassan_Al_Aseery

(**) 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.

(***) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/23/fear_pays_chertoff_n_787711.html

2 Replies |Back to top

Sign in to comment.

Advertisement