All that controversy, all that fighting, all that radiation, all that taxpayer money and they’ve been “quietly” removing them for the past several weeks. These bastards put us through so much for so long. Infuriating. Keep in mind, there will now be different, supposedly less naked, more cartoon figure machines in their place. Click through and read the whole thing.

Via Mashable.

You know those x-ray body scanners that not only expose you to radiation but reveal your nakedness to security agents? That unsettling experience will be a thing of the past at many major airports, because the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has been quietly removing them, according to ProPublica.

Over the past few weeks, the TSA has quietly removed backscatter x-ray scanners from airports in Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, Orlando and New York’s JFK, replacing them with safer millimeter wave scanners.

Those new devices use less-harmful radio waves similar to cellphone signals rather than the ionizing radiation emitted by x-rays, and they show a cartoon-like figure to the security agent instead of a realistic negative image of a traveler’s body.

The new scanners are smarter, too — able to automatically detect which items are threats and then showing them on the screen alongside that cartoon figure. Using this technology, agents will only need to view those images when the computer has detected a threat.

Many of the removed backscatter machines will be sent to smaller airports. Meanwhile, the TSA says the new millimeter wave scanning machines will move people through airport checkpoints faster, because the old backscatter X-ray machines require a TSA agent to view each image.

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10 Comments | Leave a comment
  1. Pat_S says:

    The TSA says it has nothing to do with safety. The millimeter machines will be more efficient. The old backscatter x-ray machines will be used at smaller airports. Problem with the efficiency claim is the newer millimeter machines have a high false alarm rate ranging from 23 to 54 percent. Don’t see how travelers will be processed faster under those circumstances. The backscatter false alarm rate is about 5 percent.

    France and Germany will not use the millimeter machines because of the high false alarm rate. Last year the European Union banned backscatter machines totally for safety reasons.

    • Maynard says:

      So Americans will end up with both naked pictures and the rubber glove treatment. Sure, bring on the random speculum probes; just don’t apply human judgment or profile anybody. Lovely.

  2. dennisl59 says:

    Recent Travel Anecdote: Personal travel,last week, from AUS to DCA. Went thru the ‘naked machine’, then pulled aside so the TSA Officer could ‘look at the back of my head’ He was either looking for ‘My Favorite Martian’ antenna or a ’666′ tatoo, not sure which, but it was kinda weird. (He didn’t find either, btw…)

    posted 10/20 1055am Texas[Don't Touch My Junk!]Time

  3. Maynard says:

    So what will happen to the surplus naked machines? Might as well auction them off on eBay to recover a few bucks. They’d be put to good use at bars and night clubs.

  4. deaves1 says:

    Oh sure… Now that I get my trusted traveler credentials where I don’t have to do this, now TSA dumps this crap. I’m gonna miss all that one on one personal contact…

  5. Alain41 says:

    My cynical side thinks that taking the naked machines out now is because they don’t want to be subject to the rules that they make us follow. Otherwise, Napolitano, Sebelius, Valerie, Axelrod, maybe even the Obama family members, will be subject to the naked machines when they are out of office.

    • TheGreenHornet says:

      I had not thought about that. But I think you have it mixed up. It’s the TSA that doesn’t want to see them naked. I mean, can you imagine? Yuck!

  6. strider says:

    Just toss ‘em out in the DC junk yard if there’s any room.

  7. larrygeary says:

    Oh good, millimeter waves. Like cell phones emit. Or microwave ovens. Concentrated on your skin. Sounds like a recipe (!) for trouble.

  8. angelaisms says:

    They have these ones at the Salt Lake City airport, too. As of August, Honolulu still has the naked machines; I got the patdown instead.

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