Press Release: TSA to Remove All Rapiscan Nude Body Scanners

January 18th, 2013 (Miami Beach, Fla.) – As a result of the public outcry regarding the invasiveness of the TSA’s nude body scanner program, Congress has required the TSA to remove all scanners that produce an image of a traveler’s unclothed body for inspection by a TSA screener. The TSA today has indicated that it will comply by June of this year, resulting in the removal of all Rapiscan x-ray devices from airports across the country.

The Rapiscan x-ray scanners represented perhaps the TSA’s most egregious violation of the public, as in addition to the creation of a detailed image of the intimate areas of the body, it doses the traveler with ionizing radiation, a known carcinogen. It was estimated that these devices may kill several travelers per year by damaging the DNA of body tissues and turning healthy cells into cancerous cells.

Our fight against TSA abuse is unfortunately not over. The remaining nude body scanners, built by L-3 Communications (the same company that tortured the prisoners of Abu Ghraib), still require Americans to submit to an inspection of every inch of their body, completed by a computer rather than a person. While the TSA’s Congressional mandate and constitutional boundaries require it to search solely for items that can be used to terrorize air travelers, it is clear that the L-3 nude body scanners far exceed the scope necessary to find weapons, and instead are used to further the government’s failed war on drugs at the expense of our liberties. It has also been made abundantly clear that anyone in possession of entry-level sewing skills could easily defeat this technology, leaving our skies at risk. Furthermore, the continual false-positives — estimated to be at a rate between 30% and 70%– result in “pat-downs” that have infamously left children in tears, parents in jail for daring to object, the elderly humiliated, and everyone in between wondering how we got to the point where the government quite literally has its hands in our pants.

Removal of the Rapiscan devices is a step in the right direction, and we look forward to the eventual removal of all body scanners and the elimination of the “pat-down” program that places government hands on the genitals of our families.

15 thoughts on “Press Release: TSA to Remove All Rapiscan Nude Body Scanners

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  1. Translation; TSA’s moronic pedophiles, sex offenders, thieves, and social misfits are finally starting to get cancer.

  2. Yeah, I didn’t celebrate. I think the reason this happened is that the TSA is required by law to solicit public comment on the deployment of the x-ray scanners by March 2013. The results of that public comment session could give the courts a mandate to pull the scanners from airports completely. I think they are hoping that if they remove the x-ray backscatter scanners from airports temporarily that they no longer have to comply with the court order to solicit a public comment session? Then a year or so from now, after the court case has been dismissed, they can redeploy the very same scanners with new “privacy software”, and the court case against them would have to build from scratch.

    Now normally, I wouldn’t think so low of a government agency as to interpret the news in this way, but from what I have seen of the TSA I think this is what they are doing, and it will be interesting to see if they ask for the EPIC public comment session to be dismissed when they go back to court here in a month or so.

  3. The TSA Is Not Eliminating X-Ray Body Scanners.

    Contrary to reports last week that the TSA is eliminating its expensive fleet of x-ray body scanners from airports, the federal agency signed a contract months ago with a separate company to provide the very same machines.

    When Rapiscan, the company responsible for providing the TSA with the x-ray scanners, failed to adhere to a congressional demand to install software which disguised images of travelers’ naked bodies, the media announced that the TSA was abandoning x-ray body scanners in airports altogether.

    However, the TSA merely announced that it had ended its $5 million dollar contract with Rapiscan, not that the x-ray devices would be gone for good. In addition, the Rapiscan machines will merely be relocated to other government agencies.

    What press reports failed to mention was the fact that the TSA signed a much larger $245 million dollar contract with American Science and Engineering, Inc. back on October 9, 2012.

    The press release concerning the contract outlines how AS&E will provide the TSA with “SmartCheck® Advanced Imaging Technology.” One look at AS&E’s website confirms that the technology is primarily used in “backscatter” x-ray body scanners for airports that emit “ionizing radiation.”

  4. NYPD to begin using radiation scanners on pedestrians & vehicles looking for concealed weapons.

    The device, which tests for terahertz radiation, is small enough to be placed in a police vehicle or stationed at a street corner where gunplay is common.

    The program is being paid for by the U.S. Department of Defense, said Paul Browne, chief spokesman for the NYPD. Mr. Browne described the machine as a “multimillion” dollar device but wouldn’t specify its cost.

    Mr. Browne said the police aimed to get the T-Ray technology in a device small enough to carry on an officer’s gun belt. The police provided no timetable for when any version of the device would be deployed.

    Last month, the California Institute of Technology developed a terahertz microchip, raising the possibility the technology could one day be packed into hand-held devices.

    The NYPD received its machine last week, he said. Representatives of the company, Digital Barriers.

    The NYPD will soon deploy new technology allowing police to detect guns carried by criminals without using the typical pat-down procedure, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Wednesday.

    The department just received a machine that reads terahertz — the natural energy emitted by people and inanimate objects — and allows police to view concealed weapons from a distance.

    “If something is obstructing the flow of that radiation, for example a weapon, the device will highlight that object,” Kelly said.

  5. the TSA knows the naked body scanners cause cancer, this software thing is bull sh–t!
    they put a man on the moon in 1969, me thinks a software patch could have been made in 2012-2013! these machines are the agent orange of this generation. shame on the TSA and shame on all those passengers who line up and blindly follow orders in security theater, sadly the security theater can also make you sick!

  6. Man With 4th Amendment Written on Chest Wins Trial Over Airport Arrest.

    A Virginia man who wrote an abbreviated version of the Fourth Amendment on his body and stripped to his shorts at an airport security screening area won a trial Friday in his lawsuit seeking $250,000 in damages for being detained on a disorderly conduct charge.

    Aaron Tobey claimed in a civil rights lawsuit (.pdf) that in 2010 he was handcuffed and held for about 90 minutes by the Transportation Security Administration at the Richmond International Airport after he began removing his clothing to display on his chest a magic-marker protest of airport security measures.

    “Amendment 4: The right of the people to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated,” his chest and gut read.

    In sending the case to trial, unless there’s a settlement, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 and reversed a lower court judge and invoked Benjamin Franklin in the process. According to the opinion by Judge Roger Gregory:

    Here, Mr. Tobey engaged in a silent, peaceful protest using the text of our Constitution—he was well within the ambit of First Amendment protections. And while it is tempting to hold that First Amendment rights should acquiesce to national security in this instance, our Forefather Benjamin Franklin warned against such a temptation by opining that those ‘who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.’ We take heed of his warning and are therefore unwilling to relinquish our First Amendment protections—even in an airport.

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