Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Months after a congressional report stated that controversial X-ray body scanners are a waste of money, the TSA has begun removing them from major airports.
Michael Grabell of Pro Publica reports that the TSA has replaced the scanners at Boston Logan International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, Chicago O’Hare, Orlando and John F. Kennedy in New York with machines that radiation experts believe are safer.
Although the TSA insists that it made the decision to speed up checkpoints at busier airports, Grabell notes that the swaps mean that far fewer passengers will be exposed to radiation since the scanners are being moved to smaller airports.
TSA began rolling out the scanners nationwide after the failed Christmas Day 2009 underwear bombing. Privacy advocates were outraged that the machines produce blurred images of passengers’ naked bodies that are reviewed, one by one, by a TSA officer.
The replacement machines, known as millimetre-wave scanners, detect potential threats automatically using a computer program and display a generic cartoon image of a person’s body.
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