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TSA To Stop Using Airport X-Ray Scanners That Produce Image Of A Naked Body
By Eddy Metcalf

January 20, 2013 - The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reported on Friday that is will discontinue the use of the full-body scanners that produce naked like body images at TSA airport check points by June 2013. 

TSA reported it is pulling the machines for use because the company, Rapiscan Systems which manufactures the Backscatter X-ray system the Rapiscan Secure 1000 SP is unable to produce computer software that would turn the almost nude like images into stick-like figures that TSA personnel would view rather than a nude picture of airport passengers. 

These machines were installed as an alternative to personal searches at airport and other security checkpoints easily penetrating clothing to reveal concealed weapons. In one TSA trial, 79 percent of the public opted to try backscatter over the traditional pat-down in secondary screening. 

Over the passed several months the TSA has come under fire by the ACLU, Electronic Privacy Information Center, passengers and congress over the Rapiscan Systems Backscatter X-ray system because TSA personnel in some instances have abused the use of naked like body images the machines produce of airport passengers screened. The ACLU refers to backscatter x-rays as a "virtual strip search".


In addition the use of these machines has raises privacy concerns about what is seen by the person viewing the scan. Some worry that viewing the image violates confidential medical information, such as the fact a passenger uses a colostomy bag, has a missing limb or wears a prosthesis, or is transgender. 

The TSA will continue to use full-body scanners as long as the scanners do not produce an naked body like image. At present the TSA has 174 Rapiscan machines in use.  

In a statement by TSA it said "TSA has strict requirements that all vendors must meet for security effectiveness and efficiency. Due to its inability (Rapiscan) to deploy non-imaging automated target recognition software TSA has terminated its contract with Rapiscan."



In a statement released by Rapiscan (OSI Systems, Inc.) it said “Rapiscan Systems, its Security division, has reached an agreement with the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regarding the Rapiscan Secure 1000SP Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) systems and Automated Target Recognition (ATR) software. The agreement relates to the contract underlying the issues raised in a 'show cause' letter delivered to the Company by the TSA on November 9, 2012”. 

“We are pleased to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement with the TSA,” OSI Systems President and CEO, Deepak Chopra, commented. “We have had a close working relationship with TSA and its predecessor agencies for the better part of two decades, during which time we have together pioneered many of the transportation security technologies in use today.  As we continue that relationship, we look forward to continuing to provide leading-edge technologies and services to the TSA.” 

Under the terms of the agreement, Rapiscan and TSA determined that the Secure 1000SP, would not be ready to meet the next level of ATR software by the congressionally mandated June 2013 deadline. As the Secure 1000SP has been operated by TSA as an effective imaging system, TSA plans to deploy these systems, with Rapiscan’s assistance, to U.S. government agencies that already rely on the Secure 1000 product line or can enhance their security programs with the Secure 1000SP. The agreement enables the U.S. government to continue to benefit from the investments made by TSA, while allowing TSA to meet the congressional ATR mandate. The agreement results in the mutually-agreed conclusion of ATR software development for the Secure 1000SP, but continues Rapiscan’s overall contract with TSA for AIT systems.

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