Speaking of the TSA, I’d be remiss if I didn’t link to the (relatively) recent news that Rapiscan1 backscatter x-ray machines are being removed from airports throughout the country. Why? Incompetence, mostly.
Ridiculously, Rapiscan was unable to meet a government requirement which mandated that they integrate Automated Target Recognition (ATR) software, which produces for a much less invasive image from the scanner. The company couldn’t get it done by the original deadline of June 1st, 2012, and even after a reprieve, they can’t get it done by June 1st, 2013 either. As such, their piles of potentially-hazardous-to-your-health electronics are being yanked out of airports. Huzzah!
That said, the safety concerns surrounding the millimeter wave machines which will remain in use haven’t been answered either. The National Academy of Science will be studying both types of machines soon.
The TSA has long maintained both machines are safe, but recently signed an agreement with the National Academy of Sciences to study the scanners. The study will continue even though the machines are being pulled, the TSA said, because they could be reintroduced in the future.
Until further information is provided, I’ll be hoping for good old fashioned metal detectors, and otherwise continuing to have the TSA meet the resistance.
Pronounced “rapey-scan”. ↩︎