Feeds

TSA: Perv scanners now fully banished from US airports

New machines spot targets, not todgers

Website security in corporate America

The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) says it has completed the process of removing all security scanners capable of creating detailed images of passengers' bodies from US airports.

By Congressional mandate, all scanners using so-called advanced imaging technology (AIT), which rendered fliers' nude bodies in Pixar-like detail, were to be either removed or retrofitted with software capable of performing automated target recognition (ATR).

With ATR, the scanner displays only a vague outline of a passenger's body, with generic yellow boxes superimposed to alert security screeners to possible concealed objects.

"As of May 16, 2013, all AIT units deployed by TSA are equipped with ATR capability," TSA administrator John Pistole wrote in a letter to Congress that was made public on Thursday, indicating that TSA actually beat its Congressionally ordered May 31 deadline by two weeks.

According to political news site The Hill, lawmakers on the House Homeland Security Committee were pleased with TSA's timely handling of the matter.

"Because of this action and congressional oversight, TSA will never again use machines to screen passengers that do not obscure their images while maintaining security," said Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS).

Screenshot of body-scanner Automated Target Recognition in action

Scanners with automated target recognition might be less precise, but they're certainly more flattering

At issue were scanners based on backscatter X-ray technology, one of two types that TSA had previously deployed. TSA announced that it would stop buying such devices and would begin removing them from airports in January, after manufacturer Rapiscan admitted that it would be unable to retrofit them with ATR software by Congress's deadline.

Body scanners based on the competing millimeter wave technology were all retrofitted with ATR software in 2011 and will continue to be used. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
'Kim Kardashian snaps naked selfies with a BLACKBERRY'. *Twitterati gasps*
More alleged private, nude celeb pics appear online
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Freenode IRC users told to change passwords after securo-breach
Miscreants probably got in, you guys know the drill by now
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
BitTorrent's peer-to-peer chat app Bleep goes live as public alpha
A good day for privacy as invisble.im also reveals its approach to untraceable chats
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.