Feeds

TSA: Perv scanners now fully banished from US airports

New machines spot targets, not todgers

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

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. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
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?