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Entries in Full-body scan (6)

Wednesday
Apr102013

Airport Scanning Technology Uncovers Artwork

Photo credit: Livescience.comAlthough airport full-body scanners were unpopluar at best, many will approve of its new use: detecting drawings or images underneath great works of art. 

Using airport scanning technology (terahertz radiation), scientists have uncovered a fresco of a face of an ancient Roman man painted underneath the "Trois hommes armés de lances" in the Louvre Museum in Paris. Art historians believe the drawing is thousands of years old.

Wednesday
Feb022011

TSA Tries to Get it Right With More Modest Body Scanners

TSA began testing a new, more modest body scanning system at three airports -- McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta and Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C.

New software ditches the revealing body images and instead displays generic, chalk-outline images that reveal no sensitive areas.

"We believe it addresses the privacy issues that have been raised," TSA chief John Pistole said at a news conference.

When travelers pass through a scanner, they can see their generic chalk outline on a monitor. If a green "OK" appears on the screen, they can pass. If the scanner detects something, a box will mark the location of the object on the outline of the body, triggering a patdown.

In two months, TSA will assess the results and make the determination to install the software on 250 airport scanners nationwide.

Tuesday
Nov162010

Surprise! Poll Says Most Americans Approve of Full-body Scanners

Despite all the hubbub about airport full-body scanners and their denouncement by the Pilot's Association, a CBS News poll shows that "Americans overwhelmingly approve of the use of full-body digital X-ray machines."

When asked if U.S. airports should use full-body X-ray machines at security checkpoints, 81 percent said yes. Only 15 percent said no. CBS says there's a 3-percentage-point margin of error for the poll.

The results beg the question: What accounts for this disconnect? Tell us what you think. Do you agree with the CBS News poll?

Monday
Oct252010

Napolitano Visits JFK Airport to Highlight the Use of Full-body Scanners

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano visited New York City last Friday to announce the deployment of 300 advanced imaging technology units to airports throughout the country, tour security screening operations at John F. Kennedy International Airport and meet with New York City Police Department Commissioner Raymond Kelly regarding joint DHS-NYPD homeland security and counterterrorism operations.

“The disruption of the attempted terrorist attack in Times Square demonstrated the critical importance of individual citizens and law enforcement personnel in detecting and mitigating threats—underscoring that homeland security truly begins with hometown security,” said Secretary Napolitano. “From securing our airports to supporting local law enforcement, the Obama administration is committed to getting critical information and resources out of Washington, DC, and into the hands of the men and women serving on the front lines.”

Secretary Napolitano visited JFK to highlight the first two AIT units at the airport and announce that the Department has deployed 300 AIT units to more than 60 airports nationwide—keeping the Transportation Security Administration on track to deploy approximately 500 units by the end of 2010, 450 of which were funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. When it came time to demonstrate the scanners, instead of volunteering herself, she invited others to be test subjects.

“The deployment of 300 advanced imaging technology units is an important milestone in our commitment to keeping the traveling public safe,” said TSA Administrator John Pistole. “Imaging technology is a critical part of TSA’s layered counterterrorism strategy and ability to combat evolving threats to aviation security.”

AIT is designed to increase security by safely screening passengers for metallic and non-metallic threats—including weapons, explosives and other objects concealed under layers of clothing. TSA ensures passenger privacy through the anonymity of AIT images—a privacy filter is applied to blur images; all images examined by TSA at airports are permanently deleted immediately once viewed and are never stored, transmitted or printed; and the officer viewing the image is stationed in a remote location so as not to come into contact with passengers being screened. This technology is optional to all passengers. Those who opt out may request alternative screening to include a thorough pat down.

ARRA, signed into law by President Obama on Feb. 17, 2009, committed more than $3 billion for homeland security projects through DHS and the General Services Administration. Of the $1 billion allocated to TSA for aviation security projects, $734 million is dedicated to screening checked baggage and $266 million is allocated for checkpoint explosives detection technologies. President Obama’s fiscal year 2011 budget request included funding for an additional 500 AIT units.

While in New York City, Secretary Napolitano also met with Commissioner Kelly to discuss the Department’s ongoing partnership with the NYPD and tour the Lower Manhattan Security Initiative. LMSI was launched by Commissioner Kelly in 2005 to help ensure public safety and includes additional uniformed officers on the streets as well as counterterrorism technologies deployed in public areas such as closed circuit televisions, license plate readers, and chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear detectors.

During the meeting, Secretary Napolitano reiterated the Department’s continued support of the NYPD’s critical infrastructure protection efforts. DHS, in partnership with the NYPD and other stakeholders, has performed consolidated field assessments at 74 critical infrastructure sites concentrated in lower Manhattan. In total, New York City has received more than $2.1 billion in funding from DHS to support the city’s counterterrorism and homeland security-related initiatives.

Wednesday
Oct202010

Pilot May Lose Job for Refusing Full-body Scan

A pilot for ExpressJet Airlines may lose his job because he refused to submit to a full-body scan in Memphis, calling the technology "virtual strip searching."

After almost five years of flying out of Memphis, this was the first time TSA has asked Michael Roberts, who was in full uniform, to enter a full-body scanner. He declined but agreed to pass through a metal detector but would not allow agents to frisk him. Airport police were summoned, who demanded Roberts’ credentials and information. He agreed to supply everything except his boss' name and telephone number.

Here's what Roberts wrote on his ExpressJet blog:

"As I loaded my bags onto the X-ray scanner belt, an agent told me to remove my shoes and send them through as well, which I've not normally been required to do when passing through the standard metal detectors in uniform. When I questioned her, she said it was necessary to remove my shoes for the AIT scanner. I explained that I did not wish to participate in the AIT program, so she told me I could keep my shoes and directed me through the metal detector that had been roped off. She then called somewhat urgently to the agents on the other side: 'We got an opt-out!' and also reported the 'opt-out' into her handheld radio.

"On the other side I was stopped by another agent and informed that because I had 'opted out' of AIT screening, I would have to go through secondary screening. I asked for clarification to be sure he was talking about frisking me, which he confirmed, and I declined. At this point he and another agent explained the TSA's latest decree, saying I would not be permitted to pass without showing them my naked body, and how my refusal to do so had now given them cause to put their hands on me as I evidently posed a threat to air transportation security (this, of course, is my nutshell synopsis of the exchange).

"I asked whether they did in fact suspect I was concealing something after I had passed through the metal detector, or whether they believed that I had made any threats or given other indications of malicious designs to warrant treating me, a law-abiding fellow citizen, so rudely. None of that was relevant, I was told. They were just doing their job.

"Eventually the airport police were summoned. Several officers showed up and we essentially repeated the conversation above. When it became clear that we had reached an impasse, one of the more sensible officers and I agreed that any further conversation would be pointless at this time. I then asked whether I was free to go. I was not. Another officer wanted to see my driver's license. When I asked why, he said they needed 'information for their report on this "incident' – my name, address, phone number, etc.

"I recited my information for him, until he asked for my supervisor's name and number at the airline. Why did he need that, I asked. For the report, he answered. I had already given him the primary phone number at my company's headquarters. When I asked him what the Chief Pilot in Houston had to do with any of this, he either refused or was simply unable to provide a meaningful explanation. I chose not to divulge my supervisor's name as I preferred to be the first to inform him of the situation myself. In any event, after a brief huddle with several other officers, my interrogator told me I was free to go."