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Archive for Friday, March 5, 2010

Kansas City International airport to test full body scanners at security checkpoints

Airport security across the country is getting an upgrade to full-body scanners. KCI is among the airports that is expected to use the new equipment.

March 5, 2010, 9:27 a.m. Updated March 5, 2010, 10:40 a.m.

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— The Transportation Security Administration on Friday announced nine more U.S. airports — including Kansas City International Airport — will receive body-scanning technology as the U.S. heightens its effort to detect hidden explosives and contraband.

TSA security director Lee Kair said units will be fielded in the coming months at Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; San Jose, Calif.; Columbus, Ohio; San Diego; Charlotte, N.C.; Cincinnati; Los Angeles; Oakland, Calif.; and Kansas City.

They will join three machines going online Monday at Boston’s Logan International Airport, and in the next week at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago.

All are among 150 machines bought with money from the federal stimulus package signed by President Barack Obama last year. They join 40 machines already in use at 19 airports nationwide.

Deployment of the machines was announced in the fall, before a Nigerian allegedly tried to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day with explosives concealed in his underwear. Even so, that event highlighted the need for additional security in the U.S. aviation system.

Other countries have also signed on to use the technology, including Nigeria and the Netherlands, where the final leg of the man’s flight originated.

Civil libertarians have complained that the new machines can violate a passenger’s privacy. The American Civil Liberties Union has denounced the screening as a “virtual strip search.”

The TSA says that the units won’t be able to print or store images, and that the officer viewing them will have no contact with passengers.

The scanners allow the TSA to see beneath a passenger’s clothing, to search for contraband not detectable to the eye or a metal screener.

Passengers will have the option of accepting or declining a body scan. Those who do — and pass — will not have to walk through a metal detector or other security equipment. Those who decline will have to walk through a metal detector and also submit to a patdown.

Images from the scanner will be displayed in a remote viewing room. A passenger’s face will be blurred, and the image will be seen only by an officer in the room. The passenger will remain at the checkpoint until the remote officer gives the all-clear to another officer standing with the passenger.

Sample images are on display on the TSA’s Web site.

The Obama administration announced in February 2009 that it would provide $1 billion for airport screening as part of its $787 billion federal stimulus package.

In May, the administration detailed how that money would be spent — including $25 million for the new scanners. Between May and September, the department asked contractors to provide proposals for building the scanners. Competing models were tested over the summer.

The department awarded the contract to California-based Rapiscan at the end of September.

Comments

Shane Garrett 4 years, 9 months ago

I have always said people should just fly naked.

RogueThrill 4 years, 9 months ago

Looks like I am flying out of Wichita from now on.

booze_buds_03 4 years, 9 months ago

Are you that embarassed of your body that you would drive 2 hours to Wichita instead of the 30 to KCI?

I don't get the problem with these scanners. Plus you can opt out and go through a pat down instead.

redmoonrising 4 years, 9 months ago

True, if you have nothing to hide, what's the big deal? You walk through a machine, if you have nothing illegal, it doesn't say a thing and you keep walking. If it squawks, everyone will turn and look at you. They will ask you what you have on you and either walk you through again or pat you down. I've had that done just because I push a walker and have artificial joints. And there is no concealed carry on airplanes.

XEPCT 4 years, 9 months ago

I don't have a problem with the scanners, but I doubt KCI is a high risk airport ... personally I think our tax dollars are worth more at places like Logan.

Jock Navels 4 years, 9 months ago

what scanning technology is at work? is it x-rays? if it is x-rays, i would have to take the pat-down. to redmoon: "if you have nothing to hide, what's the big deal?" the big deal is encroaching loss of liberty...the right to be secure in my papers and personal effects...today it may be explosive liquid gel, in a few years it may be a book by marx or buckley...

ozzynbn 4 years, 9 months ago

I saw one of the scanning machines being used at the Las Vegas airport a couple of weeks ago. Biggest "no big deal" I ever saw. Only took about 10 seconds per person. I wanted to go into the machine but wasn't one of the random chosen. It's much ado about nothing for the whiners who claim you are losing a civil right. You're not. It's about safety for all and if you don't like, ride the bus.

Danimal 4 years, 9 months ago

How stupid is it that our government is effectively strip searching everyone that gets on a plane in this country when all the attempted attacks since 9/11 were on flights coming into the US from abroad? I think this is a grave abuse of government power and an extreme invasion of privacy. Basically, the government is telling us that we're all terror suspects in its view.

The security posture the Federal Government has taken is getting ridiculous. In summer of 2008 I went to Washington, DC. I hadn't been there since before 9/11, so I thought I'd take a stroll through the Capitol rotunda (knowing I would have to go through a metal detector that was put in place after the Capitol shooting in 1998). I was informed by a Capitol cop who was wearing fatigues, body armor and carrying a machine gun that you had to have a pass, which you have to request weeks in advance. I then went across the street to the Supreme Court to have a friend take my picture on the steps at the front of the building. There I was informed by a machine gun-toting Supreme Court cop that the steps were off limits to the public. I'm sick of our government treating all of its citizens like suspects, but maybe we're all too stupid to know the difference.

Another thing, we've all seen the people that work for TSA, and you can bet that they're going to figure out a way to save or print off these images.

headdoctor 4 years, 9 months ago

Guess the new new scanners give a more vivid body image than what one might think or what they have shown so far, Otherwise why blur the face. If it is just an outline why have the pictures transmitted to a monitor in a private viewing room? Sort of gives watching porn at work a whole new meaning.

headdoctor 4 years, 9 months ago

Danimal (anonymous) says… Another thing, we've all seen the people that work for TSA, and you can bet that they're going to figure out a way to save or print off these images.


Yup. Never believe anything is true until it has been categorically denied. Those pictures will be uploaded to priceless dot com in a heart beat.

jaywalker 4 years, 9 months ago

"All are among 150 machines bought with money from the federal stimulus package signed by President Barack Obama last year."

Swell. Another example of worthless stimulus spending. I'm all for body scanners, but they have to scan the WHOLE body. These don't. The crotch "region" is blacked out.

"Deployment of the machines was announced in the fall, before a Nigerian allegedly tried to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day with explosives concealed in his underwear. Even so, that event highlighted the need for additional security in the U.S. aviation system."

Brilliant. If I'm not mistaken, the Algerian that attempted that Xmas day attack is known as the "Underwear Bomber", no? And I believe he had to pass through one of these body scanners to board. Supposedly Al Qaeda has already purchased a couple of these machines in order to figure how to surpass them. Successful on their first try. "We pack de crotch, we waste de infidels!"

".today it may be explosive liquid gel, in a few years it may be a book by marx or buckley..."

Sweet fancy Moses, will you give me just a small break........

Alexander Neighbors 4 years, 9 months ago

redmoonrising (anonymous) says…

True, if you have nothing to hide, what's the big deal?

IF this is the way you think why dont you just take pictures of your self nakid and post them on online since you have nothing to hide......... Or post pictures of the inside of your house....... IF you have nothing to hide...... Its called privacy and the public is pretty much been degraded we are treated like criminals each time we fly. This is why I want high speed rail.

SpunKey 4 years, 9 months ago

If someone wants to hurt and shock the US a few 100 people on a plane won't do it anymore. The pilots are locked in so the plane can't be used as a ramrod.

I think we are being Terrorized even more by our government (trying to save us) than by the foreign extremists. We keep putting more money into airport security... and ignore our water, highway and rail systems.

We (the citizens) have fallen for the bait (our federal govenrment's smoke screne). We have almost reached the point where the PARTRIOTS need to ACT.

SpunKey 4 years, 9 months ago

I want to see how many jobs this CA contractor actually created and how much of those Federal stimulus dollars are recycling in our national economy (wage earners buying groceries).

Did the parts manufacturing and assembly all take place overseas?

What is the profit margin verse community/charity percentage of this co?

Lets put these factors into work when awarding Economic Stimulus dollars!

CreatureComforts 4 years, 9 months ago

My favorite is that the people who complain that the pictures of them might get out are usually the people nobody wants to see naked...

Hot, skinny, tall blond...sure, her worries of the pictures getting out might be true.

Short, fat beer gutted redneck...if nobody wants to see you naked, you don't have to worry...

headdoctor 4 years, 9 months ago

Not much left to say on this thread except to quote Ben Franklin.

"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

jjt 4 years, 9 months ago

In the UK if you refuse to go through the machine you do not fly, having forfeited your ticket. The TSA staff miss stuff regularly, in some ways I wish the authorities would do live non warned drills on them. If they miss something = instant dismissal. Then they would pay attention. IMO if you do not fly regularly, regionally or internationally you are not the one who is at risk and thus why are you bothered.

fabian_zimbabwe 4 years, 9 months ago

Indeed, jjt...much ado about absolutely nothing. If this gets me on the plane and safely to my destination, so be it. I have no problem with this whatsoever. Happy Friday, all! Have a beer, get some sun and be happy! Cheers!

headdoctor 4 years, 9 months ago

TomShewmon (Tom Shewmon) says… Oh great! I guess now the TSA people will giggle or give me funny looks when they see I'm wearing a 'Depends'.


Well Tom, I have to admit that would be pretty darn funny. The award winning LJW's very own Baby Huey.

Richard Payton 4 years, 9 months ago

When will the first full body scan appear on you tube or some other social networking site?

Graczyk 4 years, 9 months ago

@rtpayton - I'm betting that the first images appear soon.

Also, planes are so passe. None of this technology keeps people from taking explosives into an airport. Ever been in Atlanta-Hartsfield or OIA on a busy travel day? There are 500-1000 people crammed into small security checkpoints at any given time. You don't need to get on a plane to do major damage anymore thanks to the security bottlenecks.

geekyhost 4 years, 9 months ago

I sure wish that stimulus money had been spent on better and more train routes. Because that's what I'm taking next time. I get to carry on as much shampoo and toothpaste as I need, I don't have to ask permission to go pee, and nobody says squat when I pull out my own food.

Oh, and also I don't have to subject myself to humiliating searches of dubious merit in order to take a trip on public transport.

gccs14r 4 years, 9 months ago

TSA needs to talk to the Israelis. They don't need technology for screening, becasue they invest in good people.

blackfox 4 years, 9 months ago

I will not fly due to all the security! Americans are afraid of them-selves! Screw all this security. My best friend flys commuter jets and he says people would freak out if they really knew what goes on in the cabin area.

blackfox 4 years, 9 months ago

"danimal" your comment is dead on! Those rent a cops are a joke. I can only imagine the thrill they are getting!

Alexander Neighbors 4 years, 9 months ago

Full body scans of your children are being seen by registered sex offenders....... Great just Great.......

Leslie Swearingen 4 years, 9 months ago

I was taught that decency and modesty are good things. As much as I dislike the idea of the scanners I like the idea of the plane I am in going boom even less. Relatively small groups of terrorists in the near and middle east are making life difficult for many, many people all over the world. Their influence is felt far outside of their actual attacks. We must also not forget the Americans who feel justified in using violence because of real or imagined wrongs done to them. I would hope that there is going to be a very, very through background check of those who work the scanners so as to eliminate registered sex offenders from getting these jobs.

imastinker 4 years, 9 months ago

Here is one frequent traveler who is glad to see them. This is not about taking away rights but ensuring safety. Privacy isn't a right.

Graczyk 4 years, 9 months ago

So you won't mind if I peep in your bedroom window, video tape it and post it on a blog? Privacy is a right. So is the idea of being protected from illegal searches. What is the probable cause that justifies strip searching everyone? I am an American citizen. I'm Presbyterian (when was the last time one of those blew up?) and I am not a threat to anyone. Though sometimes I do watch Falling Down over and over and over...

Alexander Neighbors 4 years, 9 months ago

Registered Sex offenders can work As TSA agents As long as their job does not require them to interact directly with small children. So if they sit in another room watching these images they will not have direct contact with children...... but........ Peep show here we come....

imastinker 4 years, 9 months ago

Graczyk - that's trespassing. Of course I would mind.

You don't have to fly. The fourth amendment was not meant to be applied to a situation like this - where you are flying on a private plane for personal reasons. They have every right to require you to do anything they want to ensure the safety of their airplanes and their passengers. You have the right to drive.

I consider myself a libertarian and an very concerned about the erosion of our consittutional rights, but this isn't one of them.

Graczyk 4 years, 9 months ago

Okay. I'll try again. Privacy is a right. That's why the flap over the Erin Andrews peep hole video. And I do think the 4th amendment can apply to this situation. That's why the ACLU is concerned about these machines. But that's what legal challenges are for. They are a formal dialogue to work out matters like this.

I have been on the verge of giving up flying anyway. I have never really liked it. The airlines are a joke. The service, by and large, is crap. I'm tall (and of a normal weight) and coach is uncomfortable and I swear that the seats are getting more narrow. I changed planes on my last trip and my hip bones were touching the armrests on the second plane. Since I don't like the airlines' service, and I feel like the TSA is making it more inconvenient and (I think) insulting, my days of flying may be over except for overseas trips. Plus, I really like driving anyway.

But imastinker, I'm not sure why you don't think this is intrusive - particularly if you are a libertarian. This is one more step towards an surveillance society. Wait till they start using biometrics (blood pressure, etc.) to screen for threats. It's coming.

compmd 4 years, 9 months ago

Wow, I can't believe the number of people defending this insanity. How many aircraft have been destroyed by terrorism since 9/11? Millimeter wave scanners such as these are tantamount to a strip search. Would anyone care to explain why a federal agent has the right to strip search you when you want to fly on a commercial airliner? Oh, "national security," right I forgot. Let's see, how many people fly in the US in a year? And how many attempted attacks are there a year? Yeah, that's right, you have a better chance of walking outside and being struck by lightning.

imastinker,

You are way, way off base.

"You don't have to fly. The fourth amendment was not meant to be applied to a situation like this - where you are flying on a private plane for personal reasons. They have every right to require you to do anything they want to ensure the safety of their airplanes and their passengers."

The Man can't just bully the passengers or crew of private aircraft. They can inspect the aircraft, verify it is airworthy, and verify the certification of the pilot. Anything else, and the owner of the aircraft can tell the feds to GTFO.

"You have the right to drive."

No, you don't. You have the right to unrestricted travel within and between states. There is no "right to drive."

jjt,

Last I heard, not every airport in the UK was implementing these scanners. In London, I recall Heathrow had them but Luton did not. Given the UK's track record though, I'm sure they all will.

gccs14r,

You couldn't be more correct. The Israeli security is well trained, thoughtful, and fair. I'd take them over the security theater we have here any day.

I don't fly commercially anymore. The circus that is airport security has so far served practically no purpose other than to inconvenience travelers, wasting their time and money whilst sacrificing their dignity. People ask me why I decided to become a private pilot, and its partially because of stunts like these meant to stop all that terrorism we've been experiencing. If I want to fly somewhere, I'll do it myself.

Liberty275 4 years, 9 months ago

Can someone please explain why hippies aren't out protesting with their funny signs?

Nevermind. Their liar is in charge now so civil liberties really aren't worth protecting.

Liberals are the most two-faced people in the US. It's no wonder normal people hate them.

nina90 4 years ago

When I went to Kansas City Airport over Halloween weekend, I was told to step into the scanner. I was not told about what this scanner was, or given a choice between the scanner and a pat-down. I also did not know anything about this type of scanner, and thought it was just a metal detector. I feel upset because I feel that more information should have been given. Apparently..

"Passengers will have the option of accepting or declining a body scan. Those who do — and pass — will not have to walk through a metal detector or other security equipment. Those who decline will have to walk through a metal detector and also submit to a patdown."

But I was not treated in this way at all!!

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