TSA removing 'virtual strip search' body scanners - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

TSA removing 'virtual strip search' body scanners

Posted: Updated:
Backscatter machines may be allowed again if the company develops the required software. Backscatter machines may be allowed again if the company develops the required software.
  • CBS19.tv Web ExclusivesMore>>

  • Web Exclusive: Technology helping house calls make a comeback

    Web Exclusive: Technology helping house calls make a comeback

    Friday, August 1 2014 9:44 AM EDT2014-08-01 13:44:03 GMT
    You know the feeling when you or your child gets sick, it can be really tough to get out of bed and drag yourself to the doctor's office.  In some places now technology is bringing the doctor to you.More >>
    You know the feeling when you or your child gets sick, it can be really tough to get out of bed and drag yourself to the doctor's office.  In some places now technology is bringing the doctor to you.More >>
  • Moms-to-be learn how to be Fit for Two

    Moms-to-be learn how to be Fit for Two

    Thursday, July 31 2014 11:54 PM EDT2014-08-01 03:54:43 GMT
    Exercising during pregnancy may have more benefits than you realize. Research finds it can make labor and delivery easier on your body. There are also benefits for baby. As little as 20 minutes of moderate exercise, three times per week enhances the newborn child's brain development.  In this week's Fit City, find out how ETMC is trying to create strong moms and healthy babies with one of its programs. More >>
    Exercising during pregnancy may have more benefits than you realize. Research finds it can make labor and delivery easier on your body. There are also benefits for baby. As little as 20 minutes of moderate exercise, three times per week enhances the newborn child's brain development.  In this week's Fit City, find out how ETMC is trying to create strong moms and healthy babies with one of its programs. More >>
  • Web Exclusive: Rob Lowe is getting "sharky" for a TV network

    Web Exclusive: Rob Lowe is getting "sharky" for a TV network

    Thursday, July 31 2014 9:45 AM EDT2014-07-31 13:45:11 GMT
    Actor Rob Lowe is lending his comedic talents to the Discovery channel.  In a new promo for Shark Week he throws up chum while riding two sharks.More >>
    Actor Rob Lowe is lending his comedic talents to the Discovery channel.  In a new promo for Shark Week he throws up chum while riding two sharks.More >>

Washington (CNN) -- Airport body scanners that produce graphic images of travelers' bodies will be removed from checkpoints by June, the Transportation Security Administration says, ending what critics called "virtual strip searches."

Passengers will continue to pass through machines that display a generic outline of the human body, raising fewer privacy concerns.

The TSA move came after Rapiscan, the manufacturer of the 174 so-called "backscatter" machines, acknowledged it could not meet a congressional-ordered deadline to install privacy software on the machines.

"It is big news," said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. "It removes the concern that people are being viewed naked by the TSA screener."

In 2004 and 2005, the TSA at first dismissed privacy concerns, then sought to address them by placing TSA officers viewing the scanner imagery in remote locations, away from the passenger being screened. They also gave passengers the right to an alternative screening -- a pat down.

But those solutions failed to appease privacy groups and some members of Congress, who felt both alternatives could be abused.

Ultimately, a problem caused by technology was solved by technology. Security companies developed privacy software, called Automated Target Recognition (ATR) software.

But while manufacturers of the less-intrusive "millimeter wave" machines found ways to use ATR software, backscatter machines have not.

This week, the TSA announced it is ending its contract with Rapiscan "due to its inability to deploy non-imaging ATR software."

"By June 2013 travelers will only see machines which have ATR that allow for faster throughput. This means faster lanes for the traveler and enhanced security," the TSA said in a statement.

The TSA could allow backscatter machines in the future if the company develops the required software, the TSA said.

Currently, the TSA uses the 174 backscatter machines in 30 airports, and has another 76 units in storage. It uses millimeter wave machines in 170 airports.

The decision to remove the backscatter machine will make moot, at least temporarily, travelers' concerns about the health effects of the machines. Backscatter machines use X-rays, while millimeter wave machines use radio waves.

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.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • House GOP cancels vote on immigration bill

    House GOP cancels vote on immigration bill

    Thursday, July 31 2014 2:46 PM EDT2014-07-31 18:46:25 GMT
    Washington (CNN) -- On the last day before summer recess, dysfunction reigned in Congress.House Republicans canceled a vote on their $659 million emergency response to the border influx from Central America overwhelming immigration resources, unable to agree among themselves about what to do.More >>
    Washington (CNN) -- On the last day before summer recess, dysfunction reigned in Congress.House Republicans canceled a vote on their $659 million emergency response to the border influx from Central America overwhelming immigration resources, unable to agree among themselves about what to do.More >>
  • New Summerfield family awaits word if body found belongs to missing loved one

    New Summerfield family awaits word if body found belongs to missing loved one

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 10:22 PM EDT2014-07-31 02:22:54 GMT
    Missing person Javier JimenezMissing person Javier Jimenez
    NEW SUMMERFIELD -- Jessica Jimenez is consoled by family members after learning police have found a body just days after her father was reported missing. Javier Jimenez, 44, was last seen leaving his home in New Summerfield on the morning of July 23. More >>
    NEW SUMMERFIELD -- Jessica Jimenez is consoled by family members after learning police have found a body just days after her father was reported missing. Javier Jimenez, 44, was last seen leaving his home in New Summerfield on the morning of July 23. More >>
  • Nine Cases of Chikungunya Virus in Texas

    Nine Cases of Chikungunya Virus in Texas

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 3:58 PM EDT2014-07-30 19:58:47 GMT
    AUSTIN (KYTX)- Texas Department of State Health and Services has confirmed nine Texas cases of Chikungunya, a virus that can cause fever and severe joint pain and is transmitted by mosquitoes.More >>
    AUSTIN (KYTX)- Texas Department of State Health and Services has confirmed nine Texas cases of Chikungunya, a virus that can cause fever and severe joint pain and is transmitted by mosquitoes.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

CBS19, MYTX & KCEB
2211 ESE Loop 323
Tyler, TX 75701
Phone (903) 581-2211
Fax (903) 581-5769

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KYTX. All Rights Reserved. Users of this site agree to the Terms of Service, Privacy Notice/Your California Privacy Rights, and Ad Choices.