Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

TSA Spending $245 Million On "Second Generation" Body Scanners

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 years ago | from the amtrak-promotion-program dept.

Electronic Frontier Foundation 335

McGruber writes "Continuing its standard practice of wasting hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars, the TSA has awarded an indefinite delivery / indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract, worth up to $245 Million, to American Science and Engineering Inc. to deliver an unspecified number of 'second generation' Advanced Imaging Technology screening systems for use at U.S. airports. As previously reported, Jonathan Corbett proved that TSA's current nude-o-scopes are incapable of actually detecting hidden objects."

cancel ×


Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Frosty Poo (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41386545)

Frirst Prost!

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 2 years ago | (#41386723)

Yeah. But, hey! I mean naked

Hard to go wrong there. Or it's wrong to go hard there. Or... You know.

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41387467)

3 digit account and still you reply to trolls...

And probably an overpaid unionized workforce (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41386565)

to run them. Please, God, let Romney win.

Re:And probably an overpaid unionized workforce (1, Insightful)

Entropius (188861) | about 2 years ago | (#41387165)

Bush is the one who gave us the TSA, and started overpaying them in the first place. You really think Romney'd change anything?

Abbreviation time! (5, Funny)

Quakeulf (2650167) | about 2 years ago | (#41386589)

TSA = Trolling State Airports?

Post Removed (4, Funny)

Iskender (1040286) | about 2 years ago | (#41386871)

This post was removed due to Dice content standards violations.

Re:Post Removed (1)

evilRhino (638506) | about 2 years ago | (#41387009)

I can't tell if this is a thing now or a troll...

Re:Post Removed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41387175)

This post was removed due to Dice content standards violations.

Re:Post Removed (0)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#41387319)

YHBT. HAND. Proof?


See, still there. Probably modded offtopic, as it should be, but it's there. If Dice were going to remove a comment, do you think they would advertise the fact with bold type? No, they'd simply remove it quietly.

Note to TSA (5, Insightful)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about 2 years ago | (#41386595)

Second generation != better

Maybe they should think about using the methods employed by countries like Israel which actually work.

Re:Note to TSA (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41386677)

Call me crazy, but wouldn't a metal scanner and the cockpit doors being locked be more than good enough to prevent a new 9/11 type scenario?

It would prevent stuff like a crowbar or whatever being taken in, so all in all, only about a 100 people could be killed and minimal damage done if the pilots never open the cockpits themselves. And to kill a 100 people without being able to take in a gun would be quite hard already. Thus it starts to be a harder terrorist action to pull of with little reward, following the concept of not being the fastest prey, but simply not being the slowest one either.

Re:Note to TSA (5, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | about 2 years ago | (#41386707)

Banning passengers and crew from all flights is the only effective method.

Re:Note to TSA (4, Funny)

Loughla (2531696) | about 2 years ago | (#41387097)

Nope, it's actually easier than that. Simply ban all items that can be used as weapons.

Like staplers, picture frames, computer monitors, file folders, pens, pencils, paper clips, cell phones, coffee mugs, notebooks, binders, keyboards, cats, hammers, squirrels, water buffalo, car tires, lugnuts, eight sided stars, six sided stars, one sided stars (whoa), asphalt, poles, sticks, trees, crowbars, nails, screws, condoms, pregnancy tests, candy, plastic bags, corn nuts, potatoes, pesticides, garden rakes, trowels, towels, boats, hair ties, jackets, gum, highlighters, guns, earrings, necklaces.

You know what, you get the idea.

Re:Note to TSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41387173)

Missed a few - hands, feet, knees, elbows, teeth...

Re:Note to TSA (2)

Pikoro (844299) | about 2 years ago | (#41387317)

Heads, shoulders, knees and toes?

Re:Note to TSA (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 2 years ago | (#41387335)

Snap a CD in half, then try and explain why we're allowed to take them on aircraft but nailclippers and scissors are banned.

You might want to wear eye protection, and don't run your finger over the exposed edge.

Re:Note to TSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41387369)

chuck norris?

You forgot to add the Congressional Medal of Honor (5, Interesting)

CQDX (2720013) | about 2 years ago | (#41387371)

Apparently the TSA agents didn't know what a MoH is and were supsicious because the medal is the shape of a star and feared it might be used like a Japanese shuriken (throwing star)! Never mind that the guy they didn't trust was a WWII ace, a retired general, and form governor. [] The meme used to be if you weren't smart enough to get into college, you could join the Army. I think now it's you can join the TSA.

Re:Note to TSA (-1, Flamebait)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about 2 years ago | (#41386755)

You're crazy.

Metal is not the only threat. Ever used a ceramic knife? I have one in my kitchen and cuts just as well as my sharpest metal knife. How about plastic explosives? All you would need to ignite them is a small cell phone battery (allowed on planes). Locking the cockpit doors only does so much good. Think about coercion, "open the doors or we start killing people." Or, the well-known fact that every lock can be broken with tools as simple as a paper clip or a drill. Before you get started, electronic locks are even more vulnerable, being in the air gives someone a lot of time to brute force a lock that often has a 10-digit numeric combination.

Re:Note to TSA (4, Interesting)

mellon (7048) | about 2 years ago | (#41386855)

Oh come on. Seriously. You have a ceramic knife, and five buddies, and there are 200 people on the plane. How are you going to "start killing people?" You are going to get your ass handed to you. Every asshole that's tried something on a plane since 9/11 has been wrestled to the floor by angry and enthusiastic travelers. This isn't a real threat model.

Re:Note to TSA (-1)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about 2 years ago | (#41386911)

Well let's see. Using some common military tactical knowledge (READ: Battle of Thermopalyae), it is completely plausible for a smaller force to defeat a larger force when the larger force is only able to bring a limited number of people into the fray. An airplane is a great example of this. Sure there are 200 people, but each row will only allow for 1 person to fit. So the reality, is that the fight would not be 100 v 5, it would be 1 v 1 repeated over and over again. And out of those 200 people, using pure statistics, there may be 5 passengers who were police or military, with the necessary skills to defeat an attacker with a knife while they are unarmed.

Re:Note to TSA (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41387129)

Seeing 300 doesn't make you an expert. Even if what you posit is true, that situation quickly turns into a standoff. People aren't going to pile into the attacker continuously until they're all dead like its a movie. They're going to see that they dont need to enter the galley, forcing the attacker to come to them where they have strength in numbers and room to maneuver.
Also, If I were a pilot, I wouldn't open the doors even if they were threatening to kill the very last of the passengers on the plane. Opening the doors is means assured death for all involved. Leaving them shut means maybe the passengers still have a shot at this. Leaving them shut means theres at least a modicum of hope.

Re:Note to TSA (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 2 years ago | (#41387323)

you are aware how things ended up in thermopalyae? just checking.
and besides than that there's things to throw in airplane too.

what it really gets down to is.. what if the terrorist takes some kid hostage? though you don't really need a weapon for that.
there's airline flights that have very few passengers aboard though too.

but the isreali common sense threat consideration tactics really are more effective than the tsa methods. not as big of a business though and needs smarter people working the security.

Re:Note to TSA (1)

uniquename72 (1169497) | about 2 years ago | (#41387473)

You still wouldn't get into the cockpit in order to turn the plane into a guided missile, which was the whole point of the 9/11 hijackings.

There are infinitely easier ways to kill a paltry 200 people.

Re:Note to TSA (1)

Kleen13 (1006327) | about 2 years ago | (#41386889)

But aren't all these things able to get through now, even with the scanners? The terrorists will just drive in through Canada and pick new targets, or adapt accordingly. They made their point with planes, now they can be content to watch everyone scramble around for 10 or so years while they piss in their cornflakes every morning and watch the show.

Re:Note to TSA (1)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about 2 years ago | (#41387023)

I do not disagree at all. Ever read "The Teeth of the Tiger"? Terrorists walk into the U.S. through the Mexican border and cause havoc. Completely plausible.

I was responding to the AC poster thinking that a metal scanner and locked cockpit doors would do just fine for airline security. I believe that reactionary security is bad security. There's no point in adapting to the tactics used by the bad guys 10 YEARS AGO, when they can be just as creative as anyone else. It would be like figuring out how to patch Windows 98 to conform to present-day security threats. Pointless.

Re:Note to TSA (5, Insightful)

trout007 (975317) | about 2 years ago | (#41386775)

In reality you didn't need to do anything post 9/11. Even on United 93 they figured out to fight back. The key weakness the terrorists exploited was not security but the policy of submitting to hijackers. After 9/11 passengers have shown time and time again that they will fight back.

Re:Note to TSA (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 2 years ago | (#41386823)

To be fair to the authorities, they did mandate that cockpit doors be reinforced and locked from the inside.

That was all that was needed to prevent the WTC attack.

Re:Note to TSA (2)

trout007 (975317) | about 2 years ago | (#41386935)

Wrong. If the policy was to never let hijackers enter the cockpit and always fight back you wouldn't even need a cockpit door. I don't know but I'm assuming the flight crew on the first three planes were telling the passengers to stay calm and do what the hijackers wanted. That will never happen again.

Re:Note to TSA (4, Insightful)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 2 years ago | (#41387205)

Prior to the 9/11/2001 hijacking, the expectation was that the hijackers has an agenda which ended in a hostage trade-off and everyone getting out alive. Cooperating with the hijackers ensured the survival of the hostages.

I maintain that had we had locked and reinforced cockpit doors prior to 9/11, the hijackings would not have been successful. Expecting passengers and crew to risk their lives for the chance of stopping a hijacker entering the cockpit prior to the WTC attacks was pointless; They expected to live by cooperating. Locking the cockpit puts the idea of taking control of the plane out of their hands, making hijack less of an issue.

Re:Note to TSA (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41387137)

I hate my fellow citizens. Their cowardice and stupidity motivate them to accept, and even approve-of and support, evils like the TSA.

It is because of all the voters who overpower my own vote that I don't fly, and am becoming more afraid of all forms of public transit (the TSA viper squads do not limit themselves to airplanes).

*I* get the government *you* deserve, and I therefore feel no remorse at shaming you for your stupidity and cowardice.

And I hate you all.

Re:Note to TSA (4, Informative)

deanklear (2529024) | about 2 years ago | (#41387007)

The TSA has nothing to do with terrorism. It has to do with ratcheting up fear so the military industry can continue to suck half of our discretionary budget. It's a drop-in replacement for the cold war. We spend 4 times more than the entirety of the EU combined, or roughly 40-45% of the entire world budget.

The numbers are probably higher, but I can't find any statistics right now that include interest on past wars, paying for veterans benefits, and the various weapons research projects that are buried in other departments like the DoE.

Re:Note to TSA (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 2 years ago | (#41387121)

It's a drop-in replacement for the cold war.

astute way to look at it.

"dammit, look at all the money we are losing since the cold war ended. what else can we substitute so that our 'defense' buddies can continue to rake in more dough?"

yeah, what a great con they pulled on the american people.

wish the media would investigate this angle more. keep it more in the focus and let it sink in. after a generation, maybe there would be a chance of people coming to their senses and undoing all this harm to our freedoms and way of life.

Re:Note to TSA (4, Insightful)

Entropius (188861) | about 2 years ago | (#41387197)

And Bin Laden succeeded between his wildest dreams.

Fly two airplanes into buildings and watch a giant autoimmune reaction hurt the US vastly out of proportion to anything he could have done.

Re:Note to TSA (4, Insightful)

Reverand Dave (1959652) | about 2 years ago | (#41386751)

No, because remember this has nothing to do with keeping anyone safe. It's all about the theatrics. Security theatre is our policy, not actual safety. Besides, what do we really have to protect ourselves from? The threat of terrorism is as marginal and idiotic as the threat of getting cancer from a hair dye. It's merely a scare tactic to keep people jumping through as many pointless hoops as possible.

Re:Note to TSA (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#41387079)

It's not pointless. It's crowd control. Slow boiling. Tenderize the meat. Soften up the target. Buy an iPhone and play Angry Birds while you wait. Sleeeep.

Re:Note to TSA (5, Insightful)

brxndxn (461473) | about 2 years ago | (#41387387)

I think the theatrics are 'part' of the goal - but the real goal is money and social conditioning.

As far as money, as long as the TSA and DHS keep the 'terrorist threats everywhere' narrative alive, Congress will continue to throw taxpayer money at these agencies to waste on worthless unskilled employees (TSA agents) and 'mysterious technological devices' that cost a ton of money. Under this idea, it does not matter whether AIT machines are effective for their actual declared purpose - they are an effective part of the 'social conditioning' goal which is to make the American people believe that the Government has control of the situation.

As far as social conditioning, it has become more obvious that people in control of this country (and the world) will do anything to maintain their control. The TSA serves to undermine and erode individual civil liberties - it is there to make people get used to willingly giving up their rights. Of course the TSA, left unchallenged, will eventually end up in all venues or transportation centers. If the TSA or DHS were not interested in total expansion throughout the US, you would be hearing Janet Napolitano talking more often on the legal limits of the DHS.

And further, this is just my opinion.. This is how I interpret the situation. But, I am posting this with reservations wondering if this will get me put on a 'list' somewhere. I cannot be the only one deathly afraid of the direction of the US Government and completely fearless of any terrorist threat.

Re:Note to TSA (2)

Octorian (14086) | about 2 years ago | (#41386799)

You mean methods that require smart and highly trained screening personnel? Is an organization like the TSA even allowed to hire those kinds of people?

Re:Note to TSA (1)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about 2 years ago | (#41386913)

You mean methods that require smart and highly trained screening personnel? Is the US government even allowed to hire those kinds of people?


Re:Note to TSA (2)

firex726 (1188453) | about 2 years ago | (#41387187)

Yea, we could never replicate Israel.
Party because of the incompetence of the TSA screeners and also because of the PC decries.

Re:Note to TSA (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 2 years ago | (#41386833)

Dude, these including ultrasonic reacharound capabilities!

Win win!

Re:Note to TSA (5, Insightful)

cje (33931) | about 2 years ago | (#41386915)

The problem with the Israeli model is that it isn't terribly feasible at a large scale. It works because Israel is a tiny country with only one major international airport (Ben Gurion) that needs to be secured. This type of massive security infrastructure (extremely tight physical perimeter around the airport, security personnel with extensive psychology training, countless constantly-monitored security cameras, legions of plainclothes guards, etc.) is not a realistic scenario when you have hundreds of major international and regional airports like the US does.

Re:Note to TSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41387273)

It would be realsitic if the TSA/Government were really that concerned about security, and that's the point.

Re:Note to TSA (3, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#41387321)

Why not? What is it about airport security that doesn't scale linearly?

Re:Note to TSA (1)

bdenton42 (1313735) | about 2 years ago | (#41387003)

Like ethnic/racial/religious profiling? Somehow I think the Constitution will get in the way of that.

On the other hand the first, second and fourth amendments don't seem to get in the way of the TSA so whats the big deal about ignoring another amendment?

Re:Note to TSA (1)

firex726 (1188453) | about 2 years ago | (#41387255)

Constitution makes no reference for that kind of thing.
They aren't denying people the right to fly, only pulling them out of line in the event that they seems suspicious. Some religious groups are more prone to violence then others.

Personally I don't see the big deal with profiling, private businesses do it every day and no one says a word; but when a police officer stops a black person whose dressed like a thug and carrying a TV, in a gated community where he knows all the residents and this guy is not one of them; then it's a horrible act.

The officer is doing his job by noticing suspicious activity and investigating.

Re:Note to TSA (2)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about 2 years ago | (#41387383)

We are profiled all the time. Look at car insurance. Men pay more than women. Single people pay more than married people. People who live in urban areas pay more than people that live in rural areas. How about life insurance? Same thing. "Profiling", as you put it, is merely assigning people a risk category based on specific parameters, like age, gender, marital status, race, etc.

An 89 year old woman in a wheelchair with an oxygen tank is less likely to hijack a plane than a nervous 19 year old man who bought a one-way ticket to Washington D.C.

And discrimination is not in the Constitution, it was an act passed by Congress and signed into law by the President.

Re:Note to TSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41387035)

you mean only having one airport, and interviewing everyone personally by specially trained staff?

Re:Note to TSA (1)

firex726 (1188453) | about 2 years ago | (#41387293)

I don't think they interview everyone, mostly just keep an eye on the crowd and make "small talk", see how they react.

If a guy is acting twitchy and nervous, and you ask him how the weather is or if he's there on business of pleasure and he can't give you a straight answer, or look you in the face when speaking then there is a good chance something's up.

Re:Note to TSA (5, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#41387339)

Maybe they should think about using the methods employed by countries like Israel which actually work.

I know you were referring to airports, but another Israeli approach comes to mind when I think of the TSA: the approach to West Bank checkpoints. Read this: []

Arbitrary policies set by inept guards who know nothing about the high level reasons for what they do? Random harassment at will? Punishments for daring to say "no" or for standing up for your own dignity? Guards that have no idea whether or not they actually picked the terrorists out of a crowd of non-terrorists?

This is what the TSA checkpoints are about. They are not trying to keep us safe from terrorists by humiliating us, punishing us for exercising our rights, or wasting our time and making us miss our flights. The checkpoints probably make us less safe, since we are standing in a neatly organized and easy-to-attack crowd before passing through. The goal is to attack our psychology, to remind us that the government can do whatever it wants and that we need to just go along with it if we do not want to suffer.

After all, metal detectors and X-ray images of your luggage are more than sufficient to convince people that you are doing "something" to keep them safe (most people probably never noticed the available of glass at airport bars, or the fact that people who charter private jets go through no security at all). The purpose of the humiliating practices of the TSA is to make sure that people stay in line and do as their government demands. Eventually the TSA will spread these practices beyond airports, to trains, subways, and buses, until almost everyone deals with it on a daily basis. Then the TSA will have won: they will have conquered American psychology.

Fly naked (4, Funny)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about 2 years ago | (#41386607)

It's the only way to be sure...

Re:Fly naked (1)

rastan (43536) | about 2 years ago | (#41386739)

Actually, changing clothes at security to provided, standardized suits and have your clothes packed together and transported in the luggage compartment should be fairly safe as well. Of course, everyone would look the same in flight then...

Re:Fly naked (2, Informative)

Walterk (124748) | about 2 years ago | (#41386769)

It's been tried [] . Apparently it doesn't even qualify for indecent expose if you claim it's a protest [] ..

Re:Fly naked (4, Funny)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 2 years ago | (#41386795)

Two anecdotes (youtube videos) spring to mind:
- One lady, taking matters into her own hands, went to the airport dressed only in a bikini. She was waved through with no scan, no patdown.
- One gentleman was stopped by security and patted down. During the patdown, the actions of the agent caused his trousers to fall so his underwear was exposed. He was arrested for indecent exposure.

So a woman wearing what is practically underwear is waved through, but a man in a jumper and trousers who has the latter pulled down by an agent is arrested for indecent exposure, despite being far more clothed than the woman.

Your country is all kinds of messed up.

Re:Fly naked (2)

Entropius (188861) | about 2 years ago | (#41387229)

I *would* fly naked if they'd let me skip the damned checkpoints.

Re:Fly naked (1)

naranek (1727936) | about 2 years ago | (#41387419)

I thought nuking from the orbit was the only way. I guess I'd better try this first next time...

Power Trip (4, Informative)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#41386647)

The people who manage this agency are on a powertrip. They are the "nosy neighbor" types who love to spy on other people, and being in control of the TSA (and the overall Dept. of Homeland Security) allows them to do what they love to do. Be nosy. They nudebody scan you at airports, rifle through your luggage, do random spots checks along highways, at bus depots, and train stations. They've even surprised citizens at post offices and malls and public parks by demanding IDs and performing warrantless searches of backpacks, purses, et cetera. They've detained & arrested people who were doing nothing wrong except posting on facebook.

It's about time that we Americans Stand Up and start saying, "No. Do you have a warrant? Then no you may not search me at the mall, in the train station, in my car, or pour shit in my drinks." As the ACLU recently told citizens of DC:
No warrant; no search.
No warrant; no search.

Re:Power Trip (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 2 years ago | (#41386895)

or pour shit in my drinks.

Ahem... What now? They pour substances into your drinks? Are you expected to continue drinking them?

Re:Power Trip (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41387063)

or pour shit in my drinks.

Ahem... What now? They pour substances into your drinks? Are you expected to continue drinking them?

Yes, unless you are afraid the anti-terrorist molecules might expose your hatred of Truth, Justice and The American Way.

If they're doing it wrong. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41387329)

or pour shit in my drinks.

Ahem... What now? They pour substances into your drinks? Are you expected to continue drinking them?

More bullshit from the TSA -- they have unilaterally claimed the power to check any liquid even after the security checkpoint. The procedure, as described here [] , involves holding a swab over the opening to the liquid container and then putting a drop of some kind of solution on the swab, presumably to look for some kind of chemical reaction. There could have been some confusion at some point either with the victim of this procedure (thinking the TSA agent was adding a reagent directly to their beverage), or with the TSA goon themselves (actually adding the reagent directly to the victim's beverage). More at Google [] .

Theft of the public money. (5, Insightful)

fredrated (639554) | about 2 years ago | (#41386657)

Nothing less than that. It's what government does today. I say that as a life-time Democrat that used to think the government could do some good.

Public decency... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41386673)

Lame, its always been a good excuse for me to be naked in public, well at least they will continue to trample over my constitutional rights...

Just wait until they go "green" (2)

concealment (2447304) | about 2 years ago | (#41386675)

Third generation will be a (recycled) latex glove and lotion. We'll stop those terrorists from hiding their weapons in places we're afraid to look!

Nobody could have predicted this... (1)

Art Challenor (2621733) | about 2 years ago | (#41386689)

And, I assume (without RTFA) that it's the same suppliers and that these scanners will have flaws that cause them to be upgraded again in a few years.

These new scanners are fake (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#41386697)

You walk through a cardboard box with a frosted plexiglass window on one side and a drop light shining from the other. 245 mil will get you one.

It means (1)

JustOK (667959) | about 2 years ago | (#41386719)

2nd generation means they scan yer gonads to see if your offspring are/will be terrorists.

No... (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | about 2 years ago | (#41386977)

It means the pictures get automatically uploaded to Facebook, with face recognition for tagging. Remember "Privacy is dead, get over it?"

IDIQ is old news (1)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#41386725)

when i was in the army in the 90's IDIQ contracts were used to buy computers. it's just a price sheet that's updated a few times a year for some products. it just means there is no set quantity or delivery schedule for the contract

Where is Romney on this? (5, Interesting)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 2 years ago | (#41386741)

Talk about a huge cost to US businesses. The number of additional man-hours lost daily is staggering. With the "enhanced" security you can plan on an extra 1-1.5 hours of transit time each way on every single trip. That almost 1.8 billion hours spent every single year on worthless "security". At typical billing rates, that's over 100 Billion dollars a year of wasted time.

I don't hear any outrage from the right. I wonder why...

Re:Where is Romney on this? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41386891)

You can hear it from me. It is a reactive security that has caught very little (other than dumb criminals). All programs must be cut. *ALL*. If you find someone who says 'well except that one' they are not being realistic about the budget fiasco... Or saying things like 'do not raise taxes' also unrealistic. My only thing with raising taxes is I would like to see a real effort to fix the budget before you start talking 'lets rake in more money'. If you can not do that you are not being realistic again.

Re:Where is Romney on this? (0)

mellon (7048) | about 2 years ago | (#41386907)

All it's really done is eliminated the stories people tell about arriving at the airport 30 minutes before their flight and still getting on the plane. I haven't changed my arrival time _at all_ since 9/11. Because I always arrived with plenty of time to spare, because there have always been delays at the airport, or getting to the airport.

My main beef with the pornoscanners is that they are political patronage—somebody's friend is getting $245 million of our tax dollars to build machines that won't work and will be harmful to the health of the people who are forced to pass through them. So effectively we are getting screwed twice. Remember, the Matrix has you.

Trolling (2)

MightyYar (622222) | about 2 years ago | (#41386743)

I love a good incendiary summary as much as the next guy, but isn't this a bit blatant, even for Slashdot?

Re:Trolling (2)

hawguy (1600213) | about 2 years ago | (#41386879)

I love a good incendiary summary as much as the next guy, but isn't this a bit blatant, even for Slashdot?

Given that the incendiary parts of the summary linked to two previous Slashdot articles titled Congress: The TSA Is Wasting Hundreds of Millions In Taxpayer Dollars and The Ineffectiveness of TSA Body Scanners - Now With Surveillance Camera Footage, then no, I don't think it sounds blatantly incendiary for Slashdot since it's just repeating what they've said before.

Re:Trolling (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 2 years ago | (#41386979)

Calling the spending "wasteful" is certainly opinionated and will certainly spark discussion and clicks. Calling the machines "nude-o-scopes" takes it into MoveOn territory.

Re:Trolling (1, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | about 2 years ago | (#41387105)

Calling the spending "wasteful" is certainly opinionated and will certainly spark discussion and clicks. Calling the machines "nude-o-scopes" takes it into MoveOn territory.

That may very well be the case, yet it's not the first time Slashdot has expressed this sentiment so you shouldn't be surprised to see it again. You may not realize that the whole purpose Slashdot exists is to spark discussion (and clicks, which is how they get paid) -- without discussion, I think few people would come here since the submissions that are posted largely come from other news sources. I didn't see your comments on either of the previous two Slashdot postings, so feel free to comment and explain why you think that the statements are over the top and unfair. That's why everyone is here, right?

Re:Trolling (1)

mellon (7048) | about 2 years ago | (#41386917)

You don't think $245 million on another TSA boondoggle is newsworthy?

Should me micro, not X rays (4, Insightful)

LeDopore (898286) | about 2 years ago | (#41386819)

I think it's a bad move that they chose X rays instead of THz for this generation. THz rays can't hurt you, while the TSA has been preventing independent safety analyses of the backscatter X ray machines.

The total dose of backscatter X rays is low, but it's so concentrated that it might still be a problem. Cancer risk grows superlinearly with exposure, so concentrating exposure to skin effectively amplifies the effects of the small dose. Independent medical researchers are not permitted to investigate these machines, so we don't actually know if they present a problem. We're not all going to die, but it could be that choosing X rays over microwaves will result in a few dozen extra cancer deaths per year, in which case it's a bad move.

In any case, microwave scanners are probably just as effective (read that how you will), so I'm surprised the TSA doubled down on the potentially risky bet that X ray backscatter technology is going to remain legal.

Re:Should me micro, not X rays (2)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#41387399)

We're not all going to die, but it could be that choosing X rays over microwaves will result in a few dozen extra cancer deaths per year, in which case it's a bad move.

Not that the TSA cares. The harsh screenings encourage people to drive instead of fly, which leads to hundreds of extra deaths per year. The TSA is not about safety at all.

I'm surprised the TSA doubled down on the potentially risky bet that X ray backscatter technology is going to remain legal.

That just means that if X-ray machines are banned, the TSA will get to buy new machines again. This serves their actual pupose, directing public money into the hands of well connected business people.

What about the workers? (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | about 2 years ago | (#41387493)

The total dose of backscatter X rays is low, but it's so concentrated that it might still be a problem. Cancer risk grows superlinearly with exposure, so concentrating exposure to skin effectively amplifies the effects of the small dose. Independent medical researchers are not permitted to investigate these machines, so we don't actually know if they present a problem. We're not all going to die, but it could be that choosing X rays over microwaves will result in a few dozen extra cancer deaths per year, in which case it's a bad move.

The typical response to this is that you get a higher dose of radiation when you fly at cruising altitude for a couple hours than you get going through the machine. That response doesn't answer all of your points, including the concentrated dose as opposed to a lower dose over time, but it hides an important question: if the TSA is saying the machines are "safe" because you're only in front of them for a few seconds, what about the TSA workers? I know we all love to hate on those incompetent and frequently criminal asshats, but they're just the grunts following policy from management and have no options other than quitting, and most of them are pretty unemployable.

However, those workers spend hours every day, five days a week, standing around these poorly shielded machines that have been shown to leak. They don't wear radiation dosimeters, they haven't been allowed to form unions until just recently, and the TSA's response to safety questions is "the public is safe because they don't spend as much time around the machines as, say, the workers". I think it's much more likely that we're going to see a surge in cancer among TSA workers in a few years.

Being a troublemaker, of course, I tell the screener all of this while they're doing my opt-out pat-down.

Attention Obama Drones (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41386831)

You bash the TSA and the government in general when it comes to your very personal privacy.

Yet the vast majority of you are drones that will just pull the D level like laboratory rats, giving more and more of your liberty away to the state now won't you?

Say the word 'conservative' here and you down mod me, yet it is the conservative that would stand for your individual liberties!

Come on drones, wake up and smell the tyranny.

Re:Attention Obama Drones (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41387107)

So, wait, which president was it that founded the organization in the first place?

Or are we pretending that 2000-2008 never happened, now? That's the new party policy, right, where Clint Eastwood rants to an empty chair about the wars Obama started in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Re:Attention Obama Drones (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41387189)

Drone drone drone. You are like programmed lab monkeys trained to push D buttons for treats.

Please indicate where I said Bush was a conservative? God gave you a brain man, use it!

Re:Attention Obama Drones (2)

Entropius (188861) | about 2 years ago | (#41387287)

Romney sure isn't going to stand up for my individual liberties. Dig Eisenhower out of his grave (or maybe Goldwater) and I'll vote for a conservative.

Re:Attention Obama Drones (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41387365)

Romney perfect? Of course not.

However your option is Obama or Romney. You know Obama will grow government and spend like a drunken leftist. Now who are you going to support?

Plus you DO have conservative options in all other positions, depending of course on where you are.

Politics is a a war, this is a battle. You take what you can get.

Better way to spend that money (4, Funny)

wbr1 (2538558) | about 2 years ago | (#41386841)

Step 1, cavity search flyers. Step 2, insert rolled $20 into said cavity. You may find more and actually leave a few people happy at the just returned!

Just a little bit of history repeating... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41386851)

It's OK, as the (T)SA collects more and more power to themselves, the regular army and law enforcement will come to resent them, at which point the leadership of the day will have to shut them down to save face and further their agenda. By then though, the damage will have already been done.

No surprise (1)

kiriath (2670145) | about 2 years ago | (#41386903)

TSA won't stop until they have seen EVERYONE naked.

Ultimate government funded pervert society...

Re:No surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41387269)

TSA won't stop until they have seen EVERYONE naked.

Someone please tell the TSA that this is what the Internet is for.

well well well (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41386945)

they can even spend $245 trillion.. I just don't care and don't travel any more to this shit country called USA.

Weakest link principle (2)

kye4u (2686257) | about 2 years ago | (#41387093)

Why are they expending money on new versions of the scanners when not all airports have the first version?

Even if one assumed that the scanners could detect everything (which they can't), it would make since to at least have a version 1 scanner at all the airports.

So TSA purchases version 2 scanners that go into some airports. Terrorists just go to airports that have version 1. Oh wait, they can just go to airports that don't have any scanners. Weakest link principle.

Re:Weakest link principle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41387207)

Allow me to correct a simple misunderstanding...the scanners have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with security, or even security theater. Their sole purpose is to provide something tangible (if not functional) for which hundreds of million of dollars can be funneled to the scanner company owners, who are colleagues of the people that approved the expenditure of the money. As an added bonus, the flying public (for now) is cowed into subservience.

Same dynamic as the voting machines, although in that case, the vote-rigging function was the added bonus.

Who is responsible? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41387101)

Who can we hold responsible for this purchase?

Technology! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41387167)

The latest machines can actually photograph your bone marrow, in case you smuggle a shoe bomb in there. Of course it also gives you horrific cancer but that's OK, so long as it's in the interest of safety.

You don't say (1)

AntiBasic (83586) | about 2 years ago | (#41387221)

They told me if I voted for McCain, we'd see an administration more beholden the military industrial complex and even more wasteful than ever before... and they were right.

Not passing the sniff test... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41387307)

I'm not sure it this story is true. It just doesn't pass the the sniff test.
1) The last time TSA bought hardware, none of it was backscatter.
2) A contract like this would be a major payday to a company like AS&E. Something the CEO & board of directors would want the shareholders to know. But this contract isn't mentioned in the press release section of their web page. The latest press release is a "$19.9 million service, maintenance, and spare parts order from an undisclosed customer". No new hardware, just a service contract for existing stuff.

I think TSA management is more interested in job security then passenger security but this story seems full of "truthfulness".

At least they are doing one thing right... (4, Interesting)

erp_consultant (2614861) | about 2 years ago | (#41387381)

The TSA has this program now called Fly By. It's a voluntary program that has been rolled out to a few airports (lucky my hometown airport is one of them). If you join up - and remember it's voluntary - the TSA will do a background check on you. If all goes well then the next time you go to the airport you get whisked over to a special line at security. You don't have to take your shoes off, you don't have to take your belt off, you don't have to take out your toiletry bag. You just put your stuff on the belt and walk through the x-ray machine. Easy, peesy. Now, I still can't bring through a bottle of water and I'm still subject to the regulations that other passengers are but still...this is a Godsend for frequent flyers and a model for how airport security should be done. It's fast and convenient and still provides a measure of safety.

I've been critical of the TSA in the past but this time they got it right.

However, back to the article at hand. Don't you think it might make sense to try these new things out in the field before awarding an IDIQ contract? I haven't read the contract but it sounds suspiciously like some of the other government contracts in that the supplier gets paid no matter what. If something goes wrong then you have to sign another contract, and pay more money, to get it fixed.

I've worked with many government agencies over the years as a contractor, and many years ago, as an employee. The big problem, as I see it, is not so much the people that work there it's the procurement system. The rules and the hoops you have to jump through to get anything done is just appalling. Often, the rules prevent you from making the best purchasing decision. No private company could survive under the same set of rules. That - as much as anything else - is what is contributing to the massive waste in government today.

Fuck the TSA... (1)

Falkentyne (760418) | about 2 years ago | (#41387409)

Sorry about the formatting.. too lazy to fix.

Right about now NWA court is in full effect.
Judge Dre presiding in the case of NWA versus the TSA.
Prosecuting attourneys are MC Ren Ice Cube and Eazy muthafuckin E.
Order order order. Ice Cube take the muthafuckin stand.
Do you swear to tell the truth the whole truth
and nothin but the truth so help your black ass?

Why don't you tell everybody what the fuck you gotta say?

Fuck tha TSA
Comin straight from the underground, Young nigga got it bad cuz I'm brown, And not the other color so TSA think, They have the authority to probe a minority

Fuck that shit, cuz I ain't tha one, For a punk muthafucka with a badge and a scanner, To be beatin on, and throwin in a cell, We could go toe to toe in the middle of an interrogation room

Fuckin with me cuz I'm a teenager, With a little bit of gold and an iphone, Searchin my body, lookin for the bombs, Thinkin every nigga is a terrorist

You'd rather see me in the pen, Then me and Lorenzo rollin in the Benzo, Beat tha TSA outta shape, And when I'm finished, bring the yellow tape, To tape off the scene of the slaughter, Still can't swallow bread and water

I don't know if they fags or what, Search a nigga down and grabbin his nuts, And on the other hand, without a gun they can't get none, But don't let it be a black and a white one, Cuz they slam ya down to the street top, Black TSA Agent showin out for the white TSA Agent

Ice Cube will swarm
On any muthafucka in a TSA uniform
Just cuz I'm from the CPT, punk TSA are afraid of me
A young nigga on a warpath
And when I'm finished, it's gonna be a bloodbath
Of TSA, dyin in Airports
Yo Dre, I got somethin to say

Fuck the TSA (4X)

M. C. Ren, will you please give your testimony to the jury about this fucked up incident.>

Fuck tha TSA and Ren said it with authority
because the niggaz on the street is a majority.
A gang, is with whoever I'm stepping
and the motherfuckin' weapon
is kept in a stash box, for the so-called law
wishin' Ren was a nigga that they never saw

Lights start flashin behind me
But they're scared of a nigga so they mace me to blind me
But that shit don't work, I just laugh
Because it gives em a hint not to step in my path

To the TSA I'm sayin fuck you punk
Readin my rights and shit, it's all junk
Pullin out a silly club, so you stand
With a fake assed badge and a scanner set up adjacent to you

But turn off the scanner so you can see what's up
And we'll go at it punk, I'ma fuck you up

Make ya think I'm a kick your ass
But drop your gat, and Ren's gonna blast
I'm sneaky as fuck when it comes to crime
But I'm a smoke em now, and not next time

Smoke any muthafucka that sweats me
Or any assho that threatens me
I'm a sniper with a hell of a scope
Takin out a TSA Agent or two, they can't cope with me

The muthafuckin villian that's mad
With potential to get bad as fuck
So I'm a turn it around
Put in my clip, yo, and this is the sound
Ya, somethin like that, but it all depends on the size of the gat

Takin out a TSA would make my day
But a nigga like Ren don't give a fuck to say

Fuck the TSA (4X)

TSA, open now. We have a scanner for Eazy-E's arrest.
Get down and put your hands up where I can see em.
Just shut the fuck up and get your muthafuckin ass on the floor.

and tell the jury how you feel abou this bullshit.>

I'm tired of the muthafuckin jackin / Sweatin my gang while I'm chillin in the shackin / Shining tha light in my face, and for what / Maybe it's because I kick so much butt

I kick ass, or maybe cuz I blast / On a stupid assed nigga when I'm playin with the trigga / Of any Uzi or an AK / Cuz the TSA always got somethin stupid to say

They put up my picture with silence / Cuz my identity by itself causes violence / The E with the criminal behavior / Yeah, I'm a gansta, but still I got flavor

Without a scanner and a badge, what do ya got? / A sucka in a uniform waitin to get shot,By me, or another nigga. / and with a gat it don't matter if he's smarter or bigger / [MC Ren: Sidle him, kid, he's from the old school, fool]

And as you all know, E's here to rule, Whenever I'm rollin, keep lookin in the mirror, And there's no cue, yo, so I can hear a, Dumb muthafucka with a scanner

And if I'm rollin off the 8 he'll be tha one, That I take out, and then get away, And while I'm drivin off laughin, This is what I'll say

Fuck the TSA (4X)

The jury has found you guilty of bein a redneck,whitebread, chickenshit muthafucka., Wait, that's a lie. That's a goddamn lie., I want justice! I want justice!, Fuck you, you black muthafucka!>

Fuck the TSA (3X)

Mark Fiore had it right the first time (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about 2 years ago | (#41387417)

They won't be happy until we get to this [] and remember, the white lines lead to red lines which lead to the detention centers..

It's all about being "Perfectly Safe"

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?