What happened to the naked scanners?

We’re off on another adventure.  Five days in Mexico City, gasping for air in smog and the altitude, visiting Max and Barbara, Gail’s friends from high school and college.

Leaving from terminal 2 in SFO, fully remodeled and brand spanking new, it’s a beautiful piece of public architecture with lots of fancy stores to buy things you don’t need and can’t carry to somewhere you most likely don’t want to go (if you’re a business traveler) at prices that would make Donald Trump flinch.

But today’s screed is about the TSA.  So what else is new, Chris is traveling and snarking about the government security theater.

Remember a year or so ago, all the foofaraw about the new x-ray scanners?  Supposed to make our lives so much safer and easier at the mere cost of our privacy, dignity, civil rights and possibly just a touch of cancer?

Well, here in the brand spanking new terminal, all I see are the old fashioned metal detectors.

So what happened to the billions we spent on the other scanners?

 

Now we know that no bureaucrat ever admits to being wrong, so I can’t say I’m completely surprised.  But what happened to the machinery?  Didn’t we spend a billion or three on the new, improved equipment?  Is it all in storage?  Or were there only really 3 of them and the rest was just a scam?

I’m not complaining about using the older metal detectors, they work fine since they aren’t really doing anything in the first place and they’re easier and less likely to cause cancer than the new ones.  Just wondering where everything went.

Naturally, there is always a new stupidity to encounter:  there is now a little spring loaded gate just before you get to the TSA droid who looks at your boarding pass and ID and makes cryptic marks on everything.  It’s main purpose seems to be to spring back and slap the next person in line.

This should increase your security.

 

I feel safer already.

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3 thoughts on “What happened to the naked scanners?

  1. Passenger throughput with the WTMD is a lot higher than either of the Nude-O-Scopes (backscatter and millimeter wave). Both of the NoS have high false alarm rates, requiring manual re-screening (aka pat-downs). Both Germany and Italy have withdrawn deployment of the NoS machines as being unreliable.

    Of course, someone made a lot of money selling these machines to the TSA. And can you remember the “puffer” machines that never worked in the real world and were consigned to the scrap heap? It’s still unknown how many millions were blown (pun intended) on that piece of folly.

  2. @Trisha – while there are TSA screeners that will allege that everybody needs to use the new scanners that is NOT TRUE. Two magic words get you out of the scanners and to a manual pat-down. I don’t think the choices are good, but you can always say “OPT OUT.” No one can make you go through the scanners.

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