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Body Scanners

A multimillion-dollar, state-of-the-art scanning device that evaluates brain function, tumors, and heart and neurological diseases will be brought to San Diego for the first time and operated by doctors with the V.A. and UC San Diego, officials said Tuesday. The scanning device provides an image of the whole body and its neurological system, enabling doctors to see organ function and chemistry.
April 21, 2013 | By Hugo Martin
Airline passengers have been walking through full-body scanners for nearly five years, but only now are fliers getting a chance to officially tell the federal government what they think about the screening machines. In response to a lawsuit, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia circuit ruled that the Transportation Security Administration could continue to use the scanners as a primary method of screening passengers. But the court ordered the TSA to give the public a 90-day comment period, which the agency did not do when it launched the scanning program.
January 18, 2013 | By Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times
The Transportation Security Administration is removing controversial full-body scanners made by a Torrance manufacturer, winning praise from privacy advocates and passenger-rights groups that raised questions about the health effects of the devices. Rapiscan, a unit of OSI Systems Inc., manufactured about 200 full-body scanners used by the TSA to screen passengers for hidden weapons at airports across the country. The machines generated a storm of protest because the devices use low levels of radiation to create what resembles a nude image of screened passengers.
October 22, 2012 | By Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times
At LAX and other major airports, the Transportation Security Administration is replacing full-body scanners that have been criticized for creating potential health risks and privacy violations with a type of scanner that has not been condemned as harshly. The TSA said Monday that the move is intended to relocate faster scanners to busier airports. The TSA operates more than 700 body scanners at about 180 airports across the country. The machines were introduced at the nation's airports after Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to blow up a U.S. airliner near Detroit with explosives hidden in his underwear on Christmas Day 2009.
February 2, 2011 | By Brian Bennett, Washington Bureau
As the uproar over the government's use of pat-downs and full-body scanners at airports ebbs, new technology is being tested that is designed to allay privacy concerns over the grainy nude images produced by the machines. Scanners being tested in three U.S. airports starting this week will display for screeners a generic stick figure, and any suspicious object on a passenger's body will be flagged for inspection by a pale red box on the drawing. A passenger cleared to go will see the screen flash green and read "OK. " The software debuts as complaints by air travelers over the new security measures have remained relatively low. Of the 100 million fliers that have passed through airport checkpoints since Nov. 1, the Transportation Security Administration has received fewer than 5,500 complaints about the procedures.
November 7, 2010 | By Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times
As federal aviation officials increased airport security measures, civil liberty groups fought back, protesting new pat-down search techniques and the growing use of full-body scanners. The Transportation Security Administration announced last week that security officers would to perform more aggressive pat-downs and vowed to approximately triple the number of full-body scanners in airports nationwide by the end of next year. Under the new pat-down technique, TSA security officers use their palms and fingers to probe for hidden weapons and other devices.
November 21, 2010
Tax cuts and the ailing economy Re "Tax the rich to help us all," Opinion, Nov. 17 Dwight Eisenhower maintained high taxes on the wealthy to fund worthwhile projects such as our interstate highway system. Bill Clinton saw the need to reduce the debt that Ronald Reagan left us, resulting in a 4% unemployment rate and an eventual budget surplus. Republicans continue to insist that increasing taxes on the rich will slow job creation. The Eisenhower and Clinton examples debunk that theory.
May 24, 2010 | By Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times
By the end of next year, the Transportation Security Administration hopes to have nearly 1,000 full-body scanners to screen passengers at airports across the country. Two are already operational at Los Angeles International Airport. But a group of doctors and professors from UC San Francisco are raising new concerns about the safety of the technology in one type of full-body scanner built by Torrance-based Rapiscan Inc. To reveal weapons hidden under a traveler's clothes, the scanner relies on "backscatter technology," which uses the ricochets from low-level X-rays to create what looks like a nude image of the person.
January 13, 2010 | By David G. Savage
The government has promised more and better security at airports following the near-disaster on Christmas Day, but privacy advocates are not prepared to accept the use of full-body scanners as the routine screening system. "We don't need to look at naked 8-year-olds and grandmothers to secure airplanes," Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said last week. "I think it's a false argument to say we have to give up all of our personal privacy in order to have security." After each major terrorism incident, the balance between privacy and security tilts in favor of greater security.
November 18, 2010
Search for security Re "Man shuns body scan, prompting TSA flap," Nov. 16 Those who sought to defeat us through the 9/11 attacks are having the last laugh, and it is surely a hearty one. In a cockamamie effort to make the flying public believe that air travel is safe, we give passengers a choice of a revealing body scan or the opportunity to be groped by a Transportation Security Administration employee. The opportunity for the new security measures to be abused and to spawn costly lawsuits is extraordinary.
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