May 27, 2012 |
The federal government says it has plans to use advanced technology to dramatically reduce the number of pat-down searches performed at the nation's airports. The Department of Homeland Security recently put out a request for technology companies to come up with a hand-held scanning device that can be used instead of pat-down searches on passengers who set off alarms on full-body scanners. The department oversees the Transportation Security Administration, which operates about 700 full-body scanners at 180 airports across the country.
November 23, 2010 |
A Colorado man thinks he's found a way to protect your private parts from unwanted radiation and government peeping at airports. Jeff Buske of Larkspur is selling tungsten-lined underwear online, with fibers of the X-ray-repelling material strategically placed over the crotch. He says he's seen his sales skyrocket in the last week, since the Transportation Security Administration began rolling out full-body scanners at several airports and conducting aggressive pat-downs of people who refuse to use them.
June 12, 2011 |
Here are some significant events and policies in the history of U.S. aviation security: 1955 A United Airlines plane explodes after takeoff in Denver, killing all 44 aboard. Investigators blame Jack Graham for placing a bomb in his mother's luggage, apparently in hopes of cashing in on her life insurance. It is among the first major acts of criminal violence against a U.S. airliner. Graham is later convicted of murder and executed. 1960 A National Airlines plane explodes in midair, killing all 34 aboard.
June 12, 2011 |
Travelers usually try to get in and get out of Los Angeles International Airport as quickly as possible. Who wouldn't? But in their haste, here are 25 things they might have missed: Full-body scanners were deployed late last year after it was revealed that contraband items were slipping past Transportation Security Administration screeners. LAX has 22 of the big machines, each monitored by a worker in a separate room so the revealing images remain out of view. If a luggage scanner alarm goes off, a yellow bar on the monitor directs a TSA worker to the area in the luggage where the suspicious material is. Chocolate and cheese commonly trigger the machines, because the two foods have the same density as explosives.
June 2, 2013 |
The "nude scanners" are gone. The full-body scanners that used X-rays to create what looks like a nude image of passengers have been packed away and removed from airports across the country. The 250 or so machines were removed about two weeks ago, before the June 1 deadline set by Congress. But privacy advocates aren't satisfied, noting that the Transportation Security Administration is still using full-body scanners that employ a different technology. "They've never made a case that these scanners are better than using metal detectors or swabs to detect the use of explosives," said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a research center that sued the TSA in 2010 over the use of all full-body scanners.
February 9, 2014 |
A former Transportation Security Administration screener who dished dirt about the agency in a recent story was lying or describing long-abandoned practices. That was the agency's response to a story in Politico by former TSA agent Jason Edward Harrington. In the piece, Harrington described TSA agents at Chicago O'Hare International Airport who struggled with low morale, targeted travelers from specific countries for pat-down searches and poked fun at images created by full-body scanners.
March 11, 2012 |
When an online video gets more than a million views, it's hard to ignore. That may be the reason the Transportation Security Administration took the unusual step last week to address an online video that claims to show how to circumvent the full-body scanners that the TSA has installed at 140 airports across the country. Jonathan Corbett, a blogger and TSA critic, posted a video this month on YouTube and his own Web page, www.tsaoutofourpants.wordpress.com , titled "How to Get Anything Through TSA Nude Body Scanners.
July 20, 2011 |
Full-body scanners at airport security checkpoints will no longer display explicit "person-specific images" under new technology being phased in nationwide, according to a statement Wednesday by the Transportation Security Administration. Instead, a software upgrade for the machines will show a generic body outline. Critics have pointed to explicit scanned images as a virtual "strip search" and a violation of passengers' privacy ever since the full-body scanners were phased in last year.
September 12, 1999
Amtrak today begins its fall "Explore America Fares," offering round-trip travel in any one region for $179, two adjacent regions for $239 and the entire U.S. for $299. They're good for travel through Dec. 16. Call (800) USA-RAIL. . . . Apparently, suspected smugglers are very health conscious. Patrick Jones, spokesman for the U.S. Customs Service in Washington, D.C.
April 28, 2013 |
Alaska Airlines has begun to install seats with slimmer seat-back cushions, enabling the company to squeeze two or three more rows of seats onto most of its planes. But the airline is trying to put the focus on the seats' other features, such as power outlets for every passenger. Alaska joins Southwest, United and Spirit airlines in installing seats with thinner back cushions so the carriers will be able to add extra seats. Alaska will install six to nine more seats per plane.