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Body Scanners

BUSINESS
May 27, 2012 | By Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times
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.
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NATIONAL
November 23, 2010 | By Nicholas Riccardi, Los Angeles Times
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.
TRAVEL
June 12, 2011 | By Chris Erskine, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
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.
BUSINESS
June 2, 2013 | By Hugo Martin
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.
NEWS
July 20, 2011 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
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.
BUSINESS
March 11, 2012 | By Hugo Martin
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.
TRAVEL
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.
BUSINESS
February 9, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
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.
BUSINESS
December 20, 2012 | By Hugo Martin, This post has been updated. See note below.
Responding to critics, the Department of Homeland Security is launching another safety study of full-body scanners used to screen passengers at the nation's airports. The Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the Transportation Security Administration, plans to award a contract to the National Academy of Sciences to perform the review. But the nonprofit group of scientists will only be asked to review previous studies on the safety of a particular type of scanner used by the TSA. The study comes in response to pressure from TSA critics, including Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine)
BUSINESS
November 4, 2012 | By Hugo Martin
  Those Kiwis at Air New Zealand are at it again. In the past, they have produced airplane safety videos featuring nude flight attendants, fitness guru Richard Simmons and a plane full of rugby players. Air New Zealand unveiled last week a new video staring the characters - hobbits, wizards, elves, dwarfs and orcs - from "The Lord of the Rings" movies, which relied on New Zealand for most of the outdoor scenery. The video even includes a quick appearance by the films' director, Peter Jackson.
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