November 7, 2010 |
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.
May 27, 2012 |
The federal government says it has plans to use advance technology to dramatically reduce the number of pat-down searches performed in 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.
January 6, 2013 |
The Transportation Security Administration wants you to know that crowds of airport screeners are not sitting around giggling at naked images of you. The TSA said such unprofessional behavior by officers who review images made by full-body scanners is unlikely because screeners sit alone in private rooms, trying to spot weapons hidden beneath clothes of screened passengers. “The resolution room is used only for the viewing of the images and is not a gathering place or break room for other officers as the officer viewing the images has to be focused in order to prevent any dangerous items from entering the airport,” the TSA said in an online post last week.
June 24, 2012
Re "TSA full-body scanners pose little risk, study says," June 11 The Times reported on an academic, peer-reviewed paper we coauthored. We'd like to clarify some points. Our study did not quantify the risk of backscatter security scans. The study estimated, using computer simulations, the radiation dose to individual organs. As stated in the paper, "Access to the machines for measurements and assessments is limited. " Therefore our models were based on measurements from a Johns Hopkins University study commissioned by the Transportation Security Administration, a limitation prominently discussed in our paper.
February 2, 2011 |
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.
April 11, 2011 |
A plan to get airline crew members through airport security quicker is in the works and could lead to somewhat faster lines for passengers. The Transportation Security Administration recently announced plans to begin testing an identity verification program to let airline crews bypass the controversial full-body scanners and extra-thorough pat-down searches at airports. The proposed program, TSA officials say, should — to a degree — speed up airport security lines for regular passengers by diverting the nation's more than 100,000 pilots and flight attendants through a separate screening process.
September 12, 2011 |
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano recently offered some good news for air travelers: The days of marching through airport security checkpoints in your stocking feet may soon be over. Technology improvements in the nation's airport screening machines could soon allow travelers to pass through the checkpoints without removing belts, coats, shoes and other clothing, she said in a C-SPAN televised interview last week. "I think one of the first things you will see over time is the ability to keep your shoes on," Napolitano said.
February 23, 2013 |
In front of a crowd of more than 100, TSA spokesman Nico Melendez talked at Saturday's L.A. Times Travel Show about changes in progress and changes to come at the 11-year-old agency, a longtime hot button issue for travelers. Melendez, who has been with the TSA since its inception after 9/11, appears again Sunday in a 1 p.m. session moderated by L.A. Times travel staffer and columnist Chris Erskine. In Saturday's session, Melendez discussed and showed visuals of the upgraded full-body scanners in use across LAX since October.
March 29, 2011 |
The Transportation Security Administration began installing full-body scanners in American airports shortly after Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab hid explosives in his underwear in a thwarted attempt to blow up a Northwest Airlines jet on its way from Amsterdam to Detroit. Ever since, passengers have worried about the effects of one type of these scanners -- backscatter X-ray scanners -- may pose to their privacy and health. As for privacy concerns, sure: a TSA screener somewhere may be able to see a fuzzed-out image of your body the next time you walk through security on your way to a flight.
January 17, 2011 |
Anyone who has flown for business or leisure in the United States in the last few years probably has experienced what the airline industry calls code sharing. It happens when an airline sells you a ticket but books a portion of your journey on a small regional operator or another large airline, often without telling passengers. Carriers have increasingly relied on code sharing to branch out to new markets without investing in extra planes and staff. But the U.S. Department of Transportation now wants airlines to identify the actual carriers for an entire route before tickets are purchased.