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House Subcommittee Holds Hearing On TSA's "Scanner Shuffle" 134

OverTheGeicoE writes "The Homeland Security Subcommittee on Transportation Security held a hearing on TSA's recent decision to move X-ray body scanners from major airports to smaller ones, which the subcommittee refers to as a 'Scanner Shuffle.' John Sanders, TSA's assistant administrator for security capabilities, testified that 91 scanners recently removed from major airports were now in storage due to 'privacy concerns.' Although TSA originally planned to relocate the scanners to smaller airports, those plans have been shelved because smaller airports don't have room for them. The subcommitteee is also investigating allegations that the machines' manufacturer, Rapiscan, 'may have falsified tests of software intended to stop the machines from recording graphic images of travelers' (VIDEO). Coincidentally, shares of Rapiscan's parent company, OSI Systems Inc., dropped in value almost 25% today, its biggest intraday decline in about 12 years. If wrongdoing is proven, Rapiscan could face fines, prison terms and a ban on government contracting, according to a former head of federal procurement."
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House Subcommittee Holds Hearing On TSA's "Scanner Shuffle"

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  • by swschrad ( 312009 ) on Thursday November 15, 2012 @08:06PM (#41997377) Homepage Journal

    the cluster fuck agency. seems they are consistently boorish, idiotic in rulemaking, inconsistent, and being called out as leaders in group comedy, instead of as an effective security force.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 15, 2012 @08:13PM (#41997417)

    What I don't understand is why the TSA still exists. Everybody hates it and it costs us a ridiculous amount of money. Every time I've uttered the phrase "security theater" around normals, they've heard it before and agree with it. Why haven't any politicians jumped at the chance to cut it like the cancer it is and score major points with their electorate?

    Is corruption really the answer, or am I missing something, here?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 15, 2012 @08:26PM (#41997485)
    Can someone please translate the comment above to english?
  • by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Thursday November 15, 2012 @08:29PM (#41997513) Homepage

    Everybody hates it and it costs us a ridiculous amount of money.

    That ridiculous cost to us is ridiculous profits to somebody else. That somebody can in turn give to any politician who wishes to eliminate the TSA up to 2500 reasons per election cycle to change their mind.

  • by sjames ( 1099 ) on Thursday November 15, 2012 @08:40PM (#41997585) Homepage Journal

    It's all in how you ask the question. On the one hand, you can ask "Do you support airport security or should we quit discriminating against terrorists?". On the other you can ask "Should pre-schoolers be groped by strangers in the airport?". You can also pre-load with a bunch of obvious yes or obvious no questions to get the answers you want. For that matter, you can tilt the stats by asking (or not asking) people who don't fly.

    As a whole though, I'll bet few, if any Americans actually support the TSA's current methods, especially groping children and irradiating pregnant women.

  • by AthanasiusKircher ( 1333179 ) on Thursday November 15, 2012 @09:17PM (#41997813)

    It's all in how you ask the question.

    I absolutely agree with you. On the other hand, I've encountered lots of crazy people (including here in Slashdot) who seem to terrified that an unseen hoard of terrorists are eager to jump on planes and blow them up if we all don't take off our shoes and belts, take the special baggie out of our luggage with our mini-shampoo in it, and do "the special pose" for the new scanners. I've even had serious people here -- not trolls -- tell me that we need to be worried about terrorists shooting lasers at planes from the ground at airports. (I wish I were kidding.)

    The government and media has done a great job of convincing people that this invisible hoard exists. And with all that disinformation, any poll is going to be biased in weird ways away from a rational response. In that light, it would not surprise me that the GP's assertion was true and that a large number of Americans are afraid enough to be in favor of the TSA overall.

  • by BlueStrat ( 756137 ) on Thursday November 15, 2012 @09:26PM (#41997869)

    Rapiscan could face fines, prison terms and a ban on government contracting, according to a former head of federal procurement."

    Yeah, right. That'll happen.

    Good luck getting Eric Holder to prosecute.

    The only thing Holder is "busting" these days are the very laws and constitution he's supposed to uphold and defend. Heck, all Rapiscan needs to do is put a NBPP member in as the new CEO. They'll be "teflon" and it won't matter if the body scanners disintegrate passengers like one of the "Mars Attacks!" rayguns.


  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 15, 2012 @09:40PM (#41997969)

    Feel free to be worried about cancer. That doesn't justify you in disparaging those who don't like forced humiliation.

  • Re:Ooh! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by thePowerOfGrayskull ( 905905 ) <marc,paradise&gmail,com> on Thursday November 15, 2012 @10:54PM (#41998365) Homepage Journal

    I understanding what you're saying, I just think it's crap.

    I think a lot of people have tried to make this a safety issue, when realistically we're (probably) reasonably safe if you're not flying every day - and maybe even then.

    But for some reason, enough people like you have distracted the issue - the point where if they do manage to conclusively prove its safety, there's no longer a leg to stand on.

    It's not a safety issue. It's not about people being ashamed of their bodies and wanting to hide them. It's about how it's not ok to foster a culture of fear in the name of security.

  • by strength_of_10_men ( 967050 ) on Thursday November 15, 2012 @11:02PM (#41998405)

    Because no one wants to be "that guy" that killed the TSA in case another terrorist takes down an airplane. Simple CYA thinking. Until we, as a nation, make it clear that the TSA is unacceptable, things will just carry on. And from my last visit to the airport, the people seem to be accepting it just fine.

  • by TheGoodNamesWereGone ( 1844118 ) on Friday November 16, 2012 @12:25AM (#41998811)
    The TSA needs to be abolished. Period.
  • by smpoole7 ( 1467717 ) on Friday November 16, 2012 @01:28AM (#41999023) Homepage

    > A majority think it's doing a good job.

    The vast majority of Americans never fly. All they know is that there haven't been any more airplanes crashing into buildings. Ergo, they conclude that the TSA must be working.

    If they did fly regularly, and ever watched some little kid screaming because the TSA agent was groping and touching them "where mom and dad told me never to let anyone touch me," they'd change their opinions in an instant.

    Sad, but true.

  • by BlueStrat ( 756137 ) on Friday November 16, 2012 @09:02AM (#42000351)

    ...since the Republicans bent over backwards to let Bush do whatever the fuck he wanted, they didn't have a leg to stand on to stop him.

    Oh, no you don't.

    You don't get to dump this one off.

    Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and FDR...all Progressives...were the ones that started the US government down the path of, and set precedent for future administrations and congresses, for the government to grant itself new and expanded powers far beyond the limits set by the constitution.

    You can thank 100 years of the Progressive movement in the US for government treating the constitution like "just a goddamned piece of paper". That's what "Progressive" refers to, and is the Progressive movements' key point; That government power should "progress past" the limits on it's powers set forth in the constitution. It's not like it's something I pulled from my ass...go read up on the history of the Progressive movement in the 20th century.

    Now people who voted-in both parties (Bush is a Progressive, as is McCain, btw)...are surprised and upset when the government grabs powers and uses them in a way they don't like or didn't think about? Sorry. You wanted it, you got it Toyota. Enjoy the police state you helped build.


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