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1337Delta764
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TSA To Scrap Rapiscan Backscatter X-ray Scanners

Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:45 am

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stor...-controversial-x-ray-scanners.html

According to the article, the reason wasn't because of safety issues, but because of a congressional mandate that required Rapiscan to install software to make the process less invasive. Rapiscan has failed to comply with the mandate, and thus they are being given the boot.

The L-3 millimeter wave machines will remain in place, with 60 more of them on order. In addition, the TSA has signed contracts with Smiths Detection and American Science & Engineering. Smiths Detection (infamous for those old puffer machines) will be providing a new millimeter wave scanner, and American Science & Engineering will be providing a new less invasive backscatter X-ray scanner.

I wonder what will PHX be getting. I hope it is the Smiths Detection MMW scanner.

[Edited 2013-01-18 17:46:52]
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airportugal310
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RE: TSA To Scrap Rapiscan Backscatter X-ray Scanners

Sat Jan 19, 2013 3:58 am

Am I the only one who, when I see these things, sees "Rape-Scan"??
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dcann40
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RE: TSA To Scrap Rapiscan Backscatter X-ray Scanners

Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:05 am

Yup. Saw this as well.

TSA to Remove Controversial Body Scanners

If nothing else, it's a semi graceful exit for those machines and the TSA doth protest a bit too much about not removing the for safety's sake.
 
usflyguy
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RE: TSA To Scrap Rapiscan Backscatter X-ray Scanners

Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:33 am

Quoting airportugal310 (Reply 1):

So don't fly. Flying isn't a right, it's a privilege.
My post is my ideas and my opinions only, I do not represent the ideas or opinions of anyone else or company.
 
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airportugal310
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RE: TSA To Scrap Rapiscan Backscatter X-ray Scanners

Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:38 am

Quoting usflyguy (Reply 3):


Sorry I should have been more clear "when I see the name on the side of the machine"

Also, don't lecture me on flying.

[Edited 2013-01-18 21:43:30]
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FlyingSicilian
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RE: TSA To Scrap Rapiscan Backscatter X-ray Scanners

Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:51 am

Quoting usflyguy (Reply 3):
So don't fly. Flying isn't a right, it's a privilege.

Freedom of movement is a right recognized by the courts however, as is the 4th amendment to the US constitution.

Glad to see the radiation machines leaving. It is good start.
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RE: TSA To Scrap Rapiscan Backscatter X-ray Scanners

Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:11 am

Quoting FlyingSicilian (Reply 5):
Freedom of movement is a right recognized by the courts however, as is the 4th amendment to the US constitution.

And the removal of your right to fly is not considered abridgment of your right to travel within the country (you can still drive), and a search incident to flying is not a violation of the 4th Amendment.
 
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DocLightning
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RE: TSA To Scrap Rapiscan Backscatter X-ray Scanners

Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:13 am

I'm glad to see them go. We've learned over the years that doses of X-ray radiation that we thought were "safe" turned out not to be. One thing that got drilled into my head in my medical training over and over and over was that "there is no such thing as a safe amount of X-rays."

So when they started X-irradiating the population at "super low doses that won't cause any problems, we promise!" you can understand that I was a bit skeptical. We have heard this reassurance before. Not to mention that there is a perfectly acceptable alternative that doesn't involve X-rays.

As for the scans, having seen how the data are presented now, they aren't invasive, per se. They're an inconvenience and a nuisance, but no worse than metal detectors, I guess. And less guesswork on when you're supposed to walk in. And I doubt they're saving our scans for very long (if at all) because imagine the sheer volume...

All in all, I find it tragic that we as a species have built these incredible machines to carry us through the air at mind-boggling speeds and bring us together... and some use them to try to tear us apart. And so the solution is more incredible machines. We are our own worst enemy.
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FlyingSicilian
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RE: TSA To Scrap Rapiscan Backscatter X-ray Scanners

Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:19 am

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 6):
And the removal of your right to fly is not considered abridgment of your right to travel within the country (you can still drive), and a search incident to flying is not a violation of the 4th Amendment.

Depends on the type and scope of search, some of which is still being adjudicated. And with the TSA putting VIPR teams on roads in Tennessee and CBP internal checkpoints, in some cases you actually cannot drive...

And being given an extra dose of radiation, which the BSX (not MMW) machines do, is not part of the first trials that covered the subject.

[Edited 2013-01-18 22:21:07]
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RE: TSA To Scrap Rapiscan Backscatter X-ray Scanners

Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:29 am

Quoting usflyguy (Reply 3):
Quoting airportugal310 (Reply 1):
So don't fly. Flying isn't a right, it's a privilege.

Dang, the irony of lecturing a long-time member, with seven times the number of posts, about flying.

Some of us have flown hundreds, if not a thousand flights for decades prior to the TSA-imposed shit, and have never been a threat to airplanes or the well-being of other passengers. Many who have to travel by air frequently for buisiness believe they should have the right to do so without being intrusively scrutinized by big brother in a back room.




✈ LD4 ✈



[Edited 2013-01-18 22:55:42]
∙ ---{--« ∙ ----{--« ∙ --{-« ∙ ---{--« ∙ --{--« ∙ --{-« ∙ ----{--« ∙
 
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airportugal310
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RE: TSA To Scrap Rapiscan Backscatter X-ray Scanners

Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:33 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 9):

Agreed with the tragedy.

However, and I ask this with no knowledge on your kind of level...the argument of being exposed to more radiation if your flying than the machines emit...what are your musings?

As a secondary question, are people who do not sit at a window "suffer" less?

Thanks Doc.

[Edited 2013-01-18 22:36:48]
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seabosdca
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RE: TSA To Scrap Rapiscan Backscatter X-ray Scanners

Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:36 am

Quoting FlyingSicilian (Reply 8):
And being given an extra dose of radiation, which the BSX (not MMW) machines do, is not part of the first trials that covered the subject.

...which is exactly why the TSA gave us the bypass-'n'-grope option.

Quoting FlyingSicilian (Reply 8):
And with the TSA putting VIPR teams on roads in Tennessee and CBP internal checkpoints, in some cases you actually cannot drive...

Plaintiffs challenging these sorts of measures haven't gotten much of anywhere so far, but IMO have a much better chance of eventually prevailing than plaintiffs trying to challenge airport searches.

The only type of airport search that would be at all likely to be held to be a constitutional violation is one where the person being searched is not free to decline the search and leave. That doesn't describe the TSA screening procedure.
 
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RE: TSA To Scrap Rapiscan Backscatter X-ray Scanners

Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:41 am

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 12):
That doesn't describe the TSA screening procedure.

And I never said it did. I always take the grope versus the BSX.

Ironically some outrage should come from TSA clerks who have to stand by the BSXs allday and are prohibited from wearing dosimiters.
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DocLightning
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RE: TSA To Scrap Rapiscan Backscatter X-ray Scanners

Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:43 am

Quoting airportugal310 (Reply 11):
However, and I ask this with no knowledge on your kind of level...the argument of being exposed to more radiation if your flying than the machines emit...what are your musings?

Probably true. Again, if there is an alternative without X-rays, why on earth would you choose X-rays? Also, you do not get hit with X-rays that much at altitude (AFAIK).

And naturally someone sitting in the aisle seat gets less radiation than someone sitting in front of a window. I still like the window...but I don't fly that much.
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TSS
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RE: TSA To Scrap Rapiscan Backscatter X-ray Scanners

Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:11 am

While I'm happy to see the Rapiscan BKSX machines leave the airports, I find it necessary to point out that the TSA has not indicated it will stop using BKSX technology for scanning passengers at airports.

From the article linked in the opening post of this thread-
"TSA has contracted with L-3, Smiths Group and American Science & Engineering Inc. for new body-image scanners, all of which must have privacy software. L-3 and Smiths used millimeter-wave technology. American Science uses backscatter."
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rwessel
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RE: TSA To Scrap Rapiscan Backscatter X-ray Scanners

Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:17 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 14):
And naturally someone sitting in the aisle seat gets less radiation than someone sitting in front of a window. I still like the window...but I don't fly that much.

Radiation shielding is mainly a mass effect - the more mass between you and the radiation source, the less you'll get. An inch of lead, four inches of aluminum or glass* or a foot of water will all do about the same. Now windows are substantially thicker and heavier than the aluminum hull of an aircraft (glass and whatnot are significantly weaker and more brittle an Al alloy, so they need to be much thicker to get the same structural strength), so you'd get *less* radiation through the window, than if you were sitting next to aluminum fuselage. Just because the windows are transparent to ~600nm photons, *doesn't'* mean they're transparent to gammas (and, in fact, they're not).

That being said, in the center of the aircraft you'd get less angular area shielded by the heavier window, but you'd also have more interior fittings (seats, overhead bins and whatnot) and other passengers** between you and the hull. And then the direction comes into play. So it's hard to say.

I'd not lose too much sleep over it.


*a ballpark number for common glasses – the actual densities of the immense variety of glasses and glass-like materials vary considerably

**be sure to thank your seat mate for the radiation he’s absorbing for you – he’s likely stopping more radiation for you than any part of the hull


ed: windows are *thicker*

[Edited 2013-01-19 00:15:35]
 
Maverick623
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RE: TSA To Scrap Rapiscan Backscatter X-ray Scanners

Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:20 am

Quoting usflyguy (Reply 3):
So don't fly. Flying isn't a right, it's a privilege.

Freedom of movement without waiving your 4th and 10th Amendment rights, is indeed a right. This ain't Soviet Russia.

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 6):
And the removal of your right to fly is not considered abridgment of your right to travel within the country (you can still drive)

That's about as good as saying you are subject to a full police search walking down 4th Avenue, because you can always walk down 3rd or 5th Avenues, even though that would take you longer and be out of your way.

Oh, and I take it you haven't heard about the VIPR teams. Can't even drive anymore. Argument invalidated.

The 4th Amendment right to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures without a warrant signed by a judge, is an absolute right with no exclusions in times of peace.

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 6):
and a search incident to flying is not a violation of the 4th Amendment.

The courts have held that a "basic administrative search" to enter certain public areas is allowed. What the TSA has been doing is going far above and beyond that by forcing passengers to either submit to a scan that produces a near-nude image, or submitting to an invasive patdown and possible strip-search.

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 12):

The only type of airport search that would be at all likely to be held to be a constitutional violation is one where the person being searched is not free to decline the search and leave

Unfortunately, SCOTUS has ruled that once the person has submitted to the search, they are not allowed to withdraw consent.

It's a ruling that I find on par with Plessy v Ferguson.

Quoting airportugal310 (Reply 11):

As a secondary question, are people who do not sit at a window "suffer" less?

Irrelevant. The radiation a person is exposed to at altitude is from a natural source.
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chrisair
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RE: TSA To Scrap Rapiscan Backscatter X-ray Scanners

Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:32 am

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Thread starter):
I wonder what will PHX be getting. I hope it is the Smiths Detection MMW scanner.

They'll probably get L3 MMWs at T4 and T2. Not sure they'd fit in T3. I asked the TSO giving me my freedom grope (TM) last month and he said they've been ordered.

Quoting airportugal310 (Reply 1):
Am I the only one who, when I see these things, sees "Rape-Scan"??

Nope. I do too.

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 6):
you can still drive

Driving is not a right, it's a privilege (didn't you pay attention in driver's ed?  ). The whole "flying is not a right," is the dumbest argument I've ever heard.
 
rwy04lga
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RE: TSA To Scrap Rapiscan Backscatter X-ray Scanners

Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:53 am

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 6):
you can still drive

And/or walk.

Quoting FlyingSicilian (Reply 8):
in some cases you actually cannot drive

OK, just walk, then.

Quoting rwessel (Reply 16):
thinker

Is that 'thinner' or 'thicker'?

Quoting rwessel (Reply 16):
thinker

Once more, with feeling...is that 'thinner' or 'thicker'?
Just accept that some days, you're the pigeon, and other days the statue
 
rwessel
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RE: TSA To Scrap Rapiscan Backscatter X-ray Scanners

Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:12 am

Quoting rwy04lga (Reply 19):
Quoting rwessel (Reply 16):
thinker

Is that 'thinner' or 'thicker'?

Quoting rwessel (Reply 16):
thinker

Once more, with feeling...is that 'thinner' or 'thicker'?

*&%#@ autocorrect.

The windows are significantly *thicker* than the aluminum hull. Or CFRP hull if we want to go that route.
 
spacecadet
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RE: TSA To Scrap Rapiscan Backscatter X-ray Scanners

Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:50 am

Glad these are going and don't really buy for a minute that it wasn't because of the public outcry. The public outcry is what led to the congressional mandate in the first place, now the government's terminating the contract only because the "timeline" couldn't be met. The timeline is an arbitrary date somebody picked; it could always be moved if the government actually wanted to keep this contract. They obviously didn't; this gave them a way out, and an easy way to end the controversy.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 14):
Again, if there is an alternative without X-rays, why on earth would you choose X-rays?

This is really the winning argument, safety-wise. You can talk all you want about the legality and morality of searching in general, but even if you believe we all need to be virtually strip-searched, why would you argue in favor of X-rays when millimeter wave exists?

I personally also was not a fan of the imaging itself, so I'm happy to see that gone too.

Quoting TSS (Reply 15):
While I'm happy to see the Rapiscan BKSX machines leave the airports, I find it necessary to point out that the TSA has not indicated it will stop using BKSX technology for scanning passengers at airports.

In a year, we'll see another news story about how happy the TSA is with the L3 millimeter wave machines (they already say they're twice as fast as Rapiscan's machines), how American Science has pulled some shady shenanigans and therefore they're terminating AS's contract too.

The TSA seems entirely incapable of just admitting they were wrong and moving on, but I have a feeling they actually have already made the decision to move entirely to millimeter wave.
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rwy04lga
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RE: TSA To Scrap Rapiscan Backscatter X-ray Scanners

Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:52 am

Just accept that some days, you're the pigeon, and other days the statue
 
cmf
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RE: TSA To Scrap Rapiscan Backscatter X-ray Scanners

Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:57 am

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 17):
Irrelevant. The radiation a person is exposed to at altitude is from a natural source.

 Wow!
Being natural doesn't make it safe.
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skywaymanaz
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RE: TSA To Scrap Rapiscan Backscatter X-ray Scanners

Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:04 am

Quoting rwy04lga (Reply 22):
Here's a solution......

LMAO . . . but that won't work now thanks the privacy filter. All it might do is gurantee you get flagged for a greet and grope. The TSA screener would no longer see those words printed on their screen.
 
Maverick623
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RE: TSA To Scrap Rapiscan Backscatter X-ray Scanners

Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:34 am

Quoting cmf (Reply 23):

Being natural doesn't make it safe.

I was referring to the argument that just because you get exposed to certain radiation in flight, somehow makes it okay that you get exposed to radiation from the BKSX machines. I know that's not what airportugal was suggesting, but I'd thought I'd throw it out there.
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EA CO AS
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RE: TSA To Scrap Rapiscan Backscatter X-ray Scanners

Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:10 am

TSA To Scrap Rapiscan Backscatter X-ray Scanners

Aw gee, you mean I won't have to do the 'Airport Macarena' anymore?   

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traindoc
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RE: TSA To Scrap Rapiscan Backscatter X-ray Scanners

Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:53 am

FYI, a transcon flight gives the pax about the same radiation exposure as taking a chest xray. A CT scan of the chest is roughly equal to 100 chest xrays in terms of radiation exposure. If you have a basement to your house, then you get radiation from the element Radon. (Not sure of the reason.)

Bottom line is that we should limit any "voluntary" radiation exposure, as there is plenty of "involuntary" exposure. So getting rid of any TSA machine that irradiates us is a good idea.
 
BE77
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RE: TSA To Scrap Rapiscan Backscatter X-ray Scanners

Sat Jan 19, 2013 11:18 am

Quoting rwessel (Reply 20):
Or CFRP hull if we want to go that route.

Many of us would like to go that route, but a little difficult at the current time.

Quoting cmf (Reply 23):
Being natural doesn't make it safe
Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 17):
Irrelevant. The radiation a person is exposed to at altitude is from a natural source.
Quoting DocLightning (Reply 9):
"there is no such thing as a safe amount of X-rays."

Cmf - I see Mav623 has replied - I'll just add that I believe that both of you are correct (legally and in reality).
For me, it's always about only minimising exposure to inherent risks (all risks, not just ionizing radiation), and definitely never adding to the risk profile when an equivalent solution / tool / idea exists that has much lower risks associated.
As per Doc's comments, there is no safe dose, and I have worked a lot (and will again) in environments where I was perodically doing testing of radon daughters to make sure our exposures were managed. The exposures are all 100% 'natural source' and we definitely managed them closely. Although we knew we were 'exposed', it is the same as when we take a flight - manage the exposure, be aware of it, and don't be more exposed than you need to be. There is definitely no reason to intentionally add more exposure, which is why I opt for the pat and grope.

PS, depending on where you live, about 1/2 the people in Canada and the US should really, really, really have your basements checked for naturally occuring radon byproducts. Some of you reading this are definitely being exposed to more natural radiation in your basement 'Right Now' than you would be in a flight, TSA machine, or dental / medical xray!

http://www.epa.gov/radon/pubs/citguide.html
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/radi...tion/radon/faq_fq-eng.php#basement

(PSS. from what I have seen in my travels, basements are mostly a Canada and northern US solution to get the foundation below the winter frost line, so for people elsewhere, check your basement if you have one too!)
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skywaymanaz
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RE: TSA To Scrap Rapiscan Backscatter X-ray Scanners

Sat Jan 19, 2013 11:48 am

Quoting BE77 (Reply 27):
PS, depending on where you live, about 1/2 the people in Canada and the US should really, really, really have your basements checked for naturally occuring radon byproducts. Some of you reading this are definitely being exposed to more natural radiation in your basement 'Right Now' than you would be in a flight

That is one big reason why I won't do the backscatter X-Ray ever at a TSA checkpoint. We strongly believe this was a factor in my father getting lung cancer. I grew up in that house and no doubt have some exposure already. The house was recently torn down for new construction and there is a radon venting system in the new house going up in its place.
 
LTC8K6
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RE: TSA To Scrap Rapiscan Backscatter X-ray Scanners

Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:30 pm

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 11):
The only type of airport search that would be at all likely to be held to be a constitutional violation is one where the person being searched is not free to decline the search and leave. That doesn't describe the TSA screening procedure.

So what happens if you get to the point of the scan/pat down decision, when they tell you your options, and you decide you'd just rather not fly? Do they just let you out of the line to leave? Or do they suspect that you are testing the system and search you anyway?

What if you make the decision not to fly at some earlier point in the line?

Is there a point beyond which, they won't let you refuse to be searched? The secure area?
 
ltbewr
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RE: TSA To Scrap Rapiscan Backscatter X-ray Scanners

Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:37 pm

I would suggest that part of the reason for this change may be the long-term, daily exposures to TSA and other security staff to not only these machines but also the extensive use of x-ray equipment for examining all our stuff for hours unlike that of fliers who may face them for a few minutes.
 
skywaymanaz
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RE: TSA To Scrap Rapiscan Backscatter X-ray Scanners

Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:45 pm

LTC8K6 Ironicially I just posted something about this on the TSA blog. They used to refuse to allow you to leave under any circumstances once the screening begun. The "Don't touch my junk" guy was threatened with arrest and fine by TSA over this when he refused to comply and defied them by returning the ticket counter. Policy was if you opted out of AIT or alarmed and tried to leave instead of getting a pat down you were threatened with arrest or fine if you refused to comply. It took victims of sexual assault complaining loudly this gave TSA free reign to submit them to rape all over again for the policy to change. Supposedly the policy now is once screening has begun if you refuse to submit they (some other word that means detain but isn't detain because TSA insists they don't detain) you until Police can escort you out. TSA says they can't just let you leave because you might be a terrorist gaming the system. They let police decide what to do with you in theory but I doubt any cop would do anything but help escort you out.
 
ABQopsHP
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RE: TSA To Scrap Rapiscan Backscatter X-ray Scanners

Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:08 pm

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 16):

Quoting usflyguy (Reply 3):
So don't fly. Flying isn't a right, it's a privilege.

Freedom of movement without waiving your 4th and 10th Amendment rights

You are not waiving your 4th and 10th Amendment rights, by not flying. You are still free to move about. Again it is a privilege, not a right, to fly. Just like its a privilege to drive, not a right. Or smoke.

JD CRP

ed: Also. There is other technology that can be used, besides Backscatter. It was available before the TSA started using these machines. But leave it to a Government agency to drive right on through to this option, w/o using some common sense. Ok yeah it gives great detail in order to not miss anything, but there is technology out there that skips the graphic detail of someones anatomy. Will someone explain what is used for Intra EU flights, or Domestic Australia? I would like to know how they get about.

[Edited 2013-01-19 05:14:59]
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TheRedBaron
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RE: TSA To Scrap Rapiscan Backscatter X-ray Scanners

Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:38 pm

I think all this security and fear machine 24/7 is a big load of BS. just think about it, how many passengers does a big airplane carries 400? 500?, let say 500, When you get in line in a major busy airport for the TSA mumbo Jumbo, there is way more people, installations and things to damage if you do the unthinkable there. In JFK for example before noon the A380 and a lot of wide bodies leave for europe the Line contain at least 900 people, but I guess terrorists are stupid and they dont do math, there are hundreds of ways of doing worse things, but being scanned/radiated gives the sense of security so many need... in the end we are being played like a cheap piano.

TRB
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speedygonzales
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RE: TSA To Scrap Rapiscan Backscatter X-ray Scanners

Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:23 pm

There's no evidence for harmful effects of radiation doses below 100mSv/year (safe limit is probably even higher). A single backscatter scan gives a dose of 0,05-0,1 µSv, which means that you can go through at least a million scans each year without any harm.
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ryanov
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RE: TSA To Scrap Rapiscan Backscatter X-ray Scanners

Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:45 pm

Terrorists can and will adapt. The question I always have is how much of our money we're willing to flush down the toilet on chasing the last problem while we wait for them to adapt. The answer always seems to be "lots."
 
FlyingSicilian
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RE: TSA To Scrap Rapiscan Backscatter X-ray Scanners

Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:28 pm

Quoting rwy04lga (Reply 18):
OK, just walk, then.




what an intellectually weak argument-just like the dopey "anything for safety" crowd. How does one walk to Hawai'i or to even the islands that are part of the US because TSA and DHS has checkpoints on land that even target walkers (see internal checkpoints) bus riders, public transit riders, boaters, private pilots, and trains now.

So in fact in parts of the USA one cannot even walk.

It is the same problem with showing ID. ID does not equal security..at all. Aside from the fact one does not need to show papers to travel in the US, but some in DHS think you do re:internal checkpoints and TSA checkpoints. It is a farce.

if TSA were so worried about aviation they would be screening 100% of cargo...they are not.

If someone is determined to do something it will, sadly happen. TSA's farce will not stop them, and in fact every incident so far has been stopped by reinforced cockpit-doors, and other pax reacting...not TSA or its rules.

Quoting speedygonzales (Reply 34):
There's no evidence for harmful effects of radiation doses below 100mSv/year (safe limit is probably even higher). A single backscatter scan gives a dose of 0,05-0,1 µSv, which means that you can go through at least a million scans each year without any harm.



There are plenty of studies showing the numbers from the BSX are higher, and the TSA would not release the study on the real numbers even with a FOIA request.
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frmrCapCadet
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RE: TSA To Scrap Rapiscan Backscatter X-ray Scanners

Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:49 pm

The entire security procedures post 9/11 (and before for that matter) were poorly thought out, and not all that well executed. But lots of people made lots of money. From what little I read decent secure doors into the cockpit are likely the only thing that adds to our safety, in any measurable way.

addition to post: The flying public is well aware of how poorly the system works. They are not in favor of the invasions of privacy. They were unhappy about the radiation issues. Most of the inspections, even when difficulties arose, were performed professionally and politely, but far too many misinperpretation of rules, loaded guns going through checkpoints undetected etc etc. Time to start over.

[Edited 2013-01-19 09:44:30]
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skywaymanaz
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RE: TSA To Scrap Rapiscan Backscatter X-ray Scanners

Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:55 pm

Hrm looks like the post I sent TSA Blog and mentioned above got rejected since I see one after it posted now. Bob has a habit of rejecting my posts at times if I mention a historical figure but lets others thru with the same criteria. Not sure if that means maybe TSA has changed again the policy I cited above. I did try to find it on their website in vain and could not. It's odd that I only found a direct link to your rights at the checkpoint on non TSA websites. They have a nice looking page on how committed they are to civil rights but I can't seem to find a page that spells out what all those rights are. Clearly should be a FAQ but don't ask  
 
TSS
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RE: TSA To Scrap Rapiscan Backscatter X-ray Scanners

Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:01 pm

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 30):
I would suggest that part of the reason for this change may be the long-term, daily exposures to TSA and other security staff to not only these machines but also the extensive use of x-ray equipment for examining all our stuff for hours unlike that of fliers who may face them for a few minutes.

That sounds plausible to me. I doubt it's a coincidence that the removal of Rapiscan BKSX machines is announced shortly after TSA workers unionize.
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1337Delta764
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RE: TSA To Scrap Rapiscan Backscatter X-ray Scanners

Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:53 pm

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 30):
I would suggest that part of the reason for this change may be the long-term, daily exposures to TSA and other security staff to not only these machines but also the extensive use of x-ray equipment for examining all our stuff for hours unlike that of fliers who may face them for a few minutes.

According to the article, the reason isn't because of safety, but because of Rapiscan's failure to comply to a congressional mandate that requires the procedure to be less invasive. The L-3 millimeter wave scanners have already been upgraded to comply. Furthermore, a new type of backscatter X-ray scanner by American Science & Engineering is being introduced, and will come with the proper software that will comply to the congressional mandate.
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spacecadet
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RE: TSA To Scrap Rapiscan Backscatter X-ray Scanners

Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:25 pm

Quoting speedygonzales (Reply 34):
There's no evidence for harmful effects of radiation doses below 100mSv/year (safe limit is probably even higher). A single backscatter scan gives a dose of 0,05-0,1 µSv, which means that you can go through at least a million scans each year without any harm.

Radiation effects are cumulative over a lifetime, there's no "per year" exception. I have a lung problem and I am already at my lifetime safe limit from all my x-rays and CT scans.

You are talking about danger caused by effects that would be seen immediately or in the short term (ie. radiation sickness, etc.), not things like cancers, birth defects, deformities or other long term effects.
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BE77
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RE: TSA To Scrap Rapiscan Backscatter X-ray Scanners

Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:38 pm

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Reply 40):
According to the article, the reason isn't because of safety

'According to the article' = 'According to the TSA' in this case, as it is the 'reporting' of a press conference / release, not reporting / journalism which would include independent review and thought on the topic.

Actually, since it was so very tame a report and softpedalled the issues as much as possible, I just had to check Fox News version of the same information. As expected, a rather different take on it - and included a little more information such as noting the EU's banning, the ACLU viewpoint, etc.
CNN seems to be mostly TSA friendly, if not quite as friendly as the Dispatch story in the OP.

Interesting that CNN did point out that the TSA is continuing the study of the effects of the machines by the National Academy of Science. Anyone know if they are an appropriate choice?

Interesting timeline as well - late friday afternoon too according to the byline - which is of course when you release bad news that you really didn't want to have to, hoping that by Monday it's old news and not noticed. (At least that's how we do it!).
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RE: TSA To Scrap Rapiscan Backscatter X-ray Scanners

Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:36 pm

Quoting ABQopsHP (Reply 32):
Again it is a privilege, not a right, to fly. Just like its a privilege to drive

  

You are comparing two completely different things. It is indeed a privilege to operate a motor vehicle. Last I checked, passengers weren't piloting the airplane.

By your logic, one does not have the freedom to travel, because you assume that all forms can be restricted. That's like saying you have a right to equal education, but it can be segregated by race, and still be considered equal. It just doesn't work like that.
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1337Delta764
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RE: TSA To Scrap Rapiscan Backscatter X-ray Scanners

Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:40 pm

Quoting BE77 (Reply 42):
'According to the article' = 'According to the TSA' in this case, as it is the 'reporting' of a press conference / release, not reporting / journalism which would include independent review and thought on the topic.

Actually, since it was so very tame a report and softpedalled the issues as much as possible, I just had to check Fox News version of the same information. As expected, a rather different take on it - and included a little more information such as noting the EU's banning, the ACLU viewpoint, etc.
CNN seems to be mostly TSA friendly, if not quite as friendly as the Dispatch story in the OP.

Interesting that CNN did point out that the TSA is continuing the study of the effects of the machines by the National Academy of Science. Anyone know if they are an appropriate choice?

Interesting timeline as well - late friday afternoon too according to the byline - which is of course when you release bad news that you really didn't want to have to, hoping that by Monday it's old news and not noticed. (At least that's how we do it!).

I would agree that backscatter X-ray scanners should not be used due to their potential health effects, and only the two models of millimeter wave scanners by L-3 and Smiths Detection should be used. However, the removal of the Rapiscan machines aren't stopping the TSA from introducing a new backscatter X-ray scanner by American Science & Technology.

[Edited 2013-01-19 12:41:10]
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rwy04lga
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RE: TSA To Scrap Rapiscan Backscatter X-ray Scanners

Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:41 pm

Quoting FlyingSicilian (Reply 36):
what an intellectually weak argument

Who's arguing? Some people in these forums take things WAY too seriously, you among them. Lighten up. If you don't like my humor, keep walking...or flying..your choice.
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dcann40
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RE: TSA To Scrap Rapiscan Backscatter X-ray Scanners

Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:49 pm

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Reply 44):
I would agree that backscatter X-ray scanners should not be used due to their potential health effects, and only the two models of millimeter wave scanners by L-3 and Smiths Detection should be used. However, the removal of the Rapiscan machines aren't stopping the TSA from introducing a new backscatter X-ray scanner by American Science & Technology.

Wonderful. New, unproven, x-ray technology.

I am incredulous that the TSA would not just stick with mm wave scanning but then again...
 
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DocLightning
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RE: TSA To Scrap Rapiscan Backscatter X-ray Scanners

Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:15 pm

Quoting BE77 (Reply 27):
As per Doc's comments, there is no safe dose, and I have worked a lot (and will again) in environments where I was perodically doing testing of radon daughters to make sure our exposures were managed. The exposures are all 100% 'natural source' and we definitely managed them closely. Although we knew we were 'exposed', it is the same as when we take a flight - manage the exposure, be aware of it, and don't be more exposed than you need to be. There is definitely no reason to intentionally add more exposure, which is why I opt for the pat and grope.

You worded it better than I did. There is absolutely no reason to add to the dose, even if it's 1%, especially when there is a perfectly acceptable alternative.

As for radiation exposure at altitude vs position in the cabin, radiation can take a number of different forms and can be blocked by different materials.

For example, even thin films of metal are very good at blocking beta rays (electrons), while windows are better blockers of gamma rays, IIRC. You get a lot more UV at that altitude, and windows block a lot of it, but not as much as the skin, which blocks 100%. Different forms of radiation interact differently with DNA (which is what we're most concerned about). UV radiation tends to cause side-by-side linkages of base-pairs, which can easily be excised and repaired. Ionized particles tend to track through the cell, leaving tracks of radicals in their wake. These concentrated radical tracks, if they pass through the cell's nucleus, can lead to double-strand breaks in the DNA, which are harder to repair and can sometimes damage genes. If the damaged gene is a tumor-suppressor gene, the other chromosome will have a copy of the gene that will still serve. It is very unlikely that any given cell will experience simultaneous knock-outs of the same tumor-suppressor gene on both chromosomes. HOWEVER... in all of the trillions of cells in your body (you have ~50 trillion), it only needs to happen once.

X-rays ionize. They directly excite electrons into energy states so high that they can break covalent bonds and lead to radical formation. You don't shoot them at a human being in any dose unless you absolutely need to.
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FlyingSicilian
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RE: TSA To Scrap Rapiscan Backscatter X-ray Scanners

Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:47 am

Quoting rwy04lga (Reply 45):
Who's arguing? Some people in these forums take things WAY too seriously, you among them. Lighten up. If you don't like my humor, keep walking...or flying..your choice.



If one is taking the opposite point in a discussion, that is by its definition an argument. That is around basic 7th grade L/D debate stuff, nothing too cosmic. I'd tell you to take your own advice though and keep posting.... somewhere else since this bothers you so much. Your humour is not the point, but it is based on a false assumtion: That one could walk and not be hassled, which is still incorrect.

Though I will admit I take my freedom and civil rights seriously. You might not be using yours; I am using mine. The X-ray factor is just a problem specific to the BSX. If people want to use the MMW, as long as there is an opt out option that is fine.

Yes there are some slippery slope arguments out there, but DHS loves to push the envelope "All in the name of safety" so those slippery slope arguments often resonate with a ring of possibility.

And of course their public affairs folks and the sheeple who fall in line will say: "Anything that keeps us safe" "Remember 9-11" (they should trademark that at DHS). "think of the children", "if you have nothing to hid" (which is the worst and weakest of all) and another favourite "Out of an abundance of caution".

Security is a necessity but the inane rules of DHS and its agencies are not. One can travel around the world and see pleasant yet effective security...TSA is not that.
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SCQ83
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RE: TSA To Scrap Rapiscan Backscatter X-ray Scanners

Sun Jan 20, 2013 2:34 am

Being the US of lawsuits, I wouldn't be surprised that they scrapped this machine because of potential massive health-related law-suits in the future.

Personally I am happy they are removing the nude-scanner with unknown future health consequences and get back to normal like in every other country in the world.