Body Scanner Companies Poured Cash into Lobbying Efforts

They say the new TSA procedures are purely about safety. But it's also about money.

Over the past five years, the companies that make the controversial body scanners which travelers will be boycotting this week doubled the cash they were putting into lobbying efforts, and hired personnel who could help them in their efforts to win over government officials and get installed in airports. USA Today reports:

L-3 Communications, which has sold $39.7 million worth of the machines to the federal government, spent $4.3 million trying to influence Congress and federal agencies during the first nine months of this year, up from $2.1 million in 2005, lobbying data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics show. Its lobbyists include Linda Daschle, a former Federal Aviation Administration official.

Rapiscan Systems, meanwhile, has spent $271,500 on lobbying so far this year, compared with $80,000 five years earlier. It has faced criticism for hiring Michael Chertoff, the former Homeland Security secretary, last year. Chertoff has been a prominent proponent of using scanners to foil terrorism. The government has spent $41.2 million with Rapiscan.

Read the full story at USA Today.

AlterNet / By Sarah Seltzer

Posted at November 23, 2010, 3:00am

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