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TSA "Porno-Scanners" Will No Longer Show You Naked

 
 
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Well this is good news:

The days of full-body scanners producing revealing images of travelers are numbered, the Transportation Security Administration announced in a statement on Wednesday.

Through a software update, the TSA is phasing out "passenger-specific images," in favor of a generic body outline.

ABC reports that people will be subjected to an pat-down if any "potential threats" are detected in the new images (which will look like this, h/t Slate). Otherwise, they'll get the OK sign and go about their day. As far as I can tell, those "enhanced" pat-downs are still problematic in some ways, but this definitely seems like a step in the right direction. It makes you wonder why the scanners weren't designed like this in the first place.

There will also be a few other changes to the fleet of ~500 scanners around the country:

--Images will no longer need to be viewed by TSA agents in a remote location.

--Passengers will see the same images that the TSA sees.

William Saletan over at Slate discusses why this is actually kind of a BFD:

I'd say Automated Target Recognition is the end of naked scanning. And this is a big deal, because TSA didn't have to do it. Last week, a U.S. appeals court upheld the constitutionality of full-body airport scans. For years, critics, including me, have noted a steady trajectory of increasingly invasive policies: scans, pat-downs, and a general pattern of turning optional screening procedures into mandatory screening procedures. Now, for the first time, TSA seems to be backing off.

Public pressure: sometimes it works.

AlterNet / By Lauren Kelley

Posted at July 22, 2011, 5:51am

 
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