We'd heard a number of reports about how the TSA was already either retrofitting
the various naked scanners or moving on to less privacy invasive versions, but there were two interesting points to come out some Congressional hearings on the devices yesterday. First, apparently there is some concern that the makers of the Rapiscan machine (and, yes, it still amazes me that anyone thought that was a good name), OSI Systems, may have "manipulated" tests
in order to claim that the machines did not invade travelers' privacy:
The company “may have attempted to defraud the government by knowingly manipulating an operational test,” Representative Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Transportation Security Subcommittee, said in a letter to Transportation Security Administration chief John Pistole Nov. 13. Rogers said his committee received a tip about the faked tests.
OSI, of course, is denying it, but this is the same company that also apparently ran into problems last year when maintenance reports suggested radiation levels 10 times as high
The other bit of news? The TSA has admitted that it has simply put a bunch of these machines in storage
-- 91 machines, worth $14 million -- because of related privacy concerns.
While it's a good
thing that privacy violating machines aren't being used, it raises serious
questions about why they were purchased and put into use in the first place -- and done so without ever taking comment
from the public, as is required under law. Perhaps if they had actually done that, they would have avoided wasting so much taxpayer money on machines that violate everyone's privacy.