Full Body Scanners, the Ineffective Way to Fight Terrorism
The United States Transportation Security Administration recently announced its intention of introducing up to 150 new full body scanners in airports. There’s been a lot of backlash from travelers and taxpayers regarding potential health concerns, costs, and time delays. In light of this, there’s one other big question that needs answered. How effective will these machines be at eliminating the threat of terrorism on U.S. planes?
Do They Work?
Full body scanners either use x-rays or radio waves to view the first layer right under the clothes. Unlike, medical imaging instruments, they’re not designed to penetrate the skin. Do they do what they’re supposed to? The answer is yes. Unlike a metal detector, the scan can expose things hidden directly under clothes.
The bigger question is whether it’s effective or not in terms of scanning for contraband? The problem is, the scan does not penetrate enough to be able to view body cavities and/or orifices. Even a large fold of fat on an obese person can be a place to hide objects from the device .Storing items in such places has been a long time favorite of drug smugglers. Don’t expect that to change with this new initiative and look for terrorists to take up the practice.
The full body scan simply will not deter the most dangerous terrorists. Those groups that are well organized will have no problems getting around a simple system like this. Over time these scanners are likely to thwart a few threats of the mentally unstable variety but it’s likely that our most serious threats will see them as a minor obstacle in their path.
Are there alternatives?
Some feel that the TSA may be jumping the gun by putting all of its money into body scanners. Currently, there are two other alternatives that have some merit. The TSA has tinkered with the “puffer” and the “guardian”. Both use chemicals to see if there are explosive devices on a person. The guardian can even detect substances in hard to monitor places like shoes. Of course, these devices have their own weaknesses, mostly around the maintenance of the machines. Still, the TSA might want to save its money and see if either one is a viable option once improvements are made.
In conclusion one would find it very difficult to say that full body scanners will actually deter or prevent any terrorist attacks. For it to work a terrorist would have to be extremely illogical in his or her thought pattern to think that a weapon or bomb could be smuggled right under their clothes. It’s highly unlikely that the initiative will make any real dent in serious terrorist activities. As such, a better path would probably be to spend the funds on more worthwhile efforts such as intelligence.
Related News Articles
Europe Commercial Airport Full Body Scanners Market is Expected to Reach $82.6 million in 2017 - New Report by ...
Fri, 22 Aug 2014 07:37:56 -0700
The Full body scanners market is in its growth phase and is getting all set to witness joint ventures, mergers, and acquisitions between OEM’s and technology providers. http://www.micromarketmonitor.com/market/europe-commercial-airport-full-body-scanners-9122740224.html (PRWeb August 22, 2014) Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/commercial-airport/market/prweb12114768.htm
Latin America Commercial Airport Full Body Scanners Market is Expected to Reach $243.1 million in 2017 - New Report by ...
Sun, 24 Aug 2014 08:35:15 -0700
The increase in the air travel, airport security, and the growing need for screening passengers for security reasons will drive the growth of the market. http://www.micromarketmonitor.com/market/south-america-commercial-airport-full-body-scanners-9353578968.html (PRWeb August 24, 2014) Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/commercial-airport/market/prweb12114854.htm
North America Commercial Airport Full Body Scanners Market Is Expected to Reach $585.9 Million in 2017 - New Report by ...
Sat, 23 Aug 2014 09:05:33 -0700
The report provides a comprehensive review of major market drivers, restraints, opportunities, winning imperatives, challenges, and key issues in the market. http://www.micromarketmonitor.com/market/north-america-commercial-airport-full-body-scanners-3181881404.html (PRWeb August 23, 2014) Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/commercial-airport/market/prweb12111852.htm
Security Researchers Lay Bare TSA Body Scanner Flaws
Fri, 22 Aug 2014 12:50:51 -0700
The U.S. Transportation Security Administration, part of the Department of Homeland Security, has spent more than a billion dollars on full-body scanners designed to strengthen airport security. It turns out that at least one model of scanner in use for four years -- the Rapiscan Secure 1000 full-body scanner -- easily could have been foiled by a savvy bad actor.
Retired US airport body scanners fail to spot guns, knives
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 21:07:46 -0700
A type of body scanner in wide use across U.S. airports through last year fails to spot well-concealed weapons including guns and knives, computer security researchers contend. The Rapiscan Secure 1000 full body scanner provides only “weak protection against adaptive adversaries,” according to their paper , which will be presented on Thursday at the Usenix Security Symposium in San Diego. The ...
Airport Scanners Make Your Privates Public But Miss Bombs
Mon, 25 Aug 2014 11:36:36 -0700
A team of researchers from UC San Diego, the University of Michigan and Johns Hopkins University have completed an independent analysis of one such full-body scanner, the Rapiscan Secure 1000 which, until last year, was widely deployed at airport security checkpoints.
STUDY: FULL-BODY SECURITY SCANNERS FLAWED
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 06:07:00 -0700
A full-body security scanner that’s marketed as the best of its kind has serious flaws that can prevent it from detecting firearms, knives and explosives, according to a new analysis led by UC San Diego.
Weapons can be easily smuggled past airport body scanners
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 02:29:39 -0700
Two years ago, a blogger named Jonathan Corbett published a YouTube video that seemed to show a facepalm-worthy vulnerability in the TSA's Rapiscan full-body X-ray scanners: because metal detected by the scanners appeared black in the images they created, he claimed that any passenger could hide a weapon on the side of his or her body to render it invisible against the scans' black background ...
Body scanner's problem: Fails to detect guns
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 05:52:01 -0700
The Rapiscan scanner can see your private parts, but it can't see your gun.
Those TSA scanners were literally only good for seeing you naked
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 08:00:24 -0700
The full-body X-ray scanners only retired last year amid long-standing concerns that they intruded on privacy by showing travelers naked were also riddled with security loopholes, new research claims. The TSA used the Rapiscan Secure 1000 scanner between 2009 and 2013 in airports across the US, but computer scientists have demonstrated that with a little preparation the machine could miss ...