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Friday, January 18, 2013

TSA Will No Longer Electronically Undress You at Airports

Posted By on Fri, Jan 18, 2013 at 3:50 PM


First public nudity is banned in San Francisco, and now the TSA says it's no longer going to peek under your clothing when you pass through national airports.

Plenty of travelers (except possibly local nudists) will be delighted to read the news that U.S. airports, SFO included, are finally dumping the controversial full-body scanners after the government ceased its contract with the scanning company in charge, Rapiscan.

SFist reports that San Francisco International Airport says it's already removed the scanners, while Oakland and San Jose International airports have agreed to dismantle the electronic peeping toms.

See also: Nudists Chicken Out on TSA Scan Protest

According to press reports, the contract was terminated after the company said it couldn't possibly create a less lewd body-scanning device that wasn't going to record revealing images of your private parts.

As travelers probably recall, the body scanners were introduced to American airports in 2010, after Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried, but failed, to blow up a Northwest Airlines flight by igniting explosives in his underwear.

The L-3 scanning machines use a millimeter-wave technology, relying on radio frequencies that can detect whether you are armed with something other than a travel pillow. The technology was not only controversial because it was undressing passengers, electronically speaking, but there was concern about the low-dose X-ray radiation that was used to analyze what's under your fabric.

At the height of the body-scan paranoia, SF Weekly talked to radiology specialists who confirmed that passengers weren't going to get cancer from these intimidating machines. Airplane food -- now that's a different story.

In any event, there's one less thing you have to worry about when flying. Never thought we'd be writing those words.

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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