MikeA December 8, 2014 6:54 PM

“How did they get away…”? They lied. And slapped a “National Security, bub, don’t ask questions” on the side. The other questions have to do with “how did they get away with charging a bunch of money for a device with marginal utility and a huge potential for abuse?”. That answer is pretty obvious to anybody who’s been watching government for, oh the last 3000 years or so.

NobodySpecial December 8, 2014 10:31 PM

I hope this is illegal to run without some sort of permit and routine inspection.
Yep you need a fully-qualified/minimum-wage TSA guard to operate it.

Coyne Tibbets December 9, 2014 4:44 PM

Some museum should snap this up quick for a display on excess in government. They can probably use as an example of at least a dozen types of excess.

Excessive security…
Excessive authoritarianism…
Excessive xrays…
Excessive abuse of human health…
Excessive perception that “something must be done”…
Excessive spending…
Excessive political corruption…
Excessive privacy invasion…
Excessive gullibility…

Well, nine anyway.

Skeptical December 9, 2014 6:28 PM

There was a brief period when I would opt out of scans conducted using this type of scanner due to concern about possible health consequences. But regardless of how long, and sometimes tense, the line at the checkpoint, the TSA agents I encountered were invariably professional. Whatever one may think of the effectiveness of some of the security at airports, they have a tough job and don’t deserve the scornful derision often aimed in their direction.

Pete December 10, 2014 5:09 AM

So … I’ve never gone through any of these new-fangled security machines. Not once in about 50 overseas trips.

Leaving the USA, the TSA usually delays me about 4 minutes waiting for a pat down check. They have always been professional.

Returning to the USA, most places in the world either don’t have them or opting out is easy.

Leaving AMS returning to the USA, I’ve been hassled verbally by the security agent who was convinced that I was trying to sneak something through. She really believed their millimeter-wave machines were not harmful. Perhaps – but I’ve been lied to enough in my life to risk any additional exposures for something that can easily be avoided.

Leaving Prague returning to the USA, I was fondled (in a bad way) twice. Once in public, then again behind a curtain near the gate. 2 other passengers (man and woman) were behind the curtain being fondled as well. Ok – they were just doing a pat down, but I suspect the security guy was former state police from the Soviet days. I was physically upset by this sitting on the plane a few minutes later. None of the other pat downs anywhere else in the world made me feel this way.

There has been coverage of the different TSA machines both in videos and blogs. The lack of security for these devices is just scary. The vendors are lying to the government. I suspect the sales people are simply clueless, which isn’t unusual.

Leave a comment


Allowed HTML <a href="URL"> • <em> <cite> <i> • <strong> <b> • <sub> <sup> • <ul> <ol> <li> • <blockquote> <pre> Markdown Extra syntax via

Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.