Airport Scanners Will No Longer Reveal Lumpy American Flesh

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A security official (R) prepares to scan his colleague posing inside a RapiScan full-body scanner being trialled by Manchester Airport, during a photocall at the airport, in Manchester, northern England January 7, 2010.  The radiation risk from full-body scanners used to improve airport security is low and unlikely to raise an individual's risk of cancer, U.S. experts said on yesterday.  Airports in Britain, the Netherlands and Canada have said they plan to use full-body scanners to foil future terror attempts like the Christmas Day attempt to blow up a Detroit-bound flight.  The United States has tested 40 whole-body scanners as part of a pilot program started after the Sept. 11 attacks, and this past October ordered 150 more.
Photo: PHIL NOBLE/Corbis

Pleasing privacy advocates and travelers with body-image issues everywhere, the TSA is removing those full-body airport scanners that require you to throw up the Roc like Jay-Z while security stares at your junk. Because the company behind the Rapiscan machines could not come up with software that produces more generic images quick enough to meet a congressional mandate, the government is ending its $5 million contract, Bloomberg reports. The scans, which a lawsuit likened to a "physically invasive strip search," were pulled from 76 large airports last year, with the remaining 174 to follow now.

The see-all machines were installed in 2010, after the attempted underwear bombing by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, and defended by President Obama as necessary despite the fact that he never has to fly commercial. "We are not pulling them out because they haven't been effective, and we are not pulling them out for safety reasons," the TSA insists. "We're pulling them out because there's a congressional mandate." Either way, the only things getting exposed at the airport from now on are socks and your soft spot for Auntie Anne's.