This post is also available in: heעברית (Hebrew)

עברית לחץ כאן

.

9118459_sThe Israeli general security service , the professional body that determines the tools used to clear passengers in Israel , has never believed in body scanners.

Now these controversial systems are to be phased out in the u.s where they are used in many airports..

The transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced it would begin to remove the scanners from U.S. airports this summer. The anatomically revealing backscatter scanners are being replaced by the ore discreet millimeter wave devices.

The agency began to install the machine in January 2010, following the December 2009 attempt by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to bring down a Delta airline over Detroit by blowing up explosives he was hiding in his underwear.

According to the homeland security news wire website the scanners are manufactured by Rapiscan Systems, and the TSA has so far ordered 250 of them – installing 174 of the machines at checkpoints of the thirty largest U.S. airports, and keeping seventy-six of the scanners in storage in Texas.

With growing complaints from the public about the anatomically revealing images Rapiscan’s backscatter scanners were producing, and with the emergence of millimeter wave scanners as an alternative which offered the same level of security without the revealing images, Congress, as a part of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, mandated that all TSAbody scanners should be equipped with Automated Target Recognition (ATR) software by 1 June 2012 (there has since been an extension to 1 June 2013).

TSA says that at this point, all millimeter wave units have been equipped with ATR, but even with the extension to 2013, Rapiscan was unable to fulfill their end of the contract and create the ATR software that would work with backscatter units. As a result, TSA terminated the contract with Rapiscan in order to comply with the congressional mandate.

The agency notes that all Rapiscan backscatter units currently operational at checkpoints around the country, as well as those stored at the TSALogistics Center in Texas, will be removed by Rapiscan at their expense and stored until they can be redeployed to other mission priorities within the government. Most of the backscatter units being removed will be replaced with millimeter wave units. The millimeter units will be moved from the inventory currently deployed at other airports and from an upcoming purchase of additional millimeter wave units.

Rapiscan took the cancellation of the $40 million contract in stride. In a statement, Deepak Chopra, the company’s president, said the decision to cancel the contract and remove the scanners was a “a mutually satisfactory agreement with the T.S.A.” The company said that scanners would be used at other government agencies.

Millimeter wave scanners are already installed at 170 U.S. airports.