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U.S. body scanners go unused, wasting millions

March 27, 2012

Some of the body scanners that peer through passengers’ clothing at U.S. airport checkpoints often go unused, wasting millions of dollars, a government report found.

Scanners at a portion of the airports were used as little as five per cent of the days after they were installed by the Transportation Security Administration, Stephen Lord, director of Homeland Security and justice issues at the U.S. Government Accountability Office, said in testimony prepared for a House hearing Monday.

“The limited use of some of these machines may indicate that there was not a clear need for them at the time they were acquired at the locations in which they were deployed,” Lord said in testimony for a joint hearing of the House oversight and transportation committees.

The scanners, made by L-3 Communications Holdings Inc. and OSI Systems Inc.’s Rapiscan, were deployed after the unsuccessful bombing attempt on Dec. 25, 2009, of a Northwest Airlines flight near Detroit. A suspected terrorist smuggled explosives onto the flight in his underwear past airport metal detectors.

Full article here [1]