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Experts: Naked Scanners Will Miss a Lot of Things

The LA Times cites security experts who say these new full body scanners, often referred to as naked scanners because they can see through clothes, could make it easier to sneak weapons and explosives onto airplanes.

"I can overcome the body scanners with enough explosives to bring down a Boeing 747," Rafi Sela, security consultant and former chief security officer at the Israel Airport Authority told the LA Times.

The paper also cites Stephen M. Lord of the Government Accountability Office who told Congress in March that the TSA's classified testing shows it's unclear whether the technology would have detected Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's underwear bomb. GAO also pointed out that while metal detectors only require the TSA officials to listen for beeps, the x-ray scanners require whoever is on duty to examine the pictures properly, like with carry-on bags.

Clark Ervin, former Department of Homeland Security inspector general told the LA Times that classified tests show that x-ray screeners regularly miss threats and said the rate of detection for baggage X-rays is "disastrously low, and it's no better than it was on 9/11."

The article goes on to cite even more people considered to be experts who say using the scanners as a primary screening tool is a mistake.  One person even says that metallic items that wouldn't pass a metal detector test can make it through the x-ray.

"The things it can miss are more likely to be used as a weapon than the things it can catch," Rich Roth, a former Secret Service official is quoted as saying.

Though the story clarifies that some of these guys have a financial stake in the debate (e.g. investments in metal detector companies or similar), it's still worrying to hear this many testimonials against what will soon be in every major airport in the country.

Read the complete, unabridged article here.