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Truth Squad-ing TSA Security

Dec 6, 2010

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Scott Cameron

With all the talk of pat downs, body scanners and other TSA security measures, Popular Mechanics does some mythbusting on what you can really expect at the airport.

What can they actually see?

the TSA has given numerous assurances that every machine used in airports will feature face-and-genitalia-obscuring checks installed—the so-called "modesty algorithm." TSA officials also stress that the body scanners are incapable of data storage and that once an inspection ends and the image is cleared, it disappears forever.

At the same time, U.S. marshals at a courthouse in Florida allegedly stored tens of thousands of these images, and the TSA itself has publicly admitted that scanning machines do in fact possess the capability to "store, print, record and export" the images it creates, but contends that this ability is only used for "testing, training and evaluation."

PM also tackles question on how the scanners work, whether they cause cancer and your rights. You can read it all at their site, popularmechanics.com.

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