Backscatters removed from US airports

There are two types of Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) used by TSA.  One is the Backscatter which is the machine with 2 big blue boxes and the other is

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Millimeter Wave

the Millimeter Wave (MMW) which is the grey cylinder.  The backscatter was the one with the remote viewing room while MMW now typically does the gumby image with an indicator on the gumby as to where the person needs to be patted down (this is called ATR and machines with this technology say ATR).  The Backscatter machines are all removed according to an article in CNN.

The harshest critics labeled them “virtual strip searches.” Airport passenger screening that produced particularly realistic full-body images using backscatter technology.

Others also expressed health concerns about low doses of radiation from the X-rays underpinning those scans.

Well, it’s all over now as the Transportation Security Administration says it has met a June 1 deadline to remove all 250 backscatter machines from U.S. airports.

This is a step in the right direction.  Now time to eliminate the MMW machines!


  1. I’m not sure that the MMW machines are so great as it seems you often get patted down anyways. Why bother – just opt out.

  2. Those of us with medical implants love the machines. They are so much better than getting a pat down every time.

    1. That’s a valid point, but do you ever get patted down after the MMW? When i’m waiting for my opt-out pat-down i’ve seen times when about 1:4 show yellow on the gumby and get at least a spot pat-down.

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