Earlier this year, the TSA indicated that it would no longer purchase backscatter x-ray devices for deployment in US airports. A news story this week confirms that the TSA has ceased buying the "Whole Body Imaging" devices and is actively replacing them with millimeter wave scanners, a less intrusive but also controversial scanning technology. EPIC sued the Department of Homeland Security to force disclosure of technical documents about the body scanner program. In a subsequent lawsuit, EPIC v. DHS, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals determined that air travellers have a right to opt-out of the body scanner screening and that the TSA must undertake a notice and comment rulemaking. In the most recent decision, the Court has ordered the agency to begin the public comment process by March 2013. For more information, see EPIC: Whole Body Imaging Technology and Body Scanners and EPIC; EPIC v. DHS (suspension of airport body scanners).
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Communications Law and Policy
Jerry Kang and Alan Butler