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Phoenix airport set to test all-seeing x-ray

Donald Melanson, @donmelanson
December 4, 2006
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Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport looks to have the distinct honor of being the first airport in the United States to put the controversial "backscatter" x-ray technology to use, the very same excessively-intimate inspection technique that made its debut at London's Heathrow airport a couple of years back. The airport won't just be taking a peek at everyone that passes through the gate, however, instead using the scanner as a backup to existing screening measures -- and, even then, individuals will have the option of a pat-down search instead of the picture postcard seen here. What's more, unlike earlier implementations of the technology, the Transportation Security Administration has reportedly sanitized the end results somewhat, with certain areas being discreetly blurred out, and no images saved after the person steps away from the machine. While the Phoenix airport gets to be first it, not suprisingly, won't be the last, with the TSA saying that a "handful" of other airports will be installing some scanners of their own sometime early next year.

[Thanks, Ben B.]



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