You know your worst flying fear? No, not that thing about waking up from a nap to hear the pilot slurring over the intercom, "Hey, laaaydeeez and gentlesmen, it's the ol' captain speaking. Whew, okay, it's truth time — your captain just washed down a pair of quaaludes he's been carrying around since ‘72 with a little vodka. In unrelated personal news, my wife told me today that she's leaving me and I feel like my life no longer has meaning. Speaking of fate's senseless cruelty, we're currently cruising at an altitude of 37,000 over the South Pacific, far away from any hospitable land mass where the lightning fist of a vengeful Old Testament god might strike us out of the sky at any moment..." It's that fear you have that all the TSA agents aren't just inconveniencing your passage through security checkpoints — they're also using the body scanners to make fun of your naked body. Well, thanks to a whole lot of complaints from passengers, as well as members of Congress, about the invasiveness of full-body scanners, the TSA has said that, like the snows of yesteryear, the scanners will soon be gone from this earth. Or at least the from international airport nearest you.
According to the New York Times, the Transportation Security Administration announced that it has cancelled a contract, originally worth $40 million, with Rapiscan, the makers of those elephantine nudie-vision pods that have, over the last several years, managed what at first seemed impossible: making airport security lines move even more ponderously. Since Rapiscan failed to meet a Congressional deadline to implement new software aimed at protecting passenger privacy, the company will lose its deal with the TSA and be required to pay for removing its scanners from airports.
So, should you expect airport security to be a little less invasive? Fuck no! What are you, a terrorist or something? Rapiscan may have just been nudged out of the airport security racket (their machines can still be found at a government agency near you), but a new type of full-body scanner will be taking the place of Rapiscan's old models. The new scanner, according to the Times "makes an avatar-like projection on security screens," which I can't help thinking will be more or less similar to the way space chess worked in A New Hope. Naked avatars at the airport — the future is now!