Body Scanners Only as Effective as TSA Agents Allow

Whether we like them or not, and whether they impose upon our personal privacy, TSA body scanners are effective in preventing people from sneaking explosives and weapons onto airplanes. A recent TSA experiment, however, has proven that regardless of their effectiveness, the scanners are useless if operated by the inattentive or incompetent; which happens more often than you’d expect.

An eye-opening experiment proved this inattentiveness when an undercover TSA agent succeeded to sneak a firearm past the body scanners at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport—5 times!

“In this case, where they had a test, and it was just a dismal failure as I’m told,” said Larry Wansley, former head of security at American Airlines. “As I’ve heard (it), you got a problem, especially with a fire arm… This was only a test, but it’s critically important that you do something, because if that person failed in the real environment, then you have a problem,” he said.

What was concluded was that the scanners were working properly, but it was the TSA agents hired to monitor the scans that were lacking in discipline and training to actually pay attention when looking for threats. The agency refused to comment on the situation besides saying that the scanner technology “is an effective tool to detect both metallic and nonmetallic items hidden on passengers.”

Hopefully, after this embarrassing incident, the TSA will take time out to train their agents and officers to effectively use the scanners to receive their full benefit.

(Via NBC DFW) / (Image by silas216, licensed under Creative Commons)

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