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The GAO Calls for Further Analysis Before Deploying Whole Body Imaging Machines

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently released a report regarding the deployment of body scanners. The GAO cited its 2009 recommendations to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA): that the TSA conduct operational tests to ensure that the whole body imaging machines are reliable, and the that TSA conduct an assessment of the whole body imaging machines' vulnerabilities. In its latest report, the GAO warned TSA of the importance of full operational tests, citing the puffer machine debacle as an example of the government waste that results from insufficient operational testing. The GAO also expressed concern over TSA's lack of complete risk assessments and inability to "provide documentation to show how they have addressed the concerns raised in the 2009 GAO report regarding the susceptibility of the technology to terrorist tactics."  Because of this, the GAO concluded that it is unclear whether the body scanners or other technologies would have detected the weapon used in the December 25 attempted attack. For more information, see EPIC: Whole Body Imaging Technology and Body Scanners.

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