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TSA seeks tech device to cut patdowns

Posted by Paul Makishima, Globe Assistant Sunday Editor  May 29, 2012 10:50 AM

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Old people and young people, former beauty queens and Henry Kissinger. Negative publicity over TSA patdowns has rained down on the agency.

In response, federal security officials have issued scaled-back search policies involving the elderly and the very young. And now they hope a new high-tech solution will help them vastly reduce the number of pat-downs performed at airports.

This from the LA Times:

The Department of Homeland Security recently put out a request for technology companies to come up with a hand-held scanning device that can be used instead of pat-down searches on passengers who set off alarms on full-body scanners ... [says] it seeks a hand-held device that weighs less than 5 pounds and can determine whether a hidden object on a passenger is a weapon or explosive. The device should produce a result in less than 15 seconds, the TSA request said.

"If possible, the goal is to detect all threats including metal and explosives," according to the request.

Plan approval and testing could take at least a year. The request did not say how soon the device might show up at airports.

Good news, yes?

Associated Press/Erik S. Lesser

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