(Newsmax)—The U.S. Transportation Security Administration will remove from U.S. airports its remaining body-scanning machines that privacy advocates likened to strip searches for showing almost-naked images of passengers.
TSA will end a $5 million contract with OSI Systems Inc.’s Rapiscan unit after Administrator John Pistole concluded the company couldn’t meet a congressional deadline to deliver software that would produce generic images of passengers, agency officials said in interviews.
TSA will remove 174 Rapiscan machines from U.S. airports, with the company absorbing the cost, Karen Shelton Waters, the agency’s assistant administrator for acquisitions, said. The agency will replace the Rapiscan machines with 60 units manufactured by L-3 Communications Holdings Inc., the agency’s other body-scanner supplier.
“It became clear to TSA they would be unable to meet our timeline,” Waters said. “As a result of that, we terminated the contract for the convenience of the government.”
The decision to cancel the Rapiscan contract and remove its scanners wasn’t related to an agency investigation into whether the company faked testing data on the software fix, Waters said.
In November, Representative Mike Rogers, then chairman of the House Transportation Security subcommittee, said in a letter to Pistole the company “may have attempted to defraud the government by knowingly manipulating an operational test.” Rogers said his committee received a tip about the faked tests.
Rapiscan denied falsifying data or information related to the tests.
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