"A conservative estimate would indicate that to date, the Federal government has invested more than $1 billion dollars in this technology, excluding software upgrades and staffing allocations," the letter to the GAO states. "Therefore, we are keenly interested in the utilization concerns raised by your most recent report and would like to request a follow up audit on TSA's efforts to address utilization challenges identified in your previous work."
Since their introduction at airport security checkpoints, civil libertarians, privacy advocates, and some members of Congress have opposed the machines, arguing they violate American civil liberties and privacy rights. Other critics are skeptical that they perform as well as advertised and call them "security theater."
♦ Photo by DHS