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January 18, 2013

Thompson Commends TSA For Screening Machine Replacement

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the below statement following news that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) intends to cancel its contract with Rapiscan because it could not comply with a Congressional mandate for passenger privacy. TSA will begin removing the remaining 174 machines and replace them with ones that comply with the mandate. Since September of 2009, TSA has spent over $40 million on passenger screening machines produced by Rapiscan.

Yesterday, the American taxpayer learned that all Rapiscan passenger screening machines would be removed from our nation's airports and that the TSA intends to cancel the contract with Rapiscan because the machines do not comply with Congressionally-mandated privacy standards which required Rapiscan to obscure the exposed images of passengers. I commend TSA for following this mandate and responding to the concerns of the American people.

However, I want to make clear that if these machines cannot be altered to prevent the photographing of nude images, the American public must be assured that these machines will not be used in any other public Federal facility. We must also ensure that the American taxpayer does not bear any costs pertaining to the removal.

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Media Contact: Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978