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Naked Body Scanner Lobbyist Now Has Control Over TSA's Budget In Congress


Christopher Romig, who worked as a go between for Rapiscan, has secured a position within the House Appropriations Committee's Homeland Security Subcommittee.

Romig's record indicates that he actively lobbied Congress on "aviation, port and border security," in addition to "budget and appropriation." Just by coincidence, these are the very areas he will now oversee on the Homeland Security Subcommittee.

'Conflict of interest' does not seems to be a phrase that Congress has much time for.

At the height of it's push to win government business, Rapiscan Systems spent over a quarter of a million dollar per year lobbying for contracts just with the TSA.

Rapiscan's X-ray body scanners were rolled out in airports across the country from 2007 onwards. However, the company lost the contract in 2013. The official reason was that Rapiscan was unable to develop the "stick man" software that masks naked images produced by the scanners.

After a widespread backlash against the machines, it was demanded that such software be developed. Rapiscan could not apply it to its existing technology, and TSA took its business elsewhere.

This led to the mothballing of $14 million worth of body scanners. All in all, the 250 backscatter scanners the TSA now has are worth a combined total of $40 million.

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