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posted by LaminatorX on Saturday December 06 2014, @04:23PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the that-silly-agency dept.

A government surplus vendor has Rapiscan Backscatter Body scanners listed for sale on ebay. The price - just $8K. Brand new they were $160K. These are the same units that were affectionately dubbed "porno scanners" before the TSA bowed to public pressure and yanked them out of commission. You might remember Rapiscan as the company that hired former Department of Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff as a way to guarantee their place at the trough full of sweet, sweet tax dollars.

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by cmn32480 on Saturday December 06 2014, @04:45PM

    by cmn32480 (443) <reversethis-{gro ... {ta} {08423nmc}> on Saturday December 06 2014, @04:45PM (#123228) Journal

    These are being sold as "NEW".

    WAIT??? !!!!! You mean that we the taxpayers paid $133,350.00 per scanner and the f**king things were never even used? Somebody's head should roll.

    Quoted from the Ebay ad in the article "If you need more than one, let us know" WTF??????!!! How much money did we the taxpayers get bent over for to buy these things?

    This guy is selling them for $8k. Subtract Ebay's 10%, and since he accepts Paypal, subtract another 2.9% (I did actually look up the exact percentages that Ebay and Paypal take). 12.9% right off the top is $6968. The guy PAID less than $7000 for a $113,350.00 piece of equipment that was never used. That is without him making a dime in profit. Odds are he paid $5000 or less.

    Golly, with math like that it is no wonder the US government can't balance the checkbook.

    --
    "It's a dog eat dog world, and I'm wearing Milkbone underwear" - Norm Peterson
    • (Score: 5, Informative) by Thexalon on Saturday December 06 2014, @04:58PM

      by Thexalon (636) on Saturday December 06 2014, @04:58PM (#123232)

      As noted in TFS, the guy making the decision to buy the things, then-DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff, just happened to have a financial stake in the company who made them. That I'm sure had nothing to do with the fact that we paid millions of dollars for machines that were useless at best, criminal at worst.

      In a just world, Chertoff would be up on corruption charges right now. But it's abundantly clear these days we don't live in anything remotely approaching a just world.

      --
      The inverse of "I told you so" is "Nobody could have predicted"
      • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @06:17PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @06:17PM (#123249)

        Actually Chertoff left the DHS before the decision to purchase the pornoscanners was made. But his connections to the agency clearly made it easy to close the deal.

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @05:02PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @05:02PM (#123234)

      Ah welcome to the world of government surplus.

      https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#safe=off&q=us+government+surplus+auctions [google.com]

      You can find tons of stuff like what this dude found for *very* cheap then flip it on eBay.

      Take this little gem for an example
      http://gsaauctions.gov/gsaauctions/aucitsrh/?sl=71QSCI15805016 [gsaauctions.gov]

      10 bucks for 6 monitors that probably all work. You pick them up. Then you can probably flip them on ebay for 10-15 bucks each.

      It takes very little time and you can make a steady living off the arbitrage. With the occasional home run.

      You probably could do very nicely on this too on ebay (would be tedious but doable if you live in denver)
      http://gsaauctions.gov/gsaauctions/aucitsrh/?sl=81QSCI15051021 [gsaauctions.gov]

      The downside to most of the auctions is you have to pickup within 1-2 days of auction end.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @05:39PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @05:39PM (#123240)

        I know people who do importing and exporting and buy and sell things overseas and in America. They work in one of the suites at this place I work at. I don't know how much they make but they all drive really nice cars.

    • (Score: 2) by davester666 on Saturday December 06 2014, @11:25PM

      by davester666 (155) on Saturday December 06 2014, @11:25PM (#123319)

      I need 2, one for the front door and one for the back.

  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @06:25PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @06:25PM (#123252)

    "before the TSA bowed to public pressure"

    Did the TSA really 'bow to public pressure' or is it really that the contractors selling these machines involved already got paid and so no one cares at this point what happens to them?

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @06:29PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @06:29PM (#123255)

      and before you know it the TSA will find some other machines to buy and then later sell at a huge discount making various contractors that offer politicians various favors millions of dollars in taxpayer money. That's just how government works.

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @06:33PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @06:33PM (#123259)

      Those two narratives are not in contradiction. The pressure to pull the machines was less than the pressure to keep them, so they went. Whether the pressure to pull out was increased or the pressure to keep them was reduced, its still means public pressure won out.

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @10:17PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @10:17PM (#123308)

        The pressure to use them probably was very close to zero. Heck, they wouldn't even have been bought if the TSA were allowed to transfer its budget to "security" companies without getting anything in return.

  • (Score: 3, Funny) by kaszz on Saturday December 06 2014, @07:54PM

    by kaszz (4211) on Saturday December 06 2014, @07:54PM (#123280) Journal

    So now every frat society can afford to buy their own to provide security for the prom. Private image blog will be updated in realtime.. ;-)

    Of course the poor bastards will need help with IQ and knowhow from some bribed nerd to even make it blink. :P

  • (Score: 2) by jcross on Monday December 08 2014, @03:08PM

    by jcross (4009) on Monday December 08 2014, @03:08PM (#123740)

    There has got to be a fetish community for this. I predict that within the next year at least one of these machines will truly earn the name of "porno scanner" by getting its own website and making a substantial ROI on that investment of $8K.