Nothing to fear...
That Lord Adonis of course. With a name like that he presumably has no worries about being humiliated due to security staff pointing out his bodily shortcomings.
Body scanners went into operation at Heathrow and Manchester airports this morning. People chosen by security staff will not be allowed onto flights without going through the machine from now on. Lord Adonis said he expected more machines to go live later this month, with further examples to be introduced at Birmingham airport …
Ah well, I wouldn't hold your breath waiting for irate child advocacy groups to kick up too much of a fuss: with public money harder than ever to grasp from the Treasury, they'll all be easily (and very conveniently) frightened off making life too difficult for this hypocritical Government. So the scanners will slowly roll out across more and more locations and will, in time, become an entrenched fact of life; and nobody much will mind - especially not those who have been the loudest and most vocal about 'safeguarding™' children.
As a nation, for all we've allowed to happen to personal and civil freedoms over the past 13 years of NuLabour's social project in this CCTV nation of ours, we thoroughly deserve our fate. Too lazy to protest, to ignorant to argue: what else did we really expect?
The protests have already happened well before the pants bombing incident. So that makes a nonsense of your entire post.
Bear in mind that the investment in the scanners was already committed. The protests happened. Then came the pants bomber.* This gave the government a very handy justification for this latest intrusion into our privacy. The fact that these scanners probably wouldn't even have detected the pants bomb is, of course, conveniently forgotten.
However the politics here is pretty clear. A bomber apparently came close to blowing up an air craft, this shows that the security in place is inadequate. Rather than the government actually holding some sort of enquiry into the failure and addressing the shortcomings there is an immediate knee jerk reaction to put in place yet another security measure. This is something we have seen from this government for almost thirteen years. When something goes wrong they either implement a "solution" very quickly in order to show they are doing something (without any evidence that their "solution" will work) or worse still set themselves a target to deal with the problem. The target setting is laughable since they very seldom do anything, they just continue as they were and hope the target will be met. This either shows a solid belief that their current action plan is correct or a solid belief that by the time the target date is reached it will be somebody else's problem. That's always assuming that they don't just wait until the problem drops out of the news and then issue a revised target which amounts to doing fuck all.
So we can conclude from this that our current government's response to problems is to either (a) throw huge amounts of money around indiscriminately in the hope that it will solve the problem, or at least create the impression that they know what they're doing or (b) promise to do something about it in the hopes that the problem will simply go away, while creating the impression that they know what they're doing.
* There's a sentence I never thought I'd have to type.
...also to make the point that the protests are/were inadequate. Like when it gets to the point when you have to physically fight, so you give in because 'it wouldn't be civilised'. Methinks the protesters doth protest too much with the aim of maintaining an illusion of what it is to be British.
"People chosen by security staff will not be allowed onto flights without going through the machine from now on.
"Anyone selected for the scanners must go through the machine - there is no option to choose a pat-down search instead. Children can also be selected for scanning"
That is unbelievable.
When will the UK bring its privacy laws into line with the rest of Europe? Can there be any Euro-sceptics after this?
The cynic in me wonders if this is all just a Government plot to get everyone to accept everything offered from the EU, all done at the taxpayers' expense as the Government defends one privacy infraction after the other.
Milk farmers gave up producing milk. Will this stop people from flying to/from the UK? As I refuse to be scanned under the current 'rules' it looks like I won't be doing any flying in the foreseeable future.
That would be a good case for courts to answer and not the airliner. Since they provide the service which cannot be used because of local security arbitrary choices.
Nothing tells someone that 30 minutes later you get through the checks without being picked up again... so as passenger you have the right to fly since has a valid ticked if not barred.
...both the courts AND the airlines (certainly BA anyway) support the pervscanners. If the courts didn't support them, then I'd like to think that they'd have been stopped way before now due to the genuine privacy issues. Of course, the airlines support them because they're all in the politicians' pockets. I can't see anyone fighting to actually get an air passenger ON to a flight in any of this. Oh dear!
On another note, BA are all "Oh, woe is us!" about the air industry going to sh*t, staff strikes, staff pensions, rising fuel costs etc. So what do they do to try and sort it out, back the further penalisation/discomfort/humiliation/expense to their own paying customers, riiiiiiiiight, good one!
Like I said, however, BA couldn't have just turned around and said "No" to the scanners, they're too big for that, if they HAD done that, we wouldn't have the scanners, the government know that, which is why BA are their b*tches.
Anyway, I've got a gorgeous little sun spot on The Lizard with my name on it come July, cheap local cider, fresh fish and chips, panoramic sea views and not a pervscanner in sight thank you very much.
"People chosen for scanning can ask for the images to be viewed by someone of the same sex"
Oh, well that's alright then. Nothing to worry about. As long as we're pandering to silly preconceptions then everything about this whole charade is just A-OK.
Mine's the one with "TERRORIST?" stitched up the inside in six inch tinfoil letters.
I'm flying from Manchester in April with my 15 year old daughter, of course if she is selected for scanning I will be requesting that a same sex operator carries out the scan - but as they are shielded from the person being scanned, how do I know that my request has been fulfilled ?? and how do I know that they don't have a room full of 'interested parties' or 'trainees' also present.
Unfortunately I can only reach my destination from either Manchester or Heathrow (or go via Europe - no thanks) so I'm stuck.
How long before a video of this arrives on youtube after being left in the airport lounge, or baggage hall. No doubt someone in the government will state that lessons have been learned again! Perhaps the naked rambler should go on a flight and see if he gets picked for a pervscan?
"Passengers must not be selected on the basis of personal characteristics (i.e. on a basis that may constitute discrimination such as gender, age, race or ethnic origin)"
Does that mean "she's got big bangers, get her on it!" is out as well then ? I dunno - today's Britain. No matter what your job is, someone is withdrawing the perks...
I've no plans to fly any time soon, ladies, so no need to rush in on my account.. Although in this temperature, I don't believe results would be worth getting your mates round the monitor for. Sadly.
Unless the systems have photoshop as well ?
So, it would be unfair to profile passengers as that would infringe someone nutter's (in-)human right to take the human rights from others? If there is logic there it is well hidden from me.
If we did not have the problem of certain sub human psychopathic types wanting to murder and maim there would be no problem, so sod the human wrongs act and target those most likely to target others.
In the meantime shut down the damned airports by not using them, or would that deny the b*st*rds human rights to kill?
Who is for embroidered vests with suitable slogans suggesting that the perverts go home and the the terrorists get what they deserve? Surely it should be my human right to wear what I want in the privacy of my own underwear however offensive it might be to the law breakers, e.g. this bloody Goophymint..
I thought the same thing about a chap called Mohammed (Shakil. Go Google him...) with whom I worked for a while.
He seemed to leave his job abruptly (I just thought it was because he SUCKED at it), only to resurface on his way back from a terrorist training camp in Pakistan.
He has since stood trial for being on the reconnaissance team for 7/7 and is now doing 7 years for conspiracy.
Like you, I thought he was just as likely as me to blow up a plane. Turns out, by that statement I'm actually a potential terrorist. My mum will be so disappointed.
... the most effective use of these scanners, beyond a "scan everyone", is to target specific people whose background fits into a "high risk" catagory. However the security services can't use these catagories because they're discriminatory!
Why on earth have they even bothered with these stupid things if they aren't going to use them properly. I do understand why people would be relucant to have their image scanned, and that civil liberties are being eroded more and more each day, but seriously, either use your resources properly, or stop trying...
This government is so focussed on targets and metrics and data retention, but these images are going to be 'deleted' immediately after scanning?
Seems unlikely. The only reason must be that they know its theatre - that none of the images will be useful for anything - ergo the scanners all but useless.
I think it's harsh to blame the lack of protest on lazyness, we have see that protest now has very real implications. The police photograph you and put these on file, take your dna, keep you kettled up for 8 hours or otherwise cause the protesters major inconvenience. And finally they have made it against the law to protest in the area where the politicians resided.
Democracy has thus had a slap in the face in which it would be unfair to blame the populace for. Unless they should be blamed by not starting large civil unrest against the laws and practises that make protest itself be avoided.
"A spokeswoman at Heathrow confirmed the machines had gone live, but said it was too early to gauge passenger response"
The thing is, it's ok for us geeks who read the Reg and suchlike - We know what the scanners do. But does the general public? Is there a clear sign on the scanner saying "this machine sees through your clothes and takes nude piccies of you"? It should, of course. But I bet it doesn't. And without that, most people will just think it's some sort of fancy version of the bleepy stick things that have been used for years. And, no-doubt, the airport staff will be more than pleased (indeed, may well have been instructed!) to let the public carry on thinking that.
So, what's the policy on THAT?
The man whose name writes cheques his face can't cash.
And if you're against scanners then you must be in favour of terrorism.
It's all a ridiculous waste of time. And the fact that it's been proved to be a waste of time means they shove their fingers even further into their ears.
Thatcher was a twisted old misanthrope, but she was a crusty pinko libertarian nutcase compared to this mob.
"...And if you're against scanners then you must be in favour of terrorism..."
Its a fact that all those airport security nerds and their procedures were unable catch a single terrorist before boarding a plane. So why would that change?
Just because Mr Brown likes to indulge himself in front of a scanner and all his friends have a brain-orgasm by just looking at their leader showing up naked on the scanner's monitor?
Simply plane crazy? No! But government crazy... a big YES!
The probability of a plane not reaching its destination are higher, lower in case of plane crash due to mechanical failure and not significant for the cases of bombing.
So why all this unjustified panic beside of having paranoid people in places of power and to just please Obama?
This has NOTHING to do with security, it's just another step to complete removal of privacy and restricting the freedoms and liberty of the public. Also, if passengers can insist that only an operator of the same sex is allowed to view the image, this implies that the image does (or at least may) contain an element of sexual information. In this case, WTF are they doing allowing children to be scanned!? Who's going to view those images?
They'll just push it through, no matter what. It's quite amazing already, for this government, to have a public statement contain the notion that the watchers at least obtain a security clearance (but not, apparently, a working-with-children clearance, the pervy pervs), despite the loud protests of the watchers. That in itself is a sign on the wall, but it'll be mighty interesting to see what remains of these feeble promises two, six, twelve, twenty four months from now.
I'm sure we'll find, if we're still allowed any such thing, that the government will have just carried on.
The very safeguards put in place to prevent previously are now superfluous because a different country came under an attempted attack. Has the reason those safeguards were put in place disappeared overnight? Of course not. It is now obvious that was merely a ploy to get the things installed and then argue "well, they're there, we should use them".
I think we deserve an announcement of this in Parliament. Lord Adonis should give it bollock naked obviously, since that is what he is inflicting on everyone else.
Oh please, get a grip! Accusing "pervscanner" operators of being peeping Toms and perverts is not just silly, it's probably libellous. It's like insisting that any security officer who gives you one of the "pat-down" searches is committing indecent assault for fun. What a crock of over-hyped media hogwash. I wouldn't need the scanners to tell me the vast majority of air travellers are overweight and unattractive, and I really don't want to spend time in the confines of an aircraft with you, let alone imagine you naked, so why do you all suddenly think a "pervscanner" is going to turn you into eyecandy? If anyone should be agrieved it's the poor scanner operators that will not only have to endure staring at your unappealling forms, but will also have to shoulder the tag "pervs" thrust on them by hyperventilating "jer-nah-lists" wihtout a real story to print.
Strange how no-one complains about the medical scanners that can do even more invasive scanning. But that's alright, isn't it, 'cos none of you morons thinks to label nurses and doctors "pervert tools of the oppressive Big Brother". How hypocritical and sad. Try thinking before simply regurgitating the Indymedia line.
You can complain. As, in fact, I did when he put his hands inside my trousers without asking, whilst the inside of my wife's bra was being groped.
The pat downs are already too intrusive. But if something dodgy happens, you know there and then and can do something about it. If someone takes a snap of your naked body whilst sitting in the remote location, you'd never know.
I've said it before and I'll keep saying it. People would not submit to a physical strip-search, why submit to an electronic one?
"People chosen for scanning can ask for the images to be viewed by someone of the same sex."
Hmm... I wonder how many intersexed and transgendered staff they have for the scanners... As a pre-op transexual, I have a penis and boobs.. Wonder how they will fit the 'same sex' requirement with me??
(Probably some fat slob with moobs knowing some of the rude B*****ds in UK customs.)
So you can be sure that the security officer who you cannot see is in fact of the requested sex, can you? No chance of "well we've got no women on duty at the moment, we'll just tell them that Ted is female"
Also, the officer should be on view to prove that they're not cracking one off in private or using their mobile to take photos of the screen!
Here is a preliminary list of questions to the security officer before I pass through:
1) What is the gender of the person viewing the scan?
2) Can I opt for a pat down instead?
3) What are my rights?
4) Do these things cause cancer?
5) No? Are you SURE?
6) Can you please give me another run down of my rights, in more detail?
7) Why have I been chosen to go through the scanner?
8) If it is not random, what am I being suspected of?
9) Sorry, I'm a bit hard of hearing in that ear...what are my rights again?
10) Where is the bin where I need to dispose of my dignity before I pass through?
Re your 1: When you go through one you don't need to take your pants off (well, belts, shoes, tiepins, bling and watches anyway). They are also quick. Moscow DME uses them for many years now and I heard no complaints from anyone I know who regularly flies from that airport (all BA and BD flights from Moscow). Quite the opposite - everyone is quite pleased with how it works.
Re your 2: What's so private in a fuzzy B&W silhouette? Also, never heard anyone complaining in Moscow (although maybe that being Moscow discourages people from complaining? ). Besides, if you're fat and ugly do you really think that people around you are so stupid that they don't notice it without having to scan you with millimeter band waves?
... for your polite and reasoned reply. I don't particularly agree with you, because being scanned by the new machines seems to be an added extra - my interpretation of the rules is that we'll still have to remove metal objects, and then be "invited" into the new machine if the arch goes beep. I'm likely to be one of the people repeatedly asked to go through the things, since the ordinary scanners in the UK (but, stangely, no other country!) always beep, even with absolutely no metal on me at all. Call me weird, but if someone is going to be screening me, I want the "personal touch", not being stuffed in a machine. However, you seem to have more experience of these scanners than me (I haven't had the pleasure of going to Moscow yet), and so you clearly have a different view, which I respect.
as ever and ever and on they will say the levels are safe. They will not look at history where radiation levels once believed safe were later found to be excessive, so lowered, then lowered further still, right up more-or-less to the present day. They have exactly the same pathological pig-headedness of the lot who back in the fifties had soldiers marching towards ground zero almost immediately after detonating an atomic bomb. By which time plenty was already known from Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
But then consider the decades of resisting admitting - well past any reasonable uncertainty - that atomic test veterans with leukemia and so on might have a case against the British Government.
When you spend a few hours at 35,000 feet, you have volunteered yourself for a significant extra dose of cosmic rays by putting yourself above most of the atmosphere. Against this, the dose you receive from scanners on the ground pales into insignificance. One source quoted one hour at altitude equal to forty scans.
In context, several hours at altitude every working day does not give rise to a detectable increase in cancer deaths amongst flight crews. One can calculate theoretical numbers of deaths caused, but there is a much higher number of cancers not caused by radiation.
Male, female, Graham Norton?
Sorry Mr PervScanner but I don't want *anyone* looking at what I've got stashed in my trousers (although I will promise that it won't explode and make a mess everywhere...well not on a plane anyway).
Paris as I'd happily watch her go through the PervScanner
How the flying **** does not being able to see flunky looking at your genitals "protect passengers"?
How does knowing that some flunky is looking at your genitals do you any harm? Especially since he doesn't know whose genitals he is looking at.
And probably, he isn't. looking. This is the sort of thing that computers do better than humans. Unless you are carrying something that you shouldn't be, chances are good that no human actually looks at the picture of your genitals at all.
And in answer to the original question, it reduces embarassment, which might reduce the chance of a passenger suffering a heart attack in the departure lounge by some immeasurably small fraction.
because they're all complaining. Once people are resigned to it then they will start to gauge responses.
"Passengers must not be selected on the basis of personal characteristics"
(i.e. on a basis that may constitute discrimination such as gender, age, race or ethnic origin)."*cut*
detailed protocols which are not published because,
we are told, they contain security sensitive information which includes selection criteria on those chosen for scanning*paste*
(i.e. on a basis that may constitute discrimination such as gender, age, race or ethnic origin)."
If they're millimeter wave cameras then I have no (major) issue with this.
If they're x-ray, and they're scanning children... Let's just say I wouldn't want to be an MP or company executive when the first cancer lawsuits come up.
Seriously guys, x-rays are a *known* carcinogen; and that means an increase in risk, however low the dosage.
I'm aware that the dose is relatively small, but the vast majority of that dose is going directly into the surface layers of the skin. I'm pale skinned, and I've tried to avoid sun damage to my skin as much as possible to reduce my (elevated) risk of skin cancer; I don't want that undone by a few trips through the airport...
Honestly, I'd rather have a strip search than an X-ray search. Why isn't that even an option?
[Backscatter-type machines] only become somewhat worrisome when they are used as the primary method of scanning passengers, said David Brenner, director of the Center for Radiological Research at Columbia University Medical Center.
"From an individual's point of view, the risks are going to be small," Brenner said in a phone interview.
"If very large numbers of people would be exposed to a small risk, then you've got a population problem."
"...Brenner said that as with medical scans, the benefits of the scan need to outweigh the risks. "If the benefit means we're safer, then that probably outweighs the potential risk," he said..."
Therefore no scan outweighs the potential risk since a plane going down coz the risk of a bomber is is considerable less than a plane going down because of some mechanical failure.
Beside there is a major difference between airport scanner and a medical scan... medical scan is to detect a problem that otherwise would be discovered unless the person is open up. While a airport scanner doesn't add any extra security specially when is enough to padding down a person and with less problems.
"...Brenner..." needs to go back to the cave to find better excuses!
The code states: "Passengers must not be selected on the basis of personal characteristics (i.e. on a basis that may constitute discrimination such as gender, age, race or ethnic origin)."
So working on that assumption, the only people they can scan are white people for the simple reason that choosing a black/asian person for scanning constitutes discrimination. I bet race relation lawyers are rubbing their hands in absolute glee.
This is more Security Theatre(tm).
The people who made these machines admit they don't work like advertised and there is a German physicist who showed how easy it was to smuggle dangerous items past these machines without hiding anything in a body cavity.
Mine is the doctor's coat for the "free pap and prostate exam with each flight" coming soon.
Surely a far greater worry for pre-ops and intersex peoples would be who pats you down after the scan looks a little odd?
That asside, is there any data on the specificity of these things (or at all...)? It seemed that about 50% of people going through them were being patted down when i flew from holland a few weeks ago.
It's naive to assume that terrorists expect to take over the world. The numpties who blow themselves up in the expectation of a sexually enhanced paradise might very well believe that - but the people who organise them (people in no hurry to reach paradise themselves) know very well that's impossible.
What they do seek is to shock and polarise the world into good guys and bad guys (which is which depending on where you're standing), provoke suspicion and bigotry, and put us all at each others' throats. Secure in the certain knowledge that military and security responses will generate even more terrorists.
They don't directly achieve fear in the majority of people, only defiance - it's governments who cynically promote and abuse fear. They don't detract from our civil liberties - they don't need to. They can rely upon our governments to do that, with measure after measure aimed at infallibly combating the last attack, increasing petty bureaucratic power in the process. Terrorists don't take our taxes - governments do that, and hand over large sums to finger-in-the-pie corporations in the name of security, or invest both money and young lives in foreign wars with no foreseeable end or result.
In the meantime, power passes into the hands of people and organisations who have forgotten who they are serving and why, and about whom we should be as profoundly suspicious as we are about terrorists. For many politicians, bureaucrats and police officers, the 'war on terror' is nothing less than a gift. Almost as big a gift as an endlessly gullible and acquiescent population.
On those counts I suspect the terrorists are winning already...
They had won the war long time ago, before Mr Bush invented the idiotic phase "War on terror"
The terrorists have accomplished more because of the changes that our governments have introduced over the years; today it seems a more controlled and paranoid society than before...
In times of IRA where bombs went off on regular basis didn't exist this entire paranoid. Probably because UK had people managing the country with some sanity and not giving away the rights and freedom that our citizens have.
All this panic is caused because of lack on intelligence services, lack of knowing what the "enemy" is doing or preparing... so we can see the results... loss of rights, freedom simple because of paranoid people in power... of course it all for the good of the nation against the terrorism. But are this people that forget that are causing more terror than the terrorists themselves.
It is unfortunately but at same time it is real, is just enough to see all the laws created to see how flawed/rushed they are and all these continuous attempts to circumvent our rights and freedom of moving and speak.
Democracy basic values where lost and Democracy is dying... this is what is slowing happening.
Easy one for the terrorists to fix for us, all they need to do is invent a trigger that goes off when they are scanned. How many security guards are going to stand beside the scanner then? Better yet, what will the rest of the passenger do when they see the security guards direct some poor victim through the scanner, then leg it behind the nearest blast wall! Oh fun times.
So, what will thy think of next time, after some suicide bomber has set off his shrapnel-filled hand luggage amidst a few hundred people waiting in the queue to be scanned?
Let me guess, metal detectors at the airport entrance?
Or X-rays on the perimeter road?
Of maybe we'll just have Plod stationed at each of our front doors, ready to strip-search us before we're allowed to enter "public" space?
and it's interesting that the only vaguely successful terrorist acts in Europe for the past decade have been...
On tubes, buses and trains.
Seems to me our airport security has been working pretty well for a long time. And the terrorists are free to blow up Bluewater on a busy Saturday afternoon....
Am I the only person who doesn't have a problem with it?
The only concerns I have are:
a) how damaging the radiation could potentially be
b) why they are not scanning everybody with it, otherwise what's the point?
c) does it actually detect bombs/explosives?
But the fact that a stranger will see a blurred ghost-like image with the outline of my genitals for a few seconds is not a major cause of strife for me, and I'm not exactly an exhibitionist (I work in IT!).
The idea of doing nothing except walking through a doorway is surely better than removing my shoes and belt and all metal objects, walking through a doorway, and then being patted down for a number of minutes before the guard is finally satisfied, resulting in delays for everyone.
Really, the woop de woop being made on these posts about how people are so scared about having your outlined image being seen by someone whom you do not know...oh the humanity!!!
Y'all DO go to the doctor, don't you??? Y'all do disrobe for the nurse when she requests it. Y'all DO have the expectation that if you are in a car accident you have not problem with whomever emergency tech cuts your clothes off to bandage your wounds, don't ya? You do change in the gym in front of people you don't know all the time, don't ya - OK, looking at the general shape of people, maybe not too many for that last point...
Seriously, the problem is not with scanners - the problem is with people who have so many hangups that they think bored security guards will get their jollies looking at b/w outline pictures of them, rather than downloading the petabytes of porn available off the web...most made with decently in-shape people, as opposed to the average Heathrow flier. Worried about your children? Oh for pete's sake...open your spam filter and you'll probably find more paedo files than would be snapped in a day at Heathrow of underage children. And in colour, with details shown...not just a vague outline.
Anyone that worries about this has FAR too much of a sense of self-importance - face it, you really are one of the faceless masses, and no one really cares what you look like naked. And this is SO much better than a metal scanner that requires you to remove belt, shoes, phones, change, piercings, etc...
Asshole. The problem is about surrendering yet another bit of personal integrity in the name of security theatre. Its also about not being subjected to even more damaging X-ray radiation.
The only thing that will stop so-called terrorists targeting US and British interests is for the US to stop its imperialistic wars of aggression and for the Brits to stop helping them!
How brave of you to insult me and post AC. Grow some.
The terrorists won the airport security battle in the 1960s, when the first metal detectors started being installed because of that day's terrorists and hijackers. Now all we are debating is whether the convenience of millimeter waves and not having to disassemble one's self is better than the huge queues of passengers at the metal detectors, stripping off anything metallic and then being wanded when they beep. I've got nearly 700,000 lifetime frequent flier miles, and I'll take "new and cool" millimeter over "old and busted" metal detectors anyday. If there is to be security theater, at least keep it brief and let me get the hell on my way.
That's funny... because that is exactly what rest of the world think about majority of the Americans.... Egocentric and self-importants bunch.
Personally I've not seen Brits falling to the same egocentric values...but more for their freedom, individual rights which are values not understood by many.
Of course the terrists won! But that was long time ago.
Among many other things which they've won (with the active help of various Western Governments) is that every time you have to fly somewhere you have to undress almost to your underpants, be patted all over and all that happening in the middle of a crowd of people.
The scanners make at least a (very small) step back towards you keeping a bit of human dignity, so consider it as a little fight back against terrorists.
..."Passengers must not be selected on the basis of personal characteristics (i.e. on a basis that may constitute discrimination such as gender, age, race or ethnic origin)."
yeah right. This will be exactly the same as we have here in London with stop and search. The few caucasians are only selected to get the statistics right.
I never thought I'd say this but that's the last time I fly back to my country of birth for a visit. Guess I'll just have to take the boat from Sweden in future.
I fly on an almost weekly basis around Scandinavia and can just about put up with the security theatre as implemented here, but I'll be damned if I'll submit to a virtual strip-search just to get on a flight! As to increasing the dose of X-ray radiation I receive: no way!
Strip-search scanners are security theatre. They will not make anyone safer. They are about getting the sheep to believe that they have no personal integrity so that the next steps towards total control of their lives can be taken.
Stand up for yourselves and refuse to be brainwashed into accepting this crap!
and honesty is what we are mostly complaining about here. This is another knee jerk reaction without any real thought.
I went through an airport this weekend and had the traditional; remove laptop, belt, shoes, put all metal in my coat pockets and let it go through, separate all liquids in a bag and then try not to look shifty when you walk through the metal detector.
Does this really make me safer? All i want is for someone to be a bit more honest about the whole thing rather than needlessly removing my freedoms and generally inconveniencing me in the name of "national security".
At the moment you can aviod the scanners by flying from other airports other than Manchester or Heathrow but that doesn't mean that they won't have a scanner at the destination airport when you are flying back, and that countries law may say everyone HAS to go through the scanner or cannot get on the flight. In which case you either go through or face a long journey home via land and/or sea. Im afriad that you may be able to aviod the scanners for a while but eventually all but the most basic airports will probably end up getting them.
Had you rather worry about some mindless drone seeing a low res black & white "image" (photo is too kind) of your silhouette or should you perhaps worry about your DNA being destroyed?!?!
There are MANY links to this. Google it yourself. Here's one:
This is REALLY serious and I wish the fools would quite whining about porns so maybe saner folk to talk about the real threat that "THIS SCANNER MAY KILL YOU".
Google it - there's a large body of evidence suggesting that small doses of ionising radiation are good for you!
Does anyone know which type of scanner is being used here? TeraHertz scanners don't use ionising radiation at all; the backscatter x-ray machines do [though smaller doses than diagnostic x-rays].
"People chosen by security staff will not be allowed onto flights without going through the machine from now on."
"Passengers must not be selected on the basis of personal characteristics (i.e. on a basis that may constitute discrimination such as gender, age, race or ethnic origin)."
So on what basis can they actually pick someone to scan? Every 4th person in line??
So if the security guys get wind that Julian, a gay fundamentalist terrorist from the white Christian organisation is on his way to the airport with his underpants primed, what do they do? Stop every 3rd person and hope it is a man, and that is a white man?
I can hear the conversation between security guard and superior now:
"Have you found him yet?"
"No sir, I have just scanned this chinese lady and I can categorically rule her out, she definitely isn't him sir"
Oh I feel safer already.
In the past we had the IRA (or the bunch of nutters with 4 tonnes of semtex as an Irish friend terms them).
The operations were to bomb the target and slip away to bomb again, so long as we kept a look out for shoeboxes under our cars, and suspicious briefcases left at railway stations.
With this bunch of terrorists, their idea of a successful operation is to sew semtex into their clothes, then kill themselves.
So yes the scanners are needed.
And I'm someone who always get a pat down search at an airport.... mostly because theres enough metal in my legs to set off the metal detectors
Mind you I bet some who are objecting are objecting in case anyone finds out they are wearing women's undies under their business suit
For long-standing medical reasons it is not recommended that Mrs. Grouse expose her head to any sort of strong EM field. She has a signed document from her doctor to this effect, which has raised some eyebrows at airport security but has always eventually led to the option of a pat-down search or use of the handheld 'wand', kept below shoulder height. Even the security personnel at US airports, not reknowned for their tolerance, have always gone along with this.
Under these new proposals based around the full-body scanner, I wonder if the proffering of a "please don't scan me" document signed by a complete stranger won't immediately send up a red flag and pretty much guarantee she'll be singled out for the full-body scan. If there's really no pat-down or handheld alternative I guess it'll be back to the car park for us.
Asbestos is a perfectly safe fire proof material.
It has been thoughtfully tested by panels of experts and deemed a perfect material for inclusions into bricks, roofs and insulation material.
These new scanners are perfectly safe security measures.
They have been thoughtfully tested by panels of experts and deemed a perfect solution to figt terrorism...
1. Claim you are gay and ask to be scanned by a person of the opposite sex (to whom I would not be attracted) who is gay (who would not be attracted by me). Go and find me one will you?
2. Wear tinfoil vest+underwear. What are you going to to, strip me? Uh-uh, I don't think NuLabour made any provisions for that, did they?
It's just sad and pathetic, I'm sick of this and I *will* avoid BA/Heathrow/Glasgow.
The 'code' says:
"Passengers must not be selected on the basis of personal characteristics"
Therefore, they must be selected at random. Which is kind of at odds with the very next sentence:
"detailed protocols which are not published because, we are told, they contain security sensitive information which includes selection criteria on those chosen for scanning."
So which is it?
I used to work at Johnson Matthey many years ago. The Sydney refinery and manufacturing plant had a simple solution to random seaches. As you entered the exit area you took a stick from a jar. The ones with the red ends got the lube. It was a metal detector and pat down to make sure you didn't have gold dust (or bullion bar) on you. Very simple.
A couple of my swarthier mates seemed to get "randomly" selected on a regular basis in aussie airports for the explosives swab test.
Do you think a few (blunt) sticks in a jar would be too difficult for airport security to manage? I think it would be too low tech for them and not half demeaning enough.
As someone who flys quite a lot to teh UK (weekly) and the us bi monthly, this is a real pain...if someone wants to do something to an airport/airplane..they will find a way..no matter how much ridiculus securotty is put in place. On sat I flew through heathrow and had carried a very heavy bag for a while to get there, so when i got to security wasd quite warm. The guy asked me repeadtedly "Was I ok, I seemed to be sweating" was there a problem....this would have been bad enough on its own except due to El Al flight there were three bobbies with machine guns standing 10feet away with ANOTHER scanner!!! it was saturday afternoon for gods sake!
"Passengers must not be selected on the basis of personal characteristics (i.e. on a basis that may constitute discrimination such as gender, age, race or ethnic origin)"
.... isn't that EXACTLY what the security guys SHOULD be doing?
They should be targeting, not randomly selecting.
Mind, it's probably what they'll do anyway.
I think if this is so topical, I would urge The Register to actually explore the actual health implications of being exposed to the device that in question. Specifically the device in question here in Heathrow.
I know in diamond mines in South Africa workers actually were X-rayed as they left. This kind of practice, of exposing the general public to ionising radiation such as this SHOULD NOT BE TOLERATED.
I do not unfortunately know the specifics of the device in current contention but I do honestly believe you guys should look into it. If it is not X-rays that are used, well, good then, what is it?
If it is a passive scan device emanating no radiation, fair enough.
Remember, some devices not thought to emit ionising radiation in significant quantities ie MRI's still have a lot of other hazards that warrant consideration (ie EMF induced in metallic objects, flying ferromagnetic debris that may occur due to the magnet etc).
1. How does this machine work in principle (the one in contention, not other possible contenders)?
2. What are the health implications?
Remember, maybe you have the specs of this machine published locally, but what about us unwary travellers? I am not flying in thru' the UK using Heathrow as a hub anymore till yous sort this out.
El Reg, do help us out here. Thanks
AFAIK it's millimeter band waves on the border between radio and infrared spectrum. It's non-ionising.
The machine bounces the waves off you and generate images from returns. The waves are absorbed by water, so they don't penetrate far beyond the skin. The scan takes about 1 - 2 sec (this is from experience, not based on any technical specifications)
Health risks? Who the hell knows? Do you know it mobile phones cause brain cancer? Yet, I'm sure you use mobile phone all the time. So how dangerous can be an exposure for 1 - 2 seconds few times or ever 100 times per year (depending on how much you fly)?
Nobody really pushes the health issues as the main objection, as far as I see. Mostly the complaints are about the security staff really seeing if you have balls or not. :-)
Isn't it now an offence in this country to make 'sexual' images that carry a danger of death or injury?
I'd call a naked picture of someone being exposed to radiation that could give them cancer both sexual and dangerous. Add children into the mix and you have something that could make The Sun implode with headline generation frenzy.
I hadn't thought of this before but all the anti terrorism crap is very much like the predatory peadophile crap.
Lots and lots and lots of rules and paranoia to make people scared and accepting of rules for an almost zero threat that wont be reduced by all the rules and paranoia.
11 children a year are kidnapped and killed by strangers on average, and this number hasn't changed in 30 odd years. I suspect the number of people killed by terrorism hasn't changed a huge amount either, sure you get the odd big blip but on the whole it's pretty stable and unlikely to happen to you.
However with the level of paranoia over both (predatory peadophiles and terrorists) you'd of thought they were hiding around every corner ready to pounce/explode. However how many parents let their 7 year old walk to school nowdays and how many people think all the new anti terrorism junk is a good idea?
I hadn't thought about it before, also people scared of one tend to be scared of the other. Amazing.
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