I'm sure I'll be dubbed racist
But who IS more likely to be worth scanning?
White 90 year-old female
Asian 23 year-old male
Ageist, racist and sexist, but allowed one scan, I know who I would choose.
A warning shot from the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) suggests that yet again, the UK government may be erring on the wrong side of the law – this time over the vexed question of airport scanners. Legal opinion is on their side: a barrister has told El Reg that the current scanning regime may not only be …
The chance of a white 90 year old woman carrying a bomb or weapon on to a plane is, to several decimal places 0%.
The chance of an asian 23 year old man carrying a bomb or weapon on to a plane is, to several decimal places 0%.
Also, the scanners are easily fooled, so anyone smart enough to work out how to blow up a plane (as opposed to charring his shoes or burning his crotch) would be smart enough to evade the scanner. Allowed one scan I wouldn't bother.
which is why you're not in charge of a scanner and, hopefully, never will be.
Because if you happen to be that 23 year old Asian, do you think constant harassment will help you regard authorities kindly?
Let's bear in mind that you'd pick the same man given one motorist to stop, one demonstrator to search, on photographer to move on, one suspect in a line up, one man to shoot at...
There's more to protecting a free society than shooting bad guys.
Agreed onionman, the 'random' selection process can not be any but racist. They could do something like selecting every 7th person. But then that 'obviously dodgy nervous looking Asian guy' is number 6...
Or scan everyone - you'll have to turn up 6 hours before your flight leaves though.
Who thought this was a good idea again? ... Retard!
I'll be stripping down to my birthday suit if I ever get selected.
with *any* skew in the profiling, is it gives the terrorists a gap to slip through.
If you have a > 50% chance of being stopped if you are young, asian and male then the terrorists will use old white females. It's that simple. And if you can't attract any old, white, females fairly (there will probably be some out there) then you simply trick them into carrying the bomb on board.
I am heartily sick of this "war on terror (c)". There are gazillions of things terrorists *could* do - especially if they have no regard for their own lives. The fact they don't, seems to indicate to me there are far fewer terrorists out there than the authorities would have use believe.
Scanning the old woman would count as extreme porn (since some people have a fetish for saggy boobs, which counts as "extreme" under the "I think it's extreme so it is" clause), but if you scan the younger bloke and he turns out to have a bomb, then. that could also count as extreme porn. After all, he's naked under there. With a bomb.
And if he doesn't have a bomb he'll call you a racist and have you arrested.
So what if you had the choice of one scan between an Asian 23 year old male and Richard Reid (half White, half Jamaican)?
What's the point of targeting all Asians (assuming that you can even distinguish one from a Brazilian plumber by mere sight) when they might easily be Hindu, Buddhist, Agnostic or Atheist (or Sikh come to that, but of course Sikhs can more easily be determined).
Are you suggesting some kind of testing be undertaken to accurately determine racial origin or is it just a case of letting some jobsworth pick out all the 'darkies' from the queue?
There are plenty of people from Pakistan who are completely indistinguishable from white people in appearance, so why you think it's even possible to tell (with any accuracy) who is Asian, is beyond me.
Well, thanks for all the considered and unconsidered responses.
I was pretty clear about what I was saying - given ONE scan that's what I would do. I agree that if you repeat it and you effectively had a sign stating that no white women over 70 will be scanned that just might give people a starting point to get round your security.
I will also say that I'm not sure you could persuade most old grannies that Jihad is a good idea. Suicide bombers tend to be younger; old people mellow too much. So I'm afraid you're never going to get her to do it for you, no matter how many cakes you buy her. Not even the nice ones with the rice paper on the bottom.
As to the last A/c (at 16:52) who has called me stupid, bear in mind that if the most stupid man in the world tells you it's raining, it has no bearing on the truth or falsehood of what he's saying, so it might be worth taking an umbrella. Also, Sonny Jim, I know more about conditional probability than you will EVER know. I guarantee that unequivocally. Given the amount I know, the probability of your knowing more is, frankly, close enough to zero to ignore. However, that has no bearing on the accuracy of my argument, so feel free to assess the facts rather than knee-jerking out the "stupid racist" card.
But there's a simple way to ensure it's not discriminatory, and one which is used for customs searches around the world.
Each passenger pushes a button, which gives a green light to proceed through the standard arch or a red light to have their genitals laughed at by a sweaty man in a uniform. The machine is programmed to give a chance 50/50 or 20/80 or whatever you want.
Scan everybody. Yes, kids too. That means fixing the privacy problem right there. Probably by declaring it lawful to look at nekkid kiddies when all you are thinking of is guns and bombs. But hey, the law's the law, just ask mandy to change it.
Like the "absolutely essential" spin. Kudos for using already professionally discredited tripe to justify carrying on, government.
"...His own view of statements put out by the Department for Transport (DfT) is that they bear all the hallmarks of civil legal advice – and that the DfT have therefore failed to recognise the criminal implications of their actions..."
Hmmm. So will we see a host of state-funded or subsidised child protection agencies stirring up a fuss about this? I wonder. Their silence up until now has been very conspicuous - and deafeningly hypocritical. Are times so very hard that not one of them - usually so very vocal when the issue of 'indecent' images of children is raised - dare to criticise their government paymasters? Craven scumbags, the lot of 'em.
The child-protection agencies referred to are currently conducting a widespread and very noisy campaign against the government's ongoing policy of detaining the children of asylum seekers along with their parents in insanitary and traumatising conditions in so-called 'detention centres' which in other times we would have called concentration camps.
Most sane people would agree that is a far better use of the agencies' resources than worrying about the faint, ghostly images produced by a body scanner. But then again, most sane people aren't Daily Fail readers.
When they say ""The safety of the travelling public is our highest priority" the implication is that everything else is subordinate to that. That would include the safety of their staff, conformance with laws, budgetary limitations, common sense and doing (or not doing) anything else that could possibly reduce passenger safety.
As it is, the statement is just as badly thought-out as the policy it's trying to rationalise. Maybe the security services should start to recognise that they are now part of the problem - one of the things that we need to be protected against - as they have decided for themselves what we want, rather than asking us how much liberty we are prepared to give up.
..that's really not bothered by this whole debate?
If grainy monochrome psuedo-naked pictures are your idea of a good time, lucky you! I think the majority of airport staff though will just see it as part of the job. From what I've read there are controls to ensure that images are not retained so really the only thing to object to is that the staffmember in question sees the image.
I thought that airport security had the power to drag you off into a side-room and strip search you if you're suspicious anyway. Surely this scanning is a lot less of an ordeal than that!
Paris because: oh come on I don't have to explain the link to improper images being surreptitiously circulated do I?
"Despite government claims that their policy on using scanners to scan children is compatible with existing child protection legislation, he has his doubts. First, because the "making" of an indecent image is a criminal offence – and does not cease to be a criminal act just because a government department issues guidelines on the matter."
If the guidelines call for security staff to commit acts that are criminal, would the government ministers or civil servants responsible be committing crimes of commissioning criminal acts or something?
45 year old asian man, 22 year old white man, 30 year old black man.
OK so now who do you pick? Less easy when you're not dealing with caricatures, eh? Read some Bruce Schneier, mate.
Oh and, back on topic, I've already bought a more expensive flight from an airport that doesn't use scanners in preference to a cheaper one that does. Commercial pressure might do what the law doesn't seem able to.
memory span, that, Trevor Phillips has actually made straight forwards sense.
That just show's you, there is a first for everything.
Although I'm not entirely convinced at how good community relations are going to be affected, unless of course all travellers through Heathrow actually live there.
Government Communications Guide
Repeat any old bollocks that fills the gaps, fills the airtime, obfuscates the problem, skirts the point, deflects the situation, shifts responsibility and leaves ALL options open.
Intersperse everything with one of the following: lets be clear, let me be clear, we have always been clear, allow me to make one thing clear, this has always been clear, we have always been absolutely clear - and any other variants including the word clear and in some way indicating pristine openness and clarity.
No, really, if i hear the word "clear" from these clowns again, i will start a campaign to have the definition of the word changed in the dictionary to "unclear, obfuscated, ambiguous" on the basis that definition is formed through use: government use = official use = so it really must mean unclear - who's with me?
Or the GT200? Which seems to be a related dousing rod technology.
It's one thing to argue over who should be searched, another to ask if these actually work. We have hand scanner already that work for metal. So I'm not convinced they're worth the money (or rather I am sure they'll cut the funding for real security staff and scans to pay for them).
ADE651 article is here to illustrate how everyone is so security scared they are gullible.
"manufacturer's claims that the device works with spooky-sounding "electrostatic magnetic ion attraction..... System leverages internet-wide monitoring and sophisticated multivariate analysis to compute a rational metric for the overall trustworthiness....To detect materials, the operator puts an array of plastic-coated cardboard cards with bar codes into a holder connected to the wand by a cable....creating internet situational awareness."
As I say, everyone is so security panicked they put aside their rational viewpoint and make badly considered choices based on sales gobbledygook. Instead of actually doing the empirical check of one technology over another.
"That is why we have been absolutely clear that those passengers who are randomly selected for screening will not be chosen because of any personal characteristics, and why we have published an interim code of practice which addresses privacy concerns in relation to body scanners."
What proportion of passengers are going to be selected?
50%? That would mean a suicide bomber would have a 50% chance of not getting scanned. And two, independently acting suicide bombers would have a 75% chance of at least one of them not getting scanned. Three independently acting suicide bombers? 87.5% chance of at least one not getting scanned. Four? 93.75% chance.
20%? That gives a suicide bomber an 80% chance of not getting scanned. And two? 96% chance of at least one not getting scanned. Three? 99.2% chance. Four? 99.84% chance.
80%? A single suicide bomber would only have a 20% chance of not getting scanned. And two? 36% chance. Three? 48.8% chance. Four? 59.04% chance.
So it's going to have to be most passengers getting scanned, otherwise suicide bombers have enough chance of at least one of them not getting scanned for it to be worth making repeated attempts. After all, as they say, terrorists only have to be lucky once, while those trying to stop them need to be lucky all the time.
And if it's going to be most passengers getting scanned, why not just scan all passengers? Why bother letting a random selection go through without getting scanned?
And that's before we even consider the obvious prospect of terrorists actually targeting the scanners (and queueing passengers) themselves.
That's assuming the scanners have a 100% hit rate, ie "getting scanned" equals "getting caught" if you are a suicide bomber. But various experts have already gone on record saying that is far from the case. I don't know what the expected detection rate will be, but if it's above 40% it would count as "revolutionary", because the state of the art in detection is indeed that bad and worse, this stuff is made to detect something else than what the politicos would have you believe. So count on low single digit detection percentages as reasonably realistic, if perhaps a bit optimistic.
Besides, as you noted, that's assuming "the terrorist" complying with the security circus regulations. The pants bomber managed to board a plane unchecked and without a passport, while on a watchlist and with an actual alert outstanding against him.
So we have a system full of regulations where you can be refused boarding a plane for declining to be scanned, you can still be "caught" on a false positive (let's not forget those) and there'll likely be more of those because the systems look for different things than they should plus there is more pressure to "produce" would-be perps, the false negative rate is necessairily high, thus the overall catch rate is well below single percents, and evildoers still can easily circumvent the whole harassment system. Meaning that with these scanners the chances of ending up seated on board a plane next to another pantsbomber have just gone up. Yes, that's right, it has become (marginally) more likely to meet an evildoer on a plane. Carry on government.
Took my mother on holiday with my family last year, we went to Florida. At Heathrow our hand-luggage was scanned, my two-year old was body-pat searched by security (wouldn't go through on her own, so my wife went first with no beep then carried child through with no beep, but which still means both have to be padded down ), and we all had our bags riffled through by the state (even the kids backpacks), we also had them examined by extra security at the gate.
When we arrived at our destination my mother opened her handbag and realised that she has a Leatherman multi-tool with a knife inside it.
So, despite the handbag being scanned and searched by "security" twice, they had failed to find a knife.
...or scan nobody.
Otherwise I just don't see the point.
This isn't like checking for bus tickets where you discourage fare dodgers with random checks. You don't want ANYBODY slipping through. If it's too much of a hassle or against the law to scan everybody, then the new scanners are not a good idea.
"scan the dodgy ones" is a dumb and lazy policy. Even if the scanner has a 100% success rate, only scanning a small proportion of passengers with it surely makes it pointless?
Its already discrimination when they choose someone to search their bags, to go into a room for a "chat", I honestly don't see the relevance of the discrimination claim. We all know that when you go to collect your bag there are teams of guys watching camera's that then say to the people on the ground talk to this guy, search that guy. So what's the difference of someone in a room saying scan this guy scan that guy.
Ok, lots of people don't like what can be seen, argue that, argue privacy, but don't argue that these people are going to "start" discriminating in a situation they already are.
but this whole making an indecent image being a criminal offence is interesting, as it states in the article the guilt can only be determined by a jury. But if the government is to be believed and these scanners don't store any images, would they be guilty of charges of destroying evidence in a child abuse case?
"race, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation or disability."
let's see what does a typical terrorist is made of?
1. Race: mostly Arabe
2. Religion mostly Islam
3. Gender Mostly Male
4. Age: Age 20 to 40
5. Sexual Orientation: Hetero
6. Disability: Mental illness
Racial profiling and discrimination will save (b)millions of lives (and money) accross the world. Suddently been racist is not that bad...
Not so long ago the real terroists with real explosives (Semtex etc) were white, and spoke with distinctive accents. They are raising their heads again in Northern Ireland. Tell me, do you support helfire missiles being fired at their houses? If not, why not?
Of the 6 criteria you list, I conclude you match 4 - if I'm allowed to treat stupidity as a 'mental illness'
"A spokesman for the DfT would not respond directly to that suggestion. Instead, he told The Register: "The safety of the travelling public is our highest priority and we will not allow this to be compromised. However, we are also committed to ensuring that all security measures are used in a way which is legal, proportionate and non-discriminatory."
WTF?! So while they will absolutely 'not allow' safety to be compromised, they are only 'commited' to ensuring they stay within the law, this clown is basically saying that they wioll break the law if they feel it necesary as he's given one goal higher (absolute) priority over the other (merely a commitment).
As this is an official statement from their spokesperson I can only assume that this is the considered position of the department.
What complete and utter bollocks =OC
I suggest that the Perv-o-Tron operators and other security personnel need to go though first, with the batch of people who have to be scanned watching them.
Turnabout is fair play, and if the scanners are safe the staff certainly shouldn't fear cancer or other nasties.
Or better yet, whichever twats suggested this scanner to have to spend 1 day a week at the airport going through the scanner being watched. And their mrs/mr and their kids. After all its perfectly safe and they don't have something to hide, do they?
I'm not afraid of having a body scan - when they ask me if I have a foil wrapped cucumber strapped to my leg, I'll be only to pleased to whip out my monster whanger.
It does invade privacy though and arguments that "Images can't be stored" and "they don't show genitals" are complete hokum. A) There are images circulating already which shows they CAN be stored and B) one of them clearly shows a man's dangly bits.
So if I am chosen to be scanned, what are my rights to have answered questions about the why's and wherefores of why I have been chosen?
I presume my options are these:
1. Agree to scan thereby conceeding further liberty and dignity to the whims of bored agency personnel.
2. Refuse scan, be detained as a suspect, and miss flight.
3. Choose to fly from different airport.
Like most airports these days, I would contend that any questioning of staff intent is seen as suspicious in itself and that any questions asked would be met by the standard frustrating wall of silence or repetetive rhetoric.
Well if the government is breaking the law with Airport scanners, then there's only one thing this government will do. Change the law :(
What you thought I was going to say, do the right thing and stop using the scanners? ... I wish!
After all, power is the ability to choose how others must live. It seems for a few centuries our ruling elite pretended to follow the same laws they set us, but these days even that seems to be getting forgotten.
But then the more power they get, the less they care about annoying people, as they now have more than enough power to stop any critic causing them problems.
So much for "the law". Sadly its only an unbreakable rule when you don't have any power. :(
1. Race: mostly White
2. Religion mostly Christan
3. Gender Mostly Male
4. Age: Age 20 to 40
5. Sexual Orientation: Hetero
6. Disability: Mental illness
Lets se OKC bombing white
Olympic park bomber white
Most bombing of abortion clinics white folks
THe shooting inthe Jewish holocaust Museum in DC
Then you have the klu klux klan
Now ask your self how many terrorist acts have happens in the UK,and US have been done by Arab Muslims vs White Christians
Do suggest we mostly profile white folks .
oh and here is a a surprise all most all of these acts of terror committed by the Muslim terrorist are committed in a country that is Muslim, the one exception is Israel a country that is next to Muslim country .
From the code of practice:
Communications will be available at the security screening area to inform passengers that .For the benefit of all passengers' security, passengers may be required to be screened using body scanning equipment.
It should be made clear at the earliest possible stage that all passengers selected for screening by a body scanner must be scanned. If a passenger declines to be scanned that passenger must be refused access to the Restricted Zone, with the result that the passenger will not be able to fly.
So you now /have/ to submit to being scanned or not go through. You can't even opt for a pat-down.
Guess I know what will be on the TV
in the employees lounge...
and the managers office
(he has to make sure they don't miss a (insert_sic_item of choice)
and we have to record it for evidence...
and back - it - up...just in case...
...Oh. and we up - load it on the internet...
You know, for headquarters...Quality Control and all...
and then there is that unlocked file cabinet that we keep it all in...
Flash Drive?...I'm not sure of that...but
We all have security clearance,
and we all have keys to everything,
we all even work a while everyday, on "The Machine",
so it's not so stressful on the operator...
(who by this time of day is just a gooey blob on a chair)
...Oh, He's in an undisclosed (ie:closed) area...for security, you know.
...yea, it's been a Disney Day...not like those awful Jerry Cruise Days...
Paris Cries...'cause she missed it!
Putting aside the issue of whether the scanning itself is legal as this appears to be an argument over who is selected to be scanned. Surely, if the current regime of selection for searches is legal (and I haven't particularly heard anyone hollering about that) and if your body scanning is done on a similar or identical basis then surely this is a non-issue?
Why have you all got such a negative attitude to something that has been introduced to safeguard you when you travel. It is only the media whipping up their usual privacy/paedo/naked bodies oo'err missus.
Maybe you prefer that they say"It is unlawful to discriminate against a terrorist so pass through, you won't be scanned.."
Get a brain!
Whether or not you agree these scanners are necessary, practical, morally acceptable, properly used, you must all realize that - given the government's track record - the laws will be rewritten in their favour, should a legal challenge be mounted.
Me, I think they're wrong in so many ways. Lazy, invasive, impractical and too open to abuse. Probably a lot more reasons too but that's all I can think of right now.
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