back to article EU bottoms up committee slates body scanners

An obscure EU Committee has slammed the introduction of body scanners, raising concerns over the health and human rights risks of the technology. The European Economic and Social Committee has delivered an opinion on scanner technology, which sets out concerns over the scanners' ability to improve security "which, coupled with …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward response:

    "fuck 'em. We can't put the of rights of travelers above of the of rights of the general public. Of course we of must remain of vigilant of terrorism"

    1. Code Monkey
      Big Brother response:

      Fuck em. We can't put the rights of the general public above those of company executives to line their pockets with people's tax pounds. We'll support this scam and concoct some wacky terrrorism bullshit to cover our backs. Oppose the perv scanners? You must support the terrorists! You must be a terrorist!

  2. Richard Gadsden 1


    This is the "committee for corporatism" as my University lecturer put it. It's basically just a committee of unions and employers - a bit like NEDC in Britain in the seventies.

    It has a legal right to be consulted on various types of legislation that goes through the EU, but all it actually has the power to do if it doesn't like a new directive is to say that it doesn't like it. It doesn't have the power to actually vote it down.

    There's another committee with approximately the same (lack of) powers - the Committee of the Regions.

    1. Britt Johnston

      EESC label is a dig at EUs expense

      "the only way for Europe's interest groups – trade unionists, employers, farmers, etc – to have a formal and institutionalized say on draft EU legislation"

      This, of course, refers to the fact the MEPs have no formal say in any legislation. Informal lobbying is also standard.

      Perhaps when an arab state finds a good way, Europe could copy them, like we made progress in the dark ages.

      1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

        No such thing as the "dark ages"

        The mythology of one-way technology transfer from the arab world to the west is just that: a myth. There was a great deal of technological and cultural exchange in both directions (though many inventions claimed as arab are actually chinese and indian) and the contemporary west was nothing like the backwards, illiterate backwater of popular myth.

        What there was, however, was a certain amount of... shall we say, rent seeking? A few Arab kings sat smack on the major trade routes to the orient and India and were keen to make sure they made a nice profit, whilst expanding the borders of the islamic world. The first crusade, though it ended badly (understatement of the year I suppose), was an attempt to push back an invasion of several eastern christian kingdoms and also protect those trade routes. The later great age of exploration was an attempt to bypass the now entrenched arab and muslim rulers, who extracted a healthy profit from trade between east and west.

        Point being, there was trade in both directions, and technological exchange in both directions, so please drop this whole "dark ages" rubbish. It's no less propaganda than the idea that "arabs stole everything".

  3. Risky

    And all for only EUR120m

    It seems that time little comittee costs a bit to run despite havign no other discenable effect on anything.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Too little, too late, no teeth, wrong thing.

    If presented as a tradeoff between security and privacy, then that's forgetting that without privacy, no security. On top of that, this is effectively saying "we needs better technology!" which is what those scanners were supposed to be. Get burned once, turn the other cheek? Well, as long as it's the citizens', not yours!

    There are others who learned how to do airport security right. That _isn't_ looking for a threat as hard as you can with as many bored goons manning as much expensive toys as you can buy, only to panic and try and evacuate an entire airport if you see something even slightly off kilter. It takes too long, for one.

    No, if you find a "possible maybe suspected bomb", you quietly drop the thing in a bomb-proof box and cart it off to the basement bunker. Same with weird stuff on people. But even so, if the terrorist has reached the airport, you've already lost. Do you want to keep playing an already lost game?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Bomb-proof box?

      "you quietly drop the thing in a bomb-proof box and cart it off to the basement bunker"

      Bomb-proof box? How does that work exactly?

      Also are you sure that the basement is a good place to store unwanted bombs?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Well, you see, it's a box, and you put the "detected" stuff in it, you see.

        Such a thing does for containing suspected maybe possible bombs what "bulletproof vests" or "bulletproof windows" do to stop bullets. You ever see those explosive device removal people looking like some sort of turtle when decked out for defusing? Only instead of covering the human the box'd cover the package instead. Don't want to make a show of suspecting, now do we?

        And yes, storing bombs works better in a bunker with really thick walls, strong enough to at least withstand, say, a maximum allowable size suitcase filled to the brim with a popular high explosive, than it does storing them in a hall full of queues lined up for pervy scanners.

        1. Wize

          Bomb proof box...

          The army have some of them for their controlled explosions. You get a large metal box with no bottom and suspend lots of metal chains from the roof of it. explosive force gets lost on the chains before it hits the side of the box.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Its raison d'être is to be a "bridge between Europe and organised civil society"

    So Europe is a separate place from "organised civil society".

    Shame to have it confirmed.

  6. Remy Redert


    You're right that there's no such thing as a bomb-proof box, because there's always a bigger bomb.

    There is however such a thing as a bomb-resistant box, which is designed to greatly dampen to blast from an explosion and prevent the formation of shrapnel. They're often used for letter bombs and such. Suspect package gets dropped in, box is closed.

    As for the basement. Of course it's a good place to store unwanted bombs, so long as you don't exceed your design specifications. You build your bunker under the building or slightly off to the side, so you can get the bomb in there asap. Once inside you can then lock the bunker and wait for the bomb squad while operation can continue.

  7. Joe User

    Oh, stop complaining

    The Euro-pervs just want pics of your sagging bum and tiny todger.

  8. Velv

    Errr, available technologies?

    "It suggested authorities use "available technologies to identify broad sources of threat", which could then be further investigated with pat-down searches."

    That would be the security teams eyes then.

    Does the person look Asian, talk with a funny accent, or wear heavy boots - pat them down.

    The only way new technologies become "available" is through development, which includes field trials. (like them or not) they have to be trialled somewhere.

  9. mhenriday
    Big Brother

    Whatever the faults - which no doubt are legion -

    of the European Economic and Social Committee, let us hope that its statement helps to prevent what would no doubt prove the extremely profitable (for those making the devices and those charged with those«security operations» which always seem to leave us progressively less secure) introduction of body scanners in the EU. But I'm not sanguine ; here in Europe as well as in the United States, lobbyists and their money nearly always trump the public interest....


  10. EUbrainwashing

    Airport body scanners deliver radiation dose 20 times higher than thought

    I reckon the best action if made to get a dose of radiation from one of these scanners is to throw yourself onto the floor screaming as if in terrible pain.

    Your government is experimenting on you. The long-term/side effects of the Millimetre Wave are as yet unknown. The risk of the x-ray based machines is considered 'low' - I do not want a 'low' risk of my child being given cancer.

    This is just more Pavlov training for the people. To learn who are slave-masters are. To teach obedience. To demoralise the people to another level. Resist!

    They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither safety nor liberty. said Benjamin Franklin

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