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"No Scan, No Fly" At Heathrow and Manchester

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the stand-and-deliver dept.

Security 821

An anonymous reader writes "It is now compulsory for people selected for a full body scan to take part, or they will not be allowed to fly from Heathrow or Manchester airports. There is no optional pat down. Also, a rule which meant that people under 18 were not allowed to participate in the body scanner trial has been overturned by the government. There is no mention of blurring out the genitals, however reports a few years back said X-ray backscatter devices aren't effective unless the genitals of people going through them are visible."

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Another reason not to fly via Heathrow (5, Insightful)

ga53n (122179) | more than 4 years ago | (#30992972)

Especially when traveling with small children security on Heathrow was always a show stopper for me. There a plenty of alternative hubs to fly from, unless you want to go to London.

Re:Another reason not to fly via Heathrow (5, Insightful)

Malc (1751) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993006)

You think this won't spread to other airports?

Re:Another reason not to fly via Heathrow (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30993080)

Another reason not to fly. Period.

Re:Another reason not to fly via Heathrow (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30993202)

Jeez, what's the big deal?

Why are we so quick to promote a high level of body-image self-consciousness (and then turn around and blame it solely on the media) for such mundane things as our naked bodies. Especially given the high risk of flying in the past decade we should be glad to IMPROVE airport security and *hopefully* speed up the entire security check process at the same time (i'm presuming here that after a few iterations full body scans will improve the efficiency of security check queues, in comparison to being padded down).

Now don't get me wrong, there are a number of regulations that need to be monitored and enforced in this situation and only through open criticism and critical review can all (or at least most of) the issues be ironed out prior to large scale usage. But as society evolves I hope we move towards a system that does not help reinforce the body-image issues that are prominent in the world today.

Let's especially stop raising nakedness onto such a high pedestal. And fortunately, compared to North America, a fair number of European Countries have already gone leaps and bounds in minimizing this issue.

Re:Another reason not to fly via Heathrow (3, Insightful)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993184)

Birmingham is next. That's where I mostly fly from.

It's good that I enjoy camping more than I enjoy beaches.

Re:Another reason not to fly via Heathrow (2, Insightful)

Dracophile (140936) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993280)

It will. And the more airports it spreads to, the fewer I'll be inclined to fly to/from. Regrettably, I'm only one person, and it won't make any difference.

Re:Another reason not to fly via Heathrow (4, Insightful)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993290)

Interestingly, authorities of many countries were already contemplating the use of these machines, but they have been succesfully opposed in most cases by privacy advocates and sensible politicians. Then, some guy with a half baked explosive just happens to slip through security on a flight to the US, and suddenly all proposals for full body scans sail through with no opposition whatsoever. Coincidence? Perhaps... but if it turns out to be more than just that, I will not be surprised at all.

Re:Another reason not to fly via Heathrow (4, Informative)

xaxa (988988) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993010)

London has five airports: Heathrow (west), Gatwick (south), Stansted (north-east), Luton (north) and City (central). Heathrow is the biggest airport (it has more international flights than any other airport, or something like that) but the others are all busy international airports.

You have a .de website -- if you're coming to London from Germany you'd probably fly to Gatwick, Stansted or Luton, assuming you choose a budget airline.

Re:Another reason not to fly via Heathrow (4, Informative)

Ma8thew (861741) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993052)

There are several alternative London airports. London City is in fact the best airport for London, it's within the city itself, Gatwick and Stansted are further out than Heathrow, but often quicker to pass through. They both have fairly good transport links to the city.

Soon: Another reason not to fly, period. (1)

MacroRodent (1478749) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993074)

The way things are going, all significant airports will be requiring scanning a few years from now. They are arguing about it at the EU level right now, with some politicians still voicing privacy concerns, but I expect they will be overridden, especially if yet another terrorist incident occurs on some flight. So either you submit to scanning, or don't fly.

Wonder if this, combined with rising fuel costs and carbon footprint concerns, will result in a world where civilian passenger flights are an expensive rarity. Would transatlantic passenger ships come back?

Re:Soon: Another reason not to fly, period. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30993206)

I'm fine with this. In fact, I like boats. Know why?

When a boat's engine breaks down, it doesn't plunge to the bottom of the ocean and break into a million pieces (with half a million of those pieces being pieces of passengers).

Re:Another reason not to fly via Heathrow (4, Interesting)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993084)

It's just a penis, there's no shame about this.

I just expect the viewer to be under active scrutinty, including an electro-encephalogram proving they're not aroused at all: let's make the police afraid of their own weapons instead of whinning about the antiterrorism: we know they won't stop it.

So, look good naked and scan every scanner operator's brain waves.

Re:Another reason not to fly via Heathrow (1)

MortenMW (968289) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993116)

Just go to Stansted instead of Heathrow. It takes longer to get to London, but its usually cheaper.

Re:Another reason not to fly via Heathrow (2, Informative)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993148)

But there are few alternatives to show your discontentment : Pirate Party [pirateparty.org.uk]

Re:Another reason not to fly via Heathrow (1)

bbbaldie (935205) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993172)

Sounds to me like this is good news for the passenger ship business. I've already determined that flying in the US is more trouble than it's worth. I'll be doing Amtrak, if at all possible, my next trip. I never dreamed in a million years I'd be saying THAT!

Really? (5, Insightful)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 4 years ago | (#30992974)

Also, a rule which meant that people under 18 were not allowed to participate in the body scanner trial has been overturned by the government. There is no mention of blurring out the genitals, however reports a few years back said X-ray backscatter devices aren't effective unless the genitals of people going through them are visible.

Yeahh... That's probably complete bullshit. I can just see British parents dragging their children through scanners that take pictures of their genitals.

If it is true, I see a precipitous drop in air travel in that country. Screwing with adults and their privacy is one thing, photographing naked children is some next level shit to put it bluntly.

The war is over. (5, Insightful)

msgmonkey (599753) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993020)

Since we're constantly being told the terrorists are "jealous of our freedoms", I think they can now say job done.

You had nothing to hide, right? (5, Insightful)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993248)

You had nothing to hide. Privacy didn't affect you.
Until some goon started to look at your balls when you board a plane... lol.

Sorry everybody, but I find it more disturbing that my every move is recorded and stored than that some person checks my genitals. The genitals are pretty much the same for everybody - my travels, my bank account, my posts online, my phone conversations - those are things that make me unique. Those matter far more.

Re:You had nothing to hide, right? (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993318)

More or less agreed. The real question is, what are they gonna do if after implementing these scanners internationally if someone else manages to get an explosive on a plane again? I mean...after body scanning, where do you go?

Full cavity searches for everyone!

Re:The war is over. (-1, Troll)

raind (174356) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993298)

Well to bad Amsterdam didn't do the same for the idiot who tried to blow up the plane for Detroit

Re:Really? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30993046)

Stupid.. I mean what would these pathetic parents rather have, a quick scan of their kids, or be flying with terrorists?

If they don't like it, don't take your kids on holiday. It really is simple as that.

Re:Really? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30993170)

How many international flights have there been globally the last 10 years?

How many terrorist attacks have there been on international flights during the same time frame?

How does the number of pedophiles convicted globally during the same time frame relate to the number of terrorist attacks?

What have the highest likelihood of occurring; you and your children being on the same flight as a terrorist pulling of an (successful) attack, or images of your children being naked ending up in some scan operating pedo's possession?

Re:Really? (2, Insightful)

ghjm (8918) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993224)

That's not the choice. The choice is a "quick" scan of their kids genitals and a 0.000001% chance of flying with terrorists, or no scan and a 0.00001% chance of flying with terrorists. It's really a no-brainer.

Seriously, we've never had genital scanners before and airplanes have been remarkably safe. In 2001, including all the 9/11 casualties both on the planes and on the ground and also the unrelated AA 587 crash, the rate was one death per 250 million passenger-miles.

According to the NTSB, the US fatal highway accident rate is 1.3 deaths per 100 million vehicle-miles, with an average of 1.6 occupants. By my math this comes to about two deaths per 250 million passenger-miles, double the risk of flying in 2001, which was already eight times higher than the risk of flying in a typical year. (I don't have equivalent figures for the UK.)

Should we install genital scanners at highway entrances?

Re:Really? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993330)

The choice is a "quick" scan of their kids genitals and a 0.000001% chance of flying with terrorists, or no scan and exactly the same chance of flying with terrorists.

Fixed that for you.

Re:Really? (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993348)

They're body scanners, not genital scanners. Unless you're one big genital then you needn't worry about the focus being genitals. If they need to take an x-ray of your hip (or, heaven forbid, a child's hip) for medical reasons, do you complain that genitals will show up as a silhouette in that as well?

Not that any of this makes a difference really - if you're intent on dying while blowing up a plane then you're going to have nothing against consuming or implanting the explosives so that they don't show up on surface scanners.

As for highways, I think we need brain scanners more than anything else to stop the idiots who don't know how to drive safely.

Re:Really? (5, Insightful)

lurch_mojoff (867210) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993098)

Screwing with adults and their privacy is one thing, photographing naked children is some next level shit to put it bluntly.

Yeah, some guy in Australia, I believe, got sentenced to jail for pedophilia because he had pornographic pictures of cartoon characters, but it's OK for government employed perverts to be ogling our kids in the name of "safety". Top grade job UK government, fucking A+.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30993270)

DerkaDerkaDerkaJihad! DerkaMohommadDerkaDerka, derkadeka Willy!! DerkaDerkaAllaha

Re:Really? (4, Insightful)

Grismar (840501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993140)

Both sides of this arguments have entered Ridiculousland a long time ago.

If we assume that these body scanners actually help in preventing terrorist attacks on airplanes, it's silly to exclude children. Pictures of naked kids are only a problem if there's a reasonable possibility that they will end up in the wrong hands. Also, I doubt these scans have any erotic effect on even the most desperate pedophile except for those with some freaky scanner fetish.

Surely you don't think x-rays of children in hospitals should be banned? Or pictures of naked kids for medical purposes in files of pediatricians?

But the other side of the argument is the one making that assumption, that these body scanners will do any good in preventing terrorism. Sure, they may help a bit to prevent all sorts of smuggling and they will prevent people from bringing most weaponry on board. But what's to stop me from implanting some C4, or putting a balloon of liquid explosive in my bladder? Does that mean we'll start x-raying everyone next? Fine, I'll have the bone marrow in my legs replaced with high explosive, don't need it where I'm going anyway, right?

Terrorists will always find a way to get explosives on planes if they feel they need to. The only thing we can do is remove their reasons for wanting to do so in the first place.

Re:Really? (5, Insightful)

the_fat_kid (1094399) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993332)

"Pictures of naked kids are only a problem if there's a reasonable possibility that they will end up in the wrong hands"
"Surely you don't think x-rays of children in hospitals should be banned? Or pictures of naked kids for medical purposes in files of pediatricians?"

Did you really just equate My child's DOCTOR with some TSA (or what ever they call them in England) screener?
Are you ok with the Greeter at the entrance to Wall-Mart seeing your child naked?
How about the taxi driver?
Clearly, for this thing to work, they need to see your genitals.
Why then don't they have a strip search?
Quick, effective, cheap, and doesn't expose you to an x-ray. what could be better?
and it's not like "the wrong people" are going to see you naked...

these scanners are terrorism.
remember when it was pleasant to fly?
never again citizen.

Re:Really? (1, Interesting)

addsalt (985163) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993334)

Surely you don't think x-rays of children in hospitals should be banned? Or pictures of naked kids for medical purposes in files of pediatricians?

I think where you went wrong in your argument is when you equated trained and licensed medical doctors to the savvy motivated airport security personnel...

Re:Really? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30993158)

Children are exempt from scanning, according to a new item on the BBC a few weeks ago.

Re:Really? (2, Interesting)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993250)

Why is it worse for kids to be forced through this scanner than it would be for adults? I'm not saying it's a good thing, on the contrary, but I fail to see the "next level shit" distinction in case of children.
But then, I remember a time when such pictures would hardly draw any comment, and could commonly be seen in family photo albums. That was before we were somehow conditioned to believe that we were dealing with a lot more than just the handful of sick deviants that is actually out there, and before we got used to explode in a combination of outrage, embarrasment and disgust whenever we are confronted with such images, however innocent and regardless of context.

Re:Really? (1)

tsm_sf (545316) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993308)

but I fail to see the "next level shit" distinction in case of children.

You obviously aren't familiar with the ongoing paedophile hysteria in Britain. They're fucking insane about it. It's actually kind of a sick hangup they have... paging Dr. Freud indeed.

Re:Really? (4, Insightful)

couchslug (175151) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993256)

Back in they day before the Wave of Pedo Fear, actual nekkid babbies running about the house were pretty common. Of course, that was before we discovered that genital representation has a huge blast radius and turns all nearby adults into baby boffers, just as bare ankles uncontrollably arouse men.

I'd go on, but have ASCII pron requiring fappage...

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30993262)

Could I line my junk with aluminium foil?

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30993322)

Anyone who believes those photoshopped "examples" of photos from the scanners are real is an idiot. Do you really think those aren't photoshopped to seem "more presentable" to the sheeple to convince them to give up their privacy and freedom? The scans that they perform with these machines are clear as fucking day. They alter the color and blur out some thing when distributing them to the media so people won't freak out about what these minimum wage wand-monkeys are really seeing. And how long until the first photograph (probably of a famous person) showing up nude in one of these machines is spread all over the internet by a "oh so holy and sacred airport screener person"?

What happens (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30992976)

If you walk through with a hard-on?

Re:What happens (5, Funny)

Edisman (726822) | more than 4 years ago | (#30992996)

If you walk through with a hard-on?

They make you get off.

Re:What happens (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30993024)

The goons working in security have a laugh at your expense and photograph the monitor output with their cell phones. Later, they upload it to funnypixxxxx.com.

Re:What happens (1)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993136)

If you walk through with a hard-on?

The goons working in security have a laugh at your expense

Maybe in your case, anonymous coward! My precioussss got my goons green with jealousy.

(as if...)

Re:What happens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30993132)

If you walk through with a hard-on?

They make you get off.

THEN can you request a pat down?

Re:What happens (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993022)

How about writing "Suck this" across your belly with some sort of lead-based paint, with an arrow pointing downwards?

Or a chastity belt, and try to explain to them that the missus back home has the key. They might let you through out of pity.

Re:What happens (1)

lena_10326 (1100441) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993128)

So what happens to men with permanent penis implants. Will it show as a strange device?

Re:What happens (1)

JazzXP (770338) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993358)

You're going to Bangkok?

first post. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30992978)

first post.

Speaking as a morbidly obese male (5, Funny)

kieran (20691) | more than 4 years ago | (#30992998)

I was quite upset about this until I realised that

a) The person viewing the image will be in another room and won't actually meet me, and

b) I can stand in that thing and jiggle my lard around like the dancing baby from Ally McBeal and make whoever is watching them image lose their lunch.

Re:Speaking as a morbidly obese male (1)

tokul (682258) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993038)

I can stand in that thing and jiggle my lard around like the dancing baby from Ally McBeal and make whoever is watching them image lose their lunch.

After losing their lunch they can do rectal exam on you.

Re:Speaking as a morbidly obese male (1)

hanabal (717731) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993076)

The whole thing about them being in another room makes me uncomfortable. I want to see who is seeing me.

Re:Speaking as a morbidly obese male (2, Interesting)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993278)

It also needs to be obvious if the person viewing the screen is any of the following:
1) Pleasuring themselves
2) Oogling the pictures
3) Asleap
4) Taking pictures of the screen
5) Making inappropriate jokes about anatomy.

Any of the above should be grounds for immediate termination. 1, 2, 4, and 5 should be grounds for immediate jail time and a permanent entry in the sex offender registry.

Re:Speaking as a morbidly obese male (4, Insightful)

clickety6 (141178) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993088)

Better yet, as you are a morbidly obese male and as the X-rays from this device are designed to reflect from human skin, you can easily hide any contraband, smuggled pets, bomb belts or illegal aliens within your rolls of flab and they will be completely undetectable by the device!

 

Re:Speaking as a morbidly obese male (1)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993108)

Heheh, I wonder if that would really work?

But in real seriousness, what's the point in this scanner vs actually getting someone to strip? The latter is a lot cheaper than this thing.

Re:Speaking as a morbidly obese male (1)

Rhaban (987410) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993176)

the scan takes less time.

Re:Speaking as a morbidly obese male (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993194)

The point is that when you get somebody to strip it's obvious what you're doing. With a machine you can bullshit them over it (no, it's not really naked...)

Re:Speaking as a morbidly obese male (1)

Paxtez (948813) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993228)

what's the point in this scanner vs actually getting someone to strip? The latter is a lot cheaper than this thing.

Maybe initially, but how long does it take you to get naked, especially if there is someone watching you (that you don't want to watch you) do it. The time involved would be very expensive. Also most people would freak out if you told them they were going to have to get naked in front of a stranger to fly. I'd bet that 9 out of 10 fliers don't even know what the scanner does, I bet they would think it's just a fancy metal detector.

Re:Speaking as a morbidly obese male (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30993130)

After the scanners are installed, the next terrorist will hopefully put the C4 up his ass, then there will be lots of job openings for proctologists at airports.

Re:Speaking as a morbidly obese male (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993364)

the next terrorist will hopefully put the C4 up his ass, then there will be lots of job openings for proctologists at airports.

I see what you did there.

Re:Speaking as a morbidly obese male (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993236)

jiggle my lard around like the dancing baby from Ally McBeal

And then you get life in prison for crimes against humanity.

Thats it (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30993016)

The terrorists have won.

Re:Thats it (5, Informative)

robably (1044462) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993082)

No, the government has won - it just so happens they have the same aims as the terrorists so they've co-opted them as a useful smokescreen.

They're saying they have introduced this measure as a response to the Christmas underpants bomber, the truth is they were waiting for anything, any kind of attack no matter how small as an excuse to introduce these scanners. They already trialled them, they were always going to be introduced, Brown was just waiting for an excuse.

It's a similar tactic to having a public consultation to give the appearance of fairness, when they have already decided what they're going to do anyway. Yes I'm angry.

Re:Thats it (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993258)

No, the government has won ... Yes I'm angry.

You're right about everything except the first word, where you imply the person you're responding to isn't also right. Getting people angry with the governments of countries is one of the main aims of terrorists. If you're angry, then yes, the terrorists have won. It's like poking a bear with a stick until it's angry enough to attack. They poke your government to get it to take actions which make it look bad, make more and more people see it as the evil enemy they believe it is, and governments (mine as well as yours) happily do exactly what the terrorists want them to do.

Re:Thats it (2, Insightful)

robably (1044462) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993346)

If getting me angry is a victory for the terrorists, then they must also consider firing a paintball gun at a warship to be a victory.
Most people in the UK aren't angry, they just don't care about it at all. And my voice, my opinion, my vote, means nothing and changes nothing. I don't think the terrorists are winning, but I do see their actions helping the govenment get the ubiquitous surveillance it wants.

Re:Thats it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30993326)

True. I'd say the the government are more nefarious. At least Muslim fundamentalists are pretty open about what they want to do.

It does make you wonder if the shots are actually much better quality than the single faked image they gave to the media. Perhaps its going straight into their proposed centralised database along with your other biometrics. "Another room" could well be another building... or a private company. If I said this ten years ago I would be a conspiracy nut. Now its their obvious intentions, what with the unending war against an undefined evil enemy to keep us working doubleplus-hard for big brother.

Please someone stop this. (4, Insightful)

ebonum (830686) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993030)

If I was a local sheriff or whatever the British equivalent is, I would wonder over to Heathrow and hang out in the viewing room. As soon as a prepubescent child popped up on the screen, I would whip out my camera, gather evidence and then arrest the "viewer" or "viewers" for viewing kiddy porn. This is an extremely serious charge that effectively changes your life forever. Then I would let the courts deal with it. It would suck to be the worker(s) at Heathrow, but it seems it takes extreme action to wake people in Britain up.

Re:Please someone stop this. (1)

Ma8thew (861741) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993068)

As TFA says, any child pornography issues have been dealt with by the government.

Re:Please someone stop this. (1)

whatajoke (1625715) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993072)

As soon as a prepubescent child popped up on the screen, I would whip out my camera, gather evidence and then arrest the "viewer" or "viewers" for viewing kiddy porn.

Government can exempt itself off the laws whenever it wants. UK and US governments have alread proved this.

Re:Please someone stop this. (2, Insightful)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993154)

If I was a local sheriff or whatever the British equivalent is, I would wonder over to Heathrow and hang out in the viewing room.

No you wouldn't. The viewing room will be the other side of security, and only authorised people will be allowed in there in the first place. Unless you're explicitly employed to deal with airport security, you won't be an authorised person.

Re:Please someone stop this. (3, Insightful)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993312)

I'd then hope that the courts turn round and say "Look, there is a difference between silhouettes/nudity and pornographic content. Learn it and stop wasting our time with these stupid cases."

Unfortunately, due to modern conditioning that nudity = porn = evil, regardless of context, I don't suppose that would actually happen.

What would you prefer? (2, Insightful)

Ma8thew (861741) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993034)

I find it difficult to reconcile the summary's outrage at 'security theatre', with its outrage at 'naked' photos of children. If we are to use these devices, and assume (possibly a big assumption) that they can detect weapons then we must scan children, otherwise it really is security theatre. To exempt children would be to render the scanners truly useless. Am I happy with these scanners? No, but they've been in use for many years in other countries (like Russia) and they seem to be more effective at detecting suspicious devices than any other method, short of a pat down. However, I'm not sure why a pat down is not an acceptable alternative. Perhaps because security people are generally afraid of patting down peoples sensitive areas.

Re:What would you prefer? (3, Insightful)

MayonakaHa (562348) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993096)

Hop on over to El Reg and take a look at this article. [theregister.co.uk] While not exactly the most official study done, this show has shown that explosive ingredients can indeed be smuggled onto a plane even when going through the scanners. I believe this does qualify this whole mess as "security theater" to me.

Re:What would you prefer? (1)

Ma8thew (861741) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993102)

OK, but wouldn't not scanning children with these devices be more of a security theatre than scanning everyone?

Re:What would you prefer? (2)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993328)

OK, but wouldn't not scanning children with these devices be more of a security theatre than scanning everyone?

No. If the devices actually work, it isn't "security theatre", it's actual security. If it is actual security, then yes, scanning children would be better. But if it's just security theatre, then it's bad enough anyone is being subjected to it, subjecting children as well is just making it worse, not better.

Not saying I agree with this viewpoint, just pointing out there's no contradiction in the parts you're trying to reconcile. If it is just security theatre and nothing more, there's every reason in the world to be outraged about the children's pics.

Re:What would you prefer? (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993260)

I find it difficult to reconcile the summary's outrage at 'security theatre', with its outrage at 'naked' photos of children.

The truth is that the whole situation is outraaaaggeeeeeous!

not that bad (2, Interesting)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993036)

If the pictures in the linked articles are true (which is not certain), I find the scan a lot less intrusive than a pat down. I'd rather have someone see a vague picture of my junk than grab it and my ass, while breathing in my face. I can't imagine anyone finding these pictures sexy, or even identify me from them.

My concern is more about the effectiveness of these scans. Is it more theater, or do they really detect something that a metal detector wouldn't ? The example pictures are showing a gun, which doesn't seem that good to me.

Re:not that bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30993070)

Let's see how you compare the two after your "vague pictures" end up on someone's facebook, and you're the next star wars kid.

Re:not that bad (2, Insightful)

Ma8thew (861741) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993106)

Faces are basically unrecognisable, and if by some miracle you are recognisable, you'd probably get a nice payout from the ensuing lawsuit.

Re:not that bad (2, Informative)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993168)

Faces are basically unrecognisable, and if by some miracle you are recognisable, you'd probably get a nice payout from the ensuing lawsuit.

This is the UK. Punitive damages are almost unheard of. Generally speaking, all you can do when you sue someone is force them to put you back in the same position you were before.

There are exceptions to this (physical injury is the obvious one), but I'm not sure this would be one.

Disclaimer: IANAL.

Re:not that bad (1)

Ma8thew (861741) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993302)

IANAL, but from my scant knowledge, damaging someones reputation in the UK carries a financial penalty. I'm not sure of the specifics, but I don't think these are classed as punitive (exemplary) damages.

Re:not that bad (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993356)

That's also my understanding, however I imagine you'd have to prove - at least on the balance of probabilities - that your reputation had been damaged.

Re:not that bad (1)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993186)

I think they're missing an opportunity actually.
First class passengers get a personalised 'pat down' by a security attendant of the opposite sex (or same sex, if that's more to their taste) wearing something sexy. Pick from bikini, catsuit, negliee, hotpants ...

System integration (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30993048)

I do not know of Heathrow, but at least in some airports the computer that has your photo sits next to the one that just got the data of your machine-readable passport. Hopefully these data are not merged anytime soon. How could I know ?

Re:System integration (1)

Ma8thew (861741) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993110)

At security in airports in the UK, at least the ones I've been through, the passport is not scanned.

X-Ray exposure? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993058)

This PDF [radiologyinfo.org] has a table which tries to put radiation exposure from X Rays into context. For example: Computed Tomography (CT)-Body is comparable to three years exposure to background radiation. So how much radiation do I get from one of these scanners? I am a bit worried about it because I have had a lot of X Rays and one CT in the last six months.

Re:X-Ray exposure? (1)

cybereal (621599) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993118)

You would need to be scanned at least 2,777 times in a single year before you exceed the maximum single-source dosage safety levels. For a more useful number, it will take over 100 exposures to even exceed a single mrem, which is considered negligiable. Maybe if you had to fly over 100 times per year you'd be even remotely justified in being concerned about this.

For citations see the section of the Wikipedia article, and its cited article's citations (yeah, sorry, welcome to the internet): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backscatter_X-ray#Health_effects [wikipedia.org]

The main thing to remember here as that the radiation is very, very, very low compared to normal X-ray because the radiation does not need to travel through the person, just needs to bounce off of them like sonar. In fact, many scanning stations are not even backscatter anyway, many are millimeter wave scanners instead, which are actually much better as they produce 3D images. Though, ironically, while the research is new, there are indications that these scanners could be much more dangerous for your health than radiation! heh, go figure.

From the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30993100)

Transport Secretary Lord Adonis said in the immediate future only a small proportion of airline passengers would be selected for scanning.

Lord Adonis, maybe he is just having Snow White problems.

Re:From the article (1)

Ma8thew (861741) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993138)

The British government loves to promote people with interesting names. Our head of the armed forces is Air Chief Marshall Sir Jock Stirrup.

Some of think this scanner is pornographic? really (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30993120)

Firstly, it's not like these images are in any way erotic. I doubt very much they could ever really be used in fashion. Secondly, do you really think these screens are visible to the rest of the terminal?

No, of course they aren't. You might consider it a breach of privacy, but only the operator will see that blurry, monocrome image of your genitals.

Complain about civil liberties if you must, but at least use arguments that don't make you sound like utter retards.

Re:Some of think this scanner is pornographic? rea (3, Insightful)

rally2xs (1093023) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993156)

If you are Harrison Ford, or Miley Cirus, or some other celebrity, do you really think that the operator is NOT going to whip out a pocket camera and image the screen, and sell it to some of the low-life websites that exploit such things for cash? Or, what if he simply posts it on the internet? Of course not every operator will do that, but there's always a bad apple in every basket, somewhere.

Re:Some of think this scanner is pornographic? rea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30993294)

Harrison Ford has got a airplane license and can fly himself.

What about (2, Interesting)

PePe242 (1690706) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993144)

- being sued for indecent exposure if the traveler happens to be a little excited when going through the scanner? - Suing the person checking the scanner of a naked child. - who owns the pictures? Even though it's not supposed to be stored, I can very well imagine that, if something shows up on the screen, there is some sort of "Take a picture so that it can be used in court"

Naked? (1)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993150)

This is totally unfair. They get to full body scan me, but still force me to wear clothes?
The flesh wants to be FREE!.
Let me fly naked, waving my bits free in the breeze for all to see. What's good for one is good for all!
*cough*
Might not be entirely serious.

Pictures not stored or captured FAIL (5, Insightful)

larjon (582981) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993200)

The image generated by the body scanner cannot be stored or captured [...]

So... how did they get the pictures into the article?

Superman Time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30993204)

The time has come once again... to wear the Superman-inspired lead undergarments.

No Fly = Refun? (1)

ePlus (1041568) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993214)

So if I am one of the unlucky ones and get "randomly" picked for a scan... And if I refuse, do I get a refund? Do I get put on a terror watch list?

Obvious way to beat the scanner: (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993222)

Turn up naked.

When will it end (4, Insightful)

houghi (78078) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993240)

When will this "War on privacy" end? Most likely only when and if people stand up to it. And they won't as they do not see it as a treath to whatever they have. I rather sit in a plane with a potential terrerist and riks to be blown to smithereens then people taking away my privacy rights because of some bullshit security.

The drive to the airport is still more dangerous then the flight itself and that includes being killed by terrerists.

When looking at it now, the stazi of Eastern Germany were boyscouts.

You should not fear anything but fear itself. But as long as the media is selling news as entertainment, we will be hearing about these outrages dangers that almost never happen. Man bites dog is news and this means that dog bites man isn't and won't be shown. That means that people do not get all the information they need to do some basic risk assesment.

I for one am not bothered by this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30993254)

Nay; I fully intend on being nekkid scanned with a raging hard-on so they feel as awkward about it as me the customer.

Another good reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30993266)

Another good reason not to go to that country! Vive la liberté!

Ways around it: (3, Interesting)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993304)

a) Put the C4 in your intestines.

b) Wear a latex belly full of explosives/guns.

c) Be fat and hide stuff in the folds of skin

What we really need to do before signing off on anything is give a machine to Mythbusters for a couple of weeks, see what they can come up with.

Somebody has to see you naked before you fly... (4, Insightful)

quarkoid (26884) | more than 4 years ago | (#30993344)

...I can't help but think that the terrorists have won.

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