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Airport Security vs. Cyborg Steve Mann

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the ahead-of-his-time-but-being-chased dept.

Security 748

CompaniaHill writes: "The New York Times (free reg, etc.) has a story on University of Toronto engineering-professor-turned-cyborg Steve Mann's recent run-in with humorless airport security. Apparently his preplanning and documents were sufficient to get him through the Toronto airport security on his way to St. John's in Newfoundland, but not sufficient to get him through the St. John's airport security on his way home. Two days later, after strip-searches, forced removal of implants and x-raying and other ill-handling of delicate hardware, he returned home in a wheelchair. Mann's lawyer is attempting to recover the cost of the $56,800 in damaged hardware, while his doctors are studying his body's response to the removal of the implants, some of which he has had for over twenty years."

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I always wondered what happened to that guy (3, Informative)

carrolljim (412715) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165134)

Good Salon article at g/ if anyone's interested in more...

Re:I always wondered what happened to that guy (3, Informative)

ChazeFroy (51595) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165189)

This new tool [] used at Atlanta's airport could have helped him.

Re:I always wondered what happened to that guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3165258)

Orlando, not Atlanta...but that's a neat toy, anyway :)

Re:I always wondered what happened to that guy (1)

Milican (58140) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165306)

I remember the porn that showed up from weasels wandering around with sony cams with x-ray vision. I can only imagine what the airport security will end up showing on the Internet when they get this.


Re:I always wondered what happened to that guy (1, Redundant)

wraithgar (317805) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165197)

Yeah, that was a good article, and here [] is a link to the real url, no typos ;)

IDIOT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3165250)

THIS is about Steve Mann! MIT, encased in computers, always connected to a network and all that shit.

The article you reference is about Kevin Warwick. HE is a plonker who likes to get press by putting a TINY chip in his arm to turn on the lights when he comes to work, or has a chip plugged into his (AND HIS WIFE'S) neurons so they can have better sex. In short, a POSER compared to Mann.

HOLY SHIT, Idiot! You're not even talking about the same ideas, never MIND the same person! Get your facts straight!

Steve Mann, not "Dr." Warwick (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3165293)

This is *not* Kevin Warwick, the British psuedoscience jackass who's been walking around for a few years with an RFID pet tag under his skin.

It is Professor Steve Mann (, one of the first inventors of a *real* wearable, and a downright cool guy. I didn't know he had any implants- does anyone have any more information? I'd imagine his equipment would be a bit more advanced than the snake-oil Warwick's been showing around.

It is (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3165135)

A first post.

Frist! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3165136)

First Post For Katie!

Suck it, logged in bitches!

Re:Frist! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3165150)

No, you suck it, you were beat by carrolljim by like a minute. Suck it. Suck it.

Welcome to Canada... (3, Funny)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165141)

Welcome to Canada... bend over please.

Re:Welcome to Canada... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3165162)

Yeah, not like there's any of that going on in the U.S. after all; you know, the DMCA, the SSSCA, the Federal Reserves, the "shadow government.." Gee, sure wish I lived in the U.S. Land of the free, home of the naive.

Re:Welcome to Canada... (0, Troll)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165169)

As I am a Canadian citizen who has gone through our Country's retarded customs system I guess I should have rephraised that to:

"Welcome back to Canada... bend over please"

Whats that? Chinese refugees in shipping containers? Let 'em in please!

crap! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3165142)

I submitted this same article no less than 1/2 hour ago!

Anyway, this Mann guy really got th short end of the stick by those crazy canucks!

cyborg? bah! (5, Funny)

cygnus (17101) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165146)

my god! what good are cyborgs if they can't even contend with simple airport security officers?

darth vader would be ashamed!

Re:cyborg? bah! (0, Funny)

beee (98582) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165221)

<chrisd> ne1 heard about this SSSA thing??//
<cmdrtaco9> newp
<hemos> eh
<chrisd> well its this new law they r trying 2 make and if u have linux on ur machien u can go 2 jail... or sumtimn
<cmdrtaco9> W T Fffffff
<hemos> goOd thing I live in hollandbeliguim
<hemos> :^)
<cmdrtaco9> thats sooOoo gay -- we should call the EFF
<michael> i think the EFF blocked * on their mail server and got the phone company to block any calls from your house, rob
<cmdrtaco9> oh stfu
<JonKatz> Hello my post-apocalyptic cyberpunk neurogenial school shooting probates
<cmdrtaco9> wtf doze that mean
<hemos> hahahaahah
<michael> sigh.
<JonKatz> bbl.
<cmdrtaco9> u should make a ask slashdot post aboutt that cowboynael and u would find out
<chrisd> ITS A BAD LAW
<cmdrtaco9> can u send me cowboy.bebop.se01.ep02.mpeg so me and my fiansee can watch it 2gethedr

Re:cyborg? bah! (5, Funny)

bobdehnhardt (18286) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165284)

Ol' Darth could have used the Force to get by. But what about Colonel Steve Austin? No way he'd get through - even if Rudy figured out some way to pass the X-Ray machine, the slow-motion running and ch-ch-ch-ch-ch sound effects would have been a dead giveaway....

Oh please. There are limits... (3, Funny)

fm6 (162816) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165328)

Some airport security people are pretty dumb -- but I just can't picture one dumb enough to let a Sith Lord board!


chemstar (457943) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165149)

For thirty years we have suffered intense persecution. Now freedom is bringing another great harm to our churches. This damage is coming from Christians in America who are sending rock music and evangelists accompanied by rock bands. Our young people do not attend those meetings because we have all committed not to participate in secular entertainment.

This is a great burden to our hearts. Many come with Bible in hand and rock music. We are embarrassed by this image of Christianity. We do not know what words to use in urging that this be stopped. We abhor all Christian rock music coming to our country.

Rock music has nothing in common with ministry or the service to God. We are very much against Christian Americans bringing to our country this false image of "ministry" to God. We need spiritual bread... not false cakes. It is true that rock music attracts people to the church, but not to Godly living.

We were in prison for fifteen years for Christ's sake. We were not allowed to have Christian music, but ROCK MUSIC was used as a weapon against us day and night to destroy our souls.

We could only resist with much prayer.

Now, we have a time of more openness. We are no longer taken to prison. However, now it is Christians from America who damage our souls. We do not allow this music in our church, but these "evangelist" rent big stadiums and infect teenagers and adults with their rock music. We, the leadership and congregations of the Unregistered churches urge you to join with us, and we advise you to remove rock music from America.

Do not desecrate our teenagers with it. Even the unbelievers recognize it is unholy music. We call this music, "music from hell." We urge all Americans to stop giving money for the organizations of such concerts in Russia. We only want traditional Christian music in our churches.

This is the unanimous decision of all our leaders.

Peter Peters and Vasilij Ryzhuk,
Unregistered Union of Churches, Moscow, Russia, April 15, 1992

Forced removal of implants? (1)

lw54 (73409) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165151)

forced removal of implants

How the heck do they force the removal of implants? Shouldn't they just say "Sorry, you can't board this plane?"

Re:Forced removal of implants? (3, Insightful)

ghostlibrary (450718) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165188)

After you _try_ to go through security, civil liberties get weird. You can't walk through with a gun, get caught, and say "oh, never mind, I just won't fly today". By then, there is suspicion of criminal behavior and you are, alas, in the mighty grasp of the underpaid, overworked, bitter security forces. Just walking away is no longer an option.

But don't worry-- they only use their powers against terrorists and bad guys, right?

Re:Forced removal of implants? (4, Insightful)

erasmus_ (119185) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165234)

Still not satisfied, the guards took him to a private room for a strip-search in which, he said, the electrodes were torn from his skin, causing bleeding, and several pieces of equipment were strewn about the room.

Man, that's not just bitter, that's just savage. I'm really disturbed just reading that. I feel that there is a lawsuit here based not only on equipment damage, but also on humiliation and emotional abuse. I mean, how can they possibly have the right to do that? I understand that you give up some civil liberties when there is suspicion at an airport, but those guards cannot cause you harm for no reason, I cannot believe they'd have that authority.

Re:Is this the whole story? (1)

andcal (196136) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165341)

Even though everyone knows that all reporters everywhere are completely unbiased (wink, wink, nudge, nudge), I think that it is important to consider that we are very likely only hearing one side of the story here.

Re:Forced removal of implants? (3, Insightful)

xyzzy (10685) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165270)

Yea, they might get weird, but not totally off the map! You don't GIVE UP all civil liberties in that case -- the guards can't rip your clothes off, steal your money, keep your possessions, kick you in the nads, and say "oh, sorry, we thought you had a bomb or were a criminal".

If they suspected he had a bomb, it seems to me that there should have been a process that they followed, not just snapping things off at random! " Gee, what's this?" "Oh, just the power to my...pacemaker! "

But then again, did anyone see the problems the WWII veteran with a *CONGRESSIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR* went through? Pretty much similar -- and this is a medal for which there are 40 living recipients.

Re:Forced removal of implants? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3165191)

Once you enter an airport, you are no longer free to leave, if a security officer has reason to suspect you are carrying contraband (be it drugs, weapons, explosives, etc.) You can and will be detained and searched, and arrested if you refuse to comply.

You're not allowed to show up, hope you get past security, but if they stop you and want to pat your down, then decide you don't want to go through security after all. Tough break.

Re:Forced removal of implants? (2)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165196)

I think the point was, the guy didn't really have any other way back home. The airline let him through on the initial trip. His problem was with the return trip.

Re:Forced removal of implants? (1)

Krapangor (533950) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165251)

Oh, forcing the removal of implants is very easy: you just need a knife (if the knife is also sharp then you know that you are served by a high quality airport).

first irc log post (-1)

beee (98582) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165154)

<cmdrtaco9> ne1 here
<hemos> yes lol
<hemos> hahahazz
<michael> So. Anyone else think astroglide's flavor could be greatly improved?
<timothy> oh shut up ur just a compl8nr
<cmdrtaco9> ne1 seen my fiansee
<slutchick37> yes im here lol
<cmdrtaco9> lol join #analloveshack :)))))
<hemos> EW!! heterosechsual sex :Q lol.

we are at war (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3165157)

so this guy should just stay home

with his Borg self

hooray for our side!

Steve Mann (4, Informative)

Xunker (6905) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165159)

For those of you who don't know, Prof. Mann is generally considered to be the "Father" of Wearable computers, having contstructed one of the first ones out of an Apple 2 in the early 80s to portably control his photographic equipment. He is now a professor at the University of Toronto; he also has an informative personal web page [] .

Re:Steve Mann (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3165172)

sounds like a moron to me

does he ever read the paper or watch tv

do you geeks even know what day it is?

Re:Steve Mann (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3165198)

That has to be one of the most confused and disorganised sites I have seen in a while

Re:Steve Mann (2)

Glytch (4881) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165279)

You don't visit the Portal of Evil [] very often, do you?

Face rec! Face rec! (1) (184378) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165160)

Anyone else see that show on the MIT (IIRC) guy who had a wearable computer?

Face rec, face rec!

Wages. (5, Funny)

saintlupus (227599) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165161)

Wow, I can totally cripple someone far more learned than me _and_ make seven dollars an hour! Woo-hoo!

Seriously, though, next time, take another route home. Zeppelin or something.


Forced Removal of Implants? (1)

dotderf (548723) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165165)

What the hell? What if someone has a pace maker? And X-Ray radiation really isn't the type of stuff that you want to play around with. I hope he takes them for all they're worth.

Implants? (1, Funny)

Renraku (518261) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165166)

A penile implant, with sufficent force, can be used as a weapon.

Re:Implants? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3165208)

A penile implant, with sufficent force, can be used as a weapon.

An erection, with sufficient force, can be used as a weapon. So what?

I carry two weapons at my side at all times; my fists. A fucking butter knife or a cyborg's sunglasses don't bother me.

NYT login (slightly OT) (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3165170)

does anyone have a generic login for NYT? it appears they bashed the slashdot2000/slashdot2000 one

Re:NYT login (slightly OT) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3165176)


screw_me / sssss

cypherpunks / cypherpunks

Re:NYT login (slightly OT) (1, Offtopic)

Rick the Red (307103) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165260)

Whoever has the account "aaaaa" changed the password (was "aaaaa"). Damn. There is a solution, however -- Slashdot editors please take notes:

If you open a NYT article and press the "Print this article" button, you're taken to a link that does not require an account. So if you're going to submit a story with a NYT link please go to the "Print this article" page and post that link, then we'll all be able to read the story.

It's getting so that I hardly bother reading /. stories that reference the NYT (why oh why did the owner of "aaaaa" change their password?)

ID papers for implants (2, Interesting)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165171)

I thought that people with metal implants got papers stating what kind of implant and where they are? Even so, that treatment was utter bull; you'd think that at a certain point you would just know that the guy is ok!

Anyway, if he's a cyborg, why not just strap on the optional jet pack and fly there yourself? ;)

Re:ID papers for implants (1)

someme (564998) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165213)

For a moment you had me thinking about what mental implants are.

Re:ID papers for implants (1)

Covant (103882) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165272)

I'm pretty sure the story says that the papers were sufficient in Toronto, but weren't in St. Johns.

Maybe the bustling St. Johns airport security guards had never seen those type of papers, nor believied that a person could have any sort of implant.

In either case, it's pretty outrageous.

Problem? (1)

Covant (103882) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165177)

Seriously? What serious harm could they have thought he could really do?

"Oh my god, he's going to TYPE SOMETHING"


This is even worse than them rifling through my PDA when I get on the plane.

Where's Toronoto? (0, Offtopic)

Wakko Warner (324) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165182)

Is that an Enya song? The Anti-Megacity?

- A.P.

Re:Where's Toronoto? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3165225)

Wow. With that sort of ignorance you'd make a great President.

Steve Mann's Website (1)

BoyPlankton (93817) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165183)

Steve Mann's Website []
Really tough to go read, but there's alot of information about wearable computing there.

again airport security are idiots. (5, Interesting)

edrugtrader (442064) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165185)

if anyone read my post a week ago, airport security is simply retarded. they decide they are going to nail someone and they do just that.

me and my girlfriend had to wait for 2 minutes while they chemical tested all of luggage and carry ons, and shoes and purses for explosives. this was because her shoes (complete with metal shoe lace ends) set off the metal detector.

later in the trip tourists are posing with the reserve offices for pictures... i saw this many times. tourists have their arms inches away from machine guns carried by 5 foot tall women and all the airport cares about are my stinky shoes.

then the kicker is the woman on the airplane knitting with HUGE knitting needles.

this guys sensor that opens doors is going to do about as much damage as my stinky shoe. yes, when i fly i want to be safe, and that is why i defend the 'fly naked' campaign.

Re:again airport security are idiots. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3165237)

Shoe lace ends are called aglets.

Re:again airport security are idiots. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3165252)

No offense to our National Guard members, but I would not want to trust my life to someone dedicated to serve 2 weeks a year and 1 weekend a month, which usually involves doing as little as possible in traditional government fashion.

Seriously, as the original poster pointed out, their presence at airports is actually a very high cause for concern, NOT the other way around. (how hard would it be to grab the gun from the 5 foot tall woman.) (used to have a girlfriend in the Guard, about 5 ft tall also)

Re:again airport security are idiots. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3165286)

Not only that, but when I went through security in December, in Norfolk VA, the NG were toting M16's!!!

Oh, and I know, all that stuff about how the national guard answers to the state etc. What a crock. If General X called the NG and said you'll do X, I can bet they will - state authority or no.



Re:again airport security are idiots. (0, Offtopic)

jeffehobbs (419930) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165333)

Dear "eDrugTrader",

You had to wait for 2 minutes? OHMYGOD. If you need someone to hold your hand while you come to grips with this, I'm here. I'm here.


Man vs Machine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3165186)

You can take the machine out of the man,
but you can't the man out of the machine.

Welcome my friends, welcome to the machine.


Alan_Thicke (553655) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165193)

You have just received the Amish Virus!
Since we do not have electricity or computers,
you are on the HONOR SYSTEM!
Please delete ALL of your files....

Thank Thee.

Ouch! (1)

Rocko Bonaparte (562051) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165195)

...a strip-search in which, he said, the electrodes were torn from his skin, causing bleeding, and several pieces of equipment were strewn about the room.
How are they going to explain the necessity of ripping that stuff off his body? Could he conceal a bomb under an electrode?! I highly doubt it. and I hope they enjoyed doing it, because they're not going to enjoy the lawsuit.

Hope it's the security yelling "ouch" RSN (2)

Spamalamadingdong (323207) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165283)

It makes you wonder if those same idiots would rip the cardiac monitoring electrodes off of a heart patient because they found his EKG monitor/recorder/defibrillator "suspicious".

Of course, this isn't much compared to the abuse some other people take. Innocent people regularly get sodomized by security who "know" they are drug mules, and verbally abused and humilitated despite being clean. (I call it sodomy, because what else would you call it when someone shoves their fingers up your bodily orifices against your will?)

That said, I wonder if Canada's legal system is as hot on violations of rights as the USA's once was. Somehow I think it's not, and the deterrent effect of lawsuits isn't likely to change the practice.

wow (3, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165199)

ma, this one event deals with a lot of issues. Overbearing security, not having any authority to review situations like this on a case by case basis, whats happens when some one is unplugged, how being "plugged in" for long periods of time might effect you phsyology.

I hope all the facets of this incident are followed.

here's a good pic of steve (2, Interesting)

sootman (158191) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165200)

but it's about 450k.

Re:here's a good pic of steve (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3165310)

Is typing some simple html [] so difficult?

This was Air Canada (1, Troll)

BluedemonX (198949) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165206)

A monopoly in "Canaduh". Above any kind of boycott or reprisal. Basically, fly with us, or walk. And if you don't like our attitude, eff you. Stop flying? We'll just get the government to tax your ass harder to pay for all our surly, incompetent staff.

He's lucky they only damaged his implants.

Re:This was Air Canada (1)

Covant (103882) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165255)

You could take WestJet :)

The funny thing, is that this event isn't nearly as invasive as the systems involved in other countries. But it's not nearly as effective.

Finally, I'm always amused that people can just waltz on a train or bus, but you have to give blood to even get close to an airplane.

mirror (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3165209)

as i refuse to signup for the ny times site:
Does anyone have a mirror of this article?

This guy is creepy (-1, Troll)

Meowharishi (550240) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165211)

Sorry old chap but the rules have changed. Stop whining like a baby and play by the rules like everybody else.

So... (5, Funny)

leviramsey (248057) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165215)

forced removal of implants

In a related story, Britney Spears announced that she would never perform in Canada again.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3165305)

The parent comment should be at least a 2, Funny or 3, Funny.

m o n o l i n u x []

So without computers is he... (0, Offtopic)

Milican (58140) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165217)

only half a Mann?


Okay, they shouldn't have fucked up his equipment. (5, Insightful)

sulli (195030) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165228)

But really, I am surprised to see that, post-9/11 (an incident committed with box cutters) and post-shoe burning guy, people still think the guy should get carte blanche. Behind all those wires, or in the laptop he refused to have X-rayed (WHAT possible laptop can't handle an X-ray?!) could be explosives or other weapons.

That they destroyed his equipment and pulled off is electrodes was wrong, and they should be held accountable for this. No airport security agent should ever be unprofessional like that (which is why I support the federalization program currently in progress in the US). But the guy had to be inspected.

Re:Okay, they shouldn't have fucked up his equipme (3, Insightful)

dhamsaic (410174) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165294)

You may want to read a little closer. His wearable computer couldn't go through because it was more sensitive than a laptop. He wasn't carrying a laptop, as far as the article says. His equipment was more sensitive.

I understand them wanting to check him out, and maybe even a strip search is in order, but when they had documentation signed by his doctor stating everything he's said, and they were unwilling to accomodate his requests to speak in person to his doctor or colleagues, yet still will not make an exception... there is a problem. Furthermore, their disregard for sensitivity of his equipment is a travesty. He may very well be suffering serious problems now because some $10/hour monkey didn't know when to quit.

Re:Okay, they shouldn't have fucked up his equipme (2, Interesting)

jptxs (95600) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165323)

glad to see someone else sees the other side here. how can they validate the doctot's papers? how can they know it's not a bomb? many make the point these security gaurds are generally dubm. and they are. too dumb to tell the difference between a wearable computing aparatus and something potentially dangerous. imagine that. personally I hope they're always more careful than smart...

I feel ill... (1)

Exantrius (43176) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165229)

He's a Flippin' World REKNOWNED SCIENTIST!!! He's not carrying a bomb! He had papers describing what they were!

And someone pulled electrodes out of his body?

Okay, maybe his suit is a little odd, but there should be a more streamlined way of getting stuff like this okayed-- Give someone somewhere the ability to okay this crap before they get to the plane...

As for myself, I look up to this guy, and the way he was treated shouldn't be taken. No matter what the political situation, he's a scientist, and he's got papers explaining what he has, and no $6/hr guard should have gotten within 100 feet of him.

Martyr Not The Freak (5, Insightful)

Charlie Bill (34627) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165231)

I'm sure there will be a sheer avalanche of commentary about how jacked up our security policies have become (27 comments and its already started). That being said, I don't know that I necessarily want a dude with enough electronics on him to obscure any sort of security scanning to get through on a doctor's note and the advice of some colleagues. Isn't most of this stuff to be powered down preflight anyways?

Dr. Mann is clearly trying to push some of these issues by going about like this daily. I suppose I'm a luddite in this regard, but I find the fact that he is _so_ reliant on his tech that he is unable to navigate as a human being (w/o all his electronica) a bit sad and tragic.

Re:Martyr Not The Freak (3, Interesting)

GSloop (165220) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165320)

NOTE - Boeing has done studies about cell phone use in airplanes...

The result?

Cellphones have no chance of actually causing RF interference in the operation of the plane.

BUT It's not likely that they'll change the rules any time soon. (The cell network couldn't handle it - they claim...? and there's lots of profit in AirPhone...)


Maybe he will get some weapons implanted now. (1)

b0z (191086) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165238)

If he would have had a laser-beam eye, he would have been able to carve through them like he was a surgeon. I think they crossed the line into assault when they were ripping things out of his body, and he would have been justified (in my book at least) to defend himself against the morons in uniform.

The military have their names on their shirts, much like plumbers and garbagemen. We shouldn't trust our lives to these people, they should be cleaning our toilets instead.

Removal of implants (4, Funny)

AndyChrist (161262) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165240)

Well, gee, Captain Picard handled it pretty well.

Re:Removal of implants (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3165335)

Obviously because his implants weren't there for nearly the amount of time that 7of9's were....

They tackle this issue when they compare the lack of implants in the child-borgs...

Plus, they didn't have Dr. Crusher.. who is obviously a better doctor than EMH-1.

OT: 9/11 - The US military was involved (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3165241)

Re:OT: 9/11 - The US military was involved (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3165324)

How many /.ers do you think can read French? Hex, well OK maybe, but a _human_ language?

faster, stronger, better (0, Offtopic)

saviorsloth (467974) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165244)

wow, when i first saw this i thought it was like some sort of /. editor joke involving the million dollar man or something

Re:faster, stronger, better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3165289)


"Gentlemen, we can remake him. Faster than he was before. Faster, and STRONGER"

What about other implants? (4, Funny) (142825) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165247)

I'm sorry, you can't take your pacemaker on the plane with you. Please allow me to yank it out of your chest.

I'm sorry, you have to check the battery pack to your artifical heart.

I'm sorry your insulin infusion device must be checked.I'm sorry your breast implants must be removed before boarding.

Re:What about other implants? (2, Informative)

Stevis (69064) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165301)

As a diabetic on an insulin infusion device, I'm thankful I don't fly much. I haven't flown post 9/11/01 (not fear, just no need to), and I'm not looking forward to it. I have heard nothing good from diabetics at all about flying these days--even "pumpers" like me have to carry syringes and insuling just in case something breaks in the device, and apparently the insulin + syringe has been getting close scrutiny. The syringe which has a needle too short to deliver IV drugs. What am I gonna do, stab a flight attendant and say "she'll die of insulin shock in an hour!" when there's an entire drink tray full of sugary beverages?? Yep, that's a credible threat.


Re:What about other implants? (1)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165314)

> I'm sorry your breast implants must be removed before boarding.

Naaw, just checked. Repeatedly. I mean, ya gotta be sure whether a given rack of tits is real or silicone, right?

(I get to feel up hot chyx and steal $58000 worth of cyborg gear? Anyone who objects gets the beat-down? I'm a federal employee so I can't be fired no matter what? And they pay me? Far fucking out!)

Re:What about other implants? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3165342)

Dude, most implanted chyx are nasty ho's. You'd have as much fun feeling up your RealDoll []

Wow. (1)

jaybird144 (558619) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165256)

I'm not sure about this, but what about people who wear (or might in the near future) equipment to help them live? Maybe like a pacemaker, but external... For all the security guys knew about it, some of his toys might have been regulating his bloodflow or his heartbeat, and if they just ripped it out... Should there be some sort of additional training implemented to give the security personal some recognition as to what constitutes "bad" technology? As there gets to be more and more medical ailments treated with tech, I have the feeling that the security people will be a little more careful as to just what they unplug... Jaybird

There were no implants (2, Informative)

cookie_cutter (533841) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165257)

AFAIK Steve Mann has no cybernetic implants, nor was there any mention of implants in the linked NY times story.

Registration funnies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3165261)


The Member ID fuckyounytimes is not available. We suggest fuckyounytimes14 instead. To accept it, click to register at the bottom of the page, or enter a new ID and click to register.

Stupid stupid stupid (2)

Silver222 (452093) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165265)

Geez, reading the article, this guy sure looks like a terrorist. After all, I'm sure a lot of people try to blow up planes flying from the decadent Western sin city of St John's (or is it St John? I'm from Canada, and I can never remember that).

I love the way the security guards seem to make a point out of stopping people who obviously ARE NOT threats. Remember the story about the Medal of Honor recipeient a few weeks ago? Why was he searched? How many other more credible threats stroll onto planes while the security guards are busy with Grampa and Grandma? Maybe the security guards "Atta" pay attention to who is walking by them, and not just pick every third person, eh?

Re:Stupid stupid stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3165319)

It's St. John's

The easiest way to remember it is to speak with a newfie accent.

"I'm fram St. Jahns bye"

"Hey there, old bean, I'm from St. Johns"

Login with... (1)

xenoweeno (246136) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165267)


I didn't hear... (1)

Stevis (69064) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165269)

Seven of Nine whine this bad when they removed her implants.


Lowered expectations? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3165271)

How can you be that much of a freak and not expect to get hassled?

Duh (2, Funny)

Fizzlewhiff (256410) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165273)

Don't these airport security people watch TV? There are only but a few doctors in Starfleet who could successfully re-assimilate a Borg back into society yet these yahoos try to do it on their own, and without the aid of at least an EMH Mark I.

The article (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3165277)

At Airport Gate, a Cyborg Unplugged By LISA GUERNSEY

Steve Mann SEEKING COMPENSATION - Prof. Steve Mann, a walking experiment in wearable computers, went through a three-day ordeal trying to board an Air Canada plane bound for Toronto.

TEVE MANN, an engineering professor at the University of Toronto, has lived as a cyborg for more than 20 years, wearing a web of wires, computers and electronic sensors that are designed to augment his memory, enhance his vision and keep tabs on his vital signs. Although his wearable computer system sometimes elicited stares, he never encountered any problems going through the security gates at airports.

Last month that changed. Before boarding a Toronto-bound plane at St. John's International Airport in Newfoundland, Dr. Mann says, he went through a three-day ordeal in which he was ultimately strip- searched and injured by security personnel. During the incident, he said, $56,800 worth of his $500,000 equipment was lost or damaged beyond repair, including the eyeglasses that serve as his display screen.

His lawyer in Toronto, Gary Neinstein, sent letters two weeks ago to Air Canada (news/quote), the airport and the Canadian transportation authority arguing that they acted negligently and seeking reimbursement for the damaged equipment so that Dr. Mann could put his wearable computer back together again.

The difficulties that Dr. Mann faced seem related to the tightening of security in airports since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. But he had flown from Toronto to St. John's two days earlier without a hitch.

On that day, Feb. 16, he said, he followed the routine he has used on previous flights. He told the security guards in Toronto that he had already notified the airline about his equipment. He showed them documentation, some of it signed by his doctor, that described the wires and glasses, which he wears every waking minute as part of his internationally renowned research on wearable computers.

He also asked for permission not to put his computer through the X-ray machine because the device is more sensitive than a laptop. He said that the guards examined his equipment and allowed him to board the flight.

But when he tried to board his return flight on Feb. 18, his experience was entirely different. This time, he said, he was told to turn his computer on and off and put it on the X-ray machine. He took his case to Neil Campbell, Air Canada's customer service manager at the St. John's airport, and spent the next two days arranging conversations between his university colleagues and the airline.

The security guards continued to require that he turn his machine on and off and put it through the X-ray machine while also tugging on his wires and electrodes, he said. Still not satisfied, the guards took him to a private room for a strip-search in which, he said, the electrodes were torn from his skin, causing bleeding, and several pieces of equipment were strewn about the room.

Once his system was turned off, turned on again, X-rayed and dismantled, Dr. Mann passed the security check. When he was finally allowed to go home, some pieces of equipment were not returned to him, he said, and his glasses were put in the plane's baggage compartment although he warned that cold temperatures there could ruin them.

Without a fully functional system, he said, he found it difficult to navigate normally. He said he fell at least twice in the airport, once passing out after hitting his head on what he described as a pile of fire extinguishers in his way. He boarded the plane in a wheelchair.

"I felt dizzy and disoriented and went downhill from there," he said.

Air Canada said that there was no record that any of Dr. Mann's baggage had been lost and that the Canadian transportation agency, Transport Canada, had required that his belongings be X-rayed. "We don't tell the security firms that there is going to be an exception made," said Nicole Couture-Simard, a spokeswoman for Air Canada. "We don't have that authority."

Transport Canada declined to comment on the case except to say that it was reviewing it.

Considering that even tweezers may be confiscated when a passenger boards a flight these days, the stricter scrutiny that Dr. Mann faced may not seem surprising. But for him, the experience raises the question of how a traveler will fare once wearable computing devices are such fixtures on the body that a person will not be able to part with them.

"We have to make sure we don't go into a police state where travel becomes impossible for certain individuals," Dr. Mann said.

Since losing the use of his vision system and computer memory several weeks ago, he said, he cannot concentrate and is behaving differently. He is now undergoing tests to determine whether his brain has been affected by the sudden detachment from the technology.

Alejandro R. Jahad, director of the University of Toronto's Program in E-Health Innovation, who has worked closely with Dr. Mann, said that scientists now had an opportunity to see what happens when a cyborg is unplugged. "I find this a very fascinating case," he said

this is terrible, eh? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3165287)

I cannot believe my ears. I wonder what Air Canada was thinking aboot when they decided this, eh? Maybe they ate too much maple syrup and Canadian bacon for breakfast, eh?

Human bombs (1)

jamesmartinluther (267743) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165297)

While we want to make sure people can express themselves and make interesting uses of technology, how in the world are the various security systems going to deal with people "embedded" with weapons and even bombs?

- James

On and off again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3165300)

This time, he said, he was told to turn his computer on and of... The security guards continued to require that he turn his machine on and off... Once his system was turned off, turned on again, ...

It's freaking me out. Why is the article making such a big deal about turning the computer on and off? I'm guessing it can handle it and cause no significant damange to man nor machine.

Unless they had him turn it off and on in the style of BOFH...

Video Game (1)

Covant (103882) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165302)

We should make a video game out of this.

The terrors of travelling with the new airport security measures.

"All Your Implants Are Belong To Us"

Sounds like a hit to me.

That poor bastard (3, Insightful)

ColGraff (454761) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165315)

To be so completely integrated into one's computers - it must be a godlike feeling, to have all that data available at will. And then to lose all that power, all that data and insulation from the day-to-day world - no wonder Mann feels crippled. I remember reading that people who depend heavily on electronic organizers to store contact info have a harder time remembering phone numbers and addresses, and I know that my spelling skills have deteriorated slightly since I started relying more on spellcheck.

I know this is something that's not really going to sound right, but "rape" is the best word I can think of to describe this. Where the hell were this guys lawyers? How could the security dudes not realize what an incredib;e achievement Mann's gear is? I repeat: that poor bastard.

Man oh man (2)

Perianwyr Stormcrow (157913) | more than 12 years ago | (#3165326)

What about Kevin Warwick? I imagine he'll never be flying again, either.
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