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back to article Calls for US nudie perv scanner 'opt-out day'

An online protest campaign is urging air travellers in the USA to observe "national opt out day" on 24 November and insist on their right to be felt up by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) operatives rather than submit to the new nudie perv scanner technology. It is feared that the protest could overburden the TSA's …

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Unhappy

Disappointed

Well, I saw the NSFW and the Nudie Perv headline and thought "Way-haay!! Boobies and stuff!" Only to be greeted by Mr & Mrs Metallic-Android thing! Hrmph!

Can you not post a pic of that bird in the bikini, on a beach, playing with her eeepc by way of recompense??

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Disappointed

Serve you right you big pudding-puller.

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Anonymous Coward

To be fair to other people's kinks

Some people are into that sort of stuff.

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Anonymous Coward

indeed

"Some people are into that sort of stuff."

hence they probably all work with TSA

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Headline box

PS the NSFW tag dosn't appear in the tagline on that top, cycling, 5 headline box thingger - could be awkward.

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Bronze badge
Joke

Big pudding-puller???

How'd you know I was big? Haven't met you. Yet.

Mine's a "Spotted Dick". Spotted in some grumbleflick, I'm sure.

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You're on the Internet...

...and you can't find enough porn? How sad is that?

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Joke

@Aaron

Mr Em, you can never find ENOUGH porn, surely!!!!

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Anonymous Coward

In the words of Homer Simpson...

'there is no such thing as enough porn'

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Silver badge
Big Brother

Hey!

I though it was "impossible" for these scanners to store and even less print images.

Where do these X-files (naked silvery humanoid with facemask pun!) come from, then?

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Anonymous Coward

It's called a cameraphone...

Or, it was issued by the manufacturer of said AIT equipment.

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Coat

New around here are you?

These devices have been storing pictures from day1, and there have been numerous stories regarding staff and 'customers' alike being scanned by them inappropriately.

ttfn

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Joke

That could have easily been guessed

If it was images from real operation in an American airport they would have been about 3 times wider. At least.

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Coat

Caution: wide load

Yeah too right. Also, has anyone noticed in the porno-scanner youtube vids that many of the TSA agents are lard-arses?

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cataracts

it has been suggested (in some medical forums) that there may be a link between backscatter radiation and cataracts. The concensus was that in ten years time the legal folks will have enough evidence to stop thier use and sue the companies making these machines into the ground.

When I worked fro cray, some senior staff would travel to the states roughly twice a month.

Their laptops (identical to otehr staff laptops) ended up with disk faults in less that two years.

The other identical machines lastes the full three years and after replacement lasted many mor years secondary use.

I somehow doubt US x-ray machines have changed much.

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Silver badge

Perhaps

X-Ray machines have nothing to do with the faults in the laptops. After all, X-Ray scanners have not been used on people until pretty much now.

On a transatlantic flight you get much higher radiation dose just by sitting in the plane, so may be that was the cause of the problem.

However, it is much likely that the laptops were failing purely because they were shaken and bumped all the time...

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Anonymous Coward

X rays are ionising

Also back ground radiation is randomly distributed.

The back scatter machine uses a tight beam which is scanned over you.

The x ray frequency is designed to bounce off skin.

Ths skin and exposed sensitive areas (like eyes) will suffer.

The groin area is scanned with extra intensity.

I will always ask to be patted down.

All ionising radiation causes damage and is carcinogenic.

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Silver badge

Real reason for 'enhanced pat down'

This was introduced to put people off opting for a pat down - so saving the TSA time/effort.

It is all an outrageous intrusion that doesn't really do what it claims. It does keep the unemployment down I suppose and is supported by those who sell the scanners.

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At least American's get the option to opt out....

I know that it is not much fun if you opt out, with stories about being taken to separate rooms for very 'invasive' searches. But at least that side of the Atlantic you get the option. Not in the UK. I think people should be able to protest a technology that was rushed out after the trouser bombing incident. A technology a lot of people in the know say would not have detected this type of bomb anyway.

I would much prefer my privates being smelt by a bomb dog any day of the week. Probably more effective to.

So a tip of the hat to the campaign and I hope it goes well....

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Anonymous Coward

Sniffer dogs

Can someone tell me why we are not rolling out sniffer dogs for this. I would have thought that the advantages would have been clear.

Less people are worried about a dog smelling their privates than having an extended pat down.

They can pick up explosives the machines can't.

You can quickly scan the whole queue of people instead of having to pick random people. If you want to keep the machines, use the dogs to pick out who you scan.

No health worries. Maybe people who have allergies...

So what's the deal. I bet you it is because using the dogs would be more expensive. So the message is that the goverments don't mind keeping you a bit safe as long as it does not cost too much. But they don't care about how invasive or potentially unhealthy that option is.

Has anyone heard if they even considered the dog option and why they ruled it out? Really I would love to know what the deal is....

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Silver badge

@Sniffer dogs

One reason why sniffer dogs aren't used is AIUI that some Muslims consider a dog's saliva to be "impure" and thus to have one sniffing you (and thus breathing over you) is unacceptable.

(And I wonder what would happen if you had a packet of aniseed balls in your pocket...!)

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Coat

There are some problems with your post. The title is too long.

A claws in the report forbids use of dogs for 'health and safety' reasons.

On the subject of expense though, these machines look pretty expensive and run a version of Windoze XP, so the license for that will add up.

I bet you could buy any sniffer dog several lifetimes worth of dog food for the price of just one of these machines.

Mine's the one with a tin of Chum in the pocket.

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FAIL

Dogs are a terrible idea...

Here in the US, a dog alerting is considered probable cause for a far more invasive search... so cops have been known to train drug dogs to false alert, just so they can harass people.

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Silver badge

Fruit Dogs

In some places, notably California, the dogs are trained to sniff for fruit. They're quite sensitive, having had a carry-on with a couple of bananas that were eaten on the flight, I've had a dog come sit by my bag more than once. So far the "has been used to carry fruit but there's none there now" has been good enough and I've not had my bag searched.

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Anonymous Coward

@Graham Marsden Re: @Sniffer dogs

On the same lines, it's also unacceptable to be viewed naked or touched by non-family members so full body scanners and pat downs should not be used on muslims.

If security measures are in place then they should be applied to everybody whether they like it or not. I may not relish the thought of a scan, I may not be bothered but as it stands I don't have a choice, neither should anybody else.

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@Graham Marsden

Weren't their two Muslim women who refused the scan becuase it was against their religion as well. Just waiting for some clerics to say that the scans are an afront to the principle of modesty in the Quran. Then were will the government be then...

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Coffee/keyboard

You have the option, fly from France

I'm in the UK, and last time I had to fly, I got the train to France and used one of their airports instead of Heathrow. I think they only scan people going to the US and afaik they give you an opt-out, and use mm-wave not DNA-smashing x-rays. Added bonus, the airport was much nicer. Cost me about the same, and there is £2000 odd of airfares that BAA will never see a cut of.

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Re comment above

All the scanners are capable of storing images and they have network cards included and can send pictures through the network.

In theory, storing and transmitting is only possible in "test" mode, but they're often "forgotten" in test mode .

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Back when these first appeared...

...I thought the manufacturers or promoters made the comment that you could not be recognised from the images.

Yet we have blurred out faces.

Looks like pron for the people that got excited when Han Solo was frozen in carbonite.

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Anonymous Coward

The rub?

It's all theatre and we all know it. It's _very_ _expensive_ kit that is yet another excuse to be arrogantly abusive while harassing millions of people, and even a simple high school math sum will tell you it won't catch another terrorist. It, simply put, isn't worth the money, nevermind the invasive harassment, the false positives, the time lost, the collateral damage, the dishonesty, the outright lies, and so on, and so forth. And now, for a nice cherry on top, they're being abusive just to be abusive. The whole thing has started to recurse.

So I do endorse and support this product and/or service. Just get rid of all the scanners and all of the TSA and heck all of the DHS entirely and put some competent people in charge. Schneier for US security chief with a mandate to only enact that which he can prove will work.

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PT

Not worth the money -

- to whom? I think you'll find it's worth the money to Michael Chertoff, a former director of US "Homeland Security" and subsequently "co-founder of the Chertoff Group, a security and risk-management firm whose clients include A MANUFACTURER OF BODY-IMAGING SCREENING MACHINES'' (my caps). The aforementioned client has profited to the tune of about $25 million since the beginning of 2010, largely thanks to Mr Chertoff's contribution to the debate. This article from The Washington Post, for example -

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/31/AR2009123101746.html

Good job, Michael. You must have been working really hard during your holidays to produce that in the five days between the discovery of the underwear bomber and the press deadline for the Jan 1 paper.

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Black Helicopters

No vested interests

Having read the Washington post article, it seems that Chertoff is using the fact that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was not on the suspected terrorist /no fly list as justification to put the perv scanners in airports.

That's Michael Chertoff, the second United States Secretary of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush and co-author of the USA Patriot Act, consultant to and shareholder in Rapiscan Systems, which has received $250 million in scanner orders, complaining that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was not on Homeland Security's no-fly list.

Conspiracy theorist, moi? never..

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Coat

As far I'm concerned...

Touchy feely is the way to go!

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WTF?

Give us a break

How do people actually get offended by this sort of thing? So someone can see a crappy, blurred image of your genitals, well, kinda. Do these people not visit the doctor? What happens when they need to have an investigation "down there" - do they cry, piss and moan about the depravement and violation that they feel? No, they say something along the lines of "doctors have seen it all" - why not extend that assumption of professionality to the airport crew? I couldn't give a rats ass who sees me in the buff, blurry monitor or not - and if it means reducing queuing time, not having to take metal objects off, or anything like that, all good IMO (the reduction in terror threat is by and large a moot point to me...)

As for the pat down scenario, oh no, someone is touching my clothed body, how horrible, what a sinful situation... Honestly, get over yourselves, for the 1 in 1000000 people in this world who are truly unbelievably stunning (or a-list celebs at a push), yes, you will likely give someone patting you down a nice thrill; but for the rest of the world, they are simply prodding at someone and doing their job. Think of it like an abbatoir worker handling a carcass. They want you to move on as quickly as you do.

Bunch. Of. Idiots.

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Joke

Warning - Don't fly with Tony!

He is so going to get the complete works next time he flies through Heathrow!

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Grenade

Numpty

As you clearly didn't read the article, the main concern about these back scatter X-ray scanners is health related.

Sure some people may be prudes (and who are you to judge other peoples hangups?), but there are a lot more people who are scared these devices could be causing skin cancer and cataracts (as someone mentioned above), and having other negative impacts on our health.

The fact is the only studies done so far have been done by the developers of the devices who have a vested interest in saying they are safe. Until there are some independant studies done, why should our options be a) submit to a device that could cause serious health problems, or b) opt for ourselves, and our children to have our private parts fondled by complete strangers?

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FAIL

Missing the message

The message is that these scanners, pat-downs, etc do fuck all. They are just feel-good security (edit - ha, subconsciously got a pun in there!) that cause the government (meaning us) to spend a lot of time and money for naught.

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Anonymous Coward

Moron

"No, they say something along the lines of "doctors have seen it all" - why not extend that assumption of professionality to the airport crew?"

Are you really comparing doctors to airport staff? You might want to look up the word "professional".

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Anonymous Coward

O rly?

> I couldn't give a rats ass who sees me in the buff

How about your wife? Or your 15 year old daughter?

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exactly

Every one of these people are far more exposed on a far more frequent bases to people who can see them up close and personal. Every one of the women spread-em wide for a Gyno typically (hopefully) at least once a year. Men let their balls be cupped by a doc when they cough. Everyone goes through a routine physical at lease every few years, almost or complely naked, with not only a doc who knows them personally in the room, but the passing nurses and staff as well.

Every one of these people are also full willing to strap on a bathing suet, pretty much equally if not MORE revealing on a regular basis, in public.

LOOK at these images. They're gray-scale, faces are blurred, they highlight dense material not identifying skin marks, and are low enough in resolution to see an object, but not the DETAIL of an object. They can't pan, zoom, rotate these images, or focus on specific parts. More over, the people seeing them see then 1) all day long (dunning sensitivity to them), 2) are in another room, where they can not see you, and have no idea who you are, and 3) are looking for DANGEROUS THINGS, not boobies.

So what. Someone who will never see you in person gets to see a slightly more penetrating, but far from superior view of you that any Joe Bob at the beach, and far less than you let your doctor see. These people are forced to see not just your curves you might like to hide, but the curves of people that should be hidden... For every half nice looking (in fuzzy B&W) body that comes through, they're forced to see 50 they'd rather not see.

There's many ways to get around using these scanners: get a far more invasive pat down, get national security clearance levels sufficient to walk right on by, or DON'T FLY! The plane must be secure from terorists. Do you seriously care so much about someone you'll never meet seeing a bad image of you on a screen (and having no association of it to you personally) that you'll risk another 9/11, even when you let a doctor, someone who knows you personally, not only see you, but feel you up and sick things inside you? Get your priorities straight... these people are themselves screened and chosen for these jobs. Trust me, they'de rather not be seeing you this way, but they feel it has to be done.

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FAIL

what?

"The only studies done..." Bull shit. x-ray radiation and its effects have been studied heavily since its discovery. Just because there's a new term, "backscatter" does not change the fact that it is an x-ray, and that equals MEASURABLE radiation and exposure. Exposure to backsacatter is no different from exposure to direct x-ray, except that the IMAGING SYSTEM uses that radiation differently, and allows for far less of it to be used, fractions of it in fact. The idea here is that instead of smashing a crap load of x-rays THROUGH you, and looking for an image on the back side, they use extremely low doses of radiation and instead of imaging what passed through you, they're only interested in the "scatter" that did NOT, aka, it bounced off an object. A typical x-ray is several seconds of exposure per image, at as much as 100 times the dose of this thing you spend less than 1 second exposed to.

Here's a FACT for you: You are exposed to more rads on a few hour flight during daylight hours just sitting in the plane than you are walking through this device. Try applying some actual science to your objection.

We don;t need to do a study on the machine, we already KNOW what radiation does and does not do. Using it a different way does not change the exposure readings or the amount of radiation used. the machine NEEDS no study, other than to confirm it emits what it claims to (which is in fact independently audited).

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Anonymous Coward

Dear Michael

I don't really care about the sensibilities of a bunch of goons and their fancy pervin' machines.

We don't need them. We simply don't. Basic math will tell you that, and there's been no studies to prove that this very obvious, very basic math is in fact wrong. The reason we have the security theatre anyway is make-believe, born from political panic. That's all there is to it.

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Paris Hilton

airport workers == Doctors or Nurses ? FAIL

Just a sample -- 2007 August.. single handluggage has been introduced again and laptops to be taken out of bags.. I am entering Heathrow T1 domestic and pulled out the laptop from the bag as I am entering the security and the 'Airport Safety Co-Ordinator' says 'Put the laptop in the bag..' I say ' the laptop would come out before I proceed less than 10 feet and there is enough space in the bag to put it in'. And his voice raises. 'Sir, you NEED TO PUT THAT IN THE BAG'. Everyone looks at me and I say 'can I speak to your boss?' And he still goes high voice 'SIR. IF YOU ARE NOT PUTTING THE COMPUTER IN THE BAG PLEASE LEAVE THE QUEUE. ONLY ONE BAG ALLOWED'. I hit my head couple of times put the laptop in the bag, zip it up and then take ten steps and then have to take off my laptop, shoe, belt, glasses, watch all out. Anger and irritation stayed in though.

Can't ever think of a Doctor or Nurse being that thick headed and arrogant.. Atleast all the ones I have met in my life..

Paris because she would understand rules better than those thickheads..

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Stop

seriously

You want to refuse this low res, B&W, simple surface scan operated by someone who (after being pre-screened for psychological conflicts) can not even see you in person to compare to the scan (they're in a different room withj no visibility to the TSA screening area other than pressing a button to alter them to scan you again) and will never know your name unless you're found with contraband, and who's forced to see every fat and elderly person equally in "the buff" as well as the possible rare few that, then here's the deal: The women in your family can never again see a doctor, let along a Gyno, and can't wear bathing suits any more revealing than those used in the 30s and 40s, nor show cleavage or wear revealing shits that expose the bra line at all.

This is a CLINICAL scan, and on so less personal of a level and with such less details its simple absurd to even compare it to a routine doctor's physical, let alone people at the beach or pool who see more of you in greater detail than these machines do. Doctors btw are NOT psychologically screened, and have access to every personal family detail about you, and continually gossip with their staff, your your 13 year old is gonna jump up on that table and spread-em same as your wife. If you're OK with that, you have to be OK with this. You might not like it, but its a fact, it;s gonna happen.

You HAVE to get scanned. It's either this machine, or a FAR more invasive hands on approach. Don't like it? Don't fly.

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Anonymous Coward

Someone put a new record on Michael, this one's skipping

The airport is not a hospital. Getting scanned doesn't make you better. Neither machine nor any hands-on approach is actually necessairy. If you think they are, then worse things are wrong. Like, wrong rules, incompetent security forces, and all the other glaring things that are so obviously wrong today. Please stop repeating. Please stop repeating. Please stop repea...

No Michael, I no longer take you seriously.

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Big Brother

@ Michael C

After reading your comments on this matter. I get the impression that you are of the opinion that "other people" shouldn't have a say in this kind of thing and therefore what they want or indeed in this case don't want, doesn't matter. This in turn leads me to believe that you are a total cretin..

However, having said that, I also think that if you don't want this, then don't fly. I sure as hell won't be. I find the prospect of these measures to be much more scary / intrusive / risky, than any current terrorism threat.

But, since you're happy to put yourself in that position, I hope you enjoy your next run through airport security and don't pay any mind what so ever about the security goons behind the scenes, examining and recording your naked body (and you wife and kids, if you indeed have them).

BTW, can't sniffer dogs detect the smallest amount of explosives with no problems? Or can they not do that anymore?

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So if X Ray is so safe..

Why did my wife, who had pneumonia while 6 months pregnant, have to wear a lead vest TO PROTECT THE BABY?

For fun?

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Bronze badge

No-one's tried this?

In response to: "You HAVE to get scanned. It's either this machine, or a FAR more invasive hands on approach. Don't like it? Don't fly."

At Security: "Hello, luvvy. No, darling, I don't want one of those x-file doo-dads to invade my body. Would you give me a VERY thorough and delightfully invasive pat-down, oh, and and a box of tissues? Thanks, sweetypie. Take your time, pleeth.

Ooohh, Aaahh, Cantona!!.

I betheeth you, do it again when I've had to nip out for a fag. Or two. Ta muchly."

OK, there's a chance of being frisked by an "uphill gardner", so you might be "shit-out-of-luck", but...

Yep. Let's see.

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Big Brother

Tony and Michael

I suggest you start giving a damn about your rights and liberties in general while you still can. You'll miss them when they're gone.

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