back to article Airport scanner staff object to vetting

Security staff at Heathrow airport are reportedly furious at the suggestion that any of them would ever use pics taken from the new body scanners for lewd or lascivious purposes. Their reaction was reported last week in Skyport, a newspaper that carries news and features for those working at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted …

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Use sniffer dogs

Much cheaper than the machines, cost less to maintain, low carbon footprint and nobody has to be vetted. Simples.

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Coat

@nobody has to be vetted

What about the dog?

It's the one with the aniseed in the pocket.

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Joke

Of course they have to be vetted...

...who else would keep the dogs healthy and clean their teeth?

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@Neal 5

"If it saves one life, it's worth it, no?"

Go on then, which one is it? Daily Mail or The Sun?

The article that you have just read on El Reg isn't about whether or not these scanners will improve security. It's about the application of a seperate law that compels ISA checks in many circumstances and whether or not it will apply to airport security staff, with these new scanners being simply another possible avenue for abuse of vulnerable people. As it happens, the question was answered. The answer was simply "We dunno, guv" which is to be expected since the government that introduced this legislation don't know either.

That the airport staff were upset and felt that they were being accused of being perverts at the possibility of being required to be screened simply mirrors that of the rest of the population when it was announced that they were all filthy paedos and if they wanted to continue working as a school volunteer/dinner lady/babysitter they'd have to prove otherwise.

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Big Brother

We are not amused

Presumably body piercings will show up on these scanners as well...

Guard A: Do you think that's a knife?

Guard B: No it's just something he's got stuck through his... Eeww!

That should take their mind off "bombs and knives".

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WTF?

Hmmm...... a question.....

I fly about 5 times a year so am naturally concerned...

What if I don't want to be scanned but rather patted down - is that going to be possible as I find that less intrusive?

I have been through the ones that were trialled at Heathrow and was offered a chance to look at my own picture. Thankfully I was wearing button down jeans which covered up a good portion of my man hood but still think tin foil underpants are the way to go. Plus the pictures aren't as grainy / low quality as you are being told about.

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Troll

That would be an extra £5 please

Do not say that to anyone on Ryanair as before you know it there will be a fee for it.

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Schiphol

I've asked every time I've been through one of these machines at Schiphol if I can see the result. I am always refused 'for privacy reasons'. Now I know that with my weight problem It's been a while since I saw my dangly bits, but I did not realise that they really were 'private parts' even from me.

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JBR
Unhappy

we've lost

As Dara O'Briain pointed out on Mock the Week, if I have show pictures of my genitals to a bloke in a box to get on a plane, then we've lost the war on terror.

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Alert

The issue is clear

No one seems to have any problem with the scanners at all.

The issue is that passengers are being forced to 'trust' the security staff won't do anything inappropriate with the new information they will have access to, and passengers (not to mention civil rights groups, etc) feel that that trust is grossly misplaced.

Do all security staff recieve rigorous psych evals? Do they receive *exhaustive* sensitivity training? Are there channels in place for passengers to make complaints when they feel they have been abused by security staff? I doubt it. And I sure as hell don't trust them.

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Anonymous Coward

The value of a life

Hi Neal 5

"If it saves one life, it's worth it, no?"

Correct - it is NOT worth it.

I don't know what the figures are - so I will make some up to illustrate the point:

Say, the extra security measures, delay each passenger by an average 6 minutes.

Say that 100 million passengers are thus delayed each year. You have wasted 10 million hours of life per year, just over 16 lifetimes (of 70 years each), which is not worth that one life saved.

Furthermore, the financial cost of this extra inneffectual security, could have been much better spent in order to save many other lives, by improving road safety or providing clean water or better sanitation. Or indeed the money could have been better spent improving the quality of life by buying an ice-cream for every airline passenger.

Best wishes,

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Anonymous Coward

Different from now??

Sorry but the only difference from things as they are now is someone WHO WILL NOT BE IN CONTACT with the child will see a blurry image. From your article if you say what they do means the guards will have to be vetted then I would guess they probably need to be vetted now anyway??

As to the claims above that the scanners would not have stopped the underwear bomber I don't think there has been any proof either way but I guess claiming it as a fact helps your argument so heyho.

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WTF?

who's to say

who's to say that this person looking at the (apparently not grainy or blurry) naked image of your teenage daughter will have no contact with her.. after all this screener person will most likely have easy access to her address and all personal details. and if said (unvetted) person turns out to be a twisted sicko...

so especially for anyone viewing these images absolutely MUST be vetted and screened to the highest degree.

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yes but ...

"Sorry but the only difference from things as they are now is someone WHO WILL NOT BE IN CONTACT with the child will see a blurry image."

So that makes it okay? Try putting same image on your computer monitor, and explain to Mr Plod that there's no problem because the picture is blurry, and you are not in contact.

Now I've no problem about security people ogling my todger if they really have to, but asking parents to exhibit their children naked should not be a condition of flying.

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It'll all end when...

...Angolina Jolie (other celebutards are available) is made to use a scanner and the picture pops up on Face-Twitter-Space or whatever faster than a government U-turn.

Acutally, thinking about it, the Sun would probably insist everyone goes through the scanner and the images made public just so they can publish 'shocking' images of celebs.

Now the Queen needs a passport, would she have to go through one of these as well?

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Another solution

Why don't we all turn up naked at airports? That'd sort out all difficulties.

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Go

Flash Mob?

"Why don't we all turn up naked at airports? That'd sort out all difficulties."

I sense a facebook-led flash mob idea coming on. If you pardon the pun.

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Anonymous Coward

Future recruits

It's probably true that most of the current airport security staff are not pervs and will not particularly enjoy looking at these images.

I am more concerned about future recruits. If the job advert says, "Spend 35 hours/week looking at images of virtually naked people", the applicants will tend to be people who want to do that - I mean, the job doesn't really have many other perks, does it?

Similarly, what sort of person applies to work as a CCTV operator? This sort of person: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/merseyside/4609746.stm

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hmmm

How do i write bomb on my chest so that this scanner will detect it ???

loving some of the comments !!!!

agreed with the fellow stating why the fuck arnt they already vetted !!!!!

also who frisks the kids ??? if it doesnt need to be done already why do they need to look at nekkid pics of kids !!!

my intelligence is droppin the moar i fink a'bou dis ....

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@Lionel Baden

“...How do i write bomb on my chest so that this scanner will detect it ???..."

A little metal piece hanging from your neck with inscriptions... "WARNING - This bomb detonates if scanned"

I'm sure he/she who saw your physical attributes before looking at metal piece will jump from the chair just to meet and congratulate you for closing down an airport for several hours.

in panic times... all chicken runs around in panic...

10-0, the terrorists are winning the game and laughing to all these inabilities and legislation changes put in place to make lifes of common people more interesting and stressed.

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Silver badge

Well...

...I would think that a metallic paint MIGHT work, but I think that you'd be better off getting a metal-foil tape and cutting out the letters to stick onto your chest. (Shave the area first, if necessary...!)

...and DO let us know how that worked out for you...!

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Changed my mind

On the subject of "we do this all day so it isn't a big deal" (which was the basic argument of the security guys) I was thinking that's fair enough. After all, other professions are in similar positions. I've done theatre work and, frankly, back stage, there are a lot of very attractive people wandering around in little or no clothing. You become blind to it after a while (no sniggering!). Doctors see patients in various states of undress and all kinds of weird and wonderful things besides. For some professions it is just part of what they do and, having been in that position, it isn't a big deal.

Then I remembered a recent story about a woman suing her gynaecologist for sexual assault. It only takes one perverted little shit and I'd really rather not take the risk that someone like this piece of scum (http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&ct=res&cd=5&ved=0CBAQFjAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.three.fm%2Fnewscentre%2Fisle-of-man-news%2Fteacher-charged-with-sexual-offences-552&ei=J9JZS5TLGMyTjAfmyJ2aAg&usg=AFQjCNEo71VC8t5u8RqHpOwlKFP6iUkc6Q) - who worked at the school my kids will soon be going to - got a job in airport security because he didn't need to be checked.

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Big Brother

Let's ask CEOP

I think we should take the question at the heart of this - that of the creation of photographic images of children's genitals - to CEOP, since they seem, these days at least, to be the Supreme Arbiters of Morality. Let's ask them if they are happy for any number of unvetted staff to be 'making' these images day in, day out. So far, the usually quite vocal quango has been remarkably silent on the issue. I feel sure this is precisely the kind of issue that falls within their remit at the Ministry of Love.

As another poster has already remarked - it is delicious to see the way these idiots are slowly tying themselves in knots with so much bad law sloshing about the system.

Bootnote: I have no doubt that Reverend Jim (for it is he) will find some 'exemption' for airport staff, leaving them free to 'make' as many images as they like without any fear of prosecution. Funny how that works, innit?

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Nothing to hide?

Neal 5...far from being hacked off by the failure of various organisations to respond, it gradually dawned on me that their failure was actually the story here.

Because the question was NOT whether security scanners should be in use (I did not address that at all) but whether airport security staff ought to be treated with the same lack of trust as every other person in the UK (particularly those in teaching, social work, etc.). Personally, I dislike the levels of untrust that have been growing over the last decade, but that is a separate issue.

However, I dislike even more the presumption of one law for us (because we are grown up security bods) and another law for everyone else. The indignation spewing forth from the security staff questioned is real and heartfelt. But hang on: they seem to be suggesting that because they do a grown security job, they are above suspicion. Really?

Maybe THAT is a bit condescending. I am quite sure that somewhere lurking within the ranks of security staff are some saints and hopefully a very small number of total sinners.

The fact that no-one on the official side - from the Under-Secretary, to employer, to the DfT itself - seemed aware of the new vetting regs also suggests a worrying disdain for the law.

Hmmm...and as for the comment from someone else that: "in that case train conductors, bus ticket collectors, and a majority of professions would have to be vetted as they come into contact with vulnerable on a regular basis".

Think you'll find that in many places that is exactly what is now happening.

j

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@John Ozimek

I appreciate the response, whilst eloquently put, I fear that maybe you are delving too deeply into this. Maybe the security staff have a repugnant inclination to having look at such images to begin with, why worry about the vetting. to be frank, would you actually LIKE to sit at a screen staring at various body parts for 8+ hours a day? I know I wouldn't., and to be honest, totally bored shitless by it, a common theme probably expressed by many of the security staff you interviewed.

I don't think you can equate security to teaching, nor assume , by the logic being expressed here, put into reverse, that all teachers are paedophiles, it doesn't work like that, as least I hope it doesn't.

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Anonymous Coward

Patting down

"Its about as sensible as saying the act of patting down a passenger is perverted"

Last year, my parents saw the security guards in a French airport holding back attractive young women for a "patting down", whilst everyone else got through without hassle...

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They never do cavity searches

They love to give the impression that they can happen in order to scare the public into doing what they're told, but I don't think that non-medical personnel are allowed to fist members of the public for whatever reason. A lot of apparently sensible people seem to believe that they occur as a matter of routine. No they never do.

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its worth it..

for the makers of the scanners.

the biggest joke is that they've backtracked from saying this would have caught the latest bomber. It's now '50% chance we would have' .

Patting down would have worked as well , if not better. Oh and listening to the guys father, that might have helped. Maybe revoking his visa, since he'd been reported as a terrorist,, stuff like that..

Instead we get 'sexoscanners'. Incredibly the staff think it's insulting that we assume they're gunna enjoy looking at the pics, but it's perfectly okay to assume we're all a set of terrorist maniacs.

And yeah, err how come these people aren't already vetted, or is it 'yet-another-vetting-system' ?

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Why not vetted already

Because no-one is yet vetted.

The Safeguarding and Vetting Act 2006 was passed in, er, 2006.

Since then, the government has been busy setting up the vetting database, on to which many of us soon will go, establishing regulations, setting up the Independent Safeguarding Authority, etc.

Most of that is now in place. The ISA oppened its doors for very preliminary business in October 2009.

However, the first tranche of vetting will take place in July of this year.

Up til then, those in the most difficult areas of life, vetting-wise, will receive an enhanced crb check. As i understand it, those working on security scanners already get this.

However, the vetting process will add in data that does not go on the enhanced crb and despite some initial thoughts that vetting would supplant crb, that now appears not to be the case.

Therefore, security/scanner staff are NOW vetted on a security basis and the enhanced crb is part of that. They are not, unless the DfT wishes to make a statement to the contrary, vetted on the basis of their propensity to perv at vulnerable people.

It really feels as though, come July, they ought to be. It would have been so easy for the DfT just to have said yes.

But I am still awaiting a reply.

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Anonymous Coward

A great man once said....

....Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

Plus, hundreds of millions of people subjecting themselves to powerful electromagnetic radiation every year is not going to kill a few people eventually?

If these plebs at airports are going to complain about anything, it should be the implementation of these damn things. Neither the airport nor the machines can operate without them, and a widespread walkout in protest for their removal would benefit everyone concerned.

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Anonymous Coward

Celeb Scans

How long 'til the 1st pic of Cherly Coles etc scans are leaked on the net...

I'd put money on it...

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Coat

Techy Question...

Don't know the spec of these systems or the type of interface that the person doing the scanning will use, but there does seem to be a rather *big* assumption that the interface will have some USB connector and an interface to allow whoever is using the scanner to save images to a memory stick or similar. Would be incredibly dumb if this was the case.

I would imagine that the person doing the vetting would have some facility to trigger an alert which tags the image and the relevant details to some kind of superdoopervisor system to allow escalation of the individual concerned. It would be staggering if these systems didn't have simple audit trails built in to determine who's accessed what and when.... QinetiQ strike me as exceptional clever buggers and I can't think they'd overlook this sort of functionality. Any BA worth their salt would have spotted this sort of numptiness at the earliest stage of product whiteboarding.

From what I've seen of security systems at airports in US, UK, EU and Middle east, they're typically proprietary boxes and don't look like the sort of systems to deploy a "right click moose and send to Interweb/Facebook/Sun" functionality. Some of the hyperbole here and elsewhere seems to be nothing more than, er, hyperbole...

Mines the one that reeks of common sense...

ps Thanks Lionel Baden - BTW - any relation to Dusty Bin Laden? I think we should be told...

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Big Brother

guess again

After repeatedly stating that storage and/or transmission of images was impossible, the US TSA contract specifications for one of their two primary scanning systems were released. Part of the system was a "test mode" that allowed - wait for it - storage and/or transmission of images.

I suspect that you'd need a security key to open a panel to get to the USB connector or to reset the machine into test mode. But kindly notice that the TSA had been lying all along by claiming it couldn't be done. Wankers.

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It doesn't matter...

None of that will stop somebody taking a photo of the screen on their mobile phone ;-)

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Sed quis ipsos custodes...

Heh...getting complicated, isn't it?

It all distracts attention from the question the government doesn't want you to ask: what makes so many people want to blow you to bits?

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Stop

Fallacy

"It all distracts attention from the question the government doesn't want you to ask: what makes so many people want to blow you to bits?"

No, thats not the simple question either. The real question, I believe, is this:

"What makes the government want you to believe so many people want to blow you to bits?"

Given how relatively few people have died to terrorist attacks in the UK over the last 10 years, to ask why so many people want to blow you to bits is about as sensible as asking "Why do all car drivers want to kill everyone?!". After all a LOT more people died in RTA's than in terrorist attacks over the same period.

Mind you, more people died in accidents involving their toilets or as a result of bee stings (despite all the stories about bees being in decline) too.

Perhaps, when we're done banning cars, we should ban toilets and bees too?

Terrorism is about government propaganda and media fear-mongering, all in the name of the Great God Profit. After the 7/7 copycat bombings our government and our media both trumpted the clarion call of "Carry on as usual, or the terrorists win". What happened to THAT idea? No, instead we see constant curtailing of liberties, the removal of freedoms, an increase in intrusive monitoring and surveillance....

It's all lies. There are no terrorist organisations waging war on us. There is no Al Qaeda.

(Caveat: There ARE terrorists; sad sack copycats and wannabes inspired by the same propaganda and media lies into believing they are acting on behalf of a global wave of rebellion. Non existant rebellion.)

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Lady GAGA

My Scum reading hubs suggests that images of this celebutard will probably be the first to be leaked. Evidently the scum has a reward outstanding for definitive proof of her (lack of) "meat and veg".

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Vetting as they are subject to vulnerable persons act.

Like it.

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Seriously?

Is it the case that these people aren't already vetted in some way? Incredible even for this looney bin of a country.

Is it the case that these people aren't already vetted in some way? Incredible even for this looney bin of a country.

My wife works in adult education and for a number of different organisations including those for learning disabilities and offender rehabilitation and I asked her how many checks she has had and she has lost track, genuinely doesn't know.

Why would these people NOT be checked?

On the subject of the image quality of the Sexoscanners -

http://www.newsweek.com/id/229665

Perhaps it's better quality than some would realise.

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Oops!

Accidentally down-voted your post. Sorry!

Note to El Reg: Perhaps a confirmation dialogue for post votes may be in order?

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Stop

X-Rays...

My main problem with these is that they still use x-rays, don't they? X-rays can increase cancer risk, and I don't believe that humans should be x-rayed unless medical reasons justify it.

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FAIL

What pisses me off...

ONE idiot straps a bomb to his ass on a US flight and as the result the rest of the world is forced to harass and stress travellers to make the US government happy.

Also now we are in a situation where any terrorist could just collapse economies all over the world by just opening a door of going past a security check without folliwing "the procedure" and without the need to kill anyone.

Imagine the Newark accident happening every single day in any western airport one day on and one day off...

Pathetic.

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Flame

I've said it before...

But if you're not happy to do a strip-search to get on a flight, then why would you be happy with these scanners?

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Grenade

Official figures

Are there any official figures to say how 'productive' airport security has been? How many people have been caught trying to tak bad things on to planes?

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Anonymous Coward

start of this

the start of this says all we need to know, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nioy8AhYweY&feature=channel and lets face it, we all thought "hey no more nuclear destruction! Awesome" No now we have to be scared of somethihng fasr less scary. Seriously if you're more scared of anything that might happen today is more scary then being cold war nuclear warfare god damn.

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WTF?

just a matter of time......

before the celeb images start appearing....... of course it'll also be interesting watching the guys scan their work collegues (who will be scanned also right ?) .

can't wait for the xmas parties to begin and Bill from accounts suddenly getting all that new attention because of what his scan revealed.....

and lastly

me always wanting to look my best, i wonder if i'll need to take appropiate reading material to airport, you know just in case it's cold !!!!!

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Anonymous Coward

"If it saves one life, it's worth it, no?"

"If it saves one life, it's worth it, no?"

If you believe that statement don't leave your fucking house you inbred fucking retard, because there are a million ways you can die.

(it wont get posted but it's true - if you believe that kind of crap you don't deserve to live. Life is full of risks and living is risking death and the only way to be safe is to stay in bed 24/7 drinking blended food.)

Jesus people who say that are stupid beyond belief.

Jesus

A few beers make me hate these people all the more, damn I hope whilst you're in your house, drinking your shitty protein shake a meteor kills you in your bed.

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It is more likely...

...that he is going to choke on the blended food. :)

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@anon coward 03.56

Anonymous Coward

"If it saves one life, it's worth it, no?" #

Posted Saturday 23rd January 2010 03:56 GMT

"If it saves one life, it's worth it, no?"

If you believe that statement don't leave your fucking house you inbred fucking retard, because there are a million ways you can die.

(it wont get posted but it's true - if you believe that kind of crap you don't deserve to live. Life is full of risks and living is risking death and the only way to be safe is to stay in bed 24/7 drinking blended food.)

Jesus people who say that are stupid beyond belief.

Jesus

A few beers make me hate these people all the more, damn I hope whilst you're in your house, drinking your shitty protein shake a meteor kills you in your bed.

Ahh, there, there, I'm sure you had such a sweet disposition as a child, mind it's a common trait amongst those children who had a different "Uncle" every night, to tend towards bitterness.

I can't understand the point you make about protein shakes and airport scanners though, would you mind elucidating if you could please, so at least some of us may lower ourselves to you singular wavelength.

Understanding is caring after all.

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