back to article Airport scanners go live today, kids included

Body scanners went into operation at Heathrow and Manchester airports this morning. People chosen by security staff will not be allowed onto flights without going through the machine from now on. Lord Adonis said he expected more machines to go live later this month, with further examples to be introduced at Birmingham airport …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

If a pat-down goes too far....

You can complain. As, in fact, I did when he put his hands inside my trousers without asking, whilst the inside of my wife's bra was being groped.

The pat downs are already too intrusive. But if something dodgy happens, you know there and then and can do something about it. If someone takes a snap of your naked body whilst sitting in the remote location, you'd never know.

I've said it before and I'll keep saying it. People would not submit to a physical strip-search, why submit to an electronic one?

3
0
Paris Hilton

Same sex...

"People chosen for scanning can ask for the images to be viewed by someone of the same sex."

Hmm... I wonder how many intersexed and transgendered staff they have for the scanners... As a pre-op transexual, I have a penis and boobs.. Wonder how they will fit the 'same sex' requirement with me??

Michelle

(Probably some fat slob with moobs knowing some of the rude B*****ds in UK customs.)

1
0
FAIL

Out of sight, out of mind?

"...code of practice which requires airport operators to put in place a privacy policy to protect passengers. This should include putting the security officer viewing the images out of sight of passengers. People chosen for scanning can ask for the images to be viewed by someone of the same sex."

So you can be sure that the security officer who you cannot see is in fact of the requested sex, can you? No chance of "well we've got no women on duty at the moment, we'll just tell them that Ted is female"

Also, the officer should be on view to prove that they're not cracking one off in private or using their mobile to take photos of the screen!

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Same sex....

.... so does this mean they're also checking the sexual preferences of said person doing the scanning?

And I thought we had employment laws for that sort of thing.

1
0
Thumb Down

Flying out of LHR tomorrow

Here is a preliminary list of questions to the security officer before I pass through:

1) What is the gender of the person viewing the scan?

2) Can I opt for a pat down instead?

3) What are my rights?

4) Do these things cause cancer?

5) No? Are you SURE?

6) Can you please give me another run down of my rights, in more detail?

7) Why have I been chosen to go through the scanner?

8) If it is not random, what am I being suspected of?

9) Sorry, I'm a bit hard of hearing in that ear...what are my rights again?

10) Where is the bin where I need to dispose of my dignity before I pass through?

0
0

OMG

Everyone should go through these scanners - then there will be no grounds for discrimination.

I'm already tired to repeat - these scanners are more convenient for you. The privacy issues are imaginary. The child porn suggestions are ludicrous.

2
5
Alert

How, exactly ...

... are they "more convenient for you", and exactly how are "(t)he privacy issues ... imaginary". Please enlighten us.

2
0

Simple

Re your 1: When you go through one you don't need to take your pants off (well, belts, shoes, tiepins, bling and watches anyway). They are also quick. Moscow DME uses them for many years now and I heard no complaints from anyone I know who regularly flies from that airport (all BA and BD flights from Moscow). Quite the opposite - everyone is quite pleased with how it works.

Re your 2: What's so private in a fuzzy B&W silhouette? Also, never heard anyone complaining in Moscow (although maybe that being Moscow discourages people from complaining? ). Besides, if you're fat and ugly do you really think that people around you are so stupid that they don't notice it without having to scan you with millimeter band waves?

0
3
Silver badge

Everyone through the Pervatron

If you want everyone to go through you'd better get used to the five hour check-in. These devices aren't quick and I have a strange suspicion they're not going to be that reliable.

0
0

Have you ever gone through them?

It takes 1 or 2 seconds to scan you, then the security guy (girl in Moscow*) tells you it's OK to go.

*) You won't probably believe me but most of the times she actually says "thank you" when you're done.

0
0
Thumb Up

Thanks, Vladimir ...

... for your polite and reasoned reply. I don't particularly agree with you, because being scanned by the new machines seems to be an added extra - my interpretation of the rules is that we'll still have to remove metal objects, and then be "invited" into the new machine if the arch goes beep. I'm likely to be one of the people repeatedly asked to go through the things, since the ordinary scanners in the UK (but, stangely, no other country!) always beep, even with absolutely no metal on me at all. Call me weird, but if someone is going to be screening me, I want the "personal touch", not being stuffed in a machine. However, you seem to have more experience of these scanners than me (I haven't had the pleasure of going to Moscow yet), and so you clearly have a different view, which I respect.

0
0
Grenade

Choice

So what happens if I choose to wear my tin-foil underwear and Winscale-grade lead cod-piece, and then get selected for scanning - still no pat-down?

1
0
Joke

re:choice

probley the same if you chouse to pack a steal box with "BOMB" on it in your hand lugage

I do not know but I suspect you will not be sitting comftubley for awhile

0
0

X-Rays...

But nobody seems to be worried about the increased risk of cancer caused by being bombarded with x-rays unecessarily...

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Yes, well

as ever and ever and on they will say the levels are safe. They will not look at history where radiation levels once believed safe were later found to be excessive, so lowered, then lowered further still, right up more-or-less to the present day. They have exactly the same pathological pig-headedness of the lot who back in the fifties had soldiers marching towards ground zero almost immediately after detonating an atomic bomb. By which time plenty was already known from Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

But then consider the decades of resisting admitting - well past any reasonable uncertainty - that atomic test veterans with leukemia and so on might have a case against the British Government.

0
0
FAIL

X-rays

And where does it say anything about x-rays?

1
0

T-Ray...

These are not X-Ry but T-Ray, not the same. The risk is by far not the same.

My opinion, if you don't like it, take the train !

0
0

You are forgetting the in-flight X-rays

When you spend a few hours at 35,000 feet, you have volunteered yourself for a significant extra dose of cosmic rays by putting yourself above most of the atmosphere. Against this, the dose you receive from scanners on the ground pales into insignificance. One source quoted one hour at altitude equal to forty scans.

In context, several hours at altitude every working day does not give rise to a detectable increase in cancer deaths amongst flight crews. One can calculate theoretical numbers of deaths caused, but there is a much higher number of cancers not caused by radiation.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

I'd go along with that

If the radiation experienced at altitude is identical to that used by the scanner, but as I understand it is not.

I stand to be corrected?

0
0
Coat

anonymous flasher

Would asking for an operator of the opposite sex constitute flashing?

0
0
Grenade

Simple....

Start bombing the perv-scanners intead?

1
0
Grenade

Send a message.

I'm just wondering what kind of substance would show up on the scan, hopefully it would be possible to use something like zinc cream to write lewd messages on my torso visible by the security scanners.

1
0
Paris Hilton

Same Sex Viewer?

Male, female, Graham Norton?

Sorry Mr PervScanner but I don't want *anyone* looking at what I've got stashed in my trousers (although I will promise that it won't explode and make a mess everywhere...well not on a plane anyway).

Paris as I'd happily watch her go through the PervScanner

0
0

you missed one I think

I'm sorry, but I'm lesbian and I wouldn't like a hetero female to see my body unless she has introduced herself beforehand only this would at least make me more a ease for the photo shooting session.

0
0
Silver badge

These won't find pantsbomber

As already reported here.

I wonder why other media didn't pick up that story? .....

Full body scanners - high tech bomb dowsing rods

0
0
Flame

For f***s sake!!!

***"The government has issued an interim code of practice which requires airport operators to put in place a privacy policy to protect passengers. This should include putting the security officer viewing the images out of sight of passengers."***

How the flying **** does not being able to see flunky looking at your genitals "protect passengers"?

3
0

But also

How does knowing that some flunky is looking at your genitals do you any harm? Especially since he doesn't know whose genitals he is looking at.

And probably, he isn't. looking. This is the sort of thing that computers do better than humans. Unless you are carrying something that you shouldn't be, chances are good that no human actually looks at the picture of your genitals at all.

And in answer to the original question, it reduces embarassment, which might reduce the chance of a passenger suffering a heart attack in the departure lounge by some immeasurably small fraction.

0
0

Too early to gauge passenger response...

because they're all complaining. Once people are resigned to it then they will start to gauge responses.

"Passengers must not be selected on the basis of personal characteristics"

(i.e. on a basis that may constitute discrimination such as gender, age, race or ethnic origin)."*cut*

...

detailed protocols which are not published because,

we are told, they contain security sensitive information which includes selection criteria on those chosen for scanning*paste*

(i.e. on a basis that may constitute discrimination such as gender, age, race or ethnic origin)."

0
0
FAIL

Nooooooo

Birmingham? Balls, I was hoping this nonsense would stay in Heathrow and Manchester :(

0
0
Stop

X-ray or millimeter wave?

If they're millimeter wave cameras then I have no (major) issue with this.

If they're x-ray, and they're scanning children... Let's just say I wouldn't want to be an MP or company executive when the first cancer lawsuits come up.

Seriously guys, x-rays are a *known* carcinogen; and that means an increase in risk, however low the dosage.

I'm aware that the dose is relatively small, but the vast majority of that dose is going directly into the surface layers of the skin. I'm pale skinned, and I've tried to avoid sun damage to my skin as much as possible to reduce my (elevated) risk of skin cancer; I don't want that undone by a few trips through the airport...

Honestly, I'd rather have a strip search than an X-ray search. Why isn't that even an option?

Reuters report:

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE60553920100106

[Backscatter-type machines] only become somewhat worrisome when they are used as the primary method of scanning passengers, said David Brenner, director of the Center for Radiological Research at Columbia University Medical Center.

"From an individual's point of view, the risks are going to be small," Brenner said in a phone interview.

"If very large numbers of people would be exposed to a small risk, then you've got a population problem."

0
0

this say it all

"...Brenner said that as with medical scans, the benefits of the scan need to outweigh the risks. "If the benefit means we're safer, then that probably outweighs the potential risk," he said..."

Therefore no scan outweighs the potential risk since a plane going down coz the risk of a bomber is is considerable less than a plane going down because of some mechanical failure.

Beside there is a major difference between airport scanner and a medical scan... medical scan is to detect a problem that otherwise would be discovered unless the person is open up. While a airport scanner doesn't add any extra security specially when is enough to padding down a person and with less problems.

"...Brenner..." needs to go back to the cave to find better excuses!

0
0
Silver badge

Re same sex

May I, instead, ask for the images to be viewed by someone of the opposite sex if I'm pathologically homophobic?

2
0
Joke

I would do likewise...

err... I'm pathologically heterophilic?

0
0
WTF?

hiding from lawsuits

"putting the security officer viewing the images out of sight of passengers"

...so they cant be identified should anyone feel like suing... regulations to cover their arses passed off as benefiting us. This government just don't know how to stop lying.

1
0
Coat

BBC Breakfast

Did anybody catch the interview with the Big Brother Watch rep this morning?

Excruciating.

If this is the sort of news programming we've got to look forward to, I'll get my coat.

1
0
Grenade

Seen it wished I hadn't

That whole "if it saves one life" argument, is going to be the cause of a lot of people losing their lives if I hear it one more time.

0
0

hang on a mo..........

The code states: "Passengers must not be selected on the basis of personal characteristics (i.e. on a basis that may constitute discrimination such as gender, age, race or ethnic origin)."

So working on that assumption, the only people they can scan are white people for the simple reason that choosing a black/asian person for scanning constitutes discrimination. I bet race relation lawyers are rubbing their hands in absolute glee.

0
0
Big Brother

smoke and mirrors

Terrorism is inflicted on the people by its own government, either directly or indirectly.

1
0
Coat

Problem in search of a solution

This is more Security Theatre(tm).

The people who made these machines admit they don't work like advertised and there is a German physicist who showed how easy it was to smuggle dangerous items past these machines without hiding anything in a body cavity.

Mine is the doctor's coat for the "free pap and prostate exam with each flight" coming soon.

0
0
Silver badge

Security Theatre

No - security pantomime nowadays...

0
0
FAIL

Still dont trust them

I am totally for protecting travellers but when a machine comes along which allows a strange adult whom I dont know, cant see and refuses to get checked out to verify he/she is not a paedophile then I am a little reluctant to let anyone especially my kids near it.

1
0

I never understood this

What harm will it do to the child even if the viewer IS a paedo?

1
0
Anonymous Coward

same sex watcher...

Surely a far greater worry for pre-ops and intersex peoples would be who pats you down after the scan looks a little odd?

That asside, is there any data on the specificity of these things (or at all...)? It seemed that about 50% of people going through them were being patted down when i flew from holland a few weeks ago.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

They're winning...

It's naive to assume that terrorists expect to take over the world. The numpties who blow themselves up in the expectation of a sexually enhanced paradise might very well believe that - but the people who organise them (people in no hurry to reach paradise themselves) know very well that's impossible.

What they do seek is to shock and polarise the world into good guys and bad guys (which is which depending on where you're standing), provoke suspicion and bigotry, and put us all at each others' throats. Secure in the certain knowledge that military and security responses will generate even more terrorists.

They don't directly achieve fear in the majority of people, only defiance - it's governments who cynically promote and abuse fear. They don't detract from our civil liberties - they don't need to. They can rely upon our governments to do that, with measure after measure aimed at infallibly combating the last attack, increasing petty bureaucratic power in the process. Terrorists don't take our taxes - governments do that, and hand over large sums to finger-in-the-pie corporations in the name of security, or invest both money and young lives in foreign wars with no foreseeable end or result.

In the meantime, power passes into the hands of people and organisations who have forgotten who they are serving and why, and about whom we should be as profoundly suspicious as we are about terrorists. For many politicians, bureaucrats and police officers, the 'war on terror' is nothing less than a gift. Almost as big a gift as an endlessly gullible and acquiescent population.

On those counts I suspect the terrorists are winning already...

10
0
Anonymous Coward

They're winning??? Really???

They had won the war long time ago, before Mr Bush invented the idiotic phase "War on terror"

The terrorists have accomplished more because of the changes that our governments have introduced over the years; today it seems a more controlled and paranoid society than before...

In times of IRA where bombs went off on regular basis didn't exist this entire paranoid. Probably because UK had people managing the country with some sanity and not giving away the rights and freedom that our citizens have.

All this panic is caused because of lack on intelligence services, lack of knowing what the "enemy" is doing or preparing... so we can see the results... loss of rights, freedom simple because of paranoid people in power... of course it all for the good of the nation against the terrorism. But are this people that forget that are causing more terror than the terrorists themselves.

It is unfortunately but at same time it is real, is just enough to see all the laws created to see how flawed/rushed they are and all these continuous attempts to circumvent our rights and freedom of moving and speak.

Democracy basic values where lost and Democracy is dying... this is what is slowing happening.

4
0

soon get rid of them

Easy one for the terrorists to fix for us, all they need to do is invent a trigger that goes off when they are scanned. How many security guards are going to stand beside the scanner then? Better yet, what will the rest of the passenger do when they see the security guards direct some poor victim through the scanner, then leg it behind the nearest blast wall! Oh fun times.

0
1
Pint

quick, get some domain names

aiportscannerporn.com etc.

Then sort someone out to obtain leaked pictures, or just fake them with 3D modelling software, whichever comes cheaper.

Profit!

0
0
Thumb Down

Anf for my next trick

So, what will thy think of next time, after some suicide bomber has set off his shrapnel-filled hand luggage amidst a few hundred people waiting in the queue to be scanned?

Let me guess, metal detectors at the airport entrance?

Or X-rays on the perimeter road?

Of maybe we'll just have Plod stationed at each of our front doors, ready to strip-search us before we're allowed to enter "public" space?

2
0

Quite right...

and it's interesting that the only vaguely successful terrorist acts in Europe for the past decade have been...

On tubes, buses and trains.

Seems to me our airport security has been working pretty well for a long time. And the terrorists are free to blow up Bluewater on a busy Saturday afternoon....

0
0
Welcome

I am picturing you naked right now

Am I the only person who doesn't have a problem with it?

The only concerns I have are:

a) how damaging the radiation could potentially be

b) why they are not scanning everybody with it, otherwise what's the point?

c) does it actually detect bombs/explosives?

But the fact that a stranger will see a blurred ghost-like image with the outline of my genitals for a few seconds is not a major cause of strife for me, and I'm not exactly an exhibitionist (I work in IT!).

The idea of doing nothing except walking through a doorway is surely better than removing my shoes and belt and all metal objects, walking through a doorway, and then being patted down for a number of minutes before the guard is finally satisfied, resulting in delays for everyone.

2
1
This topic is closed for new posts.

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018