back to article Compulsory perv scanners upset everyone

The debate over use of scanners in UK airports is rapidly turning into knock-about farce, as the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) takes a firm stand on some people’s right to privacy – whilst government disrespects everyone’s rights and prepares to hand over loads more dosh when it eventually loses the argument at the …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does the EHRC not care about the health risks of scanning?

    Or are health issues just not within the scope of this particular report?

    X-rays are definitely harmful. Millimetre waves might be harmful, from what I've heard (if a government spokesman says they're not then they probably are).

  2. Valerion

    I don't mind the idea

    As long as they work.

    1. Chris Collins

      Suppose it depends

      On how big your cock is, really.

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Unhappy

      That's the point.

      "As long as they work". There's precious little evidence that body scanners in the UK will prevent people from other places flying in with bombs strapped to their nether regions. There's also evidence that the scanners don't actually detect nether-bombs even when they can be used. And there's damn good evidence that if you counter a specific threat that the terrorists just pick a different method for attack.

      Intelligence seems to work well, but that seems to be a foreign concept for the government. Sigh.

  3. censored
    FAIL

    I won't fly out of Heathrow, then...

    And presumably neither will someone who wants to blow up a plane, choosing to board an inbound flight from elsewhere. They can't be trusted, you know?!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Grenade

    Critical Omission?

    I think not.

    Under the eagle-eyed rule of the hypocrite Harriet Harman, who feels she can be both the Monster for equality and the Monster for Women despite both roles clearly being diametrically opposed, men are not to be included in any equality legislation. Apparently, men have enjoyed being "top of the pile" for too long, and all other genders/races/farm animals must be made "more equal" to make up for this shameful historical (or is that person-storical?) oppression.

    And, of course, The Almighty Har-person must be top of this new pile of newly equal Overladies.

    Anon - I'm scared of the Moderatrix!

  5. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
    Joke

    Sir

    "..but not men".

    Because as we all know, men are insensitive pricks and couldn't care less who is staring at their todger - just as long as 'someone' is.

  6. Nigel 11

    Whose human rights?

    It's surely a pretty fundamental human right not to be murdered.

    If there were an airline that required me to strip naked in front of security staff before boarding, I might actually regard that airline as preferable to the others. A trade-off between a little embarassment, and a greatly reduced chance of there being a suicide bomber on board.

    The choice should be between the scanner, and stripping off in front of security staff of the same sex. The human rights of a hundred-plus passengers who don't want to die should override the human rights of one passenger who refuses security measures which the hundred-plus accept.

  7. yoinkster
    FAIL

    dna database,

    ECHR (much as i loathe the blasted thing) helped us once telling the government to stop keeping innocent peoples' dna. Remind me again what happened there ...?

    Full body scanners are worthless and disgusting but even if joe public won, we'd still be subject to them.

  8. fifi

    Euope?

    Is this going to become another time that we end up with the nasty-bureaucratic-want-to-control-us EU protecting us from our own government?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "the privacy of women and older people – but not men"

    Isn't it obvious - letching at shadowy images of womens breasts is wrong but sniggering at shadowy images of penises is perfectly acceptable.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Grenade

      if it saves just one child ...

      'nuff said

      1. Steen Hive
        Thumb Down

        Here's an idea

        Numbnuts.

        Refuse to pay taxes == government can't afford to go murder more brown people == hundreds of thousands of lives saved !

        And the added bonus of getting less likely than it already is to be blown up in the air yourself.

    2. Pablo

      Choice you say...

      That would be fine. You want to start a naked airline for paranoid people like yourself? Got right ahead. Maybe sometime in the future when you bu an plane ticket, there will be a check-box for "naked or regular". I have no problem with that. Just let the rest of us our value privacy more than a tiny increase in safety alone.

    3. keddaw
      Thumb Up

      Yeah

      And we should have the same before we get on busses too.

      And into taxis.

      1. OldBiddie

        Or queues

        Or ferry ports

        Or hospitals

        Or schools

        Or the dentists

        Or shopping malls

        Or churches

        Or libraries

        Or pubs - I seem to remember that they use to be a good terror target

        Or houses - scanners at every doorway, just to be *safe* - it's all in the name of security after-all.

    4. Martin 47

      Nowt to do with the EU

      The ECHR was set up as part of a treaty after the second world war (IIRC) and is not part of the EU*, although it has been ratified by the EU. It just took the UK government a long time to accept it

      *which is nice as it means I can still be for the ECHR and against the EU

    5. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Balance the risks

      More people die in planes that crash due to pilot error, weather, mechanical failure or just plain (sic) bad luck. Why worry about terrorists? Because the government wants you to as it let's them pass legislation that can then be used to throw hecklers out of party conferences and stop fly tipping.

    7. Mike Richards

      ECHR

      Is nothing to do with the European Union, it's run by the Council of Europe and was created largely by British lawyers.

      Having said which, the EU is also doing a lot more to protect us than our own government.

    8. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Naked Airlines

      I'd wonder a bit about those who applied to work as security staff for such an airline.

    9. The Fuzzy Wotnot
      Happy

      Exactly!

      See that's the trouble with these terrorists, just so bloody unreliable! You can't trust them! As an MP you get a contract for your mates scanner company worth millions ( ahem, minus your cut of course! ) , you get them installed and the bloody nutters come in by boat! What will the little tikes think of next, eh? Tch!

      On the other hand when it comes to reliability, you can always trust the Gov to take a bloody stupid, disproportionate response to any situation!

    10. The Fuzzy Wotnot
      WTF?

      Prat!

      Yep, you missed the point of the argument! Well done!

      It's not the object, it's the principle. It's one more place where the Gov wants to infringe your rights and try to frighten you. What next? Scanners in every supermarket, Dentist, Doctors, Fire Station, Ambulance station, school....then finally when everyone is being scanned in public places, next is your house, finally your bedroom. Then once they can check on every single person, all the time, the world will be safe and everything will be wonderful, just like the idyllic little world you seem to think will come from scanners at airports.

      The Gov wants nothing more than to ID every citizen, tag 'em and trace every single movement, ideally a little brain scanning just to be sure. All a little Sci-FI I grant you, but if they had the option, someone would be willing to sell this nation down the Big Brother road a little further to line their pockets.

      Just to prove these things are safe, lets insist that the MPs backing it and the directors of the scanner maker companies have these things installed in their offices and homes, just for the next 12 months, then if they are ALL happy to do it, then I'll think about accepting them at airports until then F.O.A.D.!

    11. Anonymous Coward
      Stop

      We All Have Equal Rights

      "The human rights of a hundred-plus passengers who don't want to die should override the human rights of one passenger who refuses security measures which the hundred-plus accept."

      No. I fundamentally disagree with the idea that the many have greater rights than the few, or the one. It is as human beings - individual human beings - that we have rights, and we're all individual human beings. However many individuals you may gather together in a group, none of them has any greater rights than the lone individual who stands apart.

      If we go down the road of treating the many as having greater rights than the few, the destination is fascism. The many having greater rights than the few is the very essence of fascism.

      If the many deny the few their rights, they deny themselves those same rights; they are no longer free to join those few.

    12. Martin Nicholls Silver badge
      IT Angle

      Confusing...

      The ECHR with the EHRC - though this is going to be a huge problem for us in the ECHR too.

      The DNA thing is pending appeal - which we'll lose and get fined even more for before anything else happens.

      Same deal for stop & search without cause.

      1. Nigel 11

        Looks like I stirred it up a bit

        I'm normally strongly against government efforts to acquire information amout us, to scare us and control us. But I really can't see any harm in them finding out what I look like naked in silhouette, even if they do decide to store the image for posterity. Look back at my posts about ID cards, for example (which they say will help stop terrorists, but which are of course utterly useless for that purpose, or almost any other).

        As for the rights of the many and of the few - well, to a large extent democracy is a system whereby the majority can decide on laws that are imposed on the minority. Certainly, I agree that there are some rights, such as the right not to be tortured, or the right to life, that are fundamental and should not be up for grabs by politicians and lawmakers. I do not agree that the "right" to not have one's naked silhouette viewed by security staff is one of these fundamental rights.

        Airports are a special case because a bomber can do so much harm with so little explosive. Compare the death toll for the Madrid rail bombings. Ten bombs on four rush-hour trains claimed under 200 lives, despite being suitcase-sized rather than underwear-sized. That's a large part of why it's necessary to scan at airports, and why it's at present impractical for other transport. We'll have to take our chances on the tube.

        Suicide bombers smuggling bombs in body cavities? Maybe we'll soon have to allow X-ray imaging of travellers as well. How does the X-ray dose necessary to detect a bomb in a body cavity compare to the extra cosmic-ray dose which we all get from being in a plane at 35,000 feeet or above? Flight staff suffer that cosmic-ray dose for several hours every working day, and aren't obviously any more prone to getting cancer than the general public. Compared to which, X-raying the passengers might be acceptable to myself on safety grounds (and again I'd not object on any other).

        1. Mark 65

          Not really...

          "As for the rights of the many and of the few - well, to a large extent democracy is a system whereby the majority can decide on laws that are imposed on the minority."

          Democracy is actually a system whereby the minority (the politicians and the vested interests of their financiers in big business) get to pass laws on the majority rather than the other way around.

          From your views you seem to be against 1984 in the form of a little card but for it in terms of having no privacy. Frankly bizarre. The fundamental point you miss is that it DOESN'T WORK. Far better to employ sniffer dogs both in the airport and around the baggage staff etc.

        2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      2. Graham Marsden
        Coat

        @We All Have Equal Rights

        But don't you *want* a third glorious decade of total law enforcement...?!

    13. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Perv or stupid

      The chances of being blown up on a plane are so small, it would be better to spend the money on extra engineering checks on the plane to bring down the likelihood of a mechanical failure, which is tiny, to the chances of being blown up on a plane.

    14. Captain Thyratron

      At what cost?

      Benjamin Franklin said it best: They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

      That said, given that you're quite more likely to be struck repeatedly by lightning than to get blown up by a bomb that was smuggled onto an airplane, aren't there greater threats to your wellbeing than a paucity of ineffective yet intrusive wastes of taxes, threats like the popular practice of discarding one's rights at the drop of a hat to vanquish a bogeyman and insisting that one's peers do the same?

    15. Party Animal
      Coat

      My human rights

      While we may have the right not to be killed, is there any evidence that these scanners have ever found a terrorist?

      But while we are being pervy, I'd prefer to strip in front of the opposite sex. And i'd like them to be naked too, just to get the party going.

      Coat? No, left it at home.

  10. The Original Ash
    Big Brother

    No alternative?

    So, when a member of a specific religious group (the very same who wear a full robe and head covering) arrives, what is the official policy from HM Govt going to be? Their holy book mandates that none other than their husband may see their skin. Are you going to deny them air travel, or make them strip off?

    Me? I'm sewing tin foil to the outside of my boxer shorts.

    By the way, has anyone done a study on the potential risks of multiple exposures to millimetre wave X-rays?

  11. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    "Protection of privacy" turned upside down

    Forcing me to take off my shoes and belt and turn out the content of my pockets in the middle of a huge crowd of people is a much bigger invasion of my privacy than being scanned, while dressed, with the resulting blurry black and white picture is being watched by a bored security staff. Even if he/she gets a kick out of it - who cares?

  12. Blofeld's Cat
    Big Brother

    Heathrow?

    Why would anyone want to fly from Heathrow Airport anyway? It's a horrible place.

    Even when you've been herded through the perv scanner, you will still have nothing to do but sit and wait for two or three hours until your flight is (not) called.

    Then there's its captive audience food and duty-free pricing. At least when Dick Turpin was working the Heath, he had the decency to wear a mask.

    Far simpler to hop on a local flight (or, better still, Eurostar) to a decent hub airport such as Paris or Amsterdam. Good food, staff who are pleased to see you and a sensible approach to security.

  13. Dave Murray

    Health Issues

    What about the health issues to pregnant women and their unborn babies? They are not supposed to have X rays and other e-m based scanners are also likely to be harmful. Is this government really willing to potentially cause another thalidomide scandal?

  14. Steven Jones

    more precisely...

    "Sharp-eyed readers may notice a critical omission from that list: apparently scanners will impact adversely on the privacy of women and older people – but not men."

    To be more precise, non-religous young and middle-aged men who are not trans-gendered.

    Of course Trevor Philips (a man I met a few times when he was president of Imperial College Sudent Union) was always alert to special interest groups. He also had more than a touch of arrogance and who once parked his car on the grass in the middle of a college quadrangle (a mini I recall).

    Just here in fact...

    http://img.otel.com/hotelimages/UKD6JP/24065_1280x1024x2.jpg

    1. Nigel 11

      No risk to the baby from a scanner, but ....

      Millimetric waves don't penetrate the womb. It is believed that they don't pose any risk to the mother, either.

      Anyone getting into an aeroplane is about to volunteer themselves for a significant extra dosage of cosmic rays compared to someone remaining at ground level. If a well-informed pregnant woman is worried about being scanned, she would not be flying in the first place, because the cosmic radiation "risk" is well-known and measurable. (And small compared to the terrorist risk).

    2. Mark 65

      Because...

      Your alternatives are Stanstead, Luton and Gatwick (most of which won't have certain airlines or routes)? Kind of like picking the shiniest turd.

  15. The Vociferous Time Waster

    @Valerion

    The problem is that they don't.

    I shall be carrying a number of packages next to my skin each time I travel as well as a suitably scanner proofed cricket box. That way they'll have to pat me down instead and it will waste a bit of their time as they are already wasting some of mine.

  16. Select * From Handle
    Joke

    Erm....

    i think i will first start with

    "Meanwhile, it seems likely that government will press ahead with these measures, despite the fact that various minority groups – including the disabled and transgendered are getting set to challenge the measures directly and in court."

    Key word in their "minority". so we are gonna put at risk everyones lifes for a few people who decided to change sex? fair enuff if you are disabled and you feel somewhat embarresed about your condition.

    But at the end of the day whats better, a guy seeing your mangina or being blown up on a plane? do the math.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Or they will ask you to...

      remove the items blocking the scan and then put you through the scanner again. At which point, any hint of un-cooperation from yourself will only raise suspicions making you a prime target for the practice of "making an example of"....

      BTW, you may not have noticed but there are big "reply to this post" buttons under every post.

    2. Gordon 10 Silver badge
      Pirate

      The difference is...

      there is a 100% chance of getting your mangina seen and a 0.00000001%* chance of getting blown up by a plane bomb nutter.

      The problem these days especially with Terrorfear** is that otherwise intelligent people have lost all ability to distinguish between a likely risk and a massively unlikely risk and act proportionately.

      * Lies, damn lies etc.

      **tm

    3. Graham Wood
      Stop

      The math?

      Sure.

      People scanned: Infinite

      People found: 0.

      OK, I've done the math - what was your point again?

      (Hyperbole acknowledged)

      1. Nigel 11
        Thumb Down

        The flaw in that argument

        Number of terrorists deterred: unknown.

        A similar argument says that early warning systems and nuclear missile submarines are both pointless, because there hasn't been a nuclear-armed first-strike since they existed.

  17. Craig 12

    "do the math"

    Do the math indeed. How many people actually die from airplane based terrorism? How many in the last 5 years?

    This is, as usual, a pointless waste of time and money that could actually have gone to solving bigger problems in the world. Perhaps if we spent enough time on that, the imaginary terrorists might not want to kill us anyway?

  18. Sergie Kaponitovicz
    Pint

    Let's prove the scum have not turned us...

    .... into quivering wrecks, afraid of our own shadows.

    Let's get a group together on a heapo-cheapo flight to anywhere, hire a coach, and all arrive at check in with no baggage, wearing swimsuits (stay legal!), and with the slogan ........

    ....... please submit your suggestions!

    1. Anonymous Bosch

      100 middle aged men in Speedos

      and make sure that you get the news cameras there as well.

  19. Valerion

    @The Vociferous Time Waster

    Sorry, I was meant to be sarcastic but it didn't come over very well!

    Even if it just speeds up queues I'll be happy. I got stuck for over ten minutes behind a dumb idiot who couldn't work out that any one of the 500 metal objects he seemed to have on his person could be setting off the bleepy machine.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Worried

    Is this going to mess with my usual practice of stuffing a large cucumber down my boxers to make myself stand out in a crowd?

  21. blackworx
    Headmaster

    Tut tut

    The word you wanted is "discreet". Even then it doesn't fit too well when describing a public pronouncement.

  22. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  23. swaygeo
    FAIL

    Sod the airports

    I'm putting all my money into wax and feather based human wing technology.

    Either that or wait for Google to come up with some sort of physical search engine that not only sees if you've got any explosives on you, but also helpfully serves you adverts based on the proportion of your body covered in hair.

    Hairy back + Monobrow = Advert for CavemanDating.com

  24. Tom 35 Silver badge

    It might be intresting...

    To follow the money.

    Who is selecting this expensive / unproven hardware in a big rush. I'm sure no one is getting any kickbacks and tax payers are getting the best deal possible right?

  25. 1of10

    question time for ...Mr GBrown

    What would be next?

    If next time a wannabe Mr Beenlad is found not with pants down but with a explosive liquid inside

    his bladder would that mean...

    Would it mean that all of us (man, woman and child) have to pee in front of the security bloke and showing the birds, bees and the balds?

    Where and when this nonsense security panic stops?

    .

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Transport has been beavering away

    It needed to be said.

  27. Skizz
    FAIL

    @Nigel 11

    I've a human right not to be run off the road by irate car drivers whilst cycling to and from work. But I don't see the government doing anything about it, even though it is far more likely I will be involved in such an incident than being on a plane and being blown up by terrorists.

    You are clearly missing the point - the scanners will not, in any way whatsoever, make flying safer from terrorists. Terrorists will, as has been shown every time a new security measure is introduce, figure out a way to get around it. It is only because terrorists are stupid that they don't cause more havoc.

    It will however, make the queue to get through security longer. Imagine all those restless, bored kids annoying you as they wait in line to get scanned.

  28. clanger9
    FAIL

    Ha!

    I went through one of these millimetre wave things at Amsterdam yesterday.

    Let me just say: you don't need to worry about your privacy being invaded. The resulting "scan" is clearly visible to nosey bystanders (like me) and reveals... nothing!

    The so-called "scan" makes passengers look like a blurry, white plasticine Morph. With little black splodges where there's any metal. It looks absolutely nothing like the (reasonably detailed) "x-ray" images they've been showing on the news.

    I can't see what the point is. Apart from being vastly slower and much more expensive, all these machines seem to do is give the inspectors a slight clue where to look for metal. Which the old detectors did perfectly well with a simple row of green & red lights.

    What a COMPLETE waste of money and everybody else's time.

  29. Falanx
    Flame

    Re: Nigel 11

    Actually, no. You have no inalienable Human Right not to die at all. In any way, shape or form. What you have are human rights concerning the moments while you are still alive. Murder, assassination, collateral damage for a bloody message, call death by terrorism what you will, it's still death, and completely irrelevant to your human rights. The mode of your death is even less relevant. it's not even happened until it's over. It's merely potential. But scanning your childrens' bits and then format shifting it to some ephemeral media that not even the manufacturer will tell you the real functionality of is utterly *real*.

    Sorry to make it so stark. When you've nearly died this many times just making it to 30, familiarity breeds boredom and you can't fear the boring. While it's the Undiscovered Country, and exploration of it will be fun for those of us who believe there's something more after, I'd like to take part in as much of what's on this side as possible with the minimum of ill-conceived, brigand, pestilent interruptions by the machinations of the essentially soulless.

    It pains me that commentators on websites such as this, TechReport -et al you know, the ones where the consumers are meant to be educated, still trot out some kool-aid supping, credulous claptrap.

  30. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Happy

    Name the source of that quote

    "It's surely a pretty fundamental human right not to be murdered."

    Because it is nearly a *direct* quote from some Labour monster. Jack the Strap, The Hoon Loon or some other member of the dirty 2 dozen.

    Speaking personally I believe socks are better at keeping feet warm than posting comments.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Geoff Hoon on Question Time?

      I seem to remember Geoff Hoon on Question Time saying something like that, about the right to life being the most important right. And what he said gave me the impression that he, and this New Labour government, simply don't understand such sayings as "Live Free or Die".

      They seem to think that the right to life - the right not to be killed - is so important, that it must outweigh all other rights and freedoms. But this is just daft, at least if taken simplistically. If we look at what we're left with if we drop all other rights and freedoms in the name of protecting our right to life, we end up finding that the right to life itself is of little, if any, intrinsic value.

      The right not to be subjected to torture, inhuman or degrading treatment? Imagine not having that. Your life shall be a living hell. But you won't be killed.

      The right not to be enslaved? Imagine not having that. You shall be forced to work for your owners, and worked hard. You will not be working for yourself. But you won't be killed.

      The right to liberty, not to be detained? Imagine not having that. You're kept in chains. You're locked up. You're only able to go where your owners want you to go. But you won't be killed.

      The right to justice, not to be punished for wrongs you didn't do? Imagine not having that. You'll be punished, severely, for things you might have done, for things you're known not to have done. But you won't be killed.

      And so on.

      If we only had the right to life, the right not to be killed, we'd be left with a right that has little, if any, value. But without the right to life, we fail to have many of the other rights and freedoms anyway, since we can be denied them simply by being killed.

      It's the other rights and freedoms that really give the right to life its value.

      And as we salami-slice away those other rights and freedoms, reducing them bit by bit in the name of protecting our right to life, we're actually devaluing the right to life.

      Of course, if we do nothing to protect our right to life, our other rights and freedoms can be taken away from us by us being killed. It seems we can't actually protect our rights and freedoms beyond our ability to protect our right to life. While it may therefore be necessary for us to accept unavoidable limits to our other rights and freedoms, we should keep such limitations minimal. If some measure to protect our right to life actually reduces our other rights and freedoms more than the threat to our right to life would without such protection, then the protective measure is simply disproportionate, and should be rejected.

      We have the right to have nothing more than minimal protection of our right to life.

  31. John Murgatroyd

    The biggest aircraft-related

    loss of life due to terrorism was 9/11.

    And they didn't use bombs.

    And the yanks trained them to crash the planes themselves.

    Still, it'll give them more info about people to store in their definitely-not-being-stored databases.

    Mr J Jones: postcode MM77 3AT(55):3.3 inches:11375/ss.jpg

    1. Nigel 11

      And the point is ?

      To me, the point is that the terrorists on 9/11 got through security weaknesses that were then wide open. Principally, that the pilots did not know of or believe in suicide terrorists, and opened their flight deck door when "forced" to do so by threats to the cabin staff and passengers. Second, that the terrorists were able to take box cutters in their hand baggage. There were others (such as insufficient or failed vetting of trainee pilots).

      Those weaknesses are now closed.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    Extra Cancer Deaths

    It is intereating to read this FDA report, which seems to have been written by a group composed largely of scanner manufacturers:

    www.fda.gov/OHRMS/DOCKETS/AC/01/briefing/3751b1_06b.pdf

    The report says the dose per scan is 0.1 microSieverts, and they suggest a model where each 0.01 microsieverts causes a 1 in 2 billion chance of death by cancer, and so the dose limit which is ten times higher is assumed to cause a 1 in 200 million chance of death per scan.

    In 2009 UK airports handled 219 million passengers:

    http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/80/airport_data/200911/Table_01_Size_of_UK_Airports.pdf

    If all of the passengers were scanned, on average we should then expect this to result in one additional passenger getting cancer every year and dieing due having been scanned in UK airports with the X-ray body scanners. (Presumably there are also some other passengers who will get cancer and be successfully cured by unpeasant treatments such as chemotherapy.)

    If you find a Brazilian electrician and shoot him in the head seven times in the name of the War on Terror then this is widely held to be a bad decision. If you kill an airline passenger with radiation induced cancer EVERY YEAR then apparently this doesn't matter, because no surviving family of a cancer victim can prove exactly which cancers were due to the scanners and which cancers were due to other factors.

    If they refuse to offer the alternative ot a non-x-ray search, then I wonder what happens when you wear these garments under your clothes:

    http://www.infabcorp.com/index.php/curtains/patient-protection/lead-lined-brassiere.html

    http://www.universalmedicalinc.com/radiation-protection/patient-shields

    http://www.rothband.com/store/index.php?cPath=22_111&osCsid=b1df5ee768b992170fd141ab81bf8f2d

    http://www.kappamedical.com/Shielding2.htm

    I'm pretty sure you would get your strip search quick enough, whether they want to offer it or not.

    1. Nigel 11

      One hour in a plane = 40 scans.

      100 hours flying time = 0.4 millisieverts = 400 uSv, so one hour equals 4 uSv, which is forty times the scanner dose. Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/557340.stm Therefore, if you are worried about the dose from the scanner, you won't be flying at all because what nature throws at you at 35,000 feet is 40 times worse. Per hour.

      Incidentally, there are good reasons to think that at natural-background doses, the body has effective repair mechanisms, and so the cancer rate should not be affected by such doses. There are even a few hints that abnormally low exposure to radiation might even be damaging. The effects are so small that the arguments cannot be resolved by statistics, even of large populations.

      Anyway, one can reasonably argue that flying, with or without scanners, causes a fair number of cancers each year. But also, a statistically undetectably small number hidden amongst all the other cancers. The excess can't even be detected in flight crews. And don't forget, you are free not to fly.

  33. trydk
    Alert

    More Damn Lies ... Er, Statistics

    Somebody MUST stop this bloody nonsense.

    I have tried looking a little at statistics on terrorism compared to road accidents (in USA) and/or pneumonia+influenza, which gives these numbers:

    Total number of deaths from International and Domestic terrorism since 1968: 90,388 (this is by using the HIGHEST figures for any given year of data from US DOS, US NCTC and RAND/MIPT).

    Average yearly deaths from car accidents in USA (1980 - 2007): 43,113.

    Average number of deaths from pneumonia and influenza in USA (1996 - 2006): 69,360. In the UK (2000 - 2004): 37,489.

    So the number of terror killings in 40 years ALL OVER THE WORLD corresponds roughly to two years worth of deaths from American car accidents or the number of people dying from penumonia and influenza each year in USA and UK combined.

    So I don't really worry much about terrorism ... but don't you dare cough in my direction!

  34. Graham Marsden
    Coat

    You realise of course...

    ... that the next move will be to introduce corporate sponsorship of these scanners...

    "Excuse me, Sir, would you step into this room a moment?"

    "What's the problem?"

    "Well, I couldn't help but notice that you are, shall we say, somewhat under-endowed, but our sponsors, MegaGrow(tm) supply these excellent pills..."

  35. Winkypop Silver badge
    Jobs Halo

    Start a new 'religion'

    "The Brotherhood of the Boozy Vulture..." [*]

    * Tax benefits

    * Snappy uniforms

    * Bizarre food & sex laws

    * No airport scanners

    * More holidays

    Starting your own religion is not a crazy idea, after all that's what happened with EVERY other religion.

    [*] Feel free to suggest another name...

  36. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    @trydk

    Excellent points. It seems the objective of terrorists is no to terrorise the popullations of a country, but the *governement* of those countries.

    It is the government's failure of will, their collective knee jerk fear reactions that seem to be the problem.

    Thumbs up for a lucid counter to so much fear.

  37. Velv Silver badge
    Stop

    What breach of privacy ?

    Flying is not mandatory.

    If you don't want to be scanned, don't fly!!!

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Know any other way to New York...

      ...that can allow the making of important contract deals? In some situations, flying IS mandatory: it's FLY or FRY.

  38. Malcolm Boura 2

    What a fuss about nothing

    Naturists put at risk by bodyshame. It's not a privacy issue in a world that is even half way sensible about the body.

    http://www.british-naturism.org.uk/news/detail.asp?article_ID=93

    1. Graham Marsden
      WTF?

      That has to be...

      ... one of the most stupid examples of hobby-horse riding I've seen in a long time!

      I have been to naturist events, I don't have an over-active sense of body-modesty, but just because British Naturism thinks that others shouldn't either is *NO* justification for treating everyone (me included) as a potential terrorist in another piece of nonsensical Security Theatre.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If I were a terrorist...

    ...I would just blow up my bomb in the huge queue for security.

    More tightly packed than a plane, and the blast proof glass walls would do a lovely job of containing the carnage.

    Perv scanners wouldn't stop that!

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