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Old 4th February 2010, 10:08 PM   #1
switch007
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Default Full-body scanners at airports - does nobody care?

What do you all think about the introduction of full body scanners? I searched all the big news websites and there's nothing anywhere near the front page about them. I don't think that is a coincidence.

Personally, I tried to cancel my flight to Vancouver in April over it (found out I can't get a refund though). That'll be my first and last flight out of Heathrow.
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Old 4th February 2010, 11:19 PM   #2
mightykaboosh
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To be perfectly honest if I can fly in confidence I don't give a damn about body scanners. As long as I don't see a picture of my tackle circling round the internet I'm easy.

Furthermore I'm not bothered about queueing up or the process taking longer. If I can get from point A to point B and turn up in one piece, I'm happy as Larry!

I can't believe you'd try to cancel your flight to depart from a less secure airport, so with that rational in mind you'd of prefered to fly out of Schipol before they introduced the body scanners?

There are 2 security officers involved. The first security officer positions the passenger so that the machine can take the picture, then the second security officer reviews the picture. The person reviewing the picture is in a different room and NEVER sees the passenger in person. The image is similar to that of a marble statue! (look below)

There is no downside to the bodyscanners. As long as the person viewing the image has been vetted and isn't a pedo I'm happy to go along with it.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/TRAVEL/12/30...ers/index.html

Last edited by mightykaboosh; 5th February 2010 at 12:18 AM.
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Old 5th February 2010, 12:17 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mightykaboosh View Post
To be perfectly honest if I can fly in confidence I don't give a damn about body scanners. As long as I don't see a picture of my tackle circling round the internet I'm easy.

Furthermore I'm not bothered about queueing up or the process taking longer. If I can get from point A to point B and turn up in one piece, I'm happy as Larry!

Can't believe you'd try to cancel a flight to go out of a less secure airport, so with that rational in mind you'd of prefered to fly out of Schipol before they introduced the body scanners?
Why do some people believe that suddenly there are hundreds of terrorists waiting to blow their nuts apart on their flight? Perhaps because they get sucked in by sensationalist media, most likely encouraged by Governments keen to treat us all like sheep.
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Old 5th February 2010, 12:23 AM   #4
mightykaboosh
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Can't quite see why you've quoted my response to Switch's question about airport scanners

I'm not sucked in by anything, nor would I alter my travel habits because a particular airport has a scanner. That's the equivilent of me buying a car and deciding to have the airbag pulled out, it's fking pointless. You can go to one airport which has measures in place to deminish the risk or you can go to another that doesn't. Switch tried to cancel the ticket because a member of security was going to look at his b***.

The act of flying is a piece of p***, getting scanned prior to boarding does not detract from my holiday abroad.

The fact that some poor sod has to sit infront of a monitor and look at genetalia all day is there look out. I'm not a prude and couldn't give a sh** who looks at my bits.

Last edited by mightykaboosh; 5th February 2010 at 12:56 AM.
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Old 5th February 2010, 12:45 AM   #5
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We're having a debate...your comments appear quite pro-scanners (correct me if I'm wrong), whereas I am of the opposing view.

I did not mean to cause offence or confusion.
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Old 5th February 2010, 08:48 AM   #6
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Let's assume that the security threat exists and that people are going to try and smuggle devices onto aircraft as they have in the recent past.
We then have a few options to stop them (apart from all traveling nude, which might liven up the experience)

1. Full body searches - time consuming and invasive
2. Body scanners - small privacy issue
3. Increased intelligence co-ordination (hopefully going on in parallel)

I'm all for number two in that case!

As to the media, there was certainly a lot of "why didn't they spot this guy" after the last attack over Xmas. These scanners have been available for several years but until now presumably the expense has been too high to use them everywhere.
The real problem is the intolerance between countries and faiths. Until that is solved we go on treating the symptoms.

Safe landings everybody
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Old 5th February 2010, 10:28 AM   #7
switch007
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hey

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Originally Posted by mightykaboosh View Post
To be perfectly honest if I can fly in confidence I don't give a damn about body scanners. As long as I don't see a picture of my tackle circling round the internet I'm easy.
But it's not just body scanners, it's everything: e-borders (how many people have even heard of it?), the terrorism act, the way the government takes knee-jerk reactions to appease the public, stop and searches (I know this has now been deemed illegal.. by a *european* court).

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Originally Posted by mightykaboosh View Post
Furthermore I'm not bothered about queueing up or the process taking longer. If I can get from point A to point B and turn up in one piece, I'm happy as Larry!
What about people who fly more frequently for work? It's going to be a royal pain in the backside. I think you are not bothered because you believe the scanner actually mitigate some barely existent threat. The government is very good at not applying context when talking about threats - and that is crucial.

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Originally Posted by mightykaboosh View Post
I can't believe you'd try to cancel your flight to depart from a less secure airport, so with that rational in mind you'd of prefered to fly out of Schipol before they introduced the body scanners?
By flying I accept these measures - this allows the government to introduce further measures. What happens when the next bomber comes along? There will be another knee-jerk reactions and another "inquiry" as to why the scanners didn't stop him.

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Originally Posted by mightykaboosh View Post
There are 2 security officers involved. The first security officer positions the passenger so that the machine can take the picture, then the second security officer reviews the picture. The person reviewing the picture is in a different room and NEVER sees the passenger in person. The image is similar to that of a marble statue! (look below)
Yes, all government IT plans go to plan, don't they? They never would let data get into the hands of unscrupulous people. Oh wait..

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Originally Posted by mightykaboosh View Post
There is no downside to the bodyscanners. As long as the person viewing the image has been vetted and isn't a pedo I'm happy to go along with it.
Do you not see the bigger picture? I know we have no RIGHT to fly, it's a privilege. However, it is a form of freedom and the government is taking that away (or degrading the experience enough to people not want to travel). [/quote]

Travel is what has made the world what it is today.
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Old 5th February 2010, 10:39 AM   #8
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For now the scanner is optional I believe, you can be frisked manually instead if you don't like it - not that that's any consolation for many people! It's still an invasion of privacy that we never had to put up with before.
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Old 5th February 2010, 11:02 AM   #9
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For now the scanner is optional I believe, you can be frisked manually instead if you don't like it - not that that's any consolation for many people! It's still an invasion of privacy that we never had to put up with before.
What are the options?

1. Fly relatively more safely having passed through full body scanners. ["Relatively" because they will only catch dangerous items being carried onto the aircraft. Any reasonably sophisticated terrorist will arrange for the dangerous item to be hidden beforehand on the aircraft by an accomplice- as happens in drug smuggling.]

2. Take a risk when flying on the basis that the number of terrorist incidents per million passenger miles is insignificant. [Without checking, I suspect that there are substantially more accidents from poor maintenance, pilot error and equipment malfunction.]

3. Don't fly.

My preference is 1) and flying only with airlines that have a good safety record.

Last edited by Juanjo; 5th February 2010 at 11:03 AM. Reason: Typo
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Old 5th February 2010, 12:10 PM   #10
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Typically, I've noticed that new security measures tend to displace older less useful measures.
We were once discouraged from putting electrical items in the hold. Then the next scare was knives, scissors musn't be in hand baggage (even childrens' plastic scissors). Then it was the liquids business.

So hopefully the body scanners might diminish the liquids measures. At least the body scanner will guard against a proven threat; in that a terrorist set fire to and would have undoubtedly destroyed the aircraft but for prompt action by others.

The liquids were never a threat on the same scale: True that munitions scientists were able to create an explosive device in a highly equipped laboratory copying the methods the terrorists were researching. I talked with an industrial chemist who said the practicalities involved in making a bomb from liquid constituents in an aircraft lavatory couldn't result in a device that posed a viable threat.

Next time you travel by air: just observe how casually aircraft security handles the thousands of bottles that are abandoned at security.They are massed together in huge heaps or put nonchalantly in ordinary containers: If they posed a threat, the security area would be the most dangerous place in the airport. If the threat was real, no employee would want to be anywhere near the seized liquids dump.

Last edited by Jules; 5th February 2010 at 12:13 PM.
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Old 5th February 2010, 01:48 PM   #11
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I'm all for it if it replaces a slower or manual check. If it's yet another thing to get in line for, then no thanks.
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Old 5th February 2010, 04:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
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I think you are not bothered because you believe the scanner actually mitigate some barely existent threat.
It takes just 1 misguided individual to kill 250+ passengers and cause widespread panick. A barely existent threat is a threat nonetheless.

You cannot stop someone that is prepared to die for a cause, you can take precautions to negate the effects. I would hope that these precautions are implemented, and rolled out on mass. How would you feel if someone you knew was laying dead at the bottom of an ocean, or scattered in bits across the land. Can you honestly tell me that you'd still be anti scanners due to civil liberty concerns?

Misguided foreign policy decisions have forced this, nothing else.

When you've got people like this (video below) that can effectively elect candidates dictating policy in foreign countries we're all screwed. (I particularly like the guy at 3.08 mins in, and then later at 4.50).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKKKgua7wQk

Last edited by mightykaboosh; 5th February 2010 at 04:47 PM.
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Old 5th February 2010, 04:45 PM   #13
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Some of us have to pass through them every day.
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Old 5th February 2010, 10:00 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greytop View Post
The real problem is the intolerance between countries and faiths. Until that is solved we go on treating the symptoms.

Safe landings everybody
Well said. I remember another new safety measure such as fingerprinting all new foreigners entering Japan. There was such a hype about it!! The ones who screamed the loudest were the U.S.Americans until I told them I had to be fingerprinted as well in order to enter the U.S.

OK, we have come a long way in regards to invasion of privacy, but we will all get used to it. If that is what it takes to insure homeland security and YOUR OWN, then bear with it. The more freedom we want to have, e.g. travel and move, the more responsibility we have to take.

I do not mind queuing longer as waiting around at airports is a real challenge for me anyway, anytime (with two kids in tow).

One last point I might want to add - the scanner does not invade my privacy. It only shows my skeleton image. Instead, try giving birth in front of three giggling Japanese nurses... that I found an invasion of my integrity.
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Old 6th February 2010, 12:10 AM   #15
switch007
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Originally Posted by mightykaboosh View Post
It takes just 1 misguided individual to kill 250+ passengers and cause widespread panick. A barely existent threat is a threat nonetheless.
Why does killing 250+ people cause widespread panic? That's a response people choose. It causes panic because it's by a "terrorist" that wants to KILL YOUR CHILDREN (I could write Fox headlines!).

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You cannot stop someone that is prepared to die for a cause, you can take precautions to negate the effects. I would hope that these precautions are implemented, and rolled out on mass. How would you feel if someone you knew was laying dead at the bottom of an ocean, or scattered in bits across the land. Can you honestly tell me that you'd still be anti scanners due to civil liberty concerns?
Yes, I can honestly tell you that. Because I am a reasonable human being and I am aware of the affects of knee-jerk reactions like those that have already happened. I lived in Madrid after the train bombing there and regularly passed through the station that was bombed. I was in San Sebastian when there was rioting and we had to flee. I would still go back.

How many lives does cancer take away - do you tremble with fear whenever you eat anything slightly carcinogenic, or scan medical journals for the latest thing that causes cancer? Would you avoid having an X-Ray? The chances of getting blown up by a terrorist are so remote. Everything needs to be put in to proportion.

What if the Government decided to limit travelling in a car because it was too dangerous, e.g. 20 miles a day? Is that reasonable given the HUGE number of deaths from car accidents?

In the IT industry, usability is a common concern when security measures are implemented. If a security measure is too restrictive and prevents people from getting on with their job, it's no use. You need to constantly asses who/what the threats are (not ones that the government tells us exist.)
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Old 6th February 2010, 12:16 AM   #16
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Let's assume that the security threat exists and that people are going to try and smuggle devices onto aircraft as they have in the recent past.
Sorry, I have to stop quoting you here. This is a skip often skipped and assumed. It is this kind of thinking that encroaches on our freedom. You can not assume that. You need lots of historical data and even then, it would be an educated prediction.

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As to the media, there was certainly a lot of "why didn't they spot this guy" after the last attack over Xmas. These scanners have been available for several years but until now presumably the expense has been too high to use them everywhere.
The media is a tool for the government. The question should not be "why the hell didn't we prevent this?!" but "why did he try in the first place", what are the real motives behind it, is it being blown out of all proportion, when shall we begin an independent inquiry and then decide on what measures to put in place (if at all).

The media also needs to stop advertising the attacks. That would be a REALLY useful tool in the "fight against terrorism".
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Old 6th February 2010, 12:31 AM   #17
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Like anyone else I hate the security queues at airports, but recognise they are a necessary evil. Having seen Islamic hotheads in action at far too close quarters I realise that their terror attacks would occur quite regularly if we didn't keep stepping up preventative measures.
I remember the almost continual occurences of hi-jacking that happened in the 60s. The plane that was exploded in the desert. Because of constant vigilence, that ceased happenning.
I also remember my friend Stuart who died in the UTA Flight 772 DC 10 terrorist attack in 1989. That was a flight I had flown regularly not long before. I can't remember anything more than a few cursory security checks at the airport. Perhaps if we had had body scanners then, Stuart would still be alive.
Greytop's comment, and the solution to that problem, will be the only thing that will make flying safe from those who wish to attack our society. Until then, we will have to put up with security measures.
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Old 6th February 2010, 12:38 AM   #18
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"What if the Government decided to limit travelling in a car because it was too dangerous, e.g. 20 miles a day? Is that reasonable given the HUGE number of deaths from car accidents?" Switch, what exactly has this example got to do with the act of passing through a metal gate- Nothing!

Why didn't you use an example of a government banning peanuts because some people are alergic to them...... both are hypothetical and both are nonsensical.

Funnily enough, I don't tremble in fear when eating something carcenagenic. I've been eating burnt toast for 30 years and I love it. More to the point, neither am I likely to think twice about walking through a scanner which produces less radiation then my mobile phone does!

It's because of hillbillies like those in the video below having the right to vote that we're in a war we can't win. An uninformed gullible electorate that put Bush in power (for 2 terms) are the reason why those scanners are in place, Cause and Effect!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKKKgua7wQk

Last edited by mightykaboosh; 6th February 2010 at 01:35 AM.
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Old 6th February 2010, 11:58 AM   #19
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Get it in perspective, folks! Passenger aircraft have been the target (real or threatened) of terrorists for as long as I can remember. Particular interest to me as I spent my working life flying around the world.

When we lived in the Taunus region of Germany (Seulberg, Maria S.) in the early 70s we sometimes used to hear the whump of explosives allegedly being tested by Baader-Meinhof and /or Red Army Faction. The bombs were usually triggered by pressure gauges. Flying out of Frankfurt (usually once or twice weekly) we used to breathe a sigh of relief at 10,000 ft because the mountains in the Taunus are lower and thus the baddies could not test bomb-triggers above that height. As for intrusive security, at FFM in the early 70s security used to search even the shoes of my two-yr-old son before boarding.

Then we have the IRA troubles, with mortars and their ground-to-air missiles allegedly being aimed at flights in and out of LHR and Belfast in the late 70s and 80s. I used to have to use both airports.

In the 80s, flying in, out and around the Middle East, we had the threats of Black September, PLO and other terrorist groups to contend with when security at Middle East other than Israel airports was laughable. We avoided Athens because at that time security was non-existent and it thus became a favourite boarding spot for hi-jackers.


[As an aside on technology, I was on the first flight out of Genoa in 1970 when they introduced the first walkthroughmetal-screening security archway. Everybody turned out to witness this new marvellous (sic!) safety device, from the central government ministers down to the local mayor. Unfortunately, somebody had set the tolerance level too low, so it picked up trouser and handbag zips, resulting in everybody on the flight having to be hand-searched. Security technology is only as good as the people using it.]

Aircraft will continue to be targetted, mainly because of their PR value, so any measure of security should be welcomed- but don't rely on the technology alone but employ properly screened, well paid and trained people. Don't outsource security to private companies whose main motivation is profit and thus cost-cutting. [So often it seems to be "Yesterday I was stacking shelves at Tescos, now I is an airport security officer, but only get a couple of quid a week more."]

Last edited by Juanjo; 6th February 2010 at 12:00 PM. Reason: Typos
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Old 6th February 2010, 04:00 PM   #20
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When we had the 'shoe bomber' they made us all take our shoes off at the airport.
Now we've had the 'underpant bomber' i reckon the full body scanner is better than the alternative...
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