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  • #16
    Originally posted by Al-khiyal View Post

    It is understood MI5 became aware of the threat after observing increasingly vocal internet ‘chatter’ on Arab websites this year.
    MI5 is behind the times, they could have saved themselves a lot of Internet monitoring and translation work by doing what the rest of us did in September last year - followed the news, as reported by thousands of media outlets.

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    • #17
      I was also searched and patted down 3 to 4 times in both directions of travel on a recent trans-ocean trip. My carry-ons were searched in-depth by one person, then 10 feet again by another person. It took a lot of patience! Personally, I'd rather just walk through a scanner one time (as long as it's being monitored by a woman) than endure all the individual searches, in which they still don't consistently question the array of odds and ends that passengers actually do carry on. My hope though, is that airports will widely employ a variety of screening and scanning methods and will alternate them so that passengers waiting in lines can't "guess" which method they'll need to undergo.

      Back in the 70s I traveled through the Frankfurt airport often and remember vividly the bomb-sniffing dogs that seemed to be everywhere....and their handlers would bring them up close to pretty much anyone if needed. Some airports are considering bringing that back into the mix too, I suppose.

      Happy travels!

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      • #18

        February 1, 2010 (RTTNews) -- As part of stepped up security measures to "protect British lives at home and in the air," new rules requiring doubtful passengers at Heathrow and Manchester airports to go through full-body scanners before boarding their flights came into force Monday. In a written statement to the House of Commons, Transport Secretary Lord Adonis said it was now compulsory for people selected to undergo scanning, and those who decline "will not be permitted to fly."

        The British government directed the two airports to install the scanners permanently from February in the wake of global scare prompted by an unsuccessful attempt by a young Nigerian to bomb a U.S.-bound airliner from Amsterdam on Christmas Day. A scanner will be installed at Birmingham airport later this month. Although the Department of Transport has introduced an interim code of practice covering privacy, health and safety, data protection and equality issues requiring airports to undertake scanning "sensitively," the controversial body-scanner has already faced criticism as it brings out nude image of the passengers' body.

        Under increasing threats of terrorist attacks, Britain has strengthened security measures recently. The British government has agreed with Yemenia airlines to suspend direct flights to London until security was improved. U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has implemented mandatory screening of passengers from 14 countries deemed to be sponsors of terrorism, including full body pat-downs prior to boarding for all U.S.-bound planes, checking of carry-on baggage and random checks. Cuba, Iran, Sudan, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Yemen are the other countries singled out by the U.S. for special checks.

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        • #19

          February 2, 2010 -- Air passengers who refuse to submit to controversial full body scans will be barred from boarding their flights. The technology - which has been strongly condemned by civil liberties campaigners - began operating at Heathrow and Manchester airports yesterday. Birmingham will follow suit later this month before the anti-terror devices are rolled out nationally. The move - strongly criticised by civil liberties campaigners who say the scanners are an invasion of privacy - follows the attempted Detroit bomb attack on Christmas Day. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is accused of trying to detonate a bomb on a flight as it was about to land in the U.S. city.

          Transport Secretary Lord Adonis said: 'In the immediate future, only a small proportion of airline passengers will be selected for scanning. 'If a passenger is selected for scanning and declines, they will not be permitted to fly.' He said a code of conduct would govern how images were used and which passengers were checked. Campaigners say the scanners, which act like a mini radar device 'seeing' beneath ordinary clothing, are an invasion of privacy. The Equality and Human Rights Commission has warned that the scanners breach privacy rules under the Human Rights Act for their naked images. The exemption of under 18s from being scanned, which was in place during the trial of the machines in Manchester, has also been removed. The Department for Transport has published an interim code of practice for the scanners. The officer operating the machine never sees the image, and the employee viewing the scan must be in another room. The scan cannot be saved, printed or transmitted. Passengers can also demand that only officers of their sex see their image.

          BAA, which runs Heathrow, refused to comment on how many scanners are in place and in which terminals they will be used, although it is believed they will be in Terminal 4. While only a small minority of travellers are expected to be asked to undergo the scans, those who decline will not be allowed to board their flight. Body scanners at Manchester airport will be confined initially to terminal 2, where they have been trialled since late last year. Additional scanners are planned for terminals 1 and 3 by the end of the month. The airport said that its previous exemption for children had been overturned by the Government. Head of customer experience Sarah Barrett said passengers had 'privacy concerns', but stressed that the airport had put in 'strict procedures'. 'It will enhance security for everyone, which can only be a good thing, without compromising people's privacy,' she said. 'The image generated by the body scanner cannot be stored or captured, nor can security officers viewing the images recognise people. 'Contrary to reports, the equipment does not allow security staff to see passengers naked.'

          But Alex Deane, a barrister and director of campaign group Big Brother Watch, said such measures meant 'the terrorists have won'. 'People are understandably afraid of terrorism,' he said. 'But we didn't allow the IRA to impede our freedoms or change our way of life, and we shouldn't change now either. Those upset by the prospect of undergoing these scans shouldn't be forced to choose between their dignity and their flight. What kind of a free society does the Government think it is "protecting", when it invades our privacy like this? When we are forced to expose ourselves at the airport in order to go on holiday, the terrorists have won.'

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          • #20

            February 2, 2010 -- A new security regime is operational at Heathrow airport in which travellers are being taken for full-body scanning if they are judged to be acting in a suspicious manner, BAA said today. Britain's biggest airport operator said the system aimed to halt terrorist reconnaissance as well as attackers, and teamed new hi-tech equipment with traditional security measures such as sniffer dogs. Staff have been trained in behavioural profiling and terminal entrances could be closed for short periods to hinder suspected terrorist surveillance operations. Passengers could be flagged up to security staff by information on their boarding cards, BAA added, although such a move would require giving sensitive intelligence data to airports.

            Launching the body scanners – which are also to be used randomly – in each of Heathrow's five terminals, BAA said the £100,000 machines are part of wider changes to its security regime. Last month the firm launched a three-month trial in "behavioural assessment" during which staff were trained to spot passengers acting suspiciously and refer them to the police or security guards. Ian Hutcheson, its security director, said around three out of 10 passengers singled out by staff in the trial were ultimately referred to law enforcement agencies. "If you can design methodologies to identify people who are smuggling cash … you have got a pretty decent chance of spotting terrorists," he said.

            BAA confirmed that it was updating its security in the wake of the Christmas day plane bombing attempt in which a Nigerian passenger was charge with trying to blow up a flight bound for Detroit. Within weeks of the attack the British government confirmed that full-body scanners would be rolled out across the UK starting with Heathrow and Manchester airports, backed by the increased use of sniffer dogs and further deployment of handheld swabs to test passengers' bags for traces of explosives. BAA said it planned to unsettle potential attackers by making passenger checks, including the use of the new scanners, unpredictable. It said: "With suicide bombing, if you are less predictable then you are less likely to be attacked in the first place. We are trying to get to a security regime, some of which is visible, some which is invisible. That makes it much more difficult for terrorists to plan reconnaissance."

            The government is considering creating a no-fly list similar to that in the U.S., where terror suspects would be prohibited from entering the UK. A second list is also being planned for airline passengers who should be subjected to further security screening before boarding UK-bound flights. BAA said the reaction of passengers to body scanners was "pretty positive", with hundreds of travellers screened so far in a process lasting no more than a minute for each passenger. The airport group is using two different technologies that see through passengers' clothing. The first employs "back-scatter" technology that exposes travellers to low-level x-rays and is already in use at Manchester airport. The second bounces radio waves off the human body to form a 3D image. Both types of technology address privacy fears by using software that obscures elements of the image including passengers' faces. The images from the scanners cannot be saved, transferred or printed and are deleted immediately.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Felicity View Post

              why would people bother putting images of unknown people on the internet?

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              • #22

                February 11, 2010 -- Saying that body scanners violate Islamic law, Muslim-American groups are supporting a "fatwa" — a religious ruling — that forbids Muslims from going through the scanners at airports. The Fiqh Council of North America — a body of Islamic scholars — issued a fatwa this week that says going through the airport scanners would violate Islamic rules on modesty. "It is a violation of clear Islamic teachings that men or women be seen naked by other men and women," reads the fatwa issued Tuesday. "Islam highly emphasizes haya (modesty) and considers it part of faith. The Qur'an has commanded the believers, both men and women, to cover their private parts."

                The decision could complicate efforts to intensify screening of potential terrorists who are Muslim. After the Christmas Day bombing attempt in Detroit by a Muslim suspect from Nigeria, some have called for the use of body scanners at airports to find explosives and other dangerous materials carried by terrorists. Some airports are now in the process of buying and using the body scanners, which show in graphic detail the outlines of a person's body. But Muslim groups say the scanners go against their religion. One option offered to passengers who don't want to use the scanners would be a pat down by a security guard. The Muslim groups are urging members to undergo those instead.

                Two members of the Fiqh Council are from Michigan, Imam Hassan Qazwini of the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn and Imam Ali Suleiman Ali of the Canton Mosque. "Fiqh" means Islamic jurisprudence. The Council on American-Islamic Relations, which has a chapter in Michigan, says it endorses the fatwa. "We support the Fiqh Council's statement on full-body scanners and believe that the religious and privacy rights of passengers can be respected while maintaining safety and security," said Nihad Awad, national executive director of CAIR. A spokesman for the Transportation Safety Administration was not available to immediately comment.

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                • #23

                  Mardi 23 Février 2010 -- Un scanner corporel a été expérimenté à partir d’hier à l'aéroport de Roissy Charles-de-Gaulle sur les vols en direction des États-Unis et, comme le révélait lepoint.fr début janvier, sur la base du volontariat uniquement. “Un nouveau portail de sûreté rapide et confortable pour le passager : le portail à ondes millimétriques”, autrement dit un scanner corporel sera installé en test au titre “des mesures de sûreté complémentaires sur les passagers à destination des États-Unis”, a indiqué la Direction générale de l'aviation civile (Dgac).

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                  • #24

                    March 3, 2010 -- A Muslim woman was barred from boarding a flight after she refused to undergo a full body scan for religious reasons. The passenger was passing through security at Manchester Airport when she was selected at random for a full-body scanner. She was warned that she would be stopped from boarding the plane but she decided to forfeit her ticket to Pakistan rather than submit to the scan. Her female travelling companion also declined to step into the scanner, citing “medical reasons” for her refusal.

                    The two women are thought to be the first passengers to refuse to submit to scanning by the machines, which have provoked controversy among human rights groups. They were introduced on a limited basis last month at Heathrow and Manchester airports in response to the alleged attempt by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to blow up a jet over Detroit on Christmas Day using explosives concealed in his underpants.

                    The X-ray machines allow security officials to check for concealed weapons but they also afford clear outlines of passengers’ genitals. They are due to be introduced in all airports by the end of the year. Civil liberties campaigners have said the scans represent an invasion of privacy and their introduction may yet be challenged by the Human Rights Commission. Trevor Phillips, head of the commission, has told Lord Adonis, the Transport Secretary, that there are concerns over passengers’ privacy and an apparent lack of safeguards to ensure that the scanners are used without discrimination.

                    Sources at Manchester Airport have said the two women were due to board a flight two weeks ago when they were turned back at security. No other passengers had objected to the checks and about 15,000 have so far submitted to the piercing eye of the £80,000 Rapiscan machine at the airport’s Terminal 2. The second female passenger was said to be concerned because she had an infection. They may be the first to be turned back for their refusal to be scanned, though a spokesman for Heathrow said it could not comment on individual cases.

                    At Manchester, a spokeswoman said: “Two female passengers who were booked to fly out of Terminal Two refused to be scanned for medical and religious reasons. In accordance with the government directive on scanners, they were not permitted to fly. Body scanning is a big change for customers who are selected under the new rules and we are aware that privacy concerns are on our customers’ minds, which is why we have put strict procedures to reassure them that their privacy will be protected.”

                    Last month, Lord Adonis stressed that an interim code of practice on the use of body scanners stipulated that passengers would not be selected “on the basis of personal characteristics”. He said that images captured by body scanners would be immediately deleted after the passenger had gone through and that security staff were appropriately trained and supervised.

                    Objectors to the scanners, and indeed the two women who forfeited their flight last month, have an unlikely ally in Pope Benedict XVI, a man who is likely to be waved through airport security for the rest of his life. Last month he told an audience from the aerospace industry that, notwithstanding the threat from terrorism, “the primary asset to be safeguarded and treasured is the person, in his or her integrity”.

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                    • #25
                      i read about the two women who refused the scanner a while ago, i think its great and they have the courage of their conviction. i hope there are many more people who do the same, otherwise it would be a shame.

                      its strange that in the usa, they have the option to have a physical search instead. why can't it happen here?

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Ruks View Post

                        its strange that in the usa, they have the option to have a physical search instead. why can't it happen here?

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                        • #27

                          March 24, 2010 -- An airport worker allegedly caught ogling images of a female colleague in a full-body scanner faces the sack after being given a police warning for harassment. The Heathrow worker, named by The Sun newspaper as 25-year-old John Laker, allegedly made lewd remarks to colleague Jo Margetson, 29, after she entered an X-ray machine by mistake. She reported the matter to her bosses and to police. A spokeswoman for BAA, which runs Heathrow, said: "We treat any allegations of inappropriate behaviour or misuse of security equipment very seriously and these claims are investigated thoroughly. "If these claims are found to be substantiated, we will take appropriate action."

                          The new full-body scanners are being rolled out across UK airports following the failed Christmas Day bomb plot to blow up a jet over Detroit in the U.S. Their introduction has been opposed by some groups who fear the revealing nature of the images the scanners provide could breach people's rights. The question of privacy was raised in a report on airport security by the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee. The committee said: "Having witnessed these full-body scanners working at first hand, we are confident that the privacy concerns that have been expressed in relation to these devices are overstated and that full body scanners are no more an invasion of privacy than manual 'pat-downs' or searches of bags."

                          One of the bodies that has questioned the legality of scanners is the Equality and Human Rights Commission. Responding to the Home Affairs Committee report, the commission said: "We believe there is a risk that the way body scanning was introduced in UK airports breaches discrimination law, as well as breaching passengers' human right to privacy."

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Al-khiyal View Post

                            March 24, 2010 -- Police said Wednesday they have warned an airport worker who reportedly made a crude remark about a colleague's breasts as a newly-installed security scanner took a full body X-ray of her. Jo Margetson, 29, walked into an X-ray machine at London's Heathrow Airport by mistake before the incident allegedly took place - and told The Sun newspaper she is now "totally traumatised".

                            The reported incident, the first such complaint since the machines were introduced earlier this year, has highlighted privacy concerns about the use of full body scanners at British airports. Heathrow and Manchester airports has been using them since an alleged bid to blow up a U.S.-bound jet on Christmas Day was foiled, while the U.S. and The Netherlands are among other countries where they are being installed.

                            When asked about the story, a spokesman for London's Metropolitan Police said: "Police received an allegation regarding an incident that happened at Heathrow Terminal 5 on March 10. "A first instance harassment warning has been issued to a 25-year-old male." Airports operator BAA, which runs Heathrow, added that it was investigating the allegations. "If these claims are found to be substantiated, we will take appropriate action," a spokesman added.

                            The Equality and Human Rights Commission has warned the government that the scanners could run counter to the right to privacy enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights. "When privacy-invading machines like these are installed at our airports, abuses like this are inevitable," said Alex Deane of campaign group Big Brother Watch.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Al-khiyal View Post

                              March 24, 2010 -- A Heathrow security guard faces the sack after a woman colleague reported him for using a body scanner to take “naked” pictures of her. Airport bosses have launched an investigation after John Laker, 25, was alleged to have used the device meant to detect bombs and explosives to look at a fellow employee's breasts. Jo Margetson, 29, reported the guard as saying “I love those gigantic tits” when she walked through the X-ray machine, and then said he pressed a button to take a revealing photo. Ms Margetson has taken leave following the incident. She said: “I can't bear to think about the body scanner thing. I'm totally traumatised. I've spoken to the police about it. I'm in too much of a state to go to work.”

                              Mr Laker is the first airport worker to have been allegedly caught abusing the body scanners, which were introduced by the Government in the wake of the Christmas Day bomb plot by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. The machines work by producing full-body “nude” images of passengers to locate hidden weapons or objects and give detailed outlines of the genitalia. Civil rights campaigners, who have opposed the devices for invasion of privacy, said the case highlighted the potential for abuse and they should be withdrawn immediately. Heathrow and Manchester airports already have the scanners, with Gatwick and Birmingham to follow this year.

                              Dylan Sharpe, campaign director of Big Brother Watch, said: “This latest case serves to highlight the massive problems behind the Government's speedy roll-out of the body scanner. There needs to be much more thought — how are those being employed being trained and vetted and how dangerous is the radiation these machines produce? Until that is done, Big Brother Watch is campaigning for a complete suspension in the national roll-out of airport body scanners.”

                              Heathrow refused to confirm whether Mr Laker has been suspended from his job while the investigation is conducted. A spokeswoman for airport operator BAA said: “We treat any allegations of inappropriate behaviour or misuse of security equipment very seriously and these claims are being investigated thoroughly. If found to be substantiated, we will take appropriate action.”

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                              • #30
                                is anybody actually surprised by this?

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