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  • Full body scanners

    BBC News - Gordon Brown promises full body scanners at UK airports
    Gordon Brown promises full body scanners at UK airports

    Prime Minister Gordon Brown has given the go-ahead for full body scanners to be introduced at Britain's airports.
    Airports operator BAA said it would now install the machines "as soon as is practical" at Heathrow.
    Experts have questioned the scanners' effectiveness at detecting the type of bomb allegedly used on Christmas Day in an attempted plane attack over Detroit.
    But Mr Brown said it was essential to "go further" than the current technology allowed.
    Speaking on BBC One's Andrew Marr show, the prime minister said the government would do everything in its power to tighten security and prevent a repeat of the US attack.
    A spokesman for BAA said: "It is our view that a combination of technology, intelligences and passenger profiling will help build a more robust defence against the unpredictable and changing nature of the terrorist threat to aviation."
    He declined to give specific details about timing or comment on extending the use of scanners to other airports, costs or the potential for passenger delays.
    On Friday, Gordon Brown announced he had ordered a review of existing security measures, and advisers are expected to report within days.
    Full body scanners, which produce "naked" images of passengers, remove the need for "pat down" searches.
    However they have raised concerns about privacy, with campaigners saying they are tantamount to a "strip search".
    The machines are currently being trialled at Manchester airport following tests at Heathrow airport from 2004 to 2008.
    They are also being rolled out across the US, with 40 machines used at 19 airports.

    I know this is just about the UK but I'm sure its possible that these scanners could be used in other countries... I suppose it brings the question, as a woman, if it is deemed necessary, would you prefer a pat down or a scan (not like anybody actually gets a choice)? At least with a scan no one would feel picked on in particular...

  • #2
    I prefer a pat down ...

    What are they going to use next ? Imagine they refuse to let you in because the machine has detected an illness. No thank you.


    • #3
      Not sure if I would like it myself, but if its going to be a big part of stopping these people from trying to smuggle stuff onto planes (drugs bombs etc) then is it not in the best interest of everyone?


      • #4
        It's gonna be in use in Holland, and NO this is not to the best of the people, this story with that Nigerian guy was used to introduce a new thing, makes me wonder if all of this affair is even true. It's not the first time things like this have been used and abused at the benefit of politicians. And it is again NOT at the benefit of people because politicians themselves aren't honest, Politics is a loads of lies from A to Z designed to fool people. The Biggest Lie ever built up by mankind.


        • #5

          January 4, 2010 -- The rapid introduction of full body scanners at British airports threatens to breach child protection laws which ban the creation of indecent images of children, the Guardian has learned. Privacy campaigners claim the images created by the machines are so graphic they amount to "virtual strip-searching" and have called for safeguards to protect the privacy of passengers involved. Ministers now face having to exempt under 18s from the scans or face the delays of introducing new legislation to ensure airport security staff do not commit offences under child pornography laws. They also face demands from civil liberties groups for safeguards to ensure that images from the £80,000 scanners, including those of celebrities, do not end up on the internet. The Department for Transport confirmed that the "child porn" problem was among the "legal and operational issues" now under discussion in Whitehall after Gordon Brown's announcement on Sunday that he wanted to see their "gradual" introduction at British airports.

          A 12-month trial at Manchester airport of scanners which reveal naked images of passengers including their genitalia and breast enlargements, only went ahead last month after under-18s were exempted. The decision followed a warning from Terri Dowty, of Action for Rights of Children, that the scanners could breach the Protection of Children Act 1978, under which it is illegal to create an indecent image or a "pseudo-image" of a child. Dowty told the Guardian she raised concerns with the Metropolitan police five years ago over plans to use similar scanners in an anti-knife campaign, and when the Department for Transport began a similar trial in 2006 on the Heathrow Express rail service from Paddington station. "They do not have the legal power to use full body scanners in this way," said Dowty, adding there was an exemption in the 1978 law to cover the "prevention and detection of crime" but the purpose had to be more specific than the "trawling exercise" now being considered.

          A Manchester airport spokesman said their trial had started in December, but only with passengers over 18 until the legal situation with children was clarified. So far 500 people have taken part on a voluntary basis with positive feedback from nearly all those involved. Passengers also pass through a metal detector before they can board their plane. Airport officials say the scanner image is only seen by a single security officer in a remote location before it is deleted. A Department for Transport spokesman said: "We understand the concerns expressed about privacy in relation to the deployment of body scanners. It is vital staff are properly trained and we are developing a code of practice to ensure these concerns are properly taken into account. Existing safeguards also mean those operating scanners are separated from the device, so unable to see the person to whom the image relates, and these anonymous images are deleted immediately."

          But Shami Chakrabarti, of Liberty, had concerns over the "instant" introduction of scanners: "Where are the government assurances that electronic strip-searching is to be used in a lawful and proportionate and sensitive manner based on rational criteria rather than racial or religious bias?" she said. Her concerns were echoed by Simon Davies of Privacy International who said he was sceptical of the privacy safeguards being used in the United States. Although the American system insists on the deletion of the images, he believed scans of celebrities or of people with unusual or freakish body profiles would prove an "irresistible pull" for some employees.

          The disclosures came as Downing Street insisted British intelligence information that the Detroit plane suspect tried to contact radical Islamists while a student in London was passed on to the U.S. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's name was included in a dossier of people believed to have made attempts to deal with extremists, but he was not singled out as a particular risk, Brown's spokesman said. President Barack Obama has criticised U.S. intelligence agencies for failing to piece together information about the 23-year-old that should have stopped him boarding the flight. Brown's spokesman said "There was security information about this individual's activities and that was shared with the U.S. authorities."


          • #6

            what does everyone tink about these full body scanners now being used at british airports?

            the scanners produce a full naked bodies image once scanned which includes visible images of ones private parts, it has been argued that the images are not stored but deleted straight after,

            Personally this would affect me greatly, i dont want anybody seeing me and i think this is a matter of one's privacy rather than a tactic to cut down on terror.

            what can we expect next?

            Airport admits 'strip search' body scanners WILL show people naked | Mail Online


            • #7
              well i think its wrong. but the issue is what can be done about it now. is there any way that a person at the airport can refuse to go through the scanner and choose a 'pat down' instead?

              well i heard that some images are already on the internet.


              • #8
                why would people bother putting images of unknown people on the internet? The only pictures I have seen are the ones released by the media (although one such picture does feature a fairly heavy-set human being).


                • #9


                  • #10

                    January 26, 2010 -- Airline passengers will have no right to refuse to go through a full-body search scanner when the devices are introduced at Heathrow airport next week, ministers have confirmed. The option of having a full-body pat-down search instead, offered to passengers at U.S. airports, will not be available despite warnings from the government's Equality and Human Rights Commission that the scanners, which reveal naked bodies, breach privacy rules under the Human Rights Act. The transport minister Paul Clark told MPs a random selection of passengers would go through the new scanners at UK airports. The machines' introduction would be followed later this year by extra "trace" scanners, which can detect liquid explosives. A draft code of practice covering privacy and health issues is being discussed in Whitehall. Clark dealt with concerns raised by the Commons home affairs select committee about the ability of airports abroad to upgrade their security to similar levels by indicating that extra support and help was under discussion.

                    Lord West, the counter-terrorism minister, told the MPs the government had firmly ruled out the introduction of "religious or ethnic profiling" into transport security. Instead, he said, airport security staff were being trained in "behavioural profiling", which meant spotting passengers who had paid cash, were travelling with only a book for luggage on a long-haul flight or were behaving erratically at the airport. He said the decision to raise the terror threat level to "severe" – meaning an attack was highly likely but not imminent – had been taken by security service officials at the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre last Friday. The decision, thought to be based on an increase in intelligence traffic on threats from Yemen, was confirmed by the home secretary, Alan Johnson. West refused to discuss the intelligence behind the decision, saying he was not going to jeopardise "getting the bastards".

                    The body scanner trials, which are due to start at Heathrow next week, will involve a machine that has spotted the type of concealed device used in the Detroit airline bombing attempt. The airport's owner, BAA, is preparing to install a scanner in each of its five *terminals. The trials will use two different technologies that see through passengers' clothing. One trial will involve "backscatter" technology, which exposes travellers to low-level x-rays. This is already in use at Manchester airport. Security staff at Manchester recently replicated the underwear bomb that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab smuggled on to Northwest Airlines flight 253. The machine singled out elements of the fake weapon. "We could see that there was something on the person that would have required a further search," said a spokesman for Manchester airport, whose machine requires passengers to stand between two Tardis-like blue boxes. Under the new security regime, due next month, the suspect passenger would then be led away for a secondary examination that would include using chemical swabs to test for explosives. Pat-down searches of passengers and hand luggage inspections will also increase.

                    The second type of machine uses a "millimetre wave" system, which bounces radio waves off the human body to form a 3D image of the passenger. Both types of technology have raised privacy concerns owing to the graphic nature of the passenger images, with civil liberties campaigners calling the process "virtual strip-searching". The Department for Transport has drawn up a preliminary code of conduct for using the machines, and it will follow some guidelines used in the U.S. These state that the security officer guiding the passenger through the machine never sees the image, and that the employee viewing the scan must be based away from the passenger, in a secure room. The two officers communicate with wireless headsets; and, once viewed, the scan cannot be saved, printed or transmitted.


                    • #11
                      I'm glad I just missed the body scanners. I really don't know what I think at this stage. I may have missed the body scanners, but I did get very thoroughly patted down as I went through every single security point at every single airport. All while the other passengers looked on. It was a little frustrating. Then again I am happy that there is security..I don't want ''anyone'' to be taking ''anything'' onto a plane. It's just that they always want to check me!!! Lol


                      • #12
                        i have no idea why people would want to post images of other people on the internet - i guess they think its fun. I haven't seen anything myself, but heard it while listening to some journalists on a tv programme who had said this.

                        the whole thing makes me sick - the code of practice is a joke, because we know exactly which passengers will be targeted for this. i don't think the british people really care about privacy and human rights issue, otherwise it would have caused a bit of a storm all this stuff. it just makes me sad that this society is so complacent about its liberties and fooled by the government that they would do anything under the pretext of 'preventing terrorism'. which can't be stopped. if you want to commit a crime, you will.

                        what will they do when they find someone with strapped explosives around his/her body at the airport? if it goes off, then what did the scanner prevent?


                        • #13
                          If explosives go off in an airport - the emergency services are close by, people may attempt to help an intervene ( example Glasgow airport); if an explosive goes off on a plane - basically everyone dies, there are no emergency services close by and you cant save someone who is in bits (example Lockerbie).

                          Would you really want to live in a country which just went 'they will manage somehow so we just wont bother trying to stop it'. Imagine if Algeria just went 'we cant stop the terrorism so we will just let it happen'. Maybe you'd get to your destination quicker without all the road blocks, but would you always manage to get to your destination alive?


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Felicity View Post
                            Would you really want to live in a country which just went 'they will manage somehow so we just wont bother trying to stop it'.
                            @ Felicity - I do agree with you that it's important to be careful. If security lowers then I'm not going to feel safe on planes. As a side note I don't like flying but I was very careful to try and look calm when I flew recently...who wants a nervous and sweating, obviously Muslim person on their flight?

                            Still I'm unsure about the new scanners. Maybe we need to see how they pan out...

                            @ RUKS - I think Muslims now are the main targets no matter what type of security we are talking about..I've even tested this theory But then it has been Muslims, or so called Muslims, who've threatened and sometimes achieved their aims, so much in recent years. I just don't know what to do or what to think.


                            • #15

                              January 30, 2010 -- Britain is facing a new Al Qaeda terror threat from suicide ‘body bombers’ with explosives surgically inserted inside them. Until now, terrorists have attacked airlines, Underground trains and buses by secreting bombs in bags, shoes or underwear to avoid detection. But an operation by MI5 has uncovered evidence that Al Qaeda is planning a new stage in its terror campaign by inserting ‘surgical bombs’ inside people for the first time. Security services believe the move has been prompted by the recent introduction at airports of body scanners, which are designed to catch terrorists before they board flights. It is understood MI5 became aware of the threat after observing increasingly vocal internet ‘chatter’ on Arab websites this year. The warning comes in the wake of the failed attempt by London-educated Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to blow up an airliner approaching Detroit on Christmas Day. One security source said: ‘If the terrorists are talking about this, we need to be ready and do all we can to counter the threat.’ A leading source added that male bombers would have the explosive secreted near their appendix or in their buttocks, while females would have the material placed inside their breasts in the same way as figure-enhancing implants.

                              Experts said the explosive PETN (Pentaerythritol Tetranitrate) would be placed in a plastic sachet inside the bomber’s body before the wound was stitched up like a normal operation incision and allowed to heal. A shaped charge of 8oz of PETN can penetrate five inches of armour and would easily blow a large hole in an airliner. Security sources said the explosives would be detonated by the bomber using a hypodermic syringe to inject TATP (Triacetone Triperoxide) through their skin into the explosives sachet. PETN – the main ingredient of Semtex plastic explosive – was used by Richard Reid, the British Al Qaeda shoe-bomber, when he unsuccessfully tried to blow up American Airlines Flight 63 from Paris to Miami in December 2001. In November, a Somali man who attempted to board a flight carrying a syringe, liquid and powdered chemicals was arrested before take-off. The airliner had been due to fly from Somalia’s capital Mogadishu to Dubai. The Somali was carrying a nearly identical package to that of Abdulmutallab, who tried to detonate it by injecting TATP from a syringe. Abdulmutallab had stuffed explosives down his underpants as the Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam made its final descent to Detroit carrying 280 passengers. But the detonator fluid set his clothes on fire rather than the device, and he was overpowered.

                              Security sources fear the body-bombers could pretend to be diabetics injecting themselves on airliners, Tubes or buses in order to prevent anyone stopping their suicide missions. Companies such as Smiths Detection International UK, which is based in Watford, Hertfordshire, manufacture a range of luggage and body scanners designed to identify chemicals, explosives and drugs at airports and other passenger terminals around the world. These include high-specification X-ray equipment that could identify body bombs. But one source with expertise in the field said: ‘They can make as many pieces of security equipment as they like but there is no one magic answer that can spot every single potential terrorist passing through.’ Conservative MP Patrick Mercer, chairman of the Commons Counter-Terrorism Sub-Committee, said: ‘Our enemies are constantly evolving their techniques to try to defeat our methods of detection. ‘This is one of the most savage forms that extremists could use, and while we are redeveloping travel security we have got to take this new development into account.’ Senior Government security sources confirmed last night that they were aware of the new threat of body bombs, but were not prepared to make any official comment.


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