Wednesday, October 14, 2009

How nuts are we, really?

All airline passengers in the UK under the age of 18 will be exempt from full-body scanners until Manchester airport authorities can "clarify the law on indecent images of children."

Well, I guess that opens the door for terrorists to plant bombs on children. And if the scanned images are judged to be "indecent" for those under 18, would they not also be indecent for those above 18, too? What is it about turning 18 which magically makes nudity "decent?"
Alisdair Gillespie, an expert on the law relating to indecent images at Leicester's De Montfort University, said there was a theoretical possibility that an image taken by the scanner could be considered indecent.

"Usually an indecent image would be one where there was something overtly sexual about it," he said.

"But if this machine can produce an image of a child's genitals then there is a theoretical possibility that it might be classed as indecent."
I'm speechless.

UPDATE: Another story here reports that the drive against using airport scanners on children is by the Action on Rights for Children (ARCH) activist group.
Making an indecent image of a child is an offence under the Protection of Children Act - the fact Manchester Airport scans will not be stored is irrelevant in the eyes of the law.

ARCH has sought and been given government assurances during past trials that the scanners that can see under clothes will not be used on children.

"It's completely unlawful. Manchester Airport haven't got a leg to stand on," the group's spokeswoman Terri Dowty told The Register today.


Anonymous said...

Ludicrous isn't it? There are plenty of instances where qualified and properly vetted people get to see others naked. A doctor might need to see their patient's genitals. A childcare worker who has to change nappies will not only see a child's genitals, but will no doubt be entrusted to clean them.

The solution is simple: Put the machine operators through the same stringent background checks as doctors and childcare workers. If they don't pass the test, then they're not allowed to work the machine. Problem solved.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to the first post- It seems a simple solution, to do background checks on and train airport security machine operators, but this is the government we're talking about. Hence, nothing is ever as simple as it could/should be.