Saturday, January 09, 2010

Are New Airport Security Measures Actually Keeping Us Safer?

More and more questions about the effectiveness of full body scanners at airports.
"You take away box cutters and cork screws, they put explosives in their shoes. You take away shoes, and they put it in liquids. Take away liquids, and they put it in their underwear," said Bruce Schneier, a Minnesota-based security expert and author.

"Now they're putting in full-body scanners, so they're going to do something else."

Mr. Schneier is part of a group of experts who question the efficacy of security measures implemented at airports in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001. They argue that the bulk of the tactics adopted by governments simply clog security lines, infringe upon civil liberties and do very little to guard against future threats. In fact, Mr. Schneier and other critics say many of the measures, including the most recent ones implemented after the failed Christmas Day bombing attempt on a Northwest Airlines flight bound for Detroit, are simply adopted to create a sense of security that something is being done in response to these new threats, but actually do very little to enhance safety.

"This is a stupid game and we should stop doing it," Mr. Schneier said.


Elton said...

Yes, it's a stupid game. :( We should stop playing this game.

Paul Rapoport said...

The following deliberately does not go into the important issues of privacy and freedom, which Nudiarist has once again done an ideal job with, in my opinion. Nor does it suggest, as AANR does, that we should just all go skinny-dipping at airports for our trusted government because apple pie, Norman Rockwell, nakation, credible voice of reason . . . ad infinitum, ad maximam nauseam.


Hamilton Spectator (in Canada)
printed January 9, 2010

Re: 'Scanners alone can't do the job' (Editorial, Jan. 7)

An objection to scanners started in England with claims any image of a naked child is child pornography. Aside from that absurdity, what will happen if children don't go through scanners? Are there not teenage boys willing to become religious martyrs on airplanes?

Full-body airport scanners are a waste of money. They don't catch some explosives, especially if hidden inside bodies. What's next, body-cavity searches?

These machines are being rushed to use because a would-be bomber wasn't caught by routine intelligence. That makes as much sense as ordering hats for all because someone fell on ice. There are also loopholes in security around airport employees that aren't even mentioned in most reports.

Flyers won't be safer because of scanners. But they'll think they are, as politicians continue to fool most of the people most of the time.

Mike4Freedom said...

And it is a game that we will never win. So long as the people intent on doing damage know where we are looking, they will try some other path.
All this is treating s symptom and ignoring the root cause of the problem. We need to stop making enemies by killing randomly in other countries. Otherwise we will continue playing the childish game of Tit for Tat and escalating it.

Paul Rapoport said...

Toronto Star, Mon. Jan. 11 2010
Missing boat on scanners, kids

Re: Child porn? Kids won't be scanned, Jan. 6

One of the big issues involving full-body airport scanners is children. About this, officials are stating nonsense. Example: "These machines clearly show genitalia, that in our view must result in an indecent image by any definition." That came from a British official, but Canadian officials also believe it.

Now police must surely raid every house in the country to destroy family photos of unclothed kids. Naturist magazines must be seized as child pornography. Books too. And goodbye to much in a thousand or more years of Western art.

But most images of nudity are not indecent. They do not cause or increase crime against anyone. The harm comes from repeating the lie and inducing in children body phobia, low self-esteem, and obsession with sex.

Although airport scanners are a huge waste of money in the theatrics that pass for airport security, the issue about children is larger. On both, the government of Canada scores less than zero.

Paul Rapoport