Posts Tagged: Privacy

Jan 10

What is the Point of these Full-Body Scanners?

My experience suggests that, with a population, in times when there is a perceived “crisis” (even if the “crisis” is not real) most people tend to behave even less rationally than “normal”. My observation is that the perceived “crisis” tends to be taken advantage of, by people with ability and with agenda, to do things they normally wouldn’t be able to get away with. The (over dramatized) so-called “underwear bomber” seems like just such a fake “crisis”, that’s being used as an excuse to bring in full-body scanners into air ports, and give people a virtual strip-search. (Perhaps if this is “successful” people in the government will consider mandating in other places too.)

Some quotes from an article in the Calgary Herald will help illustrate my point.

Question: So why are full-body scanners being brought in?….

“Given the recent terrorist incident on Dec. 25, our government is accelerating its actions to protect air travellers,” said Baird, claiming that “the new full-body scanners . . . balance safety and security with safeguards to privacy.”

Question: So you are planning on scanning everyone, correct?….

Ehrenholz confirmed no one under 18 will be subjected to a body scan, and that travellers will be given a choice between pat-downs or scans.

(You might be wondering, if you’re not going to scan everyone, then what’s the point?)

Question: Wait a sec…. How would a full-body scanner have stopped a “underwear bombing” attempt?…

However, even proponents of the full-body scan admit that it wouldn’t have detected Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, who tried to make a bomb on a Detroit-bound flight on Christmas Day, with powdered explosives allegedly concealed in his underwear.

Question: So what’s the point of doing all this then, if it in no way would have prevented an “underwear bombing” attempt?…

Critics say the “naked” body scanners coming soon to the Vancouver airport are a “shocking” invasion of privacy introduced without debate — or even proof that they work.
“Do the machines even work? They would not have detected the [Dec. 25] underwear bomber [who] is being used as an excuse for these to be introduced.
Transport Minister James Baird announced in Ottawa Tuesday that 44 full-body scan machines will be purchased with public funds [...]
“The recent security incident in the U.S. triggered [Tuesday's federal] announcement,” said Ehrenholz, but YVR is already deciding “where to plug them in.”
Don Ehrenholz, YVR vice-president of operations, confirmed in an interview that “we have been planning for the last couple of years to get these machines.”

Seems like another example of not letting a “crisis” (even if it is fake) go to waste.