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What are we doing about the introduction of body scanners in the UK?

By Dark Politricks

In my recent article entitled “Where is the outrage people, does freedom matter that little” I looked at the rush to implement full body scanners as the governments response to the recent Christmas day bombing attempt on flight 253.

We know that the scanners wouldn’t have prevented the attack and we also know that many people in the security world who have been calling for their implementation are set to make lots of money from them. There are also serious concerns about their safety especially to frequent fliers regarding their ability to cause cancer as well as the blatant invasion of privacy that they bring to a society that already has all its communications and movements monitored by too many government bodies to count.

One of the few groups that maybe able to do anything about it on this side of the Atlantic is Liberty which is a non-party membership organisation at the heart of the movement for fundamental rights and freedoms in England and Wales. I have just sent them an email asking whether any legal action is going to be considered to prevent the introduction of these machines and I will post any reply I get. I will also post this article which I have taken from their website which discusses the introduction of these body scanners.

From the Liberty web site:

It is right that the foiled Christmas terror attempt on a plane bound for the US should have prompted fresh scrutiny of airport security, but any such examination must learn the lessons of the recent past.
To be effective, any response to terrorism must be proportionate and respectful of the human rights values of dignity, privacy and equal treatment that governments on both sides of the Atlantic have been all too easily tempted to ignore.

Liberty shares the concerns of our American sister organisation the American Civil Liberties Union. The instant introduction of “full body scanners” at airports is an obvious way to show that you are doing something, but where is the evaluation of the effectiveness of this highly costly and intrusive technology in the face of the particular threat? Where are the governmental assurances that electronic strip-searching is to be used in a lawful, proportionate and sensitive manner?

If such intrusive searching is to be employed, it should only be when absolutely necessary, on the basis of rational and non-discriminatory criteria and with the strongest degree of privacy protection possible.

Much can be done to enhance airline security if cost and inconvenience is no object; still more if passengers and professionals from all communities feel united. Whether on the street or at the terminal, suspicious behaviour is a sensible basis for enhanced checking by security professionals; race or religion is not.

Read the original article at Liberty

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