Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 16th Nov 2010 22:34 UTC
In the News As none other I know how problematic it is to discuss matters related to politics on the web. However, every now and then, there's no way around it, and this is one of those moments. There's this thing going on at airports in the US, and while many will see it as a separate issue, the body scanner issue, and the sad stories it has spawned, are symptoms of a far larger problem that is a direct threat to everything we've fought for during and since the Enlightenment.
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we've lost without a whimper
by project_2501 on Tue 16th Nov 2010 23:12 UTC
project_2501
Member since:
2006-03-20

We've lost our liberties without a fight, without even so much as a whimper.

And all for a bunch of out-of-touch old fogeys in the last whitehouse.

How effective are these intrusions - do you really think those intent on bad things will fail at these hurdles? No. They're only for show.

So you're being intruded and inconveniences for no practical increase in security.

How sad to see such a great civilisation degrade and fall.

Reply Score: 9

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13


So you're being intruded and inconveniences for no practical increase in security.


So are you guys saying that the scanners don't do anything to improve security? And if not, other than the pat downs, are there any decent alternatives?

If the answer is no, and there are no alternatives to improve security at airports, then I guess people are free to carry guns and bombs on planes if these security measures aren't doing a thing to prevent it, right?

Edited 2010-11-16 23:15 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

If the answer is no, and there are no alternatives to improve security at airports, then I guess people are free to carry guns and bombs on planes if these security measures aren't doing a thing to prevent it, right?


The naked scanners and sexual assault pat-downs indeed add little to improve security, with the former also posing a health risk. In addition, they both violate the Fourth Amendment and accepted, well-established privacy and decency norms.

And for what? Because 3500 people died 9 years ago? It sucks for those 3500 people and their relatives, but dear lord, 150000 people are murdered every year in the US alone. And let's not even get started about how many people have died in Afghanistan and Iraq due to West's involvement (including that of my own country, sadly).

It's time for perspective in this idiotic terrorist debate.

Reply Parent Score: 24

truckweb Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't think you're getting it... It's not that the scanners are not working (but we don't know how effective they really are), it's the vanishing right for all people in order for 3 companies to flourish and swim in money (in the case of body scanner) all because of big lobbyist who are more powerful than the president himself.

And if you don't mind the full body scanner, will you mind when those lobbyist win the digital war and make you scan your PC, Phone, Tablet, whatever to detect "illegal" content? I'm not talking about kiddie porn here, I'm talking about a song that you did not pay or that cracked photoshop you may use, so on and so forth.

Lobbyist are everywhere and THEY are in control. The president or government are barely more than puppets to them.

Nobody cares about you, the people. It's all about money.

Reply Parent Score: 14

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

You say it sarcastically, but you're more right than you know. Those skilled at crime and terror will always get around the security measures. It's a universal principal: Where there is security, there is always someone smart enough to foil it. All the security measures do is give the sheeple an illusion of safety. You can be licensed to carry a firearm on a plane: typically these licenses are given out only to select military officials, but anything can be forged given someone with enough know how and the right equipment. In practice though, there's no real purpose to bring a gun into the plane. Sure they can kill people with it, but typically they want to inspire terror in the living. A plane crash, even with reports of a crazed lunatic with a gun, isn't as heart-jerking as something like 911. They don't just want death, they want to terrorize. Big content using this illusion as a way to push through mandatory device scanning is scary. I am puzzled, however, as to how they're going to scan my drive effectively when I've got it heavily encrypted? I don't at the moment, but if they start doing this you can bet that I will. It's the principal of the thing, they have no right to what doesn't belong to them and the contents of my device belong to me. I'm also puzzled as to how they'd force me to install mandatory monitoring software? Software must be installed or else inserted into hardware, and there's no way I'm installing any software *or* hardware that would do such a thing. I like Windows 7 but it's no big hassle for me to switch to Linux on those machines should it come to that and the monitoring software be inserted into the os itself (very possible). So how exactly are they going to mandate something which, by its very nature, must be installed by the user? Even if they mandate it be put in new machines or Windows itself, they'll not monitor a large majority of the population who either won't be buying new equipment nor upgrading their os. It's not lagistically practical.

Reply Parent Score: 6

project_2501 Member since:
2006-03-20

in which case to solve the HUGE volume of gun related crime in the USA all you have to do is remove guns from the population .... ??

Reply Parent Score: 2

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

So are you guys saying that the scanners don't do anything to improve security?


Hmmm...let me see. No. There are already scanners that works without being so invasive. This is what Bruce Schneier would call security theater and as opposed to the companies hawking their overprice products he knows what he's talking about. These technologies are not implemented because they help, they're implemented so somone can say "look, we're really doing something".
You know what helps security? Paying your security staff well, training them and making sure they're skilled and alert but that's not as cool and visible as some overly expensive space age technology that doesn't really help.

On a related note, I think it's f--king hilarious that the U.S are now implementing more invasive measures than what the good-ole USSR ever did.

Edited 2010-11-17 00:33 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 7

umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

So are you guys saying that the scanners don't do anything to improve security? And if not, other than the pat downs, are there any decent alternatives?


Actually, the most recent bomb scare (and subsequent boost in security practices) was in cargo shipments - which often times fly on passenger jets.

Cargo shipments do not get the same scanner treatment, and scanners do nothing more to prevent cargo bombs. They only create a perception of higher security.

You also rarely hear about the cargo planes that get blown up.

Reply Parent Score: 2

rdoyle720 Member since:
2010-02-22

Perfect example of what is called "false dichotomy". Many of us feel that these scanners cross an unacceptable line. Arguing against them is not the same as saying we're for no security.

Reply Parent Score: 3

Dyrcona Member since:
2010-06-21

Yep, pretty much. Flying is a risk. Like all risks, you have to balance it against the rewards to determine if it worth taking the risk to earn the reward.

Unfortunately, most humans are bad at math, but very good at emotions.

Reply Parent Score: 2

StychoKiller Member since:
2005-09-20

So, how many would-be terrorists would board a plane if a majority of the passengers were armed and trained to shoot properly? When the Govt created the TSA and DHS, the terrorists won by default!

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: we've lost without a whimper
by jptros on Wed 17th Nov 2010 00:03 in reply to "we've lost without a whimper"
jptros Member since:
2005-08-26

And all for a bunch of out-of-touch old fogeys in the last whitehouse.


While the problem didn't start with the current administration, they're the ones responsible for the new scanners and pat down procedures.

Reply Parent Score: 5

neticspace Member since:
2009-06-09

My few years of stay in America gave me a valuable lesson: Never trust American politicians.

Reply Parent Score: 9