'Naked' scanners at US airports may be dangerous: scientists (Update)

Nov 13, 2010 by Karin Zeitvogel

Some US scientists warned Friday that the full-body, graphic-image X-ray scanners now being used to screen passengers and airline crews at airports around the country may be unsafe.

"They say the risk is minimal, but statistically someone is going to get from these X-rays," Dr Michael Love, who runs an X-ray lab at the department of biophysics and biophysical chemistry at Johns Hopkins University school of medicine, told AFP.

"No exposure to X-ray is considered beneficial. We know X-rays are hazardous but we have a situation at the airports where people are so eager to fly that they will risk their lives in this manner," he said.

The possible health dangers posed by the scanners add to passengers' and airline crews' concerns about the devices, which have been dubbed "naked" scanners because of the graphic image they give of a person's body, genitalia and all.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) began rolling out full-body scanners at US airports in 2007, but stepped up deployment of the devices this year when stimulus funding made it possible to buy another 450 of the advanced imaging technology scanners.

Some 315 "naked" scanners are currently in use at 65 US airports, according to the TSA.

Passengers and airline crew members, including pilots, are randomly selected to pass through the scanners. They have the option of refusing, but will then be subjected to what the TSA calls an "enhanced" manual search by an agent.

"People are not reacting well to these pat-downs," said a travel industry official, who asked not to be named.

Government officials have said that the scanners have been tested and meet safety standards.

But Captain David Bates, president of the Allied Pilots Association, which represents pilots at American Airlines, urged members to avoid the full-body scanner.

"No pilot at American Airlines should subject themselves to the needless privacy invasion and potential health risks caused by the body scanner," he said in a letter this month, which was obtained by AFP.

"Politely decline exposure and request alternative screening," even if "the enhanced pat-down is a demeaning experience," he said.

A group of scientists at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) raised concerns about the "potential serious health risks" from the scanners in a letter sent to the White House Office of Science and Technology in April.

Biochemist John Sedat and his colleagues said in the letter that most of the energy from the scanners is delivered to the skin and underlying tissue.

"While the dose would be safe if it were distributed throughout the volume of the entire body, the dose to the skin may be dangerously high," they wrote.

The scientists say the X-rays could pose a risk to everyone from travelers over the age of 65 to pregnant women and their unborn babies, to HIV-positive travelers, cancer patients and men.

"Men's sexual organs are exposed to the . The skin is very thin there," Love explained.

The Office of Science and Technology responded this week to the scientists' letter, saying the scanners have been "tested extensively" by US government agencies and were found to meet safety standards.

But Sedat told AFP Friday: "We still don't know the beam intensity or other details of their classified system."

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User comments : 80

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rgwalther
2 / 5 (16) Nov 12, 2010
Electronic scanners will never be as dangerous as biological perverts.
CarolinaScotsman
1.4 / 5 (9) Nov 12, 2010
With the increasing security concerns to insure safe travel, the only reliable alternative would be for everyone to actually strip and submit to a very personal search. Your choice. And by the way Dr. Love, how safe are your medical x-rays?
Parsec
4.3 / 5 (7) Nov 12, 2010
New T wave scanners do not use X-rays of any sort. Hopefully this, along with huge leaps in the technology involved, will speed the adoption of this alternative scanning technique.
dtxx
3.4 / 5 (14) Nov 12, 2010
New T wave scanners do not use X-rays of any sort. Hopefully this, along with huge leaps in the technology involved, will speed the adoption of this alternative scanning technique.


So what do you call manmade ionizing radiation with a frequency in the terahertz range if you weren't allowed to use the word terahertz?
Skepticus
2.6 / 5 (9) Nov 13, 2010
Ok, you people say: X-ray scanners are too dangerous. T-rays scanners are too embarassingly revealing of body's shortcomings. Hand pats are tools for the perverts...(but) slack or cursory checks are god-send for terrorists, and condemned. We are living in an imperfect world in uncertain times. So, what the hell do you want? Star-trek type scanners?? While every kind of advanced new tool are not given their chance to be perfected? Samething with energy. They complained their electricity bill is too big. But, clean-coal tech is untested (because it is being lobbyied to death that it never get tested). Same goes for solar power, new nuclear power generating tech, wind power, you name it. Someone spend twenty years to invent a new way of doing things better, and there will be 100 foaming at the mouth to block it. This bugs me no end, the attitude of people who want it all, on a plate, with no costs WHATSOEVER to themselves. Sadly, human lives are too long for these myopics to die off.
mosahlah
2.1 / 5 (12) Nov 13, 2010
Islam fascist suicidal bombers versus a mild dose of EM. Hmmmm.
Foundation
5 / 5 (7) Nov 13, 2010
And by the way Dr. Love, how safe are your medical x-rays?

They're not. Medical imaging is still considered a small but significant cause of cancer.
ekim
4.2 / 5 (5) Nov 13, 2010
How does this extra X-ray radiation compare to the extra cosmic rays absorbed during the course of the flight?
marjon
3 / 5 (4) Nov 13, 2010
One technology is uses radio waves. 3 THz has a wavelength of 0.1 mm.
X-rays have a wavelength on the order of nano meters. Much shorter than radio waves.
Is long wave IR radiation ionizing?
The other technology is back scatter x-rays.
marjon
1.3 / 5 (3) Nov 13, 2010
How does back-scatter x-ray exposure compare to the ionizing radiation exposure at 35,000 feet in an airplane?
RealScience
4.1 / 5 (8) Nov 13, 2010
If it were a choice between a bomb and a scan, the answer would be obvious.
A choice between a definite scan and a tiny chance of a bomb would be debatable.
But how many box cutters terrorists, shoe bombers or underwear bombers have been caught since we started checking for those threats? ZERO.
So we will be enduring radiation (althjough not a lot) and privacy invasions for nothing, as someone who is willing to die to take down a plane will find some other way.
barakn
5 / 5 (3) Nov 13, 2010
So what do you call manmade ionizing radiation with a frequency in the terahertz range if you weren't allowed to use the word terahertz?

Terahertz radiation doesn't have enough energy to ionize.
scohn
4.3 / 5 (6) Nov 13, 2010

But how many box cutters terrorists, shoe bombers or underwear bombers have been caught since we started checking for those threats? ZERO.
So we will be enduring radiation (althjough not a lot) and privacy invasions for nothing, as someone who is willing to die to take down a plane will find some other way.

I might assume that no "terrorists" have been caught because the planners of the attacks are not stupid. I'm sure that they are hard at work trying to find alternative methods.

As someone that already has precancerous skin lesions I will happily let someone feel my body as much and where ever need be.
Tweedledumb
3 / 5 (3) Nov 13, 2010
I 100% agree with Real Science. Repeated EMF exposure [business flyers] vs Simple probability.
Assumption- dubious official story of 9-11/Pentagon hijackings were undertaken by 16 box-cutter wielding terrorists.
16 [numerator] how many million annual US air travellers [denom] in USA? annual per UN nations?
The probability of being hijacked ala 9-11 is unimaginably small. It has only occurred once in human history out of how many flights?
Why fly? It is safer than the bus!
This not to argue against security. What is required is simple & commonsense: passenger "frisking", multiple sniffer dogs (canines remain more reliable & cost-effective than enormous expensive scanners) scan all carry-on and cargo baggage and disallow passengers with unsafe items.
That US passengers could carry pocket knives and box-cutters pre 9-11 is stupidity beyond words.
In the EU, Australia and Asia- it was and remains highly illegal.
freethinking
2.3 / 5 (11) Nov 13, 2010
If someone want to get a bomb on a plane, they will do it. All airport security is doing right now is controlling the masses. My favorite sene in the AIRPORT movie is where a little old lady triggers the metal detector and is attacked and tackled by security, all the while terrorists are walking on board the plane with rocket launchers, mashine guns, etc. Unfortunately the joke has become reality.

Want real security real cheap. Allow pilots to fly with a gun. Allow police to fly with a gun. Terrorists will never know which pilot is armed, or which passanger is armed. There would have been no 9-11 if this would have been allowed.
freethinking
3 / 5 (8) Nov 13, 2010
Any reasonably intelligent person can figure out a way to get anything aboard a plane. The only thing stopping them is that normal people don't want to go to jail. However if they want to kill themselves, underwear, shoes, strollers, computers, printers, belts, swallowed items, hair, bottles, all can carry enough explosives or weapons to bring down a plane.

Think of it this way. If prisons cant keep weapons and drugs out of jail cells, whats to stop a terrorist. To be absolutely save, we would all need to fly naked after having a full MRI, and we would not be allowed any personal items on board. Even after that, I can still think of ways....
marjon
1 / 5 (1) Nov 13, 2010
The other security measure that is practiced by El Al requires the govt to hire and train, and pay, highly professional and talented interview screeners and they must have the authority to deny people from boarding the plane based upon their judgment alone without threat of lawsuits from any group, especially CAIR.
rproulx45
5 / 5 (1) Nov 13, 2010
re:If it were a choice between a bomb and a scan, the answer would be obvious
*****
I too, would choose to take the train. If I had to fly, I would take the train to Canada and fly from there.
Thrasymachus
5 / 5 (2) Nov 14, 2010
Isolate the passenger area from the cockpit so there is no physical way between the two while the plane is in the air aside from going through a wall. Hire two air marshals to take every international flight, and one to take every domestic flight. Do away with the ridiculous security check ins.
Skepticus
2.6 / 5 (7) Nov 14, 2010
Isolate the passenger area from the cockpit so there is no physical way between the two while the plane is in the air aside from going through a wall. Hire two air marshals to take every international flight, and one to take every domestic flight. Do away with the ridiculous security check ins.


That may stop hijackers, but not suicide bombers, nor hypothetical pilot impostors.
DGBEACH
1 / 5 (2) Nov 14, 2010
It seems to me that our water and food supplies should be our main focus at protecting, and our power grids. So much money is being wasted to protect so few!
Of course the pilots should be isolated from the rest of the plane. Remotely controlling that aircraft from the ground is another alternative, given you can maintain constant un-interruptible communication with it- or make it smart enough to fly itself...now there's a picture!
But on the topic, the amount of x-rays your body absorbs during a scan is not much higher than that which your body would have absorbed anyways from the sun over a few minutes, and the body recovers easily from them. This is much ado about nothing IMHO.
wolfkeeper
5 / 5 (3) Nov 14, 2010
There's a trade-off here.

I don't know what the risks of this scanner actually are, but the thing is, if the chances of getting cancer from the scanner are 1 in a million, then just due to the huge numbers of people flying, almost certainly more people will die from the scanner than would have been blown up by terrorists.
marjon
1 / 5 (9) Nov 14, 2010
the amount of x-rays your body absorbs during a scan is not much higher than that which your body would have absorbed anyways from the sun over a few minutes, and the body recovers easily from them.

If it does not kill you it makes you stronger.
I recall a story of people who intentionally expose themselves to low dose radiation as it has been proven to be beneficial.
freethinking
1.9 / 5 (9) Nov 14, 2010
How about every TSA employee gets frisked by the public as they leave the airport. That way all the stolen items from peoples lugage can be recovered?
How about every TSA employee gets frisked by the public to ensure they don't bring drugs to work?

As I said I'm not scared of the x-rays. I'm very concerned about over stepping of the Government.
Skeptic_Heretic
4 / 5 (4) Nov 15, 2010
I think this is a vile foray into civil life by security concerns. What happens next is you inspire terrorists to create body bombs, jsut as cartel agents began swallowing their deliveries the terrorists will undergo surgery to hide their "carry on" items.

I'm against this, and I'm not pleased that we've allowed our society to go this far on fear.

If it does not kill you it makes you stronger.
Yeah, say that to a kid with Polio.
I recall a story of people who intentionally expose themselves to low dose radiation as it has been proven to be beneficial.
Yeah I read some shit on the internet too. Said aliens were anally probing people. That makes it true, right? /sarcasm.
freethinking
1.6 / 5 (7) Nov 15, 2010
Sorry SH, terrorists have already thought of body bombs.

Again, if you cant prevent drugs and weapons in prisons, where they do strip searches, body cavity serches, and go through everything they have, why does anyone think these measures will prevent an attack?

These measures are to control the general population. We don't want to go to jail so we obey the rules.

Uncertainty plays into the hands of the good guys. If the 911 terrorists had to worry about pilots or off duty police on board being armed, box cutters would not have worked.

Bomb sniffing dogs at the airport, profiling, intelligence, work.

BTW, where is the ACLU? They speak usually defend terrorists.... am I missing their news releases about these scanners?
theknifeman
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 15, 2010
At this rate in 5 years we will all be flying naked.
Skeptic_Heretic
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 15, 2010
Sorry SH, terrorists have already thought of body bombs.
Utilizing dead bodies, not live hosts.
These measures are to control the general population. We don't want to go to jail so we obey the rules.
I'll be buying more stock in Reynold's Wrap thanks to the commentary you're spewing.
BTW, where is the ACLU? They speak usually defend terrorists.... am I missing their news releases about these scanners?
Yes you are.

Like I said above. This is an invasion into the private lives of civilians and is wholly unnecessary in regards to terrorism. Breeding fear into populations is the work of Fascism. The Department of Homeland Defense still sounds too much like the Bureau of Social Conformity.
JeffJohnson17
5 / 5 (2) Nov 15, 2010
Hopefully Sanity and Common sense will return to this Country, but I'm not holding my breath!
The TSA is just for show. If a terrorist wanted they could just swallow a bomb or put it in their suitcase set to detonate upon exposure to the xrays in the luggage scanner they could kill plenty of people in line.
We need to fire the entire department of Home Land Insecurity.
Just ban box cutters on flights, which were legal to carry on planes pre 911.
Go back to just using a metal detector.
HaveYouConsidered
5 / 5 (3) Nov 15, 2010
More people die from peanut allergies than from terrorism. Shall we also search everyone for peanuts?

Cargo is almost never screened, yet flies along with you on your plane. And there must be a thousand other ways to conduct terror than the couple of ways we are wasting billions of dollars looking over.

If the next terror attack uses a body cavity, shall we all just submit to that too? When will the headlines read "TSA discovers pedophiles working among its body pat-down agents"

I for one don't appreciate the government damaging my DNA for pointless and ineffective searches. It has been passengers, not screening, that have thwarted all terrorist attempts since 9/11.

We have become a nation of gutless cattle, sacrificing our freedom and liberty, for the sake of security "theater" that is pointless. A fearful electorate is a docile electorate--The Man wants us to remain very very afraid. Time to man up and refuse this nonsense before it bankrupts the nation.
freethinking
1.6 / 5 (7) Nov 15, 2010
SH - Not to be crude or crass, Breast Implants have been discussed and planned for by terrorists.

So lets come back to effectiveness. These scans and gropes are not effective in stopping terrorists. Random pilots/police carrying guns is.

HYC is right, since TSA does not do proper background checks on screeners, pays them minimum wages, no doubt there are pedophiles and other perverts among them. I wouldn't even be surprised that a terrorist or two works at TSA.

Uncertainty prevents attacks, if you don't know who has a gun, you are not going to pull out a box cutter, or try to light your shoe or underwear bomb. Now that people will fight, even other passagers are a threat to terrorists.

That said, if Americans truly want this to stop they can make it stop. If 10% of people refuse the scans, then delay the grope by moving very slowly or moving during the grope, this will stop.
freethinking
1.7 / 5 (6) Nov 15, 2010
To have complete security you need at least three people capable of flying the plane. All three need to be randomly selected from a pool of pilots, pass through a MRI and fly naked to ensure no weapons.

All personal servicing a plane must be MRI'd and be escorted by a randomly selected security person.

All parts, tools, needed on the plane need to be hand checked by a MRI'd and nude security personal, an additional two randomly selected security personal who are also MRI'd watch over the person screening the tools and parts the ensure they do not damage said tools, parts.
No items, food, drinks, fire extinguishers or seats in the cabin. Washroom needs to be open for all to see. No lugage, cargo or personal items will be allowed on the plane.

All passangers need to be MRI'd, nude and physically restrained in the cabin.

All screeners also need to be MRI'ed, nude and watched over by two other randomly selected screeners.

Only with these measures will flying be safe.

freethinking
1.7 / 5 (6) Nov 15, 2010
But, a heat seeking missle, small passenger plane crashing into a larger plane, laser, small rocket trailing wires could still bring down a plane.

Then what about cargo planes, or private aircraft? To make flying for passengers safe, we need to ban these as well.

What I fear by making these dumb suggestions is that some Government officials might take them seriously and in a year we will all be walking to our destination in the nude with a Government official watching over us.
Skeptic_Heretic
3 / 5 (4) Nov 16, 2010
SH - Not to be crude or crass, Breast Implants have been discussed and planned for by terrorists.
That was a silly story run by FOX news. Cut the crap. The intelligence community disavowed any knowledge of that and the story was sourced to a plastic surgeon in LA.
So lets come back to effectiveness. These scans and gropes are not effective in stopping terrorists. Random pilots/police carrying guns is.
No it's not. When you opponent is not afraid to die, a gun isn't going to stop him. A random hidden gun doesn't stop a man intent on blowing himself up. Use your head. Where is the logic in a suicide bomber being afraid of death?
freethinking
1 / 5 (5) Nov 16, 2010
Terrorist planning to take over a plane with a smuggled in gun, box cutter, shank, won't. Also again, the bombers will still get in with the gropes and scanners. All these scanners and gropes will do is catch the person who forgets their clippers or small tools. Inocent people follow the rules. Terrorists and criminals find ways around them.

If Terrorists and criminals are not afraid to die, they are not afraid go to jail. Any normal person can easily figure out ways to smuggle things around security like scanners and gropes. Case in point, look at the drug smugglers.

Beware if you don't follow the rules.... BTW were is the ACLU? They helped the underwear bomber, shoe bomber, protect their rights but they won't help a US citizen being investigated by the TSA? Oh sorry, I fogot, ACLU only helps those that want to destroy the US.

http://www.signon...esistor/
Skeptic_Heretic
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 16, 2010
FT, you make no points, and spew rhetoric that's as poorly constructed as the Haitian infrastructure.
Javinator
5 / 5 (1) Nov 16, 2010
If it does not kill you it makes you stronger.
I recall a story of people who intentionally expose themselves to low dose radiation as it has been proven to be beneficial.


People do that, it's true. But neither the detrimental nor beneficial effects of low dose radiation have been proven. Theories have been thrown out there for both sides, but again there isn't any proof.

Most risk percentages for low are straight line extrapolations based on high dose exposures (Hiroshima and Nagasaki citizens exposed to hige doses of radiation are commonly sourced for this).
marjon
2.6 / 5 (5) Nov 16, 2010
Anyone have an idea of an ink or metal foil or metallic glitter that will show up on a full body scanner?
People could wear underwear that lets TSA know what they think of them.
ekim
not rated yet Nov 16, 2010
Does anybody know the rules concerning body cavity searches? When are they applicable?
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Nov 17, 2010
Does anybody know the rules concerning body cavity searches? When are they applicable?

When you're under arrest or flying internationally to a country that demands them on suspicion of crime. Never had one, but I fly quite a bit and I've seen other people get pulled out of line for them.
freethinking
1 / 5 (4) Nov 18, 2010
marjon great idea. There are a lot of inks that you could use. Only problem is, if you use it, you get the grope treatment.

This issue is showing the stupidity of liberals. If a republican was the president and this issue came up, ACLU, SH, etc. would be against this machine and the procedure. But since it there is a democrat in power, its ok.
panorama
not rated yet Nov 18, 2010
I rarely fly and all this news gives me even less motivation to do so. I do however work with people that fly very frequently and I can understand how this would be a problem. Especially for people that fly multiple time per week.

Anyone have an idea of an ink or metal foil or metallic glitter that will show up on a full body scanner?
People could wear underwear that lets TSA know what they think of them.


I had this same idea. Honestly I hope never have to go through this at an airport (all airports in my area are very small regional, so it'll be a while before I'll see these I'm sure). I think if I was put in this situation I would probably opt for the "pat down" and try to make it as awkward as possible. Plus every time I've had an X-ray I get a terrible ringing in my ear, last thing I want before a flight...
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (4) Nov 18, 2010
Bottom line is if it's ionizing radiation then it has a chance to do harm to DNA.

It's all about the statistics and the numbers though in the end. How often do you fly? How much exposure do you need for a significant risk to develop? How is this weighed against the credible risk of another terrorist attack on the country using the airlines?

One possible way to help mitigate this is to go through an extensive background and screening check prior to even getting to the airport. You pay for it, and you're not subjected to the same level of scrunity as others are if you're uncomfortable with it. It's all about risk, and there's 1000 different ways to determine risk...
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (4) Nov 18, 2010
When you opponent is not afraid to die, a gun isn't going to stop him.


Bullets fired from the gun do though...unless he's a vampire terrorist...

A random hidden gun doesn't stop a man intent on blowing himself up. Use your head. Where is the logic in a suicide bomber being afraid of death?


People without guns stopped the shoe guy, plus not one terrorist on 9/11 had a bomb...they had box cutters. FTR Guns do well vs. box cutters...

You just don't like guns, they make you squeemish. Too bad buddy. It's one of those things you're so fond of telling other people they "just have to live with" for a civil society.
Javinator
not rated yet Nov 18, 2010
You just don't like guns, they make you squeemish.


Well that and its not the best idea to be reducing cabin pressure on a plane if you start shooting holes in it. Still better than having it blow up I suppose... hope the marshalls have a quicker trigger finger than the terrorists ;)
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (4) Nov 18, 2010
http://science.ho...lane.htm

Not really a big deal...unless you're in a movie...

By quicker trigger finger do you mean there are some kind of triggers on box cutters I'm not aware of?
freethinking
1 / 5 (4) Nov 18, 2010
The whole point must be said again. All these security checks are nothing more than a way to keep honest people from inadvertantly bringing banned items on a plane, or to control law abiding people.

As for weapons on the plane, I stopped counting after 20 items that are either on the plane or that legally can be brought onto the plane that can be used as a weapon.

The only thing that stops terrorists now is fear. What would the passangers do if they saw someone lighting their shoe or underwear on fire? Is there an air marshal on board? Does the pilot have a gun?

Terrorists are like bullies. The only way to stop them is to make them scared of you. Even the suicide bombers, if they are scared they cant kill anyone, they wont try.
panorama
not rated yet Nov 18, 2010
The whole point must be said again. All these security checks are nothing more than a way to keep honest people from inadvertantly bringing banned items on a plane, or to control law abiding people.

As for weapons on the plane, I stopped counting after 20 items that are either on the plane or that legally can be brought onto the plane that can be used as a weapon.

The only thing that stops terrorists now is fear. What would the passangers do if they saw someone lighting their shoe or underwear on fire? Is there an air marshal on board? Does the pilot have a gun?

Terrorists are like bullies. The only way to stop them is to make them scared of you. Even the suicide bombers, if they are scared they cant kill anyone, they wont try.

So a person who is determined to kill themself and take anyone around out with them can be scared off with a gun? That seems rather unlikely.
freethinking
1 / 5 (4) Nov 18, 2010
Shooting guns in a plane is not a good idea. Lots of people in tight spaces. However the odds of bringing down a plane with a gun is extremely remote. Modern planes have many failsafes. I supose if you are in the cockpit and you shoot several clips into the instruments you might damage something vital, but then again you might just as well shoot the pilots. If you hit the fuel tank, while not good, wont bring down the plane. Hitting the engines, they're build to take a pounding, so again while not good for the engine, probably won't stop it. Hitting electrical wires, redundancy will take over. Even hitting the windows, since they're made out of plastic, will only cause a small hole.

Simple truth, don't rely on movies to show what a gun can or can't do.

However security groping a woman can lead to a serious wardrobe malfunction.
http://www.theaus...55345734
freethinking
1 / 5 (4) Nov 18, 2010
Panorama - They will be scared of not accomplishing their mission. Israel EL AL has learned that. In a crowd where several good guys have guns, a terrorist who know that, will show signs of fear. This fear will alert the an observant person. Usually good guys who carry guns are aware of what is going on around them and can spot a suspicious person and take action.

A terrorist who thinks they could be stopped or killed by an adversary before they can complete their mission will be in fear. This fear causes them to act to soon (many cases or bombers killing themselves), fumble the attempt (shoe and underwear bomber), or get caught before they can do damage.

Terrorist are much more likely to succeed in attacks when they think no one can stop them. The 911 terrorist knew no one had a gun, they knew people wouldn't fight back. Now terrorists are scared. They know people will fight. Security hasn't prevented an attack, passengers have.
Javinator
not rated yet Nov 18, 2010
MM,

From your source:
If the bullet blows out a window, that's a problem. When the window blows, the plane will depressurize over the course of several seconds. Since all of the air in the cockpit is rushing toward the missing window, a lot of debris will be heading in that direction with it. If the person sitting next to the window is not strapped in, then it's possible that he or she will get sucked out -- another good reason to wear your safety belt at all times!


Unlikely, sure, but I was just raising the point that cabin depressurization is a legitimate concern.

The trigger thing was a joke ;).
eigenbasis
not rated yet Nov 20, 2010
Most of these types of scanners are millimeter wave scanners that are infrared not xrays!
eigenbasis
not rated yet Nov 20, 2010
Most of these types of scanners are millimeter wave scanners that are infrared not xrays! This article is misleading because it makes it sound like all the advanced imaging devices are xray based and that is not true!
Eric_B
not rated yet Nov 21, 2010
What is to stop a terrorist from getting on a plane with a chunk of PLASTIC EXPLOSIVES AND BLASTING CAP STUCK UP HIS/HER BUTT?

The cellphone has enough juice to set it off...

My shoes and other items were carefully screened once. They used swapping and put that and other items in a "device" which was a molecular nose, for nitrogen compounds, I guess.

I think they need a machine to sniff for explosive nitrogen compounds in people's farts, just in case.
cyberCMDR
1 / 5 (2) Nov 21, 2010
Security measures are always a reflex action against some event. In this case, it was the Christmas bomber with incendiary underwear. Right now these measures are intrusive, but we have no other options to stop that kind of threat. THz scanners are coming, but are not here yet.
Defending is always harder than attacking. The attacker has to find one method that works, while the defender must protect against all of them.
freethinking
1.8 / 5 (5) Nov 21, 2010
cyberCMD these scans and gropes are not security measures. They wont protect against any attack, unless you are a white boy trying to smuggle a teddy bear
http://www.youtub...Tz1bccL4

Or a cancer survivor trying to keep his dignity
http://www.msnbc....vel-news

If every member of congress and senate and their staff were forced to go through these enhanced scans and gropes how long before they would be banned?
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Nov 21, 2010
Defending is always harder than attacking.
Patently false. It's far more expensive to attack than defend. This is reflected in military budgets, security budgets, terrorist tactics, preventative scanning, etc.

It is always easier to defend as you have perfect knowledge of yourself, if you put the time and effort into having said knowledge.
freethinking
2.3 / 5 (6) Nov 22, 2010
www.drudgereport.com right now has a picture of a boy (who looks like 6-7) being striped searched, and another (could be the same kid, but looks younger) being felt up by TSA agent.

Due to the enhanced security, more people are opting to drive. Driving is more dangerous than flying. How many people are going to die because of the enhanced security? At least several. How many kids are going to be stripped searched? Already far too many. How many people are going to be humiliated? Far too many already. How many terrorist will be stopped? None!
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Nov 22, 2010
Patently false. It's far more expensive to attack than defend.

How much did a few box cutters cost along with flight lessons.
It is much easier and cheaper to destroy than to protect.
freethinking
1.7 / 5 (6) Nov 22, 2010
In the USA, if the airlines had no security at all my guess would be that at least 1-2 good guys out of a hundred would be carrying a gun. Gun vs Box Cutters, I place my bet on box cutters.

Problem with security becomes when the price of security is more than the value of what you are trying to protect, or even worse is that security devalues what you are trying to protect.

In the USA we are trying to protect freedom, TSA is taking freedom away. The cure is worse than the disease.
Skeptic_Heretic
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 22, 2010
Patently false. It's far more expensive to attack than defend.

How much did a few box cutters cost along with flight lessons.
It is much easier and cheaper to destroy than to protect.

Again, false. Look at defense spending of aggresive nations vs defensive nations on a per capita basis.
In the USA, if the airlines had no security at all my guess would be that at least 1-2 good guys out of a hundred would be carrying a gun.
Yeah, but how many bad ones? The problem with guns on planes is simple. The good guy won't fire because he's afraid he'll kill good people while the bad guy just doesn't give a fuck.
In the USA we are trying to protect freedom, TSA is taking freedom away. The cure is worse than the disease.
Absolutely in agreement on that. Franklin said it best.
freethinking
1 / 5 (4) Nov 22, 2010
SH.... no reason to swear.... but the bad guy doesnt know if it is the guy/gal just behind him/her. Uncertainty is a great defense. Solid checkpoints is a weakness
ekim
3 / 5 (1) Nov 22, 2010
Radiation exposure

* Mammogram: 30 mrem
* Chest X-ray: 10 mrem
* CT scan (head and body): 1100 mrem
* Dental X-ray: 10 mrem
* Using natural gas in home: 9 mrem/year
* Air travel per 1,600 km: 1 mrem
* Flight from Vancouver to Halifax (approximately 4,443 km): 2.78 mrem
* Luggage scanner: 0.002 mrem
* Body scanner: 0.01 mrem

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca...64r1peKk
frajo
1 / 5 (1) Nov 23, 2010
Radiation exposure
...
Read more: http://www.cbc.ca...64r1peKk

Thanks for the info.
But you forgot to tell what you'd like to tell the victim of the case freethinking linked to:
a cancer survivor trying to keep his dignity
http://www.msnbc....vel-news

Skeptic_Heretic
3 / 5 (2) Nov 23, 2010
SH.... no reason to swear.... but the bad guy doesnt know if it is the guy/gal just behind him/her. Uncertainty is a great defense. Solid checkpoints is a weakness
Neither is a defense against someone with nothing to lose.
freethinking
1 / 5 (5) Nov 23, 2010
SH - the terrorist, bad guy, has a mission s/he wants to accomplish. If they just want to die, you are correct they will act no matter what. However, even someone who want to comit suicide is afraid of dying (we are designed for self preservation), that is why they often hesitate before killing themselves.

Why was the underwear, shoe bomber not successful? They were scared of dying and/or being stopped, so when they tried to light the bomb, their fear resulted in the loss of fine motor skills.

Studies have shown that people will lose fine motor skills in a self defense scenario, so I practice simple effective moves and strategies for real attacks. Show off/ spectacular moves are fine when I'm not scared my oponent is going to kill me if I mess up.

Uncertainty increases fear. Who has a gun, who can defend themselves, will the passanger next to me see me lighting my underwear, will the underwear go off?
freethinking
1 / 5 (4) Nov 23, 2010
If I am certain no one has a weapon except for me. If I am certain people will not try and stop me. Its easy to do anything.
freethinking
1 / 5 (4) Nov 24, 2010
If the mythbuster can accidently smuggle 12 inch razor blades on a plane what can a terrorist plan to smuggle on a plane.

http://www.thebla...-blades/

A couple of years ago I flew with a relatively large metal flashlight in my carry on. I thought for sure someone in security would question it. Not one security person over several security scans even asked to see it.

Anyone who thinks these security proceedures will stop anyone or anything from a determined person, is an sheeple being led into slavery.
redshakti
not rated yet Nov 27, 2010
so much for flying (in commercial airplanes, that is)
jim65l
not rated yet Nov 28, 2010
If they required flight attendants to have medical degrees they could give every passenger a full set of xrays by building an xray machine in to the drink cart.
Or optionally you could get your annual physical free with a pat down.
Kahlan
not rated yet Nov 28, 2010
A few questions and thoughts...

I read an article in the Washington Post published today which stated that the Naked scanners currently in use would NOT detect the PETN used in the underwear bomb. Was this why they were created? In comparison to Metal detectors what are the additional safety benefits?

Are the scanners that use radio waves and produce gender neutral images safer than the scanners that use ionizing radiation? If so, and assuming they are as efficacious at protecting our safety why aren't they being implemented? What are we giving our civll rights up for?

Can the TSA provide guarantee that the radiation exposure to children, women of childbearing age and pregnant women will not cause future birth defects?

freethinking
1.7 / 5 (6) Dec 01, 2010
TSA thugs harras woman over breast milk.

http://www.prison...ilk.html

Skeptic_Heretic
1 / 5 (1) Dec 01, 2010
SH - the terrorist, bad guy, has a mission s/he wants to accomplish. If they just want to die, you are correct they will act no matter what. However, even someone who want to comit suicide is afraid of dying (we are designed for self preservation), that is why they often hesitate before killing themselves.
Are you trying to talk yourself into believing this or are you trying to convince me?

Why was the underwear, shoe bomber not successful?
Made in America, all the foreign manufactured bombers succeed.
freethinking
1.5 / 5 (6) Dec 01, 2010
SH - I'm sure you'll smile when the TSA gropes you.

TSA action is proof the terrorists have won. People are now more afraid to fly than ever before. Not because of the possible actions of terrorists, but rather because of the action of the government and the TSA.

Sheeple often find themselves in the hands of the butcher. More often than not, they willingly go to the butcher for fear of the wolf.
Skeptic_Heretic
1 / 5 (1) Dec 01, 2010
Upset that your reasoning is garbage? At least your end result of no violation of the 4th amendment is just.
freethinking
1.3 / 5 (6) Dec 02, 2010
SH, your reasoning is flawed.

A reasonably aware person can anticipate an attack before it happens. Being aware of people and my surrounding kept me save several times.

I knew someone was going to pull a gun and before they did even showed their weapon, I took action to ensure my families safety.

Walking on a path, I saw two people setting an ambush for me, I took action that avoided that situation.

There are several other instances in my life where I noticed bad people and took action. Ask any cop or military person. Bad people most often signal before they do anything. The more fear they have the more they telegraph their intentions.

I'm more afraid of those I can't fight, like the TSA and the Government, than those I can. I can defend myself from terrorists, but I cant stop the TSA from gropping my son, wife, daughter, or even myself.
Skeptic_Heretic
1 / 5 (1) Dec 02, 2010
SH, your reasoning is flawed.

A reasonably aware person can anticipate an attack before it happens. Being aware of people and my surrounding kept me save several times.

I knew someone was going to pull a gun and before they did even showed their weapon, I took action to ensure my families safety.

Walking on a path, I saw two people setting an ambush for me, I took action that avoided that situation.

No, I'd say you're just unreasonably paranoid, or lying. Think of how many times you've jumped at a loud noise. Now how many times has that instinct saved your life?
freethinking
1 / 5 (5) Dec 02, 2010
Paranoid maybe, lying I'm not.

I've jumped at a few loud noises.... funniest one was when I was in a very long creepy dark cable vault investigating a intermittent noise. Suddenly a loud roaring came from just behind me which scared the stuffing out of me. I did a 180 turn and landed in a fighting stance ready to fight what sounded like a bear... all it was was a fan that was failing... good thing no one was there... :)

SH, you must not go out much to big cities or to third world countries do you? Well I have and do, plus I also know people who go to places the US government says they can't rescue you if something goes wrong.
Skeptic_Heretic
1 / 5 (1) Dec 03, 2010
SH, you must not go out much to big cities or to third world countries do you? Well I have and do, plus I also know people who go to places the US government says they can't rescue you if something goes wrong.
You'd be rather misinformed if that is your assumption. 2 tours in Somalia, 1 tour in Kosovo, and I'm commonly in "places the US government can't rescue you" in my line of work. I stick to my earlier statement.
freethinking
1 / 5 (5) Dec 03, 2010
SK - I'm surpised your still alive not being able to read people....

Anyway... don't critize the TSA comrade unless you like to be gropped...

http://www.prison...tsa.html

As I said, I fear the TSA more than terrorists. TSA has the power of the government behind them, terrorists dont.

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