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  (Source: Cynthia Boll/AP)

Pricey new "millimeter-wave" full body scanners may seem promising, but in reality they do little to detect liquids, plastics, or chemical explosives, say UK government officials.  (Source: IOS Graphics)
Turns out we might really not be any safer with new semi-nude scans

On Christmas Day Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, attempted an audacious terrorist attack on a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit.  Fortunately, the Nigerian native's scheme failed due to faulty explosives and he was taken into custody after being restrained by passengers.  However, in the wake of the attacks, U.S. President Barack Obama is considering rolling out current test-phase 3D scanners on a national basis.

Privacy advocates are outraged as the scanners show basically a nude image of the passenger -- with genitals and breasts blurred by software (though the raw image is fully nude).  However, there may be a far greater problem with the scanners. According to British government officials -- they don't work.

The British Department for Transport (DfT) and the Home Office tested the new 3D scanners thoroughly and found that while they were relatively accurate in catching high-density materials that pat-downs missed (such as knives, box-cutters, or other problem items), they failed to detect most low-density items, including bags of liquid.

The Christmas Day bomber used a 3 oz. package of the chemical powder PETN (pentaerythritol tetranitrate), disguised in his crotch.  Hard to detect in a pat down, British politicians familiar with the country's internal research say that "millimeter-wave" scanners would also likely fail to spot the bag of low-density chemical explosives.

According to Ben Wallace, the UK Conservative MP, tests showed that the new scanners failed to detect a variety of low-density materials, including, plastic, chemicals and liquids.  The waves pass through these materials, hitting the body and then bouncing back, revealing only the underlying skin.

Like the U.S., the UK is now considering adopting the scanners on a broad basis.  However, emerging evidence from government studies on the scanners indicates that the rollout may be nothing more than a pricey game of "security theater" designed to make people feel safe, while doing little in reality.  This is significant, considering the investment may amount to hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars, an expense that will surely be passed on to taxpayers.

Mr. Wallace comments, "[UK Prime Minister] Gordon Brown is grasping at headlines if he thinks buying a couple of scanners will make us safer. It is too little, too late. Under his leadership, he starved the defence research budget that could have funded a comprehensive solution while at the same time he has weakened our border security.  Scanners cannot provide a comprehensive solution on their own. We must now start to ask if national security demands the use of profiling."

Mr. Wallace is among the politicians in the U.S., UK, and abroad that's suggesting some sort of profiling system as an alternative to more effectively increase security.  Such a system might involve additional searches of foreign nationals, particularly from volatile regions like the Middle East and Africa, while potentially lightening the searches on certain groups, like the elderly.



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RE: Finally some common sense
By Spivonious on 1/4/2010 10:06:47 AM , Rating: 3
If we start profiling, then the bombers will all be little old ladies with nice European names and white skin.

I think our main problem is that we assume terrorists are stupid. Just look at the unmanned drones transmitting unencrypted video. Seriously?


RE: Finally some common sense
By Reclaimer77 on 1/4/2010 10:11:17 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
If we start profiling, then the bombers will all be little old ladies with nice European names and white skin.


One of the most common counter arguments used on Daily Tech.

Problem is, no offense, but it's idiotic. First off, assuming you find nice white european women willing to BLOW THEMSELVES UP for a cause that's not even their own.. can you imagine the terrorist actually using an infidel, in their own words, AND a woman for such an act ?? They would be outright SHAMED in their own communities.

Sorry but it's just not going to happen. And anyone who thinks it will is a moron.


RE: Finally some common sense
By MozeeToby on 1/4/2010 10:57:37 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
First off, assuming you find nice white European women willing to BLOW THEMSELVES UP for a cause that's not even their own
How do you know? Not everyone who converts to Islam changes their name and not everyone who is Islamic is of Arabic descent. All it takes is one chemically imbalanced woman and the proper encouragement and you'd have a world of hurt.

Alternatively, given that there is a real and active sex slave trade from Eastern Europe into many Arabic countries I wouldn't find it at all hard to believe that terrorist could find a properly brainwashed, European, young woman to do their dirty work for them.

As for the shame that they would feel? They've used women for their attacks in the past, and I didn't hear any outcry from their leaders; maybe it happened privately but they certainly didn't say to the world that such behavior was unacceptable.


RE: Finally some common sense
By Reclaimer77 on 1/4/2010 11:05:14 AM , Rating: 2
/throws arms up

Ok fine. Whatever guys lol. Good luck finding all those non Muslim terrorists just itching to be suicide bombers.


RE: Finally some common sense
By AEvangel on 1/4/2010 11:49:39 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Ok fine. Whatever guys lol. Good luck finding all those non Muslim terrorists just itching to be suicide bombers


You mean like Timothy James McVeigh

The problem here is not catching the terrorists it's really determining why they keep attacking us.

The problem with that is we know why but our governments wont stop causing it. All these terrorists that are created want the same thing for Western and European powers to leave them alone. Whether your and IRA, Al Qaeda, or Hamas. All they want is self determination and for others to leave their lands. I'm sorry but I don't see what is so hard about that.


RE: Finally some common sense
By Oregonian2 on 1/4/2010 1:30:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
All they want is self determination and for others to leave their lands. I'm sorry but I don't see what is so hard about that.


One commits suicide to gain self determination? I have trouble accepting that as a profitable endeavor. Especially when those who are trying to being kept out of "their lands" isn't there to begin with.


RE: Finally some common sense
By AEvangel on 1/4/2010 2:08:31 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
One commits suicide to gain self determination? I have trouble accepting that as a profitable endeavor.


I would agree, but since most of these people are poor uneducated or just at their weak minded enough so that others can convince them of their "just cause". They are used as pawns in this battle. Then we come along and feed them more ammunition by attacking the Muslim countries, whom never really posed any threat to us.

quote:
Especially when those who are trying to being kept out of "their lands" isn't there to begin with.


I'm not sure what you were saying here, but if you mean to say that we are not in the middle east or interfering with their affairs I would ask where you have been living the last 75 years or so.

In reality the MIC(Military Industrial Complex) is just using Islamic Extremist and Al Qaeda as their new Fear mongering campaign, similar to Communism, which was the big fear mongering tool they used for the last Century to get us involved in pointless wars costing billions of dollars and millions of lives.


RE: Finally some common sense
By Reclaimer77 on 1/4/10, Rating: 0
RE: Finally some common sense
By AEvangel on 1/4/2010 3:16:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I was wondering when the cookoo conspiracy theory would come out of your mouth. I'm surprised you didn't throw in the "war for oil" while you were at it.


Like I said the more you talk the more ignorant you sound. it amazes me you can even form coherent sentences.


RE: Finally some common sense
By chick0n on 1/5/2010 8:32:44 AM , Rating: 1
I agreed with you AEvangel.

I think people have been watching Fox and NBCs about "OMG ANOTHER Solider KILLED IN IRAQ ~~~" way too much. Sure some of our US citizens died. but do you fags have any idea how MANY Civilians got killed by US from so called "we believed/the intelligences told us that this location has terrorist so we bombed them up"

Last year I read overseas news(the media that has not be controlled by Jewish/US/UK/whatever western of course), there were over 600K civilians killed in Iraq ALONE.

No wonder so many people want to be suicide bombers and more and more people join the so called "terrorist" group.


RE: Finally some common sense
By AEvangel on 1/5/2010 6:28:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Last year I read overseas news(the media that has not be controlled by Jewish/US/UK/whatever western of course), there were over 600K civilians killed in Iraq ALONE.


Exactly...I'm not going to quote exact #'s like you did but I think any intelligent person should realize that more innocent people have been killed in this ignorant WAR ON TERROR campaign then died in what started this whole witch hunt.


RE: Finally some common sense
By Reclaimer77 on 1/4/10, Rating: 0
RE: Finally some common sense
By AEvangel on 1/4/2010 1:59:40 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
You don't think people have tried to reason with them ? They are freaking savages, end of story. There is no point in trying to determine why they do what they do.


Wow, the ignorance of your statement speaks volumes to how truly stupid you are.

quote:
That is absurd. They want a world wide Muslim state, convert or die. You might want to actually pay attention to what they believe and you might understand their motivations.


Who is this THEY you speak of?? Cause according to the CIA the reason why Muslim extremists attack us is due to a term called blow-back. They attack us cause we are their and keep messing with affairs in their countries or supporting corrupt regimes in their countries.

quote:
One guy, and he isn't even a suicide bomber. Nice try, you failed.


I agree he was not a suicide bomber, but he is really not much different then most of these suicide bombers. He was just educated enough to do it with out blowing himself up.

But like I said at the start of my reply you really are just to ignorant for words. The simple fact that you devalue almost an entire continent of people as savages just amazes me.


RE: Finally some common sense
By Reclaimer77 on 1/4/2010 3:06:06 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The simple fact that you devalue almost an entire continent of people as savages just amazes me.


You know what, go to hell. I never said that and you f'ing know it. We're not talking about entire countries worth of people. ALL Muslims and all middle eastern people are NOT suicide bombers, extreemist, or anything of the like.


RE: Finally some common sense
By AEvangel on 1/4/2010 3:22:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Muslims and all middle eastern people are NOT suicide bombers, extreemist, or anything of the like.


So then why not trust them enough to let them run their own countries and elect their own leaders, without interference.

Right now we are contemplating more sanctions for Iran like the ones that starved hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi citizens, simply because we BELIEVE they are developing nuclear weapons even though their is NO proof of that and actually all the evidence points to the exact opposite.

While at the same time we provided nuclear weapons to Israel and helped India get them as well.

So you tell me if all those people have a right to pissed off at us when we tell them what they can and can't have in their own country.


RE: Finally some common sense
By HighWing on 1/4/2010 4:33:31 PM , Rating: 2
you are forgetting one little detail as to the "why" "we" are in their lands. They've had their country to run on their own, but they then also attacked other countries that then came to us for help. (insert what ever war in the middle east you want here) So it was either not help out someone asking for help, or go into these lands and help. We are in their lands because at one time we were "asked" to be there. Now weather we should still be there is another topic of debate as well.

Fact is these extremists don't want to play nice with our allies. And don't want our allies to have their own country and run it either. So in a way denying the extremists that right seems more logical to me. but then that's just my opinion.

Personally I would be all for just not letting anyone in or out of these war zones in the middle easy till they figure it out on their own. I agree that if they don't want us in their lands, then maybe we should leave. However, often it's not "their" land that they don't want us in.


RE: Finally some common sense
By Reclaimer77 on 1/4/2010 6:32:12 PM , Rating: 2
Don't try to reason with him, I have already given up. If it wasn't for the US and it's allies, all the Jews in the middle east would be dead or displaced. And we would STILL be hated.

He's trying to establish a rational and logical cause!=effect pattern of behavior to people who blow themselves and innocent people up. Insanity.


RE: Finally some common sense
By AEvangel on 1/5/2010 6:41:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If it wasn't for the US and it's allies, all the Jews in the middle east would be dead or displaced.


An what is the problem with that?? Considering Israel State we know today was established by Terrorists??

quote:
He's trying to establish a rational and logical cause!=effect pattern of behavior to people who blow themselves and innocent people up. Insanity.


I know...it's crazy to apply human logic to a situation when you can just BLOW THEM UP!! I guess all those FBI Profilers must have it all wrong you can't make any rational to what crazy murders do and why they do it.

Cowards like you slay me you have no problem sacrificing other peoples lives while sit there comfortable at home with your smug confidence of doing the right thing no matter how many innocent people are killed in your grand crusade of stupidity.


RE: Finally some common sense
By chick0n on 1/5/2010 8:42:21 AM , Rating: 1
and have you wondered WHY the US help?

Jewish, Oil.

there are wars every fuxking where, you dont see our o-holy USA send all their troops to clear those pirates up.

Why they want Iraq? w00t free oil. USA have been talking $hit about North Korea for ages, you dont see Bush send dozens of army to clear it up.

Oh speaking of jews, last I know there were NEVER a country called "Israel" in history, where did that come from ... oh yeah, because some "RICH JEWS" said "THAT location" is where they start, so guess what, send a group of army there so they can KILL & kick them out so these Jews can start their own "country" ROFL OMG WOW give them a round of applause !!!

If you support the Jewish, I guess you should support the American Indians to start a War right now and take the US back then. Cuz this land originally belong to the American Indians, it was the "white men" who came ships and took it.


RE: Finally some common sense
By Reclaimer77 on 1/5/2010 9:43:27 AM , Rating: 2
lol, and they say I'm racists on here...


RE: Finally some common sense
By AEvangel on 1/5/2010 6:42:51 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
lol, and they say I'm racists on here...


No...I don't think your racist just ignorant.


RE: Finally some common sense
By AEvangel on 1/5/2010 6:35:40 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
They've had their country to run on their own, but they then also attacked other countries that then came to us for help.


Ok, then explain to me of the two wars we are involved in now and who they attacked that asked for help?

quote:
Fact is these extremists don't want to play nice with our allies.


You ever think it's because our "allies" don't want to play nice with them?? I mean almost everyone we call and Ally in that region is an Oppressive Dictatorship or commits heinous human rights offenses.


By ClownPuncher on 1/4/2010 7:06:10 PM , Rating: 2
How do you profile this? To be clear, you are talking about Muslims? The majority of the worlds Muslims are from Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan etc. Huge variances in DNA groups, completely dissimilar in all ways besides faith. If you mean Middle Easterners, are you referring to the arabs, semitic races, aryans, turks, africans?

Profiling like is is either racial or relgion based, and it is discrimination. So you want to treat a massive group like crap because a very very small group(we're talking about a fraction of 1% of a population) is violent?


RE: Finally some common sense
By KidneyBean on 1/4/2010 2:46:27 PM , Rating: 2
"You mean like Timothy James McVeigh"

Lets at least shrink the terrorist pool, OK. Excluding middle eastern people from bypassing extra security inspection, who says it has to be physically intrusive, would go a long ways. How many Israeli planes have had passengers on a flying plane attempt terrorism lately?


RE: Finally some common sense
By AEvangel on 1/4/2010 3:14:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
How many Israeli planes have had passengers on a flying plane attempt terrorism lately?


You want to talk about Israel security being invasive.

http://matzav.com/us-student-police-shot-my-laptop...


RE: Finally some common sense
By Omega215D on 1/4/2010 10:07:58 PM , Rating: 2
I love how the commenters stated it was a good thing and that she was probably hiding something from them.

It'll take a month for reimbursement? Instead of being on vacation or such you'll spend your time filling out forms.


RE: Finally some common sense
By Solandri on 1/4/2010 3:46:31 PM , Rating: 2
Profiling works. It's simple math. Concentrate your search on a smaller subset, and you increase your odds of catching the one anomaly. If the terrorists attempt to thwart your profiling by using race/age/gender groups not profiled, it seriously decreases their potential pool of suicide bombers. Either way, it achieves the desired goal of reducing successful terrorist incidents.

http://www.thestar.com/News/World/article/456891
http://www.thestarphoenix.com/opinion/Profiling+wo...

The question is not one of whether or not it works. The question is one of principle. Do we give up our principles against racial discrimination to gain the advantage racial profiling would provide?

quote:
The problem here is not catching the terrorists it's really determining why they keep attacking us.

The problem with that thinking is that no matter what you do, someone, somewhere in the world will not like it. There are just too many different peoples and viewpoints in the world to allow otherwise. So your dream of a world where there are no terrorists wishing to attack us is just that - an impossible dream. True you can minimize the number of people willing to attack us by making some smart decisions. But basing foreign policy entirely upon whether a tiny group of people would be really pissed off by your actions is just silly. At some point you have to draw the line, and say that the number of people opposing what you're doing is too small to override the wishes of the majority in the region.

In fact, the biggest difference I see among Western democracies and other political systems is that the people on the losing end of a vote are less likely to resort to violent means to protest their loss. I've been pondering how/why that is for many years now.

quote:
The problem with that is we know why but our governments wont stop causing it. All these terrorists that are created want the same thing for Western and European powers to leave them alone. Whether your and IRA, Al Qaeda, or Hamas. All they want is self determination and for others to leave their lands. I'm sorry but I don't see what is so hard about that.

And therein is the problem. Nobody elected Al Qaeda or the IRA as legitimate representatives for their people, so it's wrong to treat their wants and desires as representative of the nations in the region as a whole. (Hamas was elected to represent the Gaza Strip, so I give them more leeway despite their history.)

You're trying to make it sound like everyone in that area wants to be left alone. That's simply not true. Some do, some don't. I would reckon most actually want some form of trade with the West, as opposed to Al Qaeda which wants the region to be totally isolated.

Political relations with foreign non-democratic countries raise some sticky issues of principle. On the one hand, you don't want to support a brutal dictator. On the other hand, because of the political structure of the country, trading with him may in fact be the only way you can exert any influence in the region. I'm not too keen on the U.S. relationship with Saudi Arabia (basically a royal monarchy), but said relationship is the only thing which gives any weight to our protests when they oppress their citizens.

You seem to be asking for international relations to be limited to perfectly legitimate and perfectly representative democracies. The real world isn't that simple. Sometimes you have to choose between a bad option and a worse option.


RE: Finally some common sense
By Moishe on 1/4/2010 4:42:18 PM , Rating: 2
Don't be stupid.
The argument that there are other kinds of terrorists out there does not at all diminish the fact that the vast majority of them are the radical Muslim types.

Anyone with a brain knows that to get the best results you target the widest audience. The widest terrorist type is easy to spot. There will always be exceptions and crazies, but the organization of a radical religion that authorizes death of non-converts tends to be the rule, not the exception.

It really bothers me that people don't want to do the obvious thing that might produce results. This is like the RIAA saying "aww hell, can't catch em all, might as well give up."


RE: Finally some common sense
By callmeroy on 1/5/2010 12:08:55 PM , Rating: 2
My recent (and admittedly over sarcastic.. :) ) post about profiling as a good thing cemented what I already suspected..most people don't really know what actual profiling even is. They think its nothing more than randomly selecting folks based on their race or religion alone and for no other reason than 'well the other guy that did it was that religion or race too'...then you also have the folks who believe profiling is claimed to STOP dead everyone and anyone ....like the Tim McVeigh (which is a very common retort for those against profiling) ....

Then the blah blah about constitution and all....even though profiling when used as the investigative and law enforcement aid its supposed to be doesn't violate any constiutional rights whatsoever.

But back to McVeigh, if profiling was in existence back then it may have caught on to him --- but nothing (like much in life) is 100% certain. I can tell you using profiling as a tool....*the right way* would have analyzed things like why did McVeigh buy this that and the other thing -- gee that's the same stuff in the past that people used to build bombs....hmm look here he's scheduled to pick up a rented truck....hmm maybe we should put surveillance on this guy.......

Profiling is NOT looking at race and religion alone -- get that through your heads. Profiling is using intelligence about all the commonalities -- including behavor, buying habits, personality traits, history, etc. etc. that conforms to criminals who carried out like crimes in the past.


RE: Finally some common sense
By afkrotch on 1/4/2010 11:23:48 PM , Rating: 2
If they can make Eddie Murphy look like an old white guy in Coming to America back in 1988, they can make a terrorist look like an old white lady today.


RE: Finally some common sense
By blowfish on 1/4/2010 3:08:37 PM , Rating: 2
This kind of rubbish is based on Israeli experiences. Now it's obviously very easy for an Arabic person to impersonate a Jewish person - they are pretty much genetically the same thing.

When was the last attack carried out by a regular Joe or a little old white lady?

All sensible people know that the problem is with ultra-religious Islamic losers. You have to believe in a rewarding afterlife to consider being a suicide bomber. One of the ironies is that the promised virgins for the "martyrs" (losers) are actually white raisins, not virgins. Just an error in translation of that wonderful, peaceful book. You know the one, the one that talks of cutting off unbelievers' heads and pouring boiling oil down their necks. Primitive mumbo-jumbo at the same sort of level as the Old Testament, another hodge-podge of tribal documents.

Instead of trying to use machines to detect these losers, a few simple questions would suffice. Sure, some of them will adopt Western ways to try to fool the security services, but you can't disguise fanaticism with short hair and a few bar tabs.

Now of course the government wouldn't be spending huge amounts of money on security improvements that don't work, would they?

Oh, wait a minute, the much touted TSA screeners consistently perform well below - perhaps an order of magnitude below - the supposedly unqualified lowly paid workers they took over from. That, despite the TSA getting advance warning of any "random" tests. And not only do the TSA screeners cost more - like a factor of ten times more than the scape-goated private screening services they replaced - they also add insult to injury by having one of the highest rates of absenteeism of any government employees.

So more madness, more expensive machines, more delays, more stupidity, no common sense.


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