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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

An expert who gets it

The New York Times publishes a rather disappointing article about full body scanners - the next invasion of privacy that American air travelers will be asked to endure in order to avoid doing what ought to be done to prevent terrorism in the air. Tell me honestly: How many of you are comfortable having a full body picture taken of you through your clothes even if you are told that the machine cannot save any pictures and the person viewing them is in a separate room?

At the end of the article - finally - there's an interview with an expert named Bruce Schneier, who unlike the others actually understands that the full body scan is an embarrassment that isn't going to prevent terrorism.
Bruce Schneier, a security expert who has been critical of the technology, said the latest incident had not changed his mind.

If there are a hundred tactics and I protect against two of them, I’m not making you safer,” he said. “If we use full-body scanning, they’re going to do something else.”

The millions of dollars being spent on new equipment, he said, would be better invested in investigation and intelligence work to detect bombers before they get to any airport.
In other words, the money should be spent looking for terrorists and not for the things they carry with them. That's correct. Now all you need to add to it is profiling once they get to the airport as the final precaution.

There's more from Schneier here (Hat Tip: Volokh Conspiracy).


At 8:35 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Carl - profiling in the US is NOT politically correct even though it would save money and a lot of lives.

At 9:19 PM, Blogger Dan said...

At the risk of sounding like a bigot...The United States needs to take a hard look at which groups are most likely to commit such attacks and stop being "PC". I traveled four times this year going one state to the other and saw every time an elderly person being "stripped searched" while traditional Muslims were allowed to pass without a second glance. Although the full body scan will not prevent all forms of terrorism, it will slow down those attempting an impromptu attack.


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