Northern Ireland nixes scanners because they don’t work

BBC Scanners
The millimeter wave scanners are no better at detecting contraband than their radiation-emitting counterparts, the backscatter scanners. But then, we’ve only been telling you that for years.

As the UK discovered, the scanners missed almost half the test items in a three-month pilot program.

The items missed included scissors, knives, and cell phone batteries. The searches were conducted on about 1,200 prisoners and staff in Northern Ireland.

Jon Corbett already proved how easy it is to thwart the backscatter scanners. TSA agents have concurred. And the TSA is junking the backscatters, after having spent hundreds of millions of our dollars on them. But those scanners are getting replaced by MMW (millimeter wave) scanners that also don’t work, and that, as we’ve reported numerous times, have a high rate of false alarms. That means that even if you go through the scanner, you can still get hauled aside to the glassed-in gulag for a grope, as thousands of people can attest.

Let’s say it again: the scanners are a billion-dollar boondoggle for the so-called security industry. They exist to line the pockets of their manufacturers, who then go on to line the pockets of our representatives in Congress.

When you step into a scanner and raise your arms in a position of surrender, you’re not only signaling to the powers-that-be that you’ll do anything they ask, you’re also giving your approval to a technology that is demonstrably worthless and that props up an abusive system. Congratulations.

(Photo: Courtesy of the BBC)

  • marilyn

    I am still having a difficult time relating to how most passengers go thru that TSA exercise without any question.
    Imagine….how this TSA system could change if most people did ask questions and resisted this sheep-like behavior.

    • Marilyn, exactly. As I’ve been saying for three years, if people would simply refuse, they’d bollux up the works. If only 50% refused; but I know they won’t. If 20% refused; but I know they won’t. Hell, if only 10% refused, that would slow down the system enough that the TSA would have to abandon it.

      But most people are, alas, only too happy to lick the authoritarian boot. “Just get me to my flight on time!”

      • Okay if you miss a flight due to problems with delayed security does the airport have a legal responsibility to still fly you to your next stop and make sure you get a connecting flight that you also need to make. No I am not willing to go through the scans or the pat downs in fact in response to the pat down I would likely say I do not consent to a search but I will not resist.
        however many people who don’t want to miss their flight either have jobs on the line or they are flying to family emergencies or their long saved up for vacation. Keep in mind many of the “first class” passengers already have a breeze through security check.