Scanner Outrage at Heathrow

Nearly a year after the implementation of the new full-body backscatter scanners at international airports around the world, it appears that Americans are not the only ones taking offense at the intrusive technology. The British are starting to take a stand against what they consider inappropriate security measures that jeopardize not only their health but also their privacy.

It is possible that the anger would have never come to a boil if it had not been revealed that Indian film star Shahrukh Khan had his naked scanner images not only saved but printed from one of Heathrow’s security machines. Airport employees and security officials dismissed the claims and Heathrow stuck to their assertion that the machine had neither the capability nor capacity to store images from a scanner session. This however directly contradicts reports from credible media sources that in fact the scanner can collect and output images, and that within those images, no privacy detail is spared. Visitors staying in Heathrow hotels reported that they felt violated when they passed through the scanners. The visitors interviewed had been staying at Heathrow Airport hotels.

Many ask whom we should believe.

Under the freedom of information act, CNN has obtained documents that appear to turn this defense on its ear. In internal memos and detailed departmental discussions, it appears that the machines are capable of exactly what they are being accused of. They in fact, can snap, store and even distribute scanner images of passengers in disturbing detail.

Further, journalists from the Guardian also confirmed for us that again, contrary to TSA claims, “eerily enough, genitals and their details were clearly visible”. One might ask how the TSA could make such claims of non-invasion when even the images on their own website appeared to contradict their public statements.
Visitors to Heathrow hotels would be well advised to follow all security protocol to avoid the higher level scanning, although it should be noted that any and all passengers staying at Heathrow Airport hotels would have to submit to the procedures if asked.


March 27, 2011 | Author: | Posted in Airline Travel

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