I suggest a campaign about ...

Allow an opt out alternative to Airport Body Scanners.

If someone is worried about the potential radiation risk then surely they should be able to opt to be patted down instead of scanned. These scanners may increase the risk for cancer in certain people. Dr David Brenner, head of Columbia University's centre for radiological research, said although the danger posed to the individual passenger is 'very low', he is urging researchers to carry out more tests on the device to look at the way it affects specific groups who could be more sensitive to radiation.

He says children and passengers with gene mutations - around one in 20 of the population - are more at risk as they are less able to repair X-ray damage to their DNA.

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    BenBen shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    19 comments

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      • LorraineLorraine commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        The Uk is not only breaking EU Law which has banned the use of x-ray backscatter scanners until further trials are carried out, they are ignoring Nuremberg Regulations; Directives for Human Experimentation http://ohsr.od.nih.gov/guidelines/nuremberg.html The scanners are being trialled until November 2012 and are therefore an experiment. Even after 2012 how can they know the long term effects of these scanners? They can't....the UK govenment it contravening so many human rights and our civil liberties there should be action regardless of the outcome of this vote. By the way there is a British made scanner the TS4 which detects terra hertz emissions from all things and doesn't emit radiation. It can detect solids, liquids, gels, powders, anything concealed on a person but doesn't produce naked body images and isn't harmful. This scanner is being trialled in Australia. It doesn't require anyone, who is selected, to stand still for 15 seconds while they are blasted with a dose of radiation concentrated on the skin. Everyone can be scanned as they walk through so offers much better security while preserving our privacy, our dignity and our health.

      • Karen RodgersKaren Rodgers commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This imposition of body scanners contravenes so many rights, this has to be challenged. If we have no right to avoid being subjected to this kind on uncontrolled experiment with radiology, no right to privacy, we are no more than cattle.

      • JessJess commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Why are we not using the safer alternative technologies that exist, or is this all about money/contracts etc again...........sigh

      • ktpktp commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        it is absolutely outrageous that there is no opt out! this MUST change

      • Lise NaughonLise Naughon commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        There should be pat down option at the very least. Until the health risks have been properly tested and taken into account this is especially important. The average person may be fine but there are people who are at risk who are not provided with alternatives.

      • Jo JonesJo Jones commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I do not like the health risks involved, there needs to be an opt out option

      • LorraineLorraine commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        The machines are invasive and unsafe. I view them as an uncontrolled radiological experiment. They are used to perform routine, virtual strip searches without probable cause. They violate basic human rights. The right to privacy includes the right to decide who views your body. I would consider it highly inappropriate and illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to pass through “nude” body scanners. The Protection of Children Act 1978 and the Sexual Offences Act 2003 make it illegal to possess, distribute, show and make indecent images of children. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) specified in 2008 documents that the machines must have image storage and sending abilities. Current UK policy is at odds with the latest EU guidance which states, “Passengers are given the right to opt out from a control with scanners and be subjected to an alternative method of screening.” The UK will receive daily EU fines for non-compliance. The document, “The Coalition: Our Programme for Government” states that the new government “will be strong in defense of freedom.” It promises to “implement a full programme of measures to reverse the substantial erosion of civil liberties and roll back state intrusion.” If the Coalition Government is serious about civil liberties it should stop the use of naked body scanners at airports or at the very least allow opt-out and pat-down measures. For security purposes a pat-down would suffice to revel anything concealed under clothing.

      • buskerbusker commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        An opt-out isn't enough - but it's an absolutely essential minimum. The UK should comply with the general European ban on these devices. If the UK govt has an opt-out, so should passengers.

        The issue of airport scanners is increasingly disturbing to many travellers. This hardware is being rolled out in major UK airports now, and there are major safety concerns with the equipment. Four UCSF professors signed a letter to the White House saying they felt the testing process for the equipment was totally inadequate, that maintenance could not be assured, and that a malfunction with the mechanical parts could cause critical radiation burns to an individual during a scan. All of this is in addition to the matter of privacy, civil liberties etc.

        The Heathrow Airport website offers a feeble pretext, and no satisfactory reason why a physical search could not replace the scan in a concerned individual, such as those who DO suffer after effects from exposure to x-rays. Alarmingly, unlike in the USA, travellers in UK airports will NOT be able to opt out of a scan. Opt out and you won't travel. It is a medical fact that here is no such thing as a safe dose of xrays. Some travellers will feel like they are being asked to compromise their right to protect themselves from radiation or be confined to an island.

      • buskerbusker commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        An opt-out isn't enough - but it's an absolutely essential minimum. The UK should comply with the general European ban on these devices. If the UK govt has an opt-out, so should passengers.

        The issue of airport scanners is increasingly disturbing to many travellers. This hardware is being rolled out in major UK airports now, and there are major safety concerns with the equipment. Four UCSF professors signed a letter to the White House saying they felt the testing process for the equipment was totally inadequate, that maintenance could not be assured, and that a malfunction with the mechanical parts could cause critical radiation burns to an individual during a scan. All of this is in addition to the matter of privacy, civil liberties etc.

        The Heathrow Airport website offers a feeble pretext, and no satisfactory reason why a physical search could not replace the scan in a concerned individual, such as those who DO suffer after effects from exposure to x-rays. Alarmingly, unlike in the USA, travellers in UK airports will NOT be able to opt out of a scan. Opt out and you won't travel. It is a medical fact that here is no such thing as a safe dose of xrays. Some travellers will feel like they are being asked to compromise their right to protect themselves from radiation or be confined to an island.

      • Robyn BurrowsRobyn Burrows commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        These so called 'safe' machines are now thought to be actually not so safe. Any x-ray is a risk and why should anyone have to expose themselves to this risk when alternatives can be employed. I care for a disabled child (my son) and I don't wish to expose myself to any risk because he is completely reliant on me for all his needs. He is too vulnerable and the safety of these machines is too questionable.

      • Paul ThomasPaul Thomas commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        http://www.bigbrotherwatch.org.uk/home/body-scanners/
        Airport scanners are another step towards total control, physical and psychological.

        In the U.S. there is often an alternative to the "scanner", which involves (among other things) having your genitals fondled by a member of the same sex (how does that grab you?).
        In the U.K. invariably you will be denied travel (and presumably go on the terrorist watch-list) if you refuse to submit to this humiliating procedure.
        In Israel these scanners are considered "useless" and not used.

        To avoid the scanners you will have to assess all the options - which airports do and don't have scanners, feasibility of overland travel etc.
        Be aware there are plans to roll out scanners at train stations and border crossings too.

        Many U.S. government officials lobbying for the introduction of these enhanced security measures were found to have a financial interest in the companies manufacturing the equipment.

      • DaiDai commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        there should always be an alternative just in case of equipment failure, religion or health or on privacy grounds etc

      • BenBen commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Theres no option to opt out unless you elect to leave the airport the same way you came in and not go on holiday

      • Emma ShaneEmma Shane commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Also what about people with heart problems? Some of them are very concerned that walking through scanners could cause them to have a heart attack.

      • Connor BeatonConnor Beaton commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        My concerns aren't so much regarding privacy (even though I do find it very important) but more because of the health issues that have been raised and ignored by most government agencies. I'd really like the option to opt out.

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