· security

"Security Scanners" Again

Early this morning I was flying from Aberdeen Airport to Berlin for the Tor Metrics Team meeting. I noticed that they have finally put up some signage before the security area and writing this blog post I really wish I’d taken a picture of it just to show how ridiculous it was.

It didn’t have much information on it, but the information it had was almost laughable. For example: “The scanner is lower than a mobile phone”. As someone who understands radio, I assume they mean field strength, but they don’t specify this so they could mean height or long distance call prices.

There is also a notice explaining that you are allowed to opt-out from use of the scanner. This is welcome, but the wording of the alternative “enhanced private search” is not great. In practice, this routine involves waiting around for someone to become available as they are understaffed (I’ve waited up to 20 minutes before for someone to become available) and then being taken off into a side room where someone will pat you down and go over you with a handheld metal detector.

Given that every other country I’ve visited in Europe seems to be able to not be dreadful at this, I have no idea how the UK can be so dreadful. If you’re interested in this area, I have previously written up some research at the Open Rights Group wiki.


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