Feeds

Pope pooh-poohs airport perv-scanners

Slams security sop as sinful. Sort of

Security for virtualized datacentres

The Pope has come out against airport scanners - or maybe he hasn’t, but those operating the scanners may be sinning all the same.

Yesterday’s newspapers were full of reports that, in granting an audience to representatives of ENAC (Ente Nazionale per l’Aviazione Civile Italiana) and ENAV (Ente Nazionale per l’Assistenza al Volo) – bodies dedicated to the safety and regulation of individuals working in aviation and in support roles at airports - he roundly condemned the security measures from an ecumenical perspective.

In the relevant passage from his audience, the Holy Father says: "In every deed, the one thing that sits above everything else is the need to safeguard and value the person as a whole."

He then goes on to suggest that this aim is particularly difficult, "because of the economic crisis... and because of the terrorist threat, which has as the principle target for its subversive aim both airports and airplanes".

Then, in a passage that Vatican-watchers consider to be about as controversial as His Holiness gets on the subject of airport scanners, he adds: "Even in such circumstances, we should never lose sight of the fact that respect of the primacy of the person and care for his needs not only does not reduce the effectiveness of the service or penalise economic management, but, on the contrary, represent important guarantees of true efficiency and real quality."

So is this a fulsome condemnation of the evils of scanning? The argument in favour of such an interpretation is somewhat weakened by the fact that the speech is contextualised by reference to part 25 of a subsidiary document - Caritas in veritate – which talks at length about the downsizing of welfare and social systems.

We asked the Catholic church for clarification: unfortunately, the English Catholic Church does not comment on remarks emanating from the Holy See. So we phoned Rome, only to discover that the Vatican Press Office observes Italian opening hours, and the Director of Communications had already left for the day.

Readers must therefore judge for themselves what the Pope was going on about.

In the meantime, we were reminded of the dangers inherent in gazing upon the naked form. According to Matthew 5, 28: "Anyone who even looks at a woman with lust in his eye has already committed adultery with her in his heart."

Adultery, as all good Catholics are well aware, is a mortal sin. Luckily, this is unlikely to be an issue for airport security staff who have already spoken out to condemn any insinuation that they would ever use pics taken from the new body scanners for lewd or lascivious purposes.

As one security guard put it earlier this year: "The idea that we are going to get kicks out of seeing a blurry grey image of people’s bodies is frankly offensive."

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Department for Transport would not be drawn on whether or not they plan to scan the Pope when he visits the UK later this year, referring us to the interim code of practice, and refusing to comment on how they might be applied in individual cases. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.