EU bottoms up committee slates body scanners
Expensive, flaky, not fit for purpose ...
An obscure EU Committee has slammed the introduction of body scanners, raising concerns over the health and human rights risks of the technology.
The European Economic and Social Committee has delivered an opinion on scanner technology, which sets out concerns over the scanners' ability to improve security "which, coupled with the considerable cost of the scanners, remains the key issue".
It suggested authorities use "available technologies to identify broad sources of threat", which could then be further investigated with pat-down searches.
This is until scanners and similar technologies evolve and become "better equipped and less intrusive than scanners in their current form". It also said the use of body scanners was not advisable till more work had been done on health risks.
"The European Commission is focused too much on technology and erroneously downplays the importance of enhanced intelligence sharing and human factor analysis", said Bernardo Hernández Bataller (Spain, Various Interests' Group), rapporteur of the opinion.
The group slated the eroding of "fundamental rights" as a trade-off for public security, and said passengers should be able to opt out of searches without being hit with "additional burdens" such as delays or long queues. Efforts to rebrand body scanners as "security scanners" also got short shrift as a transparent attempt to make them "politically attractive".
The committee's announcements are hard-hitting, though it is debatable whether they will actually blunt the authorities' effort to scan us all.
After all, have you heard of the EESC before? Its raison d'être is to be a "bridge between Europe and organised civil society", giving a voice to the people "on the ground". Which is presumably why the "committee" is 350-strong, and describes itself as "the only way for Europe's interest groups – trade unionists, employers, farmers, etc – to have a formal and institutionalized say on draft EU legislation." ®
Fuck em. We can't put the rights of the general public above those of company executives to line their pockets with people's tax pounds. We'll support this scam and concoct some wacky terrrorism bullshit to cover our backs. Oppose the perv scanners? You must support the terrorists! You must be a terrorist!
EESC label is a dig at EUs expense
"the only way for Europe's interest groups – trade unionists, employers, farmers, etc – to have a formal and institutionalized say on draft EU legislation"
This, of course, refers to the fact the MEPs have no formal say in any legislation. Informal lobbying is also standard.
Perhaps when an arab state finds a good way, Europe could copy them, like we made progress in the dark ages.
No such thing as the "dark ages"
The mythology of one-way technology transfer from the arab world to the west is just that: a myth. There was a great deal of technological and cultural exchange in both directions (though many inventions claimed as arab are actually chinese and indian) and the contemporary west was nothing like the backwards, illiterate backwater of popular myth.
What there was, however, was a certain amount of... shall we say, rent seeking? A few Arab kings sat smack on the major trade routes to the orient and India and were keen to make sure they made a nice profit, whilst expanding the borders of the islamic world. The first crusade, though it ended badly (understatement of the year I suppose), was an attempt to push back an invasion of several eastern christian kingdoms and also protect those trade routes. The later great age of exploration was an attempt to bypass the now entrenched arab and muslim rulers, who extracted a healthy profit from trade between east and west.
Point being, there was trade in both directions, and technological exchange in both directions, so please drop this whole "dark ages" rubbish. It's no less propaganda than the idea that "arabs stole everything".