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Body Scanners for the London Underground 761

Posted by timothy
from the require-nakedness-instead dept.
Ronald Dumsfeld writes "In a report in the TimesOnline, it is alleged that those lovely see-through-your-clothes scanners are to be installed in London's Tube stations. Part of the UK's Military-industrial complex, QinetiQ stands to make £150,000 to £2 million per station ($260,000 - $3.4 million) with their Millimetre Wave Imagers."
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Body Scanners for the London Underground

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  • Well, some will say you can't put a price on a human life. Of course, that's in the abstract. Our courts do it regularly in wrongful death lawsuits. I also seem to recall someone doing an invoice for the carbon, water, and other compounds our bodies contain if we were to buy them at a chemistry supply house, but I dcouldn't find it on Google.

    Essentially it boils down to this. However you believe a government should spend tax dollars, they're going to get spent in two ways: to benefit campaign supporters and cronies, and to do things that mollify the public just enough to make the re-election fight a little easier. A terrorist incident makes people feel less safe, so politicians spend money on things that make them feel safer. Good, bad, effective, useless... doesn't matter. It just has to be perceived as responsive.

    Expensive scanners in tube stations? Brilliant!

    Security costs money. Of course, the money gets spent on expensive and showy equipment, not on better training of security personnel (or screening of security personnel - some TSA screeners look like they should have their mittens safety-pinned to their coats). But it's all bread and circuses. It's about the perception of security. And governments are great at spending money to create that.

    - Greg

    • by Anonymous Coward
      The problem with your theory is that, by and large, Londoners aren't drooling imbeciles. There are exceptions, sure, but the number of people who are going to feel safer as a result of scannners in tube stations is negligible.
      • The problem with your theory is that, by and large, Londoners aren't drooling imbeciles. There are exceptions, sure, but the number of people who are going to feel safer as a result of scannners in tube stations is negligible.

        Yeah, but who's going to bomb a rail platform in Bristol?

        The MP's put the showy equipment in showy places so it gets coverage on the BBC nationwide. They provide the illusion of action that filters out through TV screens across the nation, and a downmarket housefrau in Middlesex

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 10, 2005 @05:16AM (#13025531)
      ...someone doing an invoice for the carbon, water, and other compounds our bodies contain if we were to buy them at a chemistry supply house...

      I hope they factored in the cost of assembly. People are always forgetting little additional expenses like that.

    • by Mattygfunk1 (596840) on Sunday July 10, 2005 @05:20AM (#13025552)
      Security costs money. Of course, the money gets spent on expensive and showy equipment, not on better training of security personnel

      While I take your point on the perception of security in the purchase, you're asking a lot of security staff to detect something deliberatly being hidden with as much accuracy as this technology suppossedly will.

      Getting on public transport shouldn't require an interview, lie detector, and strip search before boarding, but it is a common terrorism target and should be protected with the highest security practical.

      __
      Free funny pics and videos [laughdaily.com]
      • Your point is valid as well, but flawed. Put scanners on the subway, and terrorists will just take the bus instead. Put them on the bus, they'll bring bombs to the movie theatre, the concert hall [pravda.ru], the bowling alley, the schoolyard [cnn.com], the community center, the gym, shopping mall, grocery store, day cares [cnn.com], etc... In fact, the London bombings are a perfect example of the ease by which terrorists can shift their targets, and was probably a direct result of the increase in security at airports over the past few years.

        Of course, perhaps it is money well invested since the logistics involved in a subway terrorism incident aren't pretty, but neither were the logistics of for the people trapped in the World Trade Center nor even the children in Beslan.

        Since there will always be a way, I think it's a matter of changing the will instead. The money should be spent on winning the hearts and minds of the people of other countries. I'm not talking about the terrorists but those who the terrorists use for support. Blow up a bus... increase aid to starving countries, shoot down a plane, build a dozen schools or a community center in a struggling nation. Oh, and I'd still have my gov'ts police and intelligence seek out and punish those who took the action.

        • by rmstar (114746) on Sunday July 10, 2005 @08:38AM (#13026139)
          A german police chief was asked on TV the day of the London bombings what extra measures should be taken.

          He said: "None. The measures are effective as they can be; we cannot avoid all terrorist attacks just as we cannot avoid all crime." I was impressed, really. Intelligent man.

          There is a point of diminishing returns for everything.
      • by AGMW (594303) on Sunday July 10, 2005 @09:06AM (#13026238) Homepage
        The purpetrators of this attrocity are the faceless, and I would suggest faithless (because no one could truthfully commit such acts in the name of any God) terrorists, and their aim is to spread, rather obviously, terror.

        If serious actions are now taken to try and prevent them succeeding again, then two things will happen :-

        1) Our freedoms will be eroded and we _will_ be terrorised by the spectre of metal detectors, exposive sniffers and body searches when untertaking any normal, day-to-day, things like getting on a bus or entering a shop.

        2) We will NOT stop them from doing it again, because it is simply not possible to prevent someone hell-bent on suicide from blowing themselves up!

        Therefore, at least on the "home front", we have to not impose restrictions on our freedoms in the futile attempt to curtail the movements and actions of the terrorists. This will be the most difficult thing for the Government, who apparently believe that "taking action" is always the answer because if all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail!

        We in London and the rest of the UK do, however, have to return to a vigilance akin to the height of the IRA campaign and should watch out for unattended packages. Let us not start suspecting each other as we remember that the bombs did not target any religion, race, creed, or colour, but were an indisciminately blunt weapon affecting any and all in its path.

        We need to know what they are hoping to achieve. We should not simply capitulate like the Spanish because that sends the message that terrorism works, and simply passes the problem on to our neighbours. We can try and make sure it becomes more and more difficult for them to recruit new terrorists. We must simply stop pissing people off, and use our power to make life easier for the down trodden and huddled masses, for it is amongst their ranks that the recruiters have the most success.

        To this end, it is right that the G8 conference continued, and it is right that we should help Africa, but we should also finally put to rest the Isreal/Palestine problem and give aid to Palestine to help them rebuild. We should then finish the jobs in Afghanistan and Iraq by rebuilding their countries and handing them back to local governments when we can offer aid, be it monetary or military, fiscal or physical and we can be invited to help, rather than imposing our solution.

        But I'm still waiting for Our Tony to use this as a reason for the introduction of ID Cards and GPS transponders in our cars, because it can't be far off now.

        • by TopShelf (92521) on Sunday July 10, 2005 @10:35AM (#13026554) Homepage Journal
          I would suggest faithless (because no one could truthfully commit such acts in the name of any God)

          Thousands of years of human history would seem to contradict this. Think the Inquisition, the Crusades, countless Protestand vs. Catholic wars in Europe, Hindu/Buddhist conflicts in India, and Sunni/Shiite violence in more recent times. For (far too) many people, their belief in God allows them to dehumanize those who don't share their beliefs, making just about anything fair game.
          • Thousands of years of human history would seem to contradict this.

            Let's see that quote again...

            I would suggest faithless (because no one could truthfully commit such acts in the name of any God)

            The weasel word here is "truthfully". It's related to the "one true Scotsman" fallacy, but it's also quite correct when you understand it the right way.

            No well-adjusted person commits an atrocity just because they feel like it. They need a "good reason" to cover for the fact that they're doing something w

        • by houghi (78078) on Sunday July 10, 2005 @11:20AM (#13026768)
          We should not simply capitulate like the Spanish

          How did the Spanish capitulate? If you talk about the elections, that was a direct result of the then current governement saying it was the ETA who did the bombing. If he had said he didn't know, the result would have been different.

          It was also because of the governement being involved in the Iraqi war. The results of the elections had nothing to do with the direct fear of terrorist attacks. It had all to do on how the governement handled the situations. People where not happy how that was done and elected acordingly.

          Do you vote for somebody who has lied to you? The Spanisch didn't.
    • But it's all bread and circuses. It's about the perception of security. And governments are great at spending money to create that.

      No joke. Excellent example...I recently had the singular joy of going through a US airport. I was forced to take off my boots (I say forced because I initially chose not to, and was still singled out for additional search even though I didn't set off the metal detector), and had my luggage randomly selected for additional search.

      Oh, I must have forgotten to mention that
      • Are we more safe because they spent longer searching me than nearly everybody else on the plane? I'm gonna go with a no.

        Here's another affirmation of the ineffectiveness of the situation, but from the other angle. I was in the military during '01 and '02, and went to PSAB (in Saudi Arabia) a couple months after 9/11. Anyhow, I packed a big duffel and a small gym bag, the former was checked and the latter was carried. I went through the Oklahoma City airport security, through the Air Base's security, and b
    • ...And governments are great at spending money to create that.

      Luckily for the British taxpayer this project is never going to get off the ground. The quoted price is for the scanners alone. Add to that the cost of:

      • Renovating every station to funnel passengers through the scanning area
      • Manning the scanners (including security personel trained to confront terrorists) 19 hours a day
      • The extra delays caused by the queues to get scanned (consider what London earns in an hour, and the effect on that of d
    • by Znork (31774) on Sunday July 10, 2005 @06:45AM (#13025762)
      "Expensive scanners in tube stations? Brilliant!"

      Truly. They should create absolutely marvellous queues where terrorists can blow up bombs and get a whole lot more people killed.

      "It just has to be perceived as responsive."

      Indeed. Of course, the money could have been spent on things that might actually save some lives, like measures to prevent traffic accidents or healthcare. Which means spending the money on useless security junk actually costs people lives instead.

      "It's about the perception of security."

      Yep. Sticking a 10 cent blinking diode device in the hand of security guards and calling it a 'bomb detector' would do just as well. Heck, stage a few very public and publicised incidents where an actor is caught by such a device emitting a beep and even a whole bunch of the terrorists would think they couldnt get away with carrying around explosives.
  • Hype it up! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FTL (112112) * <<eman.resarf.lien> <ta> <todhsals>> on Sunday July 10, 2005 @04:59AM (#13025472) Homepage
    Argh. I have had it with people and organisations cashing in on terrorism. Some quick facts:
    * Population of London: 5.5m
    * Average deaths per day: 215
    * Increase of death rate on 7 July: 23%
    If there had been 50 extra heart attacks in London on 7 July, do you think that it would have been noticed? If it weren't for the wall to wall media coverage, this would have been a non-event.

    Britain used to have a really good track record on terrorism. When the IRA blew something up, there would be a brief note about it on the news, then nothing. Terrorism is about publicity, and over-reporting it simply feeds it. But it seems that the dymanics have changed. Now there are too many organisations who have a vested interest in a continual state of terrorism.

    • Re:Hype it up! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by QuickFox (311231) on Sunday July 10, 2005 @06:18AM (#13025689)
      Argh. I have had it with people and organisations cashing in on terrorism.

      The United States has shown the way: How to take advantage of terrorism for profit, entertainment and re-election.

      The writeup mentions the military-industrial complex. Maybe we need to start discussing the terror-media-politics complex.

      I do hope my sig isn't too optimistic.

      -- Terrorism may have turned the United States into a nation of fear and aggression, but it won't succeed in Europe.
      • by flyingsquid (813711) on Sunday July 10, 2005 @01:11PM (#13027376)
        -- Terrorism may have turned the United States into a nation of fear and aggression, but it won't succeed in Europe.

        I am just so sick of people saying that the United States is irrationally aggressive and paranoid. And if you don't stop calling us aggressive and fearful, I'm gonna break every goddamn bone in your freakin' hands and then strangle a whole litter of puppies. Just as soon as Homeland Security tells me its OK to go outside.

  • Profit range? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mccalli (323026) on Sunday July 10, 2005 @05:00AM (#13025473) Homepage
    QinetiQ stands to make £150,000 to £2 million per station

    That's quite some gap. Suggests that figures are being plucked out of the air, perhaps?

    Cheers,
    Ian

    • Re:Profit range? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Ochu (877326)
      Or possibly just the difference between stations with tens of thousands of people going through them each day, and those with ten.
    • Maybe, but the estimate could be based in fact as well. Suppose the machines are a little over £150,000 apiece, the smallest stations will need one scanner and the largest might need 10 or more, that would result in a range similar to the one quoted.
    • Re:Profit range? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by rking (32070)
      QinetiQ stands to make £150,000 to £2 million per station

      That's quite some gap.


      Makes perfect sense if the £150,000 is the figure given by the government and £2 million is the fugure arrived at by everyone else. The government lives in a dream land when it comes to the figures that they think everyone else will believe. It's almost like they WANT to destroy any credibility they have left.
  • Problem (Score:5, Insightful)

    by iamdrscience (541136) <michaelmtripp AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday July 10, 2005 @05:01AM (#13025480) Homepage
    These scanners still can see through clothing, but they can't see through all materials. This means that (a) there's a security hole or more likely (b) anyone carrying anything that cannot be seen through and is large enough to potentially carry something dangerous will have to be pulled aside and taken a closer look at. In the second case this will slow things down just like airport security slows things down making it even more of a hassle to take the tube.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 10, 2005 @05:02AM (#13025482)
    Here(In Israel) we got used to this long time ago.

    You can't go to anywhere without passing thru metal detectors(full size or hand used) and surface body checks.

    Armed guards are common view.

    I can't remember when was the last time that I've entered a mall and nobody have checked me.

    The terror is taking over our lives, Now all over the world.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      The terror is taking over our lives, Now all over the world

      Only because you create it yourselves. In the meantime the country I live in is in no threat at all since we do not occupy other countries and kill their civilians.

    • The terror is taking over our lives, Now all over the world.

      Bomb attacks in London aren't new. The difference is that now the government are hyping the fear.
    • umm, i wouldn't brag about "been there, done that" in this case. that's no way to live. how about we not occupy/invade/bomb/etc other ppls homes and countries so we don't have to live like this?
  • Wouldn't they be better off putting in devices that can detect explosives? I'm sure such things exist. 390,000 people use the Underground during the morning peak - is it feasible to scan all these?
    • With 390000 people going through the system, there's not a hope in hell of a body scanner, or explosive sniffer, or anything being of any use whatsoever. If it were sensitive enough to actually detect anything, the number of false positives from people carrying odd-looking packages, or who had handled chemicals, or whatever, would bring the system to a halt.

      And there are hundreds of stations on the system, many of them in outlying areas, and the big central stations have hundreds of turnstiles. The cost o

  • by Seventh Magpie (826312) on Sunday July 10, 2005 @05:03AM (#13025484)
    You know, pay me a tenth of what is being charge and I will set up a few of these Sony cameras [wired.com] for them that will do the same trick! Although I would hate to give them up from my collection. What else will I do at the beach each weekend now?
  • by Greyfox (87712) on Sunday July 10, 2005 @05:04AM (#13025486) Homepage Journal
    That's all well and good but it's closing the barn door after the cows are out. Is it really so hard to think like a terrorist asshole and take some steps to secure the things they might want to blow up before they blow them up? I mean, airlines have always been juicy terrorist targets and intel had shown that various organizations were planning on using airplanes as bombs as much as a decade before 9/11. Madrid should have made us stop and think, "Hey, maybe they might attack mass transit elsewhere!" Why do we have to wait until after an attack has taken place before we go "Oh shit, maybe we should secure that!"?

    And when someone does try to proactively think like a terrorist asshole and says something like "Hey, it'd be pretty easy to contaminate the nation's milk supply," our politicians try to censor them instead of saying "Oh shit maybe we better fix that!" I know dealing with terrorism is a hard problem and our politicians would rather be securing pork for their home districts but we're paying them to provide real leadership. Maybe it's time to start evaluating how good a job they're actually doing...

  • These machines are expensive, I doubt they would be able to afford to get as of them as there are turnstyles in each station currently. As such, it would seem that this will be a terrible bottleneck in getting people on the trains, I mean, everyone will have to line up to go through these scanners. Sure, some stations might have several, not just one, but in any case they're not going to have one for each turnstyle in the station currently, so it's going to be a pain.
  • by malkavian (9512) on Sunday July 10, 2005 @05:06AM (#13025493) Homepage
    I don't think so..
    I'm regularly in and around London, use the underground and the trains.
    This scanner deal will be as much use as a chocolate teapot.
    Do you get stopped for carrying an iPod, or some other music device?
    No?
    Then what if that's just the cover for a bomb?

    There is no protection from terrorism. If somebody really wants to get you, they will.
    If you spend your life worrying over it, stress'll get you before the bomb.

    Be vigilant, yes. Watch out for the unclaimed baggage on the tube or the bus.
    Keep your eyes open.
    If everyone does that, you've got the best intelligent surveillance network in the world. The general public.

    My first reaction to seeing the bombs go off was sadness for the people hit.
    The second was a wave of resignation that phoney Tony would use this as an excuse to get additional surveillance in, and railroad the ID scheme.
    Part one dead of track.. We see what happens next.
    • London is one of the most surveillance heavy places in the world. Yet not once have I read of any talking head crowing about how all of those cameras are going to make catching the responsible parties any easier. Preventing terrorism is what the cameras are for, right?

      ... phoney Tony would use this as an excuse to get additional surveillance in, and railroad the ID scheme.

      More useless junk that will defeat the whole point of mass transit. The direct cost of the new equipment will dwarf the total cost

  • by Anonymous Coward
    You see every other little thing on the security cameras, people dropping their packages. People picking their nose. People bending over.

    But when it comes to something like this, it's amazing that you never see anything.

    Could a secret government military unit do this? Ex-military? It's worth billions in revenue for some companies out there and that includes a tax increase for the government to cover the expense.

    Follow the money. If this becomes profitable, be ready for more attacks like this.

    What good a
  • Another Tragedy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tilmitt (856895) <tilmitt@oboeboy.net> on Sunday July 10, 2005 @05:06AM (#13025498) Homepage
    "After today, I expect the travelling public will be more prepared to put up with a greater level of surveillance." Mr Stringer said.

    I find it personally very disturbing how much people are willing to sell away their liberties for "security". We've all been to see Episode 3, but did we let its message get lost in the pretty effects? Better security could be gotten from not inflicting massive suffering on the world through plain wrong foreign policy.
  • I see two issues that will probably render this very expensive piece of macherinery fairly ineffective.

    First, it is designed to view scads of people at once on video screens. Pinpointing just which person in a mass is the one carrying the "questionable object" may be difficult, particularly during hours of peak use.

    Second, after this quote...

    "We can solve the modesty issue by overlaying the body with graphics except for the area which causes concern."

    The terrorists now all know just where

  • by MrBandersnatch (544818) on Sunday July 10, 2005 @05:11AM (#13025518)
    If youve ever used the underground extensively youll be aware that a) Its a nightmare getting in/out at many stations at peak hours. b) On off-peak hours gates are often unmanned/broken meaning you can just walk right on. c) Many stations have gates that you can just jump over to enter/exit. d) Once in the underground system you can transfer between lines without going through any gates.

    All the above means that any form of scanning system would be so easy to circumvent as to be entirely useless....unless they were to more than TRIPLE the manpower at non-central stations...and trust me that NO-ONE will be happy at seeing these costs passed onto them via ticket price increases.

  • Education (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ochu (877326) on Sunday July 10, 2005 @05:11AM (#13025519) Homepage
    Technology can only go so far. It seems that most of us Londoners have forgotten the lessons we learnt from the IRA. Ten years ago, you would never, ever let an unattended bag go ignored, and you would never leave bags unattended. Until three days ago, you saw both happening all the time. We need to remind people how easy it is to beat terrorism if everyone works together. I would also like to add a personal view on this, which is; these guys are pathetic. We have grown up with the IRA, and there is nothing special about these. Why the fuss?
    • Re:Education (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Tal Cohen (4834)
      Suicides make all the difference. If the terrorists are willing to give up their lives for their cause (and in the case of Muslim terrorists, this often happens), then noticing unattended bags will be of little or no help.
  • Hey, he's got a gun!
    BLAM!

    Then, of course, there's the problem of needing a scanner at every bus stop too -- and what do you do about bazookas? A missile defence system on every double-decker bus?

    All this is going to do is annoy the passengers and force Al Quaida to bomb places like Heerrods on Christmas eve (or worse yet -- boxing day!)

    Oh yeah -- and inconvenience passengers.
    And give the security 'droid a woody.

  • There are 4 billion people on earth. 237 are Scanners. They have the most terrifying powers ever created... and they are winning.
  • Well that's one way to alleviate congestion on the tube.. prepare to see passenger numbers drop to 5%. Oh and ill be demanding copies of my scans under the data protection act just to slow things down.
  • by ilduce (141065) on Sunday July 10, 2005 @05:26AM (#13025561) Journal
    If bombs are illegal...then only the terrorists will have bombs. We need to legalise them for everyone. That way, the next time someone plans on blowing something up, they'll think twice, 'cause they'll know that everyone else has a bomb just waiting for them.
    • Yes, carrying a bomb is the answer - the chances of there being someone carrying a bomb is, thankfully, tiny. The chances of there being 2 people carrying them...
  • by M3rk1n_Muffl3y (833866) on Sunday July 10, 2005 @05:27AM (#13025566)
    ...will have heard about a Private Equity company known as Carlyle Group. This is one of biggest and most profitable Private Equity firms in the world. The shareholders include the Bush family, the bin Laden family and former British PM John Major may still be their Chairman. It's a bit like Milo Minderbinder's outfit in Catch 22, where everyone benefits, because everyone is a part of the syndicate. Well anyway they own QinitiQ. And please don't assume that I am suggesting anything other than the fact that the war on terror, has been quite profitable for some parties involved.
    • Those who paid attention during Fahrenheit 9/11

      Are as idiotic as those who pay attention when Rush Limbaugh opens his mouth. They all have an agenda and you better know that when you listen to all of them or you're in trouble. The truth, most of the time, is somewhere in the middle of the two extremes.

  • by Toby The Economist (811138) on Sunday July 10, 2005 @05:33AM (#13025573)
    So we make Tube entrances secure.

    Bombers then attack concert halls.

    We make concert halls secure.

    Bombers then attack football stadiums.

    We make football stadiums secure...

    There is no purely defensive solution to this problem.

    --
    Toby
  • At least (Score:3, Funny)

    by BillsPetMonkey (654200) on Sunday July 10, 2005 @05:36AM (#13025581)
    It'll keep the generally rude and indifferent London Underground staff attentive for a change with exclamations like "Phwoar! Get that camera-fingy on err!".
  • by stereoroid (234317) on Sunday July 10, 2005 @05:50AM (#13025617) Homepage Journal
    How many copies of that book can you get for the cost of one scanner? It doesn't have all the answers - how could it? - it is designed to get you asking. So you install an expensive scanner at the entrance to Piccadilly Circus tube station. A huge queue forms, waiting to walk through the scanner. Add in a "queuing system" (tansabarriers etc.), so you have 200+ people waiting patiently in an enclosed space. Bang.
  • Over-reaction (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 10, 2005 @05:51AM (#13025620)
    Before people start getting their knickers in a twist, they might want to remember that:

    a) This story is being denied by the government and QinetiQ.
    b) Tony Blair has specifically stated that he does NOT intend to bring in a raft of draconian laws and new surveillance powers.

    Both of these were reported on the BBC.
  • Utter stupidity (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DrXym (126579) on Sunday July 10, 2005 @05:55AM (#13025634)
    What a waste of money. Assuming it ever got the greenlight I'm sure it will never occur to the terrorists to switch to another target.


    I'm sure it won't occur to them to simply set their bombs off in a commuter train, or a bus, or a concert, or a cinema or anywhere else with a sizable crowd.


    It's actually scary to see the massive lines of people queuing to go through security at most airports thanks to more stringent screening. It would be trivial enough for someone to walk up to that line with a suitcase full of explosives and kill several hundred people.

  • by stoanhart (876182) on Sunday July 10, 2005 @06:01AM (#13025651)
    It seems to me that terrorism only funtions because people <i>way</i> over react to it.

    Think about it. How likely are you to die in a car accident, or from a heart attack, or just some other stupid accident/conincidence? Now how likely are you to be bombed? You should be "terrorised" of the free way, not a bunch of extremeists!

    So many people die of hunger, disease, and civil war in developing countries every day. I don't know the figures, but I immagine more die daily than in all terrorist attacks in the last few years combined. <i>This</i> is where we should be spending out money. Just maybe, if we did that, people would stop hating developed nations, and stop bombing them!

    And how much news coverage do the attrocities mentioned above get? A 30 second blurb on the news once a week, if that at all? Maybe if we treated terrorism that way, it would stop as well!

    Think like a terrorist. Your objective is not to kill people, it's to get a message out. Unfortunately, killing people is the easiest way to get attention. Shitloads of attention. Days of prime time TV coverage. Of course you will resort to this method.

    However, would you do it if the evening news went something like, "and in other news, London was bombed today. 30 to 50 people are believed to be dead. Now, back to the Simpsons."

    Think about it...
  • Bye Bye Privacy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sparkes (125299) on Sunday July 10, 2005 @06:20AM (#13025693) Homepage Journal

    "After today, I expect the travelling public will be more prepared to put up with a greater level of surveillance." Mr Stringer said.

    I feel my privacy and liberty slipping away again.


    Those who give up essential liberties for temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

    ~Benjamin Franklin
  • by Ingolfke (515826) on Sunday July 10, 2005 @06:39AM (#13025743) Journal
    because they have locked themselves safely in their parent's basements.
  • And so... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by legirons (809082) on Sunday July 10, 2005 @06:49AM (#13025781)
    And so the cost of last week's terrorist attacks rises by another £500 million...

    I assume this is only the start of the damage to Britain.
  • Terrorism (Score:3, Interesting)

    by johansalk (818687) on Sunday July 10, 2005 @07:02AM (#13025823)


    When it comes to terrorism the following saying couldn't have been more true: A man who fears suffering is already suffering from what he fears! - Michel de Montaigne.

    If you let your life revolve around an instance of terror then you had made living in terror the rest your whole life.

  • Sigh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Turn-X Alphonse (789240) on Sunday July 10, 2005 @07:25AM (#13025873) Journal
    This is on the news all day. Everyone going "OMG WE WANT ID CARDS!", but the general public are over it already.

    It seems like years ago to me, the bombings made no difference to me at all nor many others. We'll just see them try and force ID cards through and waste money on this sort of thing.

    If they really do want to prevent another bombing they should spend the money on more coppers and make them do less paper work. A scanner can detect things but can't detect when someones acting very suspicious.
  • by tezza (539307) on Sunday July 10, 2005 @07:41AM (#13025922)
    Fly to Israel: Staff grill you before allowing you on the plane. Net result: 1 hour delay for say 150 passengers.

    Fly to USA: Fingerprint scanning. Slight increase in time creates larger backlog. Clearing customs takes longer.

    London Underground: Simple platform overcrowding at London Bridge Station, creates hour long waits *to get through the barriers*

    ---------------------

    But I think the biggest parallel I must draw is between Israel border protection and the London Underground. In Israel a large amoutn of the suicide bombers detonated their packages at the border entry points, killing soldiers and innocent fellow border crossers.

    If they install these machines at Tube stations, then terrorists will have a new target: at the point of inspection. They will be able to take out staff as well as passengers and entrance facilities. They do not have to even get on a damn tube.

    Why spend money creating both a target and a delay???? The money would be better spent on building dialogue with the dis-enfrachised Muslim community. I mean who is going to be the main targets of 'spot-checks'? The man with the beard and skull-cap.

  • FFS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by t_allardyce (48447) on Sunday July 10, 2005 @08:07AM (#13026023) Journal
    We were doing so well on Thursday - people were saying "life has to carry on", the media were saying that we wouldn't be pushed around by this. Then it all has to go down hill. I blame the mother fucking tabloids they are basically raping this for everything, cover to cover, give it a fucking rest! It was a terrible thing to happen but do we have to drag it on? News is supposed to report things that are happening, when bombs are going off i want to know about it, when the bombs have stopped going off and there is no more fucking news about it then stop trying to make news out of it, stop trying to agitate everyone. People haven't even been buried yet and already the agendas are coming out - ID cards, scanners, companies who just want to make money selling us this crap are already pitching their bids. You know what? the end of the world is NOT here, the risk of another attack is low, our current security is strong enough and if there is another attack then it will happen no matter what security is in place. Put scanners on all the stations and someone will blow something else up. We can all carry ID cards and have check points every 10 meters and someone with a card will do the attack. Where will we be after that? more people dead but instead of being able to spend all that money on contingency, hospitals and policing we will have wasted it on useless £2m scanners. Just for fucks sake stop this mother fucking knee-jerk bullshit.

    London is absolutely fine the way it is, this country is fine the way it is we do not need radical changes. The risk of a bomb going off is exactly the same has it has been for the last 5 years, just like the chance of the lottery numbers being "1,2,3,4,5,6", its only peoples perception that has changed.
  • by Builder (103701) on Sunday July 10, 2005 @08:54AM (#13026200)
    A couple of months ago there was a big campaign in London to raise awareness of unattended packages. The slogan was something about don't take a chance, alert someone.

    Around this time, I did see a suspect pacakge, and I called the police like a good shitizen. The full story is on my diary [penguinpowered.org], but I'll give you the summary...

    The police gave me such a hard time about calling them about the package that I swore then and there that I would never call them about anything again. I will get me and mine out of the way, and that's as far as it goes - civic responsibility be damned.

    The woman on the other end of the line just kept asking why I thought the bag was suspicious, and I kept telling her that it was unattended, looked expensive and was out of place. Any two of these satisfied their stupid poster campiagn, but she even phoned be back to ask what made me think the bag was suspicious.

    If the police want the public's help, then make it easy. If you've said call things like this in, then don't give me a hard time when I do.
    • Police? Protect and serve? Ha.

      I was hit over a month ago by a hit and run driver. I called the cops, and the old man showed up at the station. I had his plate number, he DID NOT have mine.

      He says I cut him off, slammed into him when he tried to pass, and then got ahead of him.

      Hmm, then I couldn't have his plate number unless I was telepathic. Guess who the moron cop believed? Not me.

      This is one example of many (On the other side of the pond). I don't waste my time with the bastards anymore.
  • by kilodelta (843627) on Sunday July 10, 2005 @10:42AM (#13026586) Homepage
    With the truly conclusive research available as to the injurious effects of RF on human tissue I have to offer my experiences with RF from 20m to 70cm.

    If you make contact with a radiator or counterpoise while a transmitter is operating you will suffer an RF induced burn.

    Also ask those killed while servicing naval RADAR systems. Those are centimeter units running at significant power.

    Now we have millimeter microwave being used to scan people. This will be used on a daily basis so exposure levels are sure to go up.

    I wonder how long it will be before we know the true effects of concentrated RF on the body.
  • by Bloater (12932) on Sunday July 10, 2005 @03:27PM (#13028016) Homepage Journal
    That means they can resolve features as small as two millimetres. Phew, I was worried they'd be able to see my willy.

For every bloke who makes his mark, there's half a dozen waiting to rub it out. -- Andy Capp

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