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EU Privacy Security Transportation IT

EU Approves Unified Full Body Scanner Regulations 225

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the security-not-quite-worth-cancer dept.
OverTheGeicoE writes "The European Union has adopted a proposal to regulate airport body scanners at Member State airports. No Member State or airport is obligated to use scanners, but if they do, the scanners must conform to new European Union standards. Here's a partial list: Scanners must not store, retain, copy, print, or retrieve passenger images; the image viewer must be in a remote location; passengers must be informed how the scanners are being controlled; and can opt out if they choose. Perhaps most importantly: X-ray scanners are banned 'in order not to risk jeopardizing citizens' health and safety.'"
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EU Approves Unified Full Body Scanner Regulations

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  • by captainpanic (1173915) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @03:59AM (#38057228)

    Nearly every time I read about the EU doing something that doesn't outright fuck over its citizens, I think to myself, "Man, they must have heard about how we're all about freedom and citizens rights and just ran with it." Is it a bad thing when a foreign entity better represents your home country's ideals than your actual home country does? I think that may be the case here.

    Are you American? And are you claiming that freedom and citizens rights are an American invention? Because I am European, and we had such Freedom when you were just a couple of tiny villages we like to call colonies, and when the majority of the native Americans were still alive and thriving.

    I'll give an example: the Dutch fight for freedom in the 16th/17th century. Already in the 15th century, the Dutch were free. Amsterdam was rules by citizens, not by a nobleman or clergyman. Citizens. And America hadn't even been discovered. And this idea spread throughout the entire country, which rebelled against the religious oppressive Spanish and became free.

    Or how about the French revolution? English parliament? You do know that democracy was already in use in the ancient Greek times, do you?

    If you're not American, then all the above is still true, but I should have used a different tone.

  • by Shimbo (100005) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @04:06AM (#38057262)

    Hopefully this means they will not be allowed onto the plane.

    No.

    'In addition, passengers are given the right to opt out from a control with scanners and be subject to an alternative method of screening.'

  • by Xest (935314) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @04:37AM (#38057448)

    Gordon Brown gave up part of the rebate a few years ago, we still put far more in than we get out even with the rebate and always have. Europe does not by any measure pay for the UK, France's farming subsidies are the elephant in the room in this respect if anything.

    The UK very much makes a loss in terms of pure money pumped into the EU vs. money returned via EU initiatives by a longshot, the benefit we get out (as is the case for others that put in more than they get out, like Germany) is easier access to the European markets so it comes back and pays for itself in terms of improved trade and better bargaining terms with the rest of the world as the EU can speak as one entity on many topics.

    Personally I think it's worth it, but if EU nations want rid of us then have fun trying to fill the funding shortfall that's used to help the poorer Eurozone economies improve like Romania, Slovenia, Hungary, Lithuania etc. I'm sure Germany will be more than happy to spend even more money financing the rest of Europe and France will enjoy being forced to give up it's farming subsidies.

    No really, the UK is a backbone economy for the EU, like both France and Germany are. The EU would be massively weaker and poorer without it.

  • by nickco3 (220146) * on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @04:41AM (#38057474)

    It may shock you to learn this, but your home country's stated ideals are all European in origin.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @04:53AM (#38057534)

    Uhh, you haven't heard of the American Eminent Domain laws have you? That is used to grab property and gun control laws are rife in most states. 'Live Free or Die' only applies to Wisconsin. The 'underground railway' has indeed been running for centuries From the USA To Canada, not the other way around.

    The Statue of Libertas in New York, was a present from a Frenchman (G. Eiffel) and was probably meant as a joke...

  • by rolfwind (528248) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @04:54AM (#38057540)

    where (in theory) the government can't expropriate your property for public interest

    Eminent domain.
    Kelo v. City of New London decision.
    Asset forfeiture (especially coupled with drug excuse).

  • by Xest (935314) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @04:58AM (#38057562)

    Yeah, it's horrendous, how dare the UK be one of the few countries in the EU capable of balancing it's books making it one of perhaps 2 or 3 economies in Europe whose AAA rating is perfectly safe.

    The UK for all it's faults at very least hasn't got anything as bad as France's HADOPI yet, hasn't had anywhere near as bad web blocking orders as in Ireland or the Netherlands, and doesn't at least have as close to the amount of censorship as Germany. Oh, and Sweden is basically a wholly owned subsidiary of the RIAA now. We don't have laws against headscarfs and stuff either which is something. Even outside Europe now that Harper is in in Canada I think the UK is doing fairly well, we're certainly in a much better place than we were under Brown's authoritarian rule 2 years ago.

    I suppose you can still hold a grudge over the UK for Iraq, but we haven't been there for a few years now, we're still in Afghanistan, like the rest of Europe. I suppose you can complain about our big brother state but really the reason we have a reputation in that respect is precisely because our population actually stands up and shouts about how unhappy we are with it, which is surely better than most other European states where it's at least as bad but just blindly accepted without much dissent. It's thanks to the fact we do have organisations like Liberty that these things are exposed for what they are attempts at but most the worst stuff our last government proposed that generated all said stories is dead now, the ID card database is gone, many CCTV programmes have been cut/scaled back, libel laws are being reformed. There's still a long way to go of course, but then, find me a country where there isn't.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @05:38AM (#38057742)

    The reason is that the founders basically said that "All rights not in this document go to its citizens and can be further adjusted by its state governments" but some states were worried that there wasn't a "Bill of Rights." The founders initially resisted because they felt like it would limit rights because it would make it seem like you get these rights but not others.

    Which is basically what has happened. If it's not in the Bill of Rights, you really have to fight for it to be considered a "right." Not only that, but the federal government size/scope exploded upon the "interstate commerce" line being interpreted that the federal government basically gets to do everything it wants. We have totally warped what the original design of the USA was and now we have a dominating federal government with very little flexibility and power still passed to the states.

  • by peppepz (1311345) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @05:48AM (#38057794)
    According to the site of the european parliament, in the 2010 balance of the European Union, the "net contributors" to the EU are:
    1) Germany (19.6 %)
    2) France (18%)
    3) Italy (13.9 %)
    4) United Kingdom (10.4%)
    5) Spain (9.6%)

    Of course these numbers aren't too meaningful, because they don't track the indirect benefits that a member country enjoys for being in the EU. For example, the import fees paid by a country that is importing goods for China, appear as paid by that country in the balance, but they will actually be paid by the final customers of those goods in reality.

    But you can read that the image of France being a burden for other member states because of its agriculture subsidies is wrong: they pay to the EU more than what they actually receive, and in particular they pay almost twice as much as the UK.

    The problem with the UK in the EU is not economic, it's their political dissent every time that an EU treaty is to be made. Which stems from the fact that probably, most of the UK population is against the EU. I think the UK shoud solve this problem by clearly asking their citizens if they really want to be inside the EU. If the answer is negative, then the UK should withdraw from the union and leave it to the states who are actually interested in its construction.

    I'd rather take an EU that is 10% poorer but that works, instead of one that never acts because every decision is shot down by the crossed vetoes of the member states.

    The "two-speeds" union that is starting to delineate, with the members of the Euro zone having special government structures, might be a good step in this direction; but it's still too soon to tell.

  • by petermgreen (876956) <plugwash.p10link@net> on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @06:55AM (#38058154) Homepage

    The UK actually have the second highest total-debt-to-gdp ratios in the world. Only slightly below Japan

    The "total debt to GDP ratio" may be only slightly below japan but the government debt is a MUCH smaller proportion of the total debt than with japan.

    But more important than the amount of debt is what that debt is denominated in. If a government has debts denominated in their own currency they can order their central bank (in practice they probably won't even need to make the order) to offer them unlimited loans at a fixed interest rate so the only way they will default is if they chose to do so.

    OTOH if a government has large debts denominated in a currency under outside control they are at the mercy of the countries that control those currencies. That is why greece and italy are in so much trouble, they sacrificed their financial sovereignty by joining the Euro.

  • by Xest (935314) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @08:47AM (#38058898)

    For some arbitrary definition of violent crime yes. We have a lower murder rate, lower levels of rape and so forth however which is arguably what matters more in terms of violent crime. I'd much rather put up with a slightly higher chance of being punched at the pub on a Friday night by a drunk if it means a drastically lower chance of just outright being shot dead next time I do my weekly shopping on a Saturday afternoon. Of course, avoiding both would be nice and I can't say either have affected me yet, but it illustrates the point.

    I covered debt to GDP elsewhere, it's meaningless by itself, and the riots? are you kidding me? Britain has one set of riots over a few days for the first time in god knows how many decades and that's something that stands out? Countries like Spain, Greece, France and so forth have riots of that scale on a seemingly annual basis. France for example:

    2005: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4413964.stm [bbc.co.uk]

    2009: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/July_2009_French_riots [wikipedia.org]

    2010: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1322441/France-riots-Demonstrations-pension-reforms-continue-ninth-day.html [dailymail.co.uk]

    Yeah, I don't think Britain's riot situation is too much to worry about right now to be honest, if Britain can be criticised for having some kind of problem, it's sure as hell not riots.

    Britain has a lot of faults, but fundamentally my point was simply that compared to other nations, there's certainly not any more, and in many cases an awful lot less to worry about here. Pulling random faults out the hat proves what exactly? That Britain is a somehow worse country in general than many others? No, it doesn't.

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