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EU Approves Unified Full Body Scanner Regulations 225

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 CmdrPony ( 2505686 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @04:25AM (#38057044)
    Not only is EU not requiring their use, they are actually putting several limitations on how they're used and saying citizens can opt-out. Good job, EU!

    Now, if someone would just kick UK out of EU. It's almost as bad as US.
  • by captainpanic ( 1173915 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @04:42AM (#38057128)

    In between ceizing all the power from the individual member states, and destroying all our economies by pumping the money into the bottomless pits of high interest, sometimes they do something right. Thanks EU :-)

    Shall we also allow everyone to bring a bottle of water onto the airplane? There's a lot of money to be saved by reducing the silly safety measures.

  • by greatpatton ( 1242300 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @05:20AM (#38057326)
    Costly? Never heard of the UK budget rebate ? As a little reminder:

    The UK won the rebate in 1984, after the then prime minister Margaret Thatcher threatened to halt payments to the EU budget. Margaret Thatcher Margaret Thatcher is misquoted as saying: 'I want my money back!' "We are not asking the Community or anyone else for money," she said at a summit in Fontainebleau. "We are simply asking to have our own money back".

    And guess who pay for you? The others EU members.
  • by gulikoza ( 1087283 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @05:28AM (#38057370) Homepage
    I opted out at the JFK flying to Paris last month. The TSA agents were very professional, the pat-down wasn't as bad as advertised here sometimes (TBH, I've gotten more invasive pat-downs at some concerts or other public events...not related to airports at all!). They even took and carried all my carry-ons from the x-ray machine to the table so I had plenty of time to put everything together (laptop...) after the pat-down. I hate it when you have to rush, putting on the shoes and belt, storing laptop.... while people are waiting behind you at the carry-on x-ray.
  • by nickco3 ( 220146 ) * on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @05:47AM (#38057500)

    Eh? It's the other way round I'm afraid. The french were heavily influenced by what happened in America. Check the dates!

    The US Bill of Rights was not adopted until August 21, 1789. These are all amendments, remember, for some reason they didn't make it into the original document.

  • by johnjaydk ( 584895 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @06:27AM (#38057690)

    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.

    +5 funny

    The UK actually have the second highest total-debt-to-gdp ratios in the world. Only slightly below Japan who is wide seen as a bug in search of a windshield.

    Total Debt to GDP ratios []

    Sorry to burst Your bubble but the bond market will discover this fact eventually.

  • by GauteL ( 29207 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @07:07AM (#38057894)

    I do agree that we've taken it too far with airport security. Most of the regulations are utterly pointless and often ignored. As an example, think of the clear plastic bags to store your toiletries in. It isn't enough to just leave your toothpaste visible on top of your suitcase, it has to be visible INSIDE a clear plastic bag.

    Having got used to this nonsense in the UK, I once went through security at a central European airport when heading back to Heathrow. Having lost my plastic bag on my trip, I asked the security guard if they had any plastic bags I could use. He pointed to his colleague and told me to ask him. This colleague was placed AFTER the security scanners. This airport had the exact same Airport regulation rules as in the UK, and all the security posters told me to use the bags, but they were obviously less anal about it. I just smiled, thanked the guy and didn't bother.

  • by realityimpaired ( 1668397 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @07:35AM (#38058052)

    And FYI, the French revolution came long after the American one. You'd have done better to talk about the French enlightenment, and better still to learn history before lecturing on it.

    You do realize that the American revolution was actually a French revolution, right? Bought and paid for by the French, won by virtue of the fact that the British were too busy beating up the French, and led by military leaders who were trained by a French general (an openly gay one, at that). The Germans had a hand in providing some of the funding and training as well (which is why the language of commerce in the US was very nearly German, not English), but basically, if it weren't for the French providing a distraction for the English back in Europe, the American revolution never would have succeeded. Don't believe me? Look up the campaign from 1812-1814, when Madison decided to annex Canada. The story about why the White House is painted white came from that war....

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @07:46AM (#38058118)

    I know perfectly what eminent domain is, now why don't you take a look to what I wrote?

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


    >James Madison, who wrote the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, had a more moderate view, and struck a compromise that sought to at least protect property rights somewhat by explicitly mandating compensation and using the term "public use" rather than "public purpose", "public interest", or "public benefit".

    You see, when it comes to rights, the difference is in the details my dear. Take my country Spain for example, we supposedly have "separation of rights", but in truth, we elect the legislative every 4 years, and the legislative names the leaders of the executive and the judicial in session. So the result if that the three powers are always in the same party and we never have separation of powers.

    There's a difference between the eminent domain as it's practiced in the US and what we have here. I live in the country, and about 3 years ago a poor farmer that lives nearby in a small house decided to build a wall cause rabbits are a problem. His house got expropriated and then demolished for "public interest" reasons, specifically, "cultural reasons". Turns out this zone is "protected" and you can only build walls with volcanic rocks (which is the traditional style). - Picture: this is the Canary Islands btw- Now, since most of the volcanic soil is protected the volcanic rock is very expensive, this guy couldn't afford it and took a risk, so he got expropriated, for fucking aesthetic reasons. This is the difference between "public use" and "public interest".

    So, please tell me, do you picture this happening in the US? The way the US is going it wouldn't surprise me that shit like this has happened in the 20th century, but I doubt very much stuff like this happened *under the full protection of the law* before FDR times.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @07:57AM (#38058160)

    Those figures you point to are distorted by our disproportionately large financial sector. Which given that they're backed by means that they actually have a vested interest in keeping our bond prices stable. As far as actually managing our government debt, we do quite well, see

    A big problem with both Italian (and French debt) is that a lot of it is short-term and constantly has to be renewed. Hence depending on the given prevailing market circumstances their actual lending costs as they auction off more bonds can sky rocket. Because UK's debt is more long-term (averaging 13 years maturity) it gives a greater opportunity to get our shit together, and consequently gives the market less reason to panic.

  • by tsa ( 15680 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @08:14AM (#38058248) Homepage

    Despite everything, I think the EU is still the best place to live in the world.

  • by Xest ( 935314 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @08:21AM (#38058286)

    It took a while to find the figures you cite, but I found them here. You've mistakenly, or dishonestly misrepresented them, they are not net contribution figures: []

    Whilst the article is about net contribution it actually avoids the question and those specific figures merely state the amount paid in, not the net amount once returns are received. Once this is taken into account France's contribution drops drastically. Whilst France has improved it's net contribution in recent years you can see the disparity here from back in 2007 under net contribution: []

    Or the cold hard historical figures for every year between 1999 - 2007 here if you prefer: []

    "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'm not sure what you mean here, most countries in the EU have a degree of euroscepticism, but the UK ratified the Lisbon treaty with far less hassle than many other countries that outright voted against it in it's original form. Do you not remember Ireland having to run the referendum on it twice because they said no the first time?

    Whilst recent polls have shown 49% support leaving the EU and only 40% definitely staying in I don't think come a referendum we would leave, because these polls were commissioned against a background of Euroscepticism - UKIP and far right wing Tories stoking things up against the background of the Euro appearing on the verge of collapse. I think the fact they could still only muster 49% to leave in self interest commissioned polls against that background is quite telling. That's ignoring the fact any referendum would be backed by a campaign pointing out all the Tory/UKIP FUD and how it's actually about bringing back things like employment law so the average Joe can be forced to work more than 48hours in a week benefiting corporations and not the average citizen. Really, less than half against the background of potential Euro collapse and a massive one sided FUD offensive that's been led up to by a year or two long FUD offensive? that's pretty weak.

    "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."

    And you think the UK is a stalling point here? really? You only have to look at the painfully slow inaction over the Euro to see the UK is far from Europe's worst offender in acting with haste, and Eastern European and Mediterranean nations bickering over past rivalries be it Cyprus blocking Turkey's entry, or the ex-Yugoslav nations blocking each other.

    If I've learnt anything over the years it's that alternating opinions blocking legislation is almost always a good thing. When legislation is rammed through without care for minority opinions it's rarely good legislation, and when it's passed because everyone agrees it's generally good.

    I'd like to see decreases euro-scepticism in our country and I think it'll come with time, but I think the UK being in the EU is far better for both the UK and the EU. It's mutually beneficial for everyone.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @08:31AM (#38058324)

    Modded funny - but I bet there are a lot more people, like myself, who are avoiding visiting the US for all the security idiocy. Whenever I need to fly (I live in Canada), I always opt for itineraries that do not go via some American airport. I'm not even sure if a transfer flight in the US means having to go through security, but frankly I don't care, nor will I take the chance if I can avoid it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @08:51AM (#38058480)

    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.

    Greece is in trouble because IT FUCKING LIED about its financial condition to the EU before adopting the Euro. Had they told the truth, the rest of the EU would have left them to rot (most probably). Italy didn't lie about its finances, they made real sacrifices to adopt the Euro, and frankly without it Italy would have been in for the worse.

  • by nickco3 ( 220146 ) * on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @09:47AM (#38058902)

    The EU has done more to spread freedom and democracy than any other organisation on Earth. It projects soft power with a single carrot, the offer of membership.

    The first success was rehabilitating Germany after the War. Spain, Portugal and Greece all used to be military dictatorships. Now happy, prosperous, modern democratic states. Admittedly there's been some unrest recently in Greece, but there is zero possibility of another military coup, it will stay free and democratic no matter what. That's because of the larger structure it belongs to.

    Then it rehabilitated central and eastern Europe. All the countries that were offered membership are free and democratic. Every one of them. Doesn't that strike you as odd? All the non-EU candidates (Ukraine, Russia) are not. Coincidence?

    Turkey is far nicer place than it used be. The army stays out of politcs. The Kurds and other minorities are being treated reasonably. All thanks to EU negotiators banging on about human rights during 30 years of talks.

    What other organisation can boast such an effective record at democratisation?

  • by Moskit ( 32486 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @11:38AM (#38060190)

    They made opting out opressive.

    When you opt out, first you are told that you will have to wait. How long? Agent does not know. 15minutes? 1 hour? Agent cannot answer you that question.

    You then stand aside from the queue, behind a barrier, watching as 10, 20, 50 people give up their dignity (hande hoch! raus!) in the machine. They all look at you as if you were the one giving up dignity, or were "put in a corner" like a bad child who did something wrong.

    Just before you were put aside, agent tells you that once you opt-out, you cannot go through the machine if you change your mind. You have to wait, for unspecified amount of time.

    While you wait, agent will ask you why you don't want to cooperate for security of all people. Whatever you say (privacy, radiation, health), he will tell you that you should do more research on the subject, because what you say is not true (privacy is assured, radiation is non-existent, there is no health concerns, you are just troublemaker).

    Some time later, say 10 minutes, another agent decides to come around and takes you for the manual search. Just before that he fills out a survey why you you opted out. You may notice how few people decided to do it based on how many are in survey before you.

    You can now opt for a privacy room, or let them do the pat in screening area behind the machine. Whole proces takes another 15 minutes or longer, as the agent gathers your belongings from the scanner, changes his/her gloves etc.

    Search itself is not much different than what you undergo at European airports if you are selected for secondary screening. They just pat you, paying extra attention to waistband and other thicker areas of clothes (hems, collar, sewing lines etc).

    I would say that at every step during opt-out you are being persuaded to just give up and go through the machine, and threatened by vague mentions implying you might miss your plane. It probably depends on the agent, but voice used during the procedure reminds of what a police officer who-knows-better would use on an interrogated person.

    Easy to see why sheeple just go hands-up into the naked machine.

    Travel to/from USofA those days reminds me strongly of travel to Soviet Russia in the past. All in the name of security, of course.

Evolution is a million line computer program falling into place by accident.