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Full-Body Scans Rolled Out At All Australian International Airports 329

suraj.sun writes in with a story about the spread of full body scanners. It reads in part:"Passengers at airports across Australia will be forced to undergo full-body scans or be banned from flying under new laws to be introduced into Federal Parliament this week. In a radical $28 million security overhaul, the scanners will be installed at all international airports from July and follows trials at Sydney and Melbourne in August and September last year. The Government is touting the technology as the most advanced available, with the equipment able to detect metallic and non-metallic items beneath clothing. It's also keen to allay concerns raised on travel online forums that passengers would appear nude on security screens as they had when similar scanners were introduced at U.S. airports. The technology will show passengers on a screen as stick figures of neither sex."
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Full-Body Scans Rolled Out At All Australian International Airports

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  • by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Monday February 06, 2012 @11:16AM (#38941879) Homepage Journal

    What problem does Australia have that this is solving?

  • Won't Stop Everyone (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Iskender ( 1040286 ) on Monday February 06, 2012 @11:19AM (#38941935)

    From now on proper terrorists will put their weapons/bombs up their butts. Unless something has changed this should still get past the scanners without a problem.

    Not that anyone seems to be very interested in bombing planes these days.

  • by ( 760528 ) on Monday February 06, 2012 @11:21AM (#38941957)

    In Australia we have two huge problems that need solving - paranoia and a willingness of our government to spy on everything we do.

    How the internet firewall didnt get rolled out is a mystery to me (even though in part it did manage to make a small appearance in a different form).

  • by Swampash ( 1131503 ) on Monday February 06, 2012 @11:33AM (#38942065)

    I wonder which large North American nation might have leant on Australia to install these things.

  • Full on (Score:5, Interesting)

    by retech ( 1228598 ) on Monday February 06, 2012 @11:38AM (#38942109)
    I had the "privilege" of going through the Sydney international hub quite a few times over the past 5 years. I'm a US citizen. I've been to Australia quite a few times the first of which was 1989. Back then I noticed that my accent and demeanor got me a lot of very friendly greetings, people assumed I was Canadian. I learned it was in my interest to not correct them.

    Flying in and out of Sydney of late I noticed that a large number of Non-Aussies were getting pulled from the international line for "random" security pat downs. In each case the guards were very verbal about letting us know it was only random. But I don't think so. I had a 3 hr layover on one flight so I parked myself up in the food court which has a perfect view of the security check points for this area. And in 2 hrs of watching I never once saw an Aussie get a random pat down on an international flight. On the return flight I had the same layover and repeated my observation with the exact results. I even went so far as to get prepped for the patdown while in line. When they pulled me I was ready and the guard asked me why. I said: "You pull all the foreigners out, so I just wanted to speed this up." He protested saying it was random and I told him random does not equal 100%.

    Time and time again I've been told by Aussie and Kiwi friends that the US military companies are in bed with the Aussie gov't and are selling paranoia at at premium. This news only solidifies that for me and confirms that I'll never return to Oz again. I just hope that Aotearoa remains a bastion of pacific sanity.
  • And accuracy (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 06, 2012 @11:58AM (#38942367)

    The images may be shown on the display screen as stick figures, but the unmodified nude 3d models are still stored as useful biometric information data in government databases. Count on it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 06, 2012 @12:25PM (#38942773)

    Back in July 2011, I flew out of LAX. I got to the security check and they told me to go through the scanner. I said no way. I was looked at like I am a terrorist (I look more like a young Steve Jobs than a terrorist). As the TSA employee is molesting me, I mean conducting an enhanced pat-down, he tries to strike up a conversation with me. He asks me if I have kids. I said "yes, why?" He says "Well, typically the only guys that don't want to go through the full-body scan haven't have kids yet. So why didn't you want to go through the scanner?" I said "I don't want to get cancer.......again." He said "Oh, I would have done the same thing." His attitude changed and he finished quickly.

    Yes, I am a cancer survivor.

  • by Mashiki ( 184564 ) <> on Monday February 06, 2012 @12:33PM (#38942877) Homepage

    Well, you could go by cargo ship. It's about the same price as flying, sometimes less, takes longer. Meals are almost always included, some require you to bring your own food or pay on ship. But it's a hell of a lot of fun, most of the time the crew is pretty decent having someone new on board and don't mind showing people around, or even having someone else to do things with. You can get private, shared cabins or crew bunks.

    You'll still have to do port of entry calls and all that, but it will save you from having to go through the airport and the scanners. I did a trip from Halifax to Panama and back for round trip $400 back in '03ish on two different Maersk cargo ships. I stayed a week in Panama and returned. If you want to experience something unique, try it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 06, 2012 @12:40PM (#38942957)

    'Cancer causing radiation'? From microwave backscatter? Better not go anywhere that has microwave ovens, radars, or mobile phones then. Oops too late.

    Or actually board a flight.

    "The radiation you get from body scanners is the same as what you get in two minutes in an airplane at 30,000 feet." []

  • by speculatrix ( 678524 ) on Monday February 06, 2012 @01:19PM (#38943487)
    I used to happily fly to the USA at least twice a year, for work (employer has offices there) and vacation (I have relatives there). I even thought of emigrating there, I could probably get a visa without too much trouble as a senior working in IT and a fair amount of personal assets.

    With all the hassles of flying to the USA, I now try and avoid it, managing to reduce my trips by one or two a year. Total cost to the US economy is about US$3000 per trip. There must be many others doing likewise. Cost to the US economy overall is probably millions of dollars, a direct loss to the travel industry (airline, hotel, car hire, restaurants, entertainment etc). Add in the burden to the economy to support all the spurious security measures and it adds insult to injury.
  • by am 2k ( 217885 ) on Monday February 06, 2012 @03:21PM (#38945037) Homepage

    I look more like a young Steve Jobs than a terrorist.

    Note that Steve Jobs' father is from Syria [], and thus Jobs was likely a terrorist (according to TSA's definition at least).

  • Re:Bull (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Cimexus ( 1355033 ) on Monday February 06, 2012 @07:40PM (#38947733)

    Yes, when only 10 years ago, the AUD was around 50 US cents. And even then, things were slightly more expensive in Australia than the US. Now that the AUD is worth more than the US (and domestic prices haven't halved, you know)...

    Basically an American in Australia is paying 2x - 3x as much as they would for the same thing at home these days. Doesn't affect the Aussies since they are earning AUD, and doesn't affect those from places using currencies that have also appreciated a lot against the USD in the last few years, but for Americans, AU would be close to the most expensive place on earth right now.

The wages of sin are high but you get your money's worth.