Dear Chief Secretary to the Treasury,
I'm afraid to tell you there's no money left.
Signed, Liam Byrne

(Outgoing Labour Chief Secretary to the Treasury. May 2010)

Wednesday, 10 February 2010


Back to this again
all images will be destroyed after the individual has walked away from the scanner.
This might be very careful use of language - meaning that images resulting from scans of those who "walk away" are deleted, but there is a means of storing scans that show something suspicious. Logically there has to be - otherwise there would be no proof (evidence) that a scan has shown an irregularity that's used as a reason for either a more detailed search, an individual being banned from a flight, or even arrest and prosecution.

Same sort of principal as when an officious person says pictures on a digital camera must be deleted - without the pictures there is no evidence of wrongdoing, so there could never be either a prosecution or a defence.

As for the 'child porn laws' mentioned by 418 it seems that there will be even more laws "... to ensure airport security staff do not commit offences under child pornography laws". It's hard to understand how laws can be made to stop existing laws being broken - the whole idea of having a law in the first place is that if it's broken the perpetrator gets punished. Adding a pre-emptive legislative layer should be unnecessary and creates legal tangles and all sorts of unintended consequences.

The only way to be absolutely sure no person can break existing porn laws would be to have these scanners checked by machines, with no human intervention, but that's neither likely nor possible because somewhere along the line there has to be a human, even if it's just to check the machine is working properly. The earlier article suggests that
Airport officials say the scanner image is only seen by a single security officer in a remote location before it is deleted.
So who's keeping an eye on what that single individual is doing? Common sense suggests that their room is at least monitored by CCTV - which is checked by yet more watchers, who are checked by ...

What was that Latin thing again?
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?


418 said...

I believe there is a typo in "Same sort of principal"

Mrs R said...

Thanks, yes it was careless spelling.