BRUSSELS (AP) — European nations were sharply divided Thursday over the need to install full-body scanners at European airports, with some EU members playing down the need for beefed-up security measures.
Quite rightly. Knee jerk reactions are all very well to satisfy the American Press and paranoid percentage of the population.
Italy on Thursday joined the United States, Britain and the Netherlands as nations who have announced plans to install the scanners following a Nigerian man’s reported attempt to blow up a U.S. airliner flying from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day.
Not quite true. Britain, sadly, already has a few of these scanners in London and Manchester airports. The only official statements I have read regarding this from Gordon Doom, state the UK would “gradually” introduce them……just as Gordon is gradually being removed from office…….so don’t hold your breath for safer skys for flights coming direct from the UK to the USA anytime soon.
Washington is seeking enhanced security measures on all trans-Atlantic flights heading for the United States. That’s a huge task, however, since European airports carry thousands of passengers on over 800 flights a day across the lucrative North Atlantic route.
A huge and completely unrealistc task. There will not be enough of these cheap, easy to fit and easy to monitor scanners sat on the shelves to make a difference in the next 6 months………I know sarcasm is the lowest for of witt.
But as EU aviation security experts met Thursday on the subject of scanners, Belgium’s secretary of state for transport, Etiennne Schouppe, described such enhanced measures as “excessive,” saying security requirements at European airports are already “strict enough.”
One of the few statements originating from Belgium I have not hesitation in agreeing with.
Spain too has expressed skepticism about the need for body scanners, and the German and French governments remain uncommitted.
If France and Germany are not convinced then it won’t happen. Either everyone does it or it is pointless. I have issues with both Merkle and Sarkozy but neither strike me as particularly spineless when it comes to telling any other nation to p*ss off!
Until now, the EU has allowed member states to decide on whether to use body scanners at airport checkpoints. In 2008, the EU suspended work regulating the use of body scanners after the European Parliament demanded a more in-depth study of their impact on health and privacy.
Until now? These nations are independent sovereign States. Thanks to McDoom and the lack of referendum on the Lisbon Treaty……a tragedy in a litany of broken promises……are we to lose the command of our own security aswell and have it dictated to us by Brussells?
Amsterdam’s Schipol Airport has 15 of the scanners and the Dutch have vowed to buy 60 more. They are also retrofitting the scanners with software that projects a stylized human figure onto the computer rather than the actual body image to address privacy concerns.
And more power to their elbow…….but it won’t change anything.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is pressing for Britain to add more scanners than the few they have been testing at London’s Heathrow Airport, Europe’s busiest, Manchester and other sites.
No, he said they would gradually be implimented……but of course, expect a U turn if telling the US the UK won’t do it will win a few more votes. No doubt the metaphorical finger has been licked and trust into the air to see which way public opinion goes.
In Italy, Interior Minister Roberto Maroni said Thursday that full body scanners will be installed at Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci airport, Milan’s Malpensa airport and possibly in Venice within the next three months. In all, about 10 scanners will be purchased.
“The right not to be blown up on an airplane is a more important right” than privacy, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said.
Not learned anything about dictatorships and autocratic government from Mussolini I see.
The U.S. Transportation Security Administration, which uses 40 scanners throughout the United States, has announced plans to order dozens more.
Jolly good, keep the big business of the War on Terror generating cash and government expenditure. It would seem a tad late putting the scanners there though. After all the terrorist is already in the USA by the time they walk through a US scanner, so why not just detonate themselves in the terminal building?
Since the attempted terrorist attack on Dec. 25, the EU has been reevaluating its security regulations. Aviation experts now must assess whether body scanners can fit into EU legislation, officials said.
“We have to reach agreement together with the (European) parliament and member states,” Antonio Tajani, European Commission Vice President, said Thursday. “It’s best to have a European solution than having individual member states deciding on their own.”
Any significant action on the issue would have to be taken by the European Commission, and approved by the EU parliament — a process that could take several months even if all member states agreed on the need.
Thankfully there is little chance of agreement then!
Schouppe agreed on the need for a united European Union approach.
“We must have a common position for all European Union members states so that there is a real transparency between measures taken on the European side and the U.S. side,” he said in an interview with AP Television News.
“I have the feeling that (the Americans) are exaggerating. I don’t know what kinds of controls they were using previously, but here, in Belgium and in the large majority of European airports, security controls were strict enough,” Schouppe said.
Seems he also thinks there is little chance of agreement too!
Some experts have questioned the technical effectiveness of body scanners.
“I’m struggling to discover the logic for adopting the scanner technology,” said Simon Davies, director of Privacy International, an independent watchdog on surveillance issues.
“Any security expert knows this is a red herring, a diversion from the real issue,” he said. “The biggest failure in this case was a failure of intelligence. That’s the Achilles heel of an effective counterterrorism strategy.”
A fact already admitted by Obama and the administration.
EU spokesman Fabio Pirotta said no decisions would be taken at Thursday’s meeting of aviation experts.
U.S. officials say a Nigerian man, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, tried to destroy a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day by injecting chemicals into a package of pentrite explosive concealed in his underwear. He failed to ignite the explosive.
Abdulmutallab, 23, was indicted Wednesday on charges including attempted murder and trying to use a weapon of mass destruction to kill nearly 300 people.
And rightly so…….although I thought a weapon of mass destruction was something a little more alarming than attempting to blow his knackers off inside his underpants……….well Tony Blair had me believe a weapon of mass destruction was something far greater!
Where do the likes of Russia and Ukraine fit into this……and others? Neither are EU, both have direct flights to the USA and one cannot afford a portion of chips with scraps on……and the other is not known for capitulating to knee-jerk reactions or the whims of the USA.
Doomed to failure if it is not a “one cap fits all measure”………so it is doomed to failure. Very nice for the company which developed the security system though eh?