23 December 2010
Backscatter update and other links
Rob Fisher

It’s been a while since my roundup of airport security controversy.

A mailing list called RISKS digest links to a letter from scientists at UCSF about the naked backscatter X-ray machines. The authors argue that the machines may be more dangerous than the government thinks, because the energy from the radiation is absorbed only on the surface of the body. Acceptable dosages from normal X-ray machines are calculated based on the fact that the energy is spread throughout the whole volume of the body. So the energy is more concentrated in backscatter machines, and will cause more damage to DNA bonds. Incidentally RISKS is a good read: there are many descriptions of the way all kinds of systems have failed, and you start to notice patterns.

CNET reports on Tammy Banovac, a retired dental surgeon, sometime Playboy model and wheelchair user, who, so annoyed at hear treatment by the TSA, turned up for her next flight in her underwear.

Remember the boy who was strip-searched? The TSA said that it was all a misunderstanding and the boy’s father was happy. Now the author of the video says he was asked by the TSA to delete the video, and that the father was not happy. There’s a written interview and a video interview with Glenn Beck about this, too. Beck says he found out the boy was autistic, which was why the TSA were having so much trouble patting him down, which they were doing because he was wearing a baggy shirt.

The Daily Mail has a couple of stories that suggest women are not particularly enjoying the TSA’s new processes.

Meanwhile, the Norlonto Review notices that pretty girls get groped, diplomats are annoyed and guns still get through security. The Norlonto Review also notices that part of the London congestion charge is being abolished.

While I’m in a linking mood, Angry Teen is talking about how UK Libertarian is talking about how rail privatisation wasn’t.

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