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MSP airport security: Whole-body scanners are likely, but not everyone's on board Congressional hearings continued Wednesday into a dramatic overhaul of the nation's airport security system, which could see the metal detectors at airports across the country replaced by far more costly whole-body imaging scanners designed to see below clothing and which many say would have stopped the attempted Christmas Day underwear bomber before he stepped onto a plane (Minn Post)
Driver's licenses for the Internet I just went to a panel discussion about Internet security and let me tell you, it was scar-y. Between individual fraud, organized crime, corporate espionage and government spying, it's an incredibly dangerous world out there, which, according to one panelist, is growing exponentially worse.
These are incredibly complex problems that even the smartest of the smart admit they don't have a great handle on, although Craig Mundie, Microsoft's chief research and technology officer, offered up a surprisingly simple solution that might start us down a path to dealing with them: driver's licenses for the Internet.
The thing about the Internet is that it was never intended to be a worldwide system of mass communication. A handful of guys, all of whom knew each other, set up the Web. The anonymity that has come to be a core and cherished characteristic of the Internet didn't exist in the beginning: it was obvious who was who. (Time)
Terror suspect kept visa to avoid tipping off larger investigation Patrick F. Kennedy, an undersecretary for management at the State Department, said Abdulmutallab's visa wasn't taken away because intelligence officials asked his agency not to deny a visa to the suspected terrorist over concerns that a denial would've foiled a larger investigation into al-Qaida threats against the United States. "Revocation action would've disclosed what they were doing," (The Detroit News)
Airline passengers have 'no right' to refuse naked body scanners Ministers ignore human rights advice and rule out option of pat-down search when scanner goes on trial at Heathrow next week - The option of having a full-body pat-down search instead, offered to passengers at US airports, will not be available despite warnings from the government's Equality and Human Rights Commission that the scanners, which reveal naked bodies, breach privacy rules under the Human Rights Act. (London Guardian)
Full-body scanner blind to bomb parts Todger, yes. Combustibles, no - By way of Americablog comes a video of a man easily concealing the makings of high-temperature combustibles in a manner that evaded a full-body scanner. As the blogger writes: "Even if you don't understand German, it's easy enough to follow how this physicist beat the system." (The Register)
Alert: Female Suicide Bombers May Be Heading Here From Yemen U.S. Agents Told Women Believed Connected to Al Qaeda May Have Western Appearance and Passports - Federal agents also tell ABCNews.com they are attempting to identify a man who passengers said helped Abdulmutallab change planes for Detroit when he landed in Amsterdam from Lagos, Nigeria. Authorities had initially discounted the passenger accounts, but the agents say there is a growing belief the man have played a role to make sure Abdulmutallab "did not get cold feet." !!! (ABC)
Authorities were watching different Nigerian on Christmas Day flight Emmanuel Chukwu shared the same travel itinerary with Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab, the suspect in the unsuccessful attempt to blow up the Amsterdam, Netherlands-to-Detroit flight. Both men were originally from Nigeria and had studied as engineers. - Federal agents pulled Chukwu aside for several hours of intense screening when Northwest 253 landed in Detroit, shortly after authorities say AbdulMutallab tried to set off an explosive device concealed in his underwear. (CNN)
Airport scanner companies queue for business after 'underpants bomber' Detroit bomb attempt opens $600m opportunities for Rapiscan and other full-body scanner manufacturers - Investors have been quick to spot a rapid profit. One Californian firm specialising in imaging machines, Rapiscan, has seen its shares in its parent company, OSI Systems, leap by 27% since Christmas. American Science and Engineering, is up by 16% and has deployed its chief executive to have his own body scanned on live television. (London Guardian)
Poll: Most Americans would trim liberties to be safer The survey found 51 percent of Americans agreeing that "it is necessary to give up some civil liberties in order to make the country safe from terrorism." At the same time, 36 percent agreed that "some of the government's proposals will go too far in restricting the public's civil liberties." (McClatchy Newspapers)
Airport Scanners Can Store, Transmit Images Contrary to public statements made by the Transportation Security Administration, full-body airport scanners do have the ability to store and transmit images, according to documents obtained by the Electronic Privacy Information Center. The documents, which include technical specifications and vendor contracts, indicate that the TSA requires vendors to provide equipment that can store and send images of screened passengers when in testing mode, according to CNN. (Wired)
Body scanners can store, send images, group says "I don't think the TSA has been forthcoming with the American public about the true capability of these devices," EPIC's Rotenberg said. "They've done a bunch of very slick promotions where they show people -- including journalists -- going through the devices. And then they reassure people, based on the images that have been produced, that there's not any privacy concerns. (CNN)
Full-body scanners used on air passengers may damage human DNA And yet no such long-term safety testing has ever been conducted by a third party. There have been no clinical trials indicating that multiple exposures to such terahertz waves, accumulated over a long period of time, are safe for humans. The FDA, in particular, has never granted its approval for any such devices even though these devices clearly qualify as "medical devices." (Natural News)
Cancer Risks Debated for Type of X-Ray Scan Edward Lyman, a nuclear expert at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said that the additional deaths would be indistinguishable from cancers resulting from other causes. But he said, “Just because they can’t be attributed in an epidemiology study to the additional radiation, it doesn’t mean they’re not there.” (New York Times)
Mind-reading systems could change air security in the wake of the Christmas Day bombing attempt over Detroit, President Barack Obama called on Homeland Security and the Energy Department to develop better screening technology, warning: "In the never-ending race to protect our country, we have to stay one step ahead of a nimble adversary." (Associated Press)
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