Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Austrian Physicist Demonstrates Explosives Smuggling

Seen in Metro this morning - not on their site though - but mentioned here and also in the original German (with video): "Full body scanners fail TV bomb demo". Says it all, really.

The German name - Nacktscanner (naked scanner) - is rather more appropriate name than "full body scanner". As if the metal detectors only scan your kneecap or something! "Full body" neglects to mention the fact that it's an imaging scanner, and is designed to penetrate clothes but not flesh.

As Ben Wallace MP has pointed out, and that video ably shows, these new technological (anti-)terrors are completely useless. Sure, they are claimed to have maybe a 60% chance of detecting explosives - though, is that a near-certain chance of detecting 60% of explosives, and no chance at all of detecting the rest? That would fit the physics better as objects aren't probabalistically visible, they're either visible or not. And if that were the case it'd be a real shame if the Bad Guys™ thought to use one of the undetectable types, wouldn't it? We'd have pissed away millions on completely worthless invasions of privacy... again...

- KoW

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