Dutch Using Full Body Scanners for US Flights
This was inevitable:
The Netherlands will immediately begin using full body scanners for flights heading to the United States to prevent future terrorist attacks like the foiled Christmas Day attempt.
Officials say Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a 23-year-old Nigerian, managed to board Northwest Airlines Flight 253 to Detroit from Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport carrying explosives but failed to successfully detonate them. The plane was carrying over 300 people.
In a preliminary report on Wednesday, the Dutch government said the plan to blow up the Detroit-bound aircraft was professional but called its execution “amateurish.”
“It is not exaggerating to say the world has escaped a disaster,” Interior Minister Guusje Ter Horst told a news conference.
Actually, it is. The families of those aboard did, however, escape a horrible tragedy.
Amsterdam’s Schiphol has 15 body scanners, but their use has been limited because of privacy objections that they display the contours of the passenger’s body. Neither the European Union nor the U.S. have approved the routine use of the scanners.
New software, however, eliminates that problem by projecting a stylized image onto a computer screen, highlighting the area of the body where objects are concealed in pockets or under the clothing and alerting security guards.
Two scanners have been experimentally using that software since late November and the Dutch said those will be put into use immediately. All scanners will be upgraded within three weeks so they can be used on flights to the United States.
If and when the kinks are worked out of this system, it actually makes perfect sense. It appears that they have gotten around the most serious privacy concerns and a scan actually provides much more real security than the nonsensical procedures they’re using now. My strong guess, however, is that they will continue those as well.