Flutterby™! : The "war on terror" meets "kiddie porn"

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The "war on terror" meets "kiddie porn"

2010-01-06 06:49:44.458294+00 by Dan Lyke 16 comments

Bwahahaha! New scanners break child pornography laws (note that the UK is seriously out of control on "child porn" laws, the U.S. looks positively reasonable in comparison. Sigh).

A 12-month trial at Manchester airport of scanners which reveal naked images of passengers including their genitalia and breast enlargements, only went ahead last month after under-18s were exempted.

JWZ described this as The Buttered Cat Effect:

What happens when the immovable object of terrorism meets the unstoppable force of kiddie porn?

The Sensible Erection thread is predictable, but does give some ideas:

KingPellinore said @ 1:48pm GMT on 5th Jan [Score:4 Insightful]
You know what this means?

Somewhere out there is a woman who works security for the airport who will, one fateful day, be proposed to by her boyfriend...

...with an engagement ring up his ass.

Silly question: Given the amount of fear and uncertainty that gets spread with these stupid ineffectual attacks, how long before someone just wears nitrocellulose pants and lights those on fire? Also, if these things are showing down to the surface of the skin, any reason to not carry those few ounces of Semtex rectally? Although, frankly, if actually killing people were the goal, rather than goading the TSA into collateral damage, other scenarios (including Larry's redacted one) make more sense.

[ related topics: Politics Sexual Culture Aviation ]

comments in descending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2010-01-07 16:49:11.753285+00 by: Dan Lyke

Sean, thanks, that fixed it. I think the issue with RSS/Atom is that quite often the feed file can be acquired through a process that completely divorces the display of the feed from the HTTP retrieval of it.

#Comment Re: made: 2010-01-07 12:47:16.600941+00 by: meuon

Only 17? I'd write out my "if I were a terrorist I would.." plans, but I fear that some idiot would try them. But I'll start with a magnesium briefcase..

#Comment Re: made: 2010-01-07 06:53:48.107705+00 by: spc476 [edit history]

I fixed my Atom feed (at least I fixed the <link> tag to include the full URL (easy enough to fix the Atom template file). I did validate both forms of the file, and both validated, and I think I read that readers should use relative URLs, but I guess that was naive of me to think that.

#Comment Re: made: 2010-01-07 01:07:52.643022+00 by: Dan Lyke

Larry, for the basic weapons on the airplane project, I'm pretty sure everyone now acknowledges that the taking your fingernail clippers thing is just stupid theater. We have reinforced cockpit doors and the understanding that a hijacker may not just want to go to Havana now.

As Nate over at FiveThirtyEight shows, the casualties on 9/11 were on the ground, and if you can't take over the aircraft you can't do that.

Unfortunately, the knee-jerk idiocies of earlier security are now entrenched as "good for us" in the AARP crowd, so people will whine if they don't get their nail clippers stolen. Which is why the current stupidities grate so much: the AARP/Wal*Mart crowd will now complain if the security theater (and associated graft and waste) goes away.

#Comment Re: made: 2010-01-07 00:41:24.419091+00 by: Larry Burton

Meuon, you would think that there would be some intelligent, competent people in HS and the TSA but do you see any evidence of it?

Surely I'm not alone in coming up with ways to improvise 17 different weapons with things observed around me while flying from Atlanta to LA.

#Comment Re: made: 2010-01-07 00:11:59.081659+00 by: Dan Lyke

Sean: I think it's just the Atom feed, so I should probably subscribe to your RSS insetead. It has relative links, which my RSS reader gives me without the domain. So the link looks like "/2010/01/05", not "http://boston.conman.org/2010/01/05".

Meuon: I think that bombing in Afghanistan that killed those 8 CIA employees shows that there are intelligent competent terrorists out there. But I'll bet that number is actually pretty small, and that rather than sending the smart people out to get killed they're far more likely to send the Richard Reid or whoever this guy in December was to do something stupid and let the reaction to the terror be the rest.

It's easy also to forget that the Madrid bombings, and some of the stuff in London, shows that there are still competent active terrorists out there acting in Western countries, but they're parceling out their resources to make us waste insane amounts of money and time.

#Comment Re: made: 2010-01-06 23:53:03.774362+00 by: meuon

"sending an imbecile on a futile mission" - there has been just enough of that recently to make me think it could be a feint. Surely there are intelligent competent terrorists out there... and if not, we are wasting an insane amount of money and people.

#Comment Re: made: 2010-01-06 23:42:56.357724+00 by: spc476

What about my RSS feed is borked? I can definitely fix it, if I know what's wrong with it.

#Comment Re: made: 2010-01-06 23:28:20.906788+00 by: Dan Lyke

Jeff, the head of IT in Petaluma is fond of saying, roughly, "if the terrorists really wanted to destroy government, a few well placed Sunshine act requests, and...".

But, like Larry, I've realized that terrorism isn't particularly about the killing, it's about the grand gestures that make a society fearful, and in this way sending an imbecile on a futile mission to light his pants on fire and letting the TSA do the rest is far more effective than killing a few hundred people.

#Comment Re: made: 2010-01-06 22:25:31.379434+00 by: Larry Burton

There are scenarios that I can think of that scares the hell out of me to even mention them to my wife. What scares me worse is that I don't think I've got all that diabolical of a mind. If I can think of and see this stuff I can only imagine what the terrorist are thinking of. The fact that those we hire to protect us do things that I see making us more vulnerable rather than safer has me all the more confused. Surely someone is pointing this stuff out but being told to go away and quit bothering management.

#Comment Re: made: 2010-01-06 19:37:36.392538+00 by: Dan Lyke

And I need to find a way to encourage people to link to their own sites (Trackback was a disaster, back in the day), but Sean's thoughts are here (I wish we could get him to fix his RSS to have the domain name before the file name...).

#Comment Re: made: 2010-01-06 17:18:25.749455+00 by: jeff

A few homegrown terrorists could probably bring the US economy temporarily to its knees for less than $1K. We live in a very interconnected and fragile world. Count your blessings.

#Comment Re: made: 2010-01-06 16:47:09.165675+00 by: Dan Lyke

Jeff and Sean, yeah, that's roughly Larry's redacted scenario.

When I dropped Charlene off at OAK I was rather amused to see that the extra few lanes that were initially removed from the parking lots for security reasons, and then turned into the pickup area, are now "prestige parking", the tag from paying the few extra bucks for that also gets you into a shorter security line. Good thing those terrorists can't afford airport parking, huh?

#Comment Re: made: 2010-01-06 15:37:43.432968+00 by: ebradway

I feel really sorry for the guy who has to look at the semi-nude images of every traveller that passes through. Sure, there are privacy issues - but the reason I don't like nudist camps is that privacy should work both ways... Reminds me of meuon's attitudes about reading other peoples' email.

#Comment Re: made: 2010-01-06 13:54:04.349363+00 by: jeff

Indeed. All they have to do is detonate themselves while waiting in any security line. That would crush air travel and the US economy.

#Comment Re: made: 2010-01-06 08:33:49.842239+00 by: spc476

For maximum terror now, all a terrorist has to do is explode a bomb in the airport, before they get through Check Point Charlie. Look at the mess in New Jersey …