16 October 2009

X-Ray Scanners, Naked Images, Child Porn, and Airports...



Manchester Airport is trialling an X-ray machine that is being used to scan passengers before they enter the departure lounge of the airport. The scan takes a few seconds and are expected to do away with the need for a physical frisk of the traveler as they go through security checkpoints. There would apparently be no need to empty your pockets as the scanner would identify all and sundry in your pockets or take off your shoes.

It seems that the scanners can do a little bit more than that, as they will also identify any implants a traveler has. So, anyone with breast implants or a little uplift in the buttocks area will find themselves subject to a few smiles no doubt from knowledgeable scanner operators.

However, in an interesting twist, some child advocacy groups have wondered out loud whether the "naked images" that these scanners are capable of, violate child pornography laws. Airport authorities are saying that they do not, and in any event the images are immediately destroyed if there is no reason for them to be saved. Although, faces and skin color might not be identifiable in the scans, the genitals are clearly outlined in the x-ray scans.

The outlines of a child's genitals would seemingly be a violation of most child protection laws throughout the world. These laws, generally, make it an offense to show or make and indecent image of a child. The outline of a child's genitals would conceivably, and arguably, be an indecent image. The UK child protection statute even includes the term "pseudo-photograph" which a scanner image arguably is.

This story will undoubtedly continue to develop as the legal issues are further explored.

5 comments:

the writer said...

I think only pervs would look at these pictures in the pervert way.

I mean, what does it matter if you can see the genitals or not besides the fact that they don't "SAVE" the pictures.

Like the jokes I used to share with my friends back then, only a pervert could see pervy things in every things. Others wouldn't

Rob Baiton said...

EK...

Isn't that the point?

The idea that there are people out there who would derive some kind of sexual pleasure in looking at this pseudo-photographs.

In the big conspiracy that we all live in, then there are undoubtedly those that will seek to "save" some of the images and then create a market for them.

It is an interesting issue on some levels though...

H. Nizam said...

Rob,

Interesting.
Re: Scanning, as long as the pictures are not saved and spread for non security reasons, I think that it is acceptable.

Rob Baiton said...

Harry...

It is the trade-off that we are being asked to make for supposedly better security and safer flights.

I guess the point people are trying to make is that there are no guarantees on the security of the images with regards to them being immediately destroyed.

The other thing is that it is going to be quicker to be scanned and then go on your merry way than it is to request a physical pat down / frisk.

The are problems in an imperfect system and world :D

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