Wednesday, January 06, 2010
Telling Gordon where to stick his scanners
Out of the eater, something to eat; and out of the comments, action. Ed P tells me he has set up a Number Ten petition asking for the Prime Minister (whoever ends up as Prime Minister after the latest convulsions have died down) to consider Israeli security procedures, rather than going ahead with full-body scanners. The Israeli procedures would probably be far more cost-effective, and the aggregate balance between security and privacy would probably be better off as well. Obviously you have to check luggage and what people carry on their persons, but one would hope that we could be a little smarter than thinking that if we can check more and deeper we can be safe.So we need to profile, but intelligently. 'Dumb' profiling, which basically targets beardy young men with Arabic-sounding names, is obviously discriminatory and highly silly. Terrorists can get around it with ease, and all it does is alienate people whose support is valuable in countering extremism and terrorism. But 'smart' profiling, which looks at individual passengers' behaviour and intelligently assesses whether they appear to be a potential risk, definitely has to be a part of the anti-terrorist toolkit.If you think that this is an issue worth flagging this up, please sign here and put a link on your own weblog. Ed has put quite a short time limit on the petition, of 6-Mar-10: I guess in response to the swiftness with which the government is likely to move. So please take a look, sign and pass the link on.