One of the threats to our privacy and security, which has become evident in the press and broadcast media coverage of the "underwear bomb", Detroit bound airliner attack attempt over Christmas, is the inherent sensationalistic voyeurism of the mainstream press and broadcast media themselves.
The unpopular Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown has responded, presumably only because President Obama has been on television, with a rambling, turgid and repetitive article on the Number 10 Dowing Street website, which hops about thematically as if it had been stitched together from some SMS text messages via Twitter by Gordon Brown's spin doctors:: Vigilance key to tackling terrorist threat - PM
However, to be fair, if you actually read what the inept Gordon Brown or his henchmen have actually written, there is only one single mention of "full body scanners".
We need, therefore, to continually explore the most sophisticated devices capable of identifying explosives, guns, knives and other such items anywhere on the body.
So - in cooperation with President Obama and the Americans - we will examine a range of new techniques to enhance airport security systems beyond the traditional measures, such as pat-down searches and sniffer dogs.
These could include advancing our use of explosive trace technology, full body scanners and advanced x-ray technology.
As you can see from this Wordle analysis of the text of his article, it is mostly not about "full body scanners" at all:
Is this the start of the cynical "Climate of Fear" propaganda and media spin, which we can expect from the Labour government in the run up to the forthcoming General Election , exactly as they did in the 2005 election ? Hopefully the British public will not tolerate a repeat of manipulative political tactic again.
However, Gordon Brown's vague promise to perhaps further examine full body scanners" is what the BBC and other broadcast media such as Sky News have seized upon, as if this is the only, inevitable solution, without bothering to question or analyse it in any detail.
Such reports are also "livened up" visually with images of, or taken from, privacy intrusive / illegal child porn capable full body image scanners, which are falsely being held out as being the only possible technology which might have magically prevented the attack.
So desperate is the BBC TV News for some suitably "action packed", or "visually interesting" images to illustrate this story with, that they have even broadcast footage of chemical analysis sniffer portals, which are even more expensive and even slower than "see through your clothes" scanners, thereby causing even longer queues at airports, without bothering to explain that this is an entirely different technology.
The media voyeurism, appears to be pushing Government and Opposition politicians in the direction of the military security equipment lobby, who stand to profit from selling these expensive, intrusive, repressive devices, at public expense.
Will none of these politicians display any leadership, and tell the media voyeurs and corporate profiteers and the failed extremists, that we will not be terrorised by them ?
See also the previous Spy Blog article -
for an example of a less "visually interesting", but potentially more effective device, which uses the same physics as the "see through your clothes" passive millimetre wave imagers, without the same intrusive privacy problems, but with a higher likelihood of being used on you illegally or sneakily, without your knowledge or consent.