Claim: Airport scanner alternative: Booth that detonates any explosive device a passenger is carrying.
Example:[Collected via e-mail, December 2011]
TEL AVIV, Israel — The Israelis are developing an airport security device that eliminates the privacy concerns that come with full-body scanners. It's an armored booth you step into that will not X-ray you, but will detonate any explosive device you may have on your person.
Israel sees this as a win-win situation for everyone, with none of this crap about racial profiling. It will also eliminate the costs of long and expensive trials.
You're in the airport terminal and you hear a muffled explosion. Shortly thereafter, an announcement: "Attention to all standby passengers, El Al is proud to announce a seat available on flight 670 to London. Shalom!"
Origins: In various forms, this piece about a new airport security device that blows up those carrying explosives concealed about their persons began circulating on the Internet in March 2010. The most popular form taken by the item (as an Israeli security measure) has been hitting inboxes since September 2010. Earlier versions include this one from March 2010:
Airport Security - a Simple Solution
Simple indeed & technologically doable this minute... I love elegant solutions to "complex" problems... My engineer friend (ex-NASA project director) has what I think is the near perfect solution for airport security!
Here's a solution to all the controversy over full-body scanners at the airports. Have a booth that you can step into that will not X-ray you, but will detonate any explosive device you may have on you.
It would be a win-win for everyone, and there would be none of this crap about racial profiling and this method would eliminate long lines at airports & long and expensive trials. Justice would be fair and swift.. Case Closed!
And this version from April 2010:
Best idea I have heard in a long time.
Whoever thought of this is a genius!
Here's a solution to all the controversy over using full-body scanners in airports:
A concrete room that one must enter that will not X-ray you, but will detonate any explosive device you may have on you.
We could call it "The Boom Box"
Only in September 2010 did we begin encountering e-mailed versions which altered the stance of the jape from a technology someone should be developing into one which someone was actually developing. In that month the version now most commonly encountered (which is quoted in the Example section above) positioned the tale as a
report (complete with "TEL AVIV, Israel" placeline, thereby presenting the item as one garnered from a newspaper or online news source) asserting that the Israelis were developing this process for use in their country's airports.
The problems manifest to employing such technology in the real world should be obvious. It's not yet possible to build sensors capable of detecting every kind of bomb — while there are machines that effectively screen for certain types of explosives, they don't twig to everything. A "blast booth" therefore would detect and deal with only some explosive threats, not all of them.
Further, such a device wouldn't begin to address the threat posed by bombs assembled after the checkpoint from various components. Also, even a well-armored booth isn't guaranteed to contain every blast — the magnitude of the explosion would be dictated by the type and size of explosive device detonated within it, which means there would be a risk of injury and even death to passengers and airport personnel in the immediate vicinity of such a booth when a terrorist's bomb was set off.
Finally, there's the pesky matter of targeting only those who have secreted explosive devices about their persons and no one else. People who have pacemakers, for example, could easily trigger whatever bomb sniffer is used by the booth to detect explosive or otherwise suspicious materials, resulting in someone's treasured and wholly innocuous uncle being blown to smithereens. Likewise, those who carry a supply of nitroglycerin as a heart medicine could end up blasted into the hereafter by a sensor calibrated to pick up that substance's chemical signature. And, if due to those concerns, nitroglycerin were eliminated from the items being screened for, the ill-intentioned would quickly begin fashioning their bombs of it, secure in the knowledge that such devices of destruction would pass unmolested through the security process.