News that airport regulators on both sides of the Atlantic plan to roll out full-body scanners in response to the failed Detroit attack has provoked a predictable backlash among the flying public, with many commentators voicing deep scepticism about the motive for such a move.
On the Politics channel of news-sharing website Reddit, the most popular comment submitted by a user stated simply that "The terrorists won," summing up the sentiments of many citizens who have seen their civil liberties slowly eroded by the deeply unpopular War on Terror.
Other users dared to suggest that the timing of the Detroit attack was just too coincidental, coming at a time when privacy groups have been up in arms over ongoing tests of the so-called 'naked scanners'. Could the US authorities have orchestrated the whole thing just to scare us into submission?
I have been an aviation journalist for the past two years, and have written extensively about terrorism on my blog for the past year. In this Q&A, I will combine the experience I've gleaned from those two professions in presenting the cold hard facts – without bias – about full-body scanners.