BBC terrorist journalist strikes again: Heathrow Terminal 5

March 24th, 2008

Anonymous shill BBC Terrorist Journalist strikes again; this time its back to Heathrow Terminal 5 and the fingerprinting debacle:

Heathrow fingerprint plan probed

Plans to fingerprint passengers at Heathrow’s new Terminal 5 are being probed by the data protection watchdog.
The Information Commissioner’s Office warned airport operator BAA it may be in breach of the Data Protection Act.

First of all, who is the author of this piece?

Under the plans, prints will be checked at the gate to try to ensure the person who checked in is the same as the person who is boarding the aircraft.

This is clearly a lie, since it has never been a problem before.

BAA said the data was encrypted straight away and destroyed within 24 hours, in line with the act.

This is nonsense. Encryption protects data while it is in transit over a public network. Since the Terminal 5 system is a closed one (unless they do the data processing off site, which is of course possible), encryption is meaningless to the security of the data. All someone has to do is get into the server room, install rsync or some other data mirroring tool, and all the data will escape, in real time. The 24 hour deletion becomes meaningless, as does the encryption.

These sorts of lie should never be repeated without challenge. PERIOD.

The investigation would not delay the opening for business of the £4.3bn terminal on Thursday, the airport operator added.


Prosecution possibility

The move will allow domestic and international passengers to mingle in the terminal’s departure lounge.

And why is it desirable for the passengers to mingle? Why did the architects DELIBERATELY design a building where, against all common sense, domestic and international passengers are not segregated?

It cannot be so that they can shop more easily, since shops exist in both the domestic and international sections of airports all over the world. The only possible reason for this (other than incompetence) is that this building was designed deliberately broken, so that there was a ‘problem’ to be fixed by biometrics, causing a market for the machinery and a building that can be used to soften up the public to the idea of being fingerprinted.

The people who designed this building are guilty of a serious crime against humanity.

The idea behind the fingerprinting is to make it impossible for a terrorist to arrive at Heathrow on a transit flight, then exchange boarding passes with a colleague in the departure lounge and join a domestic flight to enter the UK without being checked by immigration authorities.

This is possibly one of the most offensive sentences I have ever read on a BBC website.

Fingerprinting cannot stop terrorists. It cannot detect terrorists. It cannot stop terrorists from entering any country. But you know that. Also, if you want to stop people from exchanging boarding passes with colleagues, then you BUILD A FUCKING WALL BETWEEN THE PASSENGER AREAS. You DO NOT fingerprint millions of innocent people.

This is so absurd, so illogical, so offensive, so counterintuitive, so ass backwards, that it can only be a line regurgitated verbatim from a PR company hired to do damage limitation.

That this BBC writer copied it faithfully is sickening, but then, this is exactly what we expect from the BBC, the biggest bunch of dirty, filthy, immoral, unprincipled, journalists for sale BASTARDS ever to sit behind a keyboard.

But Deputy Information Commissioner David Smith told the Mail on Sunday: “We want to know why Heathrow needs to fingerprint passengers at all.

“Taking photographs is less intrusive. So far we have not heard BAA’s case for requesting fingerprints.

There is no case for either fingerprinting or photographing passengers. The building should have been built correctly. International passengers already have to carry passports, and these are ‘secure’ and have been used for decades without any problems.

The question that needs to be asked is how was it that BAA consulted with the Home Office and you had no part in those discussions Mr Smith?

“If we find there is a breach of data protection legislation, we would hope to persuade them to put things right.

Wow, “if we find that a bank robbery had taken place, we would hope to persuade the criminal to put things right”

I want to smoke what that S.O.B. is smoking!

“If that is not successful we can issue an enforcement notice. If they don’t comply, it is a criminal offence and they can be prosecuted.”

Wow, they KNOW that it is a criminal offence, but they get a warning FIRST and then if they keep doing it, they get prosecuted! Bank robbers take note, you have SEVERAL CHANCES TO CHANGE YOUR BANK ROBBING WAYS before they actually prosecute you!!!!

Data ‘encrypted’

BAA said the Border and Immigration Agency had been keen on a “reliable biometric element” when plans had been announced for common departure lounges for international and domestic flights.

That has nothing to do with checking into a flight. This is about a badly designed building, and nothing more. It does however, support the idea that this is a softening up exercise, and demonstrates how they want you to keep scanning in all over the place. Think about it. BAA scans you to get onto the plane TWICE, and immigration scans you to check you out of the country. That is three times in one day where before only a criminal charged with an offence would be fingerprinted and photographed.

Fingerprinting was selected as the most robust method by BAA, the BIA and other government departments, it said.

If that is true, then they are the most stupid people on this planet. A WALL is actually the most robust way of segregating passengers.

A BAA spokesman said: “The data is encrypted immediately and is destroyed within 24 hours of use, in accordance with the Data Protection Act. It does not include personal details nor is it cross-referenced with any other database.”

If it is not cross referenced with with any other database, how do they know that you are the passenger? They must record what ticket you have and place that information next to your prints and photo in their database, otherwise, your ‘terrorist colleague’ could hand you a domestic boarding pass and sneak you into Britain.

Since your fingerprint and face are written next to your ticket details, that means your flight details (stored on the SABRE system) are connected to you.

Anyone with direct access to BAAs fingerprint database will then be able to use this connection to find out everything about you, as this info is stored by SABRE, including your credit card details, which would provide another bridge to detailed knowledge about you via VISA MASTERCARD AMEX etc etc.

That is how it REALLY works you imbeciles; once you connect a plane ticket to your prints it can be used to find out everything about you. BAA, if they are talking about encryption in this way, are clearly incompetent when it comes to IT, and so they absolutely cannot be trusted with anything like this. It is probably being outsourced in any case, and if it is the case, a spokesperson from that company should have been trotted out to explain how they have managed to create dry water.

The Home Office said BAA was not required to involve fingerprinting in its security arrangements at Terminal 5.


We all know that the Home Office was consulted when they were planning this!!! ROTFL!

“Our primary concern is that the UK border is secure and we won’t allow BAA to have a common departure lounge unless they ensure the border is secure,” said a spokesman.

So now you entrust the border security of the UK to BAA, and leave the responsibility to THEM to get it right, instead of mandating that passengers are segregated?

THAT my friends, is the definition of INSANITY.

Let me get this straight.

If they find that this airport is breaking the law, they are going to stop fingerprinting people and continue letting passengers mingle. The airport design is broken, they may prosecute if they do not fix it, but by cutting out the offending part, they have a huge illegal immigration hole through which people can pour, but border security is not the Home Office’s responsibility, its BAA’s responsibility.

That is the level of competence that has ruined this country.

Richard Rogers is going to be hit with a lawsuit methinks, since it was HIS IDEA to create this abomination in the first place.

“They presented us with this plan, which we are happy secures the border. The design of the plan is a matter for BAA.”


Now BAA will pass responsibility up the line to the architects.

This building will have to be retrofitted to physically separate the two types of passenger, domestic and international. All fingerprinting snake-oil will have to be removed and destroyed, and someone will have to pay for it all.

Start running NOW Richard!

And here are the other posts on this subject we have written, and thanks to the lurker who emailed this!

+++++++ UPDATE!! +++++++

The Telegraph have also drunk the Kool-Aid on this one, repeating verbatim the same damage control press release above:

The Information Commissioner’s Office warned airport operator BAA that the security measure, designed to stop terrorists getting into the country, may breach the Data Protection Act.


You see? ‘Designed to stop terrorists’. It is the same lie, verbatim.

Under the plan all four million domestic passengers using Terminal 5 annually will have their fingerprints taken when they first go through security.

They will then be checked again at the gate. BAA said the measure was required because of the way Terminal 5 is designed, with domestic and international passengers sharing lounges and public areas after checking in.

Without fingerprinting, terrorists, criminals and illegal immigrants could arrive at Heathrow on a transit flight, then exchange boarding passes with a colleague in the departure lounge and join a domestic flight to enter the UK without being checked by immigration authorities.


Note the order in which this is put, terrorsts heads the list. It is utter garbage of course, and we can substitute accordingly:

“Without physically segregated passenger lounges, terrorists, criminals and illegal immigrants could arrive at Heathrow on a transit flight, then exchange boarding passes with a colleague in the departure lounge and join a domestic flight to enter the UK without being checked by immigration authorities.”

You see? Much better!

A leading barrister has already informed BAA that he will refuse to give his fingerprints, describing the process as an “Orwellian” abuse of civil liberties.

Nigel Rumfitt QC, a specialist in serious crime including terrorism, said it was a move towards a “database state” and Britain would become a nation that “restricts the internal movement of its citizens”.


At last, people with some balls are saying “enough is enough”.

4 Responses to “BBC terrorist journalist strikes again: Heathrow Terminal 5”

  1. Security Education » Blog Archive » Finger Prints at Heathrow. Says:

    […] […]

  2. meaumeau Says:

    Richard Morrison had a quite good piece against BAA fingerprinting published last wednesday.

    One wonders why the show of security theatre is being passed on to BAA rather than explicitly being linked to government/immigration schemes. Perhaps taking a back seat role suits those agencies, as it may sideline ‘political’ opposition to the general trend of general surveillance into the ‘consumer option’ of flying from Terminal 5 or not.

  3. irdial Says:

    a lurker comments:

    Thanks for blogging the BBQ piece on T5, an unbelievable load of tripe! I thought almost exactly what you’ve written as I read it.

    Not a sentence stands up to scrutiny of the gentlest kind. It’s worrying, this “outsourcing of power”, i.e. investing BAA with responsibility to maintain a secure border. That, and the pretense that they have somehow only recently realized that fingerprinting will be necessary because of the building design. It turns my stomach.

    I wonder about the legality and ability to enforce these procedures. How much power do BAA and their internal security people have? If you arrived at T5 and refused to be fingerprinted or photographed, could they legally refuse you passage (either on internal or external flights)? If you suggested that they take you directly to the departure gate as an alternative would they comply? Do they have any obligations here? As you point out, this is a service, and one subsidised by the taxpayer re security costs.

    I imagine, like most security theatre, that this is merely a softening-up exercise for broader NIR usage which depends completely on the sheep-like habits of the masses. There will be no broad non-compliance, and isolated individuals will be humiliated should they complain, scaring the others back into line.

    It’s a sad situation. I was ‘strongly requested’ to take off and pass my coat through the x-ray machine on my recent trip to Greenland (as I was on other flights in the last couple of years). But there were people in front of me willingly removing belts and shoes without any request to do so!!!

    What is one to do against this? The implicit (well, barely implicit… bordering on explicit in reality) threats against your liberty for refusal are extremely strong and obviously persuasive. A modern example of an old physics law: sheep flowing through security will always follow the path of least resistance. But who can afford to miss a flight? Who wants an interrogation? Cavity search?

    But what are the legal obligations, powers and rights of airport, security staff and user in these circumstances?

    This has been running through my head for a long time, and only mass non-compliance seems the way round it. Now, how to persuade sheep to stand on two legs?

    A thought, that our individualist society as it stands lends itself innately to government manipulation. It is, by default nowadays, divided and ruled.

  4. Uncle Sham to push burden of fingerprinting onto airlines | BLOGDIAL Says:

    […] terrorist journalist strikes again: Heathrow Terminal 5irdial: a lurker comments: Thanks for blogging […]

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